This weekend’s GeekGirl Con in Seattle sounds like it was a big success; both Saturday and Sunday sold out, and while the above news report doesn’t make it look like it was sardine-land, maybe selling out before you get to that point is not a bad idea.
Gail Simone has a lengthy write-up that deserves to be read in full; the idea of a female-run and female-centric convention seems to be fairly emblematic of the time and place we find ourselves in, and it sounds like the programming, in particular, was noteworthy:
The programming was astounding, there were panels I was dying to attend and could not. Usually, I’m sorry, I don’t feel any big need to see most panels at cons…these were fascinating topics and I sat in quietly in the audience in some. I can’t tell you how fun it was, for a change, to see a packed room, with 80 percent female audiences over and over. And not just for panels about Harry Potter, but for scholarly and ethical panels. It was so exciting. They even had a token male panel, called the VERY SPECIAL DUDES panel, which was really awesome. The guys were great sports about it, and I think they all really enjoyed the gender-flip of this event.
A few more reports:
Good Game Media
Some panels were quiet as they attempted to get a shy audience sharing and speaking, and other panels had SO MUCH ENERGY you could not help but laugh, clap and cheer to celebrate what this event was creating. Geek Girl Con 2011 was a complete sell out, and if in the first year that is not a success, I don’t know what is.
The “Women In Star Wars” panel is a candid conversation examining female characters in Star Wars lore. The panelists include Mercedes Santaella-Lam (moderator), Misty Buxton, Deunan Berkeley, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Sjoberg. These women are impressively talented, with great sewing ability and they bring with them a vast knowledge about the Star Wars movies, the original books and fan produced literature. It is interesting to see that people see Star Wars as mostly male, in characters, because of the movies, ignoring characters in the books. This panel indirectly highlights there effect, in Hollywood, where many movies feature mostly male characters, even to the point of eliminating characters from books.
Geek Girl Con was a lot of fun. I did a signing, sold a couple of books, the presentation went well, and I found a couple of really cool things – like Ada’s Bookstore and Tracy who runs the charmingly named Geektastic Pentameter. I also got to meet Wonder Woman comic writer Gail Simone, who was quoted in my first book’s poem “Women in Refrigerators.” The crowd was friendly, the conference was sold out and they were turning people away by noon, and in general people seemed to have a really good time. And now the University Bookstore carries both my books (in case you’re in Seattle looking for them..)
Seattle is home to Amazon, Microsoft and other indentured microserfs, so it’s fertile ground for geeks of all genders. Although, seeing the 12-year-old cosplayer’s obvious embarrassment at having her mom dress up as a Star Trek zombie might be the funniest thing we’ve seen all week.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.