WICOMICON: Highlights and the Power of Community

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In my previous life as a field organizer, it was often said that organizing people was a lot like herding cats. The talented folks behind WICOMICON, a Pop-Up comic and arts convention held in Baltimore last week, put that expression to shame. In less than a week a group of dedicated organizers, activists, scholars and reporters joined to fill in the void left behind by the now infamous implosion of UniversalFanCon. It was a Herculean effort of community organizing and it’s reminded me of the raw power of people to unite behind a common cause.

“WICOMICON was a testament to the power of community… a shining example of the truth that when folks get together under one common goal, without ego, and in the face of great adversity, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. It was an honor to be a part of such a beautiful moment in this renaissance that is unfolding in front of us.” — URAEUS (Black Heroes Matter)

From L-R: (Karama Horne, Patrick Strange, Angélique Roché, Cheo Hodari Coker, April Reign, Keith Chow, Chuck Collins, Rat Ronin, Uraeus, Alexia Prichard, André Robinson)

We wanted to take some time to celebrate the event and its organizers who worked tirelessly to make it possible. The convention was produced by The Nerds of Color, Black Heroes Matter, and The New Release Wednesday Show, in association with André Robinson of Carbon Fibre Media and Elijah Kelley of the Be A Boss App. Other organizations like GEEKS OUT and Flame Con helped by purchasing and donating tickets for would-be attendees.

After recent events our goal was to help the vendors and artists left with inventory they couldn’t move and plane tickets they couldn’t return. And to change the narrative about working with creators of color and give everyone affected a sense of hope. —  Karama Horne​ (theblerdgurl)

From L-R: (Karama Horne, Angélique Roché, Cheo Hodari Coker, April Reign)

The event featured folks from the comic, arts, and entertainment industries – including the casts of the SYFY Series ​Killjoys​ and The Magicians​. Convention-goers had the chance to revel in goods from exhibitors, attend panels, show off their cosplay, and enjoy music. Below you will find some highlights from last week’s WICOMICON. We hope you’ll take some time to join us in commending these organizers and change-makers.

Cosplay

(Cosplayers show off their creations at WICOMICON)
Cosplayer at WICOMICON

Panels

Sean Back from SyFy’s Killjoys at WICOMICON
Activist and Event Organizer, April Reign delights the audience at WICOMICON
Comic writer Greg Pak and Keith Chow (NerdsofColor) answer questions at WICOMICON

Attendees & Vendors

WICOMICON Attendee with Angélique Roché (Marvel’s Voice Podcast)
WICOMICON attendees peruse the merch
Creator Bryan Tillman engages with attendees at WICOMICON
WICOMICON attendee looks at a vendor’s creations

There were so many more joyous photos and images, these were just a smattering provided courtesy of photographer Saquan Stimspon and the rest of the WICOMICON team.

The organizers behind WICOMICON rallied together and showed us what is possible despite having nearly every obstacle in their way. We hear so much about the horror stories when it comes to conventions, it’s nice to lift up the skills and talent of these organizers and celebrate all they accomplished in such a short time.

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