C2E2 Panels to Check Out

So all of a sudden C2E2 is this week.  The month of April completely disappeared on me.  But I wanted to make sure to share a couple of panels I think folks should check out this year.  (If you want to know where I'll be, it's on stage for three panels myself, or in the audience of a bunch of these.)


Professional Geek: How to Turn Your Passion into A Career

  • April 21, 2017, 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM, S503
  • A panel of professional geeks from various industries, including video games, music composers, producers, podcasters, and journalists offer the audience sage advice for how to break into your chosen industry, and tell some funny stories of how they got into the jobs they’re in now. Includes a discussion on the different ways that being a geek can help you become a better professional, and advice on everything from copyright law to networking and turning your favorite thing into your career. (Keisha Howard, Devin Delaney, Mark Beers, Blare (Kleeman) Knight-Graves, Majdi Badri, and Keidra Chaney.)

You Have Died From Exposure: The Importance Of Compensating Geeky Marginalized Creators

  • April 21, 2017, 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM, S405a
  • “Do It for the Exposure!” “Aren’t you just grateful to have this opportunity?” Too often, marginalized creators are thrown these adages as compensation for their hard work and creativity in lieu of financial redress like their privileged counterparts. We will be discussing the importance of equal compensation for equal work, the benefit of outreach, and how it’s led to opening the geek culture markets for creators & consumers who don't look like or think in "mainstream". (Tanya DePass, Charlie Hawkins, Michi Trota, Suzanne Walker, and Jennifer Cross.)

More Than a Sidekick: Expanding Visibility for Asian American Characters and Creators in Comics

  • April 21 2017, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm, S405a
  • Asian Americans are often relegated to the role of sidekicks in comics, but new generations of creators and characters are changing that narrative. This panel will examine the evolution of Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation in comics - both on and behind the page - and how these characters and their AAPI creators are fighting for wider recognition and opportunities in the industry. This panel is co-sponsored in part by Chicago Nerd Social Club. #MoreThanSidekicks. (Mary Anne Mohanraj, Draven Katayama, Mark Martell, Michi Trota, Natalia Roxas, and Gene Ha.)



Geek Girls Unite: Finding Your Space in Fandom

  • April 22, 2017, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, S405a
  • Join some of your favorite women for a discussion on how to create your own space in geekdom – be that a book club, geek girl brunch, craft circle, or online group. This panel will address how female-identifying fans can find welcoming space in a convention setting and make the most of networking and making friends while there. Learn how fangirls find each other and inspire each other to create new media geared towards nerdy women. (Ashley Poston, Ivy Weir, and Christina Stewart.)

Racebending.com Presents Diverse Means for Diverse Works

  • April 22, 2017, 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM, S403
  • Racebending.com has assembled a mixture of independent publishers and creators who saw a lack of diverse content in their fields and began publishing to provide a home for those stories. We will tackle the issues and opportunities that independent publishing presents for creators and fans who support diverse representation and storytelling in comics. (Gabrial Canada, C. Spike Trotman, Professor Turtel Onli, Michi Trota, and Mary Anne Mohanraj.)

Behind The Parable And The Power: A Celebration Of The Black Women Creators Of The ‘Verse

  • April 22, 2017, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM, S405a
  • The ladies from A Black Nerd Girl’s Journey and More Than Warriors And Weather Witches are back! This year, we’re going to celebrate the black women behind the pages and productions of our favorite stories from the ‘Verse. We will laud the history of their influence, analyze how far we still need to go, and hopefully hear from the audience how their favorite black women creators have inspired them to pursue their own geeky paths. (Tanya DePass, Jennifer Cross, Mikki Kendall, and Keidra Chaney.)



Creating Kickass Characters

  • April 23, 2017, 1:15 PM -2:15 PM, S405a
  • Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel - how have female comics characters changed over the years and why? We analyze some of our favorite and not so favorite old character makeovers, and celebrate some new ones. Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja), Shawna Benson and Julie Benson (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, The 100), and Joelle Jones (Lady Killer, Mockingbird) talk about the trends in comic character development and where we are headed. (Shawna & Julie Benson, Amy Chu, and Joelle Jones.)

Reblog, Retweet, Resist! Hashtag Movement and Fan Activism presented by Racebending.com

  • April 23, 2017, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, S405b
  • You reblog, retweet and resist! Social media has transformed pop culture fans into popular movements through fan activism and Hashtag campaigns(Gabrial Canada, Tanya DePass, Michi Trota, Mikki Kendall, and Mary Anne Mohanraj.)

This week in Kickstarters...


One of my New Year's resolutions for 2016 was to spend less money on Kickstarters.

I failed.  Spectacularly.

I had a completely different set of resolutions this year, but I realized that I haven't done a great job of plugging projects that I like and believe in that are looking for funding, so...introducing a new semi-regular feature: This week in Kickstarters.  My goal is to pick a couple projects from comics creators that might be of interest to the folks that follow my writing.

First up is Eisegesis: Kings + Queens from the Sun Bros Studios.

Eisegesis: Kings + Queens is a full-color, all-ages comics anthology written by the Sun Bros and illustrated by Ali Cantarella, exploring the thin boundary between our everyday interactions and the unexpected inner worlds we inhabit.
A royal couple quarrels while their kingdom falls under siege by monsters. A lonely old shopkeeper rules his gift shop with an iron fist. A late night chance encounter leads to an unlikely journey across rooftops and donuts.
These tales dare us to infuse our own perspective into each of them. They're not meant to teach us lessons. Instead, they simply invite us to wonder.

Wes, one of the two brothers that make up the Sun Bros, and Cantarella are both local to Chicago and pretty involved in the independent comics community.  They're great folks, and super talented, so seeing them work together (with Brad) is really exciting to me.  I love the David Lynch-ian sensibility that a lot of the Sun Bros books have, twisting and psychedelic with a wry sense of humor, and it'll be neat to see that translated into an all ages book.  As of the time of writing, they were less than $100 away from their goal.

Next is Simon Says: Nazi Hunter.

I'll be honest: I'm super motivated to punch Nazis in the face right now, so this book is speaking to my lizard brain is all the right ways.

From the creators:

The comic is inspired by the true story of the famed Nazi Hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. Written by Andre Frattino and Illustrated by Jesse Lee, this comic is intended to be the prototype first issue for a potential graphic novel. 
Wiesenthal was an Austrian architect who survived the Holocaust thanks partly to his artistic skills (he was spared from execution when he was employed to paint swastikas on train cars). After the war, he discovered that he and his wife lost over 80 members of their family. Wiesenthal dedicated the rest of his life to hunting down notorious war criminals including Adolf Eichmann (a chief orchestrator of Hitler's "Final Solution to the Jewish Question") and Joseph Mengele (a.k.a. "The Angel of Death" who conducted horrifying experiments on his subjects).  
While Simon Says: Nazi Hunter #1 is inspired by Simon Wiesenthal, it is not merely a dramatization of his experiences alone. The story takes from many aspects of various Nazi Hunter stories following the war. The tone of the comic is a mixture of noir and pulp fiction which was prevalent in the 1950s and 60s. Other influences include Ian Fleming's James Bond Series as well as such films as Schindler's ListInglorious Bastards and TV series like Sherlock and Man in the High Castle.

The team is now close to twice their goal, with a deadline of the end of February.