GeekGirlCon knocks it out of the park for its 2013 con.
I don’t have a lot of con experience. I’ve been to one Star Trek con and several Gallifrey One conventions. I keep saying I want to tackle San Diego Comic Con, but back out when I start thinking of the massive crowds (and that’s even with me getting a press pass and access to several Syfy panels and events). But I had read enough on GeekGirlCon in Seattle that I was intrigued.
So this weekend, I tackled my first GeekGirlCon. I found its space at the Conference Center easily enough on Saturday as it was a short walk from my hotel. I intended to do a con in style, so I cosplayed Rose Tyler from Doctor Who on Saturday and Emma Swan from Once Upon A Time on Sunday. Both costumes got quite a bit of attention. That made me happy and I wasn’t certain people would recognize Emma. But they did – yay!
The most beautiful thing about cosplaying at GeekGirlCon is that the cosplayers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, sexual orientations, etc. The cosplaying community here is respectful of each other. I felt as if I were a part of something special.
That feeling continued when I attended my first panel, which was called “Deconstructing the Mary Sue.” This was a wonderfully smart and interesting discussion about the Mary Sue syndrome and why it’s something that only applies to female characters. It was eye-opening. The other panels I attended during the day were equally as fantastic. Stay tuned to this blog because I will cover those in more detail.
At my first panel, I saw Amber Benson (who I still adore as Tara from Buffy, The Vampire Slayer). I decided to go buy her book and get her to sign it, which I did. I’m used to paying for autographs and photos, so it was a nice surprise that both were free. And not only that, but Benson was more than willing to take time with each and every fan that came up to her. She and I had a discussion about the “f” word that resulted in a rather spirited cursing spree.
After that, I boarded the starship Enterprise and met Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I explained how I grew up with that series and she signed a photo for me and then asked if I wanted to take a photo with her. Yes, please!!! So that happened. It was, literally, a dream come true.
There were more panels, as I said, but I’ll cover those in detail later on. Each was inspiring in its own way and to be able to talk about genres I adore from a female perspective was just… YES! I especially got emotional during a panel about #1reasonwhy, a cause that is near and dear to my heart as a female gamer.
There was a wonderful performance of Star Trek Improv by the Seattle Experimental Theater that had us rolling in the aisles. There was a “Ladies of the 80’s” sing-a-long that had us dancing in the aisles. There was a wonderful performance by The Doubleclicks to close out the weekend (and very nearly had us crying in the aisles).
The artists alley and mechandise areas were also filled with fantastic and wonderful things, some of which I bought. I’m never one to turn down new art for my walls, but I also ended up with a stuffed Sailor Moon Luna and a knitted eyeball filled with catnip for my kitties. I loved seeing the unique goodies up for sale.
The highlight for me, though, was being able to interview Jane Espenson. As I was dressed in full Emma Swan gear, I focused the interview on Once Upon A Time and the spin-off series Wonderland. I was shaking so much before the interview, but once I got into the room, I was so proud of how I handled myself. She had already seen my cosplay and took a photo of it, so as soon as she saw me again, she was like “Emma can sit here with me.”
No pressure, right? I was a pro, though, and got a great interview. Later, though, I went into the womens bathroom and locked myself in a stall and just giggled in fangirl delight. As I tell everyone, Espenson has written for every television show I’ve ever loved. But it’s more than that. She also inspired me, as a writer, with her Twitter writing sprints and the great advice for writers that she hands out so freely. I’ll post that full interview later on.
The convention itself is the most well-organized con I’ve been to. It was a great experience for me, both as a fan and as press. I love the focus that the con puts on the fans. I have never felt so included in an event as I have here. I felt as if I had just dropped in on some old friends, even though this was my first GeekGirlCon and I was attending alone. I might have showed up alone, but I am leaving with a ton of new friends.
Needless to say, I’m already working out logistics to get to GeekGirlCon 2014. I would like to thank the staff of this year’s con for making it such a wonderful experience for me and the other con-goers. Keep up the great work!!
(Stay tuned for more coverage of Geek Girl Con. And yes, there will be cosplay photos galore!)