Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Orleans Comic Con Happened, and I Was There

As it is in many cities, Wizard World Comic Con is the largest convention in New Orleans, promising the highest turnout and boasting the biggest names, and this year's convention did not disappoint! (It was so big, in fact, that my coverage of it had to be split between the She-Geeks Blog and The Mary Sue! Don't worry though, I've included some handy links throughout this post so you needn't miss a thing.) From cosplay to fan groups to panels and even a taping of Bruce Campbell's new show, I saw all manner of delightful things last weekend. Did you miss it? That's ok, I'm here for you! (I'm magnanimous like that.) So follow along as I run down some of the best things I found at Comic Con:

Attack of the Eyebrows Panel

This Doctor Who panel (mostly comprised of members of the Krewe du Who) was all about Series 8 and Peter Capaldi. If you've been following my Doctor Who reviews, you know that while I am a huge fan of Capaldi, I am absolutely not a fan of this past series. Though the majority of the panel members apparently enjoyed much more of Series 8 than I did, the room was pretty much in agreement that there were a lot of bizarre, disjointed twists and inconsistencies that are just begging to be explained away as being part of a huge dream (which, if you ask me, speaks volumes for the lack of good writing). It was at this panel that I happened upon my neighbor, who I had no clue was a fan, in his spot-on 12th Doctor cosplay:

Civil Rights as Reflected in Comic Books Panel

One of the highlights of the Convention for me, this delightful panel included comic book historian, Thomas Strange, Emily Roldan, Special Agent Micheal Manning (of I.C.E. though he was at the convention as a general geek, not an agent), Thomas Boucher, and Richard Douglas Jones of the Black Nerd Power podcast. The panel discussed everything from the representation of people of color in comics throughout history, how illegal immigration has been handled (Agent Manning and I share an unpopular view of Superman as an illegal immigrant), how women have been written and drawn over the years, and the severe lack of accurate LGBT+ representation in comics. Highlights for me were the discussions about Wonder Woman being drawn as a frail passenger clutching a teddy bear while Aquaman flies their plane in recent issues, DC refusing to allow Batwoman to marry her long-time girlfriend, and that time when Lois Lane went undercover as a black woman because she was curious:

1940: World War II and Comics Panel

When I read the names of some of the people on this panel, I instantly started drooling. Comic historian and granddaughter of the founder of DC Comics, Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson; author of one of my favorite books, Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, Dr. Travis Langley; and legendary artist Marguerite Van Cook in particular had me swooning. Listening to these great minds discussing the history of comics, from being crumpled in the pockets of soldiers in war-torn trenches to the grubby, sticky hands of children visiting newsstands (and what they've meant to readers along the way), was definitely a treat. I couldn't even begin to do this packed house panel justice, but I will say that should you see a similar listing on a convention program in the future, do yourself a favor and go!

I was also able to snag an exclusive interview with Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson in which we discuss her upcoming book about the life of her grandfather, issues with Jill Lepore's book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, and what she'd like to see more of in the modern comic book industry! The interview can be found on The Mary Sue by clicking here. (I'm happy to report that I was able to hold my excitement in check, and only fangirled out a teensie bit. Go me!)

Behind the Mask with Caity Lotz Fan Q&A

The Arrow and Mad Men actress had a fabulous panel full of fan Q&A, that I have painstakingly transcribed for The Mary Sue. She discussed her role as Sara Lance/The Canary on Arrow, and the representation of women and the LGBT community in the industry. I highly recommend giving it a read! Click here to put it in your eyeholes!

'Last Fan Standing with Bruce Campbell' Taping

That's right, THE Bruce Campbell is hosting a game show called Last Fan Standing geared toward con goers and geeks! The show will be taping at Wizard World conventions throughout 2015, and will begin airing on brand new, digital channel, CONtv (a collaboration between Wizard World and Cinedigm) later this year.
Finals round for taping of Last Fan Standing
The show is a pretty straight-forward trivia game in which Campbell asks the contestants geek trivia questions of varying difficulty and awards points for correct answers. They start with four contestants and whittle that number down to two finalists who go head-to-head in cutthroat trivia for cash. Clearly the main draw is Campbell, who is both ingratiating towards the crowd and amusing as hell as he pokes fun at the contestants. The contestants are chosen from the taping audience via a mass trivia game. Each audience member is given a wireless remote as they enter the auditorium with which to answer trivia questions. There are then several rounds of trivia questions (some of which were stupid easy, others were no joke) and scores are decided by how many questions you answered correctly and how quickly you were able to do it. The four audience members with the highest scores at the end become the show's contestants. Just before the actual taping begins, Campbell himself comes out to warm up the crowd by pulling some audience members on stage to sing and dance with him.
For my taping they performed a rousing rendition of Delilah by Neil Diamond
Once the actual show begins, the hardest part is not yelling out the answers when the contestants get them wrong. All in all, it was a fun, little show! To be fair though, I'll take any chance I can get to watch Bruce Campbell be witty, so they really couldn't go wrong in my book.

CONtv will launch in February 2015 as a digital streaming service (either free but ad-supported, or via a $6.99/mo subscription with exclusive content and other bonuses) available on several devices including Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation, Smasung Smart TV, mobile and tablet devices.

The Artists of 'Epic Ink' Were Stabbing People

Convention goer getting some fresh ink
The tattoo artists from A&E's Epic Ink and Area 51 Tattoo were set up and tattooing brave convention goers. The middle of a busy convention floor surrounded by spectators may not be my ideal situation in which to snag some new ink, but it appeared to be clean and everyone looked happy, so I'm certainly not going to disparage anyone who chose to do so. Besides, if you really want a tattoo from a specific artist, and this is the one time you know they'll be in your town, why the hell wouldn't you seize the opportunity?!

Cosplay & Vendors

Of course, no She-Geeks convention article is complete without showcasing some fabulous cosplay and some wonderful vendors! I have two different galleries up on The Mary Sue that are full of all the pretties you could desire including a fabulous Wonder Woman/Rosie the Riveter cosplay, a vendor selling wooden eyeglasses covered in comic book pages (oh my gods, I want SO BAD), and much more! Clickity click to visit the eye candy:

You want cosplay? I got yer cosplay, right here!

Vendors! Get your vendors right over here, folks!

If there is a convention in the Gulf Coast area you think She-Geeks should cover, let me know by emailing:!

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