Nerd 2.0 Appearing Soon at NorWesCon

Posted on March 26, 2013

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Nerd 2.0 Goes to NorWesCon

This weekend I’ll be traveling north to Seattle, WA for NorWesCon, “The Pacific Northwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention”. Through OddRocket, the amazing and innovative epublishing company I’m privileged to be consulting for, and my friend Phoebe, published author and OddRocket co-founder, the convention asked me to be a Guest Pro and contribute to some panels! My dream of finally being on the other side of the table in a panel is coming true. I hope this is the start of a transition to yet another other side of conventions. I attended my first convention in 2008 and it was finding a group of people not afraid to proclaim from the rooftops the genres they loved that helped me come out of the Nerd Closet. Since then I’ve helped run several conventions and even served as the programming director for a large convention (ApolloCon in 2011). But I’ve always wanted to actually be on the panels, I have opinions and I always seem to be that person in the crowd with really good, hard-hitting questions. It’s part of the reason I started this blog, to have a place to share my opinions.

Anywho, it looks like me having opinions seems to have landed me the spot as only girl on several panels about comics. Which is great! And a little scary. However, I’m going to do my best to make girls who read comics and Second Wave Nerds who have come to love comics late in life proud on these panels. Here’s the list- I’ll be posting my thoughts on the panels and live tweeting throughout the weekend. So if you can’t make it to Seattle, I’ll do my best to give you the highlights of the con.

Lola Colleen’s NorWesCon Schedule

Fangirls: Who Are They and What Do They Want?   Friday 10:00am-11:00am Cascade 2
Fangirls. You’ve seen them. Clustered around manga, squealing over the new hot actor (of any gender), discussing why exactly it is perfectly feasible for Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to be in a relationship (seriously, did you see the movie? The fanfic wrote itself). What are they? Where do they come from? And is there an age limit? Our panelists discuss fangirl culture, and whether they themselves identify as such.
Mickey Schulz, Berlynn Wohl, Lola Colleen

I hope I’m not the only Feminerd on this panel who objects to the whole idea of this panel. My husband is totally a Buffy fangirl. Clusters of men who wait overnight for a new video game to come out aren’t fangirls? I beg to differ. The problem with this panel is the idea that girls geeking out about stuff is somehow silly, but when guys do it, it’s legit and gives them nerd street cred. (The College Humor Villians of Nerdom ad one the fake geek girl made me want to throw my comic book across the room. Here’s a great article, by a dude and a self proclaimed fanboy about why this is an issue in fandom right now.) Also that fangirls are somehow less of a nerd for only being into one thing. Ever think they’re only into that one thing, because fandom has driven them away from being able to like anything else?

Comic Adaptations    Friday Noon-1:00pm Cascade 8
The last decade has seen an explosion of comics being made into movies, T.V., and video games. Do these live up to the comics they are inspired by? Have we really reached the saturation point, like Spiderman, where comics directors are also using the old story reboot? What are some of the best and worst of these?
Matt Youngmark, Lola Colleen, Lee Moyer, C0splay of Death*Star

This panel should be interesting. Hopefully it doesn’t just involve bashing the Green Lantern movie and lauding the Whedon Avengers. While I agree with both of those positions, so does pretty much all the rest of fandom. I’d rather we cover some new topics.

Gay Superheroes of the Future   Friday 1:00pm-2:00pm Cascade 7
With marriage equality becoming a reality, what will happen to gay issues in comics? Can comics modernize the issues and welcome LGBT characters, or will the traditional mindset hold out for a while? Our panelists will cover these issues after a brief discussion of the history of LGBT issues and characters in comics.
Chris Nilsson, Dennis R. Upkins, Lola Colleen, Charles “Zan” Christensen

I am very much looking forward to this one and have been doing a lot of research on the subject. I was already pretty familiar with characters like Batwoman and Scandal Savage but I’m pretty caught up on the whole history of LGBT characters in general now after some Google fu and a talk with my local comic shop guy. Shout out to Mike at Isotope for the convo this morning.

Grimm and Once Upon a Time   Friday 4:00pm-5:00pm Cascade 2
Fairy tales are definitely in style and definitely grown up.
David D. Levine, Chelsea M. Campbell, Dan Murphy, Lola Colleen, Matt Youngmark

Hopefully before Friday I will make a third attempt to watch the first few episodes of Grimm. I have seen ALL of Once Upon a Time but I just never got interested in Grimm. I am however interested critically in fairy tales and modern interpretations of them in fiction and other media. SO! Hopefully we won’t get stuck on talking about those two TV shows the whole hour.

Deconstructing the Superhero   Saturday 1:00pm-2:00pm Cascade 5
How has comics’ oldest genre matured? No longer mainly read by 12 year olds, mainstream comics have had to change with their aging fans, not to mention indie comics being affected by the age old stereotypes they encompass. How do newer comics treat the idea of a superhero? How have superheros saturated other media? Are they becoming diluted due to overuse?
Charles “Zan” Christensen, Lola Colleen, Mark Rahner, Matt Youngmark

I’m pretty jazzed about this panel since some of my favorite comics right now aren’t superhero based. Also, I’m excited about some of the project Gail Simone has coming up that treat superheroes in a new way. I’m hoping that I get to mention all of those things and sound really smart. If we start talking about what the Superman of the future looks like… all I can say is he shouldn’t be white.

Marketing for People Who Hate Marketing   Saturday 6:00pm-7:00pm Cascade 8
As well as those who love it a little too much. How to get noticed online without being That Guy, wasting all your time, or going bankrupt.
Michaelbrent Collings, Kevin J. Anderson, Lola Colleen, Sara Twitty

This is really the panel I got invited for in the first place. I’m starting a marketing consulting business for writers, OddRocket and subsequently their authors will be my first clients. I come at this industry from a variety of levels, I’ve done marketing for Academia, Non-profits, E-commerce sites, etc. My expertise is in digital marketing and search engine optimization but I’ve done a little bit of everything- print marketing, PR relations, event planning, web and graphic design. SO! Hopefully I can add something interesting and new to this panel.

Fandom In Daily Life   Sunday 10:00am-11:00am Cascade 5
Are you weird, geeky, or a total nerd, and proud of it? Do you express your fannishness in daily life, or do you tone it down for your day job? Come participate in a discussion and share how you show your fannish colors.
Lola Colleen (Look I’m the moderator!), Berlynn Wohl, Jonny Nero Action Hero

And this is the panel I’m moderating! Which is perfect, since it was such a weird transition for me to come out of the nerd closet. When I first found fandom, I was like Alleluia! here are my people. It helped give me the confidence to really pursue the things I care about. Writing critically about science fiction and fantasy also writing speculative fiction. Luckily since moving to San Francisco I’ve found a place where I don’t feel so much like a round peg trying to fit in a square hole.

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