Introverted Chicago

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Chicago Comic Con Starts Discussion On Diversity

By far the most exciting part of Chicago Comic Con was the fact that it hosted three separate panels on diversity! The panels focused on women, Asian-Americans, and black characters, respectively, but all three panels were careful to talk about intersectionality as well (the idea that people can deal with multiple forms of oppression i.e. black women deal with both racism and sexism).
It was especially refreshing to see the Con host two panels on characters of color rather than try to cram all issues of representation into one event. What I took away from those two panels is the fact that the stereotypes, issues of representation, and lived experiences of Asian-Americans and black people are very different. Rather than stick to platitudes that apply to all people of color, these two panels were able to dig into specifics. I’m so, so excited that these kinds of conversations are happening at places like Chicago Comic Con and I hope they continue to happen in the public sphere! Here’s some more detailed information about each panel.
WOMEN IN GEEK CULTURE
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Aurora Cruz-Torres led the first panel, which focused on sexism in geek culture. She talked about the troubling stereotype of the “fake geek girl” as well as the harassment and slut-shaming that are too often part and parcel of the female cosplayer experience. Her main point was that geeks have been marginalized for years but their tastes are now becoming much more mainstream. To see male geeks further oppress and ostracize female ones seems anathema to the heart of geek culture.

You can find Aurora on LinkedIn here!

YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW FEVER, AND THE YELLOW RANGER

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On Saturday there was a panel about Asian-American representation in comics and other forms of media. The panelists spent a lot of time talking about how Asian culture is often appropriated and fetishizied by sci-fi and fantasy yet Asian-Americans seldom actually appear in these products (i.e. Firefly). They also talked about the practice of yellow face (dressing a white actor up to look “Asian”) which has remained frighteningly consistent from Kung-Fu to The Last Airbender to How I Met Your Mother. The conversation is continuing on the group’s Facebook page and here’s the panelists contact info:

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After the panel I stopped by the Sun Bros’ artist booth and their stuff looks amazing! They are a Chicago-based comics studio (run by real life brothers) who create stories centered around Asian-American characters. You can check out their website here!

CHARACTERS OF COLOR: FROM BLACK PANTHER TO AQUALAD

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The final panel was co-hosted by Pocket Con, a Chicago comic book convention for teens and kids of color. There was such a fantastic, celebratory nature to this panel. The moderator would ask questions and encourage the audience to respond with their opinions. The focus of the panel was on highlighting successful and important characters of color. Unfortunately I’m a little too ignorant about comic books to keep up with the whole thing, but I did learn that Aqualad—a Marvel character who is also on the Young Justice TV show—is making a big impact on kids of color who are able to finally see themselves represented. The panel also talked about Black Panther, Storm, and many more characters I’m unfamiliar with. One of the panelists pointed out that although X-Men's Nightcrawler is not explicitly a character of color, his inability to “pass” as a non-mutant was a very powerful metaphor for a young black kid in an all-white neighborhood.

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You an find out more about Pocket Con on its Facebook page or website. The contact information for the panelists in below!

Filed under Diversity Diversity in comics Representation Characters of color Feminism

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debatingdoctorwho:

Debating Doctor Who cohost Caroline Siede attended Wizard World’s Chicago Comic Con this weekend. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan were both guests and the duo held a special reunion panel. You can hear Caroline’s full thoughts on the experience and a recap of the panel (and much more!) on Episode 15 of Debating Doctor Who!

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes for weekly discussions of each new season eight episode as well as debates about the entire New Who canon!

Filed under Doctor Who Debating Doctor Who Matt Smith Karren Gillan

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Doctor Who was very well represented at Chicago Comic Con this weekend. It was easily the most popular subject matter for cosplayers. My absolute favorite were the two brothers in the last picture. After I snapped that photo their mom pointed out that the older one isn’t just dressed as the 10th Doctor, he’s dressed as the meta-crisis 10th Doctor. The younger brother was rocking a sweater, vest, and jacket despite the unbearably hot weather.

I’ll be talking about the Matt Smith and Karen Gillan reunion panel on my podcast Debating Doctor Who and you can find exclusive photos from the event on our Debating Doctor Who Tumblr!

Filed under Doctor Who Comic Con Cosplay Wizard World Doctor Who cosplay

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I loved these two couples and their super creative takes on Batman cosplay. There were a lot of terrifying Jokers and Harley Quinns running around but their level of commitment to their roles made them slightly unapproachable. These two, on the other hand, were super sweet when I asked for a photo. 

I had spotted the ’50s Batman and Catwoman earlier during the day but lost track of them in the crowd. I was thrilled to run into them later. When I asked for a photo Catwoman said yes on the condition that I take a photo on their camera too because they hadn’t taken one together yet. I was more than happy to oblige! When asked if I could take a photo of the back of Batman’s jacket Catwoman exclaimed, “He worked so hard on it!”

Filed under Batman Cosplay Chicago Comic Con Wizard World Comic Con

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Watching cosplayers doing mundane things in costume is one of my favorite things in the world so naturally I had to snap a picture of this Jango Fett texting. He looked up and realized what had just happened and burst out laughing. I then asked him to pose for a “real” photo as well.

Filed under Chicago Comic Con Comic Con Wizard World Cosplay Star Wars