The whole purpose of Women of Wonder Con, which took place last Saturday March 7, is to encourage and enlighten fellow geeks and women to be who they want to be. This 1-day convention local to Dallas, TX held 10 panels that cover day-time jobs, women of color, women in music or comics, and much more. These panelists also showed their work in the Creative Corner throughout the entire convention, even during their panels.
Women of Wonder Con is a small convention made up of many different techniques and styles of art. Ranging from traditional art, anime, manga, jewelry, and illustrations. The level of intimacy is superb. The interaction between artists and potential buyers feels a lot more personal. It’s definitely a new experience for us since this is our first time attending it. The set up was simple and accessible. Maneuvering around the convention was easy for first-time attendees.
Recap by Davie Nguyen and Grace Reyes
Women in Comics
In this panel, we were honored three guests: Eliamaria Madrid Crawford, Ellen Natalie and Candace Ford. These women talked about the positives and the negatives of being a woman in comics. For Ford, as a black female most people who walk up to her table and assume her husband, a white male, did the work instead of her. The comic book industry has been male-dominated for years so people are still grasping the idea that, yes, women can make comics. The women who make comics, enjoy it because their fans enjoy it too.
Natalie went into detail about how her work helped an active soldier from Iraq transition from soldier to civilian. The comics would be sent to the soldier’s mom’s house, and when he came back, he would isolate himself to read these comic books then go back to civilian mode. Crawford did a panel called creating comics for a different convention and let kids create their own comics and share them. A child who barely talks, created a comic and stood up and talked about it, it amazed the parents what comics can do. When the artists hear these stories, it’s what keeps them alive and want to make more comics for their fans.
It’s a Double Whammy
It’s often said if you are a woman and more specifically a woman of color, it’s a double whammy. In another panel; Jasmine Willis, Candace Ford, Carol Ann Bamberger, Dianita Ceron talked about how cultural diversity affects them in their daily lives. As previously mentioned, Ford is often mistaken for not doing the hard work. Willis and Ceron also mentioned that their work was mistaken for their husband as well. For the artists, it’s not about who has the better art but it’s about supporting each other. Willis says that they want women empowerment, not by being extravagant, but being sensible.
How to Cosplay
But, the number one rule to remember is to always cosplay in things you’re most comfortable with, which is a rule that these women swear by.
Cosplaying doesn’t necessarily mean strictly going to conventions. Dolan and Cooper talk about how much it can also play a huge role in a child’s life. These women have worked with Comicare, an agency where cosplayers get to spend alongside children in hospitals, where they get to share the mutual connection and love of cosplay. These women feel motivated by getting a reaction from people which is one of the most satisfying feelings that cosplayers can come home with.
“We can still be strong without having to be a skimpy character.”
Over-sexualization within anime is an ongoing issue. Dolan, Cooper and Walker all agreed that women can still be strong and powerful without the need of being put into skimpy outfits. The idea of battling in a busty shirt and a thong would probably not be as feasible as sporting the proper battle gear. Hopefully, future artists can take it into account!
Rockin’ with Women
Lisa Umbarger, one of our favorite speakers spoke about her experience of being a woman bassist in the band, The Toadies. Umbarger dove into realistics of how women are under much more scrutiny than men are. She talks about how she toured with No Doubt and how women are set to high standards to look a certain way. She talks about how women are held to much more scrutiny than men. While Umbarger felt that it’s a man’s world, she still took the reigns and started not giving a shit about how she was perceived. From there, she blossomed into the person she is today. A true bitchin’ rock ‘n’ roll musician.
Not your ordinary women
From the creative corner, to guest speakers and panelists, women in different creative fields all joined forces to give their insight on many situations creatives struggle with today. The many different experiences that women go through is truly amazing. We believe that being a woman is tough, but these inspiring kick-ass women are the living proof that women can get it done!
Do you want inspiration from Women of Wonder con? Feel free to check out their page and stay updated for their next convention.
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Featured image credit: Davie Nguyen/Geek Gals