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Women and Words interview with Fangirl Shirts

We have some words about women for you! Andi Marquette from the Women and Words blog interviewed us on October 21, 2016. You can read the interview at the Women and Words blog. Thanks so much to Andi for finding us and suggesting this!

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Andi Marquette is a writer of fiction and nonfiction and a co-host for Women and Words. Women and Words is a blog that brings you fresh content each week about writing, reading and publishing, especially woman-centered and LGBTQ storylines.

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Fangirl Shirts FanExpo 2016 and #ComicCants Roundup

Has it really been three weeks since FanExpo in Toronto? Apparently so. We meant to write this when it was all fresh in our minds, but instead, now you get the benefit of mellow reflection. 

FanExpo Canada is a series of comic and sci-fi conventions in Canada (and in a couple of cities in the United States). September 1-4 was Toronto FanExpo, and half of Fangirl Shirts (Sally) went up for a one-day whirlwind Saturday, September 3. The other half (Rebecca) co-hosted a #ComicCants live chat with Bonnie from @WynonnaFans.

Here’s what happened!

Sally

Why just one day at FanExpo? Well, it was Labor Day weekend and I didn’t want to be away from my family for the whole weekend. The Wynonna Earp panel and signing were both on Saturday, so it worked out that I could go up for 24 hours to attend the panel, signing and meetup, and then make it home for breakfast the next day. All I had to do was take two really early flights.

Really, really early flights. My flight to Toronto left at 6am.

After landing in Toronto and meeting at the airport, Brittany and I headed to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to get some desperately needed coffee and to get in line. The doors opened at 9am, but there was already quite a line by 8am, so we passed the time by tweeting.

This was my first time at FanExpo, and the entrance process was very orderly. First we entered the Convention Centre proper, where we waited in a line to have the staff scan our ticket confirmation printouts. Then we were given a wristband for our one-day pass, and put it on. We were directed to another line, and asked by the volunteers to cozy up to each other so the line would be as compact as possible and more people could fit. The line had to fold back in on itself a couple of times, and the lines of people were separated by curtains of orange sheer hanging fabric. It heightened the anticipation.

While waiting, Brittany and I hung out and talked. She was wearing a custom-made shirt inspired by this tweet:

Here’s Brittany’s shirt! All fixed.

Finally they let us in, and we made it into the Expo itself at 10am. We’d noticed some Earper friends Taylor and Alicia also in line, so we waited for them, and whilst waiting, we met Lauren. You might remember Taylor from her epic 2-hour Periscope of the @EarperMeetup at San Diego Comic-Con, which she started while in the upper limbs of a tree. You might also remember Taylor from her custom Funko Baby Haught, which she gave to Kat Barrell at SDCC.

But now, you’ll always remember Taylor as the creator of custom Funko Lil’ Andras:


Holy mother of unicorns!

Next, we went to find the room in which the Wynonna Earp panel would take place at 4:30pm. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre has two main buildings, the North and South Buildings. Foot traffic during the con is carefully managed and directed since there are so many people trying to get so many places at once, and con-goers often suddenly stop walking when they see cool cosplay, either to look at it or take pictures. FanExpo does a great job at managing the flow of traffic and there are many volunteers onsite to help answer your questions.

We found a set of couches and chairs near the panel room once we arrived at 10:30am.

Next, I would like to tell you that I spent the next six hours strategically attending panels, getting autographs, walking the con floor, buying merchandise and looking at cosplay, but I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I spent nearly all of that time in what we named “Earper Basecamp” talking with an ever-growing crowd of Wynonna Earp fans. And I really enjoyed it. This is a super cool fandom, you guys.

Here is a pic from Earper Basecamp. Please note the cardboard cutouts of Rebecca, Kevin and Bonnie that Melissa (aka @VisitPurgatory) brought with her. We had such fun with them! I recommend you bring cardboard cutouts of all your besties to any con. Maybe even if they’re there with you.

You might have heard about the #TeamFandras shirt that @actually_layne designed and we’ve made available to all fans of Emily Andras (much to her chagrin). While hanging at Earper Basecamp, I saw someone approaching in a Fandras shirt, so I did what anyone would do:  shouted “FANDRAS!!!!!!!” as loudly as I could at the person and sprinted up to her and asked if I could give her a hug.

It was Monica, @lesbiyinzer! Here she is in all her Fandras glory – make sure to also read her extremely excellent blog post talking about her experience at FanExpo. I got all choked up when I read it.


At any con, there is cosplay. At a con where Wynonna Earp fans attend, you’ll almost definitely see some Waverly cosplay in the iconic Shorty’s shirt. This is Kris!


One of our nefarious plans goals for FanExpo, plotted planned with Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies, was to gift a Fandras shirt to Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday (and played Massimo on Lost Girl, for those of you keeping score at home). He is almost as big a fan of Emily Andras as we are! Bridget made sure he received a shirt and he wore it to the panel – while also mentioning to Bridget that he had ordered one himself on the same day we released them. Told you he was a big fan!


Speaking of Tim, here’s one of his tweets. Awwwyeah! It’s lit.


Bridget was at FanExpo to be the moderator of the Wynonna Earp panel. And it was also her birthday! She stopped by Earper Basecamp to say hi.

Here’s a selfie from the line.

The panel itself was GREAT and the room was packed. Bridget did an AWESOME job being the moderator – her questions were really interesting and elicited thoughtful answers from the panel. Here’s a picture taken from behind the stage by @bongotummy, aka Brendon Yorke (who, among being other things, is a writer for Wynonna Earp, Lost Girl, Degrassi, and also the husband of Emily Andras. Is it too much talent for one family???).

Curt Bennett @CurtTalksTV Periscoped the panel and you can watch the recording here:


As well, Wynonna Earp Podcast has released an audio recording of the panel on the podcast and the audio quality is excellent. There might be 5 minutes at the end from me and some other deliriously tired and thrilled fans.


After the panel, some fans who had received randomly starred tickets were able to participate in an autograph session. Those of us whose tickets did not have stars amused ourselves in other ways.

The wonderful Bridget sent a couple of pictures from the signing.

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Shamier Anderson dons his Fangirl Shirts Black Badge Division shirt over his sweater. Strong choice.
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Emily Andras cosplayed as a rainbow unicorn. Or was it actually cosplay? Maybe it was just her natural mien.

I periscoped the Earper Meetup from about 6:05pm until 6:30pm and spoke to as many fans as I could who wanted to talk to me!

While periscoping, unbeknownst to me, the awesome artist Maryne drew a stunning sketch of the periscope, including Cardboard Rebecca.

Taylor Periscoped the meetup once she arrived, from about 6:30-7:30. She was joined by Britt for most of the commentary, and they were such a hit they might produce future video offerings. Stay tuned.

Then the cast and the Andras showed up!

Monica and Emily posed for a picture.


I logged into the “Whine & Cheese” session that was hosted by Bonnie of @WynonnaFans and Rebecca of @RebeccaBarrick (the other half of @fangirlshirts). In case you’re not familiar, Bonnie and Kevin (@WynonnaFans and @WynonnaEarpPodcast) host a live video chat after every episode of Wynonna Earp, called Whiskey & Donuts. “Whine & Cheese” is a special production and wholly owned subsidiary of Whiskey & Donuts (or so I kept saying. I’m not sure if it’s caught on).

The live chat sessions are not recorded, so I don’t have the ability to post a recording for you. I’ll sum up instead:  when the cast arrived, Shamier and Tim were SO EXCITED. Shamier walked right up and said hi to all the ComicCants, and even took the phone for a while and talked to people. He recognized Bonnie and Kevin and Rebecca, as did everyone else right off the bat. Then Tim said hi, then Dominique, then Emily, then Melanie.

Artists are so talented. Layne, designer of Fandras, whipped up this graphic, which knocked my socks off.


99% of this post has been about Wynonna Earp, but we also met Nicole, who was doing some AMAZING Lexa cosplay.

And more scenes from the meetup, photo credit Bridget Liszewski.

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Dominique with dark hair. Could this be due to the black goo Waverly absorbed in the S1 finale? This question was met with a coy look during the panel.
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Shamier live and up close saying hi to the Whine & Cheesers!
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Tim Rozon is explaining something here and I’m not buying it (that’s not actually what was happening, but it looks like it).

After the meetup was over, we all said goodbye and people departed to get food, drinks, or to collapse into bed. I went to a place called the Loose Moose which served bacon-encrusted maple donuts for dessert. Did we order them? Yes, we did.

The flight back home left early and I felt pretty much like Lil’ Andras did.

After it was all over, Emily put her nose back to the grindstone. Check out this sneak peek from the script!

We are aware that this script is a joke.  (NO IT’S NOT IT’S REAL!!!!!!!)

Hugs and kisses!

PS:  When I arrived home at 9:30am on Sunday, I went into the house and my kids looked up and said “Hi, Mommy. We didn’t think you were coming home until tomorrow.” So much for getting up early! 😉

Rebecca

Why was only half (Sally) of Fangirl Shirts a ComicCan, while the other half (Rebecca) was a ComicCant? Well, Labour Day weekend meant school in Canada was starting back after summer break, my twins were starting kindergarten, and flying across the country for a one- or two-day trip would have been logistically difficult. Fortunately Sally lives a lot closer to Toronto and was able to represent Fangirl Shirts, and attend the amazing Wynonna Earp events.

Bonnie and Kevin, who Sally and I spent four amazing days with at San Diego Comic Con this summer, had approached me about co-hosting the Whiskey & Doughnuts: “Whine & Cheese” Firetalk event with Bonnie, while Kevin attended DragonCon in Atlanta. I’d watched all of the post-episode Blab hangouts and participated in the text chats during this past season of Wynonna Earp, but had never done anything like co-hosting a video hangout before. I was a bit nervous about it, but also really excited to have the opportunity to hang out with Bonnie and chat with all of the other ComicCants.

Having been a ComicCant for nearly my entire life, I’m always incredibly grateful for all of the great content that con attendees provide on social media. If you can’t be there in person, the next best thing is to know that there are members of your fandom there, who love the show just as much as you do, and to have the chance to live vicariously through them.

One of the beautiful things about the #Earper fandom is that instead of focusing on envy and feeling too sorry for ourselves for not being there, the ComicCants have overwhelmingly expressed love, support and gratitude towards the fandom family who are fortunate enough to be able to attend these events and share their experiences with all of us. The amount of positivity and kindness within the Wynonna Earp fandom is really something special. I am so grateful for our little tribe of weirdos.

The Whine & Cheese hangout was so much fun. Kevin joined in from DragonCon and gave a recap of the activities there that weekend. It was the first time that they’d used the new Firetalk platform, since Blab closed down just after season one ended. The platform itself seems very stable and the video and audio quality is fantastic. If you weren’t able to attend the Whine & Cheese hangout to see for yourself, I would definitely recommend joining in on the post-episode Whiskey & Doughnuts hangouts that will be happening throughout season 2.

Bonnie and Kevin make it appear effortless, but it’s not as easy as it looks to host the video hangouts! Just trying to keep up with the chat with everything else that’s going on is tricky – it moves so fast! Sally was able to connect several times from the Earper Meetup in Toronto and all of the ComicCants got a great look at the fun that ensues when you gather a bunch of Earpers together.

Of course, the wonderful cast and showrunner once again blew us away with their love for the fans by showing up at the Earper Meetup to hang out with everyone, and popped onto the Firetalk to give a shoutout to all of the ComicCants. The wonderful and hilarious Melissa had made cardboard cutouts of Bonnie, Kevin and I to take to FanExpo, and we got to see our cutouts having a pretty great time at the Meetup, being passed around amongst the cast. Tim and Shamier, Emily, Dominique and Melanie all spent some time on the Whine & Cheese chat and on Taylor’s Periscope interacting with the ComicCants and made everyone’s day.

Saying that it’s a surreal experience to talk to Emily Andras via video chat, while she’s hanging on to a cardboard cutout of yourself would be a major understatement.

Rumour has it the cardboard cutout of Bonnie and Kevin went to dinner with Emily and the cast, I’m sure they must have had a wonderful time. Not sure they’ve been seen since, though. If anyone finds them, please send a note!

One of the best things about the Wynonna Earp season one post-episode Blab hangouts was having the chance to interact in real time with Earpers from all over the world, and the post-con Firetalk Whine&Cheese definitely followed suit. We were excited to have quite a few ComicCants join in to speak on the video chat from all over – Alice, Anna Quick, Deb & Lauren, Catherine, and Hannah. Over 300 people viewed the session in total!

When you’re a huge fan of an awesome show like Wynonna Earp, and they make con appearances, it’s only natural to wish you could attend all of those events. Unfortunately real life is constantly getting in the way of fangirling, so this is what makes the #ComicCants so special. Created by Emily Andras when she was unable to attend San Diego ComicCon with the entire cast this summer, the ComicCants gives everyone who can’t attend a con a chance to connect with others in the same boat and also share in all of the amazing experiences that are occurring at Con.

When Sally and I attended SDCC, it was our first experience at a major con and it was incredible. We knew how lucky we were and we wanted to bring as much of that experience as possible to those watching from home. With Twitter, Facebook, Firetalk, and Periscope, we are all able to share in these amazing events, whether we’re a Can or a Can’t. Chances are, if you’re in a fandom long enough you will eventually have the opportunity to attend a convention and possibly meet your faves in person. When you do, the ComicCants will be right there with you, rooting for you to have the best time of your life and living vicariously through you. Like we do.

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Congratulations to Tatiana Maslany, Emmy winner!

We are sending a big Fangirl Shirts shoutout of love and congratulations to Tatiana Maslany and all the cast, crew, writers and creators of Orphan Black. Her Emmy win last night was so well-deserved and thrilling! What a time to be a fangirl of awesome Canadian TV!

We love Orphan Black for so many reasons. The show is awesome – it’s fun to watch, there’s tension, the science is accurate and the plot is intriguing. Those characteristics would make any TV show good, but what makes it great is the characters. We love the characters so much and we care about all of them. None of them is a caricature or there for just one reason – they’re all brave and flawed in ways that feel authentic – just like life.

And so many of the characters are played by Tatiana Maslany. It’s a running joke, but so often when watching the show, we forget that Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel and Krystal are played by the same person – not to mention every other Leda clone who has made an appearance in various episodes. It’s not just that she plays each character so convincingly, though – it’s also that it’s clear that Tatiana really cares about making sure she portrays all the diverse characters authentically.

That’s so much of why we love the characters, and why we also love Tatiana.

A theme running through all seasons of Orphan Black is women’s bodies, whether they are property, and who owns them. We have very much appreciated the message that the only person who owns a woman’s body is the woman herself. That’s a message we can get behind- for all current and future fangirls, and those who love them.

Flashback to when we met Graeme Manson and John Fawcett at San Diego Comic-Con – congratulations to you both!

In honor of Tatiana’s Emmy win, all week you can take 25% off our shirt inspired by Orphan Black, and wear it with pride. If people recognize your shirt as being inspired by Orphan Black, then maybe you’ll make a new friend. If someone doesn’t recognize it, but asks about it, then you’ll have the opportunity to tell them all about an awesome TV show that they should be watching.

Use coupon code EMMY. Congratulations, Tatiana!

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Unisex Crewneck
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Women’s V-neck

 

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ConPacks, #Fandras, and Peace Maker for kids!

We have new stuff to tell you about!

New special edition T-shirt: #Fandras!

It’s no secret that we love the television stylings of Emily Andras. From Lost Girl (which is how we, the co-founders of Fangirl Shirts met each other) to our current fave Wynonna Earp, the storytelling and showrunning of Emily Andras is top shelf. A kickass fandom artist @actually_layne made and donated this great design after a fun twitter conversation about #Fandras, and we just HAD to bring it to you all!

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If you ordered one for the first printing, wear it to FanExpo in Toronto (where Emily will be on a panel!) and DragonCon (where there will be a fan panel).

ConPacks!

If you’re going to a con, there are some crucial things you need. Chief among them are: cool fandom T-shirts, a lanyard to hold your badge, and awesome stickers to put on your gear or to give to friends. We have all those things, so we have bundled them together for you, and you can save some money when you order!

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A ConPack is one T-shirt, one lanyard, and five stickers. A SuperConPack is double! We also have a LexaConPack, an EarperConPack, and a SuperEarperConPack to help you represent your favorite fandoms!

If you’re going to Toronto FanExpo and will be there on Saturday, September 3, you can choose “Pickup Sept. 3 at Toronto FanExpo” as your shipping method. Free shipping!

Peace Maker for Kids

Due to popular demand, we’ve launched some special edition baby onesies, toddler T-shirts and kids T-shirts. Now the whole family can show that you’re Peace Makers! Proceeds benefit Everytown for Gun Safety 100%.

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We’ve added so much cool fangear to the website, we did some reorganization to make it easier to find things. Check out:

Main catalog
Special editions
ConPacks
Sticker Packs
Lanyards (and a double pack of lanyards!)

Fangirl on!

–Rebecca & Sally
Fangirl Shirts

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Fangirl Shirts San Diego Comic-Con 2016 Roundup

We recently returned from San Diego Comic-Con, which was the experience of a lifetime. We wanted to share with you everything we got up to while we were there!

Wednesday, July 20

Logistics first! We each arrived around noon at the airport, collected our bags and dropped them off where we were staying. Then we headed over to the Convention Center to pick up our badges. The first lesson that we learned is that parking near the Convention Center is scarce and expensive. A lovely local person gave us the 411 on a parking garage nearby that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, so we made it our adopted parking garage for the duration.

Badges in hand, we headed over to the San Diego Comic Art Gallery for the meet-and-greet and signing with three members of the cast of Wynonna Earp. This event was CRAZY AWESOME and packed. San Diego was having a heat wave, so that combined with all the people in the gallery plus the cast, it was WayHaught. It was super awesome to meet Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and Shamier Anderson.

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Kevin Bachelder on the left (@WynonnaEarpPod), and Annie (@anniethemighty) on the right!

We also got to meet tons of fellow fans. Right now we’ll mention Jo Garfein, who had bought a Peace Maker shirt to get autographed for the Cancer Gets LOST auction. What is Cancer Gets LOST, you ask? (We asked.) It’s “channeling fandom toward the greater good” – an annual online auction for charity of signed items from over 45 TV shows. Proceeds go each year to fund a cancer charity. This year the auction, which takes place online from August 18 – September 3, 2016, is benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which funds research for childhood cancer causes to help find new treatments and cures.

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Jo is holding a Wynonna Earp comic that will appear in the Cancer Gets LOST auction!

Afterward we caught up with Bonnie and Kevin from @WynonnaEarpFans and Tales of the Black Badge (@WynonnaEarpPod), and talked about all manner of fannish things, including:

  • how the fan community jelled under their leadership
  • what it was like to podcast with the cast and with Emily Andras
  • how fun it’s been to make shirts inspired by such a diverse and quotable show

We also recorded a mini-podcast wrap-up with Kevin and Bonnie, which was totally fun! You can listen to it (and all the podcasts from Tales of the Black Badge) here.

Thursday, July 21

We braved the exhibition floor, which was overwhelming in the most awesome way. So many things to see and to start thinking about buying! Here are a few.

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It looks like Sarah but actually it’s Cosima pretending to be Sarah at Alison’s house
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Supergirl!

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We also ran into some Earpers at the IDW booth, which was sort of home base for all of us Earpers over the weekend. We remarked more than once over the course of the weekend that we should have worn name tags with our twitter handles on them to make it easier for us to identify ourselves to each other.

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Look closely at the underside of the IDW chandelier

We also stopped by the MTV booth to say hi to Layne Morgan. She works on the show The Shannara Chronicles, and she’s a hardcore Earper herself. Her passion for the show and her love for all things Emily Andras rivals our own, and we loved having the chance to hang out with her a bit.

From left to right, Rebecca, Layne and Sally. Sally apparently just saw a squirrel
From left to right, Rebecca, Layne and Sally. Sally apparently just saw a squirrel

Then we headed over to Conival, a SDCC-adjacent event co-hosted at Petco Park by Nerdist and Geek and Sundry. The Nerdist hosted several panels at Conival. It’s pretty awesome that there are so many offsite events around SDCC that don’t require a badge to get into, since the badges sell out within an hour of going on sale and many people who want one can’t get one.

Pre-Earp-panel-selfie!
Pre-Earp-panel-selfie!

On Thursday, the cast of Wynonna Earp appeared for a panel, and we arrived early enough to secure great seats in the third row. We wanted great seats because we’re huge fans and wanted to be close (duh), but also because we had decided to Periscope the panel.

Livestreaming during official SDCC panels is prohibited (even though it happens), but there were no such restrictions at Conival. In case you don’t know what Periscope is, it’s a way to live-broadcast from your smartphone. There are some neat features built in that let people comment and give props while you’re talking (so you know if a joke lands, for example). It sounds simple, but the experience of both hosting and watching a Periscope, which by definition is live, feels much more powerful than watching a recorded video, because it’s as if you’re right there in real time. Which you are.

Anyway, we did a test to make sure we knew how to work Periscope. Here it is:

And here’s what you’re actually here for, which is the panel itself:

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Tim Rozon FaceTimed Emily Andras during the panel so she could say hi. Emily was eating sushi.

After the panel, we might have run into Melanie Scrofano before she left Petco Park! You guys, she’s really really nice.

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Then Kevin and Bonnie hosted a podcast immediately afterward. Podcasting used to conjure up the image of someone sitting in a radio-like studio with headphones and microphones, but you won’t believe how far technology has come:  Kevin recorded the podcasts on his phone. And not just with the Voice Memo app, but with a semi-tricked-out app that makes it all sound smoother. Technology is amazing. Here’s the post-Nerdist-panel podcast.

When you podcast, it's important to get your hairporn just right
When you podcast, it’s important to get your hairporn just right

Then we went to meet the organizer of our panel. Ed Catto is the founder of Bonfire Agency, an agency working in geek space, and has organized various versions of “She Made Me Do It:  Fangirls Lead the Way” at various cons. This was the description:

“As the demographics of the industry continue to change, this panel focuses on the impact of female fans (not female creators) and how they are changing comics from the ground up in surprising and positive ways. More than ever, their grassroots efforts can be seen everywhere from comic shops atond conventions, and from cosplay to social media.”

We spent a good hour or more talking with Ed about pop culture, fangirl stuff, Fangirl Shirts, and what sorts of things we might want to discuss during the panel. It was such an enjoyable conversation that we looked up suddenly and realized that we only had 15 minutes to make it to the Dark Matter cast panel.

But the room was at capacity and we didn’t get in. We were sad. We tweeted about it.

But wait!

We had just sat down to get some dinner and drinks with Bonnie and Kevin, and we saw this tweet from Alex Mallari, Jr.

So what do you do when you get a tweet like that? You run, fangirl. You run.

And then THIS happened:

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The cast was so, so nice. They seemed to like our shirts! In fact, when Anthony Lemke saw us, he said “Hey! I saw on twitter you guys were doing a Killjoys shirt, and I was like ‘When are they going to do a Dark Matter shirt?'” Jay Firestone, the founder of Prodigy Pictures, also liked the shirts!

That was gratifying for a couple of reasons. First, because we designed the shirts, and it’s lovely when people like them. Second, and probably more relevantly, when doing transformative creative work that is inspired by an existing intellectual property or trademarked design, it’s important to us to make sure we stay on the right side of the line.

For us, the right side of the line is:  we love the shows that inspire our shirts, and we intend them as an homage to the shows we love. By providing cool shirts for people to wear, we want to help support the shows by giving fans something that bonds them emotionally, and also gives fans a conversation piece to tell other people about this awesome TV show and why they love it. (Not that any of us usually have a problem talking about awesome TV, but anyway.)

After that experience, we walked sedately back to our dinner table, where we ordered nachos and quesadillas and said things like “Wow!” and “Did that really actually just happen?”

Friday, July 22

Friday morning we swung by the IDW booth to buy some of the Special SDCC Edition Double Wynonna Earp Comics that also came with a poster. They had sold out the day before. Guess who is POPULAR? (Wynonna Earp.)

Then Graeme Manson and John Fawcett from Orphan Black were doing a signing, so we lined up! Right before it was our turn, IDW had sold out of the Orphan Black comics and graphic novels that they had on hand. This is a lesson to con-goers:  either bring the thing you want signed, or buy it way earlier than the time of the signing. We did get an autograph, and told them how much we loved their show. We also told them about Fangirl Shirts and that we celebrate shows with strong female characters, and that Orphan Black has so many of them (often played by Tatiana Maslany).

These guys are really cool. Wish we could clone them.
These guys are really cool. Wish we could clone them.

Then we had to hustle over to the Dark Matter Nerdist panel at Conival. Petco Park is really near the San Diego Convention Center, but there was a long line for security (they check bags and you go through a metal detector), so we missed the beginning of the panel. (Luckily, we caught the end of it.) Was it our fate to be late to every Dark Matter event that we planned on going to? So it seemed.

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Then it was time to go loiter around the IDW booth for the Wynonna Earp cast signing event. Each booth has a different process for how they handle lineups for events like this, although sometimes the group just decides what they’re going to do and does it. In this case, fans decided that we were lining up at 2pm, and that was that. It was a really long line, which sounds like it could have been a drag, but it was GREAT. This TV show just finished airing its first season and the passion of the fans who were there was off the charts. It speaks to how the show is resonating.

So we got some stuff signed, you guys, and we talked to the cast. They really took a moment to connect with each fan, looking you right in the eyes and really listening to what you wanted to say to them. They’re as kind and as genuine as you imagine they are.

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After the signing, we took a brief moment to regroup before our panel, “Fangirls Lead the Way,” started at 6:30pm. Regrouping in this case meant sitting down for something real to eat.

A brief digression about cons, in case you’ve never been to one:  you are busy a lot of the time, even when you’re not actually doing anything, because if you’re standing in line waiting to see a panel, chances are that you’re talking to other fans. This means there aren’t huge blocks of down time to go have a meal, unless you intentionally make the time. But with so much cool stuff to see and do, who wants to do that? We ended up eating easy-to-carry portable things like granola bars, fruit and beef jerky for much of the time. But to get in the right mental space to speak on a panel, we deliberately made time to sit down, relax, and have something that more resembled a balanced meal.

It was the right choice, because we both felt more centered afterward, which led to feeling calmer while still having a lot of fangirl enthusiasm, which led to us feeling good and confident about our ability to contribute.

Here’s who else was on the panel:

It was beyond cool to be in such company.

Much of the discussion focused on what each of our companies/organizations do, and why we do it. We talked about the connotations of the word “fangirl” vs. “fanboy,” how we are all working in different ways to make space for everyone in fandom, and how we all, in our own individual ways, are working to fill some voids that currently exist.

panel

panel

 

Then we went to the Marriott’s poolside bar and grill, the Tequila Bar, which was rapidly becoming our go-to spot for downtime, to round out the night. It was a great chance to hang with other fans and debrief on the day and not feel like a wicked geek for exclaiming when someone famous “Liked” your tweet. Connecting with other fans at Comic-Con was validating. We had found our people – our little tribe of weirdos.

Here’s the Tales of the Black Badge podcast recap for Friday.

Saturday, July 23

Saturday was a big day – it was the Wynonna Earp official San Diego Comic-Con cast panel!

A word about how SDCC manages seating space in the panel rooms, and how it varies from other cons. For SDCC, anyone can go into any room (if there’s space) and stay as long as they want to. A person could go to a room when the con first opens and stay there all day – and many people do that, because they don’t want to miss the chance of seeing their favorites. At DragonCon, for contrast, they clear the rooms after every panel, so if there are two popular panels in a row, you probably won’t get to see them both.

This all added up to us going directly to the panel room at 10:30am and sitting there for four hours. We arrived before the first panel of the day, in fact, and got awesome seats. It also meant that we heard and saw a diverse assortment of panels about different things. Sometimes some of the most interesting things are things you hadn’t planned on seeing.

It was very fun and a bonding experience to spend four hours in the room with other diehard Earpers, since by this point in the con we pretty much all knew each other. We took pictures, talked, met Baby Nicole Haught (created by Taylor Burke) in all her Funko glory, and took turns going to the bathroom.

babyhaught2
These two were totally dressed alike
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Baby peace maker is Haught
babyhaught3
Jordan and Katy who organized the Earper Fan Meetup @EarperMeetup

Get this:  when you have a seat at a panel at SDCC and you go to the bathroom, if the room is near capacity and there’s a line, they give you a password to get back into the room. If you want to know what #conxiety is, it is going to the bathroom before the panel and worrying the whole time that you will forget the password and not be allowed back in the room and you will miss the panel that has been the most important thing to you, and then your anxiety level is such that you almost can’t even accomplish bathrooming, which stresses you out even more.

The password was “Wendigo.”

While we waited and waited and waited for the cast to get there for the panel, where they were beforehand was the press room. The press does interviews of all the celebrities at Comic-Con, and they all have their prearranged times. Some photos from the press room started to trickle out on twitter, and it was super exciting – especially when we saw that Tim Rozon was wearing the Peace Maker shirt that we gave him yesterday at the cast signing!

Okay, so they finally arrived and it was SO EXCITING. The room was packed and at capacity, everyone was screaming with delight, and Shamier Anderson shouted “Season 2!” We cheered!

Then he said “Hopefully.”

It was a fake-out, though, because Melanie Scrofano told us two important things right after that:

  1. She had a burrito for lunch, and it was divine
  2. Wynonna Earp had been renewed for a second season!

The entire room went nuts and the energy level in the room went through the room.

IDW had put together a sizzle reel of all the highlights from Season One and it’s awesome.

There was also a lovely video message from the showrunner Emily Andras, who wasn’t able to be at Comic-Con (and who started a global movement called Comic-Cants, which provided important emotional support to everyone who wanted to be at Comic-Con but wasn’t able. Please don’t call Emily a hero, though – she doesn’t like it).

emily

You want to watch the whole panel, don’t you? We don’t blame you. Go watch it on Syfy.com right now.

Immediately after the panel, there was a full cast signing at the IDW booth. Having learned from the previous day, IDW had capped the line at 130 people, because signings are limited to an hour to make room for the next signing. Early on we had learned that we would likely need to either be at the panel, or in line for the signing, but that we were unlikely to be able to make both due to the small window of time between the end of the panel and the beginning of the signing.

Having to choose isn’t always fun, but we were happy to be in the room when the cast told the fans about Season 2.

Bonnie Periscoped the cast as they arrived from the panel to the signing, which was fun.

Yay for Season 2!
Yay for Season 2!

As if all that wasn’t enough for one day, then we went to the EarperMeetup. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s two awesome fans, Jordan and Katy, who organized a time and a space for Earpers to meet each other. They chose a location convenient to the convention center and publicized it, and timed it so we would all go after the signing had concluded, with enough time to chill out a bit beforehand.

We ran into Tim Rozon on the way to the meetup. WHAAAAT? That’s right, you heard me. He and his wife Linzey had stopped by the meetup right when it started to say hi. Since we were running a smidgen late, we ran into them on the sidewalk as they were heading to dinner. And we were all wearing the same thing – a Peace Maker. You know, nbd. It happens.

timrozon sallytim

So the meetup itself:  TALK ABOUT FUN. It was fun. After the adrenaline and the excitement of all the panels and waiting and standing in line, it was really nice to be outside and hanging out for a bit. Someone brought doughnuts, someone else brought Earp crafts, we brought stickers, there was a cosplay contest.

Taylor Burke Periscoped the entire 2-hour meetup. You can review her Periscope here.

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Melanie Scrofano stopped by! Yep, she came to the meetup to talk to fans. She made a special point to find the fans she hadn’t yet met and speak to them. How totally cool is that? We made a snap decision to Periscope it. You can watch the FGS Periscope here.

Melanie Scrofano hugs VisitPurgatory (Melissa)

After such a big day, the only thing to do was to go collapse at the poolside bar and have some nachos.

Here’s the Tales of the Black Badge Saturday recap.

Sunday, July 24

Sunday dawned, and we didn’t get to the con as early as we had been. The doors open for the public at 9:30, and for professionals (i.e. panelists and industry people) at 9am. We arrived around 10:15am, and realized that Gail Simone was doing her signing from 10-11am. Luckily, we were able to make it and meet her and say hi.

gailsimone

Gail Simone, in addition to being a kickass comic book writer, storyteller, and voice for giving strong female characters real roles in stories (see her “women in refrigerators” trope discussion that really set the stage for better representation in stories), is also a fan of Wynonna Earp! Some of our favorite times on twitter are when she and Emily Andras start tweeting each other. So we asked if she would record a short video message for Emily to celebrate Wynonna Earp getting renewed for a second season, and she said yes! Here it is:

Then it was time to go shopping, y’all. For us, and for many at Comic-Con, Sunday is a big day for buying things on the exhibit floor. You’ve had three days to look around and see what you want to get, and Sunday is the last day to buy stuff. The exhibit floor closes at 5pm. So we bought stuff. When fangirls go shopping at Comic-Con, they tend to buy a lot of strong female characters.

funkos

Our other big priority for Sunday was the Birds of Prey 20th anniversary panel, featuring:

  • Jordan Garfinkel – creator of Birds of Prey, moderator
  • Joe Illidge – former BoP editor
  • Gail Simone – longtime BoP writer
  • Julie Benson – writer for reboot of BoP
  • Shawna Benson – writer for reboot of BoP

boppanel

There was a lot of good discussion about diversity and representation at the panel, and also just ass-kicking storyline. We are excited to start reading the comic. Here’s some information about it.

Then we had a Fangirl Shirts board meeting to summarize our future plans and the company direction. Here are the minutes:

boardmtg

Then what happened? We went poolside, had some food and beverage, and looked at each other saying “Still can’t believe this whole weekend happened.”

Monday, July 25

It was very very very very very early that we went to the airport to catch flights home. It was 4:00am. We don’t want to talk about it too much, mostly because it was so early, but also because it meant we were leaving San Diego.

We love you, San Diego Comic-Con. We want to say a special thank you to Ed Catto, who reached out to us to invite us to be on his panel. We wouldn’t have been at SDCC otherwise, and it was completely transformative for us, both as individuals and for Fangirl Shirts. Jumping into the deep end of fandom by going to the iconic con was amazing, and the chance to speak publicly about our mission and our company history at the “Fangirls Lead the Way” panel helped us to see in real-time how our message resonates with people. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better experience.

Ed has worked in the comic and geek industry for a while, and he organized this panel, invited a bunch of fangirls to speak, and also has offered his help for networking and ideas. This is a great example of the kind of mentorship and helping hand that are such a cool part of this industry and community. We are so grateful to him.

Thank you, Ed. You’re definitely an honorary fangirl in our books.

Ed Catto, honorary fangirl, with his superhero nieces Mel-mel and J-Cat
Ed Catto, honorary fangirl, with his superhero nieces Mel-mel and J-Cat

Our mission at Fangirl Shirts is twofold:  to make high-quality shirts that celebrate fangirls and shows with strong female characters, and to be a voice for equal representation and treatment for girls and women in fandom and in life. We are fans, first, foremost, and forever.

Fangirl on!
Fangirl on!