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DragonCon 2017 Roundup

If you’ve never been to DragonCon before, we’ll try to describe it – but know the the only way to truly get what DragonCon is all about is to attend it and immerse yourself in it. Preferably more than once. Briefly, it takes place in downtown Atlanta, Georgia in five host hotels over Labor Day weekend (the first weekend in September in North America).

It’s a convention that is organized around fans and the fan experience. That means that in addition to events you’d expect at any con, like panels with the casts of your favorite TV shows and movies, autograph sessions and photo ops, there is an enormous amount of fan-generated content (aka fan panels). There are also panels about being a writer, being a fan artist, cosplay, and any permutation of fandom you might be able to think of.

If you’re interested in attending DragonCon and want to know more about what to expect, we recommend the DragonCon Newbies Group, which is run by Kevin Bachelder.

Thursday, August 30

Fangirl Shirts’ DragonCon 2017 Experience™ started on Thursday night. We had a simple idea – let’s allow people who are attending DragonCon to place preorders for merchandise, and we would bring merch with us to the con. This was partially because we weren’t vending at DragonCon, partially because it would allow us to offer free shipping for people on special edition items, but mostly because we thought it would be fun to meet our customers face-to-face in an organized fashion. We created this DragonCon preorder page to help facilitate that.

Our original plan was to be at the Sheraton hotel bar, Fandangles, from 6-7pm on Thursday night. We thought we would sit there for an hour and meet about five people, and then be on our way. Well, that’s not what happened! We tweeted a few pictures, and then over the course of the evening, more and more people (mostly Earpers) started stopping by, and it organically turned into a meetup/hangout.

We kept putting more and more tables together until the bar manager told us we would violate the fire code by having such a large group in the middle of the room (violating the fire code is what WayHaughtLanta is all about!), and invited us to use one of their semiprivate rooms instead, complete with a privacy curtain. All in all, we spent about three hours there and it was a perfect pre-con way to kick back and relax and meet people.

Pay no attention to the fangirls behind the curtain.

This is something we will look into doing again at future cons that we attend – both preorders and meetups, so we can make sure everyone knows about it in advance and is invited.

Friday, September 1

The first event Sally attended was Megan Follows‘ Anne of Green Gables panel. You might wonder why Anne of Green Gables was a topic at DragonCon, since it’s not a fantasy or sci-fi show. The panel moderator addressed that topic, saying that since Megan Follows was attending DragonCon anyway for her other shows, he suggested/insisted that there be an Anne of Green Gables discussion because he loved the show so much.

Based on panel attendance and audience comments, this was a good call. There are a LOT of people who are big fans of Megan Follows’ portrayal of Anne Shirley and it seems like it was formative and inspiring for so many people in their childhoods and teenage years.

Beyond Anne as a character and her storyline, Megan Follows was an AWESOME speaker. She talked about her experience playing Anne, and also shared several insights about being an actor and now a director. She talked about what it’s like working in a field where women are working hard for more/better representation and leadership, both in stories and as creators. Part of the conversation turned toward empowered women characters being portrayed on Canadian TV who are also brought to us by kickass women, and Megan Follows name-checked Wynonna Earp as one such example. It was a fantastic panel and a great start to the con.

Cosplay at DragonCon is everywhere and makes getting from place to place a fun part of the con. Here’s one that was AWESOME.

Both Sally and Rebecca attended the Screenwriting:  How to Write Good Genre TV For Everyone with Emily Andras workshop, which was an awesome experience. The room was a mix of people who are pursuing careers in television screenwriting, and people like us who were there because we are fans of Emily’s work and wanted to have a fun experience. We learned about the structure of a scene, talked about genre tropes, and worked in small groups to break a scene using a scenario Emily gave us.

It was really interesting to hear about the breakdown and structure of an episode from a TV writer’s perspective. It gave us a whole new appreciation for the craft, and we think it will enhance our TV-watching experience. We encourage people to attend future workshops like this, both for fun and if you’re interested in a career in television writing.

There were some familiar faces helping out at the workshop – Carol and Coral, who you might know as the creative forces behind the Purgatory Softball Team shirt, and Ramsey, of the Lucy Lawless Tweet Heard Round The World.

Last on the schedule for Friday was the first of four Wynonna Earp cast panels that were scheduled for the entire weekend. One cast panel per day, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. That’s how every day should be, don’t you think, spending an hour with the cast of Wynonna Earp? On the Friday panel were Emily Andras, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and Katherine Barrell.

Tim Rozon was pretty stylishly dressed, if Kira Beaudoin and we do say so ourselves.

Here’s the Periscope of the Friday Wynonna Earp Cast Panel (thank you, @legacymermaid Periscoping Earper Extraordinaire!)

At about 22:50 minutes in, a fan asked Emily Andras a question about how she handles fan pressure and expectations for storyline that come to her via social media, and balancing that with telling the story she wants to tell. Emily answered the question very well, and then also asked the rest of the cast to answer the question about handling social media pressure.

At about 25 minutes in, Katherine Barrell gave her answer. She talked about how the Earper fandom is great and fan enthusiasm is a huge part of what makes the Wynonna Earp fandom awesome and helps support the show. She also said that – while this hasn’t happened a lot – it is hard when someone attacks your personal life choices, and the fact that she’s not actually Nicole.

We aren’t going to put words in her mouth nor try to fangirl-splain what we think Katherine was alluding to, but we will say this:  Katherine Barrell plays a lesbian (not a unicorn), and she approaches this role with tremendous respect and an appreciation for what this representation on TV means to countless queer women across the world.

People should feel free and able to be openly themselves in their lives, and to be exactly who they are. That goes for LGBTQ people everywhere, and it goes for actors, too. Love is love.

If you haven’t already, check out Tales of the Black Badge Podcast #52, an interview with Katherine Barrell.

Saturday, September 2

Saturday was the Wynonna Earp Fan Panel, called “From Purgatory to Black Badge Division,” moderated by Kevin Bachelder. Sally was honored to join Annie Smith, Bonnie Ferrar, Bridget Liszewski, and Eric Asher to discuss Season 2, the fandom, T-shirts, and many other topics.

 

Here’s the audio recording of the fan panel on the Tales of the Black Badge podcast.

We did a surprise giveaway for panel attendees, hiding some goodie bags with our buttons and stickers inside under random chairs. Thank you to Carol Malcolm, Director of the Urban Fantasy Track for allowing us to do this!

After the fan panel, we went to the daily Wynonna Earp Cast Panel. On Saturday, the panelists were Emily Andras, Shamier Anderson, Michael Eklund, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell and Melanie Scrofano.

Here’s the Periscope for the Wynonna Earp Cast Panel on Saturday (thanks again, @legacymermaid!):

Next we attended the Killjoys Fan Panel, called “Hang Out At Your Favorite Mod Bar” to hear the panelists (including Kevin Bachelder and Bridget Liszewski) talk about Season 3 of Killjoys. Since the Season 3 finale had aired just the night before, the finale was off-limits, but it was an interesting discussion about all the great plot and character developments in the third season. We also got to celebrate the great news that Killjoys had been renewed for TWO more seasons!

Regrettably, we had to leave the panel early for a scheduled photo op. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ll just leave this here.

After our photo op, we rushed over to the ClexaCon Meetup, which we absolutely did not want to miss. On the way, we ran into a couple of dudes who looked familiar.

Holly from ClexaCon had arranged a meetup at Hardy Ivy Park, which was just a block away from the Hyatt. Though we were a little late, we still had a lovely time meeting and chatting with other ClexaCon fans. We can’t wait until 2018!

The capper for Saturday was a podcast panel called “5 Truths And A Lie LIVE!” on which Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell appeared. The line for the panel was seriously long and snaked through the Marriott, which was already chock-a-block full with people doing other things or just hanging out.

While we were waiting in line, someone who got in line behind us asked “Why is this line so long? I’ve been coming to this panel for years and have never seen the line this long.” We said “Two of the actors from Wynonna Earp are on the panel.” The room was probably more than half full of Earpers.

The panel itself was HILARIOUS. Listen to the Periscope! There’s some language and talking about sharting and sex, but not at the same time, and…anyway, NSFW.

Sunday, September 3

Sunday morning we had a Fangirl Shirts business meeting. Here are the minutes:

Next was the Sunday Wynonna Earp cast panel featuring Emily Andras, Shamier Anderson, Michael Eklund, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell and Melanie Scrofano. We were extra excited for this panel, as our dear friend, Kevin Bachelder, was the moderator for Sunday’s panel. Kevin has been attending DragonCon for 13 years and has been involved in many panels and activities at Con, but we knew that this Wynonna cast panel held a very special importance for him and we were so happy that it was a huge success! Melanie had to leave mid-way through the panel to catch a flight home and you could see the disappointment on her face as she got up to leave. The cast really does love being there as much as we love having them there.

Here’s the Periscope for the Sunday Wynonna Earp Cast Panel:

In between the cast panel and the meetup scheduled for later that day, Rebecca went to check out the merch hall, which is in a completely separate building from the rest of the con buildings. The lineup wrapped around an entire city block just to get in, but fortunately it moved relatively steadily and it didn’t take too long. The merch hall is three floors of vendors, and it’s HUGE. There is something for everyone there, that’s for sure. It was lovely to meet the extremely talented Lora Innes, a series artist for the Wynonna Earp comics, and to give her her very own Peace Maker lanyard. We highly recommend stopping by her booth and saying hello if you’re ever at a con that she’s attending, and check out her amazing artwork online.

The Earper Meetup took place on Sunday evening, at the Westin hotel bar. It’s known as the “quiet little writer’s bar” during DragonCon, so you can imagine the surprise on the other patron’s, as well as the staff’s faces when about two hundred Earpers showed up to party together. Emily, Tim, Shamier and Michael all showed up, and spent so much time interacting with fans, meeting everyone, and taking photos. You could see the joy and amazement on all of the Earper’s faces, and everyone was so appreciative and polite. #PoliteNoChill is the Earper motto, after all. We topped the celebration off with a huge birthday cake and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to celebrate Bridget’s birthday. Of course, because it was DragonCon, someone with a huge sword came by and used it to cut herself a slice of cake, and ate it right off the sword. These things happen at Con. Overall the Earper Meetup was a massive success and everyone had an Earptastic time.

Here are some tweets and Periscopes of the meetup to give you a flavor for it!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRIDGET!

Monday, September 4

The last day of DragonCon is much, much quieter than the previous three days. The Walk of Fame, where you can get autographs and take selfies with the guests, is much less crowded. The final Wynonna Earp Cast Panel was a little bit smaller too, the lineups weren’t quite as long as some Earpers had to return to real life. Emily Andras, Michael Eklund, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and Katherine Barrell all spoke on the panel, and the director of the Urban Fantasy Track at DragonCon, Carol Malcolm, was the moderator. Shamier wasn’t able to be on the panel, because he needed to catch a flight, but he showed up in the audience right at the beginning and pretended to ask the cast a question.

It takes a village to generate all of the photos, video, periscopes, and tweets, and turn it into an interactive experience for both ComicCans and ComicCants. We were happy to jump in and help periscope panels whenever an extra set of hands were needed! Next time we’re totally bringing a selfie stick!

Here’s the Periscope for the Monday Wynonna Earp cast panel:

Closing Thoughts

Closing thoughts about DragonCon:  it’s really fun, and it’s easier the second time around since you’ve experienced the crowds, the waiting in lines, and the routine of the Walk Of Fame. To some extent, you’ll also remember how to get around.

Wearing Peace Maker lanyards was a great and mostly unintentional way to identify other Earpers and made for an easy way of “finding your people” and starting conversations.

Earpers are awesome.

Tacos are tasty.

What’s your favorite DragonCon memory, whether you experienced it in person or were a #ComicCant? Write a comment on this post, or tweet us @fangirlshirts!

Links To Other DragonCon recaps, blog posts, and summaries:

When we finally got home after so many days away, we had several orders to fulfill. So we did! At Fangirl Shirts, we’re always shipping something…

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Clexa Con 2017 Roundup

This is our first blog post about ClexaCon 2017, but it won’t be the last.

ClexaCon was an amazing experience, and so much happened. We can’t possible sum up everything in just one post, so we’re going to do a roundup/play-by-play right now with highlights and moments from the con, and then continue to work on a series of posts that delve more deeply into specific topics.

Thursday night we went to the ClexaCon badge pickup party at the Phoenix, an LGBTQ bar a few miles away from the Strip. The party was a chance to pick up your badge early (as the name implied) and to mitigate long lines on Friday morning, but also to break the ice and give people a chance to meet each other in person before the con.

It was well attended and felt like ClexaCon was taking over the whole bar, in a friendly and chill way. This is a great idea for any con where the attendees have enough in common that they’d all like to hang out at the same place together, in our opinion.

Friday was a big day for us. We had to set up our very first ever vendor booth and arrange our merchandise and our displays, and then soon after we were speaking on our first panel at the con.

It takes a village to do a lot of things, and this expression extends to vendor booths at LGBTQ cons. We were so lucky to have so many good friends who were willing to meet us early to help set up, and we put them to work! With many hands, the booth came together in no time and looked great. We were especially proud of our rack, which we thought displayed our shirts to their best advantage.

Thank you, friends, very sincerely
Rack jokes aside, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes at one of the many decisions we had to make while planning for the con. We knew we would bring a lot of our shirts, and in fact, we ended up bringing all we had. Since we have at least 25 distinct designs, we needed a way to make them easy to see and also to look attractive. Some of the display solutions we considered might have worked well, but most of them were either too heavy to pack or ship, or too expensive.

It was a make-it-work moment. We’re lucky that one of us at Fangirl Shirts is handy and can design and build structures with good confidence. After a moment of inspiration, Rebecca had thought of, designed, and built a display rack made of easily assembled and disassembled PVC that weighed just 13 pounds (5.9kg) and that we can use for years to come. This was one of about seven thousand challenges and decisions we had to make in the months and weeks leading up to ClexaCon.

The con floor opened at noon, and we did some brisk business.

Before we knew it, it was time to go to our panel – Queer Lady Business. Our friends Monica and Chris had agreed to woman the booth while we were speaking. Yet again, thank you to our friends.

How can you create and succeed with a business that markets to LGBTQ geek women in an ethical way? Join women-owned businesses that have women at the core of their business model. Hear how they work to stay afloat and grow without being exploitative or seduced by the almighty dollar. Discuss how can giving back through philanthropy be a central part of a successful business model. Come to learn, and get all up in our queer lady business!

We had proposed this panel to ClexaCon and were psyched that they accepted it. We want to run a successful business ethically and without exploiting our customers, and we figured that other businesses who have queer women as their core customer base probably face the same questions we do.

The panel was awesome and so much fun (if we do say so ourselves). We shared the stage with Christin Baker of tello films and Anita Dolce Vita of dapperq. Our moderator was Andi Marquette from Women & Words. The discussion gave us a lot to think about in terms of supporting each other as queer lady businesses and we’ll be expanding on that in another post.

You can view a periscope of the panel that Bonnie, aka @WynonnaFans recorded. Warning, the f-word figures prominently in parts of the panel (for emphasis, not because of a dispute), so maybe use headphones.

We spent much of the rest of the day at the Fangirl Shirts table both selling merchandise and talking to people that we knew from twitter and were meeting in person for the first time. We also met a lot of new people. Since Earpers and all fans were all welcomed to make the area around our booth a meeting place, we never felt alone. We also managed to do fannish things like getting a couple of autographs.

At 7pm, it was time for a much-anticipated panel, The WayHaught Women of Wynonna Earp. Moderated by Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies, the panelists included Emily Andras, showrunner, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly Earp, and Katherine Barrell, who plays Nicole Haught. The panel was awesome, but don’t take our word for it – here’s the audio recording from Tales of the Black Badge, a Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast.

A big shoutout and thank you to @RealSmarticus for periscoping the panel for us. (Also, loved the selfies you took on our phone!)

After a big first day at con, you must go out and let your hair down. Even if it’s been down all day or if you have short hair. It’s a metaphor, people.

Saturday dawned bright and early and Sally likes to begin her days with a run when possible, especially at a con where most of the time is spent indoors. She was joined by Fangirl Shirts’ very first customer ever, Laura Snodgrass. Laura’s alter ego is DJ Kissyface and she made a ClexaCon mix before the con that you can download and use for your workouts.

The con floor opened at 10am. One of our activities was to attend the Table Talk Lunch with Bridget Liszewski (Sally attended while Rebecca held down the fort). Bridget is the Editor in Chief at The TV Junkies, a website dedicated to talking about television and with special affinity for Canadian television and strong female characters. Fans of Bridget’s work have begun to call themselves “Liszebians” – we’ll keep an eye on this trend for you.

Our next speaking opportunity was Creating a Positive Fandom Family – Wynonna Earp Style. Moderated by Valerie Anne, who recaps Wynonna Earp (and Supergirl and writes many many other things too) for Autostraddle, the panelists included:  Sally and Rebecca from Fangirl Shirts, Bonnie from @WynonnaFans (and here’s the website), Kevin from @WynonnaEarpPod (podcast website), and Bridget from The TV Junkies.

We were surprised, grateful and fangirled a little bit inside, but remained very very cool, calm and collected on the outside when Emily Andras came in to attend the panel. We’ll have more to say in another post about the topics we discussed during the panel, like:

  • the contagious nature of kindness
  • the absolute mission for fans of Wynonna Earp to recruit other fans to watch the show so the ratings go up, and
  • sales tax.

Here’s the audio recording of the panel from Tales of the Black Badge, a Wynonna Earp Podcast. The audio is very good.

Here’s one periscope from WynonnaFans (who was ON the panel, so thanks to Alli and Sylvia who made this happen).

And here’s Emily’s periscope:

Dominique Provost-Chalkley also came in the room toward the end of the panel. To have the showrunner, the production director and one of the actresses from the show attend your fan panel about was surreal in a great way.

Back at the booth, someone stopped by to browse the merchandise. When you’ve followed someone’s work but have only seen their photo next to their byline, meeting them in person is a really cool experience. It was Mo Ryan, chief TV critic at Variety.com. Mo decided to attend ClexaCon to get a sense of what the con was all about, and she published an article afterward.

We’ve been fans of Mo’s work for a while, but two pieces in particular were extra important to us. First, her article about Lexa’s death on The 100 helped us when we felt particularly distressed about the way that character was killed. Her article was also validating – when the chief TV critic at a major industry publication is saying the same things as thousands of hurt fans, it’s reassuring that yes, we’re right to feel upset and even betrayed, and that what happened was not okay.

Second, Mo’s article about the 20 best new shows of 2016 included Wynonna Earp, and that’s one of the most exciting things of all. It’s even on a poster from IDW about Season 2!

We didn’t have tons of times for photo ops, but we made time to get a picture with Emily Andras. We had it all planned out, to wear our Fandras shirts with the Andras herself, but alas, Emily had other plans.

Another panel we attended was The Power of Queer Social Media, which talked about queer fans and social media usage to make their voices heard. That panel was moderated by the fabulous Dana Piccoli, Managing Editor of the Bella Books blog (here’s her blog post about ClexaCon) who is as funny and lively a moderator as you’ll ever meet. The speakers were Chelsea Steiner, Tara Stuart (affiliated with LGBT Fans Deserve Better), Bridget Liszewski, and Emily Andras. Fan power is another topic we’ll explore more deeply in a future blog post.

Then at night it was time for the Lost Girl panel, moderated by Yael Tygiel and featuring Rachel Skarsten, Zoie Palmer and Emily Andras. Our friend Jill, @nedleysoffice, womaned the Fangirl Shirts booth for us during the panel, and we are so grateful.

This was one of the most hilarious panels of the con, for some reason. Everyone was very relaxed and the questions from the audience were particularly amusing. Maybe it’s that the show is over and there isn’t any need to avoid giving away spoilers, or maybe it’s that the tension of who Bo will choose has been resolved. Regardless, for a show we love so much and that sparked the creation of Fangirl Shirts, attending this panel was like a dream.

An additional optional event that Sally attended on Saturday evening was Cocktails for Change, an hour-long cocktail party with many of the guests that benefited the Tegan & Sara Foundation, “Fighting for Economic Justice, Health and Representation for LGBTQ Girls and Women.” It was a lovely, intimate event and a chance to chat with the celebrities in a different setting. ClexaCon did a great job in setting expectations for the event so the guests could feel comfortable and like they would not be swarmed, and the fans who attended did a great job of respecting those boundaries. Giving back to charity is a core value of Fangirl Shirts, and we love that it’s a core value of ClexaCon as well.

Later that evening, Autostraddle hosted a meetup at a nearby bar and grill, so we went there and had an absolute blast. There was Jenga, soft pretzels you could dip in cheese sauce, and more cheese sauce for the fries. We’d like to get a side of cheese sauce with our Jenga, also. (In fact, we did, because when the Jenga finally fell down, the pieces went everywhere.)

Bonnie is in awe of Franzi’s Jenga skills

Sunday morning, three of us headed out for another run, and we called ourselves Team Fangirl. If anyone else would like to join a small group of people at future cons for morning runs, leave a comment! Maybe we’ll make Team Fangirl a thing.

Sunday morning, we were again grateful to our friends Laura, Franzi and Kris who held down the FGS booth fort for us.

With any con, you have to choose what to attend, and at ClexaCon, we wanted to go to literally all the panels and workshops but weren’t able to. We are thrilled that ClexaCon allowed videoing of all the panels, because even if we missed something, we can still see it.

One of the second-last panels of the con was a very important topic – LGBTQ Actresses in TV and Film. Out actors discussed what is like to come out and be out in the industry, and how their coming out has affected their careers. We dare you to watch the Periscope of Ali Liebert telling the story about her process while she was filming Bomb Girls and not cry.

The con rounded out with Podcasting Your Passion, where a group of podcasters shared their insights and advice with the audience. Kevin and Bonnie from Tales of the Black Badge and Kris and Annie from the ASK Genre TV family of podcasts, which includes Fanalysis, Drinks at the Dal, Tatiana Is Everyone, The Quad, the Bomb Girls Beacon and more. Podcasts about TV shows are kind of like a book club – they help listeners better understand and enjoy the shows, and enhance the TV-watching experience.

This tweet from Katie sums up not only fan power, but ClexaCon itself, if you ask us.

One conversation we had with a con attendee at the booth who did epic Holtzman cosplay, @Kranstar, has stuck with us. She walked by and said hello, and we got to talking about how our con experience had been, as it was the last day and we were both feeling somewhat reflective. This isn’t an exact quote, but what Karin said was essentially that it wasn’t until attending ClexaCon and feeling like she so fully belonged somewhere, that she realized that in everyday life she doesn’t always feel that way. (Us too.)

Among the many other things we want to thank ClexaCon for, it’s for giving us all a place where we feel like we belong.

And then, just like that, it was over. We broke down the booth in record time – again, with a lot of help from our friends. We learned a lot from our vending experience that we hope to put to good use in the future at more cons. And we had an absolute blast.

We’ll have further posts about ClexaCon, so stay tuned. As well, there was so much content at the con that we weren’t able to see, so we’ll also do a roundup of periscopes and summaries about the parts of the con we weren’t able to attend.

Mark your calendars for 2018, by the way – we’ve heard that ClexaCon intends to make this an annual event.

We can’t wait.

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Unity Days 2017 Post-Con Roundup

Some weeks ago we attended a convention called Unity Days in Vancouver, British Columbia.

What is Unity Days? It’s a con that’s put on by Unity Events Canada, which was founded by some awesome women who wanted to present pop culture events for fans. Unity Days 2017 was specifically about The 100, and the message of the event was positivity and appreciation for the show, the actors, the fans, and for each other.

This was our first time attending a con that was dedicated to just one show. The con booked a lot of the cast from The 100 since the show is filmed in Vancouver, and there were tons of opportunities for photo ops, autographs and panels to hear directly from the actors. There were several hundred attendees and unlike larger multifandom cons, the panels were one at a time in one room – which meant you could see them all and didn’t have to choose (unless you were getting your picture taken with a cast member or in line for an autograph, which is no hardship).

The moderator of all the panels was Jo Garfein, the co-founder and executive director of Cancer Gets LOST and the co-host of The Dropship (a podcast about The 100). Cancer Gets LOST channels fandom toward the greater good by raising money for cancer support charities through auctions and fundraisers that feature rare and autographed memorabilia. We first met Jo at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 in line for autographs when she was planning to get one of our shirts signed for the 2016 CGL auction! How’s that for meta, and also awesome? (We never meta Jo we didn’t like.)

We attended this con as fans, though we were so proud that some of our Lexa Fangirl products were in the Cancer Gets LOST silent auction, which was the first event on Friday night. We also had our eyes on some of the other products up for bid.

It was fun to mingle, talk to other fans, and see old and new friends.

We kept a close eye on the auction and although the bidding in the last half hour got INTENSE, and we got outbid on a few fabulous pieces of artwork by @MaryneeLahaye and @agathecdl, we won those fabulous Clarke and Lexa crocheted dolls, which we LOVE and will be having some lighthearted fun with.

Saturday was one of those awkward days where you go somewhere and everyone’s wearing the same thing as you.

There were so many panels with the cast of The 100 in various combinations with various themes – such as the Arkadia Boys panel, the Camp Jaha panel, the Healers panel, the Delinquents panel, and the 100 Women panel – as well as specialized panels about topics like costume design, and the writers from Talk Nerdy With Us.

The panels were lighthearted, fun, and informative. We enjoyed hearing what everyone had to say. It was great to have the opportunity to hear from the actors themselves, in their own voices, and to see their personalities shine through. Sachin Sahel (who plays Jackson on the show) was a major crowd favourite, with his witty commentary and tendency to crash all of the other panels and stand in line to ask the other cast members funny questions.

In the PrincessMechanic panel (aka Clarke and Raven, which ended up being just the Princess panel since Lindsey Morgan had to film some scenes on Saturday morning), Jo asked Eliza Taylor a question about what it’s like to represent the queer community.

So speaking of representation, we wanted to represent with an official Fangirl Shirts photo op with Eliza Taylor:

Talk Nerdy With Us was the official press partner for the con and Caitlin, Alison and Kelsey did a panel about covering the 100. They talked about how they found the show and what writing about nerdy TV has meant to each of them. It was a very personal and fun panel.

At Fangirl Shirts, we make awesome shirts by, for and about awesome women. So we were super pumped for the “The 100 Women” panel, and we didn’t even care that it was slightly false advertising, because there weren’t actually 100 women on the panel.

Lindsey Morgan had some affirming words about how the women on the show are loved for who they are, not for who they are in relation to anyone else.

We made our Lexa Fangirl shirt and our Clexa shirt because the characters and the relationship are important. Lexa was a strong leader, a fierce warrior, and a hero to a legion of devoted fans. Clarke is a confident, capable leader who will do anything to protect her people. These are the types of queer characters that are still sorely underrepresented in 2017. In the post-apocalyptic world of the 100, sexuality is a non-issue, and that’s a message that we need to see more of on our televisions.

What a great three days – thank you SO MUCH to everyone who put so much work into Unity Days!

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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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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.

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

wynonna_rs

joss

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:

wayhaught

Tom
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:

darkmatterhappy

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.

darkmatter

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.

shamierpeace timpeace timshamierpeace becsdom becskat becsscro

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.

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These two were totally dressed alike
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Baby peace maker is Haught
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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!