Are you ready for Emerald City Comicon this year?

Like usual, there’s a ton of panels and content to be found, and I’ve scoured it all to find the most relevant content for LGBTQ folks, both official and after-hours events. In addition, I’ve include other diversity-related content. My criteria for inclusion was, “Does this panel or event promote or represent a population which is under-represented?” So in addition to queer content, I’ve included panels about accessibility, race and gender.

While the overall diversity track is strong, there were far fewer panels directly related to queer people and culture than in previous years. Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

The descriptions come directly from event descriptions, with occasional editor’s notes to note relevancy. For locations, WSCC denotes the Washington State Convention Center, while TCC stands for The Conference Center (directly across the street). All panels require an Emerald City Comicon membership, but after-hours and offsite events such as Qomix do not.

Am I missing anything? Respond below in the comments and let me know!

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What Makes a Man: The Portrayal of Masculinity in Geek Culture »

Location: WSCC 604
Pop culture shapes how we see the world, so what does it tell us about how to be a man the 21st century? Is Jessica Jones’ Kilgrave the avatar of toxic masculinity? Can we learn what it means to be a man from Pacific Rim, the X-Men or Daredevil? Join Harris O’Malley (Paging Dr. NerdLove) and Jay Edidin (How To Be A Guy, Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men) as they talk about the way geek culture explores, shapes and educates us on the idea of manhood in 2017

Lightning Comix: Super Short Reviews Highlighting Indie Artists »

5:30 – 6:30pm
Location: TCC 301
Diversify your comics readers advisory with an infusion of indie comic suggestions that highlight underrepresented artists and perspectives. Six librarians will each share twenty of their favorite indie comics, graphic novels, zines, and web comics for a total of 120 speedy Ignite-style reviews in less than one hour! Attendees will receive an annotated bibliography zine of all titles and get a chance to peruse selections from up-and-coming artists.

She Changed Comics »

6:30 – 7:30pm
Location: TCC 304
Meet the women whose work changed what’s possible for free expression in comics! From the turn of the 20th century to today, women creators have inspired today’s landscape of increasingly diverse and empowering comics storytelling. Join comics legend Gail Simone (Batgirl, Deadpool, Red Sonja), CBLDF Editorial Director Betsy Gomez (She Changed Comics), and more for an examination of the women who changed the format!

Sex, Education and Comics: A Discussion with Limerence Press »

6:45 – 7:45pm 
Location: TCC 305
Join Limerence Press managing editor Ari Yarwood in conversation with comic creators Erika Moen (Oh Joy Sex Toy), Trungles (The Glass Mountain Coloring Book, Fresh Romance), and Meredith McClaren (Super Fun Sexy Times, Hinges), as they discuss the intersections of sex education, erotica, and comics!

Diversity in Publishing »

6:45 – 7:45pm
Location: WSCC 603
Diversity is a hot topic in the publishing world. Authors, readers, agents, and publishing houses are looking for bright, new, and real stories written by original and marginalized writers. Navigating this facet of publishing can be scary for some, whether you’re a marginalized writer struggling to get your book out there, or a writer trying to accurately represent a different culture. What does diversity mean? Are you a diverse author? Are there certain ways to write inclusively and appropriately? Why is diversity important? Let’s talk about it! Let’s discuss diversity in publishing, what a diverse book means, and what we can do to help the industry progress. From LGBTQ+ books, to books starring POC characters, books with religious protagonists, and books that embrace culture – diversity is here and it’s our job as writers and readers to lead the publishing industry into an age where it is widely understood. We’ll be discussing the in’s and out’s of Twitter pitch parties. How to snag representation. The importance of diversity. Writing a strong diverse book. And the beauty of sensitivity readers. Speaker: Candysse Miller

Geek Out! ECCC Trivia Night »

Location: Raygun Lounge (501 E Pine St)
Trivia Night is back for Emerald City Comicon! Join Andrew and his special guests from Comics Chat with Gat, the Nerdhole, and A Podcast For All Intents and Purposes for an evening of exciting trivia! And fun!

There will be a multitude of exciting prizes for winners and also some great prizes you can win just for showing up and buying drinks!

Come show everybody that you know the most about comic books, video games, super heroes, and whatever other geeky and nerdy stuff! (Editor’s Note: While not LGBTQ-specific, this is a very queer-friendly event and space.)

Ms. Pak-Man: On My Last Heart! »

Location: Re-Bar Seattle (1114 Howell St)
This is the opening night of “Ms. Pak-Man: On My Last Heart!” Running through March 11, this is the third installment of the wildly successful Ms. Pak-Man Cabaret series. Watch this world-renowned video game superstar of the 1980s pop power pills while she shares scandalous songs and stories about her life and loves (glitches and all!) It’s a hilarious night of comedy, confessions, camp and quarters. Hold onto your joysticks, it’s going to be a bumpy night! (Opening night. Show runs through March 11)

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Geek Girls Unite: Finding Your Space in Fandom »

Location: WSCC 603
Join some of your favorite women for a discussion on how to create your own space in geekdom – be that a book club, brunch, craft circle, or online group. This panel will address how female-identifying fans can find welcoming space in a convention setting and make the most of networking and making friends while there. Learn how female geeks find each other and inspire each other to create new media geared towards nerdy women.

Looking Past The Male Gaze: Sexuality Representation in Comics »

Location: WSCC 603
Join some of your favorite women for a discussion on how to create your own space in geekdom – be that a book club, brunch, craft circle, or online group. This panel will address how female-identifying fans can find welcoming space in a convention setting and make the most of networking and making friends while there. Learn how female geeks find each other and inspire each other to create new media geared towards nerdy women.

Queer Representation in All-Ages and Youth Media »

12:15 – 1:15 PM
Location: WSCC 604
Do you find the graphic worlds you love don’t quite get you? Can’t identify with Tony Stark’s playboy or Bruce Wayne’s tragic love life? Let’s talk about sex…uality in comics! There are gaps where there should be representation for relationships not seen by the (generally) default male gaze of many comics. Join us as we reflect on years of research, look at comics trying to shrink those gaps, and dive into how we can tell more inclusive stories. Share your favorites in this safe inclusive space!

Anna Silk Spotlight »

2:45 PM – 3:45PM
Location: WSCC 611
ECCC is proud to present Anna Silk, the talented actress that brought the fierce and feisty Bo Dennis to life. Join Anna as she talks about what made Lost Girl such a fan fae-vorite, and what’s next for her now that this supernatural drama has reached its epic conclusion. (Editor’s Note: Included because she plays a bisexual character on Lost Girl.)

Nasty Women: Girls Who Get Stuff Done in Genre Fiction »

4PM – 5PM
Location: WSCC 603
It’s 2017, and it’s officially time to get nerdy and get nasty with some of the leading ladies of SFF. Why? Because nasty women get stuff done! From Gamergate to Pussygate, it’s been a rough couple of years for women, and we are 100% over it. It’s time to change the pop culture landscape for the better—but how? That’s what Amy S. Foster, Sarah Remy, Jody Lynn Nye, and Bharti Kirchner will be discussing in a conversation moderated by GeekMom’s Shiri Sondheimer. Come break the glass ceiling with some of the leading ladies of science fiction, fantasy, and geek culture as they talk about their favorite fandom nasty women and bad hombres, and more importantly, how to make nerd communities inclusive, diverse and equal. Damsels in distress need not apply.

Accessibility in Tabletop Games and RPGs »

Location; WSCC 210
Tabletop RPGs and games are a wonderful way of bringing people together; but it can be too easy to neglect our friends and family with disabilities when planning a game night. Join a variety of panelists with disabilities and backgrounds in Special Education, as they discuss ways to modify and accommodate games to fit diverse player needs. The panel will focus on strategies and steps you can take at your own gaming table to help everyone be part of the fun.

Black Heroes Matter »

Location: TCC303
Popular media has had a problem with the representation of black people for a long time now, but with the popularity of the Netflix series, Luke Cage, the upcoming Black Panther and Spider-man Homecoming’s diversity that might be starting to change. From Black Lives Matter to Wakanda we talk about the roles black characters play in media and in our everyday lives.

Kicking Ass in a Corset: An Homage to Fearless Ladies in Fantasy »

5:15 PM – 6:15 PM
Location: WSCC 603
From Katniss to Jane Eyre and Eowyn to Arya Stark – Fearless women have been inspiring readers of all genders for ages. Join authors Kristen Britain, Mary Robinette Kowal, David Levine and Marie Brennan as they discuss their own strong female leads and help Fans discover even more works to satisfy the appetite of any reading warrior princess!

The Real Nerds of Comedy »

6:45PM – 7:45PM
Location: TCC 304
The Real Nerds of Comedy present a hilarious 50 minutes of stand-up comedy that celebrates nerds and nerd culture. This multicultural and multidimensional group of the funniest comedians in Seattle will have you laughing the rest of the convention. Due to the nature of comedy content, it is a show recommended for ages 16+. Features Silas Lindenstein, Manny Martin, Sally Jordan, Elicia Sanchez, Dylan Cole and Jack Ballard. (Editor’s Note: Included primarily because Elicia Sanchez is a local queer comic.)

Qomix: A Queer Comicon Mixer »

7pm – 10m
Location: Raygun Lounge (510 E Pine)
Northwest Press, Queer Geek, and Jetspace Magazine invite you to join us on Friday, Mar 3 at Raygun Lounge to mix, mingle, and share a drink with your fellow queer geeks after Emerald City Comicon. Bring your friends, or come make new ones, and enjoy games, good times, and queer geek fun!

Enjoy a great selection of food and drink for sale, including beer and mead. You can even win some fabulous door prizes from Northwest Press–including comics, graphic novels, and gift certificates.

This free event is open to all ages, but you must be 21+ to purchase alcoholic beverages. You don’t even need an Emerald City ComiCon badge to come!

Guardians of the Sexy, Vol. 2: A Geeky Celebration in Burlesque »

7:30 PM and 10:15 PM
Location: ACT Bullitt Cabaret Theatre (700 Union St)
Emerald City Comicon once again joins forces with producer Jo Jo Stiletto, the Professor of Nerdlesque, to explore what happens when fandom and burlesque collide live on stage. Join us for one of four shows that called “freaking phenomenal.” Our intergalactic mission, should you choose to accept it, is defending the sexiness of all nerds regardless of gender, sexual orientation, body type, race, or ability. We are all the Guardians of the Sexy! This is an 18+ event. You must be 21+ to drink. Please bring your ID.


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Degrees of Blackness: The Varied Lives of Black Comic Creators »

Location: TCC 301
Tired of seeing black stereotypes in comics? Wanna see more variety of color in your pull? Now you have the chance to see creators doing just that! This panel isn’t just about The Struggle. We’ll discuss styles of coloring, pressures to do certain work, tips for drawing black hair, memoirs vs fiction, inspiration; you name it, we talk about it. Christina Stewart, DJ Kirkland, Brittney Williams, Mildred Louis, and more will discuss the realness of being Black in comics.

The Art of Crossplay: Woman to Man Edition »

11:15 – 12:15pm
Location: WSCC 3B
Have you ever been curious about crossplay? Not exactly sure how to get started or even what to do for it? This panel is perfect for you! Join us as we discuss crossplaying, specifically if you are a woman and crossplaying a man. We will hit all of the highlights of preparing for crossplay, including (but not limited to) binders, facial hair/stubble, attire, body language, and so much more!

Women in Fantasy »

12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: WSCC 603
The future is female: Female fantasy authors have been a major force in the fantasy genre for decades—and are creating the next big things. Celebrate the women of fantasy fiction with authors Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy), Callie Bates (The Waking Land), and Kristen Britain (Green Rider) as they discuss their own experiences as female fantasy authors and the process of writing complex characters regardless of gender. Moderated by Del Rey executive editor Anne Groell.

Ask Me About My Agenda in Comics »

12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: TCC 301
Diversity and social politics are some of the most controversial topics in comics, but what does it really mean to have an “agenda” in comics? Join Shannon Waters (BOOM! Studios, Editor & co-creator/writer of LUMBERJANES) along with a diverse collection of panelists for an honest, unfiltered conversation about the state of pop culture, the challenges in representing the world outside your window, and how to move the comic book medium forward to better represent all readers.

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining »

1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: TCC 305
Hip-Hop and comics reflect each other in many ways – rappers and graffiti artists utilize superheroic imagery and adopt larger-than-life alter-egos; comic creators incorporate references to music, dance, and fashion, and draw on Hip-Hop’s rich visual vocabulary. Here, Patrick A. Reed (Depth Of Field/ComicsAlliance) brings together graphic artists and musical innovators to discuss the ties between these two creative cultures.

Kick Ass Femmes »

2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: TCC 305
Who doesn’t love a strong, ass-kicking lady? And we’re finally starting to see some in mainstream media — sort of. Femme fighters are often presented in problematic ways and we’re going to talk about it! Come learn about the Bechdel and Mako Mori tests and strap in for some feminist analysis! We’ll have case studies (Zoe, Katniss, Buffy, Black Widow and Imperator Furiosa among them!) and would love to hear about your favorites, too.

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: The Evolving Representation of Asians in Film, TV and Gaming »

4pm – 5pm
Location: TCC 301
In the last few years, we’ve seen developments in the representation of Asians on our screens, be it in film, television or gaming: from Mirror’s Edge to Halo 5, and from Quantico to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Master of None in TV shows, Asians are increasingly present in our media. However, is mere presence enough for racial equity? How well do these representations fare? Despite being the largest ethnic group in the world, Asian characters often fall victim to stereotyping and tropes, are marginalized, or are underrepresentative of the diversity of voices, cultures and nationalities that fall under the broad Asian umbrella. Join our panelists as they discuss changes in the representation of Asians, how far we have come, and what challenges still need to be overcome. Our panel will conclude with a crowdsourcing activity for improving Asian representation, so come prepared to share your ideas!

Embracing Body Diversity in Comics »

Location: TCC 302
All bodies are good bodies–but not all bodies appear on the pages of comics. Join writer and editor Casey Gilly, IDW editor Sarah Gaydos, writer Tini Howard (The Skeptics) and other special guests as they discuss the need for body diversity in books and celebrate characters of all sizes.

The New XXX: The Smut Comics Underground »

Location: TCC 305
There sure are a lot of high-profile dirty comics around nowadays, aren’t there? Every wonder where they come from? Who’s making ’em? And why the genre’s suddenly exploded? Join Erika Moen (Oh Joy Sex Toy), Taneka Stotts (Passion Fruit), and C. Spike Trotman (Smut Peddler, Yes Roya) for a candid talk about the ins and outs (ha ha what) of making, publishing and selling smut! (Editor’s Note: Included due to notable queer comic writer Erika Moen.) 

Fetish Night: Bondage & Comic-con »

Location: CC Attle’s (1701 E Olive Way)
West Coast Link hosts a night of kink, this month’s fetish night with demos of various types of bondage by local rope professionals. This is a great opportunity to get geared up and tied up! Come in gear and get priority at the door line.


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Mirrors & Windows: Reflecting Diversity »

Location: WSCC 603
The publishing industry has made great progress in the past years when it comes to publishing diverse books and authors. Join this varied group of creators to discuss the importance of diverse books. How they tackle diversity in their own work, how it affects their creative process, and how you can get involved to champion diversity in your own reading!

Wonder Women: 75 Years of Gender and Sexuality in Comics »

Location: TCC 305
In 1941, Wonder Woman burst into the comics scene, paving the way to a more diverse and inclusive medium. Join Andrea Gilroy, Susan Kirtley, and Jaylee Warren as they discuss just how much has changed (and what’s stayed the same) in the way gender and sexuality are represented in superhero comics 75 years after the Amazon’s sensational debut.

Comics with a Message »

1:15pm – 2:15pm
Location: TCC 305
Comics has a rich legacy of stories that push for positive social change and increased awareness. Now as readership broadens to include more people from all walks of life, new voices are being represented and more challenging stories are being published than ever before. Please join us to discuss what’s next for comics with a message.

History Repeats Herself »

1:15pm – 2:15pm
Location: WSCC 603
Good Girls, “Bad Feminists” – history is riddled with both…as is the romance genre.  From medieval era damsels fighting their way out of distress, to Regency wallflowers backing themselves out of their corners; from females fighting their way forward past typical cultural mores, to women warriors who succeed in rescuing that angsty alpha male…from himself.  Join us for a frank discussion about the women’s movements, and about landmark achievements that have been profiled in author/panelists Elizabeth Boyle, Christina Dodd, Bharti Kirchner, Stefanie Sloane and Rebecca Zanetti novels are still relevant – and worth standing strong to protect and affirm – today.  Moderated by Deborah Schneider, King County Public Library System

Not-So-Secret Identities: Radically Re-imagining the Superhero »

2:45 – 3:45pm
Location: TCC 302
Does Tony Stark having PTSD change the context and impact of his story? How do race, queerness, class, and disability transform a hero narrative, and in what way do the the new heroes writers create and old heroes that we re-imagine have an impact? New, established and emerging comic writers and artists discuss how the superhero genre and the hero as a character archetype can be transformed with intent. Featuring Audrey Redpath (Oath Anthology of New (Queer) Heroes, Symbol), Hannah Blumenreich (Spidey Zine), Brittney Williams (Hellcat, Goldie Vance, Legend of Korra), and more.