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Return to Wizard World: Nerd Organizer Panel

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In addition to being a panelist on the Star Wars Fan Panel, I will also take part in the So You Want to Be a Nerd Organizer Panel at Wizard World Chicago this coming Saturday. The best part about being invited to speak on this panel is that I have plenty to share, but much more to learn. It will be as informative for me as the audience!

I am most looking forward to hearing from other organizers about their successes, struggles, what they have learned, and what they plan to do in the future. There are a ton of amazing nerdy organizations here in Chicago; it can be tough to gain momentum while planning events for specific groups. In my case, moderating events for Graham Crackers Comics Ladies' Night also comes with the double duty of being Editor-in-Chief of Ladies' Night Anthology. I cannot wait to walk away from this panel with more ideas for tackling community planning and event organizing. If you are interested in starting your own group, or volunteering (we all need help!)…

Return to Wizard World Chicago: A Star Wars Fan Panel

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Eleven years ago this summer, I attended my first ever comic book convention. Wizard World Chicago 2004 was an overwhelmingly positive experience. Up until that point, I had enjoyed comics in a very isolated manner. Though many of my friends enjoyed nerdy things, very few read comic books. The summer before college, I vowed to "find my people" by finally attending a comic book convention.

I easily found a place within the comic book community at Wizard World. I met dozens of my favorite comic book creators, bought lots of comics, commissioned sketches in artist alley, and of course attended panels. Over the next several years, I would attend many more conventions as a fan, retailer, and cosplayer. Wizard World would still happen every August in Chicago, but I stopped attending as regularly. Like old friends that fell out of touch, my memories remained fond, even as the gaps between visits grew longer.

A little over a decade since my first time attending, I am happy to retur…

Ladies' Night Anthology Vol. 2: Death & Prom

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If I have learned one thing in my experience as an editor of Ladies' Night Anthology, it is that making comics takes time. So much time, in fact, that it leaves few opportunities to actually write about comics (let alone read them). My blogging has slowed down significantly over the last year and I apologize; it has been too long. But if you are wondering what I have been up to lately besides life stuff in general, this might give you a hint:



It is not just the theme that has us filled with a sense of dread; our fundraising deadline is looming and we are still short of our goal. You only have until midnight today to support these independent creators! Even if you are unable to monetarily support our efforts, signal boosts are free and much appreciated. Here are a few previews to whet your appetite for the bloody, sweet, and sensational stories to come from Ladies' Night Anthology Vol. 2: Death & Prom. If you're ready to crown this anthology prom queen, head over to our…

What Mark Millar Doesn't Get

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Could fill a lot more than one blog post as proven by Millar's recent tone-deaf comments concerning depictions of rape versus violence within his work. But two very different views of one comic in particular may shed a little light on what Millar and many more still don't get.
A few years ago when I still worked full time at Graham Crackers Comics, a lot of our time was spent talking about comics. A shocking pastime for comic shop employees, I know. We talked about what we liked more often than what we didn't, though we would oblige any customer that asked for our honest opinion (haunted vaginas and pentagram boob tassels - apparently there is a place in the world of comics for books like Tarot). Healthy debates about the merits of comics and creators thrived. Was the work of Alan Moore still the benchmark to which we compared the best of the best superhero titles? Was the ending of Final Crisis satisfying for anyone? Are there really readers out there that have read and d…

The Death of Blogging: Long Live The Hivemind

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As of late, readers may have noticed our absence from the world of comic book blogging. But visits to our tumblr, facebook, or twitter pages will reveal a different narrative. I recently provided photography coverage at San Diego Comic Con for the Comics Beat, a leading comic book news website. Soon we will begin a regular monthly column focused on the world of comic book retail, Sell It Like It Is, for Woman Write About Comics. In other words, despite appearances here on the homefront, we're busier than ever blogging about comics.
It is a little sad, but the one woman operation blogs have been on the decline for quite some time. I think I joined the comic blogging community right at the beginning of the end, when the growth of  one's audience still depended more on the content than the place it was posted. With the rise of more interactive and timely platforms like tumblr and twitter, comic book blogging is still content driven, but depending on the outlet, some signals get …

Free Comic Book Day 2013: An Overview

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Oh boy. Who else is still recovering from the non-stop fun and insanity of Free Comic Book Day? No doubt comic book retailers are relaxing after what has quickly become one of the biggest sale days of their year. Other fans like myself that attempted to visit as many local comic shops as possible are likely feeling exhausted as well. We made it to seven stores all together and still did not get to visit every shop on our list (you can see a map of our progress here.) The newly opened Aw Yeah Comics in Skokie would have been a fun stop, as well as the downtown location of Graham Crackers Comics, and First Aid Comics in Hyde Park. Perhaps next year we will go in on a rental with friends and commit to covering more ground. Traveling an area of about 16 miles in a day doesn't sound like a lot, but to a city dweller relying on public transit carrying a large camera and an ever growing stack of free books, this was an epic odyssey of retail exploration. My shopping partner for the day …

Free Comic Book Day 2013: Tips & Recommended Reading

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It only comes but once a year, so be sure to set aside an hour or two today to enjoy Free Comic Book Day. It may be difficult to pry yourself away from the premiere of Iron Man 3 or Star Wars: May the 4th Be With You events; I can assure you, it is well worth doing. You would think free comics would be an easy sell but each year I meet fans that either don't know about the annual event or have never made the time to check it out. Here's a quick guide to how to get the most out of your FCBD experience.
Where do I go to obtain these "free comics"?  A good place to start! Most, but not all comic shops participate. The quickest way to find out if your store will have free comics is the FCBD store locator.  Just enter your zip code and they will find the shops for you! Keep in mind that these comics are free for you, but not for the participating retailers. If you go to one store or many, try to throw some business their way while you're stopping by.
Who should I go wi…

Ladies' Night Anthology Volume 1: Chicago

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Over the past several months, my roles as comic book fan and blogger have taken a back seat to a new position: come book collaborator. I have previously written about my role as moderator of Graham Crackers Ladies' Night, a monthly meeting of female comic book fans, but I have not devoted any time on my site to talk about the resulting comic book anthology. Ever since Hannah Chapman created the Ladies' Night event shortly over a year ago, participants kept bringing up the idea of creating our own comic. The initial concept was for it to be something the creators amongst us could work on and share with everyone and receive feedback. It didn't take long to realize what a large pool of talent we had in our group and we decided to make our project a little more ambitious. We assigned editors for each story, created deadlines for each stage of creation rather than setting a final date for completed stories, and organized  workshops for writing, penciling, and lettering. My exp…

C2E2 2013: A Pre-Show Guide

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Smell that? It's con season, baby. Consider your money already spent, and don't plan on getting any sun while you peruse the aisles of the large, open floors of exhibition halls. Hunt down those deals, get those autographs, and wear your most comfortable shoes. And most importantly: get your game plan together early. 
C2E2 is still three weeks away, which gives you plenty of time to decide who you want to see and what you want to buy. In addition to our usual tips and tricks for conventions (see last year's guide), having attended three out of the last four years of C2E2 we have a few closely guarded secrets to share as well.
Make A List This is always a good place to start. Write down everything and everyone you'd like to see, then prioritize because you most likely won't get to see everything. Attending the Patton Oswalt Q&A on Saturday will no doubt require a chunk of time spent standing in line. Attending the costume contest will also require careful planni…

Sure Signs That I'm Behind Reading Comics

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Let's get the obvious out of the way. I have neglected to write about comics lately. One only need look at my "recent posts" to notice that they are in fact, not that recent. There was no year end wrap up,  no best of 2012 list, and there is a serious lack of praise for books like Hawkeye and Mind MGMT (these titles deserve multiple posts of devotion). What has been taking up my leisure time? Why the ravenous consumption of other media! Specifically Game of Thrones. Game. Of. Thrones. Now, the holidays are not an unusual time for a fan to fall behind on reading. Family engagements, holiday parities, gift shopping, and generally managing one's sanity before the passing of New Years can overtake favorite pasttimes like reading and blogging about comics. But what turned this seasonal absence into prolonged sabbatical was the receipt of one gift: the four book boxset of George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire (seen above). It's a good thing I became …