Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Return to Wizard World: Nerd Organizer Panel

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!), please join us on Saturday at Wizard World Chicago for this panel.

Saturday, August 22nd at Wizard World Chicago
So You Want to Be a Nerd Organizer Panel 3:30-4:15
Room 14

Whether you’re starting a podcast, a meet-up group, an online community, a con, a magazine, or a social movement, being a nerdy organizer of any kind means figuring out a lot of logistics. How do you choose who to work with? Where do you get started? How do you implement rules? How do you choose guests? On this panel, nerd con runners, community organizers, editors, and producers will share their experiences and advice about what's worked, and what hasn't.

For anyone who wants to Tweet about this panel, please use the hashtag #NerdOrganizer.

This panel sponsored in part by the Chicago Nerd Social Club

Panelists include:
Megan Byrd (Graham Cracker Comics Ladies Night),
Sondra de Jong (Nebula Awards Chicago, Capricon),
Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games),
Thomas Glen (ValorCon),
Matthew Peters (Mighty Ink Comics),
Michi Trota (Uncanny Magazine)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Return to Wizard World Chicago: A Star Wars Fan Panel

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 return to Wizard World Chicago this year and experience it anew once again as a panelist. One panel will see me discussing my experience as a nerd organizer, while the other will be about my experience as a lifelong Star Wars fan. The best part is that unlike my early years as a comic fan, this will be a decidedly social affair that you can join as well!

Saturday, August 22nd at Wizard World Chicago
Star Wars Fan Panel 4:30-5:15
Room 14
In four months, we will live in a world enlightened by the existence of Star Wars Episode VII! In preparation, we invite you to a panel dedicated to all things Star Wars. Professional nerds will challenge the crowd with Star Wars trivia, discuss the significance of Star Wars culture, and speculate on the future of living in a galaxy far, far away!

Tony Kim will be moderating the panel, and I will be a guest along with musician and sometimes Wookie bellydancer Dawn Xiana Moon, ValorCon organizer Thomas Glen, and creator Ed Siemienkowicz.

Come to the panel. Or do not come. There is no try.