I once had a teacher in grade school who told me that she loved to read my essays because she could tell that I was enthusiastic about learning and the subjects I would choose to write about. There was just one problem though. If everything I wrote about was “the absolute worst” or the “absolute best” that wasn’t going to give me a lot of space or freedom to really make careful and thoughtful comparisons. So why is this little anecdote important to my recap of LadiesCon 2017? Because I’m about to throw that advice out the window and use superlatives like crazy. Wanna know why? Because LadiesCon 2017 was THE. ABSOLUTE. BEST.
For those of you familiar with our event last year, the first LadiesCon was essentially a testing ground to see if our vision of an inclusive Con would even be something that the community wanted to see. In a donated office space, we managed to catch lightning in a bottle and learned just how dedicated the Boston comics community was to making an event that was for everyone.
This year, we took that to a whole new level. We tripled the number of panels and doubled our space, guests, and vendors. We reached out to artists and creators who were making things that were original, beautiful, and even a little terrifying. The response from the community was once again warm and enthusiastic, and together we created a colorful and vibrant Con.
LadiesCon is just over a month away and we thought it was be a good time to start sharing some information about our awesome guests. As you will soon see, our guest list ended up being a bit of a blog wish list come to life. Many of these folks we have already written about so we want to be sure to direct you back to those posts first.
First off, we have repeat LadiesCon guest Ming Doyle. This is Ming’s second year with us and we could not be more delighted to have such a talented and kind person to showcase. Her beautiful, flowing art style is always such a joy. Seriously, try to look at Ming’s work and not smile. Check out our previous write-up on Ming, and her Marvel Quickdraw episode featuring America Chavez.
Next, for the first time at LadiesCon we have Gwenda Bond! The Red Menace has shared her love for Gwenda’s Lois Lane: Fallout novels before. So when it came time to reach out to potential LadiesCon guests, of course Gwenda was on the list, and you know what? She said yes! Our hearts! Even more exciting, Gwenda will be doing a panel at LadiesCon too. Wanna talk more about shipping, OTPs, and romance comics? Come to LadiesCon.
Mildred Louis, creator of the webcomic Agents of the Realm has the distinction of being the guest on the first Ladies Of Comicazi Podcast and she was a total delight! If you aren’t familiar with Mildred’s work you can also read The Red Menace’s review and then, come to LadiesCon and talk with Mildred about magical girls, being an independent creator (Mildred both writes and illustrates Agents of the Realm), and diversity.
And now, here’s a guest that was haven’t written about yet….Artist Joe Quinones! Maybe you are thinking, but Joe is not a lady, what’s he’s doing at LadiesCon? Well that’s easy enough to answer, LadiesCon is called that because we are the Ladies, and because we have a strong focus on women and other folks who’ve been traditionally marginalized in the industry. But LadiesCon is not limited in who we feature as guests or who is welcome at the Con. It’s for everyone regardless of gender identity, and we are excited and proud to have such a mega talented local artist joining us.
As you can see Joe has done amazing work for Marvel, working on America, Captain Marvel, and Howard the Duck. He also recently did a cover for Sex Criminals, but that’s NSFW, so if you want to see it you’ll have to buy it. I am super excited to have Joe at LadiesCon. His Captain Marvel covers are some of my absolute favorites, capturing Carol’s strength and power. In fact that’s one of the things I love the most about Joe’s work, he draws women with substance. They have muscles and curves, and gravitas. And that hair! Gorgeous! Joe art straddles photo realism and an almost deco style. Seriously, come to LadiesCon and check out more of his work.
For more information on LadiesCon and our guest, check out our website!
I had mixed feelings when I discovered that I would be the one scheduled to post after our inaugural LadiesCon. There is just so much to say, so many lessons learned, so many wonderful people, and so much magic that organizing my thoughts seems like an almost impossible task. Do I give a blow-by-blow of the day? Do I just do the highlights? How could I possibly thank everyone we want to thank? Well, if I learned anything this weekend, it’s that you need to move forward and at least try your best if you are going to get anything done. So in that spirit, let’s give this a shot.
The Con Itself
Those of you who were able to join us this weekend learned exactly what we meant when we kept saying that our con would be “small and intimate.” The unique space donated by Canopy City was fresh and inviting. It also provided some exciting and unexpected extras like an additional screen for the Boston Roller Derby ladies to show off their games, a central desk in the middle of the action to use as our own Mission Control center, and a layout that I couldn’t help calling the “Gauntlet of Awesome.”
We wanted to keep the focus on local and unique talent and we were able to do just that. I know that we have already featured a bunch of our vendors on our Facebook Page, but we have also updated our Con Info page to include a full list of our vendors who participated.. This way if you regret any items left behind, you will have a second chance to get it.
Here’s a little slide show of the calm before the storm:
The VIP Lunch and After Party
In addition to our Con Floor, we also offered two additional LadiesCon events. The first was our “Lunch with the Ladies.” This event got you early access to our vendors and guests (as well as their commission spots), a tasty lunch, and a nice swag bag to carry your goodies around in. It was a great and relaxed way to start the day.
A quick search on social media regarding the con and you are probably going to see pictures of our after party. Guys…. THIS. PARTY. Envisioned as a social experiment to see what would happen if you gathered a bunch of creative people together with a choice of several fun activities, this event went off the rails in the best possible way. Matt (Co-Founder and Managing Director at Canopy City), not only gave our guests the freedom to cover one of his dry erase walls with art, but he was so pleased with the results that he told everyone to keep on going!
The result is inspiring and just a gorgeous tribute to the event and the community spirit. Those of us on the LadiesCon staff have been using the word “magical” a lot to describe this event. But really, I don’t think there is a better word for it. Thanks to Bill Imbrogna for the photos below. If you want to see more, check out his facebook page:
The Ladies have been trying over and over again to properly thank everyone who made our dream possible. At this point it’s almost overwhelming to try to express how we feel about our supporters and friends. Instead, once again, I will say a simple thank you. Thank you to our hosts, guests, vendors, panelists, and volunteers. Without you, this simply would not have been possible. And to all of you who joined us for our first ever LadiesCon, thank you for proving that there’s a place and a desire in the Boston area for a con like this one. We are a mighty city indeed.
I wanted to end this post answering a question we received several times on Saturday – Will there be a LadiesCon 2017? YES and we have so much more planned. So please, stick around and see what we come up with next!
Did you attend LadiesCon 2016? If so, share your experience below.
As LadiesCon draws ever-closer, we here at the Ladies are working to find ways to make an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. We’ve split up into two locations – vendors and guests at 212 Elm Street, and panels and programs at Comicazi. (They’re only a 5 minute walk away from each other, never fear!) We’ve added pre-event lunches and after parties. And of course, we’ve been working on these posts to showcase our exceptional inaugural guests! This week we’re featuring multi-talented Ming Doyle.