I’m getting caught up on my comics backlog, and damn, AtLA wasn’t pulling any punches this FCBD. 

(I only capped my favourite bits, but the whole thing is gold.)



Warhammer Cosplay

Holy hell, what can I say? Sister cosplays are even more amazing than SM cosplays

(via robotsandfrippary)


Featured Geek: Erica McGillivray

[On being a female geek in a male dominated world] “I’ve been both a feminist and a geek for as long as I can remember. I made the decision a long time ago to speak out against inequalities of every kind in geekdom, and so far, I’ve been able to keep my head above water and working toward making geekdom a more inclusive place. I’ve also purposely sought out other women to surround myself with who are just as passionate as I am. The internet has made this so much easier.”

Erica’s comic book collection might be a safety hazard, but that doesn’t stop her from collecting. From superheroes to horror, she loves them all, taking the time to thoroughly review different comic books on her blog. She also loves science fiction and urban fantasy TV, such as Buffy, Lost Girl, and Star Trek (all of them). Erica’s favorite past time is drinking tea and reading with a cat by her side (she is very particular about the type of tea she drinks, going as far as importing it from England). And though you might assume that she must be a complete introvert, Erica also geeks out on community building. She loves bringing people together, be it professionally as a Community Manager or as a volunteer (she was one of the founders of GeekGirlCon, a nonprofit that supports geeky women). In the future, Erica hopes to publish a novel and do some amazing She-Hulk cosplay.

(Photos by Sayed Alamy.)

The End of Gamers



The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand. 

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that attacked her personal life and friendships. Campaigns of personal harassment aimed at game developers are nothing new. They are dismayingly common among those who happen to be women, or not white straight men, and doubly so if they also happen to make the sort of game that in any way challenge the status quo, even if that challenge is only made through their very existence. The viciousness and ferocity with which this campaign occurred, however, was shocking, and certainly out of the ordinary. This was something more than routine misogyny (and in games, it often is routine, shockingly). It was an ugly spectacle that should haunt and shame those involved for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that this hate campaign took the guise of a crusade against ‘corruption’ and ‘bias’ in the games industry, with particular emphasis on the relationships between independent game developers and the press.

These fires, already burning hot, were further fuelled yesterday by the release of the latest installment in Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ video series. In this particular video, Sarkeesian outlines “largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players.” Today, Sarkeesian has been forced to leave her home due to some serious threats made against her and her family in response to the video. It is terrifying stuff.

Taken in their simplest, most basic form, a videogame is a creative application of computer technology. For a while, perhaps, when such technology was found mostly in masculine cultures, videogames accordingly developed a limited, inwards-looking perception of the world that marked them as different from everyone else. This is the gamer, an identity based on difference and separateness. When playing games was an unusual activity, this identity was constructed in order to define and unite the group (and to help demarcate it as a targetable demographic for business). It became deeply bound up in assumptions and performances of gender and sexuality. To be a gamer was to signal a great many things, not all of which are about the actual playing of videogames. Research like this, by Adrienne Shaw, proves this point clearly.

When, over the last decade, the playing of videogames moved beyond the niche, the gamer identity remained fairly uniformly stagnant and immobile. Gamer identity was simply not fluid enough to apply to a broad spectrum of people. It could not meaningfully contain, for example, Candy Crush players, Proteus players, and Call of Duty players simultaneously. When videogames changed, the gamer identity did not stretch, and so it has been broken.

And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity. Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful (that such confusion results in abject heartlessness is an indictment on the character of the male-focussed gamer culture to begin with).

The gamer as an identity feels like it is under assault, and so it should. Though the ‘consumer king’ gamer will continue to be targeted and exploited while their profitability as a demographic outweighs their toxicity, the traditional gamer identity is now culturally irrelevant.

The battles (and I don’t use that word lightly; in some ways perhaps ‘war’ is more appropriate) to make safe spaces for videogame cultures are long and they are resisted tempestuously, but through the pain and suffering of people who have their friendships, their personal lives, and their professions on the line, things continue to improve. The result has been a palpable progressive shift.

This shift is precisely the root of such increasingly violent hostility. The hysterical fits of those inculcated at the heart of gamer culture might on the surface be claimed as crusades for journalistic integrity, or a defense against falsehoods, but—along with a mix of the hatred of women and an expansive bigotry thrown in for good measure—what is actually going on is an attempt to retain hegemony. Make no mistake: this is the exertion of power in the name of (male) gamer orthodoxy—an orthodoxy that has already begun to disappear.

The last few weeks therefore represent the moment that gamers realised their own irrelevance. This is a cold wind that has been a long time coming, and which has framed these increasingly malicious incidents along the way. Videogames have now achieved a purchase on popular culture that is only possible without gamers.

Today, videogames are for everyone. I mean this in an almost destructive way. Videogames, to read the other side of the same statement, are not for you. You do not get to own videogames. No one gets to own videogames when they are for everyone. They add up to more than any one group.

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

I am convinced that this marks the end. We are finished here. From now on, there are no more gamers—only players.

Saw this via the emeraldcitycomicon Tumblr, but wanted to post it in its entirety because it goes along with my post earlier concerning what happened with Anna Sarkeesian.

You know who one of the most avid gamers in my family is? My mom. I grew up during the inception of home gaming systems. We got an Atari 2600 within a year of it being released. After that, it was a ColecoVision. Mom’s favorite games were Dig Dug and Squish’em Sam. We also had a Commodore 128 she played games on frequently as well.

After I moved out, she bought a Playstation, and then when the Playstation 2 came out, my siblings and I pooled together and got her one for Christmas. She’d play Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Gex for hours a week. Now, she loves playing games on the iPad.

My dad could care less for games. He just never got into them. My love for gaming came from my mom. And she’s really, really good at them! Like, really good.

All that to say I never grew up with any inkling that there was such thing as the “girl gamer” myth. In fact, the first time I heard about it being a thing, I was surprised, but not surprised because society is such a misogynistically screwed up place. I’ve known girl gamers all my life. Add this to the ever growing list of things that need to die in a fire.

Also, once again, I fear for the world my kids are growing up in. It grieves me every time I read another one of these stories, and they’re becoming far too frequent, with the threats of violence becoming increasingly more and more disturbing.

I want to say more, but I’m kinda angry right now about all of it and don’t know if I’ll come across coherently.

(via bookoisseur)


If you’re going to PAX… come see us! If you’re going to Dragon*Con… go see Molly and our friend Joseph Scrimshaw

And if you’re doing neither, tune into http://www.twitch.tv/pax/ and watch our live show a 9:30pm Pacific on Friday!!

(via bookoisseur)

Merze_Tate (by Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University)
"Merze Tate was a professor, scholar and expert on United States diplomacy. She was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College, first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford, first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard University (then Radcliffe College), as well as one of the first two female members to join the Department of History at Howard University." - Source.

Merze_Tate (by Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University)

"Merze Tate was a professor, scholar and expert on United States diplomacy. She was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College, first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford, first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard University (then Radcliffe College), as well as one of the first two female members to join the Department of History at Howard University." - Source.


Featured Geek: Kait Calabrò  

[On being a female geek in a male dominated world] “I find it to be very empowering. Sure, it is annoying when someone doesn’t believe you can name all the houses from Game Of Thrones or the only reason you go and see Thor is because he is a good looking guy. But, what I enjoy about being a female geek in a male dominated geek world is the look on their faces when you out geek them or prove them wrong…and I see that look a lot because I enjoy being right!”

A geek of many traders, Kait is a writer, producer, and actress. She is the associate editor and communications director at the lady nerd site All Geek to Me, where she often writes about her geeky obsessions (mainly True BloodGame of Thrones, and Bob’s Burgers). Besides being a TV geek, Kait also nerds out on movies and books. She is a huge YA fan, and particularly loves the Hunger Game series. Kait likes to spend her free time watching Netflix, reading, and writing new script ideas (she dreams of one day writing and producing her own series).

(Two photos taken by Giana Marinelli.)


Marvel at Boston Comic Con


Featured Geek:  Demetria

[On being a female geek in a male dominated world] “I have amazing friends who respect others like they would like to be treated. But this has been a problem for females all around the world, from the fake gamer girl to a woman who is put down for their cosplays for “Not knowing” about the fandom what so ever. I often see other woman get harassed just by the cosplays they wear and it is amazing how rude the male audiences could get. I have personally seen this and experienced this at many conventions especially SDCC.”

As an art student, Demetria revels in all things art and geeky. She loves conventions, cartoons (both western and eastern), and cosplay, noting that all these things are interrelated. You can normally find her in the artist alley at various conventions, which results in her having more art prints than she knows what to do with (she adds that a lot of artists trade prints among each other, so really how could she not come home with at least one or two prints?). In addition to cosplaying at conventions, Demetria geeks out on Assassin’s Creed (she buys all the collectors editions), Tintin (she adds that her grandmother, father, and herself all grew up on Tintin), and Marvel. Demetria notes that she is happy that we’re “starting to see the strong, bold, and not scantily clad women in the community,” which is one reason why she is a big fan of Marvel’s newest Ms. Marvel, featuring Kamala Khan. Demetria dreams of one day being an Art Director for an animation or film company.

Nerdy Feminist Problem #897987489


Whenever someone on my dash posts about SJA (social justice activists/activism) I read it Sarah Jane Adventures.


Featured Geek: Kara O’Connor

[On being a female geek in a male dominated world] “It’s certainly a challenge. Women are often objectified, especially in the Geek world, which often surprises me because so many men who enjoy this world are considered great thinkers. I hope more men can realize that there is room for all of us and that we can collectively LOVE all of this stuff. I appreciate the man in my life, because he understands and supports everything I do. Not because I am a women but because I am a person.”

Business owner, writer, and comedian Kara is an “everything geek” who enjoys an array of geeky things. She loves Doctor Who (prefers the 9th Doctor), ASOIAF and GoT (and she just wants you to know that she’s a Targaryen), and Shaun of the Dead (and really anything zombie related things). Dana is also a huge comic book fan, recently plastering her bathroom with pages from her favorite female superhero comics. She is drawn to comics that feature badass female characters, and mostly reads indie comics like Revival, Rachel Rising, and Saga. She calls her local comic shop, Arcane Comics, her version of Cheers, since everyone there knows her name and taste in books. Someday, Dana would love to write comic books and movies professionally since she doesn’t “think there are enough female voices in either worlds and it’s always nice to see someone like Kelly Sue DeConnick or Tina Fey breaking those glass ceilings,” adding “PAVE THE WAY, Ladies!” Dana also enjoys cosplaying and treasure hunting for items at Goodwill to complete her costumes. She often cosplays with her boyfriend, so naturally they are planning a full-on Star Wars themed wedding for 2015 to be set in Disneyland (full costume, of course). Besides her many geeky passions, Dana is also an animal lover; she is the owner of Leash the Hounds, and has three dogs, Elvis, Loki, and Einstein.

If someone ever accuses you of being a fake nerd or “not a real fan” for not knowing about a particular character, remind them of the time that Stan Lee didn’t know who Howard the Duck was when he was asked about the character’s death in Adventure into Fear.


Source:  Howe, Sean. Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. New York: Harper Perennial, 2012. Print.


Don’t call her a Fake Girl Gamer…


Don’t call her a Fake Girl Gamer…