WisCon: Day Four

May. 31st, 2016 06:45 pm
owlmoose: (hp - a few words)
[personal profile] owlmoose
WisCon actually ended yesterday, but between travel and tiredness I didn't get the chance to write about it. I definitely want to, though, because I wrapped things up with my favorite panel of the entire con -- Rethinking the "Gift Economy" for Fanworks. The panelists led a fantastic conversation on the history of the gift economy, the limitations of the model, the differences between fanfic (where many people recoil from even the idea of monetary gain) and fanart (which gets bought and sold all the time). There's an expectation that professional genre artists create fanart, especially in the world of comics (it's even expected that you'll have fanart in your portfolio), whereas it's only recently become acceptable for a pro writer to admit to writing fanfiction (except for official tie-in novels). We talked about all kinds of things, from the presumption that capitalism is the default economic model (newsflash: it's not!), to the relationship between IP holders and fans, to the backlash fans (especially female writers) can get for going pro, to the growing popularity of Patreon for fan creators, and how expectations change in male-dominated corners of fandom. I could seriously have spent another two hours in that room, talking with those people, and I hope to see the conversation continue in other venues. The Twitter tag is, as usual, excellent.

Things started winding down after that. I packed, checked out, and then dropped by the Sign Out, which is a tradition of setting up tables for creators to sign their work. Because I neglected to bring anything, and didn't want to buy a ton of books to lug back, I decided to mostly skip it. Naomi Kritzer was signing cat pictures, and those I couldn't resist. After one last meal with [tumblr.com profile] pierceaholic and [tumblr.com profile] magnetsorwhatever, it was off to the airport and back to real life.

To sum up... I don't know that I can really sum up. To say that I enjoyed myself, that I found the panels thought-proking and energizing, that I emerged with a sense of having rediscovered my people, would be an understatement. And yet I did have my moments of newbie angst -- feeling like an outsider, the fear of breaking into a group that already coalesced long before I arrived in the room. Multiple times, I thought of going up to someone and saying hello to someone, to complement them on their work, or something they said on a panel, or to renew an acquaintance from FogCon, and then didn't. A con is a tough place to be a social introvert, especially when you want to be with people but aren't sure where to start. Fortunately, I knew enough people there who were able to introduce me to other people, and I came out feeling both like I'd made a couple of new friends, and like I've laid the groundwork for next time.

Because there will definitely be a next time. I'm already hoping to make next year work, and although I can't promise that I'll become an every-year attendee (if nothing else, BMC reunion is also often on Memorial Day weekend), I certainly hope to do my best. This is a community I would like to be a part of, and that's worth some effort.

This Week in Fandom, Volume 11

May. 31st, 2016 11:50 am
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by James Baxter with a calendar icon and the text This Week in Fandom on a white background

This Week in Fandom: Captain America, Singapore fanfiction writers, Fan Fiction the Show, and Captain America: http://goo.gl/sV3PTD
mific: (master and commander)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Master and Commander
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Stephen Maturin, Jack Aubrey
Content Notes/Warnings: none (a little blood)
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: Steampunk-Girl on DA
Why this piece is awesome: This is a very nice summary work intended as a bookmark. At the top we have Stephen and Jack looking handsome on deck, then at the base they're in full battle-mode (in Stephen's case, scalpel in hand), and at the lower right they're making music together. I really like the combination of imagery, the colours and design are great and the likenesses excellent. 
Link: MnC Pagemarker

turlough: art of young man on big dappled grey horse ((other) ut i vida världen)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Tolkien
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Illuin seen from a distance
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: watercolours
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] sarkaskorpikova

Why this piece is awesome: This is such a beautiful work. I love the way the light from Illuin seems to permeate everything. And there's a feeling of freshness and tranquility about it that's very fitting for a scene from the earliest days of Middle-Earth.

Link: Illuin (The spring of Arda)
aris_tgd: Wheelchair Ballroom, text: "Dance" (dance)
[personal profile] aris_tgd posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Hamilton
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Alexander Hamilton
Content Notes/Warnings: None
Medium: Digital
Artist on DW/LJ: N/A
Artist Website/Gallery: [tumblr.com profile] baejk
Why this piece is awesome: I love the almost leterpress-ink quality of this piece, the body language, the composition, the sketchiness of some of the lines and the block print quality of the rest.
Link: What a Studious Young Man

WisCon: Day Three

May. 30th, 2016 01:57 am
owlmoose: photo of little owl in a stocking cap (owlhat)
[personal profile] owlmoose
It's late and I have pack a bit before bed (stupid early checkout time means I have to check out BEFORE the 10am panel I want to attend), but I want to jot down a few things about today before I forget.

I started with a reading featuring a RL friend, Kat Beyer, and members of her writing group, which included Naomi Kritzer, and she read "Cat Pictures, Please", which made my day almost before it had even started. Lunch today was with [personal profile] heavenscalyx and her wife, whom I know through [personal profile] auronlu, and then I had an afternoon of panels: a rousing discussion of female characters and the problems that arise when you have only one woman standing in for all women (or any other sort of tokenizing for that matter) (Twitter feed, a check in with year two of the #INeedDiverseGames project (Twitter feed, and a panel on the queer experience of science fiction modded by the one and only Mark Oshiro ("Queer Eye for SciFi" - Twitter feed). I have more notes and thoughts on all of these, which I hope to share at a later time. One aspect I would like to note, though, is that all of these panels consisted of mostly or entirely people of color. I gather that improving racial diversity of attendees is something that WisCon has been actively working on, and it shows. Mark even commented on it, saying that this is the first time he's ever run this panel and had all the participants be people of color.

Then came the guest of honor speeches. I was promised this would be a highlight, and it was true. All three GoH gave rousing speeches featuring a call to action -- Justine Larbalestier on the importance of taking teens and YA fiction seriously, Sofia Samatar on stretching your wings and writing your truth and not worrying about fitting within the boundaries of genre, and Nalo Hopkinson on the importance of supporting one another while still not letting bad behavior stand -- and she announced her intention to found an award for promoting positive change in the community, the Lemonade Award. I hope that the full text of these speeches are posted eventually, and if they are, I'll link to them; if not, I'll see if I can find good write-ups to share.

Also, the Tiptree award was presented to Eugene Fisher. Then next year's Guests of Honor were announced, and they are Amal El-Mahtar and Kelly Sue DeConnick. I gasped audibly when the second name was spoken. I think that means I have to come back.

Because the speeches ran long, I missed the first part of the last panel I wanted to attend, on female friendships in comics. (As it happens, this panel was all white. But I was still pleased to see this as an exception rather than the norm.) Apparently we missed the more positive part of the discussion (I'm not just saying that, the moderator apologized), and the panel mostly discussed why the large stable of characters in most mainstream comics, combined with the focus on the big franchise names which are mostly not women, leads to relationships between female characters not being able to develop over the years in the same way as, say, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent's friendship. So as characters drop in and out, sometimes disappearing for decades, there's no chance for true friendships to grow. Lots of good recs at the end, though.

Afterwards I made my way to barcon (after a few false starts) and hung out with folks for a little while before deciding it was time to make my exit, and I worked on this entry while also packing and getting ready for bed. And now it's much later than I planned, so I should get to it. Sorry to make these reports all so sketchy -- I took pretty good notes throughout and should be able to share many more details, including recs, later.
thady: (GK  -  Nate)
[personal profile] thady posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Gen | Minerva McGonagall; Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore
Content Notes/Warnings: none, SFW
Artist on DW/LJ:
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] Vizen

Why this piece is awesome: This is a wonderful portrait of Minverva. I really love her expression, and I really can see this happening. And I do not know which of them would be worse.

Link: The Banes of Her Existence.

WisCon: Day Two

May. 28th, 2016 10:43 pm
owlmoose: (BMC - juno)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Busy day, and it's not quite over, but I'm taking advantage of a lull in the proceedings to make some quick notes about everything I've done so far. I went to four panels today and took notes on all of them, and I hope to dive into them more later.

First up was Female Friendship in Fiction. A lively conversation about the good, the bad, and the missing of female friendships depicted in fiction. Lots of recommendations, including a solid five minutes at the end dedicated solely to recs from the audience. Many of them can be found in the Twitter tag. Lots of my favorite examples -- Supergirl, Jessica Jones, the Spiritwalker trilogy, etc. -- were brought up, and of course my TBR continues to expand.

After lunch (back to the cheese shop!) was probably the best panel of the con for me so far: a discussion of "weaponized kindness" -- when calls for civility are used to shut down important discussions. The Andrew Smith/#KeepYAKind incident was used as an example and jumping off point for talking about why "niceness" as a code word for "sit down and shut up" is a problem (as opposed to actual niceness, which they defined as really listening to other people and caring about their feelings and point of view) and how to fight back against it. I'll definitely want to come back to this later, and maybe see if I can find other people's write-ups. For now, I highly recommend the Twitter tag for this one, too.

Next up was a panel on metaphorical minorities (such as the X-Men "mutant metaphor"), which also moved a lot into thoughts on coded (as opposed to explicit) representation followed by a roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler. I learned quite a bit from these discussions, stuff I will have to process and also probably revisit. Very glad I went to both.

After dinner, I went to the Tiptree Auction, a fundraiser for the award. I was promised a great show, and I absolutely got it. [twitter.com profile] brainwane was the auctioneer, following in the footsteps of legendary auctioneer Ellen Klages, and I thought she was great -- an evening of humor, and Hamilton filk, and smashing of the kyriarchy (literally, in the form of a "Pilates for Weight Loss" DVD), and costume changes, and serious remembrances of significant people. Well worth my time, even though I didn't bid on anything (though I did donate a little when the hat was passed around).

Now I'm headed back downstairs to check out the Floomp, the con's dance party. I'm not sure I'm feeling high-energy enough to dance, but I'm told that it's still a fun scene with excellent costumes to admire. And who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to cut a rug or two.
saekhwa: Crop of Harriet in the school library (inspired to do more)
[personal profile] saekhwa posting in [community profile] fandom_on_dw
Graphic created by dungeonmarm
sign-ups on ao3 | rules | deadlines | faq | pinch hitter sign-ups | contact a mod

Link: [community profile] dcmultiversity

Description: Have you ever read a story and wondered: What an amazing story! But what if…? Well here's your chance to take a crack at that what if. This is an anonymous remix challenge for Arrow, Constantine, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and Vixen.

WisCon: Day One

May. 28th, 2016 01:04 am
owlmoose: (teamoose)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Today has mostly been about settling in and having some fun. Although I didn't sleep in as much as I would have liked, I still had a nice relaxing morning -- had breakfast, went to the coffee shop across the street (which might as well be an extension of con space -- there are even some official events there!) for a bit of writing time, and then had lunch with [tumblr.com profile] pierceaholic and [tumblr.com profile] magnetsorwhatever at a local cheese shop -- all before official con events started in the afternoon.

I went to two panels today. The first, "The Fandom Awakens", was essentially a love letter to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not to say that there was no deep discussion -- far from it, as panelists spoke about how moved they were by seeing women and people of color in such significant roles, the ethics of droid labor, and why we insist on gendering droids. One good question that provoked conversation, though no definitive conclusions, was whether a droid in the Star Wars universe has any sense of gender identity. Next up was [profile] cypheroftyr's panel on the queer gaming experience, with a focus on Dragon Age although several other games were also discussed. Many good thoughts and sharing of experiences about what games do right and the (many more) things they get wrong.

For dinner, I joined the New Attendees dinner gathering. Although it could have been better organized, I ended up with a lively and fun group. We picked up food at a Russian dumplings place, then ate it on the steps of the Capitol Building, chatting all the while about fandom, and we enjoyed the conversation enough to keep it going over coffee until the time came to head to the opening ceremonies. This event was mostly informational, introducing attendees to policies and committee heads, but since this is the 40th WisCon, they also took some time for reminiscences, as long-time WisCon attendees talked about the con community and what it means to them. We also got a stirring speech from Katherine Cross reminding us to treat hotel staff with courtesy and respect, and call from Pat Murphy to make WisCon a "'splaning free zone". Then I wrapped up the night with a panel on Hamilton followed by a singalong, which was a blast. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't organized quite right, and so we didn't have time to sing the whole thing -- just as well, though, because my voice would have likely given out. :) We sang through the entire first act, then hit some highlights from Act 2 ("What Did I Miss?", "Cabinet Battle #1", and "The Room Where It Happens"). About halfway into the first act (I think with "You'll Be Back"), people started getting to the front of the room and acting out the main roles, often to hilarious effect -- maybe my favorite was Hamilton and Burr fighting over the rolled up scarf they were both using in place of their respective newborns in "Dear Theodosia". It was a great high point to end my first full day here.

One thing I've noticed: people often use the Twitter hashtags assigned to events, so it's worthwhile to check them. Good stuff on the Fandom Awakens and Queer Gaming Experience hashtags, specifically.

Fortunately, there's nothing in particular I want to do in the first programming slot tomorrow, so I can have another relatively relaxed morning. But still, I should get to bed. Goodnight, WisCon. I'll see you at 10AM.
thady: (DW  -  RoseMartha)
[personal profile] thady posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Gen | Tom Riddle
Content Notes/Warnings: none, SFW
Medium: PS CC and SAI
Artist on DW/LJ:
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] gabrielleragusi

Why this piece is awesome: I love the darkness of this piece, we know what has happened/is about to happen here. Love how the light only highlights the darkness. I love his expression.

Link: My name is Tom Riddle.
aris_tgd: Wheelchair Ballroom, text: "Dance" (dance)
[personal profile] aris_tgd posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Hamilton
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr
Content Notes/Warnings: Guns drawn.
Medium: Digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: N/A
Artist Website/Gallery: [tumblr.com profile] mikiprice
Why this piece is awesome: Such a beautiful use of color and light, and such a great composition! The image of the final moments of the duel and the image of what has been or could have been. It's a terrific piece.
Link: 'Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn.'

WisCon: Arrival

May. 26th, 2016 10:06 pm
owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
[personal profile] owlmoose
I can't call it day one, exactly, because things don't get really rolling until tomorrow, but I have arrived in Madison, attended one event, and had a lovely dinner with [tumblr.com profile] pierceaholic and [tumblr.com profile] magnetsorwhatever. Now I am sacked out in my room, despite it being before 10pm local time (aka 8pm on my body clock), because I had to get up at four-goddamn-thirty in the freaking morning to catch my flight. Hopefully I will crash soon and get enough rest to be perky for the rest of the con.

The one event was great. A local bookstore hosts a Guests of Honor reception and reading every year to kick off the con. This year's GoH are Sofia Samatar, Justine Larbalestier, and Nalo Hopkinson, an awesome line-up, and I enjoyed listening to all of them read their work. Samatar and Larbalestier each read an excerpt from their most recently published novel, and Hopkinson -- who is one of my all-time favorite readers -- shared a short story from a forthcoming anthology.

Now I need to retire to an easy chair (my room has two of them, it's pretty cozy) and carefully peruse the program book, because I have no idea how to choose between all the interseting-sounding panels. Wish me luck!

Making Stars by sycamoreleaf (SFW)

May. 26th, 2016 09:40 pm
turlough: animated lighted kerosene lamp hanging in window ((other) guiding light)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Tolkien
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Varda creating stars
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] sycamoreleaf / [tumblr.com profile] sycamoreleaf

Why this piece is awesome: This is such a beautiful work. I love the contrast between the darkness of space and the glowing figure of Varda, and the way her hair swirls away into the darkness.

Link: Making Stars (DeviantART) or here (Tumblr)
thady: (Mamma Mia  -  3 friends)
[personal profile] thady posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Gen; Severus Snape
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ:
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] Pojypojy

Why this piece is awesome: I like about this piece the strong emotion contained in it. It just looks heartbreaking, and I can't help but be moved by it.

Link: DH: Love, Lily.

May 2016

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