On October 13th at the Arab American National Museum, women from different ethnic backgrounds came together under one roof to celebrate the wonderful women in comics. From graphic artist and editors to comic writers and exhibitors, this was a con that embodied the true meaning of women empowerment. Comic nerds including myself were at awe from the presentation of these hardworking women. It was a delight to see the creativity come to life as many attendees express their appreciation of their work. Usually, I’m aware of the small conventions that happen in my home state of Michigan, but I found out about this one from a flyer that was on the table at one of my favorite comic book shops. I feel like smaller conventions deserve the same amount of recognition as the bigger ones, especially this one, I would love to attend more cons that make you feel so empowered like this one did.
When I walked through the door, I saw so many great costumes, but my favorite was Princess Leia with a light up cape and Shuri from Black Panther cosplay .”No one murders cosplays like a woman with a thousand makeup brushes”, was one of my favorite quotes from a cosplayer at the convention. I can say that I agree with that since the cosplay contest was so dominant and fierce. I’ve never heard of cross cosplay until one of the hosts of the cosplay contest showed off her cross cosplay of Sailor Saturn and a kitten, I thought that it was very interesting because I had no idea that it was a trend, but now I know I can throw a bunch stuff together and be as many people as I want in one costume. I think I might just try gangsta batman this year since my confidence is high. Besides the wonderful costumes, the women also showed a tremendous amount of positivity, I tend to be socially anxious at times so I was a little surprised at how welcoming everyone was. The energy in the room felt so great, I wish I could’ve bottled it up and take it home. So many women were so happy just to be able to support any comic artist who busted their rear ends in the comic industry.
Some comic artist and writers were not featured in the panels so, they showcased their talent at the exhibitors’ hall. Although, it wasn’t massive, I thought it was very convenient for those who would like to talk to the creators and discover their work. During my walk through the exhibitors’ hall, I came across comic writer Bri Rudd. My personal favorite that was created by her was “Perfectly Normal Behavior”. Its a comic about herself describing what she identifies as normal behavior and yes it is not normal at all. Her comics are very funny and relatable and for that, I had to make sure that I got every comic book that she had. One of the things you can’t do to me is create a comic and not make it continuous. It’s such a stab to my heart. I was also honored to purchase some really cool prints from Karmanda Arts and Mel Valentine, These women displayed marvelous prints that showed self-appreciation. I couldn’t wait to frame them and hang them up around my motivation wall. I can look at these images and remind myself that I should appreciate myself often even if I feel like I’m not where I want to be, I know I will get there. To hear someone talk about how passionate they are about their craft is just music to my ears. Christina Stewart was one of the many people that made me so proud to be a nerd girl. When she spoke about the diversity in the comic industry, I couldn’t agree with her more. Christina Stewart is known for editing comics at Lion Forge Comics. Many of us read comics for entertainment, but what makes these comics created by women so special, is that we all have something we can come to love without feeling we are limited to reading certain things. I learn a lot from reading comics created by different people, You would be surprised at what you would discover if you walked into a comic shop and picked up a random issue you have no clue about and read it like I do. As I said to most of the women at the convention, I would like to see them grow and hopefully one day I can walk into a comic book shop and see a more diverse section. I feel like women should have their own section in a comic book store, I’m not implying that I would never or don’t read comics by men, but it would just be enlightening to know that they are in the spotlight too.