NOLA Comic Con 2016 – For the Ladies
I feel that right now – more so than any other time in pop-culture history – that it's a great time to be girl. And by that I mean, it's a great time to be a girl who is also a nerd. Take for example, me. I am a total, complete nerd and everyone knows that. I have been a nerd for a very long time. And it's why I made the trip down to the convention center over the weekend, and braved the crowds for this year's Wizard World NOLA Comic Con. All of the normal stuff was present. There were the comics and the fan-art and the cosplay. I saw dozens of the "10th Doctor" and the "11th Doctor". I saw very creative interpretations of storm-troopers, jedis and even a few versions of Kylo Ren.
The thing that warmed my heart the most was seeing all the young girls dressed up as their favorite heroines. I saw dozens of pint-sized Peggy Carters and Reys (from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). I saw several very convincing Black Widows and the cutest tiny Hermione Granger.
Recently, the ladies have become front and center in a world dominated by men and boys. Sure, there might be a girl thrown in a superhero club for diversity's sake – such as the Black Widow in the first Avengers movie, but for the most part, she's not the main event. Then "The Force Awakens" happened, where "the chosen one", the one who discovers they are "Force sensitive," is a girl. She was given a precious lightsaber, practically a relic, and the Millennium Falcon. The new "new hope" is a girl.
For a while now, I've been talking about how I don't have many nerd friends in New Orleans – as they're mostly all back in Ohio. My husband, God bless him, is a nerd for football and slasher films, but not really for comic books or zombie TV shows. Fgor the past few years, the only person I could really ever geek out with, has been my stepson – who is 8 years old.
But a cool thing happened over the past few months. My stepdaughter, who was never into the kind of nerdy things her brother was into (Lord of the Rings, Avengers, etc.,), started to become interested in our world. She picked up a few of my Spider-Gwen comics and started leafing through them, finally relating to a character – as Spider-Gwen looks a lot like my stepdaughter. She also loved the new Star Wars movie, as the girl was the one that essentially saved the day. The same thing happened with the new "Mad Max" movie. There's a part in the film where Max lets Furiosa (portrayed by Charlize Theron) take control of a gun because she was the better shot of the two of them, and my stepdaughter was full of "girl power."
Last year, my husband and I brought the kids to Comic Con, mainly for my stepson, and my stepdaughter tagged along. This year, it was very much for her too. She even went as Spider-Gwen. Now, you might not have heard of Spider-Gwen, as her recent incarnation is still pretty new, but she's the "cool kid" in the comic world right now. She's Gwen Stacy, former girlfriend of Peter Parker, and a Spider-Woman in her own right. I hope she gets her own movie one day, but for now, she has her own comic book series. She wears an adorable pink, white, and black superhero suit and is not scantily clad, like other comic lady heroines and side-kicks. So she was the perfect stepping stone into my stepdaughter's decent down the rabbit hole of nerdom. And when we went to comic con, boy did she get attention. She loved it.
She was asked so many times for pictures, that she even came up with a special pose. As did my stepson, Star-Lord, aka Peter Quill. I happened to be an "evil stepmother", or rather, "evil sith-mother", as I was wearing a very special Star Wars sith dress.
But everyone cosplaying Spiderman that we ran into, wanted a photo with my stepdaughter, as did one of the fan-artists who snapped a pic of her with his new Spider-Gwen print. She even met one of the artists of the comic and had it signed by him. She felt famous for a day, slipping into the persona of a kick-ass female superhero. It did my heart good, you guys, to see that girls are getting more representation and inspiring a new generation of fangirls.
However, that wasn't all for the ladies at comic con, as we had many other things to swoon over. We had much of the cast of "Captain America: Civil War" in attendance, and it was the girls that made up most of the audience for the Q&A panel. They also had the better questions, as many of the guys (well several people in fact, girls included) asked some very strange questions. It was much like my first taste of panels last year, when second-hand embarrassment had me sinking into my chair and putting my fingers in my ears, like I was watching an episode of The Office x 100.
This was me for most of the Captain America panel:
I now have a love/hate relationship with panels, as I love getting to hear some of my favorite actors/writers/directors speak. When it's time for fans to ask their questions, I'm squirming around and trying to distract myself by any means necessary. On Saturday, I distracted myself with texting a friend, mainly stuff like "OMG Chris Evans is wearing a grandpa sweater", or "there's a creeper asking a question and Anthony Mackie told him to stop and sit down!". And then also "Anthony Mackie is my new fav human ever."
I now have a giant crush on Anthony Mackie, by the way.
And finally, I met some very cool ladies who have even formed a group for us nerdy females, called "Geek Girl Brunch." The group involves a girls get together once a month for brunch and to geek out – while drinking mimosas. I was like "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!" Breakfast food, geekery, and alcohol? Sign me the hell up!
And last but certainly not least, my stepdaughter and I were able to snap a picture with three of the coolest guys I've ever laid eyes on. Oh, just some Avengers. Definitely for the ladies.
And my poor stepson, who kept his mask on for the picture.
Have I mentioned that I love Anthony Mackie? Because if I brought anything home with me from NOLA Comic Con this year, it was much love for Anthony Mackie, who was the most kind and funny guy. He's the one that stole the show, which isn't surprising given that it was Comic Con in his home town. I honestly think that the movies should now be about the Falcon with Captain America as his side-kick.
Hollywood should get on that.