This past weekend I went to a new-to-me (and over-all relatively new) con called LadiesCon, held by The Ladies of Comicazi at the Sommerville Armoury. It’s lamentable the first con I’ve managed to make it to since Arisia this past January, despite my best intentions to get to Boston ComicCon (I almost, almost, almost made it this year! It fell a week after Friendcation, though, which ate up a sizeable chunk of my budget, so I thought it’d be best to hold off on BCC one more year. But, I digress).
LadiesCon had the effect that every convention in my con-going life has had on me, and that was the overwhemling desire to be more active in both the fannish and creative communities, and the overlap between the two.
The focus of LadiesCon was on female, LGBTQ, non-binary, and POC creators and indie artists. As someone who falls at the crossroads of a few of those labels, I was thrilled to be among people who have been able to make a commitment that I am still working towards – a commitment to being their authentic artistic selves. The variety – stylistically, thematically – of media present was a testement to the diversity within our communities. There were sprawling space operas comix series, supernatural feminist steampunk novels, Lovecraftian-inspired jewelry, chainmail, knitting, handprinted micro-zines about growing up queer, and standalone visual novels about lesbain mermaid superheros. Art styles varied dramatically, as did production values, but it was clear that every piece present was a true passion project, and choosing what to purchase (on a super tight budget) was an over-whelming experience that manifested intself in a legitimate anxiety headache.
I set out at the start of this blog – now almost a year ago – with the intention of track goals and chronicling the progress of my ambitions. This has not turned out exactly as I had hoped. I’ve been busy this year, and more social than typical (which was a goal in and of itself, and which I can’t actually complain about), but I have accomplished far less than I had intended to at the start of this year. In the last few weeks, I have gotten better at this, but I have so, so far yet to go.
I need to find what I love to create, and I need to accept the fact that it doesn’t have to be any number of pre-conceived notions I have of art.
It doesn’t have to have a “deeper meaning.” It can be silly and kitschy and exist solely for it’s own aesthetic sake.
It doesn’t have to be thrilling and bombastic. The best graphic novels I read in the last few years focused of very quiet slice-of-life and coming-of-age moments.
It doesn’t have to be polished. People were snatching up those handprinted zines because of the the ideas inside of them, not because they hade really glossy covers or nice binding.
It doesn’t have to sound/look/feel like what everyone else is doing. People will consume what I create if I create something that resonates with them. There are billions of people in the world. I don’t have to speak to all of them. I need only speak of myself, and someone out there is bound to say, “hey, me too.”
This was LadiesCon’s second year, and I already eagerly await their third – hopefully including more panels (and a second day, which I know is really asking a lot, but I can hope??) The next con I’m attending is the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo on October 22nd, and then nothing, lamentably, until Arisia in January.
Hopefully I can that one, at the very least, as someone already immersed in the culture of creation.