First of all, I always forget how impossible it is to get online at cons, so updates are going to be limited to when I can step away from the convention center. I have also never worn such an elaborate costume to a con, and I salute everyone whose costume is even more constricting and sweaty! Well done! (Costume photos tomorrow!)
After wandering the floor a bit and getting the lay of the land, I headed to my first panel of the con, Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back. The panel consisted of members of the Digital Future Lab at UW Bothell discussing their passion for various fandoms at the same time they examined what is problematic in each. (Problematic in this context refers to lack of diversity, racism, homophobia, etc.) It’s something many of us deal with, whether we’re directly effected by the particular issue or not. The conversation was based on a podcast episode by the same name from the DFL. The main take-away is that while we are bound to fall in love with things that have problematic themes, it’s also important to examine those problems and talk about them. And if you’re not sure if something is racist (for example), look into the response from the community it’s affecting. No community is monolithic, but it’s important to step outside yourself when an issue doesn’t directly affect you. It was a great panel, you should give the podcast episode a listen.
I arrived an hour early for the Hayley Atwell panel, and boy was I glad! The main hall was packed solid for Atwell’s first appearance since Agent Carter aired. The panel immediately started well: former Mythbuster Grant Imahara was the host which is a huge improvement from hosts in years past. (According to his Twitter feed Imahara is moderating a bunch of the panels throughout the weekend.) Hayley Atwell is beyond awesome: smart, well-spoken, thoughtful, compassionate, funny… everything you hope she is! She started off with a story of her clutzy first days of stunt-fighting. They didn’t end well for many members of the cast and crew, including a stuntman she accidentally kicked in the balls SIX TIMES! During the Q&A she was asked what she’d like to see next for Peggy Carter, and replied that she’d love to explore Peggy’s background and where she gained her strength and independence, or possibly see into Peggy’s future and how she handles having a family while continuing to kick ass. She also talked about how glad she is that Peggy’s friendship with Angie isn’t competitive as opposed to how female friendships are often portrayed. And while she considers Chris Evans almost like a brother, she indulged fans with a description of kissing him… he has VERY soft lips and smells really good. When asked what she’d like to be able to tell other woman, Atwell replied, “Know your value.”
Stay tuned for more tales from the con, coming up tomorrow!