“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
I’m talking with a boy. He’s at that age when the edges of the man he will become are just starting to press against his baby-round face. He’s got his first opinions and ideas and jokes, which are horrible, because there is nothing that boys his age love more than corny jokes. There is a whole industry of knock-knock-joke books for boys this age. Everything about him is gangly; his voice and his limbs fit awkwardly, like hand-me-downs. He’s young enough that his smile is easy, and he is the kind of boy who finds reasons to smile in everything: the cracking of his voice, a fire-engine siren, the fact that a grown-up is talking to him and listening to what he says. When I talk with kids like this, our conversations always seem to go the same way:
“So you’re telling me these are all the books published last year for kids?” they ask me. “That’s a lot of books. That’s more books than I could read in a year.”
There was something missing. I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine.
“Yep, it’s a few thousand.”
“And in all of those thousands of books, I’m just not in them?”
“Are there books about talking animals?”
“And crazy magical futures?”
“And superpowers? And the olden days when people dressed funny? And all the combinations of those things? Like talking animals with superpowers in magical futures … but no me?”
“Because you’re brown.””
Gandalf checks his emails (behind the scenes in the set of the Hobbit)
“When I was learning how to critique other writers’ stories, one of my biggest lessons was this: Critique the story they wrote, not the story you wish they’d written.”
Just wanted to take a moment to post our policy on harassment on tumblr, it is also on our website, and will be in the program guide. The image attached is the sign we will have displayed throughout the convention.
Emerald City Comicon’s mission is to create a safe, awesome environment where geeks of all kinds can come together. We have a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments (related to race, gender, sexual orientation, body size, disability, appearance, and religion), overly sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.
Exhibitors, sponsors and guests are subject to our anti-harassment policy as well and have also been informed. In particular, exhibitors should not use images or material that surpasses a PG-13 rating at their booths. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use over-sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes.
If a person engages in harassing behavior, ECCC Directors and Department Heads may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from Emerald City Comicon (with no refund). If you are being harassed, witness someone else being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the Emerald City Comicon staff immediately (identifiable by green Minion t-shirts or black polos/Staff badges). We are happy to contact our security or local law enforcement, provide escort, a safe place, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention.
All attendees, exhibitors and staff are subject to this anti-harassment policy and are expected to follow these rules at all Emerald City Comicon events.
Emerald City is one of my very favorite shows in the world, and this is the iceberg-tip of why.
Obligatory panel plug: On Saturday, at 12:40, in Hall D, Laura Hudson, Janelle Asselin, Bobby Roberts, and I will be talking about harassment in geek communities.
Thank you, Emerald City Comic Con for being a positive example for other fan conventions when it comes to harassment issues.
Kick-ass women crime writers for Women’s History Month. These crime-fighting pioneers don’t fear a little murder and mayhem—they welcome it.