We’re Off To WorldCon!

The logo for Dublin 2019. It features a D stylized to look like a harp, a rocketship and a dragon.

The logo for Dublin 2019. It features a D stylized to look like a harp, a rocketship and a dragon.

Once again, your intrepid artist and wrangler are embarking on a joint convention journey. We are both incredibly excited to visit Ireland together and it’s Ariela’s first ever WorldCon. Terri anticipates being staggered by the sheer amount of GREEN and is anticipating visiting local yarn shops. Ariela is excited to finally meet in person people she thus far only knows from the internet. Our art will be hanging in the Art Show, side by side with some amazing Irish artists and the usual fannish suspects.

In addition to the panels we are both on, you will be able to find both of us at the Art Show Reception (Friday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM at Point Square) and at the Hugo Awards ceremony (Sunday, 8:00PM, during which we will be gripping each others’ hands in an effort to stave off nail biting). We hope everyone in attendance has fun!

Terri’s Panel Schedule

Sunday 4:00PM: Neurodiversity and Extraordinary Powers in SFF
Location: Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)
The inclusion of neurodivergent characters in fiction plays an important role in normalisation, but if the depictions are themselves problematic then they can further harmful stereotypes. The panel will discuss representation of neurodiversity in media, where it's done well and where it's problematic, and how they would like to see neurodiverse characters written.

Monday 11:30AM: Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda
Location: Odeon 1 (Point Square)
Female creators and characters are finally gaining recognition in the comics industry, but with that came a backlash. Where we disagree with creative directions, how do we best engage with creators? And how do we support female creators for an increased presence, without threats and harassment?
Note : Panel title refers to the 'infamous' cover from the last issue of the Mockingbird comic series

Ariela’s Panel Schedule

Friday 1:30PM: Trends in Fan Art
Location: Odeon 2 (Point Square)
Our definition of fan art has been evolving from printed zines to online and in style from illustrations to include crafts and other forms of art. How do newer mediums fit in the fan art category? Are the traditional venues for fan art still around? What does the term "fan art" mean to you?

Friday, 4:00PM: The Return of the Space Cowboy: Westerns in Space
Location: Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)
The influence of the Western on science fiction can be traced from the pulp era and ranges from the subtle inclusion of tropes like the lawless frontiers of Star Trek and The Expanse, through cowboy imagery in Afro Samurai to literal robot horses in Firefly. The panel will discuss their favourite examples of space westerns in media and literature and why the genre has had such a lasting appeal.
Ariela will moderate this panel.

Saturday, 1:00PM: Inclusive Costuming
Location: Liffey Room-1 (CCD)
A discussion of design ideas and clothing and prop construction to accommodate those with mobility, visual, tactile, or other sensory concerns, and those who use mobility or medical aids. The panellists will come up with ways for everyone to look fabulous without compromising safety and comfort.

Sunday, 3:00PM: What Has Art Ever Done for Science?
Location: Liffey Room-2 (CCD)
From the creation of anatomical models to the visualisation of other planets, how has art contributed to our understanding of science?

Monday, 2:30PM: Your Next Costume: 2D Inspiration and 3D Quandary
Location: Odeon 3 (Point Square)
How do you turn a beautiful image into an amazing costume, but details are vague, the artist has taken liberties with the human form, or you have only one view of it? What's possible to make real and where might you have to make changes? How can you extrapolate what you cannot see? Panelists discuss techniques for making a two-dimensional image into something you can wear with pride.
Ariela will moderate this panel.

What Prepping Three Art Shows Looks Like

by Ariela

I haven’t done any new art this month. Aside from moving, I have also been prepping art to ship to three different shows: CONvergence, San Diego Comic Con, and WorldCon. All three need to be shipped either before my moving date or so soon after that I cannot count on having any time to unpack my equipment.

This is what three shows’ worth of art looks like.

20190616_122834.jpg

Pictured here are:

  • 3 framed originals

  • 4 laminated prints

  • 40 bagged stickers

  • 69 matted prints

Not pictured here:

  • Signage for 5 displays (two of the shows have separate galleries and print shops)

  • Labels for all the art

  • Paperwork

When we originally planned this month, we didn’t know when WorldCon’s consolidated shipping deadline would be, so we thought we were looking at just two shows. When we got the notice that the deadline for getting things in the consolidated shipment from the US to Dublin was June 30 reception, that suddenly added 3 framed originals and 40 prints to our to-do list. Had we known that earlier, we would have started prepping loooooong ago and Terri would likely have come to visit and help. As it is, I am far too tired to be working on art. On the plus side, I have a lot less matboard to move with me!

This lot goes to the post office this afternoon and I move a week from today. Wish me luck!

Pictured above: Three packages of about 30”x23”x2” and three smaller packages, totaling around 44lbs together.

Pictured above: Three packages of about 30”x23”x2” and three smaller packages, totaling around 44lbs together.

Shipping Hiatus: June 11 - July 1

by Ariela

Chibi Ariela is buried under boxes, just a hand protruding, saying “A little help, please?”

Chibi Ariela is buried under boxes, just a hand protruding, saying “A little help, please?”

I’m moving in a few weeks. The thing about moving house when you run a business from home is that your business moves, too. It also means you have a lot of business accoutrements to move. So all of our stock and equipment is getting packed up in boxes and transported to a new location and while that happens, we won’t be able to get to it to fulfill any orders.

We will still be accepting orders during this time, but we won’t be shipping out any of those orders until July 1.

Where Are We This Weekend?

by Terri

Location markers in San Francisco, CA with the BayCon logo; Madison, WI with the WisCon logo; and Baltimore, MD with the Balticon logo

Location markers in San Francisco, CA with the BayCon logo; Madison, WI with the WisCon logo; and Baltimore, MD with the Balticon logo

Thanks to the beneficence of the USPS, you can find Geek Calligraphy at three different conventions this weekend! Unfortunately, our budget is not so beneficent, so I will not be at any of these conventions.

Our art will be in the Baycon and Balticon art shows, and Ariela will be at WisCon. While we will not be in the WisCon art show unless a spot opens up, Ariela will have our stickers and the ability to take your money.

If you would like to hear Ariela be clever on panels, check out her schedule below:

Ariela's Panel Schedule

Sunday, 10:00 AM:  Imaginary Book Club
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: ##ImaginaryBooks
Panelists each choose an exciting book from the last year to describe, and the group discusses them all. The catch: we made all of them up. This year, we might talk about Charlie Jane Anders's inspirational romance, a newly discovered YA dystopia by F. Scott Fitzgerald, G. Willow Wilson's entry in the Babysitter's Club series, and the 90s-nostalgia horror anthology I'll Be There for Your Blood.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Fictional Trauma—Harmful Or Healing?
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #TraumaInFiction
Stories can be healing. Watching a fictional character go through a trauma similar to our own and come out the other side can be empowering and even give us tools to use for ourselves. Other times, however, it can be unbearable to watch or a story has a harmful narrative that can make us feel worse. This panel will discuss fictional traumas that have helped and harmed our healing process, as well as how we can judge ahead of time which story might help or hurt us.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Food And Foodways In SF/F
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #SFFFood
A discussion about the role of food and foodways in SF/F. What food do we imagine, and who (classes, bodies, genders, ethnicities) do we imagine as the makers and eaters of that food? What infrastructure is necessary for people to be fed, and how do those infrastructures reflect our hopes and anxieties about bodies, land, and ecology?

Geek Calligraphy at Capricon

by Ariela

Flyer for Capricon 39: Strange Beasts Arise

I’m off to Capricon this weekend (Terri won’t be at this convention).

Art will be in the Art Show, both in the Gallery (which is auction sales) and Print Shop (buy it and walk out). Look for the green and purple signs and binders.

Ariela’s Capricon Program Schedule

Thursday, 6:30 PM: Beastly Beauty
Room: Ravinia A
Panel #: 199
Not all dangerous beasts fit the ugly monster stereotype. Sirens use beauty to capture their prey, as do many plants, bugs, and birds in the natural world. Serial killers are often physically attractive. Are humans hard-wired to trust beauty? And does that make the beautiful monster the most dangerous of them all?
(Ariela will moderate this panel)

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Art Show Docent Tour
Room: Ravinia C (Art Show)
Panel #: 280
Join artist Ariela Housman for a wander through the art show.

Saturday, 2:30 PM: Future Faiths
Room: Ravinia A
Panel #: 65
Is it possible that human beings riding in tiny, fragile little tin cans will face the vast reaches of space, with all its unpredictable dangers, without taking the religions of the world with them? If there will be Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Pagans, and others out there on the Final Frontier, how will their faiths adapt? Can a person still be a faithful Wiccan if s/he lives on a non-terrestrial planet? In what direction should the faithful Muslim pray? Will Christians believe that Jesus can save non-human sentient beings too? Why do so many writers resort to made-up religions, rather than extrapolating the evolution of real ones?

Sunday, 10:00 AM: Random Panel Topic
Room: Botanic B
Panel #: 164
What happens to the panel ideas that get rejected? They are reborn here as random panel topics! Our panelists will choose topics (at random, of course) and speak expertly on them for 5 minutes each. You'll be rolling on the floor with laughter!

Hope to see you there!

Where to find Terri, Ariela, and Geek Calligraphy Art at Arisia 2019

Arisia Logo

by Terri and Ariela

As we explained, we have decided to attend Arisia this year. We will be keeping our ears and eyes open, but we are cautiously hopeful that we, and everyone else, will be able to have a safe and enjoyable con.

If you aren’t there this weekend because of a principled boycott of the convention, we hope that you will support the artists and vendors who depend on Arisia sales for their livelihoods.

If you're on staff/volunteering for the convention, you can catch us at the Art Show reception in our business colors. Otherwise, you can see our work there (and us, from time to time). Protip: our art is cheaper at conventions than it is online!

You can also see us on these panels:

Terri’s Schedule:

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Neurodivergent Protagonists
Room: Franklin
Panel #: 301
So many mental health issues can make us feel disproportionately terrible for minor, everyday mishaps, and the culture of "neurodivergent character = villain" doesn't help. Instead, let's talk about neurodivergent protagonists and stories about people working around or even using their Quirky Brain Stuff to save the world and live happily ever after.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: Jewish SFF
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 201
It can be hard to find Jewish stories that don't focus on the Holocaust. Luckily, there are many works relating to Judaism in science fiction and fantasy. Naomi Novik and NS Dolkart are two Jewish authors who include Jewish characters and themes in their works. Marie Brennan based the world religion of her Natural History of Dragons series on Judaism. Let's celebrate Jewish authors, worlds, and characters!

Monday, 10:00 AM: Fluff and You: The Worth of Fun Reads
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 294
"Beach reads," "candy," "fluff," "guilty pleasures," -- so many words to downplay the fact that we may be reading something "less than literary"! But fun reads have worth of their own, and lightness and artistic merit are not mutually exclusive. Join the panelists as they discuss the delights of fluff, their favorite works, and moving away from a culture of shame.

Ariela’s Schedule:

Saturday, 1:00 PM: Girl Power in Anime
Room: St James
Panel #: 156
In anime, many female characters tend to fall into one of two stereotypical groups: weak and meek or angry warrior women. There are characters who go deeper, who might even make good role models. From the girls in Studio Ghibli to Junko Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica to Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan and beyond, who are these strong, nuanced female characters? What about them screams "GIRL POWER!" Which characters or tropes are doing a disservice to women today?

Saturday, 4:00 PM: Female Relationships in Fiction
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 196
Though great strides have been made in recent years, we still hunger for depictions of complex relationships between women, whether familial, platonic, or romantic. What are we still lacking? What stories about female love would make the panelists' hearts sing?

Saturday, 5:30 PM: Clothing Modifcation
Room: Winthrop
Panel #: 361
Whether you're making a cosplay or something for everyday wear, learn to extend the life and utility of off the rack or second hand garments. Take a thrift store find and turn it into something amazing or save a favored piece from the trash pile with creative solutions for poor fit and minor stains and tears.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 1:00 PM: First Steps for New Costumers
Room: Cambridge
Panel #: 378
So you want to be a costumer, but don't know where to begin? Then this panel is for you. Our group of veteran costumers tell you how to get started in the hobby with everything from tips and tricks to demystifying the terms and expectations that are out there. We all had to start somewhere, so let us help you do the same.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 5:30 PM: Treatsments of Abuse in SFF
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 429
While discussing Lethal Weapon, Junot Diaz, and toxic masculinity in a Fireside Fiction essay last year, author Brandon O'Brien reminded us that "We need to teach and remind men as often as possible that recovery means responsibility." How has SFF treated cycles of abuse and recovery, and how can it do better? Which books/shows/movies get it right?

We're Off to WisCon 42!

by Terri and Ariela

It's Memorial Day this weekend, which means that we're off to WisCon!

WisCon 42 Logo

WisCon 42 Logo

Per usual, art will be in the art show. It will be a small subset of what we have on the website, but there will be lots of everything we bring, including an early opportunity to buy the June product release (it's a new sticker with completely new art).

The art show will open on Friday evening with a reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM and we will both be there. Look for the ladies wearing green and purple and chances are you've found us!

Also, for the first time ever, we'll be on a panel together! Two, in fact!

Ariela's Panel Schedule

Friday, 1:00 PM:  The Care And Feeding Of Artists
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #CareFeedingArtists
Are you a creative? Are you partnered to an artist? Do you manage an artist professionally? Come and talk about management strategies, how to keep yourself and/or your artist from burning out, and learning how to Outsource Things You Are Bad At.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Saturday, 9:00 PM:  The Best Laid Plans Of Mice: Immigration, Persecution, The 1%, And Found Family As Told By The Mousekewitzes
Room: University B
Follow on Social Media: #Mousekewitzes
Most of us remember Feivel Mousekewitz, a Russian Jewish mouse who emigrated to the United States in 1885 with his family, all fleeing religious & political persecution, They heard wondrous stories of life here, only to find America has its own problems. In our current political climate, many issues are relevant again: immigration, treatment of workers, distribution of wealth, police brutality, xenophobia. These films do a great job of tackling tough but important issues for a young audience, a task that children's films in the last decade have ignored. At the same time, Yasha's relief that "In America, you can say anything" sails over the heads of young viewers. These films also portray Judaism as a religion and a culture, without tokenization.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Uncommodifying Culture
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #Uncommodify
So much culture is owned by corporations that it's difficult/impossible to imagine successful authors, filmmakers, musicians, animators, or others who aren't paid via a contract with a major publisher, studio, or production company. Is there an alternative to that? Do cultural "properties" (lol) have to be old in order to truly be shared? If I spend the afternoon thinking about Mickey Mouse, does Disney own the inside of my head?

Monday, 8:30 AM:  You Are (Probably) Not As Progressive As You Think You Are
Room: Assembly
Follow on Social Media: #NotProgressive
Socially progressive movements are increasing in popularity. So much so that it's become harder to discern who is in the fight for real, and who is just going through the motions, checking off more and more proverbial boxes in order to appear to be a good person. During this panel, we will talk about how to spot and address those people who fall into the latter category, as well as our own respective socio/political/economic stances and how they've evolved. Because no one is perfect.

Terri's Panel Schedule

Friday, 1:00 PM:  The Care And Feeding Of Artists
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #CareFeedingArtists
Are you a creative? Are you partnered to an artist? Do you manage an artist professionally? Come and talk about management strategies, how to keep yourself and/or your artist from burning out, and learning how to Outsource Things You Are Bad At.
(Terri suggested this panel.)

Saturday, 9:00 PM:  The Best Laid Plans Of Mice: Immigration, Persecution, The 1%, And Found Family As Told By The Mousekewitzes
Room: University B
Follow on Social Media: #Mousekewitzes
Most of us remember Feivel Mousekewitz, a Russian Jewish mouse who emigrated to the United States in 1885 with his family, all fleeing religious & political persecution, They heard wondrous stories of life here, only to find America has its own problems. In our current political climate, many issues are relevant again: immigration, treatment of workers, distribution of wealth, police brutality, xenophobia. These films do a great job of tackling tough but important issues for a young audience, a task that children's films in the last decade have ignored. At the same time, Yasha's relief that "In America, you can say anything" sails over the heads of young viewers. These films also portray Judaism as a religion and a culture, without tokenization.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: SyFy's Leading Women - An Exploration Of Women Protagonists In SyFy's Current Lineup
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #SyFyLeadingWomen
The programming on the SyFy Channel has had its ups and downs, but today it is giving us something missing from the offerings of many other channels: a diverse array of women as protagonists. From Killjoy's Dutch to the title characters in Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing, SyFy programs let us see these women as fully-realized characters, and not just the secondary story to the leading man. This is a panel to discuss what SyFy is doing right with its leading women, as well as where it still has room for improvement.

Monday, 8:30 AM: Comic Books On Screen
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #ComicsOnScreen
Marvel and DC are currently battling it out on both the big and small screens for dominance with multiple movies coming out yearly, as well as new shows on various networks and streaming sites. There are also multiple shows on SyFy based on comics, as well as The Walking Dead and Comic Book Men series on AMC; Riverdale, which is based loosely on the Archie comics characters; and Amazon Prime has picked up a revival of The Tick. Let's dig in and discuss these tv and movie adaptations. Are we getting enough representation? Which shows and films are doing better, and which worse?

We will also be attending the Dessert Salon and the GOH speeches.

We hope to see you there!

Business Growing Pains

by Ariela

Geek Calligraphy has been around for a little over two years now. We've been putting out a blog post every week for most of that time, spent the first six months putting out a product every other week, and the remaining 19 months putting out one product per month.

Put simply, this schedule is kinda burning us out.

When we were just starting up this was a good schedule for us - we had a backlog of ideas as well as new inspirations, and we had a serious drive to put ourselves out there as much as we can. But it was a startup model, not a sustainable one. We're firmly against the whole Overwork-As-Corporate-Culture model, so we are trying to figure out a new schedule that will work for us. (Terri has Spoken Firmly with me about not rushing this next product release, which, you guys, I am just so excited about, but it's worth taking the time to get right and I am going to stop babbling now. Ahem.)

This has been complicated by Terri's schedule being eaten by snow days keeping Monster out of school, the rest of her time being taken up dealing with IRS *ahem* tomfoolery with our new EIN since we incorporated, and Ariela's day job suddenly requiring a bunch of unanticipated overtime. Life happens. We had hoped to come out with a "Here's our new schedule!" announcement, but for now, we'll be blogging as time allows and re-running some of our past favorites other weeks. The next product release will come when it comes.

Thanks for bearing with us while we get this figured out.

Test pattern with "Please Stand By" written over it.

Test pattern with "Please Stand By" written over it.

Capricon Schedule

by Ariela

I'm off to Capricon 38 in Wheeling, IL this weekend!

Art will be in the art show, both hanging and in the Print Shop. 
(Capricon's Print Shop is the place to go for things you can buy and walk out with immediately. Anything hanging in the show proper is up for auction; even if you are the only bidder, it cannot go home with you until Saturday night.)

I will also be doing artist demo from 11:30 to 5 on Friday, so if you want to see me at work, or just come by and chat, come to the art show!

Ariela's Panel Schedule

Friday, 10:00 AM: The Messiah/Hero Complex
Room: Botanic Garden Ballroom B
Panel #: 221
Many stories, video games, and legends revolve around the idea of a young "chosen one" who is going to progress through the hero's journey regardless of what they do to get there. How much of that story comes from the Christian dogma embedded in Western storytelling? What storytelling goes beyond this timeless trope?

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Buffy at 20
Room: Botanic Garden Ballroom A
Panel #: 183
Last year (2017) marked the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How has the show held up, and why do we still care?
(I'll be moderating this panel)

Sunday, 10:00 AM: Random Panel Topic
Room: Ravinia Ballroom A
Panel #: 168
What happens to the panel ideas that get rejected? They are reborn here as random panel topics! Our panelists will choose topics (at random, of course) and speak expertly on them for 5 minutes each. You'll be rolling on the floor with laughter!

Hope to see you there!