“As a queer trans girl with an asymmetrical haircut, I can’t help but stick out in the average convention hall, even among people cosplaying mutants with blue skin,” a blogger posted this week on the geek site themarysue.com. Bet she felt right at home at Brooklyn’s Flame Con 2, held August 20-21 at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott.
Following the success of the inaugural Flame Con last year at Park Slope’s Grand Prospect Hall, this year’s “comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom,” as organizers at Geeks Out described it, was a major ramping up from last year. Hundreds of participants, both in costume and not, roamed through more than 180 exhibitor tables featuring comics and ‘zine writers, illustrators and artists, hawkers of T-shirts and baubles, as well as publishers of sci fi and fantasy-themed queer books and posters.
Performances by bands like Kittens Slay Dragons alternated on the main stage with an open mic poetry slam, a cos play costume contest, and a speed dating event. A whole room was dedicated to ongoing role-playing games while book-signing events included out celebrities like Cecil Baldwin from the popular podcast “Night Vale” and panels on topics like “The Importance of Queer Erotica” and writing a transgender or non-binary character. There was even a special Cos Play Costume Triage table for help if your costume got a rip or tear.
Spoken word poet Taylor Steele, 25, who lives in Brooklyn and is a peer mentor through Urban Word NYC, presented her new poem “If the Joker Was a Black Girl.” at Flame Con 2. Dressed as the character “Spinelli” from “Recess,” the animated cartoon series, she asked, “Where else can I be a queer nerd?” Her new chapbook, “Dirty.Mout
Illustrator John Jennison, 37, who is on the Geeks Out board of directors and also lives in Brooklyn, was exhibiting his own comics but also premiering a comic chapbook anthology called “Gun Controlled,” which he edited and published, with all the profits going to benefit the victims of the June shooting massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. He noted the Geeks Out decision to ban any toy or replica weapons from Flame Con 2 “in solidarity with the victims of gun violence and in support of changes in gun laws.” Contact Jennison through his website dogoodercomics.com to order a copy of ”Gun Controlled.”