A Write-Up in Record Time: #Boskone 52

The anger of the Norse Frost Giants that turned Boskone into “Snokone” conspired to make me arrive late and leave early.  On the other hand, thanks to programming (who did an AWESOME job!), I did more in the short time I was there than at past cons.

Since my time was short and sweet, so shall my write-up be.  Here are the panels I was on or attended, and what I took away.

OFF THE AIR: I was off the air for this one, much to my regret. Heard it went well, though.  Curse you, Boston traffic!

FATHER, YOU MADE ME: Archetypal/non-archetypal parent-child dynamics. Fathers creating/spawning children from nothing (rather than a mother), eating them or risk being eaten. Mothers who are either evil queens and rivals, or absent. There are created fathers in the Hero’s Journey, where are the replacement mothers? In fact, why have a story structure where a parent abdicates and is replaced?  Market concerns?  And where did the Female Hero’s Journey go, anyway?  Parenting “then” is different from parenting “now”… isn’t it? What can speculative fiction do that literary fiction can’t vis-a-vis depictions of parenting relationships. A good amount, it turns out.  Also, first time I’ve ever moderated a panel but it felt like cheating to have an all-star crew; it practically moderated itself.

READING: Yes, my first official con-sanctioned reading.  Two short pieces and an excerpt and people showed up!

FINDING DIVERSE FICTION: Google is your friend.  But thank small-press/independent publishers going against Publishers’ (capital P) professional knowledge (i.e. self fulfilling prophesies) on “what sells “.  How do you get Pulitzer Prize-winning literary authors of color and well-known genre authors of color for your anthology created with an eye toward increasing diversity?  Apparently, just ask.  Writers, keep writing.  Readers, keep reading AND financially backing AND BUYING!

WHAT’S HOT IN COMICS?:  No, it’s not zombie comics anymore because some don’t feel the need to keep up with THE WALKING DEAD on TV and comics, or just said, Fuck it.  It’s a mix: Brian K. Vaughn’s SAGA, G. Willow Wilson’s CAPTAIN MARVEL, Matt Kindt’s MIND MGMT and others.  TV/movies (especially from Disney/Marvel) being the introduction of the casual fan to comics.  The smart things Disney/Marvel do vs. WB/DC.  [Not discussed, but popped into my head just now: TV/movies generating for comics what they know in pro wrestling as the “smart mark”?]

NON-WESTERN FOLKLORE: This was the only panel outside of my own that I got to attend: Fairy tales vs. folklore vs. fables. The hacking of folklore; reverse-engineering written lore (back) to oral traditions.  “Authenticity of”, “Ownership of” — both colonized concepts?  How great was the Great Wall before Westerners called it great?  Transformation.  Unequal power differentials vis-à-vis appropriation, IP, copyright issues (i.e. what can be copyrightable? Says who?).  Would’ve sucked for Ovid creating THE METAMORPHOSES.  [Possession really is 9/10ths of the law.]  Modern tabloids as repositories for modern folklore [i.e. a lore of the people, rather than folklore curators]?

THE JODOROWSKY EFFECT: Much like Jodorowsky’s attempt at making DUNE, a great panel that could’ve been, that couldn’t happen because of external realities.