By Kathleen S. Kirk
Every so often, some people find themselves in a situation that makes them wonder how on earth they got there. It’s like falling through a trapdoor and you look up to leave the way you came, but the door snaps shut and you can only go forward with a sore rear and terror-born heart palpitations.
I found myself in one of these situations not too long ago, when I decided that I was going to start a web digest. It wouldn’t be just any web digest, but rather a web digest devoted to being a female nerd. And now, two months later and 20+ staff members later, we have Feminerdity.com and I have a new job as editor-in-chief.
Sometimes I look around at the giant whiteboards full of things to do and upcoming content, the overflowing inbox, and pages and pages of both physical and virtual notes and I wonder how I got here. I wonder how on earth I thought I was capable and competent enough to run such a web digest.
And then I move my cat off my keyboard, fire off a bunch of emails, and remind myself that, so far, the force is with me and everything will be okay.
The job does have some perks. The staff is amazing and really fun to work with. The content mostly has me in my element. My dreams have gotten more interesting, as I have panic attacks in my sleep about the site going down or missing an important appointment.
And, once in awhile, I get to function as press at various events and conventions, including the Atlanta Comic Convention, held two weeks ago in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Atlanta Comic Convention is a small, independent con focused almost exclusively on comic books. It’s held four times a year in a very lovely convention center. When I was there, they had a small ballroom dedicated to comic dealers, their boxes spread out across a sea of tables. Outside, the hallway was full of tables hosting artists and dealers. This is what is commonly known as the “artists’ alley.”
For so many people crowded into that space, it was very surprising to find the atmosphere was rather relaxed, yet invigorating, instead of rushed, irritable, or anything like that.
The level of respect for the merchandise was also very unexpected. Hundreds of people were rifling through boxes of comics, with some just flat-out buying the whole box. They were very quick in their search, but they all seemed careful to keep the comics in good condition, even if they themselves weren’t buying them.
I stumbled headlong into this scene with no real idea of how cons worked, yet I had a keen interest in potentially becoming interested in reading comics. (Yes, you read that right.) I also needed to get my feet wet so I didn’t show up as press for the major con season looking completely bewildered.
In the end, I returned with the first installment of Young Avengers, which feels more like a chapbook to me. I spent far too much time in literary publishing.
But I’ve always had a weird appreciation for the smell of books, of their bindings, glue, and paper, and, while this comic book lacks a proper binding or any glue, it smells phenomenal. I’ve read it twice and, while it feels way too short and I don’t feel as into it as I would like, I must say I am intrigued and am looking for more installments.
I returned from the con with enough raw footage to clog up a good internet connection in sheer data alone, back to the mountainous to-do lists, whiteboard lists, and deadlines.
But I brought back with me a new appreciation for a different facet of my job, a new reason to love it, and a great anticipation for the upcoming con season.
Oh, and before I forget… May the 4th be with you!