Wonder Woman is great, but don't get the idea that she has dibs on being a woman and being wonderful. Women of Wonder Con, happening March 10 at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, aims to celebrate creative women and inspire them to keep doing awesome things — and organizers hope to break a world record while they're at it.
"Basically it is a convention dedicated to women, particularly in creative fields," says Beth Howard, one of the event's organizers. "Graphic design, fashion, podcasts, writing, things like that." Women of Wonder Con will feature panels on various creative subjects and a roundtable about representation in creative industries.
Though this is the first year the event is going by the name Women of Wonder Con, it spent three years as the Creative Women's Conference. "Since we all have a geeky vibe to us, we decided it was time to rebrand a little bit and let the geek flag fly," Howard says. "It always ended up being a part of what we were doing anyway."
Organizers are leaning into that with the headline guest: Caitlin Dechelle, a stuntwoman who worked on 2017's Wonder Woman movie. Other guests include WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reporter Hannah Davis, actor and career coach Lar Park Lincoln and KNON-FM (89.3) DJ Alexandra McVay.
Is it a girls-only club? "Absolutely not," Howard says. "It was actually started by a man, David Doub, because he was in the comics industry and looking around and going, 'This is ridiculous. How many comics panels have I been to this year where there were only men on the panel?'"
It's a known issue that there are many women in the comics industry that don't always get the attention of their male counterparts, but Howard points out that this isn't a comic-specific problem. "We have all been to panels and conventions where every single 'industry guest,' regardless of what the industry happens to be, is a man. Or when we go to a panel where a woman is included, she is never actually encouraged or allowed to speak in said panel. So we wanted something where women are in charge of the majority of running the event, where women are the guests, where their art, their creativity, their writing and their accomplishments were front and center. Where that was the point."
The day will be capped off with an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for having the largest gathering of people dressed as female superheroes. If you need help picking a costume, Howard has thoughts about who she's hoping to see. "There are not enough X-Men in the world for me," she says." I would like to see some classic X-Men, like Rogue and Jean Grey. I see one per convention usually, and I want more."
Women of Wonder Con is free to attend and is open to all ages and genders. The library will also have their Women's Day event going on that same day, if you want to attend both. Howard says, "The thing that excites a lot of us is when we see parents bringing their little girls and little boys and having them see all of this talent and all of this creativity driven by women."