by Erica Freeman
I made sure I got myself to the noon panel on Saturday “Superpower to the People!: Creating and Promoting Diverse Voices in Geek Culture,” which included Ariell Johnson of Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse; the creators of the comic anthology series Dirty Diamonds, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips; Len Webb (Bat Tribble) of podcasting posse Black Tribbles; and artist Rodney Camarce, youth development & engagement manager with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.
Panel members shared about their own geeky backgrounds and answered questions from a diverse audience about how to take nerdy passions and turn them into careers.
Ariell Johnson remarked that the mainstream entertainment industry is currently looking to comic culture for sophisticated stories, a long distance from the campy content they’d grown used to.
Len Webb pointed out that “’80s babies” are the ones entering the ranks of media runners, bringing with them sensibilities shaped by the cartoons, movies, and superheroes of their childhoods.
There wasn’t enough time to get to all the fans with questions, but I’m betting there’s going to be a bunch of opportunities to hear more from the panel members before the next convention.
You can find panel members on social media:
Rodney Camarce: @rodneycamarce
Len Webb and Black Tribbles: @BlackTribbles
Claire Folkman of Dirty Diamonds: @
Kelly Phillips of Dirty Diamonds: @