By Tiffani Daniel of Cosplay & Coffee

Every year, Universal Orlando holds a very magical event that brings Harry Potter fanatics from around the world together to celebrate J.K. Rowling brilliant universe. Witches, wizards, and even muggles gather at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to celebrate these books and films that have inspire so many of us.

This year, Universal’s 4th annual celebration indulged us in another star-studded event that patrons are sure to remember for years to come. The Malfoy reunion with Tom Felton (Draco) and Jason Isaacs (Lucius) is just one of the many magical moments that made this event . For those of you who had to skip out this year, enjoy a few of our favorite moments and some things you may have missed from the Celebration of Harry Potter.

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The Collectiva Diva and I attended the re-named Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con over the weekend, and it was one of our most anticipated nerd events of the  year. We had a grand time at Comikaze last year, and though the Mutineer could not join us this year, we had a marvelous time (get it? Marvelous…I’ll wait).

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Last weekend I attended New York Comic Con 2015 and it was fabulous. There’s something thrilling about being surrounded by hundreds of other geeks and some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, this wasn’t my first convention and it wasn’t even my first time at NYCC. I went four years ago in 2011 with my sister, when she attended school in New York.

Back then NYCC was large but not in the same sense that it is today. I remember buying my tickets a month after they went on sale and still snagging a three day pass. This year the four day passes were sold out after a few hours and nearly all tickets were gone by the end of the day. So, if you were planning on going next year, buy those tickets as soon as possible. The Convention has grown a lot, but to be honest, geek culture has grown a lot. This is clearer than ever when you visit the same convention four years later and see what has changed.

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It’s been two weeks since San Diego Comic Con took over the Gaslamp District, but we here at the Collective still have so much to say about our first ever SDCC. The Collectress has waxed eloquent on equal representation, but I want to focus specifically the roles of women, including women of color, and children in the comic book, television and film industries (here-forth named the “industry”) and the shifting landscape of fandom.

The way current markets target female consumers is changing. At Comic Con, panels on female stereotypes in comics, the female gaze in manga, nerd girl fashion, geeky kids in the classroom and the discussion of female-centric content were scattered across this year’s schedule. One of my favorite of the smaller panels at SDCC was entitled, “Nobody’s Damsel: Writing For Tomorrow’s Women” and was moderated by D’Nae Kingsley, Head of Integrated Strategy at Trailer Park, Inc, an entertainment marketing agency. The panel focused on female representation in the industry and in attendance was Meghan McCarthy (Head of Storytelling, Hasbro & Executive Producer, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic), Issa Rae (creator, “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl” web series), Molly McAleer (writer/co-founder, Hello GigglesDan Evans III (Creative Director, DC Entertainment TV) Aria Moffly (Creative Director, Development, DC Entertainment TV) and Sam Maggs (Author, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy & Associate Editor, The Mary Sue).

image property of The Geekiary

These various industry women (and the one black dude from DC) gathered to discuss how content creators can shift the industry to be more representative of the growing female audience. With one African-American woman and one African-American man on the panel, the discussion wavered between diversity in the industry and the shifting landscape of feminism. Each person on the panel agreed that we need to see more women characters in industry specific content and that these women should be written by women for women. In order to reach the female audience for the long term, we need authentic characters that represent the complexities of femininity and race, not played-out stereotypes or characters only meant for sexualization. Issa Rae made a number of points that deeply resonated with me, the biggest being the fact that she created the “Awkward Blackgirl” webseries because there were no women on television she related to. The admission is something that I understand as a geeky black girl with almost no geeky black girl heroes to look up to, and I took the time after the panel to tell her so. As an educated black woman, there isn’t a lot of content that is marketed directly to women like me, but Issa, who credits Shonda Rhymes as an hero, and women like her are working to widen the scope of the entertainment industry. I also agreed when Sam Maggs took the time to remind the audience that social media gives fans a way to directly communicate our needs to creators. We can reiterate the importance of female-centric content in a male-centric industry by utilizing Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and even small blogs (like this one!) to reach out to other fans and strengthen our voices so that creators know what we want.