Prism Comics & The City of West Hollywood hosted the first ever Q Con, a queer comic convention for LGBT comic book fans on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Fiesta Hall’s Plummer Park. Prism Comics (https://www.prismcomics.org/) is a nonprofit organization championing LGBTQ + visibility, diversity, and inclusion in comics, graphic novels, and popular media.
Q Con offered a roomful of booths featuring LGBTQ artwork, accessories, and apparel. There was plenty of cosplay, meet and greets, photo ops, raffles and a cosplay contest offered gift baskets and custom made trophies.
The cos play contest was hosted by the host of X-Reads podcast, Chris Riley, and author Cathy Kutz. Costumes included super heroes, villains and campy comic book characters.
According to Ted Abenheim, the President of Prism Comics, over 600 guests registered for the event, not counting the walk-ins and did not register.
“I’m thrilled that we had such a wonderful turn out for Q Con,” he said. “I am grateful for the support of the West Hollywood Arts Division, Los Angeles Film School, Tapas and TOKYOPOP who helped make the convention happen and for all of the terrific creators, volunteers and attendees who joined us to raise queer voices in comics and pop media. The energy and love in the room was electric, and we are already starting plans for Q Con 2023! ”
Molly Knox Ostertag, the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the acclaimed Witch Boy trilogy, was aa special guest at Q Con. Her appearance attracted long lines during her appearance from 12 pm-2pm. She signed books and took photos with fans.
“The event is extremely successful,” said council member John Erickson and self professed comic book nerd. “It’s packed in here and it’s been like this since I saw everyone outside waiting to get in. I hope next year is bigger and better. This was funded by a grant through the city’s art department. Prism Comics brings the connection between super heroes, comic books and queer culture. This is the kind of thing the city arts should be funding. It’s a great way to promote this really great public space. It is great to see so many people in this space feel welcomed and happy and invited and be part of this community. ”
Artist Steve MacIsaac, the winner of Prism Comics first annual Queer Press Grant, was on hand promoting SHIRTLIFTER a series of queer-themed short fiction comics from STICKY. “Shirtlifter is about contemporary gay male life, sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional,” he said. “People really like the visuals. They like the diversity and the energy. I think it’s fantastic the city of West Hollywood is hosting this event and supporting artist, narrative artists in particular who do self-published work and put it out there, I think that’s really important.
“The event is magical,” said Kayden Phoenix, the creator of A La Brava comic book series. “I’m so surprised. It’s been such a great reception. It’s a magical time being around my own community and having vibrancy. There is a culture of queer people within Comic Con. Everything the city of West Hollywood throws is just a party. It’s been very welcoming and open and feels very comfortable. I’m extremely happy that I’m here in West Hollywood. ”
Phoenix describes A La Brava as the first Latino super hero team in comic book history. They’re all very diverse within their heritage, sexuality and identity. “A La Brava means without hesitation, so you go all out without hesitation, like what he sees here in our community and in our own lives.”
The mission of Q Con is to give everyone the opportunity to find a wide variety of LGBT comic books and graphic novels affirming LGBTQ + representation at one event. The queer space also celebrates the amazing diversity of LGBTQ + games and popular media today, featuring creators from indie comics, to major publishers. Prism Comics is LGBTQ central at San Deigo Comic-Con and other conventions thought the year. For more information please visit: https://www.prismcomics.org/.
Photos below by Mike Pingel
Photos below by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES
This project is supported by a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division as part of the City’s WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (May 22 – June 30). More info at weho.org/pride and WeHo Arts