Bent-Con: Bringing LGBTQ Comics and Genre Entertainment to Los Angeles
"Bent-Con started out of a desire of a bunch of a queer geeks who were tired of going to cons and being the niche within the niche within the niche," says Sean Holman, who organizes the convention that took place at Downtown's Bonaventure Hotel last weekend. "We said, let's start our own convention so that we can promote our work and bring our fans to us."
Liz Ohanesian Sean Holman runs Bent-Con.
The first Bent-Con took place last year. They had 19 vendors and expected, maybe, 100 people. They got 500.
"The book that I brought to read," says Holman, "I never picked it up once."
Earlier this year, Bent-Con officially became a non-profit. Now there's no stopping Holman and friends' mission to create a home for LGBTQ work.
"I want Bent-Con to be a destination every year for queer geek culture, queer-friendly geek culture and everything in between," says Holman, who publishes the "sci-fi, fantasy adult odyssey" comic Myth under his artist name Sean-Z.
Bent-Con's reach extends far beyond comic books. The convention screening room featured a number of LGBTQ-friendly film and series. Amongst the special guests was writer/producer Jane Espenson, whose credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Torchwood and the new web series Husbands. Despite the inclusion of other forms of entertainment, the mighty comic book rose to the forefront of last weekend's convention.
In the past few decades, mainstream publishers have made some effort to incorporate gay and lesbian characters into their expansive universes. An even greater variety of comics with LGBTQ themes has risen from the indie and self-publishing communities, including web comics. Still, the common perception, and common stereotype, of comic book fans is straight and male. Anyone who has gone to a fan convention, though, knows that this isn't the reality.