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Comic Fest 2018 Frankencon: Mary Shelly 1818-2018 Celebrating Creative Women

Comicfest 2018 brochure



Comic Fest was a celebration of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s novel Frankenstein. Much has been and continues to be written about the symbolism of its characters and its author’s state of mind. Her work pushed back barriers to what a woman could or couldn’t do in her era’s sociopolitical culture.  San Diego Comic Fest’s celebration included today’s like-minded women (and men) in sci-fi, horror, surrealism, gothic novels, and afrofuturism, explorers whose work also pushes the envelope of current “isms’ in artistry/media.


Delores Fisher blogger and Comic Fest 2018 presenter















Cosplayers at Comic Fest 2018
























Supergirl and friend





Author Tone Milazzo (in a kilt)





Inside the Exhibition Hall


Special guests of honor included Karen Berger, editor of Berger Books, six time Nebula award winner Nancy Kress, comic book critic Maggie Thompson, Cosplay guest Jacqueline Goehner.  Adriana Hernandez, Hugo A. Castro, Gabriel Reyes, Daniel Guti Sebastian Llapur, and Juanelle from Mexico added to the international diversity of participants.  And of course, I stopped by to talk with and get an autographed photo from Sara Karloff, daughter of iconic movie Frankenstein Boris Karloff.

Sara Karloff



An artist who pushed back the past’s media barriers and today’s envelope was writer, producer, director and story boarder Larry Houston.


Saturday morning cartoon storyboarder Larry Houston



In our mini-interview, Larry Houston pointed to the main table display panel. He said it is a visual reminder that he created the original storyboard for The Black Panther cartoon series. During our a mini-interview, Larry Houston noted that he was unaware that he was a pioneer in the Saturday morning cartoon industry until a conversation with a colleague. Houston was one of the first African American story boarders in the industry.


Larry Houston






















Accidental Alien comics is one of several exciting new comic book publishers who are based here in San Diego.



Accidental Aliens table at Comic Fest 2018

Rodney Anderson Jr., Travis Rivas, Andi Dukleth















It was a pleasure to talk with members of Accidental Alien. I’ve been following the work of Rodney Anderson Jr. for several years now. One of his signed works is hangs on my art wall.

I’m now the excited owner of a brand new line of comic books. Meet Travis Rivas

Travis Rivas  with his comic book “Cherub”


Travis Rivas is an artivist. He is an active limb and body difference advocate . For those with body differences, disabilities who are tired on not seeing themselves represented as superheroes, Rivas’ comic books are available on the Accidental Aliens website.

I also had a short interview with San Diego based Grapic novelists/cartoonist Keithan from the new cartoon publisher 

His desire is to create really cool comics that reflect people of color as superheroes. A down to earth artist, Keithan mused about his interest in comics as a child. He saw few superheroes  who reflected people of color. He noted that impact of characters drawn and storied in the now defunct Milestone comics. He also was thankful for pioneers like Larry Houston who paved the way for others, especially African Americans to consider a career in the comic industry. Today, Keithan is hoping to create a positive impact on young reader’s lives with his comics company. I got an autographed poster of the Power Knights from Keithan founder of Kid-comics.

Keithan Jones founder of kids-comics














His desire is to create really cool comics that reflect people of color. Keithan is a community conscious artist. I took a casual photo of him at an Afrofuturism Think Tank lecture by Dr. La Wana Firyali Richmond.


San Diego based Cartoonist/artist Keithan Jones (Dr Le Wana Richmond and audience member in background

On a side note, it was fun briefly hanging out with graphic novelist and culture critic Ajani Brown. I was one of  his Afrofuturism panelists a couple of years ago and shared a lecturer’s office in one of the oldest Africana Studies departments in America: the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University     A full room of his fans and Fest goers enjoyed Brown’s presentation: the Black Panther as Afrofuturism .  A popular and much in demand speaker, Ajani Brown will present at WAKANDACON in Chicago during the summer.

Culture critic, author, Ajani Brown and Blogger Delores Fisher












And of course, I was delighted to have my panel on Grace Jones accepted at Comic Fest’s women who push the envelope Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly celebration. Grace Jones is a trail blazer. Fashionista, songwriter, singer, performance artist, and the art world’s “wild child”. I have been presenting on Grace Jones for a few years now. This presentation focus was her visual representation on stage, on screen, and in videos.  My panel consisted of Dr. Ante Merritt, African diasporan expert, Mari Williams: Vampyre Fashionista and cosplay performance artist(also the current Ms. Senior San Diego), and me.

Delores Fisher, Dr. Anta Anthony Merritt, Mari Williams

My discussion focus:

A multi-genre performance artist whose intriguing visual representations span from late twentieth century to present, Grace Jones continues to embrace innovative “full body masks” as she inhabits spaces with “graphic novel edgy camp” to “alien futuristic cyborg” evoking an essence of Jamaican Junkanoo Festival. We will explore several of Grace Jone’s “Junkanooesque” embodiments.

Peter Von Scholly provided a short interview about Grace Jones on the film Vamp:

Thanks to literature and women in comics scholar Dr. Yetta Howard, whose panel of powerful independent women cartoonists/writers whose creativity  continued the Mary Shelly weekend celebration. These women saw a need for a space to explore various  characters who were not  represented in comics before their innovative works. So, they developed a space for their narratives. They spoke to an eagerly waiting audience  and made a trend that became a genre happen.

Yetta Howard, Roberta Gregory, and Donna Barr

Before the panel presentation, I bought Grace Jones’ autobiography. It is a fascinating read. She shares her views on womanhood, the arts, life as a performer, oppressive religious practices that highlight God as only a punisher, a wrathful force to be feared in an earthly vision of pain, suffering, torture, a swift who judge  of sin. She hints that she knows a merciful, compassionate God: stern yes, demanding: yes, but a God with whom one has a relationship, who redeems,who can heal the broken. She does sometime hint in the book that she has rested under the “wings of  God’s loving protective relationship even when she had doubts and harsh religious memories. Her song Williams’ Blood speaks to her complex relationship with God and Jesus Christ, salvation and redemption, the power of prayer and faith—-not religion—for  those who believe and those who don’t.

I saw the film by Sophie Fiennes at the San Diego Ken Theater. Grace Jones is another creative woman whose mental,  spiritual, and intellectual flare was questioned in the 70s and is still challenged even today Her genius contributions to stage, screen, Culture Studies, Women’s Studies, female visual aesthetics, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality is still vibrant. Based on snippets during the film, with more media/air time, her future contributions to music are so fresh, they could reshape music as we know it in the twenty first century.

Delores Fisher at the San Diego Ken Theater screening of Grace Jones documentary “Bloodlight and Bami”

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” is a necessary cultural exploration of women in performance for those who are curious about Jone’s impact on music and visual female representation during the 1970s-today. It’s a must see for all of us Grace Jones fans.

Delores Fisher

Afrofuturism Reflections March 2018 and Haitian Singer Dawn Richards

Delores Fisher Urban Style













Many thanks to Ajani Brown, graphic artist, short story writer, and novelist. Before I met him, it was a world of feeling alienated from so many. My brother and I lived futurism during those years when it was just what a lot of young people were doing. It hadn’t been officially named. It was just being “hip.”

When Brown introduced me to the term Afrofuturism, many loosely floating  aspects of my generation molded into an “oh yea, aha moment. Research, conversations with older friends and artists, led to my Afrofuturism reflection blog posts on Sonictapestry:  I keep re-visiting the concept with an old school spin that is possibly becoming new school, especially when it comes to music, resistance, and free expression.

Ajani Brown Backstage at a Hope For Haiti Benefit












I like the music of Haitian Singer Dawn Richards. She is so Afrofuturistic.

Haitian Singer Dawn Richards











Before I met Ajani Brown, I had encountered the term Afrofuturism a while ago and sort of dismissed it. After all, my brother and I lived it during those years when it wasn’t hip.  Several conversations with him (then professor Brown), sessions of scholarly article readings, Comifest panel discussions later     and re-readings of Yatasha Womack’s  Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy Culture, I am re-visiting the concept/term with an old school spin that is now somewhat new school.1

For me, Afrofuturism represents more than an aesthetic. Like Elizabeth C. Hamilton, whose definition of the concept has changed over the years, I continue to think of Afrofuturism “as a mechanism for understanding the real world situations of oppression in the contemporary world in the context of the ever-present past, while charting the future situation through the arts.” 2  It is transformative liberation not just for survival, but for thriving in a global cloud oriented replicating algorithmic world.

This spring semester 2018, I am teaching the course that Ajani Brown originated and pioneered at San Diego State University for the Africana Studies Department. The arts are very much an Afrofuturism functional focus for new possibilities, healing, and sowing the seeds for a hopefully better today into tomorrow.

Similar to Ingrid LeFleur, young mayoral  candidate Detroit.    One of my yesterday-today-tomorrow Sankofa Afras 466 course foundations is based on the term ARTIVISM-a phrase taught to me by Fernando and Marco in a mind expanding conversation in my office last semester.  It’s a term that intersections with many of Womack’s Afrofuturistic artistic examples.

Fernando, Delores, Marco












Womack’s accessible book is replete with names of innovative writers, painters, dancers, philosophers, sculptures, graphic artists, and musicians, including Dawn Richards.

Dawn Richards is possibly THE NEXT heir apparent to the incomparable Grace Jones. She credits Jones as an important artistic muse and influence in a Twitter homage to THE iconic Grace Jones photo that took the world in scandalous fascination several decades

Jones’ music is dance music with an edge and often a message. Her attire shape-shifts her in shades of mythic African symbol laden blackness to alien cyborg corporate cannibalistic cyber ghost haunting reality with visions of apocolypse. Dawn Richards’ music is also a shape-shifting collage of vampiresque colorfully disruptive personas to 21st century avatars. I am enjoying my research into Dawn Richard’s work as an Afrofuturistic Diva in the making. Here’s one of my favorite Dawn Richards dance songs.

My contemporary Women’s History Month musician’s choice.

Delores Fisher

      1. Yatisha Womack,  Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2013)
       2. Elizabeth C. Hamilton.  “Afrofuturism and the Technologies of Survival,” African Arts   50, no. 4 (Winter 2017) in African American Reader for Writing, compiler Delores Fisher (Montezuma Publishing, 2018) 82.

Black Student Science Organization (at SDSU) Hope For Haiti Benefit 2018

IMG_20180216_204946 (2)


It’s Black History Month 2018 and media conversations range from continuing the month long celebration as a way to encourage yearlong dialogue and cultural exchange, or dropping it altogether.

For the Black Science Student Organization at San Diego State University, it’s a time to honor their long term commitment to help  Haiti continue its recovery. It is still recovering  from the devastating impact of the 2010 earthquake Haiti Britannica  that left hundreds dead, thousands displaced by toppled buildings, homes, and completely disrupted infrastructure services like heat, clean water, and lighting systems. In 2017, Haiti was also damaged by the winds of hurricane Irma  Hurricane Irma and Haiti

It was a pleasure to participate again this year. My first BSSO Hope For Haiti Benefit was several years ago. Love and caring filled San Diego State University’s School of Music and Dance stage. This year is their 9th consecutive benefit effort.


Many of the original performers and faculty support gathered together this February 16th, 2018 at the Conrad Presby Aztec Student Union Theater.


Paolo, Dr. Estralita Martin, April, and BSSO president Jasmine Carey

Two performers who have volunteered their time since they were youth at the very first benefits, Paolo, a noted young public orator, and April, an accomplished vocalist,  were honored for their consistent support with their talents. New groups and artists included singers, dance troupes, and spoken word poets. We acknowledged Haiti’s struggle, and celebrated the Haiti that is emerging even after recent hurricane damage that ripped apart newly built facilities and the people’s hope. Yet, the people are rebuilding with global and local assistance.


Ron Pickett

Philanthropist and ongoing aid worker Rick Pickett returned this year. He reminisced  about his and  BSSO’s initial decision to send not only financial assistance, but also supplies. This year he also talked about the resilience of the Haitians to keep healing, restoring, building. He shared stories of global cooperation and hope. This year BSSO raised almost 900$ and pledged some of the money in aid to hurricane Irma ravaged  Puerto Rico.


Ron Pickett

I performed one of my spoken word pieces, “Oh Lord How Long?” originally written to celebrate the Africana Studies Department’s 2012 Martin Luther King Luncheon held at SDSU. “Oh Lord, How Long?” Poem By Delores Fisher

At the end of the program, one of the vocalists invited us up to the stage . She led performers and audience in  “We are the World.”  As we sang, a warmth seemed to fill the auditorium, causing us to smile and sing the song’s verses with the audience. We also turned  towards each other hand in hand, as we sang the chorus.  Together, we can decide to show love with faith and hope, create a brighter today and tomorrow.


Poet/Blogger Delores Fisher

Happy, nurturing, positive, and productive Black History month!



Delores Fisher: 2017 Christmas Song Jam List


Delores Fisher Christmas 2017

















Much love and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your family, friends a time of giving thanks, reflection, creating loving memories, appreciating those who care about you with unselfish love.

I thought I’d  offer a different holiday message, one through song. Enjoy a few of my favorites:












Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Nichelle Nichols: Beyond Uhura Comic-Con 2017 Anti-Bullying Panel Member

Nichelle Nichols



















She is a s beautiful as ever. Nichelle Nichols  is the original Star Trek TV series and film character Lieutenant Commander Uhura. Her portrayal filled the screen with beauty, poise and sophistication.

Nicholes’ breakout role generated much discussion when she first appeared. Her character had a rich back story.

Gene(Rodenberry) and I agreed that  she would be a citizen of the United States of Africa. And her Name, Uhura, is derived from Uhuru, which is Swahili for “freedom.” According to the biography that Gene and I developed for my character, Uhura was far more than an intergalactic telephone operator. As head of communications, she commanded a corps of largely unseen communications technicians, linguists, and other specialists who worked in the bowels of the Enterprise, in the “comm-center.” A linguistics scholar and a top graduate of Starfleet Academy, she was a protegee of Mr. Spock, whom she admired for his daring, his intelligence, his stoicism, and especially his logic.1


Nichelle Nichols on the TV series Star Trek


Her presence inspired young women and girls of all races. In her autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories, Nichols reveals her realization that there was a lack of minority presence in the United States early space program.

No offense to those fine brave men, but if we tell our children that they can be all they dream, why weren’t there women and minority astronauts? Thousands of fans wrote thanking me for Uhura’s inspiration. Little Black girls and boys, Latino and Asian children had a legitimate right to share in the dream. Things had to change.2

In the next 15 years, as she transitioned from Star Trek the TV series to Star Trek movies, Nichelle Nichols created Women in Motion, Inc. and worked on several government contracts including several  for Nasa with a unique focus on the astronaut-recruitment project.3

She influenced African American astronaut Dr.Mae Jemison   and other minorities to consider science and space as a career option.

So, what is Nichelle Nichols doing now? According to this various news stories during San Diego Comic-Con 2017, she is part of a super hero coalition that creating a lot of internet media buzz with their Anti-Bullying campaign.

And the message that a positive, healing, self-affirming nurturing spiritual revolution  may be what is needed to save so many from negative affects from bullying’s toxicity is also generating major new station coverage.

An inspiration to 1960s Afro-futurist youth and a diversity of others  as Lt. Commander Uhura, Nichelle Nichols continues to engage, inspire, and unite beyond Star Trek.

Nichelle Nichols:
inspiration to generations








Thinking back to the early years of Star Trek, my dad did not watch much television other than the news, nature shows, and sports. He enjoyed tinkering around the garage or tending his vegetable garden in a plot of land on the side of the house. Older siblings were too busy with their social life for television. They didn’t sit down with me and watch the show.

My mom however, would sit beside me almost every week when Star Trek came on. We talked back and forth about characters, settings, and plots. We talked especially about Lt. Uhura  from hairstyles and costuming, to her competency at the console.  Lt. Commander Uhura was new, fresh Black woman in outer space. That concept thrilled my mom.  Nichelle Nichols beyond small and big screen stardom is a woman to admire.

Musewoman, Delores Fisher

Delores Fisher Blogger/Lecturer















1. Nichelle Nichols Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994),  144-145.

2. Ibid., pg. 211

3. Ibid., pg 213


Delores Fisher Comic-Con 2017: A view from Disability Post 2

Delores Fisher and Jedi cosplayer

San Diego Comic-Con is an ever evolving annual phenomenon that comes to San Diego and brings people of all ages, ethnicities, political affiliations, religious beliefs, body types, and disabilities.

Disabilities? Yes, people with challenging situations that are temporary and people for whom life is filled with experiences which require life-long adaptation in addition to everybody else’s on the daily “stuff.” For us, it is what it is; this is who we are. I will probably NOT be politically correct in this post. We who have disabilities enjoy Comic-Con too, and appreciate the event’s servicing all the Comic-Con community and especially for also reaching out to us.


Comic-Con Deaf and Disabled Help Desk











The help desk provided cheerful information and interaction. The event requires a lot of walking. For those with disability  impacted by difficulty walking for long periods of time,  wheelchairs were available.

Wheelchairs ready to assist

Several cosplayers with disabilities and I talked about this newness, this new day of awareness and acceptance. It is refreshing.


Tes and friend

If we are blessed, every day through various support systems, although filled with pain and adaptation beyond the majority’s norm,  may be difficult but joyful and fulfilling as we work, relax, worship, interact.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If we are not blessed, everyday is a hassle without family, without governmental intervention, with religious institutions that do not want us in their congregations, without adequate understanding or support in workplaces, with friends who will not be seen with us, with bullying and sadly with harsh criticism on social media for refusing to be invisible or silent in public spaces.

The cosplayers you will meet in this post all agreed to allow me to post their photos. Although tired near day’s end, they wanted me to convey to their excitement to have their presence recorded as a cosplayer. And, they wanted you know they were having fun too.


Fun with a cosplayer (tired, but willing to pose)

People in wheelchairs passed through crowds more easily this year. In various locations, they told me they felt a tangible difference in the crowd’s acceptance of them as fellow fans. A blind man was casually walking, talking, and enjoying the atmosphere with a friend. People with canes and walkers flowed with the crowd, some walking alone, others with friends or family. I even saw several cosplayers with developmental disabilities walking with caretaker/aids near City College. They had gotten off the trolley and were talking tired, but excited, about their day at Comic-Con.

It was really hot on day two and three. Yet along the side streets cordoned off to divert motorized traffic, cosplayers with disabilities were at restaurants and stores.

Cosplaying with friends


















Everyone seemed to remember to hydrate and enjoy our California weather as they went to indoor and outdoor fan exhibits and events.

Star Wars Fighter Pilot

A young cosplayer named Marshall was riding in a batmobile with his mom right next to him. They were strolling casually along the boardwalk in back of the Convention Center. Looking closer, the realization was surprising.  He  was actually riding in a custom made Batmobile wheelchair.


Marshall’s mom explained that a company called Magic Wheelchair had made Marshall’s batmobile. They also made several others used by young cosplayers at Comic-Con this year. I went to their tent area and talked with some of the founders and chair makers of Magic Wheelchair and their Magic Wheelchair Justice League custom wheelchairs for children.

Magic Wheelchair Justice League

The kids were happy to be part of Comic-Con 2017. For the chair creators, it was a dream turned into reality. Their labor of love resulted in beautifully crafted chairs to enjoy for the children and for those who admired their custom wheelchairs.

Aqua Girl Wheelchair made by Magic Wheelchair

It was nice to have so many people with visible disabilities and those with hidden disabilities in one area, unified by celebration of imagination and creativity. Personally, it was wonderful to experience kind spirited humanity in everyday reality.

A view from the bridge

The cosplayers with disabilities their family, friends, and support staff that I talked to and photographed wanted me ( a blogger with a visible disability) to say thank you to Comic-Con 2017, the fans, speakers, media, and other cosplayers for a really fun time.

Delores Fisher














San Diego Comic Con International 2017: Thank you

One voice among many with disabilities,

Delores Fisher




Delores Fisher San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Post 1


Delores Fisher and Cosplayer (more Ethnic Cosplayers joining in the fun this year!)

Hello Sonic Tapestry readers. It’s a hot San Diego International Comic-Con 2017 SUMMER! Thankful for a cloud cover early Thursday morning, it got really hot.

Waking up with anticipation, I considered how to cover San Diego International Comic-Con this 2017. Since I enjoy featuring cosplayers from an “outside view angle,” with occasional social commentary, this year seems like a good time to change the game a little, especially on this Thursday July 20th, the first day of events.


Remember to check out the Interactive Fun Zone with exhibits and Fun Foods!


Delores Fisher and Pac Man Cosplayer

First,  newby Cosplayer photo etiquette:

#1 San Diego Comic-Con is the largest on the West coast so, decide what and where you want to photograph first

#2 Have your camera or cell phone settings ready, also have specific questions ready about how cosplayers put together their attire

#3 ASK to take a picture first-especially family cosplayers with children

#4 Adjust to “cosplayer and general crowd flow,” if they’re walking quickly in the opposite direction, perhaps going to the back of an event line, they may not want to stop to take a picture

#5 DON’T SNAP MID-BITE! Take pictures when they are posing for you—not eating

#6 Don’t touch unless cosplayers offer handshakes, etc

#7 Thank cosplayers for stopping and posing for a photo

And now, a few more first day photos!


Delores Fisher and 1st official cosplayer of Day 1



With Cosplayer by the boardwalk

Cosplayer 2

Loki and Thor in action!



Star Wars Cosplayer (popular Cosplay theme this year)



Many Family cosplayers this year


Evening Cosplayer, Walking Dead (He was interviewed on one of the local news stations earlier)


At evening IMax event

Many more photos and posts. Welcome San Diego Comic-Con International!

Delores Fisher