Comic con day 1: Fans, feminism and psychology

This story originally appeared on RealTime/STL.

Comic con got off to an easy but enthusiastic start Friday afternoon. The shortest day of the three-day event, there were several costumed fans, vendors from across the nation and a handful of programs for participants.

Here are the highlights of the sessions we attended Friday night. Watch for more on Day 2 and Day 3. You can find the Wizard World Comic Con schedule here, and be sure to follow @kgreenbaum and @ericasmith on Twitter. You can follow our tweets, and those of other participants, at #wwstl.

The super-secret history of St. Louis comics

The Post-Dispatch’s Weatherbird will be at comic con Saturday and Sunday. Weatherbird artist Dan Martin will talk about the history of the paper’s front-page icon Saturday afternoon.

Geek feminism: Girl power and problems in geek culture

Panelists cited two websites that flip female stereotypes commonly seen in comics: The Hawkeye Initiative and Repair Her Armor. They also mentioned a 2012 PBS documentary about American superheroines.

Overall, the take-aways were rather obvious:

The Nerdy Girls Society continues this conversation online and in meetups.

Farewell, raggedy man

The title is a reference to “Doctor Who’s” 11th Doctor. Each panelist was a member of “Doctor Who” fan club St. Louis CIA — in this case, the Celestial Intelligence Agency.

There were several questions from the audience about characters, plot lines and the 50th anniversary special.

This was the first of several “Doctor Who” sessions. Several of Friday’s panelist will return Saturday morning for a look-back at the show’s 50 years. Matt Smith, who played the “raggedy doctor,” will make an appearance Saturday afternoon. Co-star Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) will share her experiences Sunday afternoon.

Psychology of science fiction

Psychologist Michael Mahon, who also teaches at Washington University, lead this session. Mahon knew his audience, that is clear, and his lecture turned out to be one of the most thought-provoking.

In a discussion that cited “Star Wars” and “Blade Runner,” Mahon said that to transcend, you must know what you want. “You probably like sci-fi because you want to be more than your original programming,” he said.

In conversations following the lecture, Mahon added a bit of “Terminator” to the mix.

“We have not yet created anything that is self-aware,” he said, carefully including the word yet. “Once it’s self-aware, it will evolve. The computers will evolve faster than we can. … We didn’t know Skynet was self-aware until it started dropping nukes. How do we know?”

Keep up with comic con

Catch up on the other sights of comic con, and watch for more on Day 2 and 3.

Follow all of the #WWSTL tweets: