(Gavin Smith, Dean Haspiel, Onrie Kompan, and moderator Victor Dandridge, photo c.2015 The Pop Mythologist)
"Our next panel was How Independent Creators Can Help Solve the Industry’s Diversity Issues. Given the topic, it was predictably held in a smaller room than the zombie panel but it was a thoroughly engaging 45 minutes thanks to the well-spoken panelists: Dean Haspiel (Beef With Tomato), Gavin Smith (All Superheroes Must Die), and Onrie Kompian (Yi Soon Shin) along with moderator Victor Dandridge (The Samaritan) discussed numerous kinds of diversity issues in the industry encompassing race, gender, sexuality and class. The panelists acknowledged real problems in the industry while also talking about the importance of introspection and of owning up to the quality of one’s work instead of automatically playing the race (or gender/class/sexuality) card when things don’t go one’s way and saying something like, “They didn’t hire me because I’m Asian [or fill in the blank].”
I was able to chat briefly afterwards with panelists Onrie Kompian and Dean Haspiel who were both gracious and even sympathetic to my challenge of trying to cover a con as a disabled writer. “I don’t even have Lyme disease and I already feel like I need a nap,” quipped Haspiel."
Read the entire Pop Mythology article about Wizard World Chicago 2015 here: http://www.popmythology.com/wizard-worl