This year’s Eagle-Con, a virtual sci-fi and fantasy conference hosted by Cal State L.A. and the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800), honored graphic novelist and comics scholar John Jennings and science fiction and fantasy writer K. Tempest Bradford.
The theme of Eagle-Con 2022 was “Media Multiverses,” which explored how science fiction stories are now created and experienced across platforms. Virtual sessions were offered over a series of three days, March 10-12.
Jennings received the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award, which celebrates an author who exemplifies the spirit of Cal State LA alumna Octavia E. Butler’s work. Jennings is the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color.
He is half of the legendary comics duo known collectively as “Black Kirby.” A professor of media and cultural studies at UC Riverside, he is also co-founder and organizer of MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco.
As part of this year’s program, Eagle-Con presented its first Lemonade Awards, which recognize acts of kindness that further the science fiction community. An individual award was presented to author Bradford on March 10.
Bradford is a teacher, media critic and author of fantasy and science fiction steeped in Black Girl Magic. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines. The award was created by science and speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson with support from the Speculative Literature Foundation.
Eagle-Con 2022 featured a wide range of sessions and workshops providing an inside view of science fiction, fantasy, superheroes and comic books, as well as insights into breaking into the entertainment industry. The free three-day convention also included a student film festival and exhibitions spotlighting the work of Art Directors Guild members.
An exhibit highlighting the work of Imaginator Award honoree Dawn Brown, a concept artist and set designer, was on display in the University Library and was available to view virtually. The Art Directors Guild also curated a virtual exhibit of work from top science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies and television shows. Science fiction and fantasy writer Jaymee Goh and worldwide charitable Star Wars cosplay group the 501st Legion were also recognized during the event.
Eagle-Con is co-founded by the College of Arts and Letters and the University-Student Union at Cal State LA and the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800). Together they work to educate the students of Cal State LA and members of the Greater Los Angeles community about the history, impact and continued necessity of the contributions of women, people of color, the LGBTQIA-identified, the differently abled and the variously aged to the science fiction and fantasy genres.