Mexicanx Initiative Programming at Worldcon 76

This is a guide to some of the program items that showcased Mexicanx Initiative members and their work at Worldcon 76 in August of 2018.

Many of the Initiative members were also on program items that weren’t directly related to the Mexicanx Initiative, but this guide focused on listing things that had a direct connection to the Initiative because they featured multiple members, were focused on one member’s work, or were proposed by a member.

This guide was originally emailed to all Initiative members before the convention so that they'd have an idea of where to find each other, but now that the convention is over it's also a great record of the presence this Initiative had at the convention overall.


Thursday the 16th:

Art Life: Francis Vallejo Paints in Mixed Media 
Thursday Aug 16 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 212B

See Francis Vallejo, the award-winning illustrator of Jazz Day, explore how to combine various art media to create an iconic, compelling illustration.


Mexicanx Initiative Reception 
Thursday Aug 16 6:15 PM to 9:00 PM
The Fairmont

The Mexicanx Initiative reception is a private party for Initiative participants, sponsors, and special invited guests on Thursday the 16th at the Fairmont in the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists' (ASFA) Suite. Food provided by Initiative member, Héctor González.

Mexicanx Initiative members at the Mexicanx Initiative reception at Worldcon 76 (Sent by John Picacio; photo by Francesca Myman / Locus Magazine)


Friday the 17th:

Latinx? Mexicanx? Hispanic? Do the Words Make a Difference and Why? 
Friday Aug 17 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
San Jose Convention Center - 210B
Moderator Diane Osborne, Chris Castro, Patty Garcia, Isabel Schechter, David Bowles

Why is "Mexicanx" such an important term? Do "Latinx" and "Hispanic" mean the same thing? Is it useful to refer to people from two continents, an isthmus, and and several islands using these adjectives? Is a Tarahumara person from Mexico who speaks no Spanish and has no European ancestors “Hispanic”? Looking into the future, will there still be “Latinx” people in 100 years? 1000 years? Our experts will discuss these terms, and their relevance.


The English language Mexicanx Initiative reading group: Libia Brenda, Gabriela Damián, Felecia Caton Garcia, Julia Rios, Mario Acevedo, Manuel Gonzales, and Andrea Chapela (sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Reading: Mexicanx Initiative - English Language readings 
Friday Aug 17 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 211A
Host: Julia Rios
Readers: Libia Brenda, Pepe Rojo, Andrea Chapela, Manuel Gonzales, Felecia Caton Garcia, Gabriela Damián Miravete, Mario Acevedo

Members of the Mexicanx Initiative read selections from their work in English.


Reading: Mexicanx Initiative - Spanish Language readings 
Friday Aug 17 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 211A
Host: David Bowles
Readers: Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Alberto Chimal, Raquel Castro, Iliana Vargas, Smok, Mariana Palova, José Luis Zárate

Miembros de la Iniciativa Mexicanx leerán selecciones de su trabajo en español.

The Spanish language Mexicanx Initiative reading group: Alberto Chmal, Raquel Castro, Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Mariana Palova, David Bowles, Smok, José Luis Zárate, and Iliana Vargas (Photo by Julia Rios)


A panelist's view of a packed room at the New Ancestral Myths panel (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

A panelist's view of a packed room at the New Ancestral Myths panel (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

New Ancestral Myths 
Friday Aug 17 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210C
Moderator Raquel Castro, Mimi Mondal, John Picacio, Jeannette Ng, J.C. Cervantes

Writers, artists, and editors present and discuss recent works which combine characters from ancient myths with modern themes, situations and aesthetic trends in order to create stories about today's concerns with mythical resonance. What do they actually say about ourselves in the current moment?


Beyond the Border I: What Is Happening to SF on the Other Side? 
Friday Aug 17 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210A
Moderator David Bowles, Marcela Davison Avilés, Frederick Aldama, Mario Acevedo, Manuel Gonzales

At the Golden Globes when asked how he balanced darkness and joy, Guillermo del Toro answered "Because I'm Mexican". What does "being Mexican" mean within the context of science fiction? What does writing in Spanish mean for its future? There's movement on the other side of the border, a one-sided conversation where English-language SF is happening. We want to expand it and bring it forward. All over Latin America and Spain, SFi is rising again. We want to talk about what shapes it is taking, and how this viewpoint may be changing. Is there a Latino-futurism? What does it look like?


Drawing Jazz: The Art of Francis Vallejo 
Friday Aug 17 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 212C

Illustrator Francis Vallejo will detail his journey from a young boy that loved comics and drawing, into how he turned that interest into a career. Discover why this award-winning artist is sought after by clients as diverse as Candlewick Press, VIBE, Snapple, and many more.


John Picacio's Loteria game at Worldcon 76 (Photo by Smok)

Lotería (AKA Mexican Bingo) 
Friday Aug 17 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM
San Jose Convention Center - Callahan's Place

Come win fabulous prizes! Join Hugo Award-winning artist and Worldcon 76 Guest of Honor John Picacio, as he hosts several rounds of this fun, easy-to-learn, fast-moving game of Mexican Bingo -- and presents his latest art visions of the game's classic icons.


Saturday the 18th:

Getting Into Comics: Why You Should, and How You Can 
Saturday Aug 18 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
San Jose Convention Center - 210G
Moderator Leslie Light, Adam Gallardo, Ursula Vernon, Frederick Aldama

To many people, "comics" means people in brightly-colored costumes fighting each other in cheaply-printed pamphlets of paper. That isn't so true in 2018. In a world of webcomics, indie comics, self-published comics, and of graphic storytelling that includes every genre from romance to steampunk (and yes, you can still find super-hero stories), where can you start? What's the good stuff, and how can I find what I might like?


Alberto Chimal and Gerardo Horacio Porcayo at the history of Mexicanx Sci-Fi panel (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Alberto Chimal and Gerardo Horacio Porcayo at the history of Mexicanx Sci-Fi panel (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Apocalypse Tomorrow: The Tumultuous History of Mexican Science Fiction and Fantastic Literature 
Saturday Aug 18 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
San Jose Convention Center - 210C

Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Alberto Chimal, Gabriela Damián Miravete

Mexico is a new name for an antique country that used to have many nations and many magic stories. Our panelists discuss the shape of the science fiction literary landscape in a country defined by a history of colonial trauma.


Transgressing Borders 
Saturday Aug 18 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210C
Moderator David Bowles, Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Rose Lemberg

As political battles are fought over porous borders between nations, genders, races, and ethnicities, speculative fiction has begun to foster stories and voices that slip back and forth across those artificial divides or exist in what philosopher Gloria Anzaldúa termed nepantla—a liminal in-between space where new identities are forged and thrived. Panelists will discuss authors, illustrators, and works that exist in and explore these vibrant borderlands.


Beyond The Border II: Borders, Crossings, and The Lands Beyond 
Saturday Aug 18 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210B
Moderator and Translator Sue Burke, Gabriela Damián Miravete, Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, José Luis Zárate, Andrea Chapela

Some of the first SF books were written in Spanish. Some of the most prominent speculative films of the last few decades have a Mexican as a director. Speculative fiction has taken many shapes in Spanish throughout history and now we want to talk beyond the past and the present and into the future. We want think about the ways SF written in Spanish might be evolving and the routes it is taking. What have the borders done? What are the similarities and differences with English and between Spanish countries? Have geography and language created something different on the other side? Where do we imagine it may be going?

Panelists will discuss in Spanish with an English translator for non-Spanish-speaking audience members.


The Future of Middle-Grade SF/F in America 
Saturday Aug 18 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210F
Moderator J.C. Cervantes, Adam Gallardo, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Christine Taylor-Butler, Zora Mai Quynh

In 2016, Asian / Asian American authors wrote roughly only 6% of the new children's books published with Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined writing less than 6%. Agents and authors discuss how writers of color are using their unique experiences to build rich, complex, new worlds. Discover how embracing the rising tide of PoC readership is key to middle-grade F/SF's future!


Autographs: John Picacio 
Saturday Aug 18 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - Autographing

Note: John will also be autographing cards in the dealers room at booth L10 on Thursday from 12-4, Friday from 10-12, and Saturday from 10-2.


Raquel Castro, Gabriela Damián, and Andrea Chapela on the Mexican Female Horror Writers panel (Sent by Julia Rios, photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Petrified Trees, Enchanted Mirrors: The Gothic Universe of Female Mexican Horror Writers 
Saturday Aug 18 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 212D

Moderator Andrea Chapela, Pepe Rojo, Raquel Castro, Gabriela Damián Miravete

Even though there is apparently neither a market or visible outlet for Mexican female horror writers, there is a hidden tradition of writers who have used the devices of the horror genre to explore issues of sexuality and the human and social condition. We see these women writers mining both the supernatural and technological forces that shape life in Mexico. This panel is an attempt to start mapping out this tradition from its early roots through the present.


The Artist/Author: A New Wave of Storytellers 
Saturday Aug 18 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210B

Moderator John Picacio, Gregory Manchess, Grace P. Fong, Robbie Treviño, Mariana Palova,

A rising number of pro illustrators are becoming authors, telling their own stories and defining their own story brands. Some are collaborating with writers to create their own properties. The panelists discuss how they are evolving their personal art visions into books, merchandise and story works, and why this wave is rising in popularity.


Art And Soul: The Works of John Picacio 
Saturday Aug 18 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 230

Worldcon 76 Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio has created iconic science fiction and fantasy cover art for the leading publishers in sf/f, across three decades. He has won many awards, including the World Fantasy and Chesley Awards for Best Artist, as well (of course) as Worldcon's own Hugo. He co-created The Mexicanx Initiative to bring artists, writers, filmmakers, and fans of Mexican heritage to Worldcon 76. In this exclusive Worldcon 76 slideshow, experience the journey of a talented and fascinating creator, and get a sneak peek at some of his newest visual storytelling.


The Body and The Shadow of the Imagination 
Saturday Aug 18 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 211C

Moderator Iliana Vargas, Felecia Caton Garcia, Libia Brenda, Laura Anne Gilman

How necessary is the visual or descriptive charge of an image in science fiction? How much do you have to let the viewer see and when do you suggest so that the reader's imaginative engine works by itself? How do we open dialogues with the reader or viewer so that they activate their own channels of imaginative communication?


The Fantasy Canon from the Margins panel (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

The Fantasy Canon from the Margins panel (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

Fantasy Canon From the Margins 
Saturday Aug 18 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210C

Moderator Alberto Chimal, Mario Acevedo, Marc Johnson, SL Huang, Libia Brenda, Suzanne Walker

Fantasy stories sometimes inadvertently echo harmful stereotypes about race, religion, sexuality, or disability. Even beloved classics may raise difficult issues from the perspective of POC, queer, religious minority, or disabled readers. What are readers to do when they see themselves marginalized in stories they care about? How can we reclaim the role of the outsider? And how can we use these works to inform productive discussion of the speculative fiction canon and its future direction?


Literary Beer: Sara Felix & Vincent Villafranca 
Saturday Aug 18 06:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Uproar Brewing


Sunday the 19th:

Kaffeeklatsch: Iliana Vargas 
Sunday Aug 19 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 211B


The Future You Imagine is the Future You Get 
Sunday Aug 19 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210G
Moderator Kelly Robson, Rebecca Roanhorse, Mario Acevedo, Marc Johnson, Aaron Duran, Gideon Marcus

In the past, dystopian fiction has served as a kind of modern-day cautionary fable. But what's the other side of the coin? How do we tell tales of futures that we can aspire to, rather than ones that we warn against? What are we working towards, and how do we avoid the pitfalls of premature nostalgia and the tendency to excessively homogenize our utopias?


Coco (Film Screening) 
Sunday Aug 19 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - LL21AB

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.


The Lost Warriors 
Sunday Aug 19 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210E
Moderator Fonda Lee, Gonzalo Alvarez, Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Wesley Chu

In the last few years, representation of marginalized cultures in pop culture, comics and video games has been growing, but it is still not enough. We've seen medieval knights thousands of times, but what about the feathered warriors of Mexico or other cultures around the world? We need all kinds of warriors in our media, and to continue to fight for their space, we should look at what projects are presenting these new warriors. What are our favorite "examples"? How can we inspire others? Where are these new warriors and how can we make sure they sit at the table and stay.


Marcela Davison Avilés, Adrian Molina, Ana Ramirez, and Julia Rios at the Making of Coco panel (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Marcela Davison Avilés, Adrian Molina, Ana Ramirez, and Julia Rios at the Making of Coco panel (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Coco: The Making of an Academy Award Winning Movie 
Sunday Aug 19 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center, LL21AB
Moderator Julia Rios, Adrian Molina, Ana Ramirez, Marcela Davison Avilés

Join Adrian Molina (Co-Director and Writer), Ana Ramirez (Set Designer), and Marcela Davison Aviles (Lead Cultural Consultant) for Coco, as they discuss the movie, what happened behind the scenes to get it made, the response of the public, and what it was like to get to the Academy Awards.


Kaffeeklatsch: Mario Acevedo 
Sunday Aug 19 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 211B1


Recommended Reading in Webcomics 
Sunday Aug 19 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - 210F
Moderator Foz Meadows, Aaron Duran, David Bowles, Ursula Vernon, Gonzalo Alvarez, Henry Jenkins, Der-shing Helmer

Webcomics are arguably a different sequential art form, with different ways of reading, and different topics and themes. And they're really popular. The panel recommends some of their favorite webcomics, as well as watering holes, so to speak, where you can browse through webcomics on your own while you're on your morning commute. Check it out!


The Hugo Awards Ceremony 
Sunday Aug 19 08:00 PM to 11:00 PM
San Jose Convention Center - Grand Ballroom

All attending members are invited to the Hugo Awards ceremony. This year’s Hugo ceremony sees the inaugural presentation of a new award, the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Best Young Adult Book Award. Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio is our Master of Ceremonies for the event.


Monday the 20th:

Reading: Anna Meriano 
Monday Aug 20 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
San Jose Convention Center - 211A

Pablo Defendini