Programming Schedule

Panel Listing

Alphabetical by Title

Please Note Participants and Panels Are Subject to Change

PDF Panel Schedule: CONtraflow VII – Panel Schedule

PDF Panel Listing: CONtraflow VII – Panel Listing


The 3rd Annual Geek Trivia Quiz. Join librarians from New Orleans Public Library as we once again test your nerdy knowledge with a geeky trivia showdown. Science, literature, fandom, pop culture: it’s all fair game, and all participants will receive library swag. Presented by the New Orleans Public Library.

            Kacy Helwick, Aime’ Lohmeyer

Saturday 4pm, Panel 3


Alignment in D&D. What are Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil really? How to play and DM alignments and what it all means.

            Vinnie Prima

Saturday 7pm, Panel 3


Anybody’s Game. Anybody’s Game is back! A game show style contest of knowledge over 5 categories played over 3 rounds.  Contestants will be chosen from the audience at random.  Prizes will be awarded to all contestants.  Science Fiction, Fantasy, Comic Books, Gaming and “New Orleans and Fandom” are the 5 categories.  Come find out if the game is yours, because it is Anybody’s Game.  Presented by Area 51.  Hosted by The High Priest of Bob.

            Area 51

Saturday 3pm, Panel 3


An Introduction to the Art of Sam Flegal. Artist Guest of Honor Sam Flegal presents his work.

            Sam Flegal

Saturday 11am, Event Two


Artificial Intelligence. From HAL 9000 to Data, AI has fascinated us. Now USS NEW ORLEANS Tactical Officer, Paul Bileci wants to explore it further.

            USS NEW ORLEANS

Saturday 10am, Event Two


Bad Wolf’s Guide to Geeky Drinking. Our Fan Guests of Honor discuss the creation and consumption of adult beverages for fans. (18+ Only)

            Alicia Dardar, Timothy Dardar

Friday 8pm, Panel 2


The Bargain Barbarian. Having fun with cosplay without a lot of money.

            David Liang

Sunday 10am, Panel 1


Being a Girl in the Nerd World. Fan Guest of Honor Alicia Dardar leads a discussion about women in fandom.

            Alicia Dardar, Eris Walsh

Saturday 10am, Panel 2


Black Holes, Worm Holes, the Speed of Light, and Time Travel. Come talk about the implications some of the strangest phenomena in astrophysics.

            Steven R. Brandt

Saturday 9am, Panel 1


Building Memorable Characters.  Panelists discuss how to put together characters whom readers will never forget.

            Chris Hayes, Louise Herring-Jones, Mike Hinton, Gail Martin, Sherry Melancon

Sat 7pm, Panel 1


CajuNerd Animated Dubs and Original Cartoons. Ash the CajuNerd will show his favorites from the last year including new T-Man (Cajun He-man parody) and the all original TundaMinous Geaux cartoon. There will be a Q & A at the end of panel.

            Ashley Reese

Saturday 10am, Joey Grillot


CajuNerd Live Action Dubs and Videos. Ash the CajuNerd will show his favorites from the last year including his “viral” infomercial dubs and “Cajun food cooked by outsiders” reaction videos. Plus a sneak preview of “Tataille Fighter; Magnalite Mech Chose” (best described as Cajun VR Troopers meets Cajun Power Rangers.) There will be a Q & A at end of panel.

            Ashley Reese

Saturday 7pm, Joey Grillot


The COG Panel. Want to know what the evil geniuses of the Consortium of Genius are up to?  Come to this panel to find out!

            Jesse Craig, Sherri Craig

Saturday 8pm, Panel 2


Convention Safety Part 1: General Con Safety. In Part 1 of our two-part panel on convention safety, CONtraflow Chief of Security David Liang and staff discuss how to safe over the weekend while having a good time while following the con rules.

            David Liang, Vinnie Prima

Friday 4pm, Panel 2


Convention Safety Part 2: Parties.  Before you hit the parties on Saturday night, come to CONtraflow Chief of Security David Liang’s two-part panel on convention safety and learn to how take care of yourself whether you’re attending a party or throwing one.

            David Liang, Vinnie Prima, Adam Rivas

Saturday 5pm, Panel 3


Chainmail Weaving Workshop. Learn the art of creating chain armor in this hands-on workshop by attending artist and craftsman Bryan Jones.

            Bryan Jones

Saturday 4pm, Panel 2


Creating Art for Games. Artist Guest of Honor Sam Flegal discusses how to the craft of turning games into art.

            Sam Flegal

Saturday 2pm, Panel 1


Creating Comics. Learn from our panel of pros what it takes to create comics.

            Kurt Amacker, Jessie Craig, Vernon Smith

Sunday 11am, Event Two


Dark Fantasy. Explore fantasy’s gothic side.

            Charles Gramlich, Robert Krog, Kimberly Richardson

Saturday 8pm, Panel 1


Diversity – It’s Not a Discussion in Black and White. Diversity is not just about skin color but about a vast variety of cultural differences that should not matter and at the same time should matter. Panelists discuss why it doesn’t, why it does and how it is important to get it right when writing characters. 

            JL Mulvihill, Kimberly Richardson

Saturday 11am, Event One


Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. A roundtable discussion of the book and the TV series about an English combat nurse swept back to Scotland in 1743. SPOILER ALERT.

            Ann Neagle

Saturday 1pm, Panel 3


Divination: Seeking Knowledge of the Unknown. Explore the practice of reading the future by paranormal means.

            Emily Guenther

Sunday 12pm, Panel 2


Dub Dynasty Live! The CajuNerd has been busy preening through Japanese Superhero shows from the 80s and will experiment with live subjects dubbing (voiceovers) Random scenes from wacky Japanese TV shows.

Scott Carroll, Ashley Reese, Eris Walsh

Saturday 4pm, Joey Grillot


Eccentric Films Presents: Room 411. Chris Copesky screens his short horror film and takes your questions.

            Chris Copesky

Saturday 6pm, Joey Grillot


The Editor’s Art. Panelists discuss the art and craft of editing writer’s work.

            Hope Bridger, Allan Gilbreath, Tommy Hancock

Saturday 3pm, Panel 1


EVE Online. Before there was Artemis or even Star Wars Galaxies, there was EVE an MMORPG now going on for its 15th year. The USS NEW ORLEANS examines this game and its various intricacies.

            USS NEW ORLEANS

Saturday 7pm, Event Two


Everything from Astro Boy to Tranzor Z, or I like Big Bots and I Cannot Lie. A look at Mecha anime shows that came to the West.

            Lionel Davis, Robby Musso

Saturday 12pm Event Two


The Fan History Project: Remembrance of Cons Past. Chairs or concom members of defunct cons reminisce and/or dissect the cons they used to run.

            The CONtraflow Fan History Project

Friday 4pm, Event Two


The Fan History Project: Legendary and Infamous Rooms Parties.  Part history lecture and part con horror stories panel.  I will give a talk on the origin of con room parties and the mythical Room 770 party.           The CONtraflow Fan History Project

Sunday 1pm, Panel 3


The Fan History Project: The Museum of Outdated Convention Amenities. A panel of long-time con fen discuss things that were once assumed to part of all cons, but that have largely disappeared and that younger fen may have never seen.

            The CONtraflow Fan History Project

Saturday 8pm, Panel 2


The First Amendment versus Defamation and Invasion of Privacy. Science Fiction writer and practicing attorney Louise Herring-Jones talks about steering clear of trouble when the worlds of your fiction springs from reality.

            Louis Herring-Jones

Saturday 2pm, Panel 2


Free to Create. Artist Theresa Mather discusses how to find keep your work fresh.

            Theresa Mather

Saturday 10am, Panel 1


Friday Night Schlock at Midnight Part VII: New Schlock. Yep. It’s back.

            Alfred Richard

Friday 12am, Joey Grillot


Friends of Bill W. A meeting of like-minded individuals gathering together to discuss recovery. No alcohol please. (18+ Only)

            Mark Jones

Friday and Saturday 9pm, Panel 2


Genre Writing Workshop. Tommy Hancock leads and intensive workshop on writing science fiction and fantasy. (110 minutes)

            Tommy Hancock

Saturday 5pm, Panel 1


Geretta Gerretta Presents Demons. Writer, director, producer and actress Geretta Geretta invites you to a screening of Dario Argento’s Demons (1985), an Italian horror film about a group of people invited to a screening of a horror film.

            Geretta Gerretta

Saturday 9pm, Joey Grillot


Ghost, Angel, or Alien. The audience will be encouraged to describe their own personal encounters with supernatural beings. Our talented panel of judges will discuss the encounter and try to decide if the supernatural being was a ghost, an angel or an alien.

            Charlotte Pipes, Kalila Smith, Rob Cerio, Emily Guenther, Stephen Guenther

Saturday 9pm, Panel 1


Ghosthunting in the Real World.  Learn about paranormal investigation from people who have really done it.

            Stephen Guenther, Emily Guenther, Kalila Smith

Saturday 6pm, Panel 3


Gonzo Japanese Horror. The gore, violence, and all out weirdness returns, this time as a triple feature. Check out Robo Geisha, Mutant Girl Squad and Psycho Gothic Lolita in the Joey Grillot Room Saturday Night. (18+ Only)

            Thom Mathes

Saturday 11pm, Joey Grillot


The Haunted History of New Orleans.  Hear tales from one of the most haunted cities in America.

            Trisha Baker, Kalila Smith

Saturday 8pm, Event Two


HMS Barbarossa’s Annual Awards Ceremony. Join the crew of HMS Barbarossa, the New Orleans Chapter of the Royal Manticoran Navy, in their annual awards ceremony in which they honor and recognize members for their service throughout the year.

            HMS Barbarossa

Saturday, 9am, Event Two


How to Get Published. Panelists discuss how to get your work read and get paid for writing it.

            Patricia Baker, Hope Bridger, Kirsten M. Corby, Chris Hayes

Sunday 12pm, Panel 2


How to Make a Living as a Working Artist. Artists Guest of Honor, Sam Flegal and Artists Jesse Craig, Theresa Mather, and Robby Musso discuss turning your talent into a living.

            Jesse Craig, Sam Flegal, Theresa Mather, Vernon Smith

Sunday 1pm, Panel 1


The Impact of Science Fiction on Society. In science, the term “observer effect” means that the act of observation will influence the phenomenon being observed. In the same way, science fiction has done more than explore the evolution of society through fiction; it in turn has influenced that evolution. We discuss.

            Sonnet Ireland

Saturday 6pm, Panel 2


Interstellar Travel and the Law. If humans reach for the stars, they will bring their society with them. Our panelists talk about how they may deal with the inevitable conflicts through the law.

            Raymond Boudreau, Rob Cerio, Louis Herring-Jones, Frank Schiavo 

Saturday 12pm, Event One


Invented Languages. From Elven to Klingon, invented languages are not only fun but add a richness to your setting. Author Guest of Honor Yoon Ha Lee talks about the challenges of using invented languages and making them work.

            Yoon Ha Lee

Friday 7pm, Panel 1


Is It Lovecraftian? Accursed audience members descend into madness as they attempt to judge singularly loathsome abnormal PowerPoint abominations without fainting at the onset of a nameless dread. There will be no prizes and everybody will lose.

            Nebe Barnett, Raymond Boudreau, Frank Schiavo, Nyarlathotep

Saturday 3pm, Joey Grillot


Krewe du Who Presents: Dr. Who, It’s The End, But the Moment Has Been Prepared For. The December 25th, 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special marks the end of an era and a promise of new beginnings. Join Krewe du Who as we speculate on what we can expect to see in Peter Capaldi’s swan song as the 12th Doctor and reflect on his tenure in the role.

            Alicia Dardar, Krewe du Who

Saturday 1pm Event One


Krewe du Who Presents: Dr. Who, Change My Dear and Not a Moment Too Soon. With every change in Doctor Who lead comes an exciting opportunity to tell stories in a fresh way. The BBC has taken the bold and exciting move to cast Jodie Whittaker as The 13th Doctor. Join Krewe du Who and CONtraflow guests Jen Mulvihill, Kimberly Richardson and Rob Cerio as the authors discuss how they would approach writing for Jodie’s Doctor as she takes The TARDIS and her traveling companions on a brand new series of adventures.

            Rob Cerio, JL Mulvihill, Kimberly Richardson, Krewe du Who

Sunday 11am, Event One


Legitimacy of Science Fiction: Why It Should Be Taught and Isn’t. Science fiction has labored for a century under the stigma that it wasn’t serious enough to be taught. Join the discussion.

            Sherri Craig, Chris Genre

Saturday 10am, Event One


Life Casting 101. Join us as we discuss the do’s and don’ts of molding faces, heads, and other body parts. As part of our discussion we will be demonstrating the molding or a person’s arm.

            Jesse Shoemaker & Chad Besse of Darkwater FX

Saturday 9am, Panel 1


Mano a Mano: Hand-to-Hand Combat in Fact and Fiction. Certified Krav Maga instructor Louis Charron conducts a seminar on the realities of close combat.

            Louis Charron

Saturday 1pm, Poolside

Mastering the Dungeon:  the Art of Dungeon Mastering. Listen to an experienced Dungeon Master show off his ad-libbing skills in this talk of indeterminate length all about the ins and outs of DMing!  Things on the docket to prattle on about include advice for new DM’s, world building, NPC’s, villains, plot hooks, running sandbox style games, creating content on the fly, and incorporating character back story into the campaign.  This will be an open discussion panel and audience participation will be encouraged. 

            Charles Carter

Sunday 2pm, Panel 2


Monsters. One element that fantasy, science fiction, horror and myth often have in common is the lurking presence of monsters. What makes a great monster?

            Kurt Amacker, Chris Copeskey, Jessie Craig, Robert Krog

Saturday 5pm, Event Two


Narratives in Punk Rock, Black Metal, and Shock Rock. A look into the the strange and eerie absurdism, the dark and foreboding noir, and the macabre and gory horror of the heavy genres of Punk, Black Metal, and Shock Rock. Sick things unite in the this discussion of the music of the bizarre and creepy stories that we love to bang our heads to. A discussion of what attracts us to exploring our darkest thoughts, desires, and fears.

            Kurt Amacker, Sherri Craig, Lewis D’Aubin, Charles Gramlich, Thomas Parrie

Saturday 1pm, Event Two


The NOLA Horror Film Fest. The NOLA Horror Film Fest is a festival created by horror filmmakers for horror fans. Come learn the history and share some of the highlights as it celebrates the craft and advances the art form of Genre Filmmaking in Louisiana.

            Charles Lucia

Saturday 4pm, Panel 1


Our Journey to Deep Space. As you read these words, NASA is building vehicles which will carry astronauts to the vicinity of the Moon and beyond. Educator Kathy Beauford gives a presentation on our next steps into the solar system.

            Kathy Beauford

Friday 4pm, Panel 1


Owning a Geek Business. Everyone has a dream – to be writer or an artist, to open a bookstore, to open a bar, to move to Iceland. So, how can you actually make your nerdy dreams into reality?

            Alicia Dardar, Brian Held, Ash Reese

Sunday 12pm, Panel 3


Paranormal Self Defense. Bothered by metaphysical beasties? Do you sense paranormal activity and wish you could protect yourself? Come and learn some basic safety protocols that you can use at a moment’s notice, the next time you feel unsettled by the unseen.

            Charlotte Pipes

Friday 7pm, Panel 2


Prayer Service. A short non-denominational Christian prayer service followed by a social.

            Raymond Boudreau

Sunday 10am, Event Two


Pulp Returns! Our panelists explore the world of the modern pulp.

            Charles Gramlich, Tommy Hancock, Michael Scott

Sunday 1pm, Panel 3


Readings By Robert J. Krog. Horror, science ficition and fantasy writer Robert J. Krog reads his work.

            Robert Krog

Saturday 11am, Panel 2


“Reading Without Walls” and Beyond: Reading Challenges for Everyone. Stuck in a reading rut? Let’s make 2018 your year to step outside of your literary comfort zone and participate in a reading challenge. We’ll discuss Gene Luen Yang’s Reading Without Walls challenge, Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge, and even get a sneak preview of NOPL’s forthcoming reading challenge.

            Kacy Helwick

Sunday 11am, Panel 3


Replicators and Economics. Special guest of the U.S.S. NEW ORLEANS Troy Tomilson with help from you the discerning fans of Star Trek wants your input in making the Economy of the 24th Century a reality.

            USS NEW ORLEANS

Saturday 3pm, Event One


The Representation of Contemporary Reality in Horror/Sci-fi/Thriller Genres. Modern reality in the horror, thriller, and sci-fi genres is often represented through atmosphere that creates a sense of dread, technology that challenges the gods, character development that connects with audiences, stunning visuals, the suspension of disbelief, and leaps of the imagination; however, the trend towards portraying the real through a knowing meta-themed irony has become prevalent.

            Kurt Amacker, Sherri Craig, Charles Gramlich, Thomas Parrie

Saturday 11am, Panel 3

Rick and Morty: What the Hell is Really Going On? Under the surface of quantum mechanical explanations for multiverse theory lies the true meaning of Rick and Morty, bro. Wubalubadubdub!

            Andrew Meyers

Sunday 12pm, Panel 1


Running a Small Press. How to do it yourself.

            Allan Gillbreath, Tommy Hancock

Sun 11am, Panel 2


Scott and Eris: Telling Jokes. Scott Carroll and Eris Walsh share stories of the horrible things they’ve seen and done while on the road. Or something to that effect (18+ Only)

            Scott Carroll and Eris Walsh

Saturday 6pm, Event Two


See You Next Wednesday Presents: Trailer Park. Coming attractions as seen through the eyes of movie fans Tim Broome and Frank Schiavo.

            Tim Broome, Frank Schiavo

Saturday 5pm, Joey Grillot


Self-Defense Workshop. Certified Krav Maga instructor conducts a seminar on self-defense.

            Louis Charron

Saturday 2pm, Poolside


Sex and the Single Robot. Sex and robots – what does the future hold? (18+ Only)

            Louise Herring-Jones

Saturday 9pm, Panel 3


Star Trek Animated. The USS NEW ORLEANS remembers back to yesteryear, as at one time there was animated Star Trek Series.

            USS NEW ORLEANS

Sunday, 10am, Joey Grillot


Star Trek Online. It’s the MMORPG that kept Star Trek alive during the dry years of “Enterprise” and the 2009 Movie. Considered to be canon for the Prime Universe as the Federation and Starfleet have their adventures in the 25th Century.

            USS NEW ORLEANS

Sunday 2pm, Panel 3


Star Wars and Psychology. Daddy issues, mommy issues, abandonment issues, and control issues. This panel will discuss the motivations of the characters in all of the Star Wars films to date. Panelists and attendees will try to get to the bottom of the choices these characters make and the road to heroism or villainy.

            Sherri Craig, Chris Genre, Charles Gramlich, Gail Martin

Saturday 2pm, Event One


The Stories, Sounds, and Visual Art of Afrofuturism. What do Sun Ra and Men in Black have in common? What is it about Octavia Butler that people find so relevant in today’s political climate? Why are so many black artists inspired by the space and the technology of the future? We will answer these questions and more when we discuss the sounds, fiction, and visual art of Afrofuturism!

            Jakilah Mason

Saturday 5pm, Panel 2


The Suicide Radio Show. Join Scott Carroll, Rob Cerio, and Eris Walsh as they take old radio show scripts and read through them for your amusement. The kicker? None of them know which show they will be reading until they get on stage. Even better? You the audience get to participate! Enjoy, as we stumble through clunky dialogue and poorly written scenes.

            Scott Carroll, Rob Cerio, Eris Walsh

Friday 7pm, Event One


Talk Dirty to Me: The Art of Seductive Word Play. Words have power. The right words in the right places have the power to entice your partner. Fortunately, you can learn how to use those words into order to “kiss the girl” as certain crustaceans encourage. Otherwise, your sexy times may drown “under the sea.” Come learn the tricks of the “whozits and Whatits” and vamp up your vocabulary. (18+ Only)


Saturday 10pm, Panel 3


Tattoo Fandom: Show and Tell Take 2. Are you into fandom? Are you into tattoos? Come out to show and tell for adults. This not school anymore. Show off your ink, tell your stories,  if your ink is fan oriented all the better. (18+ Only)

            Alex R. Cannon and Friends

Friday 11pm, Panel 3

Treknology. NASA educator Kathy Beauford gives a presentation on technology in Star Trek and the modern world.

            Kathy Beauford

Saturday 1pm, Panel 1


Turning a Great Idea Into A Story With a Plot. Learn how to turn your idea into a real story with a plot.

            Hope Bridger, Rob Cerio, Chris Hayes, Louis Herring-Jones

Saturday 11am, Panel 1


Using Games as an Inspiration for Science Fiction and Fantasy. For many decades, fiction has been an inspiration for games. Author Guest of Honor Yoon Ha Lee talks about using games as the starting point for great fiction.

            Yoon Ha Lee

Saturday 12pm, Panel 1


Walking the Line Between Fact and Fiction. When writing steampunk or historical novels, how and when do you write in the historical facts? And how and when is it okay to blend in the fiction? How do you make this blend without making it sound either too unbelievable or too much like a history lesson?

            Allan Gilbreath, Gail Martin, JL Mulvihill

Sunday 1pm, Event Two


What Makes a Good Horror Movie and Can You Do It Yourself? Filmmakers talk about the art of scaring an audience.

            Chris Copeskey, Charles Lucia

Saturday 2pm, Panel 3


What Do You Recommend?  Our guests talk about what classic science fiction and fantasy they love that you may not have read yet – but should.

            Trisha Baker, Tommy Hancock, Mike Hinton, Sherry Melancon, JL Mulvihill

Friday 8pm, Event One


Where Do We Go From Here? When Source Material Ends. Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and more. Fans fall in love with characters and storylines and flock to see films or watch shows based on them. What happens when the storylines run out and the fans aren’t done yet?

            Sherri Craig, Chris Genre, Thomas Parrie

Sunday 2pm, Panel 1

World Building for Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Panelists discuss creating convincing settings.

            Mike Hinton, Yoon Ha Lee, Gail Martin, Sherry Melancon

Sunday 11am, Panel 1


The World of Tea. There’s not much like relaxing with a good book and hot cup of tea. Author, photographer and maker of her own special tea blends Kimberly Richards shares her knowledge of the beverage loved by billions.

            Kimberly Richardson

Saturday 3pm, Panel 2


The World Science Fiction Convention. Find out when and where the upcoming worldcons will be, what they’re all about, if New Orleans is bidding again, and how to get involved.

            Rebecca Smith, Mike Willmoth

Sunday 10am, Panel 2


The Writer’s Life. How to survive and thrive as a writer.

            Allan Gilbreath, Gail Martin, JL Mulvihill, Kimberly Richardson

Saturday 1pm, Panel 2


Writing for Children. The perils and pleasures of writing books for kids.

            Lauren Roberts, Vernon Smith

Saturday 12pm, Panel 3


Writing in the World of H.P. Lovecraft. Exploring Lovecraft’s mythos in original fiction while saying something new.

            Robert J. Krog

Saturday 7pm, Panel 2


WWII and the Magickal Battle of Britain. At the outset of Britain’s declaration of war on September 3, 1939, their country mobilized for battle. Unknown to most, one of Britain’s metaphysical societies joined the fray. Come and learn how they used occult methods to help bring about the end of the war.

            Charlotte Pipes

Sat 12pm, Panel 2


Yoga Sessions. Saturday and Sunday morning yoga at the con.

            Johnny King

Saturday 9am and Sunday 10am, Panel 3