But…I was directed to an article posted on The Atlantic ‘The Comic Book Guys Quivering in Fear of Cosplay‘ and I got really upset.
We Are Not Bullies
The Atlantic article belittles Comic Book Creators, turning us into raging nerd-boys, when really we are just Professionals, with men and women in our ranks, all trying to earn a living. The article character assassinates Creators, painting us as Bullies… Most of the comments were the same way, with anyone speaking up in defence of the Creators being jumped on.
And that made me Hulk out…
I am tired… Sick and tired of Comic Book Creators being made out to be the bully, that we are picking on the poor defenseless Cosplayers, and we feel they have no right to be in a Comic book show. That is totally Bullshit… *We are not bullies!*Fun fact – Most of us were bullied growing up, why would we pay that forward?
Who We Are
I am a Creator… I write, illustrate, draw and talk comics (okay mostly Teddy Bears – but that is not the point!) As do all my friends in Artist Alley, we are all there (with the exception of a few) trying to get the word out about our work, to show it off, to hopefully make a few more fans and maybe sell one or two things. We all pay a lot of money for our space and really most of us only hope we make our expenses back to justify us to keep going.
Cosplayers you go to the show, to show off your outfits, have a good time and with the exception of a very few to pick up a comic book item or two, after all you are at your core fans of comic books.
I really have zero problem with that…
95% of us Exhibiting have zero problem with Cosplayers, we put up with being used as backdrop, crowd disruptions, and to a large extent the growing circus of Photographers that carry huge lighting rigs on their backs that hunt down Cosplayers. Because that is part of the show, it brings color and life to comic book creations.
We Are Eating Ourselves
What we don’t enjoy is when the disruption is constant. when the crowd gets so huge that the browsing Attendees cannot get to us. That is when problems happen… Almost all the Cosplayers I know are aware of that, and do their best to keep moving, or to suggest better places for photographers to take their pictures. But… It has become too much we have hit saturation point.
We are all eating ourselves and before you know it this will happen.
Comic Book Creators will stop going to shows, Exhibitors will stop going to shows, Vendors will stop going to shows and unless you are a Media Con like Wizard World, NYCC or SDCC the comic book convention will die. Our playground will disappear.
Remember Cosplay is not Consent? That was a huge issue throughout this year and I totally subscribe to it after all people are people no matter who they are, or what they dress up as.
So I am going to say this.
We respect your space, you respect our space. Japan has an interesting concept about Cosplayers, they are not allowed to stop for pictures in the show aisles, and instead have to go to a special photography area. I think that would work for us all. Is it time to ask Convention Show Runners to do this?
The Exhibitors get free aisles and good foot traffic, the Cosplayers get to move around the convention and actually do some browsing themselves without being constantly hounded for photographs.
This imaginary conflict has to end before it breaks into real animosity that BS articles like the ones on The Atlantic are trying to stoke. We have to get our heads around this before the bubble bursts and we all end up with nothing.
Mutual Respect Yo!
Who’s with me?