Monday, December 8, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
And I’m OK with that.
What am I talking about? Comic book artist, Pat Broderick wrote a very inflammatory facebook post basically stating that everything wrong with modern conventions comes down to just cosplayers being there. Here’s a copy of his post.
Now, as an old man, bitter, crusty, and more than a little jaded, may I just say:
AWW! C’MON! REALLY?!
Things in the geek world were just starting to settle. People were starting to get along and it was getting quiet. Meaning Yaya hadn’t made a blog post or had an old article republished as a new one in about a week. Now this old fart has to come out swinging for the fences and get us all riled up again.
What we really end up here with is a classic example of Gate Keeping in the nerd culture. Especially obvious in the comments supporting his view. They all can be summed up with this:
Cosplayers are doing our characters without knowing anything about the character.
That’s their opinion. Before we ever cosplay a comic book or any other character, we need to go back, read every issue of every book that the character has ever appeared in. Learn the name and biography of every artist and writer of those issues. Then read every issue that they have ever worked on. Then and only then will we be qualified to cosplay that character. Only then will we be worthy.
Geek culture has changed. Its now mainstream. Its now cool. Conventions went from having a few hundred attendees to tens of thousands of attendees. That’s awesome. Conventions now shut down major city streets to have costume parades, and people turn out by the thousands to see this. That is awesome. Then, a lot of them go home. They came for the spectacle of the costumes. A lot of convention attendees are there just for the costumes. Just to people watch, and that’s pretty awesome too. Its nothing new, really. Its been like this for years.
Cosplayers are taking away the attention. Cons are about costumes and not comics anymore.
Wrong. Cons are about money.
It really comes down to marketing. TV and movie actors and even voice actors are big draws to conventions because we recognize them or their characters. We know them as their characters. Show me a picture of John Rhys-Davies and I’ll remember Sallah. Tell me that the voice in the Lexus commercials is actually the same person that provided the voice of Brain in Pinkey and the Brain, and what’s left of my mind is in that panel. Tell me that Pat Broderick is going to be there and I’ll say who?
Comic book artists on major titles is a very niche market. Not everyone is going to know who is who, especially if you’re a DC or Marvel artist. Those universes are so huge and intimidating no new fan is going to do all that research that Mr. Broderick seems to require.
So, what should they do? Try marketing themselves by more than their name and their tie to DC or Marvel. How about in their guest write up, mention the issue numbers that they worked on, you know help us out a little. You worked at a comic book publishing giant. The new fans of things geek are never going to know what your pedigree is if you don’t tell them.
Yeah, but all the big word space for promoting this goes to the big stars and not to the artists. So, then how is that the fault of the cosplayers? Sounds to me that convention runners have figured out the simple truth comic book artists are resisting. Movie and TV stars bring in people. People mean money. Except for cosplayers. We’re broke.
That’s the other side of this argument. Comic artists and writers and vendors complain that at the big cosplay conventions, they don’t make any money because cosplayers don’t buy anything. Well the simple truth is that’s because I’m broke. Do you have any idea of the time and money that goes into a costume, travel to a con, hotels, food, and then you expect me to pay you $50 or up for a simple line drawing of a character you drew 20 years ago? Do you have any idea how much hot glue $50 will buy? I do. Cosplaying is a super expensive hobby and I’m sorry I didn’t budget myself the money to throw at your feet.
Times are changing old man. Times have changed. The world is cold and cruel. Only the strong can survive in this environment. Adapt or die, that’s your choice now. Learn to market yourself, educate the new fans, and appreciate that you have new fans, or any fans at all for that matter.
Over on Pat’s facebook page, there is a lot of hate toward cosplayers going on, but it seems at least one of Pat’s friends gets it.