Friday, December 5, 2014

Thoughts: The War on Cosplay

So by now if you are in the costuming community or following costuming you have most likely heard of the BleedingCool article I am about to talk about and if you haven't then lucky you!


Cosplayers of the world are upset and while what has been said is certainly hurtful I don't believe it's something we should take so personally.

So Pat Broderick is returning to DC comics after 20 years and he posted this publicly on his Facebook and you can read it as the on going comments continue.

todays heads up. If you’re a Cosplay personality, please don’t send me a friend request. If you’re a convention promoter and you’re building your show around cosplay events and mega multiple media guest don’t invite me….You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you’re a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you’re not helping the industry or comics market..Thank you..

 So lets dissect this before we get too emotional.

If you’re a Cosplay personality, please don’t send me a friend request.

Okay Mr. Broderick you don't want to friend costumers.  That's fine by me.

If you’re a convention promoter and you’re building your show around cosplay events and mega multiple media guest don’t invite me….You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you’re a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you’re not helping the industry or comics market..Thank you..

Now this here.  This right here.  I do NOT see this as an attack or war on cosplay.  Not at all.  I do see it as commentary on a particular company that runs conventions and Mr Broderick has a point.  Why friend anyone or attend a show that is not highlighting creators.  After all, creators are the heart of this hobby and they should be the headliners at a comic convention.  Some conventions are now entertainment conventions and would not hold value for both Mr. Broderick and fans like myself.

Now I see nothing wrong with cosplayers as guests.  I do become uncomfortable when they are the main attraction because, like I said, creators are the heart of the industry not cosplay or media.  As much as I enjoy cosplayers work, it does bug me when they have a larger marquee then Gail Simone or Neal Adams.  Okay, I get you.

And THEN, in the comments, we go on to how cosplayers are supposedly not fans and do not spend money at conventions.  This simply is not true.  My favorite was that maybe cosplay is a fad like disco.

I started enjoying comics quite sometimes ago.  Long before I had the confidence to wear a costume in public when it's not Halloween.  I have three comic book boxes which I have been slowly liquidating.  I have many hardcover and paperback trades.  I have a good amount of prints about my place because I love good art.  It's only recently I have started wearing t-shirts of fandoms but I have amassed quite a few over time.  I have schooled a few guys that assumed I wasn't a comic fan.

I like to cosplay characters I love.  I am inspired by characters I like.  There will always be some that I make more for the design (a-hem art) or because I was asked to for a group.  For the most part its becoming a character one loves and the pride in making it.  All the pride.  Pride in all the errors and moments when your sewing machine is seconds from dropping out of a window if it doesn't get its act together.

I don't need to explain my fandom but I will here anyway.

I also do not think it's fair to say cosplayers do not spend money at conventions.  In costume cosplayers are less likely to spend money.  This is true.  This is because it's rare we have anything to carry purchased items in.  However, we do travel and attend shows in street cloths.  We do shop when we are not in costume.  But vendors may not know or realize this.  They may not realize that some of their best customers are the exact same people they are complaining about because we camouflage so well once in costume or because they don't get to know us.

I have met many creators that I adore in costume and in street cloths and I do buy things from them.  Not an exorbitant amount because I don't have a large bank account but enough to know that I do spend money at conventions when I can.

I did have a vendor that clearly frowned on my cosplay to the point that I left a convention in tears.  I have seen that vendor since and I will never ever shop there.  In fact, I tend to give the man dirty looks out of emotional habit.  It an original art vendor.  I love art.  I could have been a big costumer but that will never happen.

I was a bit heart broken by the sheer amount of responders that do not like cosplay.  I saw some commenting on photos blocking traffic to their tables and through the convention itself.  I agree mostly.  Often when a cosplayer is stopped it's because someone asked them to and it's not always at the most convenient area.  Often I will take a quick look around and move somewhere slightly less crowded, but sometimes that's not possible.  I do try though.  I feel like many of these comments would be based on experiences in artist alley areas but I do not see how table traffic would really be affected but that it only my experience talking and I am also sure it's different behind the booth.  Though I also have to wonder how "interesting" these tables with the lack of traffic are because I have a feeling they might be the kinds I would pass up anyway.  Sorry not sorry.  Sour grapes.

Anyway, those are my scattered thoughts on this whole "WAR" as Bleeding Cool puts it.  Way to turn in a typical NEWS outlet Bleeding Cool.  Drum up a cosplay war, that will definitely get more hits.  I don't think Mr Broderick said anything wrong.  I don't think he was declaring war on cosplay.  I do think that for a change cosplay was having a quiet week and Bleeding Cool snuck in their to bring the drama out again.

I think is the first time I have truly commented on something like this.  Yay for 1sts?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Well hello there lovely, please leave a comment!