Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Fall out that Led to Cos-play Appreciation Day

Tony Harris, comic book artist known for his work on series such as Starman, Iron Man, and Ex Machina, touched off a flurry of reactions when he made a Facebook post about the women who cos-play at cons. So, after you take a moment to read the original post I'll break down his argument and talk about some of the good that it did inspire.

Now, in case someone may have felt that his sexuality might invalidate his argument, Tony Harris assures readers that he appreciates "a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male.  Sometimes I even go for some racy type stuff." This, he feels, we need to know so that we understand his harsh words for "Cosplay-Chiks" doesn't extend from a lack of physical attraction (wanted or not on his part).  Instead his harshness stems from his preconceived notions that:

  1. Female Cos-players don't read or have any working knowledge of comics. "I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule."
  1. Female Cos-players are "Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot" resulting in an illusory "Con-Hot" rather than possessing any actual attractive physical qualities (because we all know that's what really counts when you Cos-play).
  1. Female Cos-players secretly hate Nerds, but are so insecure they prey on "a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls..."
As one might imagine many female readers, writers, artists, and all around geeks got mad, leading Gail Simone, current Batgirl writer, to declare today Cos-play Appreciation Day.  A great idea, and you can feel and share in the love and fun on Twitter by following the #CosplayAppreciationDay.  Sadly, some females do agree with this sad and jealous statement.  And, if there is one thing I hate, it is women who try to advance themselves by putting down the rest of their gender.

But, let's take a step back here and break down and consider the rest of Tony Harris' argument of who can and cannot be a "Real Nerd" or comic fan.  Clearly, Tony Harris believes that a true comic fan is a socially awkward male who is uncomfortable around the ladies and blindly worships the comic writer and artist.  A few females who actually read comics may pass the test and be allowed into this select club.  Chances are these particular females are also socially awkward since sexually confident females "wouldnt give [the Real Nerd] the fucking time of day." So, ladies and gentlemen, here's a news flash, if you are a socially confident individual who who is active in the dating scene (or in a relationship) you cannot, by Tony Harris' definition, be a real nerd.  You are probably to busy being social to "KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER." 

However, as Tony Harris points out, these characters are created by writers and artists.  Therefore, one must consider that if female cos-players are dressing provocatively, there is a good chance that the characters they are portraying are written and drawn to be provocative.  This led to one of my favorite Twitter comments.
This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.  I'm not trying to say that there should be no provocative female characters in comic books.  Villainesses are by default very sexy and provocative, because it's a large part of being "bad."  And, honestly, some of our heroines costumes are also very revealing hence why Kelly Sue DeConnick changed Miss Marvel's costume from the standard leotard look to a more powerful flight suit, plus gave her a promotion to Captiain.  The point being, you can't complain if a woman dresses provocatively when portraying a character that is provocative.
Yet, Tony Harris ends his rant by writing, "And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up." He's right that the characters were created by writers and artists, but he's wrong about the reason for the cons.  The cons are for the fans to eat, drink, and be merry with like minded individuals and, yes, the chance to meet the creative minds behind their favorite stories and characters.  But without fans, writers and artists don't have a job and therefore there is no con.  It seems to me that Tony Harris is really just jealous that the fanboys who he thinks should be falling to their knees in praise of him are instead enjoying the company of creative and confident females who share their interests and have the dedication to Cos-play.

Because, in the end, there is something truly sexy about an individual who has the dedication, confidence, and creativity necessary to Cos-play.  So check out and add your pictures and comments under #CosplayAppreciationDay on Twitter.

Also, check out another great blog post by Amy Ratcliffe about how the notion of the "fake geek girl" hurts all female geeks.

Post at you later,
     The Super Nerdy Hooker

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