Hey, Geeks. Welcome to Your Favorite Thing Sucks, where I get to talk about all the worst parts of your favorite things. Comic-Con is one of the greatest things to ever happen to Geekdom. It’s like a paradise—where you can just be you without fear of judgment or terrible people ruining the things you love. Because everyone else there loves Geekery as much as we do, right? And yet, there are so many things that people can and WILL do to ruin your experience.
Just in time for SDCC — Your Favorite Thing Sucks: Comic-Con.
The Downsides of Cosplay
Cosplay is one of my favorite things IN THE WORLD. I LOVE that there are so many talented, creative people out there who can make my favorite characters come to life. It’s amazing. It’s gorgeous. It’s… Damn. It’s actually really frowned upon if you’re plus size, a person of color, or of a different gender than the person you’re cosplaying as. And that really takes the fun out of a lot of it—loving something with your entire heart and soul and knowing that if you try to express that love like the cool kids you’re probably going to get teased at best and… way worse at worst.
The “way worse” part doesn’t even necessarily apply to just women cosplaying “outside their body type,” either. Because there is a very real and very dirty secret in the cosplay community. Guys behind masks often either don’t know–or willfully forget–that Cosplay Does Not Equate to Consent. And that’s destructive. Let me just remind you: Just because a woman is dressed as a character that’s only wearing high-heeled boots and some ribbon does not mean that she wants to be grabbed, groped, or hear your lewd suggestions. She also doesn’t want to be your next viral video. I talked about this in more detail in my Deadpool Post. Head that way if you still have questions on what’s appropriate and what’s not. Especially if you’re planning to go as Deadpool because Deadpool cosplayers are the worst about this. I assure you — you are NOT being “in character.” You’re just being a dick.
It’s a shame that other congoers are so great at ruining Con for those who are just trying to experience it for themselves. I’ve known a lot of people who want to try cosplay but who are too self-conscious, nervous, or traumatized to try. However, while that’s terrible and sad, it shouldn’t affect your overall experience of Con if you choose not to cosplay, right? You can just wear a t-shirt about your favorite show, or a handbag. Or a pin. That’s harmless.
Yeah, not really.
Fan Superiority Complex is a Thing
Okay, so Fan Superiority Complex (FSC) isn’t actually a thing that’s been labeled and studied by professionals. But I’m labeling it right now and I *know* you’ve seen it. FSC is the thing that ruins fandoms, and consequently cons, for everyone. It’s when someone thinks that their fandom is obviously the best and won’t entertain the idea that it’s not, and sees you as a lesser individual if you don’t agree with them on every point. Or, even if you ARE part of the same fandom, they consider you “less of a fan” because you don’t know all of the same trivia, haven’t read all of the books, or haven’t memorized every episode and interview since its creation like they have. These are the people that will say phrases like “If you’re a REAL FAN you…” and “If you’ve only seen the movies then…”.
You’ve seen them before. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s annoying and it’s exhausting and it WILL happen if you make your fandoms known at Comic-Con. Because chances are jerks with FSC are going to be standing next to you in line over and over again. And there’s no way to escape them because there’s no escaping from a Comic-Con line. So you’ll have to stand for hours and hours listening to unsolicited opinions from someone who happened to see your Captain Marvel pin and wants to quiz you on every aspect of Carol Danvers’ personality. Which will inevitably lead to another 20 minutes of mocking your knowledge of every single Marvel movie thus far and the comics that the movies got wrong.
Via SDCC Unoffical Blog
I knew I’d get a chance to talk about Hall H. Look at that line. That is A LOT of people ready to prove themselves as the Greatest Fan.
Do we like lines so much that we’re willing to wait for HOURS so we can see a few teaser trailers or a panel that DEFINITELY filled up 600 people ago? Apparently.
You can’t even step aside to use the restroom because 1) you’ll lose your place in line and 2) the line for the bathroom is just as long, anyway. But it does make you wonder if that pin was worth the price you’re paying for it. Which brings us to…
Comic-Con is Expensive
I already mentioned that Comic-Con is one of the best things to happen to Geek Culture and that everyone should go at least once. The problem is that everyone understands that. And people will charge you an arm and leg so you can get that experience. This isn’t even just about merchandise, either. We all expect to pay exorbitant prices for our favorite merch at Con–that’s part of the experience that we’ve prepared for. But that’s just the tip of it. Want to park within walking distance of the convention center? That’s easily going to run you $60. Your hotel room is going to cost three times as much as any other weekend of the year. Hungry? We’re a few steps away from trading our firstborn child for a hotdog at this point.
Seriously. As Comic-Con becomes more expensive and the wage gap in America continues to grow, the percentage of elite congoers vs. everyday nerds is quickly starting to favor the former. I’m not saying that wealthy people can’t be geeks– I’m just saying that more and more people at Comic-Con look like Tony Stark, and I’m not sure they’re actually cosplaying.
ConCrud is Very Real. You Will Get It.
Of all the things we’ve discussed above, it’s probable that they’re each things you’re willing to look past or put aside for the experience of going to Comic-Con. And I don’t blame you. All of that is worth those four days of fandom and love and absolute Geekery. Really, it’s an awesome experience. But we never really think about when we get home again, do we?
But think about that last day. Exhausted and sweaty from walking between the Con and our cars and back again. Our single cosplay outfit stuck to our skin and smelling like the guy in the Wolverine costume that laughed at our Nightcrawler handbag and who OBVIOUSLY hadn’t washed his yellow spandex (“but we’re different. We don’t smell like that” you remind yourself again) throughout the entire convention. Poor because of all the extra expenses we weren’t prepared for, and SO aware that we have to go back to work tomorrow because we used all the vacation time we had to go to Comic-Con in the first place.
Then it hits you. The tickle in the back of your throat. The cough. The Crud. As with all events with THAT many people in that small of space — you get ConCrud just by breathing during Comic-Con. You might wash your hands a hundred times (standing in line outside the bathroom for 45 minutes for just the CHANCE to wash the germs away) but you know that not enough people use soap to make a difference and the dispensers in this bathroom are all out, anyway. Hell, at this point, all the Purell in the world will not save you, and you go back to work the next day feeling like death and still swearing up and down that it was worth it. That this was the best weekend of your life. That you will definitely go again next year.
Because there’s no way we can admit to ourselves that people are ruining this. That it’s getting worse every year. That maybe Comic-Con… just sucks.
Tahani Nelson is a “Geek of All Trades.” She’s dabbled in pretty much everything, but holds a special place in her heart (and schedule) for video and tabletop games. Other interests include attending Renaissance Faires and Cons in full dress, practicing calligraphy, writing fantasy novels, discussing comparative philosophy and morality, and apparently listening with a blank smile on her face anytime someone tries to convince her that Magic: The Gathering is as much fun as D&D.