by Zachary Clemente

In October, comics veteran Patrick Broderick announced that he was returning to DC for an unnamed project after 20 years. A few days ago, he posted the below on his facebook page, requesting that people who are cosplay personalities or represent conventions who build their show to include cosplay and media guests should not invite him and went on to suggest that the inclusion of those individuals bring no value to the show and that the people in charge of these shows are not a positive force in comics. This is an open letter to Mr. Broderick, whose works includes: The Fury of FirestormMicronautsCreature CommandosBatman: Year Three and many others.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 9.24.16 AM

Dear Mr. Broderick,

Can I call you Pat? Cool – thanks. I want to talk to you about the you made comments a few days back that have drummed up quite a din in the comics world. I’m concerned that you haven’t really been keeping close tabs on what many folks have been discussing when it comes to cosplay at conventions and to a lesser extent, media/entertainment guests. Before we get into it, let’s be clear: I think you and everyone who has sided with you it wrong as wrong can be; let’s talk about why.

Before I go further, I’d like to discuss the history of costuming at conventions and cosplay. “Cosplay” is a portmanteau of the words “costume” and “play” that was coined by Japanese reporter Nobuyuki Takahasi, who wrote up his experiences at the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention for the My Anime magazine. That was around time you were working on Sun Runners for Pacific Comics and Eclipse Comics, yeah? Secondly, it’s important to point out that it was at the 4th annual San Diego Comic-Con where their first masquerade was held – a now-common convention event where costumers are encouraged to show off their work. It was a big enough deal that June Foray (voice of Rocky the Squirrel) emceed. That was 1974, right around the time where you started working for DC, unless I’m mistaken.

forrycostume
Ackerman in his “futuristicostume”, designed by his friend Myrtle Douglas

To run the gamut, I want to know if you’ve heard of Forrest J. Ackerman – I hope so because even I have. For those unclear, Forrest “Forry” Ackerman (born in 1916) was the collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and, arguably, the most important science fiction fan to have lived. The influence of his work in the world of science fiction is nothing short of monumental; hell, he coined the phrase “sci-fi”. I’d also like to point out that he was costuming in 1939 – two decades before you were born. For the first ever World Science Fiction Convention, Ackerman showed of his slick duds, dubbed his “futuristicostume” – looking akin to an early superhero. He, in essence, was the first ever cosplayer. The point of all of this is that what cosplaying, as a pursuit and a sanctioned and supported activity, has been around in the convention scene essentially as long as you have, if not longer. Perhaps not to the degree that it is presently, but around nevertheless. You are saying that something that has been part of the very marrow of comic conventions for as long as you’ve been working in comics “brings nothing of value” and is “not helping the industry or [the] comics market”. How do you codify that arrangement?

Pat, I urge you to ponder where these statements are coming from. Who are these people not helping and what kind of help, exactly, does the comics market require? Additionally, what is your definition of the “value” that needs to be brought into a convention space to be worthy? I press you on this because I think your notions of what a convention should be and what they have, for the most part, evolved into are very different and that troubles you. Due to this disconnect, this is now how I read your request:

You bring nothing of value to the shows me. You’re not helping the industry or comics market me.

All of this is part and parcel to the true issue that your “request” is wrought with: entitlement. Not to beat around the bush, the first reason most comics pros will complain about cosplayers at conventions is that it detracts from their sales. I don’t truly know if this is your exact issue, but your voice is one of many such voices decrying the presence and the support of cosplaying at conventions; that cacophony is what I aim to address.

I’m sorry to break the news, but attendees at conventions owe you nothing. Like you, every attendee had to pay to be there and has their own agenda which does not always include dropping money on comics, toys, paraphernalia, or the various other items typically sold on the floor. Like buying anything, essentially anywhere – the choice of when, what, and how someone purchases is up to the consumer. I’m not trying to say that it’s exclusively on the the shoulders of the retailers and exhibitors to ensure that they make any sales at all; I’m saying that suggesting that one factor in the economic ecology of conventions is the problem is laughably narrow-minded and indicative of a dangerous unwillingness to take a step back from an exhibitor table and take a thoughtful look around.

Pat, would you say her passion is of no value?

What kind of help does the comics industry require? I think the most easily addressed need is that comics need more readers and you know – I think that’s (mostly) being worked on. Comics, especially those published by DC and Marvel are typically not very accessible to new readers. Runs spanning hundreds of issues, complex interwoven plot arcs, and more character death/rebirth/reboot than you could shake 52 sticks at. Other companies have made a far more concerted effort to accommodate with quality books, but they don’t yet garner the percentage of sales that the Big 2 get. However, the numbers are changing and that indicates a change in the interests of comics readers, and subsequently, the change in the demographic of comics readers. The biggest growing demographic in comics readership is women – especially teenagers. Quick poll: who is most likely to be cosplaying at a convention? You got it: women. I genuinely believe that these two factors, among others, are correlated. The more contemporary convention has more reasons for people to attend and one of those reasons is to cosplay. These spaces are for more than just comics now, especially at SDCC or NYCC which haven’t been for a decade or more, but that’s all part of knowing what show is best for your needs.

Pat, you ask that conventions that push cosplay and media guests as a main attraction shouldn’t invite you. You know, I don’t think any of them will have a problem with that.

Maybe your SDCC or NYCC just aren’t the sort of shows that you want to exhibit at anymore. That’s totally fine, feel free to check out this intense list of shows that run annually. You are sure to find something at least once (if not twice) a month that accommodates for your needs. That’s a personal preference, not a problem. Really, this whole thing can be a non-issue for you.

What irks me, however, is the aforementioned cacophony of pros shaking their proverbial fist at the generally younger attendees in their outfits and crying foul; all with the misplaced irritation Abe Simpson harbors against an atmospheric mass. This isn’t a generational thing, though age is absolutely a factor; it’s a blame thing. They’re desperate to pin one easily targetable group of people for being the genesis of change that it’s so easy to forget that an audience doesn’t have direct voice in how conventions are run. It’s not like cosplayers go to ReedPOP’s offices to tell Lance Fensterman that there needs to be more cosplay events or they’ll bust his kneecaps. There’s isn’t some super-influential underground society of geeky seamstresses who appear on the oaken boardroom table of San Diego Comic-Con’s planning committee demanding that the masquerade go two hours longer. The notion of blaming cosplayers for the changing climate of conventions is putting the cart before the horse then trying to blame the cart for the lack of motion.

What’s actually happening is that the passion of costuming, that’s existed as long as the modern American comics industry, has found a rejuvenated home with a younger demographic and conventions have, smartly, provided them a platform to celebrate that passion with other like-minded folks alongside dovetailing interests. This is thing that should be celebrated, not decried; quit trying to ostracize a huge group of potential new comics readers because they celebrate their interests differently. Literally any fandom that centralizes around comics have been revitalized by an active cosplay community. On the scale of expressing passion for a thing, spending months making a costume to wear at a convention is way up there, just under getting a very large and visible tattoo. It’s time to accept that buying original comic pages and attending panels aren’t the only ways to show that you’re a fan of something at a convention. I urge you to check out the #CosplayersAREfans tag on twitter to see tangible proof that people who cosplay buy more than enough at conventions.

ECCC

I want to settle on a positive note, so I’m going to highlight one of the very best shows I attended this past year and why I think it was a perfect combination of cosplay, media guests, and comics. I’m talking, of course, about Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, which runs annually in late March. First off – it’s pretty big: around 70,000 attendees. There’s a TON of space, so it’s easy to accommodate for cosplayer needs. In fact, there were 2 bookable fan meet-up spaces that were considered part of the official schedule. The size also affords the convention the ability to section off a large swath of the floor for their media guests so all it happens out of the way of the show floor, easing any confusion of congestion. All that said, I was blown away by the sheer percentage of exhibitors that were comics creators. It was easily 75%, the rest being a combination of games dealers, vendors, publishers, art collectives, and the alike. Additionally, they don’t skimp on their comics guest list – having a mix of 150+ comic writers, illustrators, and colorists already on the docket for the upcoming show in 2015. To top it all off, they ran the most successful campaign addressing the harassment of cosplayers – an unfortunately common problem at conventions. It was openly discussed, with promotion spread far and wide weeks before the event. Coupled with the prominent signage all around the show floor, ECCC’s “Cosplay is not Consent” campaign is an excellent example of a convention addressing a genuine problem appropriately with ease. It’s a brilliant show, Pat. You should check it out.

As my once-almost-editor David Harper often says, we’re all in this together. There’s the thought I always want to come from whenever I see this sort of attitude voiced by you and many others. There’s a good future available to us in comics and you’re holding us back from it. Thanks for reading Pat, I hope you reconsider your stance.

All The Best,

Zachary Clemente

PS: If you really think selfies are the highest expression of narcissism, I suggest you don’t look at any European art after 1433 as Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man is commonly thought to be the first self-portrait.

PPS: After finishing this letter, I noticed that you posted a followup to his original request. It elaborates on your point and it doesn’t change my response; your voice is once of many that needs to be addressed. However, there was one comment you made that drives me up the wall:

…but keep in mind that these shows started and continue to be [PG] rated family friendly events so consider the children who attend with their parents and the uncomfortable position you’re putting the parents in with your designs.

Sure, some of these outfits are a bit revealing, but have you taken a look at the majority of the canonical female-bodied superhero costumes DC and Marvel have to offer? Not much to work with there, Pat. Additionally, if you’re going to suggest that cosplayers should be cognizant of only presenting kid-friendly content, let’s be sure to take down every artists’ cheesecake pinup of Mary Jane Watson, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, or I don’t know – pick literally any female-bodied superhero and someone will be selling a print of her in a “sexy” (read: exploitative) pose. This is the only thing you’ve said I’m not willing to play ball with Pat. You want exclusively “child friendly” content at cons? Then you’re going to have to make sure nary an artist has visible work that falls outside this category and then we’ll talk. Please don’t act like cosplayers are the problem here; you’re holding them to a standard that straight-up doesn’t exist on the show floor. Pat, this is the first image I get when I do an image search for “Superheroine”.  Tell me how that image is PG while the costume would not be.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Just to play devil’s advocate, let’s look at it this way – the “sliding slope” would be that eventually, cons are only cosplayers and people interested in media guests. That’s making the assumption that the cosplayers (and the media-people) do not spend much money on art or comics, which is an assumption but not one that I see this article disputing. So artists and vendors no longer can afford to attend because they can’t justify their presence. Publishers could possibly still attend as a marketing expense, but if we’re assuming the cosplayers don’t buy things, then there may not be a reason for them to show. So the big question is, can the shows stay alive in that situation? Does the loss of revenue from artists and vendors tables prevent them from being able to hold the shows? I don’t have the answer to that question, but that would be the question.

    I think it’s rather like the big bookstores where they let you come in, sit and read. Sure, that’s great to a certain extent, but I’m sure they are always wary of a situation where more people JUST read and don’t actually buy anything to the point of them not making any money. It’s entirely possible that we’re not really anywhere near that, but the fact that we’re starting to see complaints bears noticing.

    It’s also possible that internet selling is entirely to blame and cosplayers are getting a bad rap.

  2. If Zachary Clemente, previously unknown to me, were to become a columnist – regular or guest – for any website, I would read his every column, regardless of the extent to which I might agree or disagree with his particular positions and regardless of its length.

  3. @Glenn, the assumption that cosplayers don’t spend money has no proof of being true. It’s a a wild accusation, which in fact is disproven by the #CosplayersAREfans link (https://twitter.com/hashtag/CosplayersAREfans?src=hash) in the actual article above.

    So entirely removing that “assumption” (I use quotes because I think the correct term is “accusation”), all we are left with from your response is:

    — “It’s also possible that internet selling is entirely to blame and cosplayers are getting a bad rap.” —

    This is something, that is MUCH, much more likely. Back in the early days of collecting, conventions were the best and only option of finding that the missing items in ones collection, or finding rare collectibles, art and hand made crafts. The birth of the internet, has allowed us to find whatever our hearts desire, by simply tapping a keyboard.

  4. Several of the writer’s and artist I follow are either encouraging people to cosplay their characters, or they have been cosplayers themselves. Heck, Wendy Pini (Elfquest) used to cosplay as Red Sonja and these days the official Elfquest Facebook page, as well as their Twitter stream, are posting tons of Elfquest coplay photos.

    I really don’t see how that’s not “helping the industry.”

  5. @Glenn, that’s some pretty specious reasoning in your argument. If you’re posing a hypothetical where that stuff is true, then by default it is true, however that just doesn’t play out when given the scrutiny of things that exist in the real world. More people are attending cons than ever before, and certainly many of those people are there for cosplay or the media guests but that doesn’t in any way translate to a decrease in the number of people there for the comics or any of the other things going on at most big cons these days. And you know what, if that change does happen then it’ll happen gradually and those comic fans and artists will find a different convention offering them what they want out of a show. THose fans aren’t going to evaporate because there are too many costumes in the environment.

    Now, to look at this with a real world example. I run a small comic publishing house, we put out around 30-50 titles a year, ranging from mini comics to graphic novels, we are present at all the decent sized conventions in New Zealand and Australia, so I have some knowledge of how these crowds behave. Certainly, there are many cosplayers who don’t buy comics, but no more or less than non cosplayers who don’t buy comics, but you know who are far more open to the idea of engaging with something new? You guessed it, the people who are driven by passion and love of something who exist as a welcoming community. I know from experience that if a cosplayer tells me they’ve never read a comic then there’s a much higher chance that today will change that than if say a gamer said the same thing.

    This open letter is pretty on point, comic cons are a place for everyone, but especially ap lace for the people who haven’t found a comfortable place in the rest of the world, at their best these shows become a community of people who are all in one place because they want to celebrate how much they like something, not because they want to block communities of people from attending, that can happen out in the real world.

  6. Broderick specified professional cosplayers and media as guests – not fans cosplaying. There is a distinct difference between the two that almost everyone has ignored, particularly this article. Cosequently, almost everything written above is inapplicable.

  7. So far as the accusation that cosplayers don’t buy anything goes, none of the cosplayers in my circle of friends do their shopping while in costume, largely for the same reasons you wouldn’t want to hit Black Friday sales in your Sunday best. The vendor floor gets saved for Sundays when it’s back to jeans and t-shirts.

  8. I get a thrill when I see fans cosplaying as Black Lightning, Misty Knight or Tigra. It’s a bright spot of any convention I attend.

    If I weren’t deathly ill at the moment, I’d be blogging about this nonsense. Instead, I’ll give you the short version of where I stand.

    Evolution is real. Comics conventions are evolving. New people are coming into our world and their interests extend beyond actual comic books. I’m excited about this new audience and, in 2015, hope to find ways to connect with them our mutual entertainment and benefit.

    When I read or hear comics creators grousing about these newcomers, I picture the creators waving around their stumpy T-rex arms in impotent rage as they stubbornly wait for the comet to land on them.

    There’s plenty of room in our world for all kinds of fans.

  9. I don’t think there is anything wrong with professional cosplayers being guests either. There is a skill set in recreating costumes using a wide variety of material. Building costumes for other people has definitely become an industry. People who are really good at creating those costumes and look great in them are sure to become popular enough that other cosplayers are going to want to meet them as part of the convention experience.

  10. Broderick should worry about following through on his paid commissions before worrying about cosplayers. He has one of the worst reputations for taking money upfront for commissions and then disappearing. That’s a much bigger problem for him than appearing at a con that also features cosplayers.

  11. While this is a nice defense of cosplay, it doesn’t really get to the point and the reason behind Broderick’s statement which seems pretty obvious. I’m reminded of the buggy whip speech that Danny DeVito gives at the end of the film “Other People’s Money”. The buggy whip here is how comic book pros used to run their business and what conventions used to be as opposed to what they are today. This is the rant of the guy who has lost his job because of automation and places the blame on the company that makes the robots rather than on the company that laid him off for trying to cut down manufacturing costs.

    And I get Broderick’s frustration. Change is a bitch. I went through all of that after the 08 crash and was shoved back into a job market that didn’t look or operate anything like it had 25 years earlier. It’s scary to have to change how you think, scary to have to completely change your business model in order to make a living. That’s where Broderick is now. And it’s not that Broderick is entirely wrong here. The heavy presence of media has detracted from comics and artists alleys. That’s just an objective truth. Broderick has to alter how he does business to accommodate that change rather than just wait for an invitation to the buggy whip factory.

    Also, this clearly isn’t a sexism thing as sites such as the Mary Sue are trying to frame it (Broderick hates cosplay? Cosplay is mostly women! Broderick hates women!!). This is just another old dude angry at change and, in his anger, placing the blame on the wrong thing. As a cranky old dude myself, I’m here to tell you Pat, you have the ability to change with the times. If I can do it, anyone can.

    PS. If you do happen to be reading this Pat, I loved yours and Cary Bates work on Captain Atom. That series was great. Good luck.

  12. I have been going to conventions for forty years, the last thirty of them, I’ve been a pro artist. To me, they are almost sacred ground where EVERYONE who comes through the door is family . Cosplayers, casual fans, children and old men…if you left your home and came to the convention because you love nerd culture enough to spend your Saturday amongst the Hobbits and Skrulls, you are family.

  13. I couldn’t read all the way to the end of this post. And scrolling past the double–or even triple–postscripts just made my eyes bleed. Whatever your ideas about cosplay and convention marketplaces is, every time an older comics pro complains–erroneously or not–about what they see as a problem, it doesn’t require a zillion word “open letter.” It’s okay for Pat Broderick to be bitchy about cosplay. He’s earned it. Him bitching about cosplay in no way is going to diminish or damage the cosplay community. Pat Broderick’s opinion more or less doesn’t matter AT ALL to whether or not people are going to dress up in cute costumes at shows, and pretending it does so you can write this enormously annoying Open Letter and murder the English language with your verbose overuse of Thesaurus.com/snark is a waste of everyone’s time. Let a grumpy old comics artist bitch about things, no one cares! More people dress in costumes at shows than even know who Pat Broderick is–I don’t think comics or cosplay or convention needs your protection, and it already has plenty of over-written snark. Find something that matters to waste all this energy on, for Christ’s sake.

  14. I don’t really have so much of a significant opinion about the issue being debated here, as I’d rather like extend wishes that Tony Isabella gets better real soon.

  15. I’d like to state for the record that I in no way agree with Pat Broderick. That being said however… he did post something on his own personal Facebook which he is entitled to do and apparently 180+ people on his friend’s list share his sentiments. Zach Clemente seems to want to start a discussion or debate which is cool and welcomed but I feel it’s a bit overly political correct to pen an “open letter” filled with swarmy sarcasm simply because, you know, someone DISAGREES with you. This article does not change Pat Broderick’s mind as we can presume it’s already made up. Therefore what’s the upside of writing it? I guess it boosts Zach Clemente’s profile a bit. Otherwise there was a much better way to continue this “debate” or conversation- which should be continued- instead of taking a professional who is entitled to his opinion regardless of whether or not it is the *popular* opinion or not.

  16. And, after reading the aforementioned comments I’d like to second what Dustin Harbin said much better than I did. The more I re-read it the snark and misplaced sense of entitlement and pseudo-offendedness from the author is just kind of obnoxious. (“THIS is the first image I get when I look up “superheroine” PAT, you tell ME if it’s proper or not blah blah blah” as if some comic artist from the 70s-80s is the spokesman for such things or that such things are always black and white!) This is just making a mountain out of a molehill and a guy exploiting an off-handed and honest comment, trying to parlay it into his own moment on a soapbox. As if Cosplay is in danger of at all vanishing because of the opinions of ONE professional? Please kid. The P.S.s were extra douche-y.

  17. Costuming (and you noticed I said costuming, not cosplay–the term had given me a bad taste for that term nowadays with that show on SyFy) has been around since Uncle Forry Ackerman did the costume at the science fiction world convention. San Diego Comic-com had costumers there. I made and wore mine there and other cons. My son won at Comic-con’s masquerade in children’s division, for costume of Littlest Imperial Officer my husband and I made for him). Many of my friends and I were doing this in 70s-90s. I even did for while through 2009. I am a published authors and do the con circuit (mainly the science fiction, fantasy and horror cons) as that as a guest. Never as costumer–though was asked to do panels on costuming back in my costuming days. Was considered a Master costumer, do to the number of win at cons allowed by the costuming guild. But I would never thought of myself as a celebrity costumer. That was those who do it for a business in films and TV shows, or stage plays. And no, I did not make myself “Doom Kitty, or Arch Angel.” I made all types of costumes and I was still me. I only did costumes as an artistic endeavor and hopefully to be taken pictures of in my costume I wore at the time.
    But honestly, no comic artist should feel threatened by a costumer. Of course, maybe the times have changed. Seems to, even among Fandom at SF cons.
    By the way, I still costume occasionally–last costume was a Victorian dress sewn and made with the accessories for a steampunk costume in 2011 for ConCarolinas. Next one will be for the masquerade stage of Marscon in Williamsburg next month were i am an author guest. It is for fun and to see if still have the creativity.

  18. While in one sense, I agree that it’s a bit weird to say that sexy cosplay is not family-oriented when they are depicting characters who are themselves sexy, I would also point out all of the other ethical discussions where a drawing of something is clearly labeled as “not a person” – like when people get in trouble for having drawings of kiddie porn. Not to mention the difference in reality between a drawing of something and an actual real-live demonstration of it. I once read something where a cosplayer said that an artist should have known people would cosplay his character so if he didn’t want sexy cosplayers he shouldn’t have created the character that way. Which sounds utterly false to me – the concept that someone would dress up the character should be furthest from their mind.

  19. Pat Broderick is still more famous and relevant to people who actually read comics than any cosplayer or Beat writer I have ever heard of.

  20. @J. Vaughn: Actually, I think almost everything written above is still applicable.

    @Dustin Harbin: Coincidentally, I couldn’t make it to the end of your comment.

    @Not Percy Shelley: Starfire’s costume is FROM the 1980’s.

    And I keep seeing the “just ignore it” argument every time this conversation repeats. Look, I’m just as sick as you are of seeing this debate trotted out every few weeks — but I think it’s absurd to blame it on the people who RESPOND to it instead of the people who START it.

    Cosplayers, as a group, don’t deserve to be criticized, dismissed, told they’re Not Real Fans. That’s exclusionary bullshit, and it deserves to be challenged and rebutted.

    If even one cosplayer read Broderick’s comments and felt alienated or hurt by them, that is one too many. And that cosplayer deserves to hear that most people don’t agree with Broderick, and that she is welcome.

    I’m going to hazard a guess that most of us have, at some point in our lives, been insulted, mocked, or bullied for our hobbies and interests. It strikes me that we have three choices: we can choose to break the chain and to be kinder and more welcoming than the people who did that to us; we can choose to continue the cycle and find somebody ELSE to insult, mock, or bully for not being enough like us; or we can shrug our shoulders and do nothing.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

    @Steve L.K. Macrocranios: That’s not an argument, it’s an appeal to authority. And not a very good one. The problem with appeals to authority is that it’s pretty trivial to find bigger names than Pat Broderick who don’t agree with Pat Broderick. So either Pat Broderick is wrong because there are people “more famous and relevant” than he is who disagree with him, or just maybe fame and relevance don’t actually make one shred of difference as to whether somebody is right or wrong about a thing.

  21. “Gosh darn those fans of [popular comics TV show]! They just come to gawk and don’t buy anything!”

    This weekend, there was a cosplay/dealer show over at the Resort World casino near JFK airport. I didn’t go, not because of the programming (which was mostly cosplay, with some comics pros), but because the entrance fee was $20.

    There’s a lot of stuff at shows that doesn’t catch my interest. I tend to ignore it. Being a geek means you are passionate about something, and I respect and encourage that passion. I’m very unlikely to cosplay (although I do create backstories for Halloween costumes), but I do enjoy the time and effort. Plus, I’m insatiably curious about everything, so I’ll probably be able to ask some questions, and allow the individual to share their joy and experience with me.

    And I’d do the same for professionals as well. I never noticed Mr. Broderick’s work before, even though I’ve been reading EVERY DC comic since the Black Lantern event, and have studied comics since 1984. I did like the brief story arc where other nations had developed Firestorm copies, and hope that the multiverse will allow for that to reappear.

    Share your passion, and tolerate the rest. If you can’t tolerate it, then find a space which makes you feel comfortable.

  22. @Thad

    If even one cosplayer read Broderick’s comments and felt alienated or hurt by them and they’re NOT a professional cosplayer, they are overreacting.

  23. On an unrelated note: Does anyone proofread this stuff? “I want to talk to you about the you made comments a few days back that have drummed up quite a din in the comics world.” This seems to happen a lot on this site.

  24. I agree with Dustin Harbin. People are entitled to their own opinion. I had no opinion about the issue before this piece, but I found this piece so annoying and entitled that I’m willing to join any team that is anti-this article.

  25. Heidi: I love the Beat and consider it one of the higher quality sites covering the industry. That’s why it’s extremely disturbing to see articles on your site with typos and grammatical errors. It’s distracting.

  26. I said nothing about Starfire’s costume in the 1980s so suspect this was directed towards another comment. No big deal. If even ONE cosplayer was “hurt” by a guy who is, honestly, not really prominent by today’s standards in the comics world- well, I would risk seeming insensitive or pro-abuse by suggesting that maybe they need to develop a thicker skin. This was not a big deal. The very amateurish author of this article wanted to make it a big deal. Simple as that.

  27. People who are defending Broderick’s ability to speak his mind freely while also telling the person who wrote this article to shut up? Hilarious. Sad, but hilarious.

  28. FYI: Going back through the traditions of science fiction cons and the first few decades of comic-cons, there is a difference between cosplay and costume competitions. Originally, if a show had a masquerade competition, costumes were created and worn specifically for that. If people wore costumes around the show during the day, those outfits were not eligible for competing. These were instead called “hall costumes.” Some shows gave awards for hall costumes (judges would walk around the show and hand out ribbons or some other item to their favorites). It wasn’t until anime hit big in the 1990s that the term “cosplay” (remember all those Sailor Moon outfits?) came into popular use for hall costumes.

  29. One thing is apparent with most cos-players, they either do not own a mirror or a conscientious when they are over 200 lbs and put on a spandex outfit. I want to pluck my eyes out! “Professional cos-player”. Is that the same as genuine reproduction? God bless Pat Broderick and Mrs. Dave Dorman.

  30. @Spencer

    Yeah, because a person posting a quick note and conversing on their FB page and an article on a major news site over-examining said comment are exactly the same. One is a relatively quiet and private discussion, however misinformed. The other is fanning the flames of over reaction through misrepresentative click-bait.

    I mean seriously… are you really holding a comment on a FB page to the same level of responsibility as a journalist?

  31. Max: Seriously… stop. It’s one thing to suggest that high profile media guests and cosplayers detract from comics. It’s another to fat-shame people. It’s people like you that bring out the absolute worst in these conversations.

  32. Let me say that I go to shows simply to buy comics I’m looking for. I have ZERO interest in cosplayers or, for that matter, meeting “comics pros” and/or “celebrities”.

    That being said, I don’t mind any of them being there one bit. they have just as much right to be there as me, no more or no less. As for cosplayers not buying anything, well, if the show doesn’t have any comics on my want list, guess what? I don’t buy anything, either. Does that mean I’m bad for shows? Like a previous poster said, the only thing that keeps me from attending a show is the admission price.

  33. In my opinion, both Broderick and Clemente are overreacting and misguided. Broderick’s post was obviously born of frustration, but it’s not just the cosplayers and media guests that are hurting either to the comics industry/the convention experience/Broderick’s bottom line. Anything seldom comes down to one or two reasons. If he is not making money at conventions, it’s not just due to competition with the cosplayers or media guests, it’s also with comic dealers, clothing merchants, weapons sellers, and many more reasons including the his fellow artists in artist alley.

    On the other hand, this whole piece reads like Broderick pissed Clemente off and, by gum, Clemente was going to tell him about it. Hurt feelings typically don’t make for good articles, at least in my writing they don’t. And it shows here because his opening argument is that cosplay has been around for 75 years, as if that refutes anything Broderick said.

    What gets me is that the whole argument is futile. Cosplay is not going anywhere no matter how many friend requests Pat Broderick denies or how many paragraphs Zachary Clemente devotes to its defense. We didn’t see a rash of cons telling Yaya Han or William Shatner not to bother coming after Mrs. Dorman spoke out months ago, did we? As long as convention organizers can make money off of cosplayers and media guests, we’ll still have costume contests, celeb meet & greets, and vendors selling wares for either category. Once the money dries up, then they might disappear.

  34. I would also state publicly that Pat Broderick is a conman who cheated me off $525 in unfulfilled commissions and won’t refund my money.

  35. @J. Vaughn – Couldn’t any op-ed published on a website be considered click-bait? Some folks seem to think that comic sites should run nothing but cold-hard facts or reprint press release statements from publishers; otherwise, it’s click-bait. Of course Broderick can say whatever he wants on his FB page, just like The Beat can run whatever they want on their website. It’s hilarious to me how many comments I’ve read in my life complaining that the article is just click-bait. Yet, you clicked on it! Weird.

    @Dustin Harbin – “I don’t think comics or cosplay or convention needs your protection, and it already has plenty of over-written snark. Find something that matters to waste all this energy on, for Christ’s sake.” So what you mean to say is “I’m sick of this snark! How can I tell you that you shouldn’t be snarky in the most snarky way I can?!? I know! I’ll hint that you fancy yourself a protector of an entire industry for writing an article that expresses your opinion! Then I’ll imply that having that opinion is just a waste of energy while ignoring the fact that I took time out of my own life to comment on that article and let everybody know MY opinion! Now that’s a good use of energy!” You say that we should let the old artist bitch as if someone’s putting a muzzle around his mouth. When folks bitch about something that other folks care about, then those other folks might comment about it. And when they do, they might be snarky. If that’s too much for you, I’d retreat from the internet as fast as possible.

  36. @Hufnagel0 – You seem to have misunderstood the nuance of the term “clickbait”. It’s typically directed at web links that are mis-representative of their source material, as this article is. Yeah, the Beat can run whatever they want. But if they make the choice to run “news” that misrepresents it’s source, then they deserve to be called out on it. They are a news site, after all. That is NOT the same as an individuals post on his Facebook page.

  37. I think the problem is that cons are just completely changing. I think it’s shitty when NYCC is packed to the gills and features wrestlers and Frankie Muniz, but the better solution, for both comic book professionals and fans, is to attend conventions that are more to their liking. I went to cons in Westchester, NY and Bridgeport, CT that were both much smaller than NYCC, but both much more focused on comic stuff.

  38. When did the title of the article lead you to believe this was anything but an opinion piece? When did it claim to be news? The title doesn’t misrepresent the content at all.

  39. @All Outta Bubble Gum – Hardy har har. We’re talking about the title of this article, not the site; but I have a feeling you knew that already. Either way, my point remains the same: some folks seem to think opinion pieces just shouldn’t exist on sites that also reports news, and that’s just plain dumb.

  40. No, I’m asking what makes this click-bait. It could just be that Broderick took time to state that people who promote cosplay bring nothing of value to the comic industry, and the author of this piece published his dissenting opinion on this website. Just because you don’t like the opinion, that doesn’t mean it’s click-bait.

  41. @Hufnagel0 – As I said earlier: “You seem to have misunderstood the nuance of the term “clickbait”. It’s typically directed at web links that are mis-representative of their source material, as this article is.”

  42. And as I said earlier, nothing here has been misrepresented. I think YOU’VE misunderstood the nuance of the term. You go ahead and talk in circles; I’m out.

  43. PAT BRODERICK DOES NOT DELIVER PAID COMMISSIONS. HE TAKES YOUR MONEY AND GIVES YOU NOTHING. THIS GUY IS BAD NEWS. STAY AWAY. YOU BEEN WARNED.

Comments are closed.