A few people sent this to me last night, but out of respect for Tony Harris’s great art, I couldn’t bring myself to post it, but now that he’s asked people to retweet it, here you go:

I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. 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. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT”. Well not by my estimation, but according to 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, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together. Well not just me. We are LEGION. And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT 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. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. 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.

What was it I wrote just yesterday?

To every one who is horribly abused and bothered by this, let me ask you — what has caused more of the emotional scarring? Is is the fact that a girl who is sexually unavailable to you and therefore causing sexual frustration is pretending to be a nerd while doing so…or is it that a girl is sexually unavailable to you and therefore causing sexual frustration?

And now the cat’s out of the bag. Horrible non-fan women tempting innocent comics-reading virgins with their Pixie costumes.

Now, there is a germ of truth to this based on the fact that hot women have been used to sell every product known to mankind since mankind ever existed. And there have been many complaints over the years from female professionals over “booth babes” who were obviously paid models who came to the shows to attract lonely nerds. Call it the G4 effect.

…and I personally don’t like the Slave Leia legion because anyone who would rather dress as a slave than a rebel commander definitely is doing it for attention….

…but to brand all the women who like dressing as comic characters in this way really shows more issues with women than anything to do with cons or costuming. Jill Pantozzi, a dedicated cosplayer and writer about comics, was the first out of the gate with scorn.

Wow, I’m never buying anything Tony Harris does again. Disgusting.

…and I’m sure the other first responders are on their way now.

Just setting aside the hostility towards women which Harris’s post displays, there’s the damn “nerd entry card” again. WTF? What is with this cry for authenticity and nerd knowledge! The truth is at comic-cons I’ve seen plenty of men flapping around with their franks and beans hanging out of their tights. Does anyone question whether they are nerds or comics readers or have a pull list or are just trying to get their rocks off by showing their rocks off?

Someday, I believe there will be a day when fanboys accept that women like and read superhero comic books. Or just to quote Gail Simone one more time:

…being at a convention, a busy convention, and having dozens, sometimes hundreds of women in my signing line, not there because they are being dragged there but because they love comics—taking pictures with them, admiring their amazing cosplay, listening to their ideas and hopes and favorite stories, listening to their passion about the characters and the medium in general, talking with endless female aspiring writers and so many ridiculously talented female colleagues… …and then having to go to an interview or a panel and being asked why don’t women read comics.

That day has not come. Sadly, based on the number of Harris’s Facebook friends who were all “Damn straight, buddy!” he was just saying what a lot of people are thinking. As Pantozzi put it:
Fucking hell, and people wonder why women feel the need to fight so damn hard.


  1. Whatever point Tony was trying to make was lost in a sea of stupid. Of course there are cosplayers at big cons that don’t know shit about comics, cons have become very generalized and very big business. Some of the cosplayers, some of whom are women, are just there to promote/sell something. But there’ve always been people like that. Can we assume that Tony holds similar contempt for Chris Evans? I’m sure he has no real interest in Captain America comics, but there he goes, using his sculpted body to model a Cap costume to make millions of dollars for both himself and Marvel/Disney. Blurgh. Such a shame, I really like Tony’s art too. But the fact that he’s mostly writing for himself now and now this stupid rant have made it really easy to avoid buying his future work.

  2. What I find the most onerous about all of this female cosplayer and nerd bashing is that two comics industry professionals have cloaked their sexism in some kind of argument about “people” being poseurs at cons and in nerd culture. If that’s the case, it shouldn’t be that difficult to keep misogynistic language out of the argument that you think that someone’s knowledge base is insufficient when compared to yours. Oh, but wait, then you just sound like a snob…

  3. Not defending the rant, but it comes from an interesting place.

    Comics and other “geek” culture were a refuge for “nerds” who have nothing mainstream to call their own. And this sort of detached cosplay for the sake of cosplay appears as yet another invasion, another mainstreaming of the last outpost for the downtrodden. When comics are accepted and cool what do nerds have left?

    SF/Fantasy/Horror? Mainstreamed. Videogames? Mainstreamed. Programming? Mainstreamed. Anime/Manga? Mainstreamed. Now comics…? Mainstreamed.

    Social outcasts by day, but kings of comics otherwise, they find themselves nowadays dropped several pegs in the social order in what was their own clubhouse.

  4. I think my favorite cosplay observation of all time was at this year’s Baltimore con, when I was hanging around in the lobby trying to get phone reception and this dude walks through the front gate. He has close-cropped grey hair, middle-aged, glasses, looks like he’s a stockbroker or something. He’s also got a full-body orange Hulk Hogan tan and his entire body looked like it had been waxed. So he’s walking around, in just a loincloth that would fit in pretty well in “Magic Mike,” and a toy knife belted to one thigh. Security guard: “Yo, Tarzan! Where’s Jane?” The guy, unperturbed, just grinned and shrugged and wandered off. I mean, yeah, I suspect he was pretty much just exploiting a cosplay atmosphere to walk around near-naked in public, but if it leads to bafflingly near-sublime moments of absurdity like that, I’m all for it.

  5. The only ‘nerd entry card’ is one of interest. It’s not as if somebody watches an episode of Star Trek and then the next day becomes totally aware of all the Trek trivia and lore. It’s an ongoing thing. Fandom shouldn’t be controlled by the robed elite, it is big enough for nerds of all levels: from the casual fan to the diehard fanatic. I remember how it felt to be ostracized for liking Comics & S-F. I certainly don’t want to see that happen to others and the current outrage is just oh-so-sad to watch.

  6. I’m interested in finding out whether or not I have a “nerd entry card,” because I can name the first appearances of most of the X-Men from memory, but I’ve never watched Firefly, and I didn’t have a video game system until I was a teen.

    Have I been living a lie? :(

  7. Who cares what cos players are dressing up for whatever reasons? The whole thing affects my reading or enjoyment of comics not one bit. If it’s enhancing someones enjoyment of the medium, more power to them. If they’re “faking” this supposed nerd-cred, what a sad world they must live in. If you hate fake people, ignore them and they will go away, most of the time “fake” people are just looking for the attention your giving them with this outrage. I’d never in a million years cos play, because it’s due to my lack of confidence and self-worth then anything I can put on any one. Fat Skeletor, Trangender Colossus, Male Phoenix, Female Professor X…what difference does any of it make really? Focusing on this negative energy (I mean this in an overall sense and not on the specific articles that have come out spotlighting it…stupid ignorant opinions should always be focused on so we know who to avoid) versus championing the positive things going on in the industry seems to be the real issue that needs to be addressed.

  8. “Mmmm, franks and beans…” Sorry, sorry!

    I’m afraid Tony lost me at “I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff…” So many times when I hear that from artists, it’s used as an excuse to justify putting female-figure-ogling over storytelling. But more to the point, whenever I hear that from men, the first thing I think is “wow, have they insulted every other man.” Stating how much you appreciate women is almost the intellectual equivalent of cat-calling. Women by and large don’t generally care whether You, Hetero Male appreciate them, unless it’s a one-on-one thing like a date. I find it hard to believe that Hetero Male has so little impulse control that He needs to reassure people that he Appreciates Women! Less saying, more doing. You appreciate women best by treating them as people, not by viewing them as a set of gender-based characteristics.

  9. I love that geekdom is so “in” right now we are compelled to make grandiose statements of manhood to back our pedigree. I always thought the great thing about being a geek is…you never could tell. That guy buying chicken in line at Shoprite loves He-Man. That girl leading a class of 2nd graders onto a bus has a Princess Leia Hoodie in her closet. It’s all supposed to be plain old FUN in a world that doesn’t allow much of it, so let’s celebrate those adding to the fun and close the doors on those peeing into my proverbial rainbow.

  10. This isn’t the first time Tony Harris has been a jerk in public and probably won’t be the last. Insinuating a large portion of your fans aren’t really fans for no other reason than a stereotype you’ve built up is what’s killing comics, not variant covers, not new number 1’s, it’s these assholes pretentious assholes.

    On top of that, saying that someone would take an entire day to walk around a con that costs 50 bucks to get into and take the time to put together a costume just to show off their body is kinda nuts.

    Although to be honest I do find girls who dress up as Harley Quinn really weird and creepy.

  11. as long as your foam, vinyl and plastic props don’t hit me, or your posing for photographs doesn’t cause a giant traffic jam in the aisles, i really don’t care if you want to costume it up at a con. I mean its a giant celebration of all this pop culture stuff we all love. I don’t get it, but i also haven’t worn a halloween costume in 20 yrs. =)

    Also though, i think there are far more “honest” cosplayers out there, then the ones who are blatantly spilling out of their latex for attention. Just like there are a lot more cool comic fans in the world than weird dungeon dwellers. Its always the worst of any subculture that turns into the stereotype.

  12. Here’s my take on cosplayers…

    All long as they are enjoying themselves, as long as they are not being inappropriate around minors or wearing inappropriate costumes – like the walking genitalia I saw at the 2011 New York Comic Con – why shouldn’t cosplayers act out their fantasy of being someone other than who they are?
    It doesn’t bother me. It’s harmless fun. I’ve seen so many hideous things up close and on the news and while researching stories that someone in a costume is just a lark.
    I’m an angry guy, but getting angry about cosplayers is ridiculous. They’re a fun part of conventions and they ain’t going away. If you don’t like it, stay home.

  13. Why are we judging people for whether or not they’re nerds? The fact is that they took the time to dress up and show up in public in some kind of cool outfit. We as a community should be thankful that anyone, regardless of their attractiveness, takes the time and makes the effort to do that.

    My counter to the idea that “hot girls probably aren’t nerds” is this: I go to a strip club to play Magic: The Gathering with several people who work there. I’ve had multi-hour conversations about Doctor Who with someone who makes a living on the basis of her appearance. This might come as a shock to some people, but our popular culture breeds people who have kind of mainstream nerdy interests. It’s actually pretty common to find college-age young women who can converse fluently about super-heroes or Star Wars or anime. These women are as intimidated by the boy’s locker room that is a comic shop as nerdy guys are of strip clubs, but they’re out there and they’re fans too.

  14. The thing I hate more than poseurs are those that sit in judgement of people and identify them as poseurs. How this can possibly annoy anyone to the point of anger is beyond me. Who cares? Do you ask everyone at a con if they know their shit? I thought we were better than that. Guess certain people have to get mad at something and they should count themselves lucky that they have such a clear mind that THIS is what raises their ire.

  15. No one has anything mainstream to call their own. That’s why it’s mainstream. Anyone who gets mad that attractive people enjoy the things they enjoy is a tool. I’m just fine with it, but then again I’m not reading comics because I want other people’s validation.

  16. If we could limit the cosplayers to just the hot (or even just con-hot) ones, actually? Then at least I can look without wincing.

  17. All I’m saying is if more weird middle-aged nudist Tarzan guys wandered around comic cons, the world would be a more magical, mysterious place.

  18. It’s escapism. Comics, fantasy, science fiction, movies, fiction… it’s a way to forget the real world.

    Some kid wants to dress up as Spider-Man for Halloween, some young lady wants to dress up as an Orion slave girl, fine. We could argue aesthetics, but that’s a slippery slope.

    I’ve known costumers since I entered SF fandom in Nebraska. There were “hall costumes” (now called “cosplay”), and there was the masquerade. Some were dedicated to the hobby/craft, researching, spending all year perfecting a costume. Some did it on a lark (and pissed off the die-hard costumers).

    You want to feel sexy by putting on a costume, assuming a different identity? Great! Maybe even go incognito, where no one will recognize you the next day in line at Starbucks or on the bus to work!

    If it makes you happy, doesn’t hurt anyone else, doesn’t break any laws or rules, then go ahead. It makes cons that much more interesting and vibrant!

    Even the drunken stupidity of “Santa Con” has a bit of fun behind it.

    Otherwise, eventually you discourage people from playing make-believe, and then it’s back to: “Comics? Aren’t you too old to be reading those? ” and Jackie Paper discovering cars and girls.

  19. Christ, what an asshole.

    Dear EVERYONE at cons–cosplayers, established pros, Lego enthusiasts, retailers selling 50% off trades, know-it-all-about-Golden Age comics guy, “this was so much better last year” guy, fat women, thin guys, gorgeous women, gorgeous guys, editors, news crews, booth babes, everyone–

    I’m glad you’re there. I love cons precisely because there are tons of people of different kinds, all indulging the things they love. If someone has an amazing body and likes to dress in tight costumes–GREAT!, I love amazing bodies and tight costumes. If you’re an overweight, hairy 50 year-old man who likes to dress as Supergirl, that’s even more great. I like that, too.

    The only people who I think don’t belong at comic conventions are the ones who think it’s cool to make others feel unwelcome.

    If Tony F’ing Harris (good god, the assholery in giving yourself a nickname) wants to tell people they’re not hot enough, not enthusiastic enough, not whatever enough to earn his respect, he’s welcome to start his own con where he and all the like-minded sad little gynophobes and hateful little weasels who venerate heroic ideals while behaving like strip club patrons or diners who refuse to tip can gather and wonder, “hey, how come there are no girls here?”


  20. Tony Harris’s opinions about “false nerd cosplaying” aside, does anyone actually believe that such a thing exists? People really think that someone goes to the trouble of securing an expensive convention pass a year in advance, books an equally expensive hotel room and flight, spends days if not weeks or even months designing and putting together a costume, all because it randomly occurred to them one day that they could use it to get three days of attention from strangers?

    Cosplayers are either skilled or aspiring costumers/designers/SFX artists, or dedicated fans, or an intersection of both. I think the false nerd cosplayer thing is as mythical as voter fraud — we all worry about it but it never or almost never happens.

  21. I’m not reading a one paragraph wall of text with what appears to be spots of crazed all-caps.

    That said, “posers” and “fakes” are only a problem when it comes to doctors and pilots. When it comes to a hobby, well, who cares if someone comes to a con to show off their costume or to show off that they know the minutest of minutiae?

  22. Amen to that, Jesse.

    What a stupid thing for anyone to worry about. For years it was “why are comic cons just big sweaty, smelly rooms full of guys? Where are the women who like comics?!” Now it’s “those aren’t the right kind of women!”


    Women in costume–please come by my table and say hi, I want to meet you and I’m glad you’re here. Women not in costume–please also come by, I’m excited to meet you, too. I’m thrilled that someone besides the stereotype is reading comics, and I want you to read mine and I want to hear your thoughts on them.

  23. I think it’s a wild extrapolation from the idea of people who go to big cons precisely because they have cosplay scenes to take part in. I wouldn’t doubt that this is a real phenomenon, even though I’ve done no research whatsoever. But as soon as going to a comic con stems from anything other than “comics comics comics comics comics comics,” panics happen.

    Hell, look at any big comics news/journo site in the days after any big con, and take a shot for every “So and So Con Proves That It’s Still About COMICS” article you see. If people are that hung up about it, of course it’s going to get twisted into wild, dumb shit by people who are even more hung up and mixing their hangups like medication and wine.

  24. Tony is right, cosplayers please leave the sexaul pandering to the professionals–comic artists selling anatomically disproportionate cheescake prints and comissions. They are the REAL reason for the con!

  25. I have a radical idea:

    How about people go to comic conventions to have fun? I know that there are people there to sell their wares, and for many of them that’s how they put food on their families, to quote GWB…

    Geez, it’s like high school with more leering and shitty teenage behavior.

  26. Even when I had negative opinions of cosplaying — mainly formed by the traffic jams at SDCC — I never thought the people dressing up were doing it for any other reasons than personal enjoyment and the instant community that occurs.

  27. First of all, as I mentioned in yesterday’s thread about fakers, all should be welcome, trying to act like gatekeepers is just stupid.

    But yeah, there is certain some cosplayers who’s main hobby or passion is actually making the costumes & makeup and might not have detailed knowledge of the characters they are picking. Who cares, it takes quite the dedication & money to pull that off. Also personally, I think they make cons a lot more fun.

    My only negativity is directed to companies hiring models to dress up in skimpy costumes that don’t want to be there. As having people who don’t want to really be there sometimes shows through and I can’t help but pity these people.

    Those who are want to be there, no matter what their body size or shape, or what their knowledge on comics or anything else geeky, I think is great.

  28. Growing pains. I love it.
    I recall when I begged for more acceptance from the general public (pre-Hollywood days), now we’re getting a good share of it. That’s fine with me.

    I accept the wide diversity in comics on all sides. From the hardcore to the casual. Why would I exclude people from my industry and their enjoyment?

    As for a Nerd Card? I would fail that test. There are a LOT of popular comic titles / movies / TV shows that I have never seen. That doesn’t make me less of a fan of those mediums. There are a lot of movies and music that I have not consumed, or cared to, and that doesn’t make me less a moviegoer or a music lover.

    Nonetheless, I love that we’re at a point in the industry when some of the flashier problems that rustles people’s jimmys is how to deal with cosplayers and the quality of nerdism. I recall the days when the sky was falling over digital comics, distribution wars, The new 52 and creator’s rights.

    I love comics.

  29. Not sure why so many people are against fun. Comic fans who are offended by people, especially women, with “no nerd cred” sound like the preacher in Footloose. I think this can all be settled with a dance off. Also I might just go and cosplay as Kevin Bacon and do an angry dance of protest in front of Harris’ booth.

  30. Nerd card test failed as soon as you referred to nerdy media as “popular,” because as we all know, true nerds aren’t about that, no matter how true it is.

  31. Bingo. People keep saying elsewhere, “the gendered thing aside…”, when if it was that simple, the issue of ‘fake geeks’ wouldn’t keep coming up in such misogynistic rants.

  32. I’m sorry, but what society are you living in? What pecking order have you fallen down on? (and even if there was such a thing, why would you, a senior member of the clubhouse, have fallen down instead of being on top of the n00bs?) I don’t know about you, but my daily life is not affected by my comics-loving at all. My co-workers don’t give a shit about the action figures in my cubicle, my non-comics reading friends just always know what they can get me for Christmas if they run out of ideas. In what way, shape, or form, have you “dropped several pegs” in your hobby? Seriously.

  33. This is the person who went on Kickstarter asking for something like $50,000 to write and draw a graphic novel which, he then said, would be taken to Dark Horse who’d “publish it with a big fucking smile on their faces”. He is a buffoon.

    On the other hand, “Fucking hell, and people wonder why women feel the need to fight so damn hard” is being pompous.

  34. Oh, I see — meaning part of the problem is that the cosplayers are fans of cosplay in general and not the story content itself?

    I still don’t think that’s a real problem, though — these are still real fans, just fans of costuming rather than comic books. And comics conventions (not to mention horror, sci-fi, fantasy, Star Trek, and Star Wars conventions) all create a welcoming, inviting atmosphere for cosplayers so really, where else are they gonna go? The Cosplay Convention?

    I once met a girl at the American Library Association Annual who said she was just a fan of badge ribbons — not books, not comics, not libraries, just ribbons. Cool! ALA is one of the best shows for ribbons — go for yours.

  35. I don’t think it’s a problem either. Personally, I don’t care how people dress, or as whom. (Well, I care because I snicker jerkishly if they look foolish, by my own aesthetic standards, but whatever.) But yeah, if I had to take a guess at why folks are hung up on fakers (like I did above), that’d be part of it. I mean, no amount of respect is ever going to sate the True Nerds’ taste for it, and now that mainstream media is all over “nerdy shit,” weird little avenues like this have to carry the never-ending battle.

  36. I’ve heard all these sentiments Tony is expressing before. Men who are downright OFFENDED that women would dare to be attractive and dress revealingly, and then not want to sleep with them. Unfortunately there are some vocal people who think this way. What saddens me is hearing it from a professional in the industry.

    Tony: Some of these attention whoring, not-so-good-looking, sexually unavailable women could potentially become fans of your work. They’re at a comic con, after all. They probably at least have friends who like comics, who might be turned on to your work. What good does it do you, or the industry in general — especially struggling independent artists who can use whatever fans they can find — to shun anyone like that?

    Even women who wear “slutty” costumes just to get attention are just people. They’re not monsters, Tony. They’re just people.

  37. I didn’t know that the nightclub that is the comics industry was full, and we had the luxury of turning fans away at the door. Must have missed the memo.

  38. http://www.armory.com/tests/nerd.html

    Nerd nerd. Like pocket protector, slide rule is named “Sikanda”, does homework on Friday night NERD.

    (I’m currently 41% nerd.)

    And yes, the first time I took the 400-question Purity Test (the original, sex-based questionnaire), freshman year of college, I scored 96% pure.

    Then I joined a coed-fraternity. (Tri-Chi, Cornell College)

    Here’s one for comics:

    Ut oh…. 67.3% pure.

  39. “When comics are accepted and cool what do nerds have left?”

    They get to be accepted and cool themselves because they not only like something popular, but they’re going to know far more about the subject matter than most people?

    How… awful for them?

  40. Yo, just skip out the rest of Harris’ shit. Does anyone actually want to read whatever crappy indie project he’s shoehorning into the DCU?

  41. “I’ve heard all these sentiments Tony is expressing before. Men who are downright OFFENDED that women would dare to be attractive and dress revealingly, and then not want to sleep with them. ”

    ACTUALLY … I think people find it silly when professional actors and professional booth babes pretend to like comics, or are at shows and it is painfully obvious they dont want to be there. Most women comics fans are too stupid to understand this, apparently, and the whole “misgoynist” threads begin. However, I think think most female comic fans ARE smart enough to know this … and that it’s just a few vocal whackos who ruin it for everyone.

  42. The terms of this debate are clouding everything. Let me put it generically, and maybe some offended women will understand why some male nerds find ‘fake geek girls’ so odious.

    Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. It’s dishonest, and if you get into a relationship with something who thought you were what you pretended to be, that relationship will not end well. Also, when you pretend to be something you’re not, you fail understand the world you’re entering, and that world probably doesn’t work anything like you think it does. Most people pretending to be something they are not, over-glamourise it. That is a path to disappointment.

    Back to the specific. Geeky men sit around engaging in their geekery 90% of the time. It is more important to them than having or maintaining a relationship. If a ‘geek girl’ gets attracted to or manages to attract one of these men, but she isn’t a real geek and is only faking it, then just like any relationship that starts with a pretense, it is really doomed and some very bad feelings will result. I have been in this situation and I came out of it with a very negative view about ‘fake geek girls’. Nowadays, if I get any whiff of a hint that woman is pretending to know more about the things I like than she really does, I will avoid her like the plague. Not going there again.

    However, I do not agree with any misogynist phraseology or insult-mongering, nor do I agree with tarring all geek women with the ‘fake geek’ brush. I know many genuine geek women and they are awesome. I don’t like pretenders and people who put on false airs. This should not be a controversial opinion.

  43. Harris wasn’t referring to the booth babes paid to be there, though. He’s referring to women whose minds he can’t read and claiming they have ill intentions and no right to be there in costume at all. That’s absurd, and he said it in a ridiculously offensive way.

  44. People who think most women comics fans are stupid wouldn’t have anything to do with why people see misogyny in the field, though. Oh, no, not at all.

  45. Setting aside the ridiculous sink of exclusivity towards a niche here. If creators have a problem with girls dressing up in costumes to show off their “boobies”, how about they start designing costumes that don’t allow the girls to do that?

    You can’t draw and design horribly sexist outfits and then piss and moan when you see girls parade them in front of you. What on Earth is going on there?

  46. Wellllll, I’m not trying to champion the opinions of jerks, but just to address your question from an intellectual perspective, your question makes the assumption that those costumes were intended to be reproduced in real life, which might not necessarily be a given.

  47. Geeks eating their own? Stockholm syndromed geeks becoming the bullies to an even smaller group? Just remember, haters, she’ll go home with a great story about how she dressed up for a comic convention regardless of what world she actually lives in. You– you’ll have just given the world more proof of how big a dick you are. That’s how this will play out. Who the hell knows why some of the people where what they do. But if you don’t like people wearing that Power Girl or “sexy zombie pirate” outfit to a comic convention then they’re not the problem.

  48. yeah, i attended the baltimore con this year and saw that dude walking around, that guy was stopping traffic, folks would see this guy and jaws would drop. i actually saw parents covering their kid’s eyes so they wouldn’t see an almost naked guy walking around. oh yeah, this guy was definitely taking advantage of the whole cosplay scene.

  49. Sounds like someone isn’t getting any!

    This is the same kind of thinking that cost the GOP the election. Why must there be a litmus test of who’s a geek and who isn’t? Whatever happened to the big tent? I thought this was what we were all striving for — remember when there were NO girls at the party? I much prefer it this way — and most of the time, these cosplayers are approachable, nice and friendly. Perhaps they might not give you the time of day in the “real world,” but just being at the convention creates an opening and instant rapport. Guess what — if you talk to them and treat them with respect like a human being, they’re nice. It’s called social skills.

  50. Knowing more about something popular doesn’t automatically make you cool and accepted, if you’re still the same socially challenged nerd. Mainstream culture values sexy over smart, and that’s what scares the typical king of Nerdville.

    When there were only 100,000 people on the planet who knew who Clint Barton was, it was relatively easy to be “the #1 Hawkeye fan ever”. Now there are half a billion people who’ve seen the Avengers film to compete with for that title – including a lot of gurls, who also have boobies in their column – and that guy is no longer the big fish in a little pond.

  51. OK. So Here in the Northeast of Brazil ( I can’t speak for the rest as I’ve never been to a con in BH or São PAulo or RJ) most of the cosplayers are female and 100% of them have an in-depth knowledge of the characters they are portraying, being Brazilians they are naturally pretty hot anyway so hot-nerd women ( excuse the sexist nomenclature but I believe it’s the parlance these days) are par for the course. Not many past white thighs down here ( except my gringo ones of course). But if people want to dress up and look faintly ridiculous, that’s up to them. I really don’t understand Tony Harris’s beef!

  52. Seems to me videogames weren’t mainstream in the past because these were too damn expensive for most people.

  53. Very weird. Harris is a terrific artist and, whether terrific artist or not, can say whatever goofy thing he wants, but really, come on. It’s been said already but I’ll say it again. Women, girls, moms, sisters, hot or not hot, can (and will) wear whatever they want to a con. Cosplay is great fun and as far as I’ve been able to tell, done in great homage to comics characters and their artists. Cosplay isn’t the only titillating thing in popular culture, which is usually about men shamelessly exploiting women to the hilt, so why is so horrible for women to take charge of any presumed sexuality on display in cosplay? Women fans (or not fans) certainly shouldn’t pay any attention to Harris’s flat out women-hate. Women of the comics world, or frankly, if you’re not from the comics world, go forth and cosplay to the MAX!!

  54. Very late to the party this time around, but I couldn’t let this discussion completely fade away without a final little thought experiment. Compare and contrast:

    “Just setting aside the hostility towards women which Harris’s post displays, there’s the damn “nerd entry card” again. WTF? What is with this cry for authenticity and nerd knowledge! ”

    with this:

    “A 20-megaton douche bomb has hit San Diego Comic-Con over the last few years. They are everywhere you want to be, and are eating all the food, drinking all the liquor and taking up all the time of the people you would like to meet…There are several honest to god nerdlebrities who came to the con for decades before Hall H just because they liked comics – these folks are fine and have always added to the cultural richness of the event. It’s the “80% of these people who don’t give a shit about comics,” as Jeff Katz is fond of saying, who are really stinking up the joint and using up all the oxygen.”

    See nerd dudes, when YOU make judgments about your fellow con attendees, you’re sexist troglodytes…but when others do *the exact same thing*, painting with an even broader and more nastily ad hominem brush (‘Fake Nerd Girl’ vs. ‘Douchebag’) — why *THEY’RE* the noble protectors and guardians of all that is good and right within fandom!

    Only, not so much — and BTW, the source for this jeremiad against fakery, insincerity, and poseurs? It’s right here:


    The call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE! The cognitive dissonance — IT BURNS!

  55. Glad others have picked up on the general script Mr. Harris seems to have for women who attend “his” cons (P.S. Dude – not your cons) – attractive, suitably nerdy and above all sexually available to men who are suitably nerdy.
    I frankly think Mr. Harris considers the last two elements as equivalent based on the way he chose to express himself.
    I’ve talked to plenty of men I had no romantic interest in at cons while cosplaying. Because it’s not a requirement of cosplay that I be shopping for a sexual partner. It’s a costume, not a freaking mating call.
    It’s also not a Geek PhD. I don’t wear characters I’ve never heard of, but I have chosen a character I knew less about in the interest of accuracy – especially on days I didn’t feel like wearing the wig or ripped the gloves I needed to portray another one. I’m comfortable with that because I don’t wear costumes to get some “good nerd” pat on the head from the Geek Elite. My reasons for cosplay and cons have precisely nothing to do with the Harrises of the world, and everything to do with me and celebrating something I like. On my terms.

  56. Dude, chill. It’s Halloween time for grown ups. We get, for just a short time, to leave the mundane behind and go with fantasy. Yeah, newsflash, women like that release too, even the pretty ones.

  57. Not to excuse the hostility in his comments, but I think some people need to stop and think for a moment.

    I don’t attend cons, but I do follow them online. When I see the daily roundup of cosplayers, the ratio of males to females is almost even (and yes, the more attractive the girl, the skimpier her costume of choice tends to be). This in itself isn’t an issue, but think outside of cons. I don’t frequent comic shops, but I do stop by one of my local shops every couple months (I’m a Magic the Gathering player more than a comic reader, but really, it’s subsets of the same culture), and the ratio of male to female is not representative of what you see at cons. When I stop in to shop, most of the time it’s 100% guys. On the occasions when a girl is there, it is almost always one girl hanging on the arm of a guy. I can count on one hand the number of times (in my 33 years of life) that I’ve been in one of the shops and seen a girl perusing the shop on her own (and almost without fail, it is the one shop in town with a manga section).

    The same applies to video games. You see chicks flooding to cons in video game costumes, but go to a game stop? 99% of the women you see are either employees (who are, I must say, often legitimate gamers… same way young film buffs tend to work at blockbuster) or mothers toting their children around buying gifts. You almost never see a female customer browsing games for herself.

    Really, you have to ask yourself… why are these women flocking to conventions in numbers you don’t see reflected in lower profile settings? Are female comic/game fans so much more fanatical than male fans? Are the majority of male fans so disinterested in cons that their attendance is being upstaged by women to such a notable degree?

    I don’t have an answer for those questions , but something doesn’t add up in those equations. And you can’t blame people for being suspicious because, lets face it, geeks have historically been associated with loner males and the rise of mainstream geekdom and con attendance has brought many high profile controversies with vendors using booth babes who clearly have no interest in geeky topics to entice that stereotypical geek, so it’s really not much of a stretch to think individuals may be exploiting that perception as well.

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