August 12, 2013

What is this, I don't even.

Okay, so I've been absent for a little while, I'm preparing for GENCON coming up this weekend (yay!), so I've been busy working on things for that. On top of that our roof was getting repaired (and with my bathroom skylight removed I couldn't exactly use it, so I had to flee to Panera to do some other work), and then I was invaded by some giant horrible awful bug thing, and then a bunch of wedding stuff happened.

As you can see I've been a little bit busy.

Somehow, in that time, the universe decided to flip on itself and begin to attack all my hobbies. What the crap, world??

So I guess it's time for another table-flipping world update news post from Crash Bang Labs.

The first gem on our list is this little article here:

Sci-Fi Looks at World of Make-Believe Reality in "Heroes of Cosplay"

What this article is: An article reviewing the show "Heroes of Cosplay" (From viewing one episode only). Fair 'nough. Somebody had to!

What this article should be: A short recap and overview of the concept of the show, and what happened in the first episode.

What this article did: The author, yes, "reviews" the show, but in the process interjects hurtful language because it is a hobby or event she does not understand, does not want to understand, and therefore considers cosplayers social deviants. This article also confirms my worries on the show that it will slander the hobby and we'll have to reprogram a lot of people.

Honestly, I would not have cared if this was an "opinion" piece. If this had been in the OP-ED section of the paper, I'd go "HA HA! Troll. Thanks for the entertainment." and scooted on with my life. But after taking some time thinking about it, and re-reading it, I'm disappointed in the author (and the Post) for allowing such a "review" to be written.

And before anybody jumps on me to say "Oh but they were just reviewing the show", YES. I am aware of this, however, there are certain interjections where the writer clearly states her personal bias, and that, my friends is what bothers me the most. It is to be a review of the show, not a judgement on what the show was due to personal thoughts.

Some golden snippets:
"I’m so confused—or maybe they are. 
In case you don’t know, (and I sure didn’t), there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who spend millions upon millions of dollars on intricately constructed costumes for their personal use.
No — not just gowns or nutty Civil War costumes that people wear for reenactments. Nor is it the job description of the costume designer at a local theater group.

That’s all mere child’s play, or should I say, “cosplay” compared to real thing — cosplay. What the hell is that?"
First of, you are reviewing a show. Exclaiming "What the hell is that", already sets us up for going "okay, you clearly don't understand or want to". My OTHER favorite part was this line: not just gowns or nutty Civil War costumes that people wear for reenactments.

Not only do they insult cosplayers in the first couple of sentences, they insult all historical reenactors. Good job. You've not only pissed off the cosplayers, but you've pissed off all the Civil War, Revolutionary War, French & Indian War, Medieval & Renaissance (SCA) enthusiasts.

I may not be a reenactor, but I know some reenactors, and I do not take kindly to people insulting the crazy talented people that I know.

Snippet 2:
"It’s not enough to go to a costume store and rent a Demon Hunter outfit? I mean, seriously. Renting is so last decade!"
I understand you're trying to be humorous. I think? I just. This sentence's significance confused me and could have been written differently I think. Just from a literary perspective.

Snippet 3:
"We aren’t given any in-depth knowledge about what these folks do to earn a living in the real world that enables them to spend every waking hour and dime on making costumes."
This same could be said for car enthusiasts (which we have a lot of out here where I'm at), comic book collectors, collectible card gaming, table top role playing, people who love going to concerts, love going on trips, follow their sports teams feverishly, you see where I'm going with this...

Just because we love our hobby, and yes, spend our money on it, what is it to you if we want to spend 200 dollars on a costume or 200 dollars on a front row ticket to Avenged Sevenfold?

What this snippet actually tells me is that the show is unrepresentative of the hobby, and is displaying us as frivolous kids who can't seem to control their own budget. I wish I could find the tumblr post, but apparently somebody who watched the show made a note that apparently there are cosplayers on the show complaining about using their rent money to do costumes. What is. I don't. What?!

And last but not least:
"The weird thing, (well, all of it is weird), is that these folks really want to be the fictional characters they portray. ?
Yes. Thank you for reaffirming you think what we do is weird. By the way, reviews are not opinion pieces, just sayin'. Also, this is a completely WRONG statement. I don't know ANYBODY who wants this. We may portray our characters like we're face characters at an amusement resort, but we do NOT want to BE them.

*huffs* It's amazing what a short wiki or google search would have done for this author.

However! THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL:  Some writers took it to themselves to write some opinion rebuttals to this awful "review" (I use that term loosely) that are lovely. Here's my favorite so far:

Cosplay is Creative, Not Crazy: An Open Letter to the New York Post


You didn't think I was done yet, did you? I woke up this morning to find this article/opinon/personal review (it's on something called "Observation Deck" on the i09 Gawker site, so I don't know if it's technically an "article")

Mark Millar and Todd McFarlane: Ladies, Comics Aren't For You

I'm still researching this one, but apparently a couple of big name comic artists spend some articles and panel talks stroking each others egos, and claiming that they can't help the way women are portrayed in comics because, you know, history.

Also, apparently there was an article on Wired, which apparently opened up a whole world of trolls and scared guys to which one apparently stated "Comics are a Man's World."

I am not going to write a disseration on this just yet. I need to gather more data. Thankfully the female comic artists I follow on tumblr have been helping and providing links and things. :)

By Faith Erin Hicks

So I'm gonna now go prep for Gencon. Maybe when I return the world will have figured itself out a little more...

1 comment:

  1. I'll keep an eye out for the world figuring itself out.

    Um so what are you and I and so many other female comic artists doing then, if not comics?