Ever since the power of Marvel was able to ignite an entire genre of films, comic book conventions have slowly but steadily made their way into the mainstream. Sure the big ones are still the big ones, e.g. San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con, Dragon Con, etc., but smaller conventions have popped up across the country that have become accessible to any audience who wishes to partake in the geek culture that we all hold so dear. One such convention took place over the weekend in Tucson, Arizona and while this infant convention may have been rather small in scale, the potential that it brought along with it was massive. Tucson Car Con brought not only the typical superheroes that you see at most conventions but added a feature that is very uniquely Tucson – a car show. That’s right, Tucson, AZ may have just started a new trend. (more…)
comic book conventions
After some conscientious female nerds made it an issue at San Diego Comic Con, the organizers of New York Comic Con seem to have taken the hint and ran with it in preparing for this weekend’s con in the Javits Center in New York City. The mantra, “Cosplay is Not Consent,” is omnipresent at the show, and NYCC has taken other steps to make sure that everyone has a safe and happy con free of harassment and inappropriate action on the part of people who don’t realize, you know, that “Cosplay is Not Consent.” In other NYCC news their “don’t be an idiot” and “no weapons” policies seems to be causing great confusion with fans whose hours of hard work on that important prop detail seems to be taken out with the trash. (more…)
The unpleasant story of DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer was one of the first nerd news items I ever covered for this website. All the way back in January I reported on a boycott of the popular convention: Kramer had been accused of multiple counts of child molestation, and yet he reportedly continued to draw an income from them. In July, it was announced that DragonCon had absolutely and irrevocably severed ties with Kramer.
And now, we have received word that Kramer has plead guilty to three of the six counts of molestation against him. He will serve 34 months in house arrest, pay restitution of $100,000 to each of his victims, and spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender–he will be forbidden from having any contact with individuals under 16. (more…)
Just when you think we, as a geeky, nerdy culture have started making some strides in raising awareness about Cosplay not equaling Consent, this pops up its ugly head. At this year’s AnimeNext convention some Internet popular Cosplayers got a shocking surprise when they and their friends walking around the dealer’s room found 2 Image Solutions selling full body pillows with Cosplayers likenesses on the front and back.
One side with the front picture seen above and the other side with . . . their backsides. If you haven’t read about these “Body pillows” it’s one of those Japanese things that borders the line between everyone’s personal freedom to do what you want with that creepy overtly sexual thing someone is doing with a pillow featuring the likeness of a sexy anime character. Some guy actually tried to marry one of these things.
Imagine how you would feel finding your image on one of these pillows or some other borderline sexual item. I’d hope you were as outraged as many of those Cosplayers whose image was used without their express permission.
The Superman cosplayer pictured above, Dustin Dorough, went on record on Facebook to say:
“Whoa… I DEFINITELY did not give permission for this.”
“I never signed any sort of release for any products or prints. I’ve only done photoshoots with 4 photographers and never in this suit. This pillow is a random convention candid from Dragon*Con.”
Another of those involved, Marie Grey, who Cosplays Phoenix pictured above, wrote about her experience over the weekend in her new blog, The Grey Point. It’s an interesting read worth clicking over to read the entire post. The short story is that after some discussion and back and forth between the Cosplayers, AnimeNEXT Officials, and 2 Image Solutions, the following solution was determined.
EDIT 8:02 PM: At this time, 2 Image Solutions has agreed to change their policy and will no longer be selling posters, prints, pillows, stickers and other materials of cosplayers unless the individual cosplayer requests the products themselves. Thank you, Eric, for listening to us and following our wishes! For a reference to his new policy, please go here.
Now this is just one case that ended well. The bad news in this story is that pillows were already sold with Cosplayers images and can’t be gotten back. As we all know there are shady dealers at every convention. Just check for a video or DVD booth and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Some art print dealers and “artists” have also been discovered selling pirated copies of comic book artists work to which they have secured no legal rights to.
Vigilance is needed by all of us to stamp out this before it becomes a trend. My main concern is that those selling these images should have the Cosplayers permission or signed rights. If you as the Cosplayer are OK with it then fine, but no one should use your image in such a manner without your consent.
Nerd culture has become a real hot commodity lately. Our favorite comics books are being adapted for both film and television. Our favorite sci-fi flicks are referenced in countless televisions shows. They’re even making movies about us and the nerdy things we do! Fanboys, Paul; these movies showcase characters like us sharing in the things we love. Well, they show the boys enjoying those nerdy things. The closest we’ve come to an awesome nerdy girl portrayed at the movies is Zoe from Fanboys. And they do a good job making sure we understand she’s not as big of geek as the guys.
Don’t worry, girls, other mediums have got us covered. Codex from The Guild, Liz Lemon on 30 Rock and Julie from One Con Glory. Don’t recognize that last one? You will from now on and here’s why. Julie is the creation of Sarah Kuhn, the author of One Con Gloy. Yep, it’s a book. A book chronicling the adventures of Julie, nerdy reporter, who while covering a comic book convention seeks to claim the long, lost action figure of her favorite C-list super hero, Glory Gilmore. A quest was never so noble. Charming, funny, and most definitely geeky, One Con Glory sheds a light on the con-going nerds we all know so well, but never does is stray into blatant stereotyping (Comic Book Guy need not apply).
One Con Glory is being adapted for screen by Kuhn and being produced by Desiree Hall of Hall Squared Productions. Meaning yes, a movie is in the works. Huzzah! In a recent interview with io9, Kuhn and Hall discussed being the first female-centric nerdy movie out there,
Kuhn: I do think the time has come for lady nerd movie protagonists to become more of a thing. Geek girls are a force to be reckoned with online and at cons, but it doesn’t seem like we’ve seen that reality reflected yet on the big screen.
Hall: Women’s role in the predominate geek oriented culture seems to primarily be either an afterthought or an objectification. One Con Glory shows that women like Julie—intelligent, professional and a hardcore fan of all things ‘geek-oriented’—exist in real life. I think a lot of women will identify with Julie and this story and I think that really helps our movie.
Yes, me, I’m pretty sure I’ll identify with Julie. I know I won’t be the only one either. To read their interview in it’s entirety, something I highly, highly recommend, just jump on over. To stay up to date on the progress on the One Con Glory film visit their website, and if you’re interested in learning more about the book or snagging yourself a copy visit Sarah Kuhn’s page. Need more convincing? Here’s more praise from some noteworthy nerdy girls,
The characters of One Con Glory are believable without straying into blatant stereotypes of the variety of geeks out there. You know these guys; they’re your friends, your neighbors, your raiding party… Hollywood needs to option this NOW. – Jill Pantozzi, The Nerdy Bird
Reading One Con Glory is just pure geeky fun! I laughed out loud at SO many familiar references and recognized so much of myself in the characters. Great book, and I hope there’s a sequel! I want more geek awesome from Sarah Kuhn. – Jessica Mills, creator-star, Awkward Embraces