Saturday 30th May 2015,
Comic Booked

To Cosplay Or Not To Cosplay

Jacob Thomas 12/11/2012 Features

Welcome to Adventures In Cosplay: From Amateur To Fanatic!

At every single Con event every year, fans and comic creators alike like to come to the events dressed up as their favorite characters – whether that be from Anime television shows, live-action movies, comic books or other various forms of entertainment. Also at every single Con event, we get to see the most beautifully decorated and fanatic expressions of fan-faves and often get stopped countless times to have their photos taken. However, there are those that seem to turn out like polar opposites, a yin and yang if you will, to these fans and comic creators alike as well.

According to some fans, Cosplay is a very rich culture to thrive in and really bring out the fan or “geek” within, and if there is only one time a year they can publicly show their support of their favorite animes, comic books, movies or television series, it would be at Comic Con events.

The theory among die-hard fans, from which I learned at my first Comic Con earlier this year, is if you’re going to do cosplay, either “go all out or not at all.” Thankfully, some die-hard fans don’t share this idea. Some choose to look upon it as a mere expression, no matter the form, of their fan-faves. This notion allows us, whether we choose to see it or not, to gaze upon the worst cosplay outfits ever whether it was intentional or not and these often lead to them to become hilariously viral on the net.

However, theories don’t seem to matter when it comes to comic creators themselves who have specific various opinions on cosplayers and even more specifically – female cosplayers. Recent statements have been published by fans referencing comic book illustrator Tony Harris’ rant on his Facebook page about female cosplayers and the “fake-nerd-girl” population that attend Comic Cons. His rant on his Facebook page caused a heavy flurry of positive and negative responses both. According to Donna Dickens (Buzzfeed), she breaks down what Tony Harris was really trying to say about the “fake-nerd-girl” population. However, it is left up to scrutiny as it is only an indirect opinion of what Tony Harris was really trying to say.

Tony Harris stated:

[box_light]”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.”[/box_light]

Simply from this first piece of his rant, we can plainly see that he is very outspoken about female readers and non-female readers and more specifically female cosplayers. He is basically saying that any female cosplayer is not a true fan of any sort of anime, comic book, movie or television series and thus shouldn’t be allowed at Comic Con events. For the sake of censorship, Donna Dickens from Buzzfeed response seems to be more of a very loose and opinionated interpretation and often shared view of what Tony Harris had stated in his rant.

This past May at the Phoenix Comic Con, I was walking along with my friends, who were larger fans than I was at the time. I quickly spotted the female cosplayers who dressed in a very revealing sense and I asked my friend, although a very laughable question, “Should I expect the women that dress as anime or comic book characters as actual fans?” My friend quickly stated “No not really, however, there are some fans who do the same.” And I just left it that and enjoyed listening to the stories of some of the poorly and the very extravagant cosplayers ranging from simple to several months piecing their costumes together.

In a recent interview with a self-proclaimed geek who has been a comic book fan for over 30 years now, I asked about her response to Tony Harris’ rant about female fans/cosplayers and this was her reaction:

[box_light]”Who do we blame here – the girls who dress slutty to match the character’s costume in the comics, or the creators who drew them that way? You made your bed, Tony – sleep in it. Besides, I sure do NOT remember seeing a “Fangeeks Only” sign at the cons. The talent that goes into many of the homemade costumes is staggering & something of an art form to appreciate in itself.” [/box_light]

To analyze her response even further – Tony Harris happens to be not the only name in the industry who is very outspoken about this type of sensitive topic. Whether we see more rants or statements like this from others than Tony Harris is always up in the air.

What do you think about Tony Harris’ rant about female cosplayers and fans?

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  1. arsautbine 12/11/2012 at 11:04 pm

    Interesting thoughts here about women in cosplay…. Though I must say that if anyone sees me going around dressed like a superhero, it's because I am a genuine geek about it all and because superheroes really are that cool.

  2. CrimsonBlur 12/15/2012 at 8:09 pm

    I love to cosplay. I just don't have the money!

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