Monday, November 17, 2008

Stop Bashing Older "Fanboys"

Note: I didn't write the following quote: Evan Dorkin did.

"Average age, I'd say, at a guess, was in the late 30's, early 40's. Older, balding, grizzled, overweight, zombified manboys in t-shirts and faded old clothes, shambling, ghoulish prospectors of dead dreams and junk, panning about with their crumpled want lists and thumb oil-soaked notebooks of who to hit up for what drawing or signature or who to browbeat into a 2-out-of-3 falls Texas Submission Monologue Death Conversation Match. A lot of sports talk. Knicks, Rangers, Nets, Yankees, Mets, local talk, boy talk, men talk. And a lot of cursing. I like cursing, but I shut it down at shows, at least I work at it, especially loud cursing. With a lack of female pheremones in the room, and far, far fewer kids at the show than any I'd seen in years, vulgarity was on the loose. And the volume was set at 11 for the majority of the boisterous contingent, which was amplified by the closeness of the surroundings and the horrible acoustics (I'm not kidding when I say Artist's Alley was a fire hazard, and I'm not talking about attendance). It was a sports bar, a 1986 comics shop, a Creation Con atmosphere. It was a vibe I haven't witnessed in ages, something I quite honestly forgot about. It was dinosaur times, and I like dinosaurs, but there's a reason the fuckers died. This was one disheartening scene, even allowing for my own inherent pessimism and cynicism."

I don't have time to write a big thing about Evan Dorkin's comments on Big Apple Con, but I just want to say: it's getting tired already. Yeah, I think the comic book industry should more aggressively market to teens and women. Yeah, I've been on the receiving end of harassment from one or two individuals from this demographic. But this level of bashing sounds elitist.

"A lot of sports talk. Knicks, Rangers, Nets, Yankees, Mets, local talk, boy talk, men talk."

ZOMG! Sports talk! The barbarians!

"Older, balding, grizzled, overweight, zombified manboys in t-shirts and faded old clothes, shambling, ghoulish prospectors of dead dreams and junk."

Have a heart. I know I'm going to be laughed to oblivion for saying that, that it sounds ridiculous. But have a fucking heart. Some of these older collectors are some of the nicest people I've ever met. I grew up around these people. I'm not ashamed of it. Some have used comics as one of their only bright spots in a life that in every other respect might have been awful. If it makes them happy, let them do it. If they aren't bothering you (other than by the fact of their very existence, offending your delicate sensibilities), stop fucking ragging on them. I can't fucking stand this anymore.

Big Apple Con/The National donated Friends of Lulu a booth this year. We raised a good amount of money for our organization. Most of the people who donated are in the basic demographic Dorkin cites in his post: late 30s/early 40s comic collectors. Big Apple Con's organizer, Michael Carbonaro, used to attend every New York City Chapter meeting of Friends of Lulu.

"It wasn't just one endless freak parade by any means, but the monsters did tend to obscure the fauns and woodlings. Whatever the fuck that means. A backhanded way of saying thanks to the non-nutjobs who stopped by to say hi, we certainly appreciated the breath of fresh air and humanity and the brief staving off of thoughts of suicide or career change."

I want to expand the audience for comic books to younger people, and I believe that not doing so will hurt this industry. I believe that comic companies that get too hung-up on nostalgia are sacrificing long-term viability for short term profit. But there is no call to dehumanize a whole (really frickin' large) segment of the comic buying populace in the process.

It's this elitist attitude that will be as much responsible for "killing" comics as the targets of their criticism. I have no fucking patience for it. It's elitist, it's socio-economic-cultural snobbery.

"This time around, I wanted to go get a job in a deli."

Go! But are you sure you want to work there? Bologna is so low-class.


  1. People aren't allowed to discuss sports? This guy seems pretty rude and unhelpful. He makes a point about needing a floor plan though, I saw you wandering around once, but I have no idea where the LuLu booth was, and i was there for 5 saturday hours just pacing the floor, wishing someone had the last issue of Suicide Squad I needed.

  2. Dorkin's made a career out of his contempt for the people buying his comics; no reason for him to lighten up now.

  3. Looking at the first page of comments, it seems like the reviewer knew his audience and knew they would agree with him. It's a pretty vicious read, but it's possible that he just wanted to get a laugh/be liked, and so (like lots of others before him) resorted to making fun of a group of people who are perceived as being more loserish than himself. Still, what a crappy thing to do. He's essentially mocking very dedicated people that kept the industry afloat in its most dire times. Without the Fanboys, I rather doubt that we would have had any of the awesome comic book movies that came out in the few years. It just goes to show you that not all of the "geeks" will ever be cool. Even in comic book fan land, there's a superficial hierarchy. Hopefully the newer fans will choose to not pay attention to it.

  4. I don't know. I want to be on your side-- thinking comis is "for kids" & the like is terrible-- but the "locker room" atmosphere seems to be what he's stressing, & frankly, I can see it.

  5. Oh Evan Dorkin. That's the only crowd that thinks jokes about hard-drinking dairy products could be funny.

    Sorry, I had to lash back. The whole industry would crumble without the dork set (hell, I am one... I can fake it in the mainstream and a lot of these guys can't, but it's still faking it), our art would die. Totally.

    No one is going to by your indy comics if the mainstream comics can't support the store.

    And even when the younger folks and the girl folks and the folks-of-color do come into the stores, they are still going to be,
    dorks. This, they will almost all have in common. We need to diversify our dorks, but we're a dork scene and it's not likely to change.

    Hating on them isn't okay. I skimmed the rest of his piece and he clearly was mad about a lot of other things about the show (lots of contraband, poor organization, crowded, etc), so maybe he just lashed out at everything in sight.

    But you can't hate on the fans and you can't hate on our scene.

  6. Oh, wow, Val. You shoulda started out with "Quote by whomever." I thought you being pretty mean. Turns out it was whatever his face's name was. I've honestly only been to one convention in my life, and at first I felt a little bewildered and like, "Maybe I'm not this nerdy." But, I was. Majority of the people there are normal. I will say, and this doesn't count cosplayers, you'll get 5% stereotype. But, even then, they're people. That guy was an A-hole (with a capital "A", if you didn't notice. Heh!) I think, and this is alotta info-bloggers, journalists, newscasters, etc. get really really cynic, so that people will read/listen. I've noticed this to be true in conversation. I've noticed people will list dislikes more often than likes. I think it is partly due to the fact that if you list dislikes people will leave it alone. Plus, people like to agree on the negative more so than the positive. In conversation, they'll talk about ridiculous things rather than things they have a passion for. At least when it comes to hang out talk, and especially if you're getting to know that person. I do it too, I try not to, but sometimes you get sucked in to the cynicism.

  7. But... what do you REALLY expect from a guy who wrote and drew the adventures of a 'Carton of Hate' and a 'Wedge of Spite' (is it the other way around?)?

  8. The one time I attended Comicon several years ago, I had the pleasure of having a few drinks with Evan (it was a little Slave Labor party that I attended with Ian and Tyson Smith, if anyone cares :) ). He seemed like a great guy and had me laughing like an idiot (I am). I even bought a Milk & Cheese lunchbox in which to put the Alf trading cards I bought that weekend.

    Still, being right (I'd line up with most of his descriptions) is no defense for being mean, especially if what you're saying isn't very funny.

  9. After finding out who this DORKin guy is just now, I have a feeling he was situated closely to our table, and the loud-mouthed guy in the gray t-shirt and baseball cap was one of MY people. If I didn't mis-deduce that, then that's strike one.

    I'm going to have to agree with him slightly about the con ITSELF. It really is a clusterfuck of a flea market. Not enough space is given to the right areas too much to the wrong, and the first time I came in 2005 I was just as surprised there were so many bootleg DVDs being sold out in the open. That's not a dig against Alan or Mike, but the show needs some desperate tweakage.

    Something my crew noticed about the con was not only the lackluster attendance this time, especially by kids, but the fact that nobody was really buying. My editor, a 30-year pro from a lotta known companies, kept saying Saturday how it all just felt weird. Maybe the economy staved off the crowds? Maybe people only allowed themselves to window shop? Who knows; but many found this con off when compared to previous years. Sad to say I'm still too new to the con experience to really notice the difference. Hell, I'm just psyched to walk into a joint and know so many people...even if they won't remember me come the next con.

    But as for everything else, the guy is just a flat-out dick. He's taking a poor con experience and taking it out on the fans. If the dude hates comic fans SO much, why does he even bother? Fans are fans, they're passionate about what they love to various degrees. The whole point of cons are for those fans to meet fellow fans, meet creators, and talk about all their common interests. Sure, some can be more annoying than others as PEOPLE, but that's anywhere. The dude needs a serious reality check.

    Well, all that aside nice seeing you two at the Lulu table. I went back too late to make a donation but I'll just click the donate button here to make up for it.

  10. This is not the first time I have heard these sentiments. While I understand a lot about where those sentiments come from, and can even sympathize to an extent, I still think it's too harsh, and too blind to what the core of the market is.

    Yes, this is the core of our market. These are the people who have kept this market alive for decades. Now that they've dedicated their lives to comic book product and took the industry this far, they can "die out" and make way for the "beautiful people," right? "We've got Watchmen & Dark Knight now. Gotta think upscale."

    Without that core audience, this industry would be DEAD. Dead, dead, dead tomorrow.

  11. "Without that core audience, this industry would be DEAD. Dead, dead, dead tomorrow."


  12. Val,

    It was a real pleasure meeting you at the show Saturday. I hope the show went well for you and Lulu.

    Evan’s post gives much to chew on but I would like to make a few comments.

    I think Evan is spot-on with regards to how the show is run. The organizer pays no attention whatsoever to any of the proper details that are required to make the show fun and comfortable for the exhibiters, creators, and attendees. He jams the creators into the same size space no matter how many attend-- 60 or 100 make no difference. The aisles are tiny in Artists Alley and no thought is given to where and how people will be able move about and line-up to speak with the creators. Evan and Sarah were literally pinned against a wall with almost no room around them to maneuver and crowds of people lined up (for many different reasons) in front of them for most of Saturday.

    It’s very simple, anyone who has been to these Big Apple shows these last dozen or so years can tell you that they are poorly planned and executed. I have spoken to more than a few guests who have come once and will never return--Mike Grell and Frank Brunner to name just two. The organizers appear to have one goal – to jam as many people as possible in to maximize their profit. If you don’t know what this show is like before you get there, I can easily understand not having a fun day. This is not MOCCA or SPX – no celebration of the form to be found.

    One area where I disagree with Evan is that all day Saturday, there were long and constant lines for John Romita and Joe Sinnott. Chris Claremont had a steady flow of fans as did Michael Golden. Steranko as usual, was holding court with 4 or 5 people pretty much all day. Carmine Infantino did seem to have some down time but whenever I saw Roy Thomas sitting down; he seemed to have fans waiting to speak with him.

    But to jam David Lloyd, Bryan Talbot, and Russ Heath into a corner with little to no fanfare or notice is ridiculous. If you weren’t looking for them, you would never see them. Again, no planning or care went into where they were placed.

    No comment on the “Celebrity” guests, porn stars, wrestlers, strippers, or Playboy models -- I’m not there to see them.

    I think Evan was over reacting to a bad experience ( blanket hating on older fanboys is really uncalled for and I appreciate your response) but I can see where the poor planning, crowding, and unseasonable heat can go a long way towards making it a miserable experience for all who attended.

    Sorry for going on. I wanted to post a couple comments and I think it turned into Con Report.

    Be well – I look forward to chatting with you again.


  13. I love Evan's work, and i also love venomous rants WHEN THEY ARE FUNNY! He could have made the same points in a more humorous manner and I might have laughed. (Shatner's classic SNL speech, for example)

    This seemed over the top, and way too condescending and unfair, especially when it sounds like many of the problems described were more the fault of those who planned and organized the con. Bootleggers and cramped artists' space has nothing to do with the fans.

    He should have just done a strip of his experience where he could have ragged on everybody from a slightly more detached POV.

  14. Hi.
    38-year-old collector here. I've been reading comics since I was five, and am neither pot-bellied nor balding nor grizzled.
    I do, however, hold a bachelor's and master's degree, and work in a professional environment.
    I am also one of the economic engines that helps fire the industry. But if I'm too much trouble for Mr. Dorkin, perhaps I'll just reserve the money I've spent on comics for my three-year-old daughter's college education.
    Which is a shame, really, because I was looking forward to introducing her to comics.

  15. Speaking as a member of that core audience, I find it much more rewarding in spreading the good word than tearing it down.

    "If you build it, they will come". Cheesy, but it works.

    Which is why a 15 year old boy came to NYCC earlier this year with his father and, on our recommendation, sought out Jeff Lemire and other great comics.

    Which is why a girl in NY and a girl in the UK met on a message board and decided to share their love of comics to anyone who would listen.

    Which is why we received a hand written letter via snail mail from a 15 year old girl who loves comics and is hoping to go to NYCC next year.

    Just as I got a box full of comics from my uncle when I was a kid, I'm doing my part to share my enthusiasm for good books - hell, even for commercial popcorn books - to anyone who'll listen.

    I'm much rather help to build this community and introduce it to newer readers than tear it down. An especially odd tactic when you're actually in the industry.

  16. The guy was in the tri-state area and expected people to not talk sports? Fuhgeddaboudit ...

  17. It's Evan Dorkin. Yes, he's critical. And, yes, he raises many valid points.

    I didn't laugh at his essay. Too much of it was true and sad.

    Now, in regards to this post, yes, there are a lot of clueless fans. Why do we continue to see "shower regularly" on almost every convention list of advice? Dorkin is not criticizing ALL fans, just those without social grace. (I would guess that he has better things to say about MoCCA Fest and its attendees.)

    He is not attacking all fanboys (and fangirls) just the type that this sort of celebrity/dealer show tends to attract.

    As for no one buying indy comics if the "mainstream" won't support your store? Tell that to Art Spiegelman. Tell that to Pantheon, and Tokyopop, and Archie, and... Sure, lots of comicbook stores depend on DC and Marvel to pay the bills. Yes, the Direct Market allows creators to minimize their risk (by transferring it to the comicbook store owner). But you know what? Today, there are so many alternatives to comicbook stores. Many of the year's best titles on Publishers Weekly and Amazon were never published as comicbooks, but online, or as original graphic novels.

    Sorry... getting off track. Evan Dorkin's rant was legitimate. Go read his Eltingville stories, which won the Eisner for Best Short Story three different times. He's talented, and he has a razor sharp wit.

  18. Hmm... While I agree he might have went overboard, maybe it was the atmosphere of the con that helped lead to the locker-room behavior. Mr. Dorkin is a talented, intelligent lad, and, yes, we middle-aged fanboys can be a sad lot. But maybe he needs to just get out and rub elbows with working-class people who feel disenfranchised from the American Dream, who are approaching an age at which our parents and grandparents enjoyed retirement with the full knowledge that retirement of any kind might be out of our reach. Some of us lived through the Cold War, Vietnam, Wategate. Others lived through Reagan and his piss-down economics and recession after recession after recession while the divide between the wealthy and the working grew wider and the middle-class disappeared. Maybe we are uncouth and bitter, with bad manners and bad hair and bad odors. Maybe it's a sign of the polarization that has taken place and the new national motto of "you *can* judge a book by its cover -- or designer labels and what kind of car it drives."

    Or maybe I'm just ranting.

    I've never been to any con but Charlotte's Heroes Con. Lots of kids/families/girls/women. Even the most bitter of us middle-aged fanboys can relax and be pleasant, feeling in our element and wanting to share the experience. Ya'll come to Charlotte next summer.

    We're even nice to Mr. Didio. :)

  19. Heh... so we shouldn't complain about obnoxious behavior from comicbook fans? "Touch the magic..."

    Sometimes you gotta tear down something to replace it with something better. It's just better to use a sledgehammer than a tactical nuke.

  20. I can't stand the Big Crapple Shows. Evan really said what a lot of us feel about them. Yes, he may have been a little over the top lashing out at the fanboys, but that show needs serious help.

  21. I'm 39. I'm a big fat guy. I am balding. I'm not much of a sports person. I loosely root for 'home teams', and I sort of follow football only because I am in a friend's fantasy football league. I have a lot of anxiety issues with regard to being around people and especially crowds, but I have recently started going to conventions. Even more recently I got the nerve up to actually take things to have people whose work I admire sign, and in the process get to take a minute to meet them and maybe tell them that what they do is meaningful to me, or cool or whatever. My great fear is always that everyone thinks like this guy does. I know what I am, but does my existence and that of those who may be similar to me really cause him any harm? Does he expect that everyone should give up their hobbies and interests as they age for fear of offending his sensibilities? I am pretty sure he is older than I am, and smack in the age range that holds his contempt. This is a little upsetting to me. Moreso than the nice young artists at SPX calling me sir in a polite and respectful manner.

    I think this guy's specific beef in this instance may be a lot more than the stupid comments he wrote. I think they may have been fueled by whatever was going on specifically in that setting.

    The good news is that this doesn't really depress me. I am more bothered by the general negative and nasty tone of the piece, and the popularity of blogs that think humor is taking moderately bad comics and reviewing them with paragraphs composed entirely of profanity and name calling,than I am by the suggestion that I am not young and pretty enough for this guy's tastes. I'm ok with that.

    There are absolutely artists and writers that are jerks who seem to hate their fan base, but that isn't how I have found the majority of the people I have met to be. This is also not to say that their aren't obnoxious fans at conventions, but in that capacity, they have probably paid to be there, and they are probably consumers of the products being sold/marketed.

    Hurray for free speech I guess

  22. I'm not sure if Evan's post was intended to dismiss the core comics audience out-of-hand, or to be generally superior to collectors. If you read carefully you'll see he's razzing on a very specific kind of boorish, socially dysfunctional, and generally unpleasant type of fan stereotype that's unfortunately a reality.

    I don't think this particular subset of the community that he's talking about makes up the "core audience" of older collectors. I would think that many older collectors are intelligent, nice, hygienic, and personable. (Take GrooveDaddy's comment as a case in point.)

    I know that when I grow up I'm going to be one of the old guys looking for Spider-Man phones and Treasury Editions of "Super Friends" at shows because it's fun and I will also not be rude or annoying to anyone and I will shower beforehand. I'm sure Evan appreciates those kinds of folks -- folks who love the art and aren't also underdeveloped people.

    Although I would sooner ignore these guys than write an angry blog post about them, I think he's not far off-base to ask that fandom be a supportive environment for respectful, socialized people who find great joy in all of this junky ephemera and can enjoy it all together a few times a year at these shows.

  23. "Although I would sooner ignore these guys than write an angry blog post about them, I think he's not far off-base to ask that fandom be a supportive environment for respectful, socialized people who find great joy in all of this junky ephemera and can enjoy it all together a few times a year at these shows. "

    Yes, he's way off base. I don't know what scene you're hanging out in, but I've done comics from Kansas to Wisconsin to NYC, DC and Philadelphia. It all looks pretty much the same. Ours is dominated by the socially challenged to outright flummoxed. That's the core. It really, really is.

    It's not going to change. It is way, way too much to ask. If Evan just wants to hang out with the ones he can deal with, he's going to be going to some very, very small shows.

  24. Brady - so, what, it's awful, it'll stay awful, deal with it?

    It seems like a lot of people are taking offense that shouldn't be. I'm baffled that anyone could read his post and conclude he "hates comic fans".

    I'm sure reading it is gonna sting if you're "late 30s, early 40s" "balding" and/or "overweight", but if you don't stink, terrify children, leave without flushing, harass women, use your backpack as weapon, yell obscenities in a public setting, etc. etc. ETC. then take heart: he's not mad at you. Anyone who DOES do that stuff deserves all the bashing they get, core of the market be damned.

  25. Val, not sure where you're getting the "class" stuff from. Body-odour hasn't correlated with income since the middle-ages, surely?

  26. The minute you reacted to this as if Dorkin was picking on folks that you respect (or folks like them) you lost a reasonable perspective on this for me. You chose to take his rant as a personal offense to you yourself. Add to the fact the con organizers donated FoL a table (which is admirable) clouds your perspective for me as well. Your closing concession that you wish comics could be more for kids seems to completely ignore that part of Dorkin's stress and displeasure came from people cussing around his small child. Older fanboys are adults, Dorkin's core expectation that they act like adults is reasonable and to argue against that expectation is indeed seemingly laughable. And for the argument he's elitist? Um, OK. Don't see it. I see an angry guy who went off on an entertaining rant, which at the end of it he fully conceded he encountered several great people and appreciated some parts of the con. You were happy with the con to a certain degree because you raised a lot of money, good for you. I imagine if you had been subjected to more of what Dorkin experienced at this particular con (the unsolicited taking of his wife's photo, for example) you might understand his rant better (try looking at it from his perspective). But to challenge his personal unpleasant experience and to call him elitist? And I really hope your counter-argument to my post does not start with that he should not have taken his child to the con...

  27. In my capacity as a forty-year old comics dealer, I'd like to step in and defend the 43-year old writer in question here and perhaps clarify his point. Plenty of older comics fans are overweight (myself included) and socially awkward (debatably including myself) without being pathetic, stunted monsters, HOWEVER, a lot of comics folks are exactly as described. Nerddom as a whole mythologizes itself as a group of magical enlightened ubermenschen who are simply tragically misunderstood by the "mundanes" (look up the whole "fans are SLANs" thing for a particularly goofy example), and comics and SF stories are loaded with hated outsiders whose despised caterpillar shells conceal beautiful butterflies within. The problem is, a lot of times, the rotting exterior only conceals a core that's infested with maggots. It can certainly be argued that external forces have curdled these pitiable wretches' souls, but nonetheless, they are what they are. And they (to an extent) could choose not to be. Dorkin's "Eltingville Gang" and Ware's "Rusty Brown" are both frequently dismissed as cruel and unfair, but both strips are sharply observant and depressingly truthful (and, it should be noted, clearly attacking the horrors that the artists can recognize in themselves, as well). I recall one review of an "Eltingville" story whose author perceived Evan as a bully from the outside world, picking on the nerds, but it's obvious that he's just painting what he sees.
    Among my customers, I've got plenty of lovable nerds who are professors, insurance executives, and other professional men who can balance a love of custom Moon Knight figures with being functional humans, and I've also got an aging talk-radio aficionado who still lives with his parents, so he goes over to friends' houses to surf for internet porn, and a lawyer who'll cheerfully and LOUDLY discuss (or, rather, "declaim"-- there's no give-and-take, and refusing to make eye contact or respond doesn't slow him down) his favorite porn star and those acts she will and will not perform, despite the presence of women and children in the room, and most horribly, a deranged Stephen Root lookalike whose every appearance brings a new horror born in his complete lack of self-awareness; my favorite being when he asked if I knew any "college girls" that he might be willing to make custom bondage videos for him, in an apparent belief that this might be cheaper than buying commercial product.
    This has gotten rather too long and prone to run-on sentences, but I've got to get to work now. Suffice it to say that if you're a decent person,no matter how schlubby, Evan wasn't talking to you. If you suspect that he was, maybe you should try showering and using your inside voice, and then take it from there.

  28. Dorkin is the very bitter man behind some tediously one-note and hostile cartoons. If you've ever seen this guy in person, he looks like an anger management group session lifer. His rant should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his work and, frankly, I think he's better suited to work a deli counter than create "humor" comics.

  29. I know plenty of people in the demographic Dorkin was referring to who someone like Dorkin would probably look down upon and say nasty shit about. Defend it all you want, it's a scumbag, cowardly thing to do.

    Dorkin and those who smugly defend his point of view have become the equivalent of the jocks in high-school who put down the "nerds." The ironic thing? How much less "nerdy" are they? I think these attacks extend from insecurity about one's hobby, one's image, and one's industry.

    Yes, Big Apple Con donated a table to Friends of Lulu. Yes, the people who donated to Friends of Lulu were mostly of the demographic targeted by Dorkin. As a whole, I was treated with tremendous respect by both. If both were the slobbering troglodytes described by Dorkin, I doubt they would have done this for our organization.

    To sum up, take the plank out of your own eye before deigning to point out the splinter in the eyes of others. Don't worry about fanboy body odor -- go clean your own ass and mind your own damn business. Who appointed you "style director" for the comic book collecting community? If you're so damn ashamed about the people who keep this industry alive and ticking, stop bitching and go find another hobby. Go take up wine-tasting, or something.

  30. Some of Evan's contempt definitely comes from his own insecurity. And I think he is aware of this on some level.

    I have this old Milk and cheese shirt and at the top of the mayhem are a single vignette of each and has them saying (and I might be paraphrasing because I do not have the shirt in front of me) "If you're so goddam hip.. why are you reading comic books?" which I believe was not only meant to refer to the wearer, but also to Evan himself.

  31. Ah, Valerie, as a fellow (is that gender neutral?) member of Friends of Lulu, I'm a bit surprised at your last comment.

    "If you're so damn ashamed about the people who keep this industry alive and ticking, stop bitching and go find another hobby."

    First of all, Friends of Lulu was created to change perceptions in the Comic Book Industry, both among professionals and fans, and to make comics more inviting and hospitable to those who might feel marginalized.

    Second, if we don't like the behavior of fans, does that mean we should stop attending conventions where they might be? Or do we become activists for change, such as your post of August 21, where you suggest that the San Diego Comic Con needs to institute a harassment policy?

    I can tolerate a lot of boorish behavior (nine years of retail will do that). I don't condone it, and if it's over the top, I'll engage the person with respect.

    I wonder what "Jeff Albertson" has to say about all this?

  32. Torsten, according to Dorkin, he'd like to see this demographic "die out like the dinosaurs."

    Indeed, how can I be the head of an organization that is supposed to be all-inclusive and have to listen over and over again in silence to the opinions from supposedly "inclusive" people that they would like to see a whole segment of the readership disappear?

    I hate sexism, but I hate elitism too.

    How can I get angry regarding a woman suffering verbal harassment at a con, but not get angry when I see some fan minding his own business being mocked by smug people who think they are sooooo much better than him?

    "Look at that geek, with the Green Lantern shirt and the gut. What a nerd! Lookit he's got a whole suitcase of comics to get signed. I wonder if he's ever gotten laid in his entire life! Snicker!"

    I've heard countless variations of that over the years. That's not offensive to say about someone you don't even know?

    Friends of Lulu has to reach out to *all* segments of the fandom, including the "fanboys." We did so at this convention, and I am happy with the way things turned out.

  33. I have read the entire piece. Dorkin was not bashing "older fanboys" as a whole, and to say so is a distortion.

    He is bashing what are more commonly known as Cat Piss Men (google it), so named for the smell around them- okay, maybe he's mocking a subset thereof, but I know who he's talking about and it's not just an age thing.

  34. Those 30-40 year olds are the bread and butter of the industry!