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Monday, July 13, 2009

Attack of the 50-Foot Fangirls


"Girls Cause Comic-Con Consternation"

"Female Fans Prepare To Trample Men At Comic-Con"

"Will Twilight Ruin This Year's Comic-Con?"

Truly, my heart weeps for those fanboys inconvenienced by 1,000s of Robert Pattinson fans. It is so unfair. And they're "not even really supposed to be there," right?

I first noticed this phenomenon at last year's conventions when they started to invite manga & anime guests. You never saw such epic lines waiting to get autographs from voice actors and Japanese pop stars. You can't even compare the sheer volume of these fans to those waiting for Jim Lee, et al. It's like comparing the crowds that came out for the Beatles & Michael Jackson to those who come out for a Tony Danza book signing. Seriously.


After all the bullshit I've heard over the last year about females getting harassed at comic conventions, it's hard for me to have any pity for people who whine over these "interlopers" invading their convention. And you'd better believe the con organizers are going to have to have better security and protective measures for these younger female fans – because if their shows have a rep as an unsafe venue for these girls & women, they are going to lose tons of $$$.

As for the upturned nose at fans of stuff like "Twilight" (and I'm looking now at some women as well as men), that's just a bunch of crap. I'm not a "Twilight" enthusiast, but that's a real legitimate fandom and get over it.

And as far as the anxiety over the crowds for the "New Moon" panels/screenings go, SDCC was in this position before for stuff like "Hellboy" & "The Spirit"; I was there. And I really feel the female fans are getting singled out.

Here's a typical sentiment, from Cinematical's post "The One Where Twilight (Almost, But Doesn't) Ruin Comic-Con)":

"Well, last year Twilight caused an absolute Beatles-mania sh*t show with tween girls and their Twi-hard moms camped outside the convention center's Hall H for hours upon hours in order to get one of the 6000-or-so seats inside."


Where was this whining when people were going freakin nuts over "Watchmen?" Or when I couldn't even get through the fanboy phalanx to meet up with friends because of the Hellboy roadblock?

Fandom and conventions are big enough for EVERYBODY. And instead of complaining about "Twilight" fans, maybe somebody should figure out how to get these legions of fangirls to buy more comics.

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for this, Val, and on a personal level, as looking back now, I found myself at times easily jumping onto the anti-Twilight bandwagon, and with very little provocation - it's not even that big here in the UK! Probably some residual leftover from childhood arguments over whether Star Trek was superior to that new upstart Star Wars.
    And you're right, an industry struggling to stay alive can do better for itself than let its followers be elitist towards potential new numbers. Or don't they think that some Twilight fans might widen their interests into comics, anime etc. once exposed to them?
    (Oh, and Star Trek's still better than Star Wars, BTW...)

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  2. "And instead of complaining about 'Twilight' fans, maybe somebody should figure out how to get these legions of fangirls to buy more comics."

    Quoted for truth!

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  3. I find it interesting that people who go to comic cons would get upset about specific movie fandoms...what sort of intrigues me is the fact that COMIC cons have become places where people go to hawk movies in the first place. Comics and comic-related panels are harder and harder to find, period, at comic cons. No one seems to be bemoaning THAT trend...which seems a bit sad to me.

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  4. Last year's manga guests were legitimate comic writer/artists, and yeah, their fans are CRAZY. (I say this as one myself...though I like to think I have pretty good con manners.)

    As someone else pointed out elsewhere, there's a touch of "there are too many girls here, AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN THE TYPE TO BE INTERESTED IN US" to some of the SDCC-Twilight complaints that is...creepy. Rabid fans annoy me too, but they're hardly restricted to Twilight.

    People are exaggerating last year's Twilight crowd, anyway. Yes, it was huge when they were getting ready for the panel...but I wasn't in that direct area and I never noticed. SDCC is crowded EVERYWHERE; it's not like some Twi-mob took over the whole place.

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  5. I think the perceived "problem" of the Twilight fans comes from the idea (whether it's held consciously or subconsciously) that the Twilight fans are ruining "their" convention. It's not necessarily opposition to Twilight fandom itself but to the idea of Twilight fans "invading" Comic-Con.

    That said, I get the impression that Comic-Con hasn't been exclusively about comics for a long time now. But there's more overlap in the fandom; people that are big fans of comic books are also big fans of the other contingents that show up. Twilight fans, on the other hand, are an entirely different demographic that have little or no interest in the comics that are (at least ostensibly) the main focus of the convention.

    Of course, I've never had the opportunity to go myself, so I don't have any firsthand experience with any of this... but that's the impression I'm getting from reading all of the vitriol about it.

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  6. I agree with the assessment that, overall, SDCC (and, to a lesser extent, NYCC) is becoming more of a general pop-culture convention rather than a specifically comics-focused con. That said, we could see this pop-culture focus as being part of a continuum that was started and kept alive by comic book culture. I do not think there could be the convention without the comics.

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  7. Valerie D'Orazio said: "I agree with the assessment that, overall, SDCC (and, to a lesser extent, NYCC) is becoming more of a general pop-culture convention rather than a specifically comics-focused con. That said, we could see this pop-culture focus as being part of a continuum that was started and kept alive by comic book culture. I do not think there could be the convention without the comics."

    That's probably true. But I think a lot of comic book fans looked at Comic-Con (and other similar conventions) as a place where they could really be themselves, revel in the things they loved and be among those who would consider that "normal," when they couldn't really find that in their "normal lives." They grew up being "the weird guy (or girl) who liked comic books," but at these conventions, they would find people just like them. It was reassurance that they weren't "weird," they just had different interests, and they weren't just the only ones who felt that way.

    But the Twilight fans are from an entirely different group. I have a number of female friends who are huge fans of those books but would never admit to picking up a comic book (unless, of course, it was a Twilight comic book, and they only skimmed it in the store). They're the kind of "outsiders" the complainers are concerned about... and they're the very same kind of people who probably looked down on the comic book fans in high school.

    Actually, that raises another question for me. Why doesn't Twilight have its own convention series? Its fandom could probably support it.

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  8. I'm not a big fan of lines for anything - Alex Ross, Jim Lee or Twilight stars.

    This is why I usually go to Artists' Alley at the Comicon in Chicago...you're likely to run into creators you forgot you loved.

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  9. A couple of points:
    1. I think the Twilight thing taps in less to misogyny than the "what are these interlopers (especially Hollywood) doing at our con!" thing that Teresa and Jerry mentioned.

    And not just fans. I went to SDCC last year and there was this negative sentiment amongst dealers I talked to about how their area keeps getting smaller each year and the space given to the studios keeps getting larger.

    This year, there are many comic book fans who could not get a ticket to SDCC because it sold out so early. If you can blame someone like the Twilight fans--who they percieve as not being interested in comics--it makes them feel better.

    Which, of course, is not fair or that accurate. Most of the Twilight fans I know also like comics. So there is a bit of carryover. But they have come to represent the people who have moved Comic-Con away from comics.

    And you know what? I think they have the right to be upset. If it was a case of comic fans sharing SDCC with other fandoms, I don't think there would be much of a problem. But the growth of Hollywood influence is diminishing the presence of comics in the building. It's not unrealistic to see SDCC become an ipso facto trade show for geek-friendly Hollywood projects.So, they have some right to feel threatened by these other fandoms.

    2. I believe the "Will Twilight Ruin This Year's Comic-Con?" link addresses a real problem about the scheduling of events in Hall H and at SDCC in general. And, to make you happy Val, I will whine about the "Watchmen" hoopla of last year.

    I was hoping to cover the Watchmen panel for a website I work for (www.filmbuffonline.com) and heard stories about how you had to get their early to get in. I believe the panel was at 3PM, I got there shortly before the Con opened. The line was around the block. I found out I got their too late. People were there at 3-4AM just to get into that panel.

    Now, I didn't have press credentials because I wanted my first SDCC to be as a fan and not have to work, so I don't know if that would have made any difference. I find the idea that you have to get to the venue 12 hours before the panel you want to see, sit outside for 7 hours until the doors open, and then sit through 4 hours of panels you would not want to see just to be at the one you do is absurd.

    And the point that someone who is only interested in seeing the Alice in Wonderland panel being kept from seeing it because a disinterested Twilight fan has taken up their seat in the panel and is talking with friends throughout it is also irksome to me.

    But this all reflects less on Twilight fans or female fans than on the way SDCC handles its panels (regardless of what Cinematical says). People camp out and sit through panels they could care less about because that is what they have to do. I don't know what would be a reasonable way to fix it (Ticketing? Clearing out the auditorium after every panel?)but this problem is a valid one to be addressed.

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  10. 1) What's the biggest comic-centric show? Baltimore? Is Wonder-Con comic-centric? We've got demographic comic-cons now (indy, manga, asian-american, african-american, kids...) that these big shows can offer a big tent for everyone. And you better believe that cross-pollinization is good for comics.

    2) Too many girls and women at Comic-Con... are guys that stupid? So they like stuff you don't... they still like the unusual, and that's what matters. Maybe she's not that interested in Green Lantern or Superman, but maybe she'll read Sandman or Buffy or Star Wars comics.

    3) Some of us remember what it was like to be different in high school. Some of us escaped reality via Star Trek or Spider-Man or video games. Some of us are tolerant of those who enjoy things we don't.

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  11. I agree, though...rather than alienating them, male (and female) fans should be trying to bring them in....maybe they could've saved MI3 and Captain Britain...or the Blade series. I bet some of the young women would love Young Avengers (with their opinionated and tough girls like Hawkeye) or the young women in Runaways as much or more than they love the female lead from Twilight.

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  12. I used to be a Twilight fan, until I realized I'd be categorized with the rabid scary fans. Frankly, the fandom embarrasses me. I don't understand why some girls get so excited about stuff that they forget about their common sense.

    Now, this is my first Comic-Con and I'm very excited.. I've been to AX a bunch of times, and some small time local cons, but I've migrated away from the anime/manga scene over the last couple years and more into mainstream American stuff, and I'm going mostly for the *comics*. I will probably be giving SDCC's Twilight presence a wide berth, and I hope that will be enough. But having the Twilight fans take up space in panels they don't want to see, but the rest of us do, is really not cool. Hopefully they will be able to organize it better now that they know what to expect.

    Val, you mentioned something about girls being harassed at cons - does that actually happen? Is SDCC a con where I'll have to be concerned for my safety? I'll be alone most of the time - maybe I should rethink some of my costumes...

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  13. The one thing I would like to be explored is "How many Twilighters bought weekend passes when they will only use them for the one day of Twilight panels/signings." For that matter, how many fans of any one niche fandom did the same?

    That is something worth bitching about, but of course would require actual legwork and research and doesn't let bloggers scapegoat an entire gender.

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  14. I don't begrudge anyone the oppurtunity to come into the pop culture pool and hang out with the rest of us, as long as they do so in a reasonable manner with the intent to have fun.

    This'll be my first year at the SDCC and while I think the media-related panels will be icing on a delicious cake, I'm mainly there to geek out over comics. I think its wicked that Watchmen will have a Q&A as well as a look at the director's cut, but if it cuts into my prime convention-going time I'll wait for DVD. Though I plan on doing my best to get into the Green Lantern screening.

    Can't wait!

    Stac

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  15. Anonymous8:08 PM

    Where was this whining when people were going freakin nuts over "Watchmen?" Or when I couldn't even get through the fanboy phalanx to meet up with friends because of the Hellboy roadblock?

    At least those movies are comics related, and had a reason for being there.

    The fact is, many of us are sick of seeing comics getting shoved out of the SDCC venue by Hollywood, the Porn Industry, Video Games, and other non-related "pop culture" crap, all of which have their own convention circuits that comics by and large is unwelcome in.

    When this is how you get treated at typical non-comics centric "pop culture" shows:

    http://www.arrowcomics.com/webstrips/images/spank2_005_aaa.jpg

    http://www.arrowcomics.com/webstrips/images/spank2_006_aaa.jpg

    http://www.arrowcomics.com/webstrips/images/spank2_007_aaa.jpg

    Why the hell would you want those kind of people at your comics show?

    And now, you want to talk about the TWILIGHT fans. Hell, Val they aren't even fans of the story. They just want the actors. If it was just author Stephanie Meyer there, and no movie, no actors, the turn out would be just about nil.

    After all, SDCC has had plenty of big name authors at their show before and nobody's made a big to do about it. It's only been the past eight to ten years, where they've turned the con into a movie / video game mecca, that things have gotten out of hand.

    And really, is that what you or any comics fan goes to SDCC for? Movies and video games? I should think not, hope not.

    They should ban the whole movie and video game industries from being present at SDCC altogether. You don't see Marvel setting up their wares at E3 or the VGXPO, trying to capture audiences with their books, depsite all the stupid video games, now do you? You don't see DC with their WORLD OF WARCRAFT comics and the creators there with whomever makes that dumb game, promoting their stuff, either. Or the Superman / Batman / DC Vs. Capcom games.

    Why not? Because honestly, comics people are not wanted there. They're not welcome.

    So why should we want them at our shows, Val?

    If it's not going to be reciprocated equally, then we don't need or want them in our backyard. It's that simple.

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  16. Quoth the Superheroine:

    I do not think there could be the convention without the comics.

    Q.v., "Nerd Flight" blog.

    I think SDCC has reached a point of critical mass. It's already become the only U.S. comic show "that matters," with others struggling to find unique niches (Dragon*Con) or stake a firm claim as regional shows (Heroes Con). The only way the show can support its massive size and significance is to cater to smaller slices of larger industries (which is how it lured in the narrow wedge of Hollywood). I fully expect we're in the "Real World"/"Singled Out" part of the spiral and can look forward to "SDCC2" offering round-the-clock comics programming in another 5 to 8 years.

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  17. Oops. I didn't meant to clip your quote quite so late. I'd also intended to point out your notion that "we could see this pop-culture focus as being part of a continuum that was started and kept alive by comic book culture" is similar to the thinking at the beginning of MTV's move to abandon music content in favor of music-culture content.

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  18. I agree on so many levels.

    Twilight is part of pop culture. SDCC has become a pop culture con. Why are we complaining about TwiHards when they have not proven themselves to be annoying dickheads yet, and yet, the more vehement fanbases such as California Browncoats and the 501st Legion - who ARE dickheads - get to prance around like they OWN the f*cking convention center?

    I mean what the shit, man.

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  19. I would never differentiate my complaints between male and female fans. I cannot believe fanboys would complain about girls being at their convention. Jesus, do you not want to get laid? Here's the opportunity to meet fellow geeks.

    But having said that, Twilight, as I understand it, is complete shit.

    I am not going to insult women by being Ok with their fandom of complete rubbish. It's like if they were superfans of Highlander 2 or the works of L Ron Hubbard or Dan Brown. (And as a male, I dislike Michael Bay and loathe the movie Red Dawn).

    I'm going to call a spade a spade.

    Having said all that, I have not read or seen Twilight. I just go by the opinions of my intelligent female friends and the critics I like to read.

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  20. Figuring out how to sell comics to people in general just goes without saying really.

    I desperately wish I'd gone to SDCC ten years ago.

    I dig movies and games and comics but if I'm paying good money to travel down from Canada and endure customs and plan all the details, am I going be able to enjoy myself, or find myself huddled in a corner hanging onto my SDCC giveaway goodie bag for dear life?

    Do people actually enjoy themselves at this thing? Or it just a massive stressball of doom that people survive and then complain about on the Internet?

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  21. I think the Twilight thing taps in less to misogyny than the "what are these interlopers (especially Hollywood) doing at our con!" thing that Teresa and Jerry mentioned.

    No, I really do think it has to do with the fact that a large portion of Twilight fans are female. The only "big" convention I've been to is last year's NYCC, and just listening to some of the people waiting on line was enough to make me angry. Any girl that passed with a costume, or a t-shirt with a Batman logo, got a scoff and a comment in the vein of, "she's probably just here because of her boyfriend". That's a stupid attitude to have, and to quote Val's original post:

    After all the bullshit I’ve heard over the last year about females getting harassed at comic conventions, it’s hard for me to have any pity for people who whine over these ‘interlopers’ invading their convention.

    I don't recall any of the LOST fans who swarm the convention getting any shit. I wonder why that is.

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  22. I recently gave Shane shit for saying something akin to this, but if you think this TwiHard Hate has nothing to do with the stereotypical role of "girls don't read comics", you're on crack.

    "I desperately wish I'd gone to SDCC ten years ago."

    Even six years ago, it was dead on Preview Night. Liz Cavalier once told me that they should make Preview Night pro and press only. I agree.

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  23. Anonymous3:37 PM

    I think all the concerns about the Twilight contingent are vastly overstated. However:

    1)Twilight has no comic antecedent (unlike Watchmen, The Spirit, and Hellboy), so one could make a reasonable argument that its inclusion is less central to SDCC's mission as a *comic* con.

    2)Does sexism play a role in the anti-Twilight sentiments? Quite likely, but it's also worth noting that other girl-centric fandoms (Harry Potter, Naruto, etc.) have been welcomed into the Comicon fold w/o incident. Framing this issue as a sexist one ignores that reality.

    3)The mass critical disdain for Twilight (and not just in 'nerd' circles, but in more mainstream outlets like Entertainment Weekly) makes it an easy target for contempt. I know a few folks who dig Bella, Edward, and the rest of the sparkly gang, but even they aren't willing to defend the books as 'good', just 'fun' (compared to the Harry Potter books, which mostly received favorable reviews from critics).

    4)Twilight fans are notorious for their bad behavior, even by 'nerd/geek' standards. Google up the publicity tours the movie actors went on (visiting 'Hot Topics' across the USA, etc.) last year in advance of the movies and you'll read about several near-riots and related insanity. It's worth noting that even their supposed objects of worship (Pattinson, Kristen Stewart) are more than a little fearful of them.

    All that said, I was at the SDCC last year during wave one of Twilight mania. It didn't ruin the con then, and I very much doubt it will now, if for no other reason than that the con staff are smart folks who do their job well.

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  24. Big deal over nothing. So these girls are succumbing to "fan-litism"... uh... isn't this what ALL fans go through?
    "DC's the best!"
    "No, Marvel's the best, Excelsior!"
    "Screw you, Indie is where the cool is!"
    "Original BSG is the only way to watch."
    "Picard could kick Shatner's butt any day."
    "Twilight's the best book ever!"
    "Ick, you're into Twilight, go away."

    Once again, chicks not being able to deal with being treated just like one of the boys. So you like Twilight. Good for you. You’re not special. Get over it.

    -kat

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  25. I may be wandering far afield, but I'm glad to see a couple of points I wish I'd made myself and can now happily jump on the bandwagon behind:

    Tyson Durst wrote:
    Do people actually enjoy themselves at this thing? Or it just a massive stressball of doom that people survive and then complain about on the Internet?

    Cons have become such an albatross around fans' necks that I wonder why they bother at all. I had plenty of fun at cons when I was a teen and in my early 20s, and working a bazillion of them as a dealer in my mid-20s did a lot to desensitize me to their charms. Nevertheless, I've gone to a few cons as a civilian since then, and everyone I've encountered is so fixated on their personal agenda of contacts to make, panels to attend, creators/bloggers/cool people to woo, and (once in a while) toys or comics to buy that the whole trip becomes a weekend-long exercise in second-hand misery.

    Admittedly, I'm an old man and a killjoy — but these things have become such an emotional burden on con-goers that the toxic level of disappointment and self-loathing intrudes on everyone else sitting at home trying to enjoy their comics.

    Kat wrote:
    Once again, chicks not being able to deal with being treated just like one of the boys.

    For a long time, the comics community has been actively courting female readers, spreading the chum far and wide to draw in any female who might possibly show an interest in comics. Females have become a prized commodity in every segment of the comics world, from store customers with purses to cosplayers in high heels to con-goers in lipstick.

    Over the last decade, publishers, retailers, and fans have managed to revamp the "boys club" aspects of their world to lure more and more women into the fold. As the effort has grown more successful, women are becoming less and less of a novelty at comics stores and at cons — and, honestly, I wonder how many will drop out when being Queen of the Geeks is no longer a perk of regular trips to the comics shop.

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  26. @Secret-HQ

    "Over the last decade, publishers, retailers, and fans have managed to revamp the "boys club" aspects of their world to lure more and more women into the fold. As the effort has grown more successful, women are becoming less and less of a novelty at comics stores and at cons — and, honestly, I wonder how many will drop out when being Queen of the Geeks is no longer a perk of regular trips to the comics shop."

    Nice and classy, there.

    The word "lure" aside, comics convention spaces themselves were notorious for being unsafe spaces for women on a purely physical level, not to mention the sexism that gives rise to ideas like the ones you're expressing with your Queen of the Geeks comments: that a primary motivator for women in comics or other fandom is to obtain male attention, not to enjoy entertainment. Women may no longer "be a novelty" as you put it, but they are vastly outnumbered, and that problem leads to all kinds of other issues that remain largely unresolved.

    I don't play RPGs or read comics or sf/f because it makes me "queen of the geeks", even when it does make me one of the few women in the room; I do these things because I like them. But being told endlessly that I don't really like them, couldn't possibly like them as much as my male counterparts, must not like X [male-identified interest] because I enjoy Y [female-identified interest], or have to expose myself to ridicule, sexism and possibly even assault or harassment to enjoy them in convention spaces, makes me unwilling to be "lured".

    I'll just keep going to Wiscon, where women talk about comics and TV and RPGs and books and I don't have to worry that someone is going to make patronizing remarks about my gender as it intersects with my interests, or sexually harass or assault me, or assume that my interest in driving half-way across the country to spend five days in a hotel room with four other women so there'll be money for all of us to spend in the dealer's room is all about wanting male attention.

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  27. Anonymous5:59 PM

    I stopped going to SD five years ago when it became "too crowded" at 60,000.

    I'm not necessarily pleased to see thousands (or tens of thousands) of any fanbase suddenly show up at the show.

    Signed,

    Fearful of being crushed this year.

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  28. I see a lot of comments where people are overanalyzing the shit out of these conventions. I don't get it. It's like the people that get angry over people that have never read the Bible watching Kings.

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  29. Something that keeps popping up in these discussions and comments (here and elsewhere) is that Twilight doesn’t have a comic book so it shouldn’t be at a comic convention. Well, as we are probably all aware now, it does have a comic book coming out. So is there still a problem?

    The other fall back excuse to dislike Twilight fans is to point out that what they like isn’t as good as what I like. “The books are dumb and poorly written. The characters are dumb and simplistic and do dumb things. They pander to their target audience and have no redeeming literary value.” Certainly no one could say the same thing about comics could they?

    I don’t read Twilight, but I also don’t read every book or comic or watch every tv show or movie. Because not every book, comic, tv show or movie is something I want to watch. But I can’t say that other people shouldn’t enjoy what they want to enjoy. And I certainly can’t stop them from paying their money to ComicCon and enjoy what they enjoy. If they’re willing to share a convention center with me and my hobby why can’t I offer them the same courtesy?

    Also…
    Anonymous at 8:08pm said
    “And now, you want to talk about the TWILIGHT fans. Hell, Val they aren't even fans of the story. They just want the actors. If it was just author Stephanie Meyer there, and no movie, no actors, the turn out would be just about nil.”
    They made the movie(s) because the books were and are successful, not the other way around. People like the books. They read them and reread them. And that’s not just to think about Robert Pattinson. I don’t read and reread the Fantastic Four and think about Chris Evans. Stephanie Meyer is a draw.

    Anonymous at 3:37pm said
    “4)Twilight fans are notorious for their bad behavior, even by 'nerd/geek' standards. Google up the publicity tours the movie actors went on (visiting 'Hot Topics' across the USA, etc.) last year in advance of the movies and you'll read about several near-riots and related insanity. It's worth noting that even their supposed objects of worship (Pattinson, Kristen Stewart) are more than a little fearful of them.”
    The near-riot was at a mall in my hometown of San Francisco where I sadly used to work. The reason for the riot was everyone involved underestimated the fan turnout. They were planning to let 500 people in to see Robert Pattinson one gray morning and got a few thousand. And this was before the movie came out. They weren’t fans of his yet, these were people devoted to the book and looking forward to seeing the man who would take on the role of Edward. People weren’t there for Pattinson or his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter 4, they were there for Twilight.

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  30. What I find ironic about the attempts to recast Twilight and its fandom as suffering anti-feminist slings and arrows is that anyone who reads Twilight with even half a brain should recognize that it's easily one of the most misogynistic modern genre stories written by anyone whose name doesn't rhyme with "Chuck Austen."

    Seriously, change the characters from vampires to superheroes, age them up just a few years, publish their adventures as comic books rather than as prose novels, and change the gender of the author from "Stephenie Meyer" to "Stephen Meyer," and all other things being equal, female fandom would be throwing a collective fit over how inexcusably Edward treats Bella, and their criticisms would be 100-PERCENT RIGHT, so why is this crap getting a free pass because it's about sparklypoo vampires instead?

    Yes, we need more female readers of comic books, but we don't need ANYONE in ANY genre or medium to be reading "romances" written by and for people who think that the ultimate message of Wuthering Heights is that Heathcliff was The Ideal Man that women should be seeking out. Crap like that is more insidiously woman-hating than the vast majority of even Larry Flynt's mass-media output.

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  31. I think you guys have pretty much covered it!

    More girls at a con is a good thing.

    Trying to convert em into comic fans is a good thing.

    Elitism of any kind is a bad thing.

    And screaming of any kind is a bad thing, well, except in the "throes of passion" and wait for it...

    ArrrOOooo! :D

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  32. Was on the SDCC facebook page today. Noticed how nobody was crawling up one guys ass for writing this:

    "OLiViA Munn is honestly the only reason I'm even attending Comic Con 09! I can't wait to meet her and get her Playboy issue autographed ;) OMFG FTW!"

    People forget CCI has become a multi-million dollar business. With great power comes great responsibility. This year, they will get $150,000 in ticket sales alone. This is not E3. This is not a Medical Conference. CCI also has APE and WonderCon, and those conventions have become MUCH more niche-focused (one for mainstream comics and one for indie) as SDCC has become much more pop-driven.

    They don't care about the TwiHards roaming the halls. They quite simply have to let in the Olivia Munn fans to swim in the very pool they created. They have to accommodate the people that could give less of a damn about comics.

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  33. Paul DeBenedetto said...
    No, I really do think it has to do with the fact that a large portion of Twilight fans are female. The only "big" convention I've been to is last year's NYCC, and just listening to some of the people waiting on line was enough to make me angry. Any girl that passed with a costume, or a t-shirt with a Batman logo, got a scoff and a comment in the vein of, "she's probably just here because of her boyfriend".


    To use what "some" people said at the NYCC as proof of the argument that the anti-Twilight sentiment at SDCC is misogynistic is a fallacy. You are applying a sentiment from "some" people you overheard to all comic fans, and something that happened months ago at another Con that had nothing to do with Twilight or this very specific circumstance.

    Has anybody read the links Valerie provided? This whole aurgument is like one of those Russian Nestling Dolls. At the center is the Slashfilm article by Peter Sciretta (it's the third link from the top of the post). Now, this is a complaint about how fans for other films with panel before the Twilight panel might miss out because their spots in Hall H will be taken by Twilighters. Not once did he himself refer to these fans as being exclusively female, or use any term resembling "these GIRLS are ruing MY Con". The only mention of Twilight fans being female is in a quote from the Hollywood Reporter included in the post.

    The misogynistic meaning was applied to Sciretta's post in a post by Movieline's by Kyle Buchanan (a link to which Val included in the body of the post). Buchanan essentially puts words in Sciretta's mouth, saying ...Sciretta then pretty much admits that actually the most anticipated film is the Twilight sequel New Moon, which doesn’t count because girls.

    That's a direct quote from Buchanan's article. But neither does Sciretta ever say that or does Buchanan offer any tangible proof that that is Sciretta's belief. He only offers commentary on certain passages on Sciretta's work as if it was obvious that his point was made. It wasn't.

    Yes, a majority of Twilight fans are female. They are also mostly white and mostly teenaged or younger. You can make more of an argument that Sciretta is anti-teen because he does use the what-some-think-is-dismisive term "tween" in his post.

    Sciretta is not even truly anti-Twilight. He suggests moving the Twilight panel to the beginning of the program so Twilight fans can get in and clear out and fans who want to see the other presentations can get in.

    The two other post at the top of Val's posts are commenting on Buchanan's unfounded extrapolation. And Val's post is based on all of it.

    If we are using the Slashfilm article as the nucleus of the whole controversy or an example of misogyny in comic fandom, then we are totally of base. There are real, more unctious examples we can rail against. This is essentially a shell game to distract us from the real problem.

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  34. Yes, William, you are absolutely correct; using that example does not prove the anti-Twilight sentiment is misogynistic, which is why I said I "think". Do you see how that changes the frame of the argument? However your claim that my example had nothing to do with Twilight and thus has no bearing on the argument completely misses the point I was trying to make, which is that I believe there is a real underlying misogynistic tone at these conventions.

    And thank you for recapping those articles, William, because one thing I tend not to do when making an argument is research, and so it's really pretty great when someone can come along and explain why I'm so wrong. However while the Slashfilm article may not have explicitly said "Female Twilight Fans Are Going To Fuck With My Mondo Marvel Panel God Damn It", these bloggers, Valerie, and myself all stupidly inferred that to be the point when we read lines like "Hundreds of tweens and Twilight Moms/Dads camped overnight to be the first ones into Hall H" and "when the Summit panel began you couldn’t even hear yourself think as four or five thousand Twilight fans screamed in unison." Whether that was the implication or not in the Slashfilm article it's an idea that seems to have spread, and thus we clumsily believed it would be ripe for discussion.

    Also, when you said "this is essentially a shell game to distract us from the real problem", it finally hit me, and you're right; Twilight's a red herring! Who knows what nefarious tricks the convention planners are up to as we waste our time talking about this! I'll investigate and come back if I find anything suspicious. Godspeed.

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  35. I know with me it's not a lack of literary merit or the gender of the fans that get to me, it's the screeching human tide that they form, a phenomenon associated with women in the popular imagination but by no means exclusive to them. If a bunch of men were crowding around some actress and hooting loudly at every single thing she did or said like long-deployed sailors at a 1943 USO show, I'd have a problem with that, too. Not only is it creepy, I'm just not a fan of noise.

    I'd like it if more women were comic fans, but if that means that comics have to be more like Twilight, then we're getting the wrong women. Comics have enough crap polluting the shelves, and that'd be a step down a road we don't need to tread. Of course, I in general can't stand modern fantasy, especially modern fantasy about how immortal shiny rich people with fancy gas-guzzling cars are the chosen people of Joseph Smith. A story in which the Cullens were burned to death by a proletariat uprising or imprisoned for eternity for tax and estate fraud would get my money.

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