Web Crush Wednesday: Cosplaying While Black

Web Crush WednesdaysCosplaying is a wonderful pastime. You can be creative and really be whoever you want to be: restrictions such as age, gender, and body type don’t have to exist! That said, there are still the occasional fans that insist people shouldn’t cosplay outside of their “demographic”, that is, dressing as characters of another race, gender, or body type. In my personal experience, this has often come up with race, being Black but cosplaying characters that aren’t. Luckily, Cosplaying While Black is one blog that has set out to showcase Black costumers and to make cosplayers of color feel at home. I’d say it works!

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Highlights of NYCC Cosplay

There were plenty of amazing cosplayers at NYCC last weekend. Some of my favorites are here, but this is just a sampling of the impressive turnout. If you were at the convention, what was your favorite costume that you saw?

Sexualized Saturdays: Crossplay and Gender

Me. At Tekkoshocon. Bein' a dude.

Me. At Tekkoshocon. Bein’ a dude.

A few months ago I was at my hometown con, Tekkoshocon, in good ol’ Pittsburgh, PA, and witnessed an interesting exchange. While waiting in line to ask about prop-check, I overheard the guys in front of me asking the con staffers if they’d seen any male crossplayers. They were participating in a scavenger hunt, and dude crossplayers are apparently rare enough to merit a spot on the hunt’s item list. This set me to thinking: Why is that?

I’ve already written once about crossplay a long time ago, but I think it’s worth revisiting. Crossplay is the practice of cosplaying as a different gender than the one you identify as, and it’s extraordinarily common at conventions these days. Except for one thing: most crossplayers are women dressing as men. I chalk this up to a number of factors, including the proportionally larger number of male characters compared to women in popular geek culture, and the fact that it’s far more of a societal no-no for a man to dress in women’s clothing.

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On Geek Gatekeeping and Inheriting The Earth

[This is chiptune rock, which might not be your thing. The lyrics sort of make the point, and you can just look them up.]

It’s always scary, seeing a ghost. Not a literal ghost, as I’ve never seen one, but something you thought was dead and gone away. You see, I thought we had put the “fake geek girl” problem to rest. I assumed that it was broken down, dismissed, and relegated to the darkest corners of the places for which I have no time. Even Cracked tore this one to shreds, and this was some six months ago. So I had assumed that we were collectively over it.

I am not, however, over the Too Late To RuPaulogize video. Look it up.

It turns out that this was nothing more than a egocentric dream, the folly of a mind that occasionally assumes that everyone is a feminist, or that everyone knows that President Bartlet would be the best president ever. Of all time.

kanye_of_all_time_taylor_swift_let_you_finishBack in November 2012, comic book artist Tony Harris wrote a rant (read: vomit-inducing, misogynistic tripe) on Facebook. This seemed to be the culmination of a season where what even Forbes Magazine called “Geek Gatekeeping” was on everybody’s lips (including Lady Bacula‘s). Then, in an effort to spread his sexist, body-policing brain diarrhea, Harris asked his twitter followers to read and retweet it. We were talking about this fake geek girl bs all through the winter, according to my extremely scientific research method of checking Google Trends for “fake geek girl” and “fake nerd girl.” By March, It had sort of faded from my view. It had been discredited all over the internet, and I figured that was enough. Continue reading

Con Etiquette (Connecticut, if you will)

Lady Bacula: After another excellent con and our hectic lives (hopefully) being a little less crazy, Lady Saika and I decided to bring you a lovely guide to Con Etiquette, a small state in New England with a lot of wealthy people and home to Yale University.

Lady Saika: We have a lot of cons under our belts, and we see people engaging in the same annoying behaviors time and time again. This kind of stuff can range from mildly annoying to con-ruining for the people around you. We’ve painstakingly considered the most obnoxious con behaviors we’ve encountered and made you a list of what to do and not do at a convention.

  • Do not ask for someone’s picture while they are eating or in the bathroom.
  • Do not stop walking in the middle of hallway or stairwell. Move over to the side.
  • Also, do not stop at the top or bottom of a stair case/escalator.
  • Do not ask for someone’s picture in any of the above locations.
  • Never say anything bad about other people and/or their costumes. People come to cons to get away from the judgmental jerks in real life. Cosplayers have varying degrees of money and time and skill to put into their costumes, and they wouldn’t be wearing it out if they weren’t proud of it. Don’t be a dick.
  • Shower so that you don’t smell like con. Believe us, it’s a smell that you would prefer not to smell. Because it is a smelly smell that smells smelly.
  • Ask before you take a picture. 99.999% of cosplayers want you to take their picture because it makes them feel like the work they put into their costume is validated. Ask first, and you’ll get a nice pose instead of a blurry and candid sniped picture.
  • Absolutely ask before you hug, touch, glomp, etc. Just because con-goers are fellow fans doesn’t mean that consent is irrelevant.
  • Do not complain about people in costumes that aren’t relevant to the con theme. I’m looking at you, people who complain about Homestucks. Everyone at the con paid the same registration price to be there, and it’s none of your biz what they dress up as once they’re inside.
  • Do be aware of your surroundings. Cons tend to be very crowded, and if your costume or prop is big and unwieldy, then make sure you remember that you’re occupying more space than usual. You can’t expect others to watch out for the long hem on your dress.
  • If you are cosplaying as a specific character (ex: Vegeta) who has a Funny Thing They Do (for Vegeta, responding “IT’S OVER 9000” when asked what the scouter says about his power level), expect to be asked about it. If you do not want to be asked about it, do not cosplay as that character. Nothing is worse than a grumpy con-goer.

Lady Bacula: We hope that some of these are rather self-explanatory. And in a perfect world, some of these wouldn’t even be an issue in the first place. However, our world is not perfect and so we need to put these guidelines on the internet.

Anyone have any other guidelines that we missed? Leave them in the comments!

Over9000

The Road So Far: “LARP and the Real Girl” Review

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, IDJIT!

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, IDJIT!

I don’t even have words, you guys. This review is going to be very short, because… IT WAS AWESOME!

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The Lucky 10,000: The Venture Bros.

(c) Randall MunroeIt’s been a while since I’ve done one of these segments, but, as the recent and ongoing ‘fake geek girl’ nonsense continues to illustrate, there still seems to be some sort of ‘required reading’ list that you have to complete before you can call yourself a nerd. As a quick refresher, in this series I watch/read/participate in these things for you, and let you know if they’re actually worth your time.

So without further ado, on to The Venture Bros.!

Go Team Venture!

Go Team Venture!

The Venture Bros. has been on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block on and off again since I was in high school, but it’s not something I ever thought I’d enjoy watching. The commercials seemed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of dick jokes, and although I’ve done my fair share of laughing at dick jokes, I feel like a show needs more than that to survive. Well, it turns out that The Venture Bros. does have more than that after all.

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New ‘Shortpacked’ Arc Hits Close to Home

I’ve been noticing a trend not only on my Tumblr dash, but in the general consensus of the net and its denizens on what the hot topic issue to discuss this season is: sexism! But when is it not sexism, honestly? At least this time there’s a figurehead for our discussions: Tony Harris. Harris, a comic author that has worked for both Marvel and DC, recently has come out saying a whole slew of offensive things that boil down to “hey girls, you can’t actually like nerdy things because you’re a Fake-y McFakerson and I’m on to you and your tricky lying skank ways.”

Okay, it was better thought out than that (barely), but it brings up a point that we’ve already brought up here once, and will probably do so again: is it possible to be a fake nerd or geek?

(c) sailorswayze @ tumblr

I’m Pretty Sure We All Know That Feel

More importantly though, does it even matter?  Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that yes, there are fake nerds and geeks that want in this super special club of fandoms and feels and whatever else there is. Who’s going to care or notice? For one, if they’re attending cons, they’re essentially giving money to support other nerds and geeks. If they’re watching shows, they’re adding viewership ratings that may help keep the show on the air. Literally, the only problem I can see with this is that the lack of knowledge they may have on your fandom of choice may be slightly annoying. If that’s the case, either teach them and help them understand—who knows, you may make a nerd/geek of them yet!—or ignore them and go on your way. It’s. Not. That. Hard.

(c) David Willis

There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Ignore

But, I’ve completely veered from what I wanted to bring to light for today. This morning, I checked out the webcomic Shortpacked (which we’ve already praised for one of author David Willis’s previous strips) and was completely sick to my stomach, but in a good way, I’m hoping. It seems as though in his latest arc he’s going to tackle this new, unapologetically geeky girl generation through the eyes of Lucy, the newest addition to the Shortpacked line-up and also an unapologetically geeky chick, and her being harassed by someone that looks freakishly like Mr. Harris. Although it’s only on its first page, it’s already uncomfortably hitting close to home. I’m interested to see where he takes it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope it ended in a cosmic dick punch.

Theatre Thursdays: It’s Just a Jump to the Left

This is our last Thursday before Halloween, so I feel compelled to talk about this amazing bit of musical theater before we get into boring old wintry November.

I see you shiver with antici

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