I dearly love it, I look forward to this day all year. It’s this Saturday!
Just one quick thought.
I know I say this every year, but a lot of people believe that the comics the comic shops give away are given free to retailers.
They are not. Retailers have to pay for the books. They pay a reduced fee, but they still pay for them. They also have to pay shipping. They have to pay for ads and they have to usually pay for extra employees, and many shops pay to have guests or other special events. It can end up being a huge expense, and even though a lot of new readers might come by, part of it is also a celebration of comics, and a lovely little bonus for the shop’s loyal customers.
It’s a great deal of effort, as well, in most cases.
What I would ask everyone to do is, when you go to get your free comics, please take a little bit of extra time, even if it’s crowded, to shop in the store. Try a couple new comics off the rack or a new trade collection you have been thinking about. Maybe if you buy Magic cards or game supplies somewhere else, usually, think about buying some at the hosting store while you are there. It will add up and make their Free Comic Book Day much more successful and everyone will be happy, and it’s a nice way to say thank you.
Just a thought, but when picking up your free comics, please send a little bit of shopping love to the store that is putting on the event for you. Do it ON Free Comic Book Day so that they know the day is a success and that all their expense and effort is appreciated.
Your comic store will love you and I will love you!
I love Free Comic Book Day. It’s a celebration for hard core fans and comics newbies both, and I attend one every year. The joy on the face of a kid getting his first free comic is wonderful, as is the delight of a long time reader trying a new book for the first time. I LOVE IT.
I would love people to reblog this, and if your local comic store (or if you are a retailer or employee yourself), is having a Free Comic Book Day Event this Saturday, please respond here with the details so my many many readers will be aware of these wonderful events.
I always post this little proviso…please remember, these comics are NOT free to retailers. They pay a reduced fee for the books, but it’s still very expensive to give them away to thousands of customers, they pay for the books, extra help, shipping, and all related celebration expenses. It adds up fast, and they are doing it to promote comics and reward their loyal readers. PLEASE do me a favor and do a little shopping while picking up your free books…just try a couple new titles you have never tried before, or maybe get your Magic cards or game supplies or long boxes that you already would get somewhere else, usually. This event is meant to support readers, but it would be lovely if everyone also showed some love back to the retailers hosting these events!
For those wondering, I will be at THIRD EYE COMICS in Annapolis, MD, all day Saturday, from around nine to around four. Please come say hi! I will be giving away the Red Sonja mini-prints for as long as I have them available!
Please spread the word, and add your local store’s info, if they are holding an event. THANK YOU!
I will be at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland for Free Comic Book Day this Saturday! Come by and say hello!
And while you’re there, DO buy something - I think it’s great that Ms. Simone mentioned the truth that the comics are NOT free to the retailers, so it really is an event from the goodness of their hearts. :) Plus, Dr. Comics is going to be having a rad sale!
Enjoy 25% off EVERYTHING* in the store, with a different daily special each day of the sale:
Friday (5/3): 1/2 off clearance items
Saturday (5/4): Free Comic Book Day special! Spend at least $25 and get a matching amount towards select graphic novels
Sunday (5/5): 40% off games
Monday (5/6): 40% off back issues* and select variant comics
*New comics and mylar/bronze & silver age comic boxes are excluded from the sale. Limited to stock on hand. Discounts DO NOT stack.
As for what I’ll be wearing… I’m not sure yet! You’ll just have to come find out! :D
Sobering article by the wonderful Chaka Cumberbatch about the shit cosplayers of color have to put up with just for showing their love for their favorite characters.
None of this will come as a surprise to most Tumblrs, probably. But goddammit, it is INFURIATING.
This is not acceptable, guys. If you see these kinds of comments, you RAISE YOUR VOICE. Don’t just sit by and let your fellow geeks get treated like this by unhappy cave people.
No one appointed these gatekeepers with the task of telling people they aren’t welcome. Their authority in this starts and ends with themselves and that’s it. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the next time they start this shit, the often-silent majority stepped up to let them know that THEY are the intruders.
If Chaka isn’t welcome in fandom, then I’m not welcome in fandom. And I have no intention of going anywhere. Please do me a favor, read the article and spread the word about it. It’s important.
Chaka, you are an AMAZING cosplayer. Thank you for sharing your art with us!
I have a question.
Okay, I just saw a Batwoman cosplay where HOLY COW it really looked like Kate in costume. A lot of people know I’m a big fan of some Batgirl, Misfit, Black Alice and other cosplayers who somehow manage to look EXACTLY like their comics counterparts.
I love those cosplays, I do, but I also love the clever but maybe less completely accurate outfits that someone made out of stuff in their laundry bag the day before the convention. I have seen cosplay in Singapore that looked like it stepped right out of the lushest manga, and I’ve seen cosplay where a guy is wearing a funny hat, and I think it’s all kind of wonderful.
Obviously, there’s a lot of diversity there, so I’m curious, and here’re my questions. I am also gathering a bit of data for a story so your answers could be very helpful.
Why do you cosplay? What is it that you like about doing it? What originally drew you to it? How do you feel about the cosplaying community in general?
Well, Ms. Simone, those are awfully good questions. Part of what I’m doing with this hobby right now - today, yesterday, every day in the past few months - is trying to determine the answers. Why do I do this? What do I want out of it? How does it make me feel?
It builds me up and it breaks me down at the same time. It makes me so proud of the workmanship I’m capable of and the beauty I can attain, and at the same time reminds me of my imperfections and the places where I fall short. My community makes me strong, but the internet at large makes me feel weak and susceptible to the faintest breeze.
I started cosplaying to fulfill fantasies, really - fantasies of being beautiful, and strong, and all the things I secretly wasn’t sure I could be in real life. Putting yourself into a costume, when you’re looking out from inside of it, is a transformative experience. The problems only really come when you are forced to turn around and get the view from the outside in. Trying to make yourself into a fictional character, who only exists in a few carefully sculpted dimensions instead of all the myriad messy dimensions of a real person, can honestly be a lot of pressure.
In the end, I could be chasing something that won’t ever be enough. What I have to do is ask myself - do those moments in costume at a convention, when I feel invincible and sexy and admired, justify what I put myself through on the internet afterwards? Do the moments when the creators, like yourself, look SO proud when they see me overrule the times when I look at myself in the mirror and see something insufficient?
I hope they do. I hope I can learn to quiet the doubtful voices and just treasure the glowy feeling I get when I’m immersed in a character. There is a lot of beauty in this hobby, and in my friends who do it with me. I’m lucky to have a community of people who understand my fantasies. And increasingly, the community has given me a voice and a platform that enable me to speak about issues that really matter to me. I think those things might be my saving grace.
But sometimes, it’s hard, and I start to wonder about its status as a “hobby.”
I can’t believe this still needs to be said.
Cosplayers are not there to be your pets, your pretend girlfriend/boyfriend, or your creepy grope fantasy. Don’t put your hands on them without permission, don’t take photos without permission, don’t bully them, don’t push them into corners, and if they tell you to back off, you BACK THE HELL OFF.
I am still hearing from Cosplayers saying that people won’t take a polite OR firm “no” for an answer. That’s unacceptable, if you see this happening, inform someone immediately.
Spirits run high at conventions. Some attendees are a little socially awkward, or aren’t really getting the boundary between reality and fantasy. None of those things are excuses.
Use your decency and common sense. If you wouldn’t treat people like that on a bus, don’t even think of treating them that way at a con.
One of my favorite cosplayers, the amazing Roxanna Meta, has a new column up at the Comicimpact.com website, and it’s a doozy.
You may have seen Roxanna play a stunning Black Canary or an even more stunning genderbent female Aquaman at various conventions. In this article, she talks about some of the problematic behavior of people at these conventions, and some of the crap cosplayers have to put up with.
She also has a terrific tumblr, you should follow her!
When I first started in the industry, I enjoyed seeing cosplayers, but I didn’t really know any personally, so the motivations behind doing it were somewhat obscure.
The more I saw of it, the more I realized that the motivations are as varied as the cosplayers themselves, and they ranged from simply having fun up to very serious identification with the characters. But it was clear very quickly that for many, cosplay is a form of art in itself, body art, a kind of personal insertion that I found absolutely fascinating.
To me, these people have made themselves living canvases, they put their hearts out there, knowing full well some people won’t get it, some will be judgmental, and some will be unkind about trivialities.
But that is as far as it can be allowed to go. I have seen cosplayers swarmed, I have seen them harassed. I have stepped in on occasion, my husband has had to tell people several times to back off when they are clearly invading a cosplayer’s comfort zone.
So, I ask you all, be considerate. A person wearing a costume is still a person, and they’re NOT the person they are dressing as, so please don’t make assumptions about their behavior based on their outfit. Admire them, compliment them, but keep it respectful. And, I have to say, no one really cares if they don’t fit your personal headcanon of what that character should look like.They may not be the exact gender, age, body shape, or ethnicity that you think they should be. This is your problem, not theirs.
It takes guts to do what they do, and cons would suck without them.
Many cosplayers have posted rules of etiquette. Most should be self-evident. But basically, treat these people like human beings, respect their boundaries. And it wouldn’t hurt to keep a little eye out if it seems like they are getting overwhelmed. Be aware of where the con’s security is, just in case.
And it wouldn’t hurt for convention organizers to adopt a no tolerance policy for misbehavior. I have seen some cons have special areas where cosplayers can go and collect themselves if the crowds get overwhelming, that seems like a very helpful idea.
Anyway, go read the article!
Wow, wow wow. Thank you so much, Ms. Simone, for your incredibly sweet words and support. Thank you for adding a few points I didn’t think of, too. <3 You’re the best.
Comics? What? You mean like those things that have Bazooka Joe in them?
give me a reason not to treat you like inferior aesthetic hungry sluts that only know 2 batman villains and “the black green lantern” and I’ll honestly treat your opinion as a valid one
but until then, y’all are just posing to be a special snowflake
so prove me wrong if you can
My favorite DC superhero is spiderman and that angry guy with the claws