Just wanted to give you some news/recaps on what happened during NYCC, as it was my first time going and HOLY CRAP it was intense. I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night in almost a week! I got to meet a lot of great people, and after the long afternoons of trudging around the showroom and viewing panels, I had a great time hanging out with them.
I did write-ups on a few panels: Women in Comics (Here), Adventure Time (Here), and Women of Marvel (Here). They were good for the most part. I really didn’t expect the amount of time given over to Q&A or the volume of audience members that would ask things like, “Can you act out my fanfic?” I should have known better. Though, to be fair, it was a pretty good fanfic that the guests of the Adventure Time panel were nice enough to act out. Lots of butts involved.
As far as the positive stuff goes, some really great shit was announced! New solo titles for both She-Hulk and Black Widow featuring the brilliant Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Nathan Edmondson, and Phil Noto. There was some exclusive art shown and HOT DAMN it was beautiful. She-Hulk’s new design is outrageously good, and Phil Noto’s art is as freaking beautiful as ever.
There were also panels for great shows like Bob’s Burgers and China, IL. If you haven’t checked out either of those, they are genius in all the right ways.
I wanted to briefly touch on the nature of covering panels, since I’ve been getting comments on how they are too short or centered around only one panelist. This is how they work – the loudest panelist gets the most quotes. That’s it. First come, first served. A lot of panelists seem content with just sitting around and listening to the discussion going on around them – and that’s totally fine. There’s also a lot of filtering to be done, like audience questions in the vein of, “Can I take a picture with you?” or, “Can I hug you?” Not to mention a ton of round-about talking when someone asks a question that the panelists can’t answer, like if someone asked for details about a certain title that they aren’t at liberty to announce yet. So yeah, panel coverage is not entirely long-form for reasons.
That’s pretty much it for updates and good stuff. Now onto the negative stuff.
I was feeling pretty good after I walked out of the Women of Marvel panel on Sunday. I thought the con would end on that same high note. It did not.
I noticed on my phone as I beat a hasty retreat from the Javits Center an absolute deluge of tweets and blog posts from women who had a terrible time there. Creators were harassed, con-goers were harassed, cosplayers were harassed. I’m not so naive as to think that this wouldn’t happen at all, but the sheer volume people that spoke out (along with those that didn’t), is ridiculous. It is fucking unacceptable. No one is safe, apparently. Not high-profile creators, not the fans, not your girlfriend or your sister, no one.
Artists like Becky Cloonan and Sarah Wilkinson took to the internet to call out the show and the mouth-breathers that “Hey baby”-ed them throughout the weekend. Even male creators were blogging about the inappropriate behavior! Creator Ulises Farinas (Gamma) said that just walking around NYCC made him angry, and noted that,”Dudes used to get slapped in the face if they acted like this!” Ah, the good ole’ days. Writer Frank Gibson (Tiny Kitten Teeth) said that he refused to go to NYCC this year because last year at the con was the, “First time I felt uncomfortable at a show as opposed to embarrassed.” He went on to say,”It’s a sad feeling to have to roll your eyes at your own industry let alone dread being physically present in it.” Yes, you read that right. Dudes were also horrified.
And I’m not even getting into the things like Arizona’s “I Heart Big Cans” campaign, or the complete lack of follow up on the part of security at NYCC when they were informed of harassment.
Seriously. This has got to stop. Something has got to give, and real soon. This can’t keep happening. The stats have been in for awhile that females are a large portion of cons and comic readerships. At least 40%. If cons and their attendees keep on harassing and alienating women to such an extent that men are speaking out and boycotting them, how can we expect women to want to go back?
Bottom line, we all love comics and nerd culture. We want to see it thrive and grow. So why can’t everyone just act like decent human beings? We all want the same things! THIS IS MADNESS.
For anyone about to make the argument that it’s not ONLY DUDES participating in inappropriate behavior, I will concede that I did hear about one situation where a lady asked a male creator what he was doing for dinner. SCANDAL.
See any of these articles for further reading (Or you know, google it):
Bleeding Cool: Man Banter, NYCC And Cosplay Harassment – One Year Later