Monday, May 9, 2011

The Fourth Comic-Conmandment: Thou Shalt Not Shit on Other Fans

I've tried to be generic with these Conmandments, but I imagine this one applies more to the San Diego Comic Con than most other shows.

While working at the Atomic Tiki Studio booth in San Diego last year, I noticed a young woman walk by with a sign sticking up overhead from the top of her backpack.  It read, "Real vampires don't sparkle."  As she walked down the aisle, she garnered a few laughs, some comments, and even one high-five.  Well, I have a message for this woman.

Fuck you.  And fuck those of you that laughed, encouraged, and high-fived her. 

This sort of statement, one designed not to bolster something you enjoy, but to denigrate something that others care about, brings everyone down.  "Real vampires don't sparkle."  Guess what else real vampires don't do?  EXIST.  Don't pretend that preferring one fictional universe over another somehow makes you cooler than anyone else.  In a year in which we've seen the harm done both to Katie because she dared to enjoy Star Wars and to Boo for committing the crime of dressing as Scooby Doo's Daphne on Halloween, can we finally admit that flying an anti-Twilight (or anything else) flag is a rotten thing to do?  It's been going on for years now, and it needs to end.  If you love Buffy and find that Twilight isn't for you, that's fine, but maybe you should consider embracing the Twilight fans, and showing them this other awesome universe they might also like, rather than belittling them.

This applies not just to Twilight, but to any area of fandom that comes under attack.  Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Marvel vs. DC, US comics vs. manga, fourth Doctor vs. tenth Doctor, etc., can all make for fun debates.  Discussing tastes and distastes among friends is one thing, but carrying a sign that openly mocks a group of fans serves no purpose than to ruin their good time.  You become the Fred Phelps of geekdom. 

By the way, to those who hoisted the "Twilight ruined Comic-Con" signs a couple years ago, consider this:  according to Bookscan numbers as reported by Brian Hibbs in his Tilting at Windmills column, the Twilight graphic novel volume 1 was the second-highest selling graphic novel of 2011, moving over 126,000 copies and beating the first superhero book on the list by more than 86,000 copies.  So for all the anti-Twilight sentiment, it appears the Twilight crowd are buying comics in large quantities, far more than supposed Comic-Con "purists." 

The banners hanging around San Diego read "Celebrating the Popular Arts."  That attitude should be shared by the attendees.  We should be celebrating the things we enjoy, and trying to bring new fans into the fold.  Leave your snark and bile at the hotel.  Bring the love.

This is the fourth of The Ten Comic-Conmandments series. Check back here or follow me on Twitter to read future entries.

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