Denver Comic Con has greatly disappointed me recently. A while ago they released cosplay guidelines saying “realistic” weapons wouldn’t be allowed. I grumbled, but I guess that those can be frightening to some people? So I didn’t really complain, even though they said “A Star Wars Blaster might be OK.” I’m sorry, might?? Those things look NOTHING like a real gun, what the hell is this might crap?
Anyway, first they came for the weapons props, and then…
“Regardless of your gender identification, we require all attendees, exhibitors and guests to:
Wear sports bra-like coverage on top with leotard-type coverage on bottom. (i.e. no butt cheeks)
No thongs and no “plumber’s butt”
No bare chests, no singlets, and no Vampirella-type costumes”
Which is ridiculous. That’s a sports bra up there. It makes an insane number of costumes ineligible. For example, both Jasmine and Aladdin would be banned, despite being from movies aimed specifically at children. I have a friend with a Wonder Woman costume, which is more modest than the true Wonder Woman costume, because she wears it for children’s charity events. She is irritated that the costume she wears for sick children is inadmissible to Denver Comic Con now.
Obviously a ton of guy cosplay is out now too (Hulk, Goliath, etc)
This doesn’t really impact the Literary Track at all, except for the embarrassment that may come from being associated with the slut-shaming Comic Con. Ewww.
And of course for the fact that a fair portion of my cosplay friends just aren’t going to bother with DCC this year. As the cosplay community is slowly choked off, I expect general attendance to fall as well. Cosplay is a fair bit of the draw of a comic con. Less attendance overall will also mean less people coming to see the Lit Track stuff.
But I’m very curious to see how exactly Denver Comic Con will remain a COMIC con now. Has anyone in DCC management ever read a comic book? 90% of them would be inadmissible at the con now. I didn’t need Playboys as a kid, because I had X-men, which gifted me with superstimulus versions of female sexuality that real-life biology simply can’t compete with (to the left, Mary Jane as drawn vs real-life person Stacey Rebecca. To the right, the infamous Starfire, who is exceptional among women superheroes only in that she has about 30-60% less costume)
Is DCC going to ban all sexualized depictions of comic book characters at the con? How will they draw any comic book fans, without comic books?
For that matter, are they planning on enforcing similar guidelines with the vendors and artists in their exhibitor’s hall? Many comic vendors will be upset to hear they can’t sell 90% of their stock at the con. Many artists will feel the same way. Below is a piece of original art I picked up at the last DCC, because I think it’s important to support the local art community. The yellow box I’ve photo-shopped over the pic is roughly the same size as the post-it note that was on the display piece that was hanging in the artist’s booth (without it, the pic is NSFW). This was one of a about a half-dozen similarly risqué works with post-it notes, and a dozen less titillating but still rather sexual and not at all sports-bra-complying works.
Will these artists and vendors be turned away from the con? Or will this be a case of “the rules don’t apply to people paying for floor space”?
Either way, I hope something changes soon, or Denver Comic Con may turn into Denver Focus On The Family Con. :(
Am I misunderstanding things or aren’t these restrictions regarding the Cosplayers rather than the work of artists?
They are regarding the Cosplayers. I consider that very hypocritical, and I was trying to put that into words. As Nessa said much more politely: “It would be a shame for (mostly male) artists to profit off of artwork depicting women’s (and men’s) scantily clad and sexualized bodies at your show when you have chosen to label such displays not family friendly. Cosplay is, after all, also a form of art.”
It certainly seems like a strange choice for the Con to make and not very fair for anyone involved. I cannot help but wonder if anyone who goes to cons actually wants this or if they are bowing to some weird outside pressure or some crazy something.
I get it, no one wants to have to sign the insurance papers for an event to have mostly naked often underage women hanging out.
Really the problem is the comics industry. I am not anti porn or whatever, but comic books shouldn’t be porn unless it a porn comic. I would love it if most characters are drawn wearing proper armor and adventuring gear. it would be better for everyone. I honestly get embarrassed about the titty to genera material ratio. There is a good chance I can’t share any given thing with a “normie” friend cause the first image to come up for it will be some tasteless exploitative almost porn. Sucks this comes down on female cos players specifically though.
There’s a common thread between this and the previous post. I quite like status451’s discussion of the theory, but seeing the real-world examples is enlightening.
Oh my god, this was fantastic!! Thank you!