Robot 6

C2E2 | Sunday

Mouse Guard's David Petersen talking to fans

Mouse Guard's David Petersen talking to fans

I apologize for not having this up earlier, but we left Chicago right after the show and didn’t arrive home until the wee hours of this morning. I was too pooped to post, but I’m sufficiently awake now to give it a shot.

My intention for Sunday was to see some more panels and do some shopping, but it ended up being lower key than that. I skipped the panels, which is usual behavior from me on convention Sundays after being overloaded on Saturday. Attendance was down from Saturday and that also helped make it more laid back, but there was still a nice crowd, many of whom had come out just for the day. And there were tons of kids.

Last Airbender fans

Last Airbender fans

I babysat Grant Gould’s table while he and Katie Cook conducted a panel for kids on drawing Star Wars characters. I’m sorry I missed it because Grant said it went really well. There were kids sitting on the floor in front of the stage and drawing as he and Katie instructed and cracked jokes.

Kids vs Grown-Ups, shopping, and I meet my own heroes after the break.

All the kids in costume reinforced a thought I’ve had for a while now. It’s not a new thought – to me or anyone else – but it was really driven home by the enthusiasm of these kids for their favorite heroes. I get a kick out of seeing adult cosplayers. I love the talent and effort they put into their costumes. But that appreciation doesn’t give me the same thrill as seeing a four-year-old girl in her Supergirl costume posing like she’s ready to kick Lex Luthor’s butt. And so I’m reminded again that comics (and especially superhero comics) should be for kids. Not just for kids of course, but if we’re leaving them out, then we’re failing. Fortunately, we’re not leaving them out, but seeing them on Sunday renewed my commitment to championing their interests.

The Flash, Wolverine, and Supergirl

The Flash, Wolverine, and Supergirl

In contrast to that, I debated mentioning a couple of cosplayers who embodied the exact opposite of the positivity I felt from the kids. There was a man and a woman dressed as Lex Luthor and Supergirl, but Supergirl had a bruise painted onto her cheek and fake blood dried at the corner of her mouth. And she was wearing a dog-collar attached to a chain held by Luthor. Whenever it came time for them to pose, Supergirl would bend forward in pain and look humiliated as Luthor cocked his head and looked down his nose at the camera. I’m not sure what kind of message this sent to the children at the show, but I’m not offended for them. I’m pissed off for me. And I’m confused by the motivations of the woman dressed as Supergirl. I mean, I don’t excuse the guy dressed as Luthor, but I guess I can believe that a certain kind of male would find the costumes funny. I don’t get why a woman would go along with it though. Or why other women would laugh and take pictures as I saw happening.

Back to more pleasant things though, I did get to do some shopping and ended up with a giant – and very heavy – stack of Archaia books that I’ll be going through in my Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs column. At the risk of sounding like a total tool for Archaia, they had some great deals at their booth. You could buy-one-get-one-free, or buy-two-get-three-free, or buy-three-get-five-free. I sort of expected to see Mark Smylie running around in a straitjacket screaming, “We have to be crazy to offer deals this good.”

Batgirl and a very disctracted Superman who must have spotted Braniac or someone.

Batgirl and a very disctracted Superman who's obviously just spotted Braniac (or Periwinkle).

I never did find the elusive Volume Three of Checker’s Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon reprints, but I have finally joined the rest of the world by picking up Scalped, Volume 1. Looking forward to finally seeing what that’s all about.

The rest of the time was filled visiting. I talked to Joe Gentile at the Moonstone booth a bit and caught up with Athena Voltaire‘s Steve Bryant. I also got to talk to Jimmy Palmiotti whom I’ve interviewed, but never actually met. He’s as cool in person as he seems digitally and I love that he never seems to write the easy, already-popular projects. I always know that a Palmiotti book is going to be different from anything else I’ve read.

Kitty Pryde and Lockheed

Kitty Pryde and Lockheed

Speaking of cool people, Guy Davis is as nice a person as you could ever hope to meet. We shared an elevator with him at the hotel and I heard stories over the weekend from other people who’d run into him outside the show. He’s a funny, easy-going man; you’d never know you were in the presence of a superstar.

I don’t get a lot of stuff signed anymore, but I regretted not bringing Honour Among Punks to have Davis autograph when I visited his table. Then again, if I’d had it, I would’ve started gushing about it and BPRD and Sandman Mystery Theater and everything else he’s done and that would’ve been uncomfortable for both of us. After totally embarrassing myself in front of Dwayne McDuffie a year or two ago, I can tell now when I’m about to start babbling incoherently at an artist. In lieu of that, I made do this time with picking up a Marquis pin and offering a very civilized, “I love your work.”

Jason Copland and I left the show an hour early to get Jason to his flight, but we left satisfied. I renewed some old acquaintances, met a lot of new people, and made some new friends. The show was flawlessly organized, as far as I could tell, and the staff was amazingly friendly. I can’t imagine a nicer venue either. The attendance numbers came in below expectations, but I hope word-of-mouth about the show will spread and make it a can’t-miss event in future years, for attendees and exhibitors alike.

I thought this was

Nico from Runaways

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Comments

31 Comments

Jesus Christ, dude, it was Supergirl’s idea. All her. She wanted a type of Slave Leia thing. I didn’t even know about her desire to incorporate bruises & blood until pretty much last minute, and I didn’t know she was gonna act hurt until the first person asked for our picture. She even asked me if we could do it again at a future con. Calm down. Wow.

While I can defnitly understand why you feel the way you feel about the Supergirl/Lex Luther cosplayers, I thought it was a very good idea. They looked great in their costumesand also they were doing some roleplay as well. That was all that was. They not only dressed as their characters, but became their characters. I do not advocate any kind of abuse at all, but this was not that, this was simple roleplay of villian and hero.

As a male and many other males I know, we did not see that as “funny” at all, but instead saw it as creative. The girl in the Supergirl outfit was a great sport to do that and I may be incorrect with this but I belive I heard that alot of it was her idea.

It was ALL her idea. I take responsibility for my own actions. I don’t point fingers. But it was ALL HER IDEA. I just wanted to dress like Kevin Spacey (the only good thing to come out of that horrendous movie).

I’ll bet money I’m more against “violence against women” than YOU are (guys who hit girls should be castrated with a rusty grapefruit spoon, then have each of their limbs from joint to joint slowly ripped off), and *I* didn’t have a problem participating with this.

Dude, come on. If you are going to a con with kids, they get to see violence against just about everything. I don’t see how seeing grown adults dressed as fictional characters, in situations that are normal for mainstream comics, can be at all harmful to the kids running around. There was no promotion of violence against women, it was a depiction of Lex Luthor with a kryptonite collar on Supergirl. How is that against the spirit of comics? Is this a far stretch from what DC has shown to children for years? I’d complain about foul mouths, smut in artist alley or the guys who I saw doing awful things with a Rancor figure long before I’d lay into the costumed couple.

Damn get a grip it was a costume and some play acting! Besides this convention when was the last time you saw a kid even in a comic book store? If that bit of cosplay offends you so much how do you feel about the actual comics? Have you read Wolverine, Punisher or say X-Men second coming? All have far worse things in them. Hate to sound callous but just because it’s a comic convention doesn’t make it kids safe right off the bat, I have been to plenty of cons with half naked costumers walking around it is up to the parents to do some research if they are worried about what their children might see. Whether it be adult themed costumes or explicit comics and art. It’s a comic convention not a day at Disneyland.

Come on, we couldn’t go one day without a hater hating on our parade? Why dont you stick at what you do best and let the cosplay to those that actually want to have fun. You jus keep on living your life at typing and whatever else you do best. Sit there and type dude.

Hey! HEY! Remember when Robin died in the comic book?

Or how about when Captain America got shot?

Or better yet…. Superman’s Death in a comic book….

Talk about that before you judge two cosplayers…

#poptweetmafia runs shit and now…. this blog.

Michael May, why are you going around taking pictures of kids and underage girls, when there were plenty more adults to photograph?

Just throwin’ that out there.

See what I did, guys. Heeheehee. *Mr. Burns finger-play*

Dude, seriously, it’s a comic book convention.

Adults and kids go to these things to see their favorite superhero or supervillian and they love the chance to see them live and interact with each other! Why do you think some people dress up like them?! I saw those two walking the floor and the fans (even the kids) loved it! There was a kid in a Captain America costume taking a picture with those two, saving Supergirl, at the end of the picture he was slapping high fives! It’s not a big deal. It’s make believe, an escape from reality, and a lot of fun. The kids enjoy it and don’t get any mixed signals between right and wrong.

Lighten up and enjoy the ride.

It’s the pair in the Dr. Light and Sue Dibny costumes that you have to watch out for. Not cool.

Playing the sensitive man won’t get you any booty any faster…

I agree with Michael. Supergirl as a submissive is just wrong.
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Re: the pic of Kitty Pride — As my friend Ness says, me likee. That’s the sexiest KP I’ve ever seen.

Steven R. Stahl

April 20, 2010 at 8:18 am

There was a man and a woman dressed as Lex Luthor and Supergirl, but Supergirl had a bruise painted onto her cheek and fake blood dried at the corner of her mouth. And she was wearing a dog-collar attached to a chain held by Luthor. Whenever it came time for them to pose, Supergirl would bend forward in pain and look humiliated as Luthor cocked his head and looked down his nose at the camera. I’m not sure what kind of message this sent to the children at the show, but I’m not offended for them. I’m pissed off for me.

Apparently you’re unfamiliar with superhero porn and superhero B&D material. There’s a subculture devoted to producing material — prose, images, video — that depicts heroines being raped and dominated. Wonder Woman and Supergirl are probably two of the most widely used characters. For an idea of what’s produced, see http://www.superheroinecentral.com/

SRS

Steven R. Stahl, you are not helping. What the cosplayers that dressed up as Luther and Supergirl did was creative as well as original. There was nothing pornographic about it. Please don’t even go there with that. Anyone that wants to put that kind of slant onto it may have some issues thast they may want to take care of within themselves.

Mr. May, by any chance, did you see the little girl Black Canary (who was in fishnets, may I add) and her father as Green Arrow. Now, that, disturbed me, Supergirl and Luther are both adults that are also extremly intelligent and were aware of what they were doing.

I don’t mean to attack you, or troll you at all Mr. May, but seriously, you are way off base with this.

Steven R. Stahl

April 20, 2010 at 8:57 am

Steven R. Stahl, you are not helping. What the cosplayers that dressed up as Luther and Supergirl did was creative as well as original. There was nothing pornographic about it.

What, exactly, do you think that the dog collar and chain were supposed to represent, if not an involuntary master-slave relationship? It’s not believable that they would come up with the idea for the costuming without knowing what was implied. The subculture might be unpleasant to acknowledge, but dismissing it doesn’t make it invisible.

SRS

So hey guys! I’m the Supergirl that he is talking about, and yes as Lex stated already it was in fact ALL my idea. The idea spawned from the new Supergirl series that started after the debut of Superman/Batman:Supergirl Arc…I speak mostly about the issue in which Lex Luthor beats Supergirl to a bloody pulp (also spouting all sorts of derogatory comments) all in an effort to get her cousin’s attention. This is when Jeph Loeb was still writing for the series. Jeph Loeb LOVES Supergirl, he’s called her “his girl” on numerous occasions including on Sunday when Lex and I had an opportunity to meet Loeb and we gained his approval on our cosplay idea. He’s the very one that inspired me to do it.

In the comic, the cartoons, on Smallville…both Clark and Kara getting beaten and bloodied and weakened by kryptonite ALL the time, how is this any different?

I am a woman, and OBVIOUSLY I do not agree with abuse of course I don’t, but it wasn’t about that at all, it was again as many have stated hero vs. villain. I highly doubt you have had anything to say if it were Superman in the kryptonite collar versus Supergirl…because why, Supergirl is a woman? They’re both KRYPTONIAN. It was an opportunity for people to save her. We received a lot of props for the creativeness behind the whole thing, and that is what it was done for…the fans. Because I’m sorry but I thought that’s what a comic convention was all about? But I’m sure holding onto Slave Leia’s chain in a photo and promoting female slavery is a FAR better message then a bad guy getting the best of a kryptonian due to a kryptonite laced collar and people taking pictures of beating up said bad guy. Just saying.

What, exactly, do you think that the dog collar and chain were supposed to represent, if not an involuntary master-slave relationship? It’s not believable that they would come up with the idea for the costuming without knowing what was implied. The subculture might be unpleasant to acknowledge, but dismissing it doesn’t make it invisible.

SRS

I tinnk the young lady that was Sujpergirl just replied to your question better then I could ever do. Seriously, not everything with a coillar and chain represents a bdsm relationship. I certainly have friends with dogs that they walk with a collar and chain that would defnitly agree with me.

I agree with Michael. Supergirl as a submissive is just wrong.
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Re: the pic of Kitty Pride — As my friend Ness says, me likee. That’s the sexiest KP I’ve ever seen.

^^^
I love how point two completely negates point one. XD

Larry, SuperMAN as submissive wouldn’t have been a problem though right? I don’t see the difference here. I’m a woman, and many of my female FANGIRL friends also did not see a problem here. Everyone knows that the hero would prevail in this situation and again it was an opportunity to ask for help from other fans at the con. There is nothing wrong with having to ask for assistance, and when do they ever NOT need assistance when kryptonite is involved? I’ve walked around as Supergirl for the past 4 years so it is not like this is what I came up with as my first time walking around as her. I wanted to do something different, unique, and pertaining towards the comic. (when Loeb was still writing for it) And my friend dresses up like Lex Luthor and as a fan I thought it’d be a really original idea.

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/11307/393721-18012-105444-3-supergirl_super.jpg
That was the issue that I was speaking about.

And then you have other things such as:
http://i.newsarama.com/preview_images/dcnew/oct09/3/sg_46.jpg

I think everyone just needs to calm down a bit. Its a comic book. Its superheroes versus bad guys, as it has always been. Give kids a little more credit.

Lex and Supergirl, thanks for explaining. I still may not like it (and it’s not important that I do), but at least I understand better where you’re coming from, which is the reason I even brought it up. Like I said in the post, I wasn’t sure what your motivations were and wasn’t reaching any satisfying conclusions on my own, so I thought I’d throw it out to the readers in hope that someone could explain it to me. You guys did, so thanks.

To those who thought I was offended on behalf of the kids or their parents, please re-read the part where I said just the opposite.

Mysterious Stranger

April 20, 2010 at 10:04 am

What if the roles were reversed? What if Luthor was in chains, bruised and bloodied and Supergirl was smirking and holding the leash? Is it offensive to some because it was a female character that was beaten? Isn’t that a bit of a double standard? Its okay to cosplay as a man beaten by a woman but reverse the situation and suddenly its wrong? What if she was just in the collar and chain but no bruising? Where do we draw the line on what’s offensive? Now if it was a man dressed in a dirty tank top and the woman in a short jean skirt and halter-top with the bruises and blood then THAT is offensive. But as characters from comic books where its all make believe then I don’t see the reason for all the fuss. Unless its just about them being around kids. That I can see being a problem and sending the wrong message.

Personally I would have found it distasteful because I don’t think the beaten and bloodied look for a costume, ANY costume is appropriate for a venue where kids will be around. At an adults only party, sure. But a public event is just not appropriate. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

I realize how many people could think about the submissive bullcrap, especially with the Princess Leia connotation. But, I guess as someone who is turned OFF by bondage, or sadism (I wouldn’t get aroused by hurting the guys who beat women, since I got so graphic describing how I would do it, it would just be what they deserve), or masochism, I’ve never seen that. Not with Leia (I guess I was too interested in letting that metal bikini usher me into puberty, than to get my rocks off that she was chained & helpless – in my opinion, that’s just sick), and certainly not with this. I felt NO dominance over one of my best friends, and she felt NO submission to me. Like she said – it wouldn’t be ANY different for the point of the costume if it were Superman in the collar. But it would SO totally be different for those who are wagging their fingers at us. Which is hypocrisy.

And, Michael, you’d be right about “sending kids a bad message”, if any kid had reacted any way other than “Lex, you’re a bad man, let her go”. If anything, I think we sent the RIGHT message to the children. Not a single one was rooting for me, or relished in her incarceration. I even said at one instance that a kid’s mother (who was laughing when her son came over and shook his head at me disapprovingly) was “definitely raising him the right way.” Heck, one little girl even nearly broke our plastic chain, trying to yank it away from me.

Plus, I’m with you about how alot of the guys who wanted to hold the chain for their pictures had something wrong with them. THEY got the wrong idea, in a similiar way that you did, only with a different reaction. And, never ONCE did she and I take a picture for ANYbody, or even “joked around behind the scenes”, where my hand was raised against her. One of our friends did, and we both scowled at him, shaking our heads. My “look what I caught” was exactly because of what she said – she was bait for Superman. Lex is evil. Should we have been holding hands & skipping? Lex exposes Kara to Kryptonite, “defends himself” from getting his skull crushed in, and plans to let her go, once her cousin is in the collar. The second she gets far enough away from them, her wounds HEAL. Something which WOULDN’T happen to any damage the human Lex sustained.

Maybe you should’ve followed us around more, not only to witness these occurrences, but to also overhear ME come up with the idea of reversing the roles, and “having Lex beat to sh**”. Even ripping the suit in such a way to expose my real Superman tattoo, and “reveal Lex’s hidden shame”. There was never an intention of humiliation for her, but I was purposely asking for it for me (but, again, not in a sexual way. Get your minds out of the gutters, and maybe you wouldn’t think that other people’s are in them).

Instead, we get accused of being Hank & Janet Pym. “Now with backhanding action!” *roll eyes*

Well done, Michael May – and even moreso SRS – for being completely off base in your interpretations of things.

SRS – I say this in the least flippant way possible… get yourself some therapy. Your statement is akin to that of people who equate guns with phallic imagery. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Get over it.

But, Mysterious Stranger, while I appreciate you agreeing that it would ABSOLUTELY be a double standard, if the roles were reversed, or how it would be completely tasteless as an “Alabama couple” (no offense intended to anyone living in Alabama); there’s still no reason for adults to censor themselves at an event that would not even be possible, if it weren’t for the support that adults give the industry. If it were supposed to be a “Kids’ Comic Convention”, I absolutely would’ve agreed with you, and I wouldn’t have even dressed up as Lex. In fact, I have refused to do so at such events, instead opting for a more child-friendly Professor Xavier.

But I don’t think it’s fair to tell the Resident Evil people to leave their guns at home, or just flat out not dress up as zombies – neither of which are kid-friendly – at a place largely intended for adults.

There SHOULD be child-friendly comic books. But every comic store I go into, is constantly shrinking their “kids only” section. Is it right that they don’t sell? Of course not. But the Saturday morning cartoons of Spider-Man & Batman don’t seem to be doing too horribly.

And,on those points, let’s look at when these were created SOLELY for children:

Peter Parker’s uncle gets murdered.

Bruce Wayne’s parents get murdered.

Kal-El’s entire species gets wiped out.

Maybe I’M overreacting, but I don’t think THAT’S appropriate for children. Yeah, they have to learn about death SOMEtime, but not at the ages these stories were intended for. It’s like teaching 8 year olds how to use condoms. Wrong. Absolutely wrong.

The Nazis were quite possibly the worst, and most pathetic excuse for human beings this planet has ever seen. But, how many did Captain America KILL, by throwing his shield at them? What do you think an item that is supposed to deflect & ricochet impact going to do to a human skull or throat or chest? Not something kid-friendly, I can tell you that. Horrible, inhuman, racist “bad guys” or not, killing shouldn’t be okay for children to be exposed to.

And, what about the women cosplayers who let body parts hang out, that shouldn’t be exposed in public? How is THAT okay for children? It’s not. Cleavage has about as much place in an area with children as blood & violence does.

Carly,
I’m totally on your side. I was trying to quote Alan Coil and point out how humorous it is that he found your role in bad taste but had no problem oggling Kitty Pryde.

I just don’t know how to do the italicized text. 0__0

I’m aka krpykrwly.

So, did anyone get the lesson from this that the good guys don’t ALWAYS win? I think that’s one thing going wrong in our country these days. Scoreless sports for kids because we don’t want to hurt their feelings and make them feel like losers. How are they going to strive to be the best, when they’re brought up learning that winning isn’t important.
I also wanna know how Supergirl and Lex was offensive, but the Poison Ivy with basically her nipples and crotch covered was perfectly fine for the kiddies? I don’t know, people just need to lighten up and quit being offended by every little thing.

I’m really happy this post has spawned such discussion. I am a female who took a pic of the cosplayers. The costume made me want to watch the awful movie again.

You want to watch Superman Returns again!?

Oh, god, what have I dooooooooooooooooooooooone!?!?

Steven R. Stahl said: “It’s not believable that they would come up with the idea for the costuming without knowing what was implied.”

I don’t know, SRS. After all, many of the people calling themselves teabaggers don’t know what that means.

We’ve got to protect the children from things like this, Spectre #9, and Bone.

Lex & Supergirl – I too appreciate it more when I have more info of the origins of the costume. I paused when I saw that costume in person also. But this is a public event and there is a LOT of comic continuum to choose from for costume ideas. Basically it comes down to … that is not a costume I would choose. And anyone going to a public event has to be prepared to come across people that make different decisions than they would.

[quote]Mr. May, by any chance, did you see the little girl Black Canary (who was in fishnets, may I add) and her father as Green Arrow. Now, that, disturbed me, Supergirl and Luther are both adults that are also extremly intelligent and were aware of what they were doing.[/quote]

I don’t know how many people on here went to Chicago Comic-Con, but the GA and BC costumes were first worn there as part of a GA family. My wife and daughter were doth dressed as BC. For C2E2, my daughter wanted to dress up again, but my wife didn’t. So that is why a daddy and daughter were dressed like that. (By the way, the fishnets were from a costume shop for kids’ witch’s outfits).

I am a little startled that you were truly “disturbed.” I have seen (at other times) brothers and sisters dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia. If you look at this from the kids’ point of view, they just want to dress up like something they recognize and have fun.

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