By now you’ve probably heard of Tony Harris, sexist asshole artist.
Before now, there was a good chance you admired his work without knowing who he was. The comic book industry can be thankless that way. Lots of people like what they like without paying close attention to who produced it for them. This is extra true for artists, weirdly. A comic book writer creates a story for you, but the artist brings it to life. Still, plenty of people don’t know who draws what they read.
We’ll just pretend, because it is an actual unfair thing that happens, that Tony Harris was tapping into a well of bitterness over that when he went off on a sexist tirade about why “real” geeks don’t like women cosplaying at cons. It doesn’t make it the tiniest bit better, but we’ll pretend anyway. After all, the original rant has been fisked, countered with cosplay love, and put in its appropriate social context.
There’s still one thing about it though, something I really only noticed reading PZ’s post on the rant:
And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SH-T ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER.
I read that, and my only thought is: Dude, you know squat about Google, and I can prove it. Here is a screen cap of top results for “THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER”:
Well, that wasn’t very helpful. We’ve only got one comic book. Some of those people aren’t people. But hey, maybe we at least know enough about comics to know we want to specify a comic book character. The results for “MOST MAINSTREAM comic book CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER” (no I don’t use all caps):
That’s a little better. We have mostly comic book characters here, though I’m not sure where the Religulous poster or Westboro Baptist Church anti-Jedi sign came from. Even a couple of Wonder Women and a Supergirl. Not enough for the kind of cosplay variety found at conventions, though. Let’s try “MOST MAINSTREAM comic book CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING cosplay EVER”:
Still not so good. A couple of cosplayers, but almost starts to look like you might need to know something about comic books to find a good character. Also, the guy with the Jedi sign is now following me around. But we can keep trying. How about “MOST MAINSTREAM comic book CHARACTER WITH THE MOST sexy cosplay EVER”:
We’re starting to see more sexy costumes, now, but interestingly, they’re most on people, not comic book drawings. Except Wonder Woman and Catwoman, who are mainstream but don’t seem to be being cosplayed much. But maybe we’re mixing things up too much. Let’s take a step backward to MOST MAINSTREAM comic book CHARACTER WITH THE MOST sexy COSTUME EVER”:
All the women Harris is talking about are cosplaying Nightwing? Funny how going from “cosplay” to “costume” takes us back to pages of mostly male characters. All right, we’ve demonstrated that Harris can’t use Google. Let’s try it on our own. “Sexy superheroes for cosplay”?
Again, we’re back to people, not comics. Surely someone must have read the damned things in the first place before translating the character into fabric and paint. “Sexy superhero costumes”?
Right. Wear a Halloween costume to a con and see how that goes if you’re over the age of 16. “Sexy comic book character”?
I haven’t seen anyone cosplay the one in garters, but this is as close as we’ve come to a resource. Interestingly, a lot of what turns up on this search is fan art, which makes it useless for costume reference. Despite Harris’s whining, cosplay doesn’t generally involve showing up in lingerie that matches your character’s colors.
Also, you really don’t want to know how many pictures of Wonder Woman there are on that page. If this really were how women were getting their ideas for cosplay, this (and perhaps Power Girl) would be how every one of them dressed–particularly if their goal was to become masturbatory fantasy material for the guys of my generation. She’s clearly considered the most generally sexy comic book character out there.
Given all this, I think it’s pretty clear that Harris is extra full of shit. You’re not going to produce the variety of cosplay we see by women Googling themselves up sexy costumes to wear.