Somebody needs to have a little talk with the Nerd Council

Again, one of the nerds — who I’ve always considered my people — babbles away and reveals an unimaginable depth of cluelessness and privilege. Some comic book artist named Tony Harris was on a tear.

I cant remember if Ive [Note: strong dislike of apostrophes] said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap. [No? Then why the tirade?] I appreciate a pretty Gal [Weird capitalization, too. And “Gal”? Really?] as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff [Ooh! Daring!] ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake [Because, as we all know, Ladies can’t cope with R] ) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks [Then don’t be one, Tony!] . I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl [I’m a scientist, give me numbers. So not 10, but say, 7? 6? What? Do you rate the attractiveness of all the girls you meet on some objective scale?], you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. [This is a contest: who has the lowest opinion of the other?] But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average [On average, we all are] on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public [SLUT!], and yer either skinny [We are going to judge you by your dimensions] ( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are [FATSO!] ) or you have Big Boobies [(.)(.)]. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? [Actually, no] You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT” [Because, face it, my fans at conventions are all really ugly people]. Well not by my estimation [Tony Harris has a special term for an estimation he never uses?], but according to a LOT of average [And Tony Harris is, if anything, not average] Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls [So far, he’s done a fine job of insulting everyone who attends comic book conventions. He’s going to be popular on the circuit now!]. Some Virgins [The only thing worse than a Virgin is a Slut.], ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU [Because the first thing a predator will do is expose herself to scorn and judgment]. You have this really awful need for attention [How awful that humans might need affirmations from others], for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips [I know this is weird, but really, most women don’t find the idea of men going off and masturbating over thoughts of their lips to be particularly attractive], promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate [Shaking their heads in disgust is not “vibrating”]. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together [Years? To put this together? A bit slow and stupid, aren’t you, Tony?]. Well not just me. We are LEGION. [Oh, right. Legions of male comic book fans are sickened by fan service] 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 hate to break this news to you, Tony, since it may damage your self-esteem: but it doesn’t take years of Ph.D. level research and gargantuan efforts to figure out what comic book character you like, or what costume you find attractive. Oh, wait: for Tony this might be a major effort, given that it took him years to justify his rant]. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the f–king time of day.[Maybe not. Context matters. Woman in costume at a con: she would like her effort noticed. Woman walking to the bus to get to work: she has other things on her mind than being told how nice her clothes look, and would rather you didn’t harass her] Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. [What happened to the LEGION sickened by these tramps?] And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, [Like Tony!] and Comic Book Writers who make all that sh-t up. [Actually, most of the people I’ve met at cons are there for the community.]

Shorter Tony Harris: “Hey, girl, you don’t know as much about comics as I do, and your breasts aren’t that great anyway.”

It gets tiring, doesn’t it? I’m not even a woman, and I just want to sigh in exasperation, flip this guy off, and never hear from him ever again. I do think he’s pathetic, but not because he has deep expertise in an esoteric field…but because he’s so lacking in confidence in himself that he finds himself infuriated by the mere existence of women who dare to intrude in any way into what he considers his domain. That’s just sad.

One of the things I’ve liked about the cons I’ve attended is the openness and acceptance — people are there with diverse and sometimes weird expertise, whether it’s skill at sewing and costuming or deep knowledge about otherwise utterly useless comic book lore, and everyone just enthusiastically shares (and sometimes, over-shares, but that’s OK). You don’t have to get angry if someone has a better sense of humor than you do, or knows more about Big Bang Theory, or can wear a costume with more brio, or completely rules in the video game competition — even the most obscure niche has a place. Poor Tony Harris can’t cope with the fact that even though he may have talent as an artist, his lips aren’t as glossy as some woman he considers insufficiently attractive for his standards. He’s sickened that they don’t know as much about comics as he does, and knowledge of comics is, of course, the standard by which we should all be judged.

Well, that and the size and shape of your breasts, if you’re a woman.

John Scalzi mocks this guy, and Foz Meadows rather thoroughly dismantles him. That was a pleasure to read; Harris’s petty rant, not so much.

I’m pretty sure, though, that Mr Harris has now been appointed to this Nerd Council:


  1. says

    Actually, I also use ‘gal’, as the feminine equivalent to ‘guy’.

    But yeah, this guy is an asshole.

    Attn: Nerds:
    If you support this asshole, you are supporting one of the many things that keep women out of comics. Do not pretend you are blameless in being ignored by women, by and large. Just because you don’t control every factor doesn’t mean you aren’t directly responsible for some of them.

  2. says

    Also, regarding having to prove nerdiness, it’s fucking tiresome.

    And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in?

    At comicon, sure. At gencon, momocon, acon, dragoncon, it’s way more varied than that.

    And frankly, I can’t stand reading Meriken comics. Too fucking long, too stagnant. Make some new characters, retire the old ones. I’ll read about ’em on wikipedia, but actually reading the comics seems like it’d get old after 500 or more issues.

  3. Nepenthe says

    I dunno, I think his culture is pretty safe. I’ve met nerds in the last five years (not fiction nerds, given) who could drop a moose at twenty paces with their odor.

  4. kaboobie says

    This was extremely disappointing to me. I am a woman who knows something about comics (though probably not enough to satisfy Harris) and he was, until now, my favorite artist, based upon his work on Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina.

  5. says

    PZ Myers:


    In the old, innocent and carefree days of Pharyngula on Science Blogs, there used to be a poster called “woot” who would randomly post such links in random threads. That wasn’t you, was it?

  6. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I read somewhere else that he’s married. I have nothing but pity for that woman. Though, she’s probably got a good divorce attorney on speed dial.

  7. edmundog says

    Ah, crap. I’ve really liked his art, and was planning on commissioning a Green Hornet from him at the next con we’re both at. So much for that.

  8. screechymonkey says

    Sexism aside, I’m struggling to even find a coherent point in there. What, exactly, is the great crime of the Fake Nerd Cosplay Gal?

    I gather it has something to do with the sin of inducing boners under false pretenses? That it’s wrongity wrong wrong to dress in a way that men may find attractive unless you are willing to fuck them? How does that work, exactly — is it ok to dress sexy if she’s willing to fuck one nerd at the convention, or does she have to be willing to fuck all of them?

    Of course, the author is quick to point out that FNCG is not actually hot,* so I guess the sin is only ATTEMPTING to induce boners under false pretenses. Which I’m sure is an equally serious problem, because clearly gaining the attention of men who you (allegedly) hold in contempt is so tempting that it’s totally worth baring most of your socially unacceptable body to the scrutiny and criticism of men like Harris.

    *-Oh, except for his “exceptions,” of course, whose nerd and hotness credentials are sufficient in his view.

  9. says

    On top of all the sexism, I hate the disdain for casual fans. I like comic book lore, but if I went to a convention I wouldn’t want to be looked down on for not being an avid reader. If anything, I’d want people eager to share their favorite things so I can find something new to like.

    Back on the sexism, it irritates me that we have an artist complaining about a woman not living up to the physical ideals on paper. It reminds me of some fashion posts on Greta’s blog where some designer ranted about how “ugly” the non-supermodels he was designing for were.

  10. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I just announced on Twitter my new charity project, Just Fer Menz™. We’re raising funds to buy every comic douchebro a pocket pussy. Our mission is two-fold: To ease the suffering of menz in the Western world and to protect real-live women from feral doodz.

  11. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Tony Harris wrote:

    Hey haters, Im not sad, lonely, stupid, uneducated, gay, nor do I wear Assess for a Hat.

    Why is it bad to be gay? Or should I understand that the haters have called him gay? Or is it just that he’s being reflexively defensive because, obviously, no self-respecting hetero could possibly dislike even not-so-good ‘boobies’ and he anticipates that he may be called gay because of his dislike for said ‘boobies’, but he’s not gay at all and …

    Yeah, there’s no good way to interpret that. Either he’s even more of a douche than he appears to be or some comics fans are douches too*.

    *It’s already known to be true that some are douches, but this category of douches contains those who are homophobic douches.

    It’s interesting how Tony Harris manages to completely segregate what he sees as his championing of women in comics from the contents and necessary conclusions of his rant. I can either assume that this is an example of cognitive dissonance or that he actually doesn’t consider the women he’s ranting about to be the same as the women he believes he supports.

    I suppose his rant itself provides the answer to that, but it’s quite unsavoury to consider that he actually doesn’t consider those women to be women. So unsavoury, in fact, is the thought that I’m willing to suggest that he’s too stupid to see what he did there. Certainly the rant itself and his response, while showing an improvement in his literary skills, denote an absence of a certain kind of intelligence.

  12. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Just Fer Menz™ pocket pussies do double duty. When finished using the product for its primary purpose simply flip inside out to reveal a panini press. Maximum sammich-faction!

  13. Loqi says

    Without knowing the guy’s work, I’m willing to go out on a limb and assume all of his female characters are impossibly thin with absurdly large chests, and he denies that these depictions are sexualization of women. Then when a woman dresses like one of his characters, he screams about how slutty and overtly sexual they are. Yeah, the problem is definitely the women here.

    I’d also like to see some stats about the average women cosplayer’s comic book knowledge (however the hell you would measure that) compared to the average male attendee. I mean, my own nerd cred is undeniable, and the one friend I have who is a serious cosplayer blows me away in the comic knowledge department.

  14. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m willing to go out on a limb and assume all of his female characters are impossibly thin with absurdly large chests,

    I’d bet on broken spines and 360-degree swivel hips too.

  15. Amethyst Starling says

    I have been to a comic convention (WizardCon), and I am a woman. I must say that most are really nice, cool guys (Harris being one of the few who are jerks). He makes it seem that all quasi-attractive-but-not-really-hot-girls who dress up in cosplay are bitches who just want attention. Could it be they are bitches to him because his is an ass to them? Couldn’t be that!

  16. says

    “Just Fer Menz™” pocket pussies do double duty. When finished using the product for its primary purpose simply flip inside out to reveal a panini press. Maximum sammich-faction!

    ARe these going for sale? A pocket panini press would be useful.

  17. Loqi says

    I’d bet on broken spines and 360-degree swivel hips too.

    I’ve got a spinal disability, and I cringe every time I see a human body contorted such that I can see a face and an ass at the same time.

  18. Freodin says

    I guess I’m not nerdy enough… even with the comments I cannot figure out what the heck this guy is talking about.

  19. Gregory Greenwood says

    While truding through all of Harris’ angry sexism, I couldn’t help but notice this gem;

    You have this really awful need for attention

    … Says the arsehole screaming about how all these not-attractive-really women engaging in cosplay are unforgiveably getting too much of the actual humanity of women into his fantasies of impossibly proportioned sex dolls, a crime compounded by their shameful failure to possess inflata-breasts(TM) up to Harris approved specs, and made even more egregious by their flagrant display of a supposedly inadequate knowledge of his beloved medium of choice*.

    But he is not some kind of attention seeking, self-obsessed ego maniac, you realise.

    No sir.

    Not one bit.

    (Darn it, there goes another irony metre…)


    * Though one has to wonder if he has ever bothered speaking to any of these women to find out whether this already irrelevant criticism even has any basis in fact, given that he is ranting more at some grotesque charicarture that exists only in his own head than at any actual woman.

  20. edmundog says

    Rodney, of your links, the first one was specifically written by Brian Vaughan to be a parody of ludicrous female comics costumes, the second was not drawn by Harris, and the third was… I don’t know, did he ever do Catwoman? No clue. But I can tell you that Harris tends to draw women appropriately, and takes anatomy far more seriously than most comic artists.

    Not that this takes anything away from what he said. If anything, it makes it worse, because one thing I’ve always loved about Harris’s art was the ‘warts and all’ style of his characters. People usually look like people when he draws them. I had assumed it was down to a good understanding of the variety of human experience. Turns out he can only do that visually, not emotionally.

  21. edmundog says

    Oh, man, thinking more of that first link… Trouble was an obsessed fan of the main character who dressed like that to get his attention… It wasn’t written by Harris, it was by Vaughan, who I don’t think has any troubling views of women, but still, the parallels to Harris’s rant are there.

  22. ChasCPeterson says

    But he is not some kind of attention seeking, self-obsessed ego maniac, you realise.

    Tony Effin Harris?

  23. unclefrogy says

    OK I have not asked my son what his take on this might be yet. He is way more expert on this subject then I am. I to have no idea what he is on about.
    Does he not like girl fans who like to dress up and go to the conventions?
    I thought it was the fans who buy the books?
    Maybe they don’t buy his books.
    Maybe they do not dress up as any of his much superior character drawings and only as the more “popular” well known ones?
    Maybe real-girls can not really look like the “true girls” on the drawings.
    Was he fooled by someone dressing up “in drag” as one of his characters or the she hulk (sorry if I got the name wrong) or something?
    Maybe he had too much coffee and not enough sleep before he wrote that semi-incoherent rant.
    As has been explained to me by my son more than once some of these creators, artist and writers make good stories but often have really nutty ideas outside of their art.

    uncle frogy

  24. glodson says

    That was painful to read, but I couldn’t stop. I just had to see where this was going.

    I don’t get it. “These women enjoy dressing up as a character they like(for whatever reason) but since they don’t have this secret depth of knowledge of a REAL FAN, they are just terrible.” Yea… That makes sense if I slam my head in a drawer for about a half hour. It isn’t like they could just be fans, even if causal, or just like to take part in a community by dressing up and looking to have a good time at a convention.

    I mean, who goes to a convention to have a good time? A bunch of fucking weirdos…. (That might have been sarcastic)

  25. Akira MacKenzie says

    enesaz @32

    Back when I could afford to go to game conventions (i.e. before GenCon moved from Milwaukee to Indianapolis) I used to have my suspicions about the gamer status of the the attractive hong ladies I saw at the boobs… I mean, booths! Booths! For me, it was matter of their presence being “too good to be true.” Geeky pursuits like D&D and miniature wargaming were for the damned: ugly, fat, and carrying emotional scars from beaten up and bullied daily from 3rd grade until high school graduation. No, these had to be models brought in by cynical game merchants using sex to entice horny perpetual-virgins who will never know the touch of a woman (like myself) to buy their crappy OGL D20 sourcebooks.

    Of course, as time went on, I discovered that this was total bullshit (well, except for the part about me being a perpetual-virgin) and that there were some rather comely women–by my standards, at least–who enjoy gaming, and scifi, and fantasy, etc.. I was just wrapped up in my own self loathing born from stereotypes of what constituted a “geek” that I didn’t consider it was factually wrong, much less sexist.

    Now I know.

  26. b. says

    Please, allow me to supply a shorter version:


    Tony, cupcake, it may be sad, but it’s true that someone in a costume, no matter what their subjective attractiveness may be, will always be more eye-catching than, well. you. I know that’s hard to deal with, so, as I see it, you really have five choices.

    1. Continue verbally flipping off roughly half your fan-base by being a douchecanoe.
    2. Stop attending cons and allow your fragile self-esteem to scab over.
    3. Wear a costume. May I suggest Ironman? Maybe not; when you take off the mask people will be very, very disappointed that you aren’t Robert Downey, Jr.
    4. Get a full-body tattoo, a bunch of piercings and maybe an enormous lip gauge. Maybe you’ll get the attention you “deserve” then.
    5. Grow up. Seriously. Try to rise above the emotional level of a 4-year-old at a playground: “Did you see that? Did you see ME? Did you? Watch me! WATCH ME!!!!” It’s not a very attractive attribute in anyone, regardless of their breast size. (No offense intended to the more mature 4-year-olds who may be reading this.)

  27. Rey Fox says

    Yeah, Rodney’s examples were very very unrepresentative. Better to just pick up an issue of Ex Machina. Most likely, your library has the trade paperbacks. He actually draws from live models.

    Apparently, he’s still a bit of an ass, though.

  28. Chaos Engineer says

    I guess I’m not nerdy enough… even with the comments I cannot figure out what the heck this guy is talking about.

    There are a bunch of different things going on, and it takes some practice to break it down into the component pieces. I spotted:

    1 – Hipster Syndrome (“Comics are great, but of course the ignorant masses aren’t sophisticated enough to appreciate them the way I do.”)

    2 – Jaded Veteran Syndrome (“This convention used to be cool, but now it’s just a bunch of noobs and sell-outs.”)

    3 – Envy (“Those guys are paying attention to women! Why won’t they pay attention to me instead? For that matter, why won’t they go away so that I can have a chance to talk to a woman?”)

    4 – Sour grapes (“I didn’t want to talk to those women anyway; they’re probably all predatory attention-addicts.”)

    5 – Alcohol.

    Note that, for example, “Hipster Syndrome” and “Envy” aren’t really compatible with each other; that’s where the incoherence comes from.

  29. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    What is the deal with consistent idiocy and random capitalisation? Is there a course? “Writing crap with caps 101”?

  30. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    “Writing crap with caps 101″

    In my day it was a 300-level course. Now it’s a 100-level course. These damn kids with their computers — Makes RANDOM and nonSensical Capitalization SO Much easier.

  31. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    OgvoRBis, I bELiEve you MeaN RandOm.

  32. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    See? That’s the way it is taught now (see Thomathy’s #41). We could never do that in my day.

    And gerrof me lawn!

  33. says

    As an aside, I wish geeks would stop calling themselves nerds.

    I wish nerds stopped pretending it was 1990 and this was a potentially valid distinction. If you don’t like it, you should take it out on the people who called us both it.

  34. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    The link I posted @20 has a few images of women drawn by Tony Harris. Near as I can tell, they’re anatomically correct, and are a far better depiction of real women than many, many comic book artists.

  35. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    What is the distinction for you between nerd and geed and why do you feel others should follow your lead?

  36. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    strange gods:

    You do know that ‘dork’ is one of about 15,573 words that mean ‘penis’?

  37. says

    It is a shame, because I think he’s actually a pretty skilled and subtle artist, something lacking in large portions of his field. Too bad he’s got a giant ugly tumor growing out of his personality. Hopefully it can be excised but until it is I’m not comfortable spending any more money that might go his way.

    It pisses me off that in subcultures, it seems like the #1 goal becomes to create a sub-subculture and exclude people who don’t measure up. I’ve seen it everywhere, not just in geek culture, and it is ALWAYS disappointing.

  38. leonpeyre says

    I cant remember if Ive [Note: strong dislike of apostrophes]

    Not only that, he seems to have a thorough aversion to the word “you’re”. He can’t seem to decide between substituting “your” or “yer” (which would at least be good pirate speak), but “you’re” is apprantly verboten. Maybe because of the whole apostrophe thing, come to think of it.

  39. vaiyt says

    Maybe if all you dolts in the comic industry stopped making every female character walking bundles of fanservice, women would have some new options. As it stands, no matter if you’re a True Fan(tm) or not, you either slut it out or sit it out.

    That, or cosplay faceless characters. The best Nightmare I’ve yet seen was a woman.

    I like when someone fills a costume just right as much as the next fan, but I’m not going to shame the “””fat girls””” for cosplaying something they like.

    If a woman isn’t bikini-model thin, the available pool of costumes they can fill out already drops by 95%. If they have some actual plump, who are they going to cosplay as? Amanda Waller? Oh wait, they can’t anymore. Thanks, DC.

    The criticism is awfully one-sided anyway. I don’t see any d00ds complaining about a five-foot-tall Samus or a C-cup Cammy. Virtually all male cosplayers don’t match the ridiculously ripped profile of some of their cosplays, and that is also glossed over.

  40. marcus says

    “Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. [What happened to the LEGION sickened by these tramps?]”

    “Nobody ever goes there, it’s way too crowded.” Yogi Berra (more or less)

  41. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    Among the many ridiculous changes made in the New 52, did they make Amanda Waller thin?

  42. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    metric shit-ton

    A kilopoop?

    I think I may lack comic cred. I have not seen any of the comic book characters I grew up with mentioned. Not one. So I guess I’d be one of the old guys in the back complaining about not understanding the current generation. Or the previous one, for that matter. Which would still make more sense than that screed up at the top.

  43. says

    Some people will dress up purely for attention, some people will dress up because they like the character… In reality, who cares why they do it..

    The real story is the angst of the author.. “She won’t hook up with me, even though I know every comic about that character front to back, so she must not actually like it that much, humph.”

    The nerd in question, has the same thought process as the muslims that think women need to stay covered… so as not to agitate their penises because they can’t control their own emotions.

  44. strange gods before me ॐ says

    the muslims that think women need to stay covered

    Christians, Hindus and Jews all have this phenomenon.

  45. jrobie says

    What a dickbag. On top of being infuriating, it’s a bit sad because he drew Starman, which as I recall featured fairly realistic, non-Barbie-esque female characters.

    What a sad little jerk.

  46. says

    I was wondering when this would find it’s way here. Blah blah blah, this douchebag says, blah blah I hate women blah.

    God, what is up with all the hate for cosplayers and the like lately? I swear to God, I don’t see a downside.

    For one thing, cosplaying for its own sake is an incredibly geeky hobby. Seriously, spending that many hours making costumes, spending that much time and money on materials, all to look like an incredibly unrealistic, fanciful fictional character or three?

    If that’s not geeky, and perhaps even geekier than READING comic books or whatever, then I apparently do not understand what geekiness is.

    And what, are cosplayers only allowed to dress up as a character they know every single thing about? I’m sorry, but that too is ridiculous.

    Second, though related, this whole geek gatekeeper nonsense is ridiculous. Why the fuck is someone complaining that someone doesn’t know as much as them? Since when did geeky pursuits become the sort of thing that can be appropriated? It isn’t, not really.

    I mean, even if someone DOES fake it in order to get along with friends or enjoy the company of others or whatever, is that really any different than what I do with my family when football season comes around? No! I fake giving a shit, even though I know nothing about it, because it greases the social wheels, and it DOES seem kinda fun in its own way, and my family’s passion about the subject is enjoyable to watch for its own sake. I enjoy seeing them enjoy themselves, and I don’t want to get in the way of that.

    So even if someone IS a poseur, why the fuck does that matter? And why the fuck is that now a crime?

    And who is a guy like this to judge whether they ARE geeks, whether they DO know about comics, anyway? There are so fucking many of them, that even as a comic fan, I only know a small minority of comics, so if you started asking ME about the aspects of your passionate love affair with, I dunno, Green Lantern, then I wouldn’t be able to answer it at all. But does that mean I don’t like comics, or that I’m not a geek, because I don’t know what this specific person knows? Hell no!

    And where does he get off thinking that someone who knows more is better, and someone who doesn’t should be shunned? Was there never a time when HE first got into it? Was there never a subject that he’d like to know about, that he vaguely understands, that he wants to become more knowledgeable about? Oh, wait, he’s a man, so that’s okay. BUT HOW DARE A WOMAN, amirite my fellow menz?

    Third, actual booth babes, the ones who are hired to dress up and whatever. You know, I don’t actually care, but you know what I do when I encounter them? Politely continue on and don’t bother them. They’re doing their job, and though I may glance at the fanciful costumes, it’s hard not to after all, I’m not going to try to make their job any harder than it already is. If you’re a model dressing up as, I dunno, Wonder Woman or Saber from fate/stay night, then if you don’t already love what you’re doing, I can see you feeling uncomfortable and exposed… so why bother you, put you on the spot, or anything of the sort? It’s mean-spirited.

    And fourth, and finally: This is just a case of some whiny asses trying to reconstruct the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, only now they’re in their forties, and for fuck’s sake, they need to grow the fuck up.

    And no, I’m not going to make any cracks at their ability to get dates, or being sexless losers, or being fat. At the moment I have a lot of those traits. But that isn’t the problem here, in any case. The problem is the hatred and bigotry and misogyny. And boy, is there a lot of it.

  47. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    As if I needed another damn reason to continue boycotting DC. Barbara’s return to Batgirl is one of my biggest issues. I…
    …should stop. I can go at length about my frustration with the reboot. That’s OT for this thread.

  48. essbee says

    Adults worried about ‘posers’ in their ‘scene’ is just about the most pathetic, territorial, nonsense shite I can imagine.

    I know high school hurt, and it’s nice to finally have space where your knowledge of the minutiae of some obscure domain gives you cred, but the rants are only betraying your silliness. These sexist tirades by skeptics, atheists, gamers, and comic fans are mundane and boring at this point. And it’s all so high school. I know it’s awful that the slutty cute girls have shown up to our party, but save some ire for when the jocks and preps get here!

  49. ckitching says

    eneasz wrote:

    The same thing happens at gamer cons with guys saying “booth babes” aren’t real gamers.

    I’m not sure it’s the same. As far as I know, the term booth babe is for models that the company producing the game hires, not fans dressing up of their own accord. The latter is a bit of a problem, but the former is not. One of the repeated criticism is the use of booth babes at trade shows like E3, where there is absolutely no chance of these women merely being enthusiastic fans.

    While I’m sure the term is misused by the same people who like to bully cosplayers like in the post PZ mentioned, the use of these women as merely sexual eye candy for companies trying to sell their games is a legitimate problem.

  50. says

    While it’s true that there is a problem with using models pointlessly (I think about the only company I’d trust to do a decent job with it is Suda51, because Suda51 is really fucking good at mocking its audience for their worst aspects), that isn’t solved by hating the booth babes, who are just drawing a paycheck.

  51. jose says

    Oh dear, the insecurity and the frustration, it’s crystal clear he’s talking from experience when he describes his view of the boys who attend comic gigs. Very sad indeed.

    Of course if he just faced women like regular people, he wouldn’t have these problems.

  52. ckitching says

    Very true, Rutee. Too much abuse is directed at the women modelling for these companies, when it should be directed at the companies themselves.

  53. edmundog says

    Tony, I talk about comics with Natalie Reed on Twitter occasionally, and she’s said that Barbara’s return to Batgirl is well done and avoids any unfortunate ableist cliches, and I believe she’d be able to pick up on that. I haven’t read it myself yet, but I’ll be getting the trade when it comes out.

  54. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    I wouldn’t mind continuing this chat, but the Thunderdome is probably a better place for it.

  55. says

    I support what Tony Harris was trying to say, and most of it would apply to men just as easily: if a man doesn’t have the physique, he shouldn’t try to cosplay a character whose whole concept is about showing off physique. If you have a bulging stomach, like most mortals have, you shouldn’t dress up like Jason Momoa’s Conan. And if there were women digging that, like there are man digging out of shape women in tights, I wouldn’t be shocked if a female artist ranted against that.

  56. Akira MacKenzie says

    “I know high school hurt…”

    Damn fucking straight it did. I’m 38 and I still have nightmares a couple of times a week about my four years of state-mandated emotional and physical hell. I shit you not.

  57. ChasCPeterson says

    I’ll tell you the real problem with all of this: it’s the term ‘cosplay’. What an ugly barbarism.

    If you have a bulging stomach, like most mortals have, you shouldn’t dress up like Jason Momoa’s Conan. And if there were women digging that, like there are man digging out of shape women in tights, I wouldn’t be shocked if a female artist ranted against that.

    so…wait. You think that Effin Harris’s rant was against men who “dig” “out of shape women in tights”??
    No. His problem is with women who dare to dress differently than he thinks they “should”. As, clearly, is yours. Asshole.

  58. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    If you have a bulging stomach, like most mortals have, you shouldn’t dress up like Jason Momoa’s Conan.

    If you are an empathy-lacking idiot who cannot grasp the idea that various people have differing conceptions of beauty, then you shouldn’t open your mouth.

    Fuck you body-shamer.

    Also, fuck the 3-post rule. Obviously shitty comments deserve harsh responses.

  59. Owlmirror says

    What is this “shape” and how does one get out of (or into) it?

    Shape depends on species, of course, with variation based on nature, nurture, genetics, and epigenetics.

    Getting into shape: Morphogenesis; developmental biology; gene regulatory networks; etc.

    Getting out of shape: Atrophy; decomposition; taphonomy; etc.

  60. chigau (棒や石) says

    Getting into shape: Morphogenesis; developmental biology; gene regulatory networks; etc.
    Getting out of shape: Atrophy; decomposition; taphonomy; etc.

    And where do the “tights” figure in this?

  61. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says


    I support what Tony Harris was trying to say, and most of it would apply to men just as easily: if a man doesn’t have the physique, he shouldn’t try to cosplay a character whose whole concept is about showing off physique. If you have a bulging stomach, like most mortals have, you shouldn’t dress up like Jason Momoa’s Conan. And if there were women digging that, like there are man digging out of shape women in tights, I wouldn’t be shocked if a female artist ranted against that.

    So you’re in support of making rules and placing limitations on what people can or cannot wear and it is based on what you feel is acceptable?
    When I was younger, I used to think like that. If I saw a man or woman who was overweight and wearing a form fitting shirt, I used to mentally criticize them. “Why are you wearing that tight ass shirt when your belly is poking way out?” or any variation thereof. As I got older I started to realize that I was applying *my* standard of beauty to others and expecting them to conform. I started realizing that I’m not the arbiter of what is or isn’t beautiful, nor do I have any right to expect people to dress in a manner that I find appealing. I realized I wasn’t the center of the universe. Once I came to that realization, I stopped looking at people like that. This isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes have the thought-it’s difficult to shake 37 years of cultural indoctrination-but if I do, I stop and chastize myself.
    Hopefully in time you will come to a similar realization, because what you wrote reeks of ableism.

  62. says

    I support what Tony Harris was trying to say, and most of it would apply to men just as easily:

    Correction: You support what you project onto Harris’ stupid rant. Because that was mostly about how terrible fake nerd girls are, and how dare they not love comics as much as the people who didn’t painstakingly replicate a costume but did painstakingly memorize trivia?

    if a man doesn’t have the physique, he shouldn’t try to cosplay a character whose whole concept is about showing off physique.

    The hell they shouldn’t. I don’t care if you’re actually built like Colonel Mustang or other fun folks. I mean, your cosplay won’t be 100% accurate if you don’t replicate someone’s build, but who cares, it’s fun.

    If you have a bulging stomach, like most mortals

    When did ‘Meriken’ become synonymous with ‘mortal’?

    I wouldn’t be shocked if a female artist ranted against that.

    I’d be surprised if she had broad support in it like Harris does.

  63. maidentheshade says

    I just read an article via jezebel thatwas basically disparaging “fake geek girls.” While many of the commenters did pile on & chime in, I was plzed to see they were outnumbered by people who thought labeling & judging who was allowed the moniker of geek was unacceptable. What I hated most about the article was the affirmation of the stereotype that women are competitive & catty towards other women. (The article was written by a woman)

    It’s sad to see the ingroup/outgroup politicking in what should be an inclusive community, especially since “geek culture” has become so accessible & mainstream thanks to the internet.

    As someone already mentioned, the snobbery to newbies is a real turn off. I’m not sure I understand the sexism either. Unless some of these geek guys just don’t want to surrender what they consider their turf. Or that certain cons have gotten so big & popular that tix can only be obtained thru a lottery.

    Either way, the “we were here first, we’re the *real* fans” mentality just reinforces the negative image of geeks/nerds being obnoxious. Makes me wonder if part or most of the appeal of labeling yourself geek isn’t to form your own exclusive clique?

    As gaming & computer literacy becomes more widespread, & scifi/fantasy entertainment industries grow, inclusion will have to happen. Then jerks like this comicbook artist will all get together & talk about the good ole days when cons were pure.

    Sometimes I think people are just monkeys with money.

  64. carlie says

    I wouldn’t be shocked if a female artist ranted against that.

    I’d be surprised if she had broad support in it like Harris does.

    Ha. Support? For a woman saying that overweight gamer guys shouldn’t cosplay or that some of them are posers? She’d be lucky if she got out of it with only a few years’ worth of constant stalking and harassment and was drummed out of the industry altogether.

  65. says

    woman criticizing nerds/geeks = obvs a shallow slut (see that woman who wrote how she absolutely didn’t want to date a famous-ish magic player)

  66. says

    Yeah, I knowt hat that’s exactly what would happen, don’t get me wrong. Women have to look past appearances, and shouldn’t police men’s appearance, but men can police women’s appearance. That’s why I said “Even if, somehow, a woman decided to whine about dudes not built like spiderman putting on the costume, she’d never get this kind of support”

  67. says

    “Even if, somehow, a woman decided to whine about dudes not built like spiderman putting on the costume, she’d never get this kind of support”

    She would have mine, for sure.

  68. im says

    I kind of wonder if there is something else we are not seeing in these diatribes against fake nerd women.