Wednesday, September 15, 2004

When Fanboys go Wrong

Since I am fresh off of a comicon experience, I thought I would note a few fanboy behaviors that I find hinder my ability to enjoy the conventions I attend. Basically, this is a convention "Don't" list.

1. Having a creator sign more then 20 comics at one setting is tacky and reprehensible to the other fans behind you in line. I know you are a fan and want to have quality face time with your favorite pro, and if having several comics to sign helps you not be so nervous that is great, but more then 20 is completely uncalled for. A good rule of thumb is that more then five minutes is too much, unless the pro in question is sketching for you. I will never forget the guy in front of me with two short boxes- his 8 months pregnant wife was forced to stand in every line so he could get all his comics signed. Every time I see him at cons I want to kick his ass. Everything in moderation, Man!

2. Digging through one long box while your bag is piled on another one at a retailer booth is big sin #2. Get a back pack or shoulder bag at Target so you don't need a short box or paper bag. When I want to look at a booth and I can't get to the boxes, I will leave. I may even tell you to move your ass if you being rude enough.

3. Body Odor. I know this is going to get me into trouble, but please don't perpetuate the myth that comic fans all live in their parent's basement and don't get dates by being one of the unwashed masses that file through. I have actually been made to gag by some of the people surrounding me, simply because they didn't think enough of others or themselves to wash up before coming to a public event. Be hygienic, which includes brushing your teeth, and you may find you have a better time as well.

4. Pushing and shoving. I am a 5'5" female who has been shoved out of the way by fanboys to get to a retailer booth. For God's sake, all you have to do is say "Excuse me" or "Could I get to that box please", and I would move so fast it would make your head spin. Pushing me out of the way just pisses me off and makes me want to go get my hubby, who, trust me, you don't want to see angry.

5. Quit bragging for five minutes! I like to talk about meeting creators with other fans as we are waiting in line. It is fun to compare notes and usually leads to talk about their titles and what we enjoy about them. But... Please refrain from bragging to me that you are such a unique person that the pro in question just had to spend time with you, cuz I won't buy it. I am thrilled you know someone, and think it is cool, but the minute it turns to bragging, I start to wonder if you are overcompensating for something (if you know what I mean).

6. Rubbing up against me. It only happened once, but I knew exactly why you did it, you pervert! You don't want me to go get my hot-tempered Irish husband!

7. Not really a fanboy complaint, but: Creators that show up late, even though I know they had a hotel in town the night before. Learn to handle your alcohol, and get to bed for a few hours if you know there are fans that are coming to see you. It is common courtesy.

Anyone else had any Comicon drama they would like to add? I have had great con experiences for the most part, but there is always that one bad egg who has to ruin for the rest of us!


James Schee said...

My all time "egads" moment was at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC a few years ago. While coming out of the mens room behind a guy, the guy goes up to his buddy and said "I got to pee next to Kurt Busiek!" and then gave his friend a high five.

Heidi Meeley said...

Wow James, that has got to be one of the most heinous things I have heard! Talk about feeling uncomfortable when nature calls.

Note to fanboys: when answering nature's call, keep your eyes straight ahead!

Carl said...

Okay, I have some "don'ts" also and I have been going to cons since...... ummmm, '76?

1. Okay, fanboys and creators, can we get dividing lines for signing and sketches? Cross-gen did that the last few years (when there was a Cross-gen) and I thought that was nice of them. The autographs can be whipped out and then in the lull they can do the sketches.

2. I agree on the body odor thing. Very much. But also, guys and gals, forget your comics for a few weeks or just one month, buy some new clothes! I mean, yes, if you have a vintage Star Trek tee that looks like it just was made yesterday cool! But (and this is mostly guys) the hole in your pants, especially in the seat, or worn-out faded tees makes me think homeless person, not fanboy or girl.

3. Okay, another similar to #2 and 34. Watch around your feet!!! Or at least look down! I am a big guy with big feet, so I am constantly watching for people on the floor looking through the 25 or 50 cent or dollar boxes. And I can't count how many times I have had my fingers or feet trod on or actually have someone almost go sailing over my back by not looking down.

4. And here's one of my favorite pet peeves. Don't complain about the charge of the autographs by guests that were invited but not sponsored to be there. The big media or comic guests usually have their companies supporting them or are "compensated" by the con ticket sales. When you see someone from classic TV shows or a comics legend that has retired, usually they make money on what they sell to you or the autographs. And no one is forcing you to buy them.

5. Bathrooms, elevators and restaurants. Okay, people, they've been pressing the flesh all day with the fanbase, let the person do their thing in the can, ride the 'vator (pushing all the buttons will people want to kill you, we can see you know) or have a moment to eat in peace. The only thing I can remember doing like that was buy them a drink and then say thanks for all the good stuff and walking away after they cheered my health.

Okay, that's all I can think of so I will close with my worst fanboy experience.

I was with a friend (Toby) at an autograph show in Orlando several years ago. There were several classic Sci-Fi stars from movies and TV and it was wonderful to see them all in one place. So, when "MG" got there, we went nuts and bought like together $50 to $80 bucks of autographs together and he was nice and friendly. So, we got lunch and stopped and got Toby's camera he had left at his apt. We got back and Toby started snapping pictures of MG and suddenly, he stuck his hand up in his face and said, enough pictures, you have to buy some photos! I showed him my notebook and the ones he had just signed an hour or so before but he still was mad and said, no more pictures unless you buy more autographs. So, I got one more for a friend's Christmas present and afterwards, Toby kept sneaking pictures with a telephoto lens. I saw MG later at another con and he was real nice. I figure he had a bad day or was tired of conventions or something but I felt like tossing all my items with him in the trash that weekend. So, that's it, boobye for now...

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, that is too funny! My hubby and I had a similar experience with an "LF" at a show. He was cool at first, but when we came back later to get stuff for our nephews, he was tense and short. Maybe having to be nice is a chore to some people?

I also appreciated your insight about buying some new clothes. I have always felt that it never hurts to update the comic book t-shirts from time to time. I have old ones that I wear around the house, and newer ones that get to be seen in public. Holes in shirts don't look better to strangers then they do at home!

Thank you for the incredibly cool insights. You know your cons!