Saturday, January 14, 2006

Comic Show Musings Redux: When Fanboys Go Wrong!

I was going through some old blog posts when I rediscovered one called "When Fanboys Go Wrong" from September 14, 2004. Bear with me as I recycle, and then add any newly enlightened thoughts I have gleaned since then in color!

"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!
This hasn't changed for me one bit. I still find my head feeling like it is going to burst when I see someone make a creator sign more then 20 books. This is pretty universal, I would imagine.

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.
Can't add anything there. Still too true!

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.
Okay, this is one we have been over time and time again. I am begging now for some soap and water! My hubby and I have a friend that comes over from time to time. He doesn't shower regularly and when he leaves, we have to "febreze" spray over the section of the couch he sits on. Topping it off, we have been blunt with him about his odor, and he still doesn't care. What gives?

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.
I got shoved at a con in Portland last Fall and I am still upset about it. Manners please!

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).
Oy vay. I won't add to this, as it speaks for itself.

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!
Next time, I am going to kick your ass in front of all your friends and not feel remorseful. There is no excuse for this EVER.

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.
As I have already ranted about: too much alcohol equals unproffesional, offensive behavior. Monitor it.

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!"

I never attended a comic show until I went to the Fall Portland Con with my husband in 1997, so I have always had a partner in crime so to speak. The first show we went to, we met Alex Ross, Kurt Busiek, Brett Anderson, and Marv Wolfman, so the bar has been set high from show one. I am rarely let down by a creator experience or in finding a comic book I have been looking for. I am a lucky lady, I think.


RedheadFangirl said...

At Wizard Philly last year, a guy in a wheelchair came up while I was in line for Rags Morales. He kissed my hand, told me I was a fox, and then proceeded to both embarrass me with compliments AND tell me his life story of being hit by a Cadillac. I tried to be gracious, and I had been in line a long time, so I didn't want to leave. Overall though, the fanboys and fangirls were all in good spirits and decent.

Heidi Meeley said...

I am super impressed by your grace under pressure! That is an awkward experience to say the least. You handled it very well!

I wouldn't have wanted to get out of line either. Haha!

Hopefully this gives an example of where the line is and how to not cross it!!

Elayne said...

I think the "20 books per creator" rule might be a bit more flexible than your rule here. If the creator doesn't have a huge queue (or any queue) and he or she doesn't tend to do a lot of conventions, I think the fan should be permitted to get more than 20 comics signed. My husband has a 15+ career in comics so he's done a lot of different books, but doesn't generally like sitting behind a table (although I love it!). So I'm personally thrilled on the few occasions when I can get him to sit at a table and folks come up to him asking him to sign tons of books because they don't generally see him. :)

Heidi Meeley said...

Elayne- I agree that if a creator has time and is agreeable, that the rule can definitely be bent. If time permits, and it is more fun then work, that is the rule of thumb for sure! I can bet that it is very interesting to see fans come up to the table, and see their nervousness and/or excitement. How cool!