Booth babes need not apply
The presence of fans dressed as X-23 (left) and Loki's female form (right) at Comic-Con signals the broadening of geek culture.
July 24th, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Booth babes need not apply

Editor's note: When he's not teaching the Internet how to fist-fight, why being weird is awesome or how to self-publish your own books, Joe Peacock tours the world, showing his extensive "Akira" art collection. He also cosplays as a six-foot-two-inch, 310lb Powerpuff Girl to fill the hollow pit that is his need for the wrong kinds of attention.

There is a growing chorus of frustration in the geek community with - and there's no other way to put this - pretty girls pretending to be geeks for attention.

San Diego Comic-Con is the largest vehicle, but it's hardly the only convention populated with "hot chicks" wearing skimpy outfits simply to get a bunch of gawking geeks’ heads to turn, just to satisfy their hollow egos.

Now, before every single woman reading this explodes, let me disambiguate a bit. I absolutely do not believe that every girl who attends conventions and likes "Doctor Who" is pretending to be a geek.

There are lots of geeks who are female. Some of these female geeks are pretty girls. I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven.

The presence of female geeks means that the fiction we're reading is broadening and, frankly, getting better in quality. It means nerdy films and television shows aren't relying on damsel in distress stories and objectification of women to draw readers. It means content is broadening and becoming smarter and more accessible. I want more of that.

And be it known that I am good friends with several stunningly beautiful women who cosplay as stunningly beautiful characters from comics, sci-fi, fantasy and other genres of fandom. They are, each of them, bone fide geeks. They belong with us. Being beautiful is not a crime.

Flaunt it if you got it – and if you're a geek, male or female, and you're strikingly handsome or stunningly beautiful, and you cosplay as a handsome or beautiful character, more power to us all. Hot geeks are hot.

What I'm talking about is the girls who have no interest or history in gaming taking nearly naked photos of themselves with game controllers draped all over their body just to play at being a "model."  I get sick of wannabes who couldn't make it as car show eye candy slapping on a Batman shirt and strutting around comic book conventions instead. FULL POST

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Digital comics work it in San Diego
Artist Dave Gibbons signed autographs and promoted his digital comic book at San Diego Comic-Con in the Madefire booth.
July 19th, 2012
01:48 PM ET

Digital comics work it in San Diego

Editor's note: Rob Salkowitz is a business analyst and consultant specializing in the future of entertainment, media and technology. His latest book, "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture" (McGraw-Hill, 2012) focuses on the nerdy audience at the largest comic book trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Follow him @robsalk.

Last year at Comic-Con, digital comics were the headlight approaching in the dark tunnel. This year they are the train bearing down on the industry at full steam. Amid estimates that nearly 30 million Americans now use iPads or tablet devices of some kind, comics and graphic novels have emerged as the killer app for this hot new platform and everyone from the industry’s top publishers to feisty startups and independents are looking for a way to get in on the action.

Against that backdrop, even with all the various entertainment, movie and videogame news pouring out of San Diego this year, it was the announcements coming from digital publishers and platforms that has the greatest potential to shape how we enjoy the stories and characters we love in the months and years to come. Here’s a roundup of some of the top stories in digital from this year’s show: FULL POST

Anna Torv's sneak peek at the end of 'Fringe'
Anna Torv at San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday.
July 18th, 2012
06:07 PM ET

Anna Torv's sneak peek at the end of 'Fringe'

"Fringe" has taken so many twists and turns over four years, it's anybody's guess how the series will end for good this season. One thing's for sure: we'll glimpse more of the future.

"Last season, we got a taste of what to expect," "Fringe" star Anna Torv told CNN Geek Out. "2036, here we come!"

We briefly met Peter and Olivia's grown-up child in 2036. What did Aussie Torv think of her TV daughter?

“She’s really sweet. And she’s Australian, so that totally works."

Of course, it's bittersweet when any show is coming to an end, and it becomes all the more real when there's a final San Diego Comic-Con panel to see it off. But Torv is looking on the bright side.

"We’re fortunate that we can end the show knowing that we’re ending the show," she said.

"Our writers are going to be able to do it justice, serving the viewers and serving us as well, because we’ve put a lot in. And we can make it count, knowing we can finish the game."
FULL POST

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William Shatner boldly goes into Trekker culture
William Shatner at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
July 18th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

William Shatner boldly goes into Trekker culture

In 1969, William Shatner thought his iconic show's run was over.

“I finished ‘Star Trek’ late one night and everybody said goodbye and off I went, saying, ‘That’s the end of that show.' It was just a good show and that was the end of it."

Little did he know that the fans had other ideas; they wouldn't let the show  fade into obscurity. "Star Trek" conventions began in earnest.

As the years went by, Shatner wondered what motivated these fans to go to conventions year after year, so he embarked  on a sociological, anthropological study of "Star Trek" fandom that became a book and then a film called "Get a Life!" The works are based on a famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which Shatner went off on a tirade against "Star Trek" fans. The documentary is set to premiere on Epix on July 28.
FULL POST

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What’s next for Joss Whedon?
Joss Whedon at Entertainment Weekly's Comic-Con party on Saturday.
July 17th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

What’s next for Joss Whedon?

After directing the most successful movie of the year – not to mention the third most successful movie of all time – where does one go next?

In Joss Whedon's case, it's not Walt Disney World, but San Diego Comic-Con, where he was ubiquitous this year. Whedon hit up the parties (social media lit up with tales about his dancing prowess) and spoke on several panels, even getting mentioned In a panel for the web series "Husbands," on which he will guest star.

Whedon was a perennial presence at the mega-convention, hyping TV’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," among others, for many years prior to his box office success.

Whedon wasn't at the convention to tout the success of "The Avengers," though. His first panel celebrated the 10th anniversary of "Firefly," – in conjunction with an upcoming special on the Science Channel – and his second was to discuss the continuing adventures of "Buffy" in comic book form.

Lately, though, Whedon has been pondering his post-"Avengers" plans.

“I’ve just been trying to be with my family and trying to figure out who I am and what to do next," he told CNN Geek Out at Comic-Con. "It’s kind of an exciting time right now but it’s an exciting time of me waiting to make sure I don’t get so excited that I do the wrong thing."
FULL POST

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