Pat Broderick Returns to Comics, Woos New generation of Fans by Hating on Cosplayers
Pat Broderick, lets bro down here for a moment, shall we?
I know a lot has changed since you left comics back in 1995. At the time, the comics market looked less desirable than sushi from a Parkway Sonoco station at 3am. I don’t blame you for leaving and finding better employment elsewhere. It made sense at the time. I am happy to hear you came back, but , well, can I give you some advice? Don’t bemoan a fanbase.
What are you–Alan Moore? Going off on Facebook about how you will never attend a convention because some people like dressing up in costume, or that you will never “friend” a “cosplay personality” on the social networking site, is quite asinine. It would be like me saying I would never go to a writer’s convention for my fans because someone decided to draw pictures of my characters for a profit. No one would ever want to do that now, would they?
Honestly, the last thing I think the artist for Doom 2099 would want to do during a return to the comics industry is go after the most recent evolution in fandom in the past 20 years. Hell, even when you were on the comics circuit back in the day, people were dressing up in homemade getups. The only difference since then is quantity of those participating and
young women quality of the outfits that have been made with advancements in t he popular interest in comics books that includes people of color and women textile fabrics.
See, if I was the artist of Batman: Year Three, the last thing I would want to do to my loyal fans upon my return is to tell them that their painstakingly researched Batman costume from that era, the photos I they took with other fans of Batman, and the joy they brought to younger fans at the con, was “narcissistic.” See, I would embrace my multiple art pieces within multiple fandoms and let them know that, yes, your Micronauts cosplay is fantastic–and let me tell you something from behind the scenes of that rip-roaring adventure book!
Listen, I get it, these are your opinions on a social media site. You are a bit old-school about your space in the comics industry as an artist. Cosplay has overtaken many parts of comic conventions, but it is not the only pull for fans. You may even think that cosplay goes overboard, a bit fanatical, maybe even childish–but I am sure the same could have been said about a man taking up a job drawing comic books for a living. You have your supporters, and I respect their positions as well, but they must be aware they are doing more harm than good to their bottom line. Fans have money, fans have their own creative juices. Fans do not passively consume popular texts that you draw–they associate with them, they want to be like them. Ronnie Raymond was and is still one of my favorite characters. The Fury of Firestorm is a really fun book, and I always loved his costume from that era. Barring lighting my head on fire, I would TOTALLY make a Firestorm costume based on your artwork. It rules, and as a fan I want you to know that. It would break my heart to hear that you wouldn’t show up to my local convention because you decided that cosplaying took up too much space at that particular event. It would suck to hear that.
As a fan you should also be aware that other formerly well-respected artists have written similar (if not worse) comments on cosplayers. You are not the only one with an ax to grind about the place of cosplay in comics culture. Yet, it is comments like yours that make all comic fans–not just cosplayers and not just closet comic connoisseurs, like myself–question if people in the comics industry dislike people in costume or just women with real life brains dressing up in costume and reading their comics. Reading comics in new and interesting ways. Finding a way to network with other fans and even, EVEN, finding a way to make a living through popular culture texts.
So, Mr. Broderick, I am happy you have returned to the comic book world. A lot has changed in the past few decades. It is a new environment filled with new comic book fans. I hope you learn to love them as much as I have.
Next Course: Feast On!
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Sean X. Ahern (VulgarGenius) is a graduate of the Popular Culture Department at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Claiming Kenilworth, New Jersey as his hometown, he has moved across the United States for most of his life, attempting to return to The Garden State. Likes: Hockey, Football, Devils, Giants, Chargers, Yankees, Superhero Comics, The Bouncing Souls. Dislikes: Basketball, Cowboys, Kings, Flyers, Rangers, Raiders, Temco Bowl Ronnie Lott, and the artistic works of Rob Liefeld. These are his musings.