San Diego ComicCon (aka the big one) was this past weekend. And I was recently thinking about the cultural significance of geek culture as a unifier. Sure, everyone has their favorites – and of course there is the never-ending battle between DC vs. Marvel – but I think that our subculture lends itself to more…
You see, ComicCon, both the International ComicCon in San Diego and the local/regional events, are more than just for buying collectors items and getting autographs. They are more than cosplay and superheroes… Whether you are into comic books, graphic novels, manga, adult swim, Archer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, RPG, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, various fandoms, or World of Warcraft – ComicCon has a little something for everyone. There are panels with artists and actors, directors, and writers. And the coolest thing is, I’ve never heard of gay-bashing or hate crimes or fights or violence happening at one of these events.
And yes, there have been HUGE issues of sexism and racism in this community and in adjunct communities (GamerGate). However, it appears that the leaders in this massive industry realize that there is more diversity amongst fans. In fact, there always has been. Batwoman is a Jewish Lesbian. The new Ms. Marvel is a Muslim teenager. Harley Quinn is no longer an abused side-kick to the Joker, but her own incredibly badass anti-hero vigilante character, much like The Punisher or Deadpool*.
Anyway, I think that more credit needs to be given to the creators, actors, and people behind the scenes of these conventions. They put thousands of people who would otherwise possibly never interact in the same space to share their mutual love of fictional characters, intense plot lines, and the synergy of visual and literary art.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go work on my cosplay for the convention I will be attending next weekend!
* Side Note: I know everyone “ships” Harley and Deadpool in fanfiction, but I really think a Harley/Punisher fanfiction would be AMAZING.