Valerie D’Orazio makes some excellent points over at her blog.
Truly, my heart weeps for those fanboys inconvenienced by 1,000s of Robert Pattinson fans. It is so unfair. And they’re “not even really supposed to be there,” right?
Where was this whining when people were going freakin nuts over “Watchmen?” Or when I couldn’t even get through the fanboy phalanx to meet up with friends because of the Hellboy roadblock?
Fandom and conventions are big enough for EVERYBODY. And instead of complaining about “Twilight” fans, maybe somebody should figure out how to get these legions of fangirls to buy more comics.
Seriously. The headline she links–”Female Fans Prepare to Trample Men“–is hilariously ironic because it reflects perfectly the fear in so many articles. The implication that ZOMG WOMEN ATTACK is just so darn Freudian it’s hard for me to unpack it without giggling.
I’m a female fangirl. I have been for years. And I’ve absolutely been trampled at cons–and punk rock shows, and even sporting events, all areas with typical male fan bases that certainly didn’t seem to think anything shocking about being in a room with hundreds of boys and a few girls.
I came to comics through a subculture that, if it had existed back in the day, would certainly have embraced Twilight. As a somewhat overeducated adult, I read the books and saw the movie and thoroughly enjoyed both, if occasionally with the very adult pleasure of laughing at all the wrong moments. I both defend the right to have something like Twilight that is so unabashedly girly that it inspires tons of squealing girls to unload at Comic-Con just for its panel, and despise the tendency to split fandom into two worlds: the comics are for boys, the sparkly vampires are for girls.
Leaving out for a moment the teenage boy sitting next to me at a subway stop reading New Moon on his iPhone (yes, I can recognize the story from a glimpse over his shoulder. What?), why the heck can’t we admit that comic cons were packed full of people fighting for seats before Twilight was thought of, that Hollywood has been trying to find ways to tap into the zealous–and zealously consumerist, willing to buy tons of movie-related merch–comic con audience for a good while now, and that the only thing different when it’s Twilight is that the fans are teenage girls (and their moms, the fear of whom brings up a whole other level of Freudian analysis that I’m REALLY not qualified to do).
So really. Do these guys need to keep Comic-Con a He-Man Woman Hater’s Club that badly, or can they learn to embrace the girls and cross that invisible line between Twilight fans and comic fans? Because who knows, maybe if they dropped the defensive act and realized that more girls in their fandom does not mean less stuff for them, that pop culture is not a finite commodity, maybe more girls WOULD buy comics. And far from that being a problem, it would create more money for comics creators, and thus…MORE COMICS FOR ALL. Win-win.