It makes me angry that I have to do this, but I’m going to do it anyway. Last week at Denver Comic Con, I went to a panel on women and body image in comics that I had very high hopes for. It was modded by the same woman who’d modded the very excellent Geek Girl panel earlier that day, and had two of the same panelists, but it was absolutely ruined by the actions of one man. I forgot his name because, quite honestly, I started calling him Douchey McFuckface about two minutes into the panel, but I got it from the mod through Twitter. It’s Andrew Mark of Legacy Action Comics, and his Twitter can be found here at https://twitter.com/LegacyAC. I would not normally do this, but this man, over the course of the panel:
*Asked the audience who thought women in comics were objectified, and when the entire audience raised their hands, said “Are you fucking stupid?”
*Justified the hypersexualized portrayal of women in comic books with “Artists just draw what writers give them, it’s the writer’s fault”
*Cut off a professor of media studies in mid-sentence when she tried to point out that yes, there is a connection between media and body image
*Insisted that men and women were equally objectified in comics because Superman has underwear on the outside of his costume
*Interrupted an audience member who was asking a question to talk about how “fucking hilarious” the Hawkeye Initiative is after it was explained by another audience member
*Browsed on his phone during the panel, ignoring audience questions entirely
*When I tried to explain the difference between attraction and objectification, responded by saying inequalities in objectification were clearly women’s fault, because women need to objectify men more
*Glared at and refused to answer an audience member after he tried to defend not drawing muscles on women by saying “we don’t have time for that” and she quite reasonably asked why, then, he had time to draw muscles on men
*Asked the audience if they “know comics aren’t real, right?”
*And, as a capper, used the phrase “twinks” as a homophobic slur at the end of the panel
I have probably been to forty panels at five different cons now, and I have never witnessed a panelist being so actively cruel, rude, and downright unprofessional during a panel. It’s sad because Legacy Action Comics is the kind of small local venture I would normally like to support, but given his behavior, I want everyone to know exactly how unprofessional and misogynistic this man is. At the panel, they openly chastised the audience and essentially told them that the continuing portrayal of skimpily clothed women in comics was their fault, because they “didn’t do anything about it” and “money talks.” Well, I’m doing something about it, and I hope money does talk. If anyone has bought/heard of Legacy Action comics, please don’t buy from them any more-I know I don’t want my money going to support someone who thinks these behaviors and attitudes are acceptable, and I hope you don’t want yours going their either. It’s sad because Legacy Action Comics is, by all appearances, the kind of small, local business I would normally go out of my way to support, but through his boorish and misogynistic behavior, Andrew Mark absolutely shot that in the foot.
I will probably be posting some more of the arguments I heard at this panel, and dissecting their fallaciousness, later, but for now I just wanted to get this out there and let people know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and (hopefully) will not be tolerated by the geek community.
What a f-ing asshole (and bringing nothing new but old trolly strawman arguments we’ve all heard before) >:\ I hope he doesn’t get invited to any more panels. Even if they don’t care about his sexism and homophobia (and I hope every future con does), he also sounds like a horrible guest in general. He wasn’t interested in a discussion, he just wanted to shut everybody up, and make the whole issue go away. I hope Legacy Action Comics also pays attention to how he’s making their business look to potential customers, because he was there representing them.
what a fuckwit. oh here’s his douchefuck non apology.
this painfully sad comment by the woman who organised the panel makes me simultaneously rage and despair.