This Just In From the Comics Industry: Privileged White Guy Opens Mouth; Stupid Shit About Women Dribbles Out
Well this is unprecedented! A privileged white guy who makes his living drawing comics has some opinions about ladies, and it is that their lady-bits are a sexy trap he will not fall into no matter how much you slutty sirens flaunt your bodies, no sir!
Tony Harris is a five-time Eisner Award winner for his work illustrating comic books (four of them for covers), which, for those of you that don’t do the whole comics thing, makes him roughly equivalent to a second-round draft pick outfielder. Not a household name, but dedicated comics fans are going to nod and go, “yeah, that guy.”
So it got people’s attention when he went on Ye Olde Booke of Face with this thoughtful discussion of comic convention culture:
I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT”. Well not by my estimation, but according to a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together. Well not just me. We are LEGION. And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up.
Boy oh boy, we can tell he’s an artist and not a writer, amirite? HEYO! But star power means people read your words even if they have to kinda squint around the creatively-used punctuation to do it, and surprisingly enough some people were upset by this language! Some of them even voiced their concerns, on the Twitter machine and on that very Facebook post, and Mr. Harris was good enough to reply with a well-thought clarifying statement:
So I guess I broke the Internet in half today . Lots of interesting commentary, to say the very least. Didn’t realize that many people would care about one guys opinion. Also extremely savaged and humbled by the vicious response that went so far beyond any reason whatsoever, with personal attacks on my family, my sexual history, and accusations of advances being rebuffed cosplayers, which has never ever happened. My candor and my delivery of most things can be and usually is quite blunt. Can’t help who I am, but what I’m not, and never have been is a misogynist or sexist or any number of things I was called. I have the utmost respect for all the women in my life from my mother, my sister, motherinlaw, my wife and wonderful 2 daughters. This is my final word on the subject so move on. I won’t address it again.
Oh wait no, that was not well-thought at all. That was just doubling down on the same privilege-to-objectify garbage you said already, Mr. Harris! But it is okay because he has a wife and daughters you guys. He respects them, so you shouldn’t hold his opinion of any other women against him. Maybe he will stop talking before…oh, no, wait, too late:
So heres my follow up commentary. Tried to “engage” my detractors on Twitter. Big mistake. Not gonna backpeddle. Not one step. I tried to be clear at the beginning by saying I know there are legit Cosplayers who know the material and love it. So if you wanna gloss over that and accuse my statements as being all inclusive of Cosplay, then blow me. See, this is why I posted this HERE, on MY page. You dont like it? Leave. Dont threaten to stop buying my work, because Im sure most of you who threw that gauntlet down, never did to begin with. Good riddance. Hey all you self righteous f-ck-faces out there who are spewing even MORE hatred at me, than you accused me of spewing. pfffft. Really, thats how you come at me? Once you have moved on to hate on someone else….Good Riddance. But the one thing I HAVE to address is the use of the word MISOGYNY. So I am a Misogynist? Why? Because I frown upon Posers who are sad, needy fakers who use up all my air at Cons? Sorry, while you Cos”Play” Im actually at work. Thats my office. F–k you. I actually dont hate women, I dont fear them either. Nor do I mistrust them. I do not portray or Objectify half naked women in my work. I never have. I have always been VERY vocal about my dislike of that practice, and that my view is and has been that T&A in comics is a Pox. If you wanna come at me with accusations of Misogyny and sexism, youll be wrong. I think there are several Hundred “PRos” I could rattle off that are doing a fine job of perpetuating that crap without ANY help from me. Its not helping to further our industry. Hey haters, Im not sad, lonely, stupid, uneducated, gay, nor do I wear Assess for a Hat. Im not a Sexist, and have been very vocal about the fact that its a GOOD thing to see so many female fans at shows, and I treat them with the same kindness and respect as I do ANY male fan I meet. I guess the one mistake I made in my original post was that I excluded Men. Let me rectify that… SOME of you MEN, are as bad as SOME of the Women Cosplayers, I talked about earlier. There. Oh and to all of you guys who are my friends, and pros who I work with, dont go and try and defend me or anything I wrote. Youll just get sh-t on. Thanks though. And lastly, Bleeding Cool, and Rich Johnston are Sh-thead, scumbags, and this isnt the first time his camp has come after me. F–ck you Rich.
Let me just be clear here. It does not matter what issue you are talking about; it does not matter what industry you are in. It does not even particularly matter what interactions or events or anecdotes you, personally, have observed that have shaped your opinion. If you are a straight, white, cis-gendered male, and you feel the need to use any of these phrases in your written communications, you have already cocked it up:
- “I’m not going to apologize”
- “you guys,” “you people,” etc.
- the word “boobs”
- “just doing it to get attention” (or paraphrases thereof)
- any reference to body weight or physical attractiveness, esp. re: women
- “I’m not a [racist/misogynist/homophome/etc.]”
- self-description involving words like “blunt,” “candid,” etc., esp. when prefaced with “I’m just”
- any declarative statement about someone else’s thought process or internal motivation
There are not exceptions here. If you’re saying these things you are being an asshole. You are probably even into the “being an asshole about my right to be an asshole” stage.
And you know what? This is America. You do, in fact, have a right to be an asshole, and no one is going to take that away from you. But you should probably get used to being called an asshole.
You’d think someone who feels entitled to call broad swaths of imaginary women “quasi-pretty-not-hot,” “pathetic,” “preying,” and lots of other fun words would be a little more thick-skinned when people say not-nice things about him, wouldn’t you? I guess that is a game that only Mr. Tony Harris is allowed to play.
Editor’s Note: There have been some amazing, positive, constructive responses to Mr. Harris’s comments, most notably comic writer Gail Simone‘s impromptu declaration that yesterday was “Cosplayer Appreciation Day.” Many other blogs have also written valuable, thoughtful, and supportive discussions of how to make conventions and modern culture in general more accepting and less inherently biased against women and minorities.
Market research shows that most people come here for their daily dose of schadenfreude and petty spite, so we didn’t go with that angle. But it’s totally the right and mature way to deal with bullies like Mr. Harris. Kudos.