Recently, we asked people in the cosplaying community about what is difficult about cosplaying and we received many answers that showed the realities of cosplaying. Since many cosplay inspirations come from comic books, we also reached out to comic fans (some who cosplay as well) and asked them what they feel are the biggest difficulties of being a fan of that medium these days.
We got a lot of varied answers — from toxic fandoms to income and everything in between. Still, all of the answers are valid and relatable to many of us.
Matthew O: Having to explain to people that comics aren’t at all this childish thing that you think it is, and having to explain the crazy sh** in comics to people who don’t read them.
Marc L: When you’re trying to cut down your pull list during a budget crunch and deciding which books to cull.
Kayode K: Keeping [sensitive discussions] civil…
Brian L: Having former or closet fans come out of the woodwork once they find out you know about comics, looking for recommendations; or if you wouldn’t mind spending your weekend “appraising” their collection of 90’s dollar stock.
Nikki A.: Being a girl. I still get looked at like I have 2 heads when I browse the comic book/graphic novel section at Barnes & Noble. The local shop here is closed by the time I can get there.
Stephanie H.: Keeping up with all the books I want to read, and all the books coming out that I don’t know about yet but would probably love. Not to mention all the old series I haven’t read that I want to, other books by fave creators that I want to check out, etc.
Osei O.: Crossover events that change everything then wind up causing things to be restored to the status quo.
Justine G.: Definitely being a girl. I’m tired of being quizzed every time someone finds out I like and read comics. I shouldn’t have to pass an exam to prove I’m a fan of something, especially when no one else has to.
Tony O.: Looking at women drawn on covers in a very misogynistic way a’la J Scott Campbell and Frank Cho and Greg Horn. (But I like Greg Horn… – Harry)
Liam S.: [Finding] storage for nearly 200,000 individual issues.
Amanda B: Dealing with the sexism and seeing that some artists still draw women with balloon boobs. Also, the spoilers. If you don’t read a major title the second it’s out someone spoils it on a comic website or on social media. Super annoying.
Vincent E.: Sh**ty artists, bad writing and inconsistency. Too many titles for one character or team. Lots of things bother me personally. But, it saves me money so I don’t mind. It means I can put my money elsewhere when I want to.
William C.: Casuals that think they know comics because they saw the films.
Edward B.: Guys who actually never read comic books telling me about their theories based on popular superhero movies.After reading comic books since 1974 & listening to some dude tell me about the box office and not knowing a thing about comic book history is more than I can take.
Joseph F.: The hardest part of being a fan over the years, not being able to have shaked [sic] the hand of some of the creators, and say thank you for all the wonderful stories and art. So many talented people.
John C.: Other comic book fans. We’re all so overly critical of anything we don’t like but don’t you dare criticize anything we do like! We are a f**king exhausting bunch.
Jason P.: The manipulation of grading in price negotiations and returns.
Mike G.: Honestly, dealing with the fanboys. Not other readers in general but the fanboys who get their stained undies in a bundle because Thor is a female, or so and so is non-white, or anything that doesn’t fit in the nice traditional box.
Ivy K.: I’ve been called a fake geek girl. Told I only got into comic to get a man. Or maybe I’m a chick that is gay.
Stephanie K.: I think the hardest part was actually getting into it and being around those people that had been in it for years. I see it with my son. If you don’t know every nuance of a character because you just haven’t read it yet or you didn’t understand, people can be judgmental. That’s the only judgement I’ve ever seen in this community, but…
Donny M.: All the incivility in the industry today, both with creators and fans. Some things tend to be too aggressive for my liking as well.
Frank S.: Personally, I always hated the convention mark-ups.
Juan O.: When you have no self-control so you’re reading close to 20 titles but you can’t afford to read 20 titles so they get backed up in your pull list and your LCS owner starts getting pissy about it and you feel bad and the anxiety builds up.
Israel R.: Hardly any Mexican heroes.
Ronnie M.: The inability to enjoy them like I used to, getting used to awful writing and art, 30-part crossover stories that go nowhere, the 4 bucks a pop or more for each comic… But most of all, trying to understand how the industry has changed from telling a story through artwork to the change over of collecting variant covers instead of actual stories.
As you can see, fans have so much to say about the industry. There are so many opinions out there as to what makes fandom hard. Some are personal, others are what industry executives should pay attention to. As they say though, if you really don’t like what you are reading, vote with your dollars. Otherwise, if you enjoy the hobby, get out there. Meet creators, get books signed, take pictures, etc. Show your support for what you DO like and creators will continue to make them.