This weekend I was thrilled to see an email sitting in my inbox, Boston Comic Con 2015–Tickets Now On Sale! I had so much fun at last year’s show, my mind was already imagining the con floor and jumping ahead to potential cosplay options. I clicked to read more and my excitement quickly evaporated.
Ogling faces, a naked lady silhouette and Deadpool stared back at me. The header image that Boston Comic Con chose to add to their announcement made me instantly cross. I’ve been to Boston Comic Con and I’ve seen men, women and families enjoying the show. I’d never thought of Boston Comic Con as being particularly male-fan focused, but at that moment, as I peered at the image, I wondered who this email was catering to.
It certainly wasn’t as bad as Capital City Comic Con’s misstep last year, using a close up image of Power Girl’s chest with the slogan “Everything is BIGGER in Austin” on fliers.
Nor was it as troubling as Toronto ComiCON came under fire last year for its “cuddle a cosplayer” campaign, inadvertently encouraged touching a cosplayer without first asking permission.
But the little things do add up.
Do I really feel like Boston Comic Con doesn’t want me to attend? No. Will it stop me from attending? Probably not. I’m more concerned about new-to-comics fans who don’t know what to expect and making cons feel like open spaces for all. I hope this reminds convention organizer to pause and think a bit on how their marketing materials can be perceived by their entire audience.