Come on, people. I thought we had settled whether or not cosplayers were fans of the source material, and whether or not that mattered (for the record, the answers are "usually" and "no").
Back in October, Bleeding Cool posted an article about Pat Broderick returning to comics. Pat is an artist who worked for Marvel and DC in the 70s and 80s. Yesterday, they posted another article about a brief rant Mr. Broderick had posted on his Facebook page.
He expresses a dislike for cosplayers, stating specifically, "You bring nothing of value to the shows."
I had mentally filed it away as just another "get off my lawn" moment until I discovered that other artists felt the same way. The arguments are as old as comic conventions themselves: Cosplayers are there for attention. Cosplayers are scammers. Cosplayers don't buy anything at conventions. Cosplayers don't know the source material.
Guess what? That shouldn't matter to you. Comic book conventions don't exist for you to sell your shit. Well, not exclusively. They exist to get people excited about comic books and related media. When people get excited, they buy your shit.
What makes cosplayers happy is dressing up and going to conventions. Seeing cosplayers makes me (and many others, I suspect) happy. On occasion, we will buy your shit.
I'd like to reiterate that the previously stated arguments are pretty weak. Let's look at some scenarios.
If a cosplayer is a huge fan of a character, that's great. It's a complement to the whole team who created and built that character.
If a cosplayer is not a fan of a character's stories, but likes their look, that's great. It's a complement to the artist who designed a compelling costume.
If a cosplayer is good at making costumes and wants to get paid to pose with people, that's great. They are using their art to make money at a comic convention, which is exactly what every creator is doing there.
If a cosplayer is too busy enjoying their time at the convention (and, incidentally, entertaining others) to stop and buy your shit, and this upsets you, you need to get over yourself.
We all go to conventions to indulge in our geeky desires. We're all brothers and sisters joined by our mutual interests. We all have little joys that bring us to conventions. Whether they be commissioning art, completing a comic collection, buying action figures, attending panels, or dressing in a costume, they are all valid reasons to attend.
I'm really sorry you're not making as much money at conventions as you would like, but the cosplayers aren't to blame for that. And they certainly aren't ruining conventions.
Cosplayers are awesome. You know, I should have just said that instead.