So there's been many articles and statements come out from and about Comic book authors/creators and their dislike of cosplayers.
One of the biggest thing that bugs me about some of the things were said is blaming cosplayers for profit loss and the comic book creators not getting recognized.
If your products aren't selling, that's your fault. You're obviously not marketing your products well enough, even if it feels like you are. Media is so huge, so many things are popular, so it's going to be a lot harder to bring attention to these things that used to be incredibly popular but have since died out a little (or have never been/are new). Revamp it, jump on different marketing strategy band wagons, make yourself relevant and important to mainstream media.
As for the recognition part. Really, you just need to sell yourself better. I am going to hate myself for this example, but look at Kim Kardashian. Whether you love her or hate her she keeps herself in the spotlight, maybe not always in the best light, but still in the spotlight. She keeps her self relevant and knows how to draw attention, making her a household name. If you're really that desperate for recognition learn how to sell yourself, use the media and social sites.
To be honest though, there are plenty of readers and fans who don't really care to learn much about or even who the author/creator is. There's a good portion who just read and enjoy the story and don't bother with all the "little" details. Example; there's a lot of people who are fans of the Marvel movies, but that's about it. They like the movies, the superheros but don't bother with the comics or the writers because they just want enjoy the "entertainment part".
I understand, you have to share the spotlight now with people who were once just fans. Yeah it's difficult to adapt to. But things change and either you learn to stay relevant, open-minded and change with it or you simply get left behind --life isn't meant to be fair or stagnant.
Another honesty thing here: there is a lot of people (both non-cosplayers and cosplayers) who just don't care to meet anyone at conventions. Guilty! Yes I don't really bother with meeting any of these guests at cons and if that was all cons were, I probably wouldn't care to go. But they're not, cons are so much more than they used to be and it's a good thing. It brings in a bigger crowd and allows for this community that was once shunned and frowned upon to grow and let people become more open-minded to it. Cosplay gives fans a chance to be apart of the action and enjoy the con (and character/comic) in a different way, instead of just being another guest (which some people are happy with that, and that's okay). Cosplay is an art form though, and it allows so many people to mix two things they're passionate about (a fandom and art form) into one.
Side note: Why do I (and possibly others) not care to meet guests? Because waiting in those lines just isn't as fun and would be much less fun, for me personally, in everyday clothes. Now, I will try to meet people who are my favorite voice actor, illustrator, animator, etc etc... But I don't try to meet everyone from anything and everything I'm a fan of. I'd rather meet other fans, look around the dealer room, interact with other cosplayers and go to different panels. Like, I really don't want to pay the couple hundred (ticket + hotel room prices) it takes to be there to just stand in a line for the whole weekend to get a picture and autograph with and meet a guest for about 30 seconds.
Here's a good tip for you (the authors); instead of fighting against cosplayers, how about working with them. Think of how YouTubers do collaboration videos to boost up their own fanbase/views. Work with cosplayers. Example: companies in the past have hired cosplayers for promotional gigs. Try befriending some and interacting more with the ones who cosplay characters from your comics. They're obviously a big fan.
And if they're not, well this is my next topic:
One said something about getting angry after a cosplayer mentioned that they wanted to cosplay a character they didn't know much about because they enjoyed the design and it was relevant.
First lets note: cosplayers cosplay certain characters for a lot of different reasons and it's not always because they're a fan. Sometimes they just love the outfit, sometimes it was something easy and affordable, other times it's something someone else suggest or requested and so many more. That's okay. Yes I said it, it is okay to cosplay a character for a reason other than you're a fan. Gasp, I know.
Alright, so what the author/artist decided to do after being told that by the cosplay was throw him out of his booth/panel.
That is the worst decision you could have made. You had the chance to educate him on the characters/comic, and gain a new fan and consumer but instead you risked turning him off to this entire community and made yourself look like an ass. Congratulations.
Now here's a better option you could have went with, especially since you're so worried about profit margins: Told him more about the character. Offered him merchandise, comics, draw him in and try to sell him products. Even if he didn't buy it right there and then you could have told him where your products could be found elsewhere --like online. How hard would that have been, you would've had a new fan/consumer and the guy would've probably became an even bigger/loyal fan with how much effort he felt you put into the conversation--even if it's a short one.
And this brings us to our next topic: Cosplayers don't buy anything. Or at least someone stated at their booths cosplayers are usually the ones to just look but never buy.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: they buy things later, when not in cosplay. GASP! Yes, they actually dress like normal people at some point during the convention, shocking! Don't believe me? I'll explain why and how this works as simply as possible:
Cosplays are heavy. There's usually not a lot of room to put something as small as a cellphone and wallet, let alone figurines, books or swords. Why not carry a bag? Because unless you've customize it--and sometimes even then--it can take away from the cosplay, and you don't always (or even anytime) put down your bag in a crowded hall every time someone wants a picture --which can happen a lot, like every other second, or you're standing there for a few minutes at a time. People work hard on their cosplays, like it to be as accurate as possible, look good and don't want to lug around extra baggage. Also, some cosplayers have giant props taking up both hands, making the cosplay really heavy --they don't need the extra weight.
So here's what they do instead. They wear their cosplay happily around all day or a few days and either for a part of everyday or one or two days out of the convention they don't wear it. They put on their everyday clothes and those things they were looking at earlier when you got mad because "cosplayers don't buy anything", they go and buy them.
Alright, so what if they don't buy them. They spent all their money making the cosplays. Yeah, okay, that happens. But they also spent all their money in order to go to the convention --they aren't cheap, and only getting more expensive. It doesn't mean they won't buy any of your products ever. In fact, a lot of people (both cosplayers and non-cosplayers) don't buy anything at cons. They'll look around, find what they like and later look it up online. Why? Because some booths like to bump up their prices at conventions, it's much easier to find it at stores back home or online for a better price. Don't over price items just because you're at a convention (like those nearby food places, darn them) and try giving out business cards to those who are just looking so they know where to find you if they can't afford to buy anything right then.
At the end of this all, cosplayers aren't what is bringing down your business. It's your inability to adapt and bluntly put, asshole-like attitude that is. Things are changing. Things are always going to change, in every aspect of life, and there's nothing you or anyone can do to stop it. It's just how life works. So adapt to it and learn to use it as an advantage instead of letting it be your downfall. If you didn't look at it all in such a negative and bitter way, placing all the blame on everyone but yourself, maybe you wouldn't have this problem. So try and learn some better marketing skills (and communication skills), work with your fans instead of attacking them, and keep yourself ever-adapting and relevant, and maybe you'll end up doing just fine... And you'll have to hope that what's a big part of the community, can forgive your ever-so-salty comments.
~Positive outcomes only :)
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