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Dear Writers of “The Girls’ Guide to Comic-Con”

June 15, 2009

Dear Writers of “The Girls’ Guide to Comic-Con,”

I was pointed in the direction of your article by a friend on Twitter, and just have a few comments: I’m a girl. Have been all my life. I’m also a geek. Please note that these two things are not mutually exclusive. The declaration that ‘Comic-Con is not just for nerdy boys anymore’ isn’t exactly a newsflash, and kind of ticks me off. More than 125,000 people attended Comic-Con last year – it’s a pretty safe bet that they weren’t all male. Hm, how do I make this clear? The girls who go to Comic-Con already know what they’re going for, even the first-timers, so you don’t have to reassure them that, in the event they wandered in on accident, there will be plenty for them to lust over.

Girls can be nerds too. Nerds, dorks, geeks, losers, whatever you want to call us, we exist, and moreover, we’ve existed for a while. Please stop pretending you’ve suddenly discovered our demographic. Not only has that note been played before, your article shows that you don’t actually understand what our demographic is.

Girls who go to Comic-Con don’t just go for the man-flesh. It’s certainly on the menu, but most, if not all, of us are interested in doing more than ogling the meat. If we’re going to shell out a couple hundred dollars on tickets, hotels, transportation, and food, then we’re going to want our money’s worth.

I can’t decide what amazes me more, that the LA Times is posting articles better suited to Entertainment Weekly, or that one of the women writing this article suggested that girls would flock to the Prince of Persia panel, begging to do laundry on Jake Gyllenhaal’s washboard abs. Seriously? Who doesn’t have a washing machine these days? I also love how she manages to quote Brokeback Mountain, but doesn’t bother to consider that gay men would be just as willing to do Gyllenhaal’s laundry. On his abs. Which I’m sure he’ll have on display during the panel.  Hey, you know who else is in that movie that I’d go to see long before I ever stood in line for Jake Gyllenhaal? Richard Coyle. He was on Coupling, and he was hilarious. Probably doesn’t have washboard abs, though, so forget him.

Then there’s the Twilight sequel. Thank you for at least acknowledging the fact that “it’s not all just about the influx of squealing “Twilight” girls, either.” Except that when I got to the blurb about New Moon, I learned that apparently the panel’s on every girl’s to-do list because Edward and Jacob are shirtless in the movie. Not because they’ll be shirtless during the panel. Or even that they’ll both be there. While I’m sure a number of enterprising tweens will flock to the panel, they don’t generally have the disposable income to swing the whole weekend, so I have to assume that there will be some people lining up outside Hall H because they liked the books, not because the actors portraying the sparkly vampire and the pedophiliac werewolf are going to be partly naked at some future point in time.

Speaking of book adaptations, while I don’t have high hopes for the movie myself, I’m really impressed at how one writer managed to condense all the complexity of The Time  Traveler’s Wife into a sappy romance. “Hapless conflict” indeed. I’m surprised she didn’t mention the fact that Eric Bana will spend much of the movie naked. Forget the fact that this film is based off of a best-selling novel. Forget questions we may have over the adaptation of a story about time-travel told in non-linear format. Girls could only be interested in the schmaltz between Eric Bana and “the wife.”

Could the people who wrote this article please give us some credit? I would not go to a panel on a Quentin Tarantino Nazi-scalping movie just because Brad Pitt’s in it. Especially when he’s got a stupid mustache and is supposed to be playing a Jew.  Some women like the way Tarantino makes movies.  Others don’t, and no amount of Brad Pitt is going to change that. It’s the same for men, you know.

This is a good one: “‘Alice in Wonderland’ alone would be a draw for many girls.” Why, exactly? Oh, because it’s a metaphor for a drug trip?  Or maybe because we spend so much of our time drinking tea with crazy people and playing croquet with hedgehogs. I get it, because it’s about a girl named Alice, right?

Adding to that indefinable allure is “quirky hotness” of Johnny Depp, which supposedly seals the deal for girls.  Yes, I know all about the pirate mania post-Caribbean. The likelihood of him showing up to Comic-Con? Slim. And if he did, why is it reasonable to assume that women would go just because he’s ‘quirky hot’? How about because he’s an Academy-Award nominated actor? How about because Alice in Wonderland is a Tim Burton film, and we love what he did with Sweeney Todd. Remember, that musical about the serial killer whose girlfriend baked his victims into pie? I wouldn’t call Depp hot in that one.

The endorsement of The Wolfman really threw me. While I agree with the sentiment of the blurb (I am so sick of vampires!) I don’t get why the remake is supposed to appeal to girls. If we go to this panel are we going to meet the werewolf of our dreams who will buy us flowers and chocolate once a month and then get out of our hair while he does his own wolfy thing?

It’s really insulting to be told that the only panels I, as a girl, could be interested in are the ones with beefcake. One of the writers actually implies that the reason to go to a panel on the adaptation of a beloved children’s classic is Mark Ruffalo. Nothing against Ruffalo, whose performances I usually enjoy, but I don’t think I’d call him “delish.” If I went to a panel on Where the Wild Things Are, it would be because I was interested in how they turned a picture book into a film. Those sorts of things interest me, you see, because I am a geek. I delight in finding Easter Eggs about the making of on Lost DVDs, not pictures of Josh Holloway in swim trunks.

Though let it not be said that the article focused solely on the pretty boys – apparently the “luscious-lipped holiness” that is Angelina Jolie (excuse me while I throw up a bit in my mouth) is an attraction for the ladies. The description of her movie Salt doesn’t even sound like something that would make it to Comic-Con.

There is an awful lot of use of the phrase “eye-candy” in this article. My personal favorite euphemism, though, has to be “hunky goodness.” Now, I know plenty of people who think Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are sex on a stick, but you know what? They also think Supernatural is a great show, well written and well acted, avoiding the pitfalls of other shows in its genre by staying true to the characters. That’s why geek girls go to the Supernatural panel. It doesn’t hurt that the boys are hilarious in person and genuinely nice guys.

Battlestar Galactica taught us that there are girls galore watching sci-fi.” No, I don’t think it did, because if it did, you wouldn’t feel the need to suggest that the reason Caprica will appeal to girls is because it’s “Dynasty in space.”  What about my beefcake fix, damn it? Well, I shouldn’t worry, because I can always slip into the panel on G.I. Joe – which I would otherwise avoid – to drool over Channing Tatum, former underwear model.

Excuse me? If I were tempted to see G.I. Joe (which I’m not, because I want Hollywood to stop raping my childhood), it would be for Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Christopher Eccleston (the Ninth Doctor!), men who can actually act.

And then finally we come to the “Girls Who Kick Butt” panels, in case we were wondering where they were. Apparently, the only ass-kicking females of note are Echo from Dollhouse and Sarah from Chuck. While I love Eliza Dushku, I would go to the Dollhouse panel for Joss Whedon, period, full stop, end of story, and not because I think he’s hot, but because I think he’s a genius and I want to simply stand in his presence. Sarah is indeed a kicker of asses, but the reason I’d go to a panel on Chuck? Chuck, a.k.a. Zachary Levi. Also because I love the show and love to hear what goes on behind the scenes, and because last time I went, I got a free t-shirt.

The swag – how could you forget to mention the swag? Oodles of free goodies just tossed right into your waiting arms. Couldn’t you make some inane observation about all the possible shopping to do in the Exhibition Hall? What about all the anime featuring extremely feminine men? Or the comic book heroes that are just waiting for their turns in the movies. Has anyone who contributed to this article actually been to Comic-Con?

The most egregious error in your girl guide, however, is the complete absence of information on how to land one of these marlins. If I’m vying with every other woman for Jake Gyllenhaal’s washboard abs, how am I supposed to compete? I mean, have you ever been in the middle of a geek girl debate of Heroes and The 4400? It’s very irresponsible to set up so many women for heartache without supplying at least a few suggestions for  leaving San Diego with an engagement ring. You can’t possibly expect me to look at all those studmuffins and go home empty-handed, can you?


Hollywood Jane

P.S. While not technically incorrect, I believe you put the apostrophe in the wrong place, unless you meant for the guide to apply to groups of girls, as opposed to girls as individuals, in which case, my bad.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2009 7:45 pm


  2. stephanie permalink
    June 16, 2009 6:40 am

    Definitely up to your usual standards!

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