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Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom

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2018-07-24 Daily Advertiser.jpg


Geekdom still fun thanks to a lot of funny women

SAN DIEGO - Comic-Con is the Super Bowl of superheroes, the Triple Crown of geekdom, the World Cup of nerdery where fans of, well, most everything turn out to immerse themselves in four days of pop-culture madness.

The entertainment world is much different than it was a decade ago, back when "Twilight" was a juggernaut and there was no such thing as an official Marvel Cinematic Universe. Toxic fandom has infected a lot of what geeks love and I wondered if it would make what is a haven for like-minded people instead a huge downer.

As it turned out, it wasn't Superman or Spider-Man but a bunch of wonder women who saved the day.

Negativity has reared an ugly head on social media as what once used to be niche has gone mainstream. People yell at one another online about whether Luke Skywalker is really worthy of being Luke Skywalker anymore after turning his back on the good guys of the Resistance in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." As it has grown progressively worse, maybe people wouldn't want to spend as much time with their fellow nerds. I questioned with friends whether geek culture needed to die to live again.

Wednesday night, though, I knew Comic-Con would be just fine when the convention center floor was crowded enough that a Captain America cosplayer nailed me in the funny bone with his well-made shield. He didn't mean to, but that's Comic-Con.

While more than 125,000 attendees pack San Diego every year, it didn't feel as big this time. Marvel, "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones" stayed home, so the love was spread around.

A change has come: This year's Comic-Con was awesomely female. It was the first in the Time's Up and #MeToo era, and there was a sense the event should be a safe place more than ever for women and children.

There were more female hosts for the Hall H panels than in any year in my memory. Aisha Tyler was fantastic with the Warner Bros. extravaganza, while "Walking Dead" superfan Yvette Nicole Brown was a gem every time she showed up.

Jamie Lee Curtis honored the USA gymnastics victims at "Halloween." "Supergirl" is getting TV's first trans-gender superhero. But the queen of Comic-Con 2018 was Jodie Whittaker, the effervescent new star of "Doctor Who." She was a walking, talking, example of the genre world stripping off some pesky patriarchy.

Perhaps fandom isn't that broken. If we can convene in San Diego and brave long lines, celebrity weirdness and the occasional errant shield, Comic-Con - and nerds - might just be OK for a while.

Caption: "Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker broke barriers just by being herself.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Truitt, Brian (2018-07-24). Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom. The Daily Advertiser p. 4B.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Truitt, Brian. "Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom." The Daily Advertiser [add city] 2018-07-24, 4B. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Truitt, Brian. "Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom." The Daily Advertiser, edition, sec., 2018-07-24
  • Turabian: Truitt, Brian. "Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom." The Daily Advertiser, 2018-07-24, section, 4B edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom | url= | work=The Daily Advertiser | pages=4B | date=2018-07-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=13 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=13 June 2024}}</ref>
  • Title: Comic-Con an era of toxic fandom
  • Publication: The Daily Times
  • Date: 2018-07-24