From Mav: Next weekend, Wayne and I will be returning to MAC Charity Con at Mt. Aloysius College in Pennsylvania to tape a live show (I’ll also be doing a solo talk there about the male gaze and how superhero and fantasy costumes are depicted… that’s right… we’re going to talk boob armor!). First of all, if you’re in the area, definitely come on out. It’s usually a really fun time. But besides that, we, as always, need your thoughts on the topic. And this time the topic is exploring something that just came to mind with the theme of this year’s convention. See, the theme this year is “fantasy.” Of course, like all comic cons, the theme doesn’t matter THAT much. There will be stuff about fantasy focused on sure, but there’s also going to be superheroes and sci-fi and all the other geeky stuff that always goes together. Except, why do those things go together?
Ever since the age of pulp magazines, we sort of generically link fantasy and science fiction (and superheroes which grew out of that tradition) together. But honestly, Conan the Barbarian has nothing to do with Star Wars or Spider-man in any notable way. Why do we think of stuff like Game of Thrones in relationship to something like Battlestar Galactica? And if it really is just based in the same pulp-magazine origins, why don’t we include all the other stuff that was in pulp magazines? Stuff like detective stories, cowboy stories, and romance? Those were pretty popular. Also horror… which some people include and some don’t? What makes different aspects of culture fit in the same bucket? And what else is in the bucket with them?