The New York Comic Con is an harassment free zone

The New York Comic Con 2017 starts today. ReedPOP, the event’s organizers, have a strict rule about harassment. What is comic convention harassment? This is how it’s defined on their website:

  • Stalking
  • Intimidation
  • Offensive Verbal Comments
  • Physical Assault And/Or Battery
  • Harassing Or Non-Consensual Photography Or Recording
  • Sustained Disruption Of Panels, Signings, And Other Events
  • Bathroom Policing
  • Inappropriate Physical Contact
  • Unwelcome Physical Attention
  • Hate Symbols

I have never seen harassment at a comic convention

I’ve never seen harassment at a comic book convention, in that I’ve never seen any of the above take place. Then again, I haven’t been to a comic book convention in some time. Things may have changed a lot since the last time I went to one.

Also, I’ve never been to a comic convention B. Clay Moore, Isaac Goodhart, Kelly Thompson or Taylor Esposito were appearing. They are members of a super secret Facebook group for comic professionals and in the group, talked openly about wishing to visit violence on Richard C. Meyer, the man behind the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel.

B. Clay Moore wrote, “The last thing Meyer is going to do is get violent at a con. But I’d love to follow him around trying to goad him into throwing a punch.

In response, Taylor Esposito wrote, “I’d love to yell “one punch” after you level him.

One punch? Looks like Esposito and I like the same kind of anime.

Time and space

The best defense against anyone wishing you harm is time and space. Put as much time and space between you and the person wanting to do you harm. The last thing you want to do is stand your ground and square off against someone .

Fighting is hard work. It takes a lot of energy to fight someone. Again, the best thing to do is put as much distance between you and your assailant. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a comic con or a Walmart parking lot.

Richard C. Meyer doesn’t have anything to worry about. He’s a six-foot former Marine who’s fought in two desert wars.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel, you really ought to. You don’t know what you’re missing. He’s probably the least pretentious, the most down to earth person you could hope to meet. He made me interested in comics again, something I didn’t even know was possible.

Mark Waid, Baltimore Comic Con, and worthless harassment policies

Comic book writer Mark Waid posted this following call to action on his Facebook page:

For anyone attending this weekend’s (excellent) Baltimore Comic Con, I have an important request. There is a serial YouTube harasser named Richard C Meyer who I’m told may be attending as a fan. If anyone sees this gentleman or any of his friends, I need you to come find me and tell me immediately. Even if I’m on a panel, come up and interrupt.

Please circulate this request as widely as you possibly can through all your social media accounts. Fellow pros, tell each other. This is about attempting to lessen the harassment of women in comics, and it is important. Please spread the word. Thank you.

Talk about creating an unsafe environment.

The YouTube harasser Mark Waid is referring to is the person who maintains the Diversity & Comics channel. I had never heard of the channel until I first read about Mark Waid’s call for stalking at the Baltimore Comic Con. Contrary to what Mark Waid says, the guy is not a harasser, serial or otherwise. He just talks about comic books in a pleasant, unpretentious, and upbeat tone. I watched a couple of his videos and I then subscribed. I recommend his channel to anyone with an interest in comic books. I recommend his channel to anyone who is unhappy with the social justice aspect of too many of today’s comics, especially those published by Marvel Comics. 

This is his most viewed video:

Back to Mark Waid. It’s hard not to look at Mark Waid’s Facebook post as a sign of severe mental instability. If you claim to be a friend of Mark Waid and you don’t encourage him to seek help, you really aren’t a friend of his. In his mind he has decided a person he doesn’t know is a harasser of women (?) and is asking for strangers to seek this person out and then immediately alert him to this fact. In what universe is this normal behavior?

Is your name Richard?

Mark Waid doesn’t know what the person looks like. None of the people Mark Waid hopes to enlist know what this person looks like. This means they will be looking for someone named Richard who is a serial harasser. My name is Richard. This means that if went to the Baltimore Comic Con, I would have to worry about one of Mark Waid’s acolytes misidentifying me as their prey. I was actually thinking on attending tomorrow, but considering how Mark Waid has made it open season on anyone named Richard, I can’t even think about going now.

If only Baltimore Comic Con had a policy against stalking

If only Baltimore Comic Con had a harassment policy that would prohibit something like this from happening. Oh, that’s right. They do have a harassment policy that prohibits something like this from happening. Mark Waid is asking for his fellow professionals, friends, fans, and strangers to stalk someone named Richard. What if someone reading Mark Waid’s call to action is even more mentally unstable than he is? The Baltimore Comic Con’s harassment policy forbids stalking. Mark Waid is evidently exempt from this policy. This means the Baltimore Comic Con harassment policy is worthless. What’s worse than not having a harassment policy? Having one and not enforcing it.

Mark Waid, Baltimore Comic Con, and harassment policies - Bent Corner
The Baltimore Comic Con and its worthless harassment policy.

If I don’t want to be harassed or stalked because of my name, I need to stay away from Baltimore Comic Con. Mark Waid and the Baltimore Comic Con’s inability to enforce its own harassment policy has made the event unsafe for me.