Hands Off!—In Unusually Blunt Email, President of G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Urges Attendees of JoeCon 2018 to be “Respectful of the Cosplayers” and Not Touch or Harrass Them “in Any Way”


Do I need to tell y’all to take a “Time Out?”— GIjOE Club Founder and President, Brian Savage, found himself in an unexpected disciplinary role today, having to preemptively respond to online fan “banter” by reminding his own club’s members to (essentially) keep their hands to themselves and exercise “common courtesy” when encountering cosplayers at JoeCon 2018. Member reactions to Savage’s email plea/request/order(?) have ranged from bemused to bewildered. Is such a reminder REALLY necessary for the typically (VERY) well-mannered JoeCon attendees? Possibly. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Today’s GIjOE club email was quite the surprise. Normally, club members receive ordinary “reminder” emails about sending in their dues or checking the club’s online store for “specials” and clearance sale items. But THIS time, members were being told not to touch or harass cosplayers. To exercise “common courtesy.” And to adhere to “family values.” What the..? Does such unseemly behavior ever go on at JoeCons? Not that we’ve ever seen. But according to Savage:


SHOCKING!— One of the coolest vintage GIjOE cosplayers we’ve ever seen was this superb “High Voltage Escape” costume created and worn by a creative young fan at the 2012 JoeCon. Dig that mask and the the mesh suit. WOW. (Photo: GIJCC)


“Hello GIJoeCon Attendees, We will be seeing you guys and gals in just a few days. It has come to our attention that through banter on the internet that some folks are not sensitive to what is going on in our society today. Please be RESPECTFUL of the CosPlayers at the show. They are not to be touched or harassed in anyway. Common courtesy dictates that you should ask to take their picture before you do so. In addition, remember that this is a family event and all costumes should be in accordance with family values. If you have a question about your outfit, the answer would be, find a different one. In addition, please remember that there are no prop weapons allowed. Thanks for being smart and thinking before you cause yourself and someone else embarrassment. See you soon!” —Brian Savage, GIJCC


Hubba-Hubba-Hands OFF— Cosplayers, Scarlett Conn (l) and Sara Detrick (r), were more than happy to pose for our cameras at the 2015 JoeCon in Springfield, IL. They’d worked hard on their costumes, were proud of them, and rightly so. They were also volunteering their time as hostesses at the event. After we’d complimented them on their outfits and thanked them for adding to the FUN of JoeCon, we asked “Can we take your pictures, please?” The answer was “yes” and this is the shot. Good manners RULE! (Photo: Mark Otnes)


Untold Hours of Hard Work— Building costumes such as this robot require hours and hours of hard work. If you have small children, please make sure they don’t jump on or pull on the parts of a cosplayer’s costume. The costumes may be fragile or break easily. It looks as if the dapperly dressed “Destro” was also working as “security” during JoeCon 2012— possibly for that cosplayer in the robot costume. Outstanding “teamwork,” you guys! (Photo: GIJCC)

Bottom Line: The fans we’ve seen and met at JoeCons, Joelantas, and other such Joe-related shows and events have always been some of the nicest, politest and most THOUGHTFUL individuals you’d ever HOPE to meet. Cosplayers too, are a talented, creative and DEDICATED segment of GIjOE fandom and deserve as much respect as anyone else at JoeCon. The sad news that some attendees may have been planning to exhibit less-than-courteous behavior towards ANYONE comes as somewhat of a shock. If you plan on attending JoeCon this year—we have an EASY assignment for you—if you see ANY of the sort of improper behaviors Brian has warned against above, PLEASE help the show’s organizers by notifying Brian, a JoeCon employee. or hotel security personnel. Even if this is the LAST-ever JoeCon, it’s important that fans continue to safeguard such shows for the reputation of all other FUTURE Joe-shows, their dealers and attendees. Remember, good manners are good for Joe-business—and thats GREAT for Joe fans!

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2 thoughts on “Hands Off!—In Unusually Blunt Email, President of G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Urges Attendees of JoeCon 2018 to be “Respectful of the Cosplayers” and Not Touch or Harrass Them “in Any Way”

  1. CHUNG KIM says:

    This is the new reality. Granted, I never heard of any ill / unwanted behavior / conduct in any JOE related shows or even the official convention. However, who is to say “something” may have occurred or not? I attended enough pop culture related conventions (i.e. comic books cons, shows, etc.) where there are cosplayers even in family friend environments wearing outfits that may raise an eyebrow to something very outlandish and provocative. Given the “politically correct” agenda nowadays where common sense is ignored and it’s usually one extreme or another, Brian’s “reminder” needs to be taken for what it is and perhaps not necessarily “butt hurt?” It just depends on one’s perspective and common sense.

    • kneonknight says:

      I think you have hit the nail on the head – the fact that this “warning” had to be made at all speaks volumes about the current state of society as a whole and how it views fandoms of any sort. I have never, EVER seen anyone at any GIjOE convention, big or small, EVER show any disrespect to guests, vendors or each other unless the subject of the Desert Patrol Jeep and amber goggles came up, in which case, all bets are off.

      I am sad that this was necessary, but considering the lawsuit-happy nature that has developed in the past couple of decades, certain segments of society looking for things to be offended about, and the number of false allegations of misbehavior on all sides, I can’t find any fault with the statement having been made.

      Now, I have been to some gaming and comic conventions where the cosplayers have been dressed in a manner rating at least a PG-13 if not an outright R, but there are still people inside those costumes who should be afforded simple human dignity, no matter what the venue. I have an achievement in a certain MMORPG that says “You Are Not Your @#! Pants”, and that needs to be applied here as well. Those cosplayers are showing off their own talents in creating amazing costumes, and if they are paid, it does not begin to cover the time and energy they put into it. It certainly does not give anyone the right to treat them as a life-sized action figure to be toyed with, abused, and tossed aside when something else shiny comes along.

      My bottom line is somewhat old fashioned, but it still applies – treat others the way you would want them to treat you. I believe there is a very old book that contains something along those lines as well.

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