It’s your old pal Will Romine writing from Awesome Con DC. This is the first year that our nation’s capital has had a Comic Convention. Like any small upstart, it ain’t no San Diego. However, unlike San Diego, this Con has BoothBros.
Imagine that you’re trying to get to the bathroom from the middle seat of the middle row in a packed movie theater. You apologize, uncomfortably bruch up against complete strangers, and make your exit one painstakingly awkward step at a time. Now extrapolate that over a half mile, and you can relate somewhat to navigating the aisles and booths of a convention floor. You and 999 other fan-people are trying to migrate from booth 23 to booth 174 in a convention center packed to the gills. Though everyone is loaded down with poster tubes and swag bags, movement is happening and there is a rhythm and structure to the procession. Suddenly, this torpid crawl comes to a standstill. You crane your neck to see what’s holding up the procession. Surely only the second coming of Jack Kirby could allow for this complete breakdown of decorum. Suddenly, you see her: the Booth Babe. For those uninitiated to the major Con environment, a Booth Babe is a scantily clad model hired by the booth owner to direct traffic, and hopefully sales, to his booth. This tactic operates on the principle that the comic reading audience is A) 100% male and B) doesn’t get too many opportunities to talk with girls. I take exception to both of these stereotypes.
Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a pretty gal the same as the next man. But when I’m at a con, I’m a man on a mission. If my path is blocked by a hoarde of fanboys oogling lady parts, I may not get to artist alley in time for that Herb Trimpe signing. Plus, I feel that, as fandom achieves a gender balance, there should be something for the ladies. That’s where the BoothBros come in.
BoothBros are like Booth Babes for the uterine set. The BoothBros began their gimmick at New York Comic Con. Though no booth asked for their services, they nonetheless provided pro bono brand awareness unseen since the days of PT Barnum. Unlike PT Barnum, they were very very drunk and blacked out several times. Here at Awesome Con, I had the pleasure of meeting AquaBro and the Bronisher. Not in attendance were Captain Bromerica and Broster Gold. These two billthemselves as “No boobs, all booth” and guarantee to draw attention towards your booth, though not the necessarily positive kind. They offered their services to Ben Templesmith. Mr. Templesmith seemed visibly uncomfortable.
Overall, I can see the advantage to this kind of marketing. These guys work on the superliminal level. A BoothBabe will wait for you to come to the booth, but a BoothBro will pull you in, by force if necessary, thus freeing up valuable walkway space. Aw he’ll, who am I kidding. I’ll support any measure that allows me to move freely across an exhibition floor.
So, tell me what you think. I’ll be here all weekend, so tweet me right. @notacomplainer