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ConDor 2014

ConDor science fiction/horror/fantasy/comic convention held at the Town and Country Hotel & Resort, March 21-23 2014.

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'Toon Wolf here is all paws and drooling. Then again, ...

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[Caption removed by Reader editor at 12:50pm, March 27.]

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That’s the League of Corduroy Gentlemen, all dressed up with ...

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Great steampunk wheelchair, especially the brass thermos! Caption by Jay ...

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“We can settle the Trek VS Star Wars battle AFTER ...

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The RoboCop of the dark ages was known as CopperCop. ...

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The RoboCop of the dark ages was known as CopperCop. ...

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“I couldn’t decide what outfit to wear – so I ...

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From Wendy’s upcoming SteamBurger campaign. Caption by Jay Allen Sanford

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The spare steam-parts bin. Caption by Jay Allen Sanford

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Keeper of the CosPlay Caption by Jay Allen Sanford

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Boy, OSHA means business when they tell food court workers ...

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“This is not the ginger you seek…” Caption by Jay ...

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“Excuse me, does this Tardis go to Treasure Island?” Caption ...

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You never know who you’ll meet while waiting for the ...

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“I’m using my cloak as a gas mask because this ...

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Comments

EHM March 27, 2014 @ 9:12 a.m.

Seems to me that Jay Allen Sanford is a wanna be comedian or really pissed that he didn't get assigned what he considers something he is worthy of reporting about. If it's the first, he should keep his day job... Oh wait, he pretty much sucks at that, too. You have to prove yourself as a good reporter first - that is not an example of good reporting.

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elgancho March 27, 2014 @ 1:51 p.m.

Why did they only remove three comments? I found all of them offensive in one way or another. This person didn't even attend the event. Why do we need color commentary for a photo gallery. I'd rather see correctly sourced captions with peoples names if there needs to be anything at all. I can say for sure that photographers at events will suffer a huge backlash because of Jay Allen Sanford. Way to screw it up for your colleagues! Mr. Editor, please remove all comments not made by the photographer. You're denigrating my friends by allowing these to stand.

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Jeb Haught March 27, 2014 @ 2:11 p.m.

So the editor removed three captions, which are the ones with sexual remarks. Coincidence? I think not! Nearly all of the rest are still juvenile and insulting! I'm sure the editor is trying to appease both sides, but I don't understand why he would support such mean-spirited remarks that only make The Reader look more like a high school yearbook than a professional publication.

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idahands March 27, 2014 @ 2:20 p.m.

I feel these captions are equal to the treatment we received at the hands of the Westfield Plaza Camino Real security guards and management. No, it is actually worse. This is a case of intentionally attempted public humiliation. These people DO NOT and NEVER HAVE deserved this. They are typical Steampunk enthusiasts; respectful, kind, intelligent, and thoughtful people. Unlike Jay Allen Sanford, the thought of embarrassing anyone due to their attire or hobby, would never cross their minds. And, unlike the Reader, they would never condone one of their employees doing such. Remember, Reader and Jay Allen Sanford, Steampunks have a voice and it can be heard around THE WORLD, as Westfield Plaza Camino Real and Becky Smith, the manager of said mall, have recently discovered.

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Letter to the Editor March 27, 2014 @ 10:32 a.m.

I a bit taken back by the captions on these pictures. I understand the author is known for writing about adult film stars, but why would a local publication allow him to associate sex toys with a school teacher? And how on earth does a shaving reference relate to a Nortic god? Did any research go into these captions or was some one just drunk and trying to meet a deadline? I've lost respect for your publication and will oppose any advertising or association for anything I am involved in.

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Letter to the Editor March 27, 2014 @ 9:34 a.m.

I would like to address the captions placed with the photos in this gallery. They are in extremely poor taste some are sexual and vulgar in nature. The man who posted the gallery to your site, Jay Allen Sanford, is intentionally heckling and making fun of the subjects with his captions.

The SD Reader is a legitimate publication that should keep an unbiased view on its articles. I can personally take a beating from comments of any kind so long as they are from an individual. In this case, Mr. Sanford is representing your publication and in doing so, making you look bad.

With the current events of the Carlsbad mall and even the more recent incident of the cancer survivor going through the same thing with another publication — http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international/Magazine-Makes-Fun-of-Cancer-Survivors-Tutu-252560451.html — I can honestly hope for a quick and decisive apology or action from the SD Reader to quell this situation.

— Adam Green

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Letter to the Editor March 27, 2014 @ 8:06 a.m.

I find most of the Jay Allen Sanford's captions to these photos to be extremely juvenile and very insulting. While I understand that most people don't understand Steampunk and/or Cosplay, the low-brow captions appeal only to those with low intelligence and show no real effort or interest in the actual content. All they do is insult the people in the pictures. In addition, they're not even remotely funny! The sexist ones referring to the Steampunk sex toy and the one implying breast implants are very hurtful and only shame The Reader. I've never seen captions like these in any story The Reader has published. In the interest of maintaining your reputation as well as not being mean and hurtful to strangers, I ask that you remove all captions and just leave the images.

Thank you, Jeb Haught

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Jay Allen Sanford March 27, 2014 @ 11:33 p.m.

I've done hundreds of comedic photo caps shot at Comic-Con, Comic Fest, etc for years now, with nary a complaint. I don't feel the caps are mean-spirited, tho I occasionally make mildly smutty observations (three of which have now been cut from this set). Methinks the local cosplay community is rallying with leftover rage RE the Reader’s recent reports about steampunk costumers being ejected from a mall and a cover feature about cosplay in Balboa Park that oddly aroused much ire. Soooo, in the interest of fairness, here’s a photo of me and my girlfriend dressed as Frank-n-Furter and Janet from Rocky Horror. Have at me with the comments, haters!

None

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Invictus March 28, 2014 @ 9:18 p.m.

Dear Mr. Sanford,

While I appreciate your attempt to reconcile with those who were offended by your comments, I think it is more than a little half-hearted and comes across as scathing and unapologetic. In the interest of fairness, I figured that perhaps you didn't realize that this is how you are coming across, and that I might make mention of how your comments continue to be offensive. And as you seem amenable to making apology to the offended parties, I can only believe that my comments will be welcome and helpful.

That being said, I'd like to address a few points. The primary one being that past behavior does not excuse current or future misbehavior. Cosplayer though you may have been or may still be, this does not mean you get an all-access pass to make offensive comments in a public news article about photos you yourself took at an event you yourself chose to attend. I understand the mistake is not a solitary one-- larger and more successful "news" sources than this one (SELF magazine, to be precise) recently made just the very same "mistake" when it chose to make offensive and judgmental comments about tutus worn by Cancer Survivors in charity marathons. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/magazine-editor-apologizes-making-fun-cancer-survivor-tutu-article-1.1736812

However, as you can see, this incident landed them in some hot water, as other news sources jumped on the story almost immediately in a large storm of indignation, forcing SELF to issue an apology, which read, in part: "I am personally mortified," Danziger told USA Today. "I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn't have run the item." "Self apologized "for the association of her picture in any way other than to support her efforts to be healthy."

"Of course if tutus make you run with a smile on your face or with a sense of purpose or community, then they are indeed worth wearing, for any race."

This, my fellow, is an apology, one which you might care to reference in the future if you choose to try again when it comes to effectively apologizing for juvenile middle school fashion police behavior.

((Continued below))

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Invictus March 28, 2014 @ 9:19 p.m.

Part 2/2 ((Continued from above))

The second point I would like to make is this: just because the Steampunks who faced prejudice at Westfield, also happen to be the very same Steampunks now being forced to be the butt of your poor jokes, does not mean their indignation is any less valid. They rallied to a cause, yes-- to protect themselves from prejudice by security guards who knew nothing about them and so reacted from a place of ignorance rather than knowledge. The situation is actually surprisingly similar here, however-- once again, the EXACT same Steampunks face prejudice from someone who seeks to publicly defame and ridicule them, on purpose, out of a place of ignorance rather than knowledge. However, this situation (as another commenter pointed out) is in some ways worse, as your assertion to be a member of the community you ridicule (by posting your cosplay pictures) actually indicates that you are NOT ignorant of the prejudices facing cosplayers-- in fact, you are quite aware of it ("Have at me with the comments, haters!"). Because you are engaging in hurtful behavior that you are fully aware of AS hurtful behavior, this constitutes a more direct attack on the Steampunks you target, one which they legitimately respond to in the public forum given to them, the comments section in the online "news" publication you write for. Therefore, your implied assertion that their anger with you is illegitimate because it is actually misdirected from an earlier incident against the Steampunk community, does not hold water.

The third point: simply removing those comments which YOU perceive to be most controversial, does not actually fix the problem you caused, nor does issuing a half-hearted apology. As it was your misjudgment that caused the problem originally, continuing to exercise said judgment is unlikely to get the problem to go away. The other comments on the pictures are also offensive, and the most professional way to handle this going forward would be to issue a full apology ("I apologize") and inquire of the community with an open mind as to which captions they would like removed. Again, I restate, that as you were not the subject of the photographs and you were not the one thus subsequently offended, your subsequent judgment as to WHICH captions are offensive is therefore entirely insufficient.

I hope you will take my comments into consideration as you move forward with your conduct around a community that has faced much media prejudice lately. As you seem, generally, to wish reconciliation with the offended parties, I trust that the insight I provided as to why the offense has occurred will help you see it from their perspective.

Sincerely and in Good Faith, I.P. Animus

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Duhbya March 28, 2014 @ 5:45 a.m.

Apparently, humor and cosplay make for a bad mix. Suffice to say that word has been put out to inundate the Reader with "complaints". Perhaps cosplay translates to "self-absorbed" in medieval English.

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Jeb Haught March 28, 2014 @ 7:51 a.m.

Actually, Jay, you are completely wrong in assuming that this is a result of leftover rage over the mall incident. I doubt if anyone in our group has any actual rage over the incident. Anger, yes, rage, no. The problem isn't with us, it's you! Practically every single comment you made reminds me of the way ignorant bullies behave in high school. They single out what they don't like and/or understand, and then make juvenile remarks. Apparently, you don't care that anyone's feelings were hurt, which is unfortunate because there are too many mean people in the world already. None of my Steampunk friends, including me, have any interest in stooping to your lowbrow level and insulting you because you dressed differently for whatever reason. It's not about reciprocation, it's about trying to be a decent human being, and you sir, have a long way to go.

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kimkeeline March 28, 2014 @ 8:17 a.m.

Jay Allen Sanford, I agree, you've done photo gallerys on cosplay before.
In fact, I believe last year I was surprised to see photos much like this with somewhat insulting joke captions. I am not sure why the Reader thinks this is funny but the only difference this year is that after the Mall incident many of us realized that we don't have to stay silent when our friends are bullied.

In other words, the mean spirited nature of some of your jokes may have been silently tolerated in the past but this year we are willing to speak up.

Many of us were disappointed in some of the cruder captions or the ones that made fun of people's costumes (really, you think that beautiful young woman couldn't decide what costume to wear so wore all of them? No, she probably spent some time coming up with that particular costume that you were so dismissive of--it is comments like these that discourage others from taking the risk and trying to be creative and put themselves out there).

The Reader is an alternative paper and usually seems more friendly towards niche areas like Steampunk. This makes it even more disappointing. You can make funny comments if you like (the Treasure Island Tardis one shows you can make a joke without being a bully), but let's not be mean or (as in the case of the three removed comments) lewd.

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JamieRalphGardner March 28, 2014 @ 2:49 p.m.

The people I met were very nice when I took their photos. I did not see the captions that Jay came up with until the San Diego Reader ConDor photo gallery was put on the website. When I first saw some of the captions that Jay came up, I worried that there would be people who would be offended. I was especially worried about the photos with sexual humour in them. Some of the jokes reminded me of Howard Stern. I believe that Stern can be funny but he can cross the line in to being mean-spirited. In the 1990s, Howard Stern sent Stuttering John to a Lost in Space convention. Since Mark Goddard likes Howard Stern, he took it in good humour when John asked if he ever hit on Penny. Bill Mumy looked angry when he was asked if Doctor Smith ever made a pass at him. I think Don Rickles is very good at sarcastic humour but there are many other people who don't know when they are coming across as mean spirited.

Before the negative response to the San Diego Reader ConDor photo gallery, I hoped that people would just accept some of the jokes as in bad taste and not take the captions personally. I think Jay is poking fun at the characters that the cosplay persons are playing rather then the cosplay persons themselves. A number of years ago, someone took a bad photo of me and put it on a website. The guy personally attacked my appearance because I had bad skin at that time, I felt depressed and humiliated. It does bother me when someone is put down for their appearance.

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JamieRalphGardner March 28, 2014 @ 2:50 p.m.

I saw an episode of The O'reilly Factor in which Jesse Watters went down to a Star Trek convention and asked people questions. I don't think Watters' intent was to put down Star Trek fans but his questions were for the purpose of poking fun at the Star Trek cosplay players. When I was once at a Star Trek panel that had Star Trek fan Bjo Trimble, I was surprised that she was offended by Trekkies, the Star Trek documentary. The documentary did focus a lot on weird Star Trek fans but the thing is that this is what the public watching the documentary would want to see.

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idahands April 1, 2014 @ 12:36 p.m.

It is interesting to see that "Dubya" also hasn't got a clue. Their attempt to be clever by saying that "maybe Cosplay translates to self-absorbed" demonstrates a rather childish attitude.
When someone is intentionally cruel to anyone and tries to justify it as humor, everyone can see the malicious intent. AND, when it comes to the Steampunk community, there is no need to"put the word out". We see an injustice and we say something. Perhaps "Dubya" hasn't had the opportunity to make good friends who care for one another. If he/ she had, they might understand what makes people stand up for each other? Mores the pity.

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JamieRalphGardner April 3, 2014 @ 5:14 p.m.

Before Jay started using my photos for the San Diego Reader, it was he who recommended that I go to Steampunk events. He spoke favorably of Steampunk people. An opinion that Jay expressed that surprised me was that the Will Smith Wild Wild West had a big influence on getting people interested in Steampunk. The Will Smith movie was so heavily criticized that it never entered my head that it inspire interest in Steampunk.

When I was at the last Conjecture convention, I asked someone wearing a Steampunk costume about the Will Smith movie. The cosplayer did not agree with Jay, he thought the 1960s Wild Wild West TV series was much more important in the Steampunk culture. When Jay saw some my facebook photo albums of cosplayers, Jay was already doing the Comic-Con photo galleries. This is the 5th convention that I have supplied photos for. The ConDor 2013 photo gallery had no comments (positive or negative) at all. With the 2 Comic Fest conventions, Mike Towry (organizer of Comic Fest and one of the founders of Comic-Con) has spoken favorably of the San Diego Reader galleries of Comic Fest. Many of the captions were informative rather then humorous. The humorous captions seemed to be tame enough in their humour so that there were probably not many people offended.

The last Comic-Con International: San Diego gallery had a significant number of photos with sexual humour in them. When I saw some of the captions that Jay came up with, I started wondering if Jay was going too far in his humour. I worried about people being offended. Since there was not a bunch of negative comments like there was with ConDor 2014, I figured that my concern was not warranted.

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ErasmusDrake April 5, 2014 @ 12:48 a.m.

Jay - The issue I see here isn't with you. I'm sure you're doing exactly what the Reader has asked you to do. My concern is that when a Reader photographer shows up at an event, particularly a local event where San Diegans are just being themselves, they may not be aware that posing for a Reader picture is also agreeing to a hearty jabbing by the Reader staff.

If these pictures were taken at Comic Con, or a Street Fair (with drinking), I don't think the Reader is going to get comments back from unhappy readers. However, this nice little convention is where this crowd is allowed to cos-play with little fear of getting that "you're weird" response. Unfortunately, the Reader has now played that role.

To be honest, the Reader has also been very kind to this same crowd, and for that, I applaud them for the recent positive articles.

So please take this as just feedback. When the Reader is great, we cheer. When we feel like the Reader is poking your audience in the eye, we let you know. So, "Ouch! That hurt. Let's go back to being friends again."

Bottom line: I want to be able to able to tell participants that's it's a good thing to pose for the Reader's photographers, rather than tell them to wave the photographers off because the paper will be making fun of you in public.

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