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Creepers

Some of you had mentioned issues of photo-taking-manners in comments several strips back, but the topic was one I intended to cover eventually. I have a boy turning six, and for his 6th birthday we saw Big Hero Six. I fully recommend. Not a perfect movie, but it easily passed my levels of scrutiny... which are really high. (I hate everything.) There were only one or two things I had a beef with, but what the movie offered blew any small nitpicks out of the water. I'm not really sure if there's a trope for it or not, but one I rolled my eyes at was something Disney loves doing in its movies. This whole manic "Here's the team!" rapid fire introduction of its cast. And not that meeting the cast quickly is bad. Not at all. It's when each of the heroes being intro'ed acts manic/wacky.  For anyone who's ever seen the animated movie Atlantis, Disney went way overboard with this routine. Every member of the crew Milo met, had this frantic "STAND BACK AND WATCH HOW I'M THE FOREMOST EXPERT IN THIS CRAZY S#!T I DO" way of presenting themselves. EVERY SINGLE character in Atlantis did this. I guess it's a way to save you from boredom, allow for humor, and show competence at the same time on the "experts-in-their-field" parts...  but it also hurts differentiating the characters. ...so wacky..

110 thoughts on “Creepers

  1. Apparently Mama Buckingham had little trouble with this.

    And we get to see the Buckingham house again! I thought this was a “never again” kind of thing after how crazy detailed it was. Still, good to see it.

      1. Different angle too. I had also remembered you stating how much of a pain it was and was wondering if you’d used a similar angle to allow re-use. You’re much more industrious than I am, though that wasn’t something I’d actually been doubting or anything, just re-proven.

        1. And huge. I’d be terrified that the first good storm would send half of one of those Little Yggdrasils into the living room ceiling.

        2. I get the motivation, don’t get me wrong–the shade on that house probably saves a fortune in AC bills–but those trees are so huge that one good lightning strike could send several hundred pounds of flaming wood through the roof. Of course, they’re probably insured–if anyone insures a Buckingham–but still.

        3. Yeah, but what they save in electricity on AC they might lose in having to turn their lights on during the daytime. With a tree like that, I imagine opening the blinds in the morning doesn’t bring a whole lot of sunlight in.

        4. Aside from lightning, there’s hurricanes to consider. Even if in an area less prone to get the storm while still technically a hurricane, there’s still be stronger than normal winds as a normal event. I agree on the “too much danger for my taste” stance. However, that is also exactly why it’s appropriate for the Buckinghams.

        5. @MrBlue: Katrina missed us. Andrew, though… people stopped asking for houses with trees after that one.

  2. I second the motion regarding hating everything.

    (probably would even without the grumpy old man avatar, but Tired Guy just makes it a must)

  3. And no, crazy lady, the “set rules of decorum” do NOT “trump Constitutional rights.” Constitutional rights ARE trump.

    If that were the case I could declare the Fourteenth Amendment null and void and have you doing dishes the rest of your life.

    1. I think you should wait until right after a contentious Florida Senate election and then as she tries to go into the polls revoke her 17th, 19th, & 26th amendment rights all in one go (and if you wanted to add insult to injury, you could claim you were revoking the 24th first and make a profit).

      1. I can see two meanings for what you wrote, both correct.

        If you’re referring to the basis of the Declaration of Independence (referred to as “unalienable Rights” in the opening), I believe the 9th amendment was meant to formally recognize that.

        If you’re referring to the laws of math, physics, chemistry, etc, then also yes. Though from a preservation of historical artifacts stance, verifying supremacy of many of those laws should be left to reproductions of the Constitution and not the original.

    2. She’s not _entirely_ wrong, but she’s using faulty terminology. It’s not that it “trumps Constitutional rights” it’s that Constitutional rights are kind of irrelevant here. You don’t have a constitutional right to use a camera everywhere in any way you want. She’s correct that the rules for photography on public property do not apply to private property (even if it is open to the public) or private events. Private property owners/Organizers of private events have the right to restrict camera use at said locations and events.

      While I don’t know of any conventions that actually enforce a “ask before you take a photo” rule, most strongly recommend it and they _could_ enforce it if they chose to.

      1. This. And I agree with her base argument, as well–if you’re running around with a camera at a con, if you’re not asking for consent, you are, whether there’s official rules for it or not, rude as fuck, and it’s reasonable for a cosplayer to call you out on that. Most cosplayers will happily pose, honestly, unless they’re in a real rush at the moment (after all, they do want to be seen in that outfit). But if they say no, that should be respected too.

        1. I call it a coin flip on both sides. If the con doesn’t have posted rules of conduct in reference to photography, then all the costumer can expect is that all they can do is ask for the picture to be deleted. But that’s about it.

    1. Well, actually her mistake there is confusing the US with the EU. The US Constitution doesn’t actually protect privacy specifically. There’s certainly a good argument that it should be interpreted as a natural right held by the people, but it’s not specifically spelled out.

      There is also some degree (as Mr. Blue reminded above) that natural rights, including property ownership rights, do trump the Constitution and it appears that’s by design. For example, concealed carry laws have been held as based upon second amendment protections, however, in Ohio a sign can be posted disallowing concealed carry on private property. The basis for this is that posting against concealed carry announces that someone carrying is unwelcome by the property owner and coming onto their property is trespassing. A person who posts to the general public against carrying can make exceptions for individuals (so a business owner could post against for patrons and allow or even encourage all or specific employees to carry, if they so desired). While I personally think concealed carry is a good thing, revocation of property ownership rights so that a person couldn’t post to prohibit it on their own property would be an absolutely horrible overreach of governmental authority. I’ve heard of efforts to remove other areas specifically prohibited by the law (parking lots for state-owned facilities & schools come to mind), I’ve never heard of any kind of push to revoke that right of prohibition by property owners (I have heard a few people grumbling, though most agreed that property ownership rights should trump when I brought that up).

      Now, as to Kat’s point/belief, unless some form of rules of conduct were posted in obvious ways (by the entrances, websites where you obtained tickets, etc), then she’s full of it and making crap up (which I suspect to be the case). If it had been posted, then that would be something that the organizers could then kick people out for doing. Look at the difference from a legal perspective of taking pictures from a sidewalk or road versus being 6″ over and being on private property (spoiler, the difference is innocence vs conviction in every case I’ve ever heard, though conflicting ruling interpretations regarding cameras on drones).

      1. In Oklahoma, Conoco and Phillips 66, (prior to the merger) did get into an argument with the state over this.
        Bear with me, as these are my recollections of recent(ish) events, and I have no citations.
        A Conoco employee was dismissed because he had guns in his trunk, on a Conoco parking lot, (publicly accessible, as it so happens. HE was fired, but a non-employee would have had no trouble.) He threw a fit. A judge said Conoco couldn’t prevent him from keeping guns in his trunk on company property if he was otherwise free to have his truck on company property, (despite the fact that, until 9 days ago public school parking lots WERE off-limits to concealed weapons left in cars, at least if left unattended.)
        Conoco said that they were avoiding liability by denying their employees the privilege to keep guns in their cars on company grounds.
        SO. Oklahoma passed a law that basically said a landowner ISN’T responsible for misuse of property kept in a persons car on their property.
        Conoco and Phillips 66 both pressed the issue, after this point.

        As an aside, while I do agree that their property rights were violated, I’ll only buy gas from Conoco-Phillips if I’m desperate or the only other option is Citgo. I’d still rather buy American before buying Chavez Oil.

        1. Yeah, parking lots are difficult legal territory in that regard. I think it’s similar to how the sidewalk in front of my house is property I own and am responsible for upkeep with, yet it’s also public property where the grass on either side of it is not. As a computer person, it’s one of the things that bugs me about the law sometimes is that it’s a domain which cannot be completely and consistently defined and will always either have undefined portions, contradictions, or (more realistically) both.

          Yeah, as to the petroleum funding all sorts of nasty things, I’m strongly looking forward to advances in harvesting methane ice, as there are a LOT of deposits of those in coastlines and economically being able to tap into those could help us tell the Middle East to kill themselves if they want but leave the rest of the world out of it. Would also help portions of Europe not feel the need to bite their tongue regarding Russia, too. The Japanese are pretty gung-ho about methane ice as I understand it, as they want energy independence (as any rational country would).

          @Mr. Blue – I hear you about Auto Zone, that was a fantastically stupid move on their part. Though I do possibly have to occasionally break that boycott myself, as the tri-state warehouse for them is ~25 minutes from my house and if in an emergency on a Sunday that can be my only option (there’s a store attached and they don’t advertise it but they’ll get it and sell it to you if you come in needing it).

        2. I’ve been trying to remember that sort of thing more as time goes on. The question of how much of my money goes to things that I don’t support and consider social harms. Apple’s lawsuits against all the other smartphone vendors was what pushed me over the edge, actually (especially when I was researching phones and comparing what we could have after years of those lawsuits I ignored versus what was available in Asia). I’ve been scattershot adding other odds and ends of things that I think are net social harms and attempting to vote with my wallet against them.

      2. This is normally the sort of debate I’d love to jump into with both feet, but I’ve got some other stuff on my mind right now and just don’t have the energy to work up a good bout of righteous indignation. So reluctantly I must leave it to all of you.

  4. Since the laws/amendments talk has already covered the important bases (what do you mean I can’t enslave every person who goes to a private event?) I’m just going to point out the irony in Pumpkin being in a Creeper hoodie when her earlier con adventures (conventures?) involved someone being a creeper to her.

    On movies/shows/media-in-general, I’m kinda the opposite in that I try to find the good in everything I encounter. I still find plenty I hate (lots of music in that category, to be perfectly honest) but I think it’s just because of I spent my money (or blood, in the case of movies) to watch something, I’m going to want to take something out of it to justify my spending of said money/vital fluids. Fortunately, it’s been a while since I saw a truly “bad” movie that wasn’t watched knowing ahead of time it was going to be bad (the “so bad it’s good” clause) Plus, with a lot of Disney movies, the target audience is kids, and they’ll usually put up with more silly antics than the average adult (not to say there aren’t kids who enjoy more realistic interactions in their fantasy, but marketing shows kids like “zany” so give ‘me ZANY)

    Finally, that’s a damn impressive tree.

    1. The branch at the top right behind the house is the most impressive part, as it appears to be defying some degree of laws of physics (possibly gravity, possibly optics, unsure which without being there with a sufficiently large ladder for a touch test).

    1. I doubt it’ll show up, but I’d be amused to see what Damien would say about Katrina ending up in Pumpkin’s bedroom.

  5. On a slightly related note, my daughter was rather disappointed that no one took pictures of her cosplay. The disappointment was compounded by finding a pic of her brother, who didn’t cosplay.

    So is it more insulting to have your picture taken without permission, or not to have your picture taken at all?

        1. Guesses aren’t spoliers. Besides, Pumpkin’s first two loves are cash and money. She doesn’t have time to upgrade to a love square.

  6. The problem is that people who go to an event in costume are seeking the limelight in some way and are attempting to garner some of the attention for themselves and their costume (or boobs if they are two girls running a sword booth) then they are giving up a degree of rational privacy and offering others a chance to photograph them with our without their permission. Public or private, unless stated at the entrance, pics are going to happen.

    1. The distinction is between ‘legal’ and ‘polite’. “Pics are gonna happen” is probably true. But that’s no reason not to regard unrequested pic-taking as rude and intrusive. And a con can absolutely set bounds of conduct within its walls, and honestly, I’d rather they did so, because it encourages more cosplayers, while creepers discourage them.

      1. I routinely go to events in costume and I’ve yet to have someone take my pic without asking first (that I’m aware of).

        That may change next year with my Black Mage costume. It’s both an awesome costume and I’m 3/4 blind in it so I could probably have a film crew follow me around and I wouldn’t notice.

  7. I wouldn’t call them private functions, even if one has to pay to attend. Not to mention, one only has to pay to enter the building, and while it has been awhile since I attended a con, last I saw, plenty could be seen just from walking outside (so her “This is the town square” argument just fails).

    1. Inside the con would generally qualify as a private event as far as I’ve ever heard. If it’s private property or rented to a private entity for an event then I believe it counts. You’re right about standing on the street or sidewalk outside photographing people in line, from a legal stance, though.

  8. I’m going to ignore the legal debate to point out that Pumpkin has defeated enough Conémon that she’s evolving!

    Pumpkin became… Pumpkin Bomb!

  9. The last time I checked (I need to, since I’m one of the creepy old guys with a camera) the Otakon and Katsucon rules state that every attendee is subject to being photographed, and that attendance at the con is considered giving consent. I think part of this is that both cons have “official” photographers and videographers, but it also covers other attendees taking photographs and videos as well.

    1. That being said, if I see someone or a group that I’d like to take their picture, I ask them. I’m not asking for permission to take the photograph, I’m asking for permission to interrupt whatever they may have been doing. As for photographing little kids, never unless I’m part of a group and the parents or guardians are right there. Also, if I take a “candid” shot of someone as their standing around or walking through the hallway, they don’t have the right to tell me to delete the photo, given the rules of the convention above.

      1. So you follow Wheaton’s Law and avoid dickishness. I’m not sure if Wheaton trumps the Constitution, but he should!

        1. Certain things are better enforced as social norms (in other people looking down and lowering respect for you if you misbehave) as opposed to legal statutes. My first assumption regarding things described as “dickishness” is that they likely belong more in the first group than the second (though repeat/excessive is more likely to belong in the second).

        2. Didn’t mean to suggest it does. I’m just saying there are different types/levels of reinforcement, and things that are fluid and require a large degree of judgement calls and are kinda “going by feel” are the sort of thing that are more suited to social disapproval as the stick as opposed to law enforcement.

        3. I wasn’t saying that you were implying that at all. For some reason, I just thought of some of those people who think that because they’ve purchased a ticket, then they have the right to act like they own the place.

          On an unrelated matter, the temperature in the past 24 hours has dropped 18 degrees.

  10. Having spent many years running SF/F cons, model train shows, hobby and craft fairs, etc., one of the things you learn early on is that the lobby and hallways of a hotel are *public property*. Only in your rented room — with the door shut — do you have an expectation of privacy, and can control access. In the public areas of the hotel it’s just the same as if you were walking down the sidewalk outside — the law sees no difference between the exterior of the hotel (or any venue) and the interior, until you reach the door of your room. So “crazy cosplayer” either doesn’t know the law or she’s spouting bullshit to try to support her argument (and possibly impress Pumpkin).

    1. I suspect she doesn’t know the law, is spouting some degree of bullshit more from stubbornness than desire to impress, but also is probably thinking of the convention floor (most of which probably wouldn’t be visible from outside the doors due to the booths and crowds in the way).

  11. Oh, and about the subject; I welcome creepers above ground. They’re an excellent source of gunpowder. I hate them underground where I can’t maneuver.

  12. So… Kat is driving way out of her way to visit Pumpkin and without her partner in tow? Hypocritcal much?

    Also, I liked Atlantis. I’m a sucker for the Mignola character designs and the four basic food groups of “beans, bacon, whiskey and lard” are still routinely quoted in my household.

    1. I was assuming this was on the drop-off and not a separate trip. Though since she would presumably visit Damien sometimes, a separate trip not being too far out of her way is possible too.

      1. Based on the montage with Danny and the fact that Chris doesn’t normally do flashbacks I assume this is well after the initial post con drop off. But you’re right, she could be stopping by since her partner is in the area anyway.

        1. Hmmm, you could be right. I didn’t think about the Ellie “con” time. He did do some small degree of parallel stories/flashback with not completely strict chronology (rehashes to Eagan or Blind Guy, a little in Black Friday shopping), but a week or more backwards is kinda’ pushing that tendency, though I’m not sure how much that’s a rule versus coincidence.

          I was thinking more that we didn’t see any mention or fireworks regarding her hitching a lift on her own. Also it seems like conversation between them would’ve moved on past this if they’d had much time talking to each other since the con (though I could see Kat as stubborn enough to bring up an argument from weeks ago with premeditated intent). Last circumstantial hint is I think Pumpkin’s hair under her hood looks like it might’ve recently been washed, which made me think perhaps the latex had just been removed and she’d just cleaned up.

          Either time will tell or it won’t matter to the story.

        2. Also, if you go back and look at the last comic Kat appeared in her “DK FX” t-shirt is a different color than whatever shirt she’s wearing now, another indicator that time has passed.

  13. B-b-b-but that was one of my favorite things about Atlantis! All the characters were fun and lively, and to me at least unique. Mabe we just have different tastes in movie presentations who knows. At least we can probably agree 80’s montages are fun.

    1. One of my tactics to discourage hugs that I can’t stop is lifting the hugger off the ground. Considering that you are likely somewhat shorter and near certainly weigh less than me, that may not work as well for you, though.

        1. I bet you could very easily conceal thumb tacks pointed out under a thick material like velvet or felt… just sayin’.

      1. You could always loudly demean the hugger to warn off the others.

        “Come on! Hug me like you mean it! You call THAT a hug? I’ve had better hugs from my dog!”

        1. That would only encourage many to do so more, or make them really never want to let go of you. Lots of people who’d love that stuff show up at cons.

    2. You just need to find a way to incorporate some sturdy spikes into all future costumes. Strategically placed spikes, and possibly hidden at that :-D

      That or have a sign with hug pricing on it, so if one does give an unsolicited/approved hug, they’d be liable for the fees (although folks at cons generally have cash to burn, it might have the undesired effect of creating a line for paid hugs…but you get paid)

    3. When I’ve been to Mensa gatherings, nearly all of them have a button or a badge sticker in red/yellow/green to indicate someone’s “hug level”: Green was “I love hugs”; Yellow was “Ask me first”; and Red was “Don’t touch me”. I liked that system — it’s simple and you don’t have to ask the person; their sticker or button showed you.

      1. Could I show up with a red square inside of a black square (if my memory of Medieval seafaring flags is holding up)?

  14. Every time I look at panel one, I hear a sitcom “change scene” style melody. Though now it’s drifting slightly towards the light jazzy music from Seinfeld.

  15. On a completely different topic…I like how this possible “friendship” is developing. As a social introvert, I don’t handle small talk well. In a situation of more than four people with everybody talking to each other, I start keeping my eyes open for corners to go sit in so I’m not as overwhelmed.

    However, one-on-one intelligent discourse with someone with similar interests? I’m all up ons that. Based on how we’ve seen Pumpkin before, I’d be rather surprised if she was socially outgoing outside of her family (her hobbies are mostly based around working in her room, and she wasn’t the one talking out loud with Ashliii at the movie theater). Now, you might say that “wait, she was trying to sell shirts at the convention,” well, that’s different. I’m not going to quote the essays and studies that point out that introverts can be just as good on a “stage” setting as extroverts, but trust me, it’s there.

    I like the idea that Pumpkin has found someone she can have engaging conversation with on this kind of level, even if (or especially if) it’s someone with an opposing viewpoint. It means she isn’t afraid of having her own ideas challenged.

    1. Hmm, Pumpkin never struck me as an introvert. I’d gotten the impression she was the alpha of her trio (Ashliii & Bubbles) and she always seemed confident with strangers (including her wig saleswomanship to Quinn and not just her upcharge for the shirt off her back and public challenging of the FF sword girls at the con). Her periods of sinking to the background seemed more like stepping out of dominance challenges with her older sisters or observing before acting, to me. I think I’m also somewhat biased by Rusche’s statement about the 7 sins parallels and that Pumpkin’s is Pride (which goes with extroversion a bit more in my mind).

      Not saying your view is invalid, just mentioning the signals that gave me the opposite impression. All of my observations are circumstantial and within bounds that she could still be an introvert.

      1. I suppose it could go either way. I’ve known some really prideful introverts (look at all the “smarter than you” nerds out there), but yeah, my observations are also all circumstantial. She might get along really well with a couple of friends, but…hm. Now I’m not so sure.

        I guess we’ll know if we ever see Pumpkin at a party socializing with everybody.

        1. Just remember, introversion is not the same as shyness. Introverts emotionally recharge by being alone (or only with very close friends), extroverts emotionally recharge by being around people.

          I’m a severe introvert but I am very good at public speaking. I think the fact that if everyone died in front of me I’d feel pretty much the same way if they applauded eliminates performance pressure. Afterwards, though, I feel emotionally exhausted.

  16. I just noticed; that Tree in their yard is Massive!
    Also, I am impressed at the angles you have drawn your characters. you really know what you are doing. just looking at the next few Pages and I really like how you’ve Drawn Pumpkin.

  17. ..And now she’s dressed as a creeper. Which has often been noted for looking phallic.

    I love how you just keep teasing this.

  18. No. Katrina is wrong. A photograph is an artistic endeavor in and of itself. The photographer does not need any permission to take a photo, unless photography is prohibited. They only need the permission of the subject if and only if they are going to publish the photo, which includes prong it on facebook.

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