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Cast and Crew Say Fan Killed Outside Comic Con Will Not Go Unremembered

Today in Depressing

I try to keep a “hate the sin, love the sinner” policy on Twilight and its fandom. Frankly, I feel like it’s only fair for a number of reasons. A work can be deconstructed much less painfully than a person. Certainly, there’s almost nothing about the central principles of the Batman mythos that I would actually like to see exist in reality, from vigilante tactics to child endangerment. And realistically, if I decided to immediately regard with disgust every person who likes something that I find to be poorly made or textually problematic, I wouldn’t have a lot of human interaction, and that includes with myself.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I pity the Twilight fandom, because while there are plenty of fandoms out there that exist around poorly made or textually problematic works, they’re the Black Sheep of the geek world. I could talk about why I think they’ve been placed in that box, but that’s another post entirely. This post is about the unfortunate death of a fan, at one of the biggest fan events of the year, and no matter what you think about a work of fiction, you should be able to agree that the untimely death of a fan in the middle of a fan celebration is tragic.

Social media gets us stories fast these days, and though you may have heard about this yesterday though the internet aether, fifty-three year old Gisela Gagliardi was fatally struck by a car while the infamous line for Comic Con’s annual Twilight panel was being moved across a street yesterday. She did what probably all of us have done at least once in our lives: tried to beat the crosswalk sign, misjudged the speed of a car, and had to stop moving suddenly. However, unlike the rest of us lucky SOBs, she tripped, fell into the side of the car as it passed, and later died in hospital of her injuries.

Some of the information about the incident seems sketchy, such as the specifics of the driver’s identity (though they did stop to be questioned by police), and the exact reason the line was being moved. According to UT San Diego “fans said the convention center staff was about to switch the line, so the beginning became the end, and that she was running to keeping her place in line,” which is either a simplistic description of a complicated maneuver or a positively ludicrous statement. Adjusting the location, direction, or flow of a line during a con can be a tricky business, but one that I have absolutely seen handled with finesse and aplomb by con staff. If, indeed, those in line were being made to feel like they had to run to keep their place, this was bad line management. The fact that moving the line required leading everyone through a functioning crosswalk should have called for even more organization and attention, which makes me disinclined to believe the quote.

The folks behind Twilight, which undoubtedly includes stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, have promised that she will be “respectfully remembered” at the panel tomorrow. Comic Con spokesperson David Glanzer offered his heartfelt condolences: “Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in this tragic incident.” The Twilight community has set up a fund to help Gagliardi’s family with her funeral expenses.

(via The LA Times and UT San Diego.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.