Geek Apparel of the Week: The Hot Topic Shirt That’s Pissing Everyone off Today


This is the first time I’ve used this feature not necessarily as a recommendation, but an acknowledgement that this is the geek apparel item that people are talking about the most. I swear, I haven’t seen so many people mad at Hot Topic since they started carrying Justin Bieber merchandise.

And this ironically means they are, in fact, living up to their name. Just maybe not in the way they meant to. Let’s discuss…

Out here, on Hollywood Blvd. we have what you could arguably call professional cosplayers – mostly unemployed actors who dress up as pop-culture characters and pose for pictures with the tourists in hopes of making tips (they’re not allowed to officially charge people money, but some are very hard-sell about the tip thing). Last night, I walked past two black Zorros within a block of each other. At first I thought maybe tourists wouldn’t want pictures with a less screen-accurate version – then I realized that since Zorro is Mexican, a white Zorro would be no more accurate. And Spaniard Antonio Banderas isn’t even Mexican. Which does make me wonder if The Lone Ranger had been a hit, if anyone would complain that a Native American cosplaying as the Depp Tonto would be “inaccurate.”

I think the bigger question is what “do it right” means. Because if it means doing it right by your own standards, this shirt is 100% correct. If it said, “Quit cosplaying, fat fuck” that would be less ambiguous, and indisputably mean.

My take on the matter seems pretty clearly spelled out by my endorsement of and participation in the video below.

“Batman” has subsequently lost over 200 pounds and is actually thin now. I miss his show, but good for him.

Are people overreacting to this shirt, or do you think Hot Topic is deliberately trying to alienate its customers?