What’s Wrong With You? Men’s Fitness

I would like to begin today’s missive by formally inviting Men’s Fitness Magazine and writer Jordan Burchette to feast on a giant bag of dicks or vaginas. I leave the choice up to you, as I would not want to imply discrimination one way or the other based on gender or sexual preference. The experience of having a large cloth and absorbent sack, of either male, female, or a mixed grouping or disembodied sex organs, brimming with fragrant gentalia foisted upon your persons to be gorged upon unendingly as restitution would be fairly unpleasant. Strong words, I know, but in light of my last column here, about making fun of cosplayers, I feel it’s my responsibility to follow up.

Here’s the deal. Men’s Fitness posted a story where they basically made fun of fat people in costumes at the New York Comic Con. The piece was written by Jordan Burchette, a person who better have one amazing physique to cover up for his extensive exercise in douchebaggery, and general cockishness. Thus far, they have brushed off reasoned criticism by telling people to relax, and that it’s you just need a sense of humor. The writer, whose receding hairline and lower backhair, we can see in this photo, responded on Twitter that “I was waiting to be compared to Hitler and the internet alarmists did not disappoint!” because people took issue with his sneaky photos of people just out to have a good time. Also, he’s done the article before, somewhere else, where it was also not funny. I’m not going to link it, because they don’t deserve the traffic. They’re not internet alarmists. They’re people with feelings and human decency. What Burchette wrote was mean, plain and simple. It was juvenile. If any of the people in those photos were in on the joke, maybe it could have all been done in fun, but they clearly weren’t.

“Why are you crying mom?”
“I just wanted to have a good time at Comic-Con, but some really mean person secretly took my picture, and posted it on the internet while making smartass cracks about my weight.”
“Why would someone do that?”
“Because he’s a heartless cunt, dear.”

Quite seriously, fuck that guy. Fuck that magazine. You want to get people in shape? Tell them to get in shape and tell them how. You’re going to make fun of fat people? Is the place run by 14 year olds? If this is the best attempt at humor you’ve got, it’s time to pack it in.

Yes, there are worse problems in the world, but going after people like that is divisive and hurtful. They likely think their stunt isn’t going to affect their bottom line, because of different markets, or just general stupidity. But I would ask anyone reading this, or really anyone who knows how to act like a decent person, to avoid the magazine and website. Perhaps Men’s Health is more your speed. I’ve found it to be a fine magazine, full of helpful tips and information about male well being.

The thing is, the people at the conventions, like it or not, they’re my people. Me and the team here go to a lot of comic conventions, and the one thing about them I’ve always liked is that they’re relatively safe places for people to be themselves and celebrate the things they like, regardless of social stigma. They’re a place where, at long last, people can forget about the experiences of their teenage years when everyone was judged on whatever perceived weakness the bullies found in them and used to hurt them. That’s all this is. It’s bullying. But it’s widespread bullying by a mainstream media outlet. That can’t stand, because it’s just plain wrong. This isn’t Robert Smigel and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. These people didn’t know they were the butts of jokes. They were just there to have a good time. Most of the people in the pictures aren’t even egregiously overweight. They’re just normal people. Not that that makes this any more acceptable, but it just shows that they’re willing to pick on anyone. And they’re going to get hits and pageviews and people are going to snicker. And it’s not OK.

Still, the bullies and assholes aren’t going to win. They’re going to laugh this off, and talk about the “crazies on the internet” and how they “can’t take a joke” but the fact is, the comic-con folks wearing costumes, and doing whatever else it is they like are going to keep going to shows, and dressing up, and having fun, and they’re going to feel no shame. That is the biggest middle finger you can give to a jerk, by being happy, and reading your comics, and dressing like whatever character you feel like, regardless of your Jenny Craig situation.

Have fun out there, and don’t let the bastards get you down.


  1. Wow Mr. Flannagan, do you kiss your wife with that mouth? I’ve never seen/heard you so fired up.

  2. It’s not even funny how quickly this column became one of my favorites of all the comic sites I visit. Well done again, Mr. Flanagan.

  3. GO JOSH GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. “It’s a bully-free zone in which underwear is in no danger of violently wedgie-ing its wearer and freak flags are free to fly. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice of costume play, or cosplay.”

    That is a quote from this asshole’s article. I’ll let the irony speak for itself.

    • Wow, the guy actually says he’s in a bully-free zone and instead of applauding that, decides to “rectify” it. What a cunt.

      Well said Josh.

    • Probably shouldnt have said the c word.

      Sorry if you are offended, but on the strength of his artice, the guy really is.

    • Thanks for the quote…
      Frankly i cant wait for Halloween to arrive cause im too much of a chicken shyte to do what the gutsy cosplayers do every year in non main stream events.
      I think they add to the cons and i respect them. However lots of people dont.. i find its quite often weaker personalities that joke about them. I have a friend of a friend that ive know for just a few years.. when he heard that i go to con’s he said with this stupid sarcastic grin on his face..”do you dress up”
      My response… “I dont.. but i wish i did”……..so…anyway this prick.. is the same weak little beaaach that ive been grounding into powder at every available moment including when we play any kind of sport.. basketball.. owned.. football owned.. soccer owned.. and even pingpong owned. HA. “you guys should see the look of frustration streaming from this pricks face”…. He starts swearing under his breath during ping pong.. ha…
      Im willing to bet i could do the same with this mens health prick… some of us like comics.. respect cosplay.. and are in better health than the hack writers who write for mens health.
      Right guys.. I mean we did grow up thinking superhero muscle was man’s requirement … Batman is my own mens health magazine.

    • Excuse me.. i meant to say mens fitness prick.. ha
      Apologies to mens health.

  5. I can’t support this article enough. Bravo Josh. This is why Josh is my favorite iFanboy.

  6. Good job, Mr. Flanagan. Good job, sir.

  7. Great job, Josh. A mean-spirited douchebag with a ten year old’s sense of humor. Pathetic getting his rocks off making fun of people who are enjoying something they love. He probably doesn’t have anything he feels that kind of passion for so anyone who does feel that needs to be mocked. Screw him!

  8. I’m seeing a lot of this kind of “humour” lately and it’s really making me fear for the future.

    “Better ourselves? No thanks! Same old juvenile jokes!”

  9. Overweight people are one of the last groups of people that its is still socially acceptable to openly ridicule. I find this fact sad and disturbing. I hear it at work, at the beach, at the market and even on this site (anyone remember the comments about Russell Crowe’s waistline a few weeks ago?).

    I read the article this morning and was blown away by how mean spirited and hurtful it was. Like Josh, I noticed a lack of any fitness talk in the article. I was hoping for a comment section at the bottom of the article but it was not available. I know Jordan Burchette has been getting slammed on twitter. Hopefully his employers will listen to this feedback.


  10. Preach on Brother!

  11. That Mens Fitness article, felt, more than anything, pointless. Slightly over-weight/unattractive people dressing up for Cons?! HOLY SHIT! Does rain also fall on rainy days?! Tune in next week for the shocking answer that may surprise even YOU! And somehow, ten cosplayers are indicative of the ENTIRE Con.

    Also, funny how he mentions at the beginning how Cons can be seen as “bully-free zones”…

    • To be fair…what else is a fitness/health magazine supposed to write about. Issue #1: eat healthy. Issue #2: Exercise. Issue #3…Uh, make fun of those who don’t?

      I like your points, Blargo.

  12. It’s telling that, among probably hundreds of cosplayers, there’s only like six people pictured there. I know at the local cons, most of the people wearing the more form fitting costumes, your Green Lanterns and Harley Quinns and what not, are in pretty good shape. I guess that doesn’t fit their template, though.

  13. http://www.jordanburchette.com/on-camera.php

    I was going to pile on but, man, getta loadda that bod.


    It’s like me writing for Cat Fancy.

  14. Pulpit!

  15. The photos are similar to those stories on the news regarding obesity that only show shots of heavy people’s midsections. Apparantly, reducing someone’s worth to their waistline is the height of culutural critique.

    Regardless, who gives a shit what the Men’s Fitness writer thinks? I sure as hell do not and I am an adult man who reads forty comic books a month and has set his own pants on fire twice as an adult. I prefer The Boys and Batman over Men’s Fitness’ homoerotic yarns about maxing my pump or how to pick out just the right sunglasses to make me look like a douche.

    Sure my comics include depictions of muscle bound men not dissimilar to Men’ Fitness. Yet, these heros and villians are doing something with their power and not standing in front of a mirror in a gym marveling at their shredded abs.

    Josh, I shall second your “rat a bag of dicks” demand and raise you a “get the AIDS and die.”

    Tirade ended.

  16. Wow.

    Josh, I picture you giving this speech on a horse with your half your face painted blue. You ride back and forth in front of hundreds of cosplayers also on horseback, raising your sword to the sky….

    “ye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR COSTUMES!”

  17. Argh I’m kinda torn, the points in this article are definitely valid and I agree that Burchette acted in an extremely unprofessional manner. And that people should be proud to Cosplay at Cons without fear of being judged

    But i’m not sure if I agree with the use of the language and other colorful scenarios

    I don’t believe two wrongs make a right, even if this is an “editorial” piece

    • Sometimes it takes vulgar words to properly address or describe a vulgar thing. Something more restrained or civilized falls short of giving voice to the truth or feeling of it.

    • Or sometimes you’re just super pissed and angry words fly out. Happens to the best of us, and in this case they’re being hurled toward those who mock people just out to have a fun time. Easily forgivable, in my humble.

  18. Marry me.

  19. Another big finger we could give to him would be to smother him in his sleep

  20. As a convention goer from way back before it was cool(my first convention was in 1988), let me say that I loved your editorial here. I don’t often post in the comments, but I felt I should this time, of only to give you my hearty agreement, Josh.

    We all have joked about folks wearing costumes they probably shouldn’t, due to body type, but there is big difference between that and this sort of cruel public mockery these guys ran. That said, it made me more aware of my own comments in the past. I don’t think I will make fun of people wearing costumes based on the persons fitness in the future, even in private. People deserve better than to be made fun of for showing their love of something, especially when I usually share that fandom.

  21. Someone go tell Michelle Obama this dick is being a real bully!

  22. wow. high fives to Josh for taking a stand.

    Mens health and Burchette seem like giant bully cowards. If they really had any balls (that haven’t been shrunken down by the roids) they would have gone to the convention and talked to all of their victims face to face. If its something they genuinely care about they could have started a dialog, maybe even tried to help people instead of just pointing and laughing at them.

    I agree, if they were in on the joke thats one thing, but to do something like that….just cowardly. Bullies still want to pick on the comic kids. High School never ends huh?

  23. Let us not make bodily threats, even in jest, please.

  24. Great follow-up article.

  25. My biggest problem is that the Mens Fitness author just isn’t funny. Insulting and lowest common denominator humor only works when the jokes are actually funny, and none of these are.

    I don’t necessarily get offended by this type of stuff, but if the dude is gonna write it, guys like Josh are well within their rights to call him out for being an asshole

  26. Great job on the article Josh, great stuff. The explosion of comic conventions have been great for fans. But one of the drawbacks is how some of the mainstream media covers these events. This article in Men’s fitness is just one of the many examples where the focus is on making fun of the people who go to conventions. Instead of trying to treat cosplayers as passionate fans, they are shown to be freaks who live on the skirts of society. I think it is awesome that you called this guy out on his douchebaggery. Bravo (insert sound of me slow hand clapping) Josh!

  27. I went through and read that Men’s Fitness article. My only thought was “Alright, shouldn’t have done that, I just gave these assholes another click, damn my curiousity.” I thought there was no way it could be as bad as you made it sound. I was wrong, it was actually worse than you made it sound. I will never, ever even consider Men’s Fitness for anything. Assholes.

  28. “Because he’s a heartless cunt, dear.”

    Also, this made me laugh for a couple minutes.

  29. It gets worse..
    His companion piece at Maxim:
    And here’s his email address:

    • “America’s Preeminent Word Burglar”

      Ummm…he spelled “Turd” wrong.

      /if he’s gonna act like a 12-year-old, by God so will I

  30. not saying he needs to be signed up for any sort of newsletter or contacted, but if you wanted to….


    • That’s not cool man. The guy is a douche but that does not excuse publicly displaying his address and phone number and alluding that people should harass him. Bullying is bullying. I thought this community was better than that.

      I am not comfortable with the post above.


    • I think its very cool. Thumbs up, rocrusso!

      He used his access at the con to take pictures of people and make fun of them in a NATIONAL publication.
      I guess Karma really is a bitch, huh….Mr. Burchette

    • in my defense, all i did was cut and paste his contact info he pasted on his website


    • I’m sure your heart was in the right place. I imagine he will be taking down that information soon and was foolish to post it in the first place. We’re cool.


  31. You’re right. These folks are schoolyard bullies in the bodies of adults.

    I live in Atlanta and every year as DragonCon approaches, I learn what my co-workers and acquaintances are really like. Those who mock the cosplayers reveal an ugly side of themselves and make me wonder who they bullied when they were younger.

    I’m not a cosplayer, but it always makes me happy to see people being what they want to be.

  32. He’s not funny at all. That’s why he’s writing for Men’s Fitness. He’s trying to act like he’s cool. But he’s not.

  33. That’s a waste of an article. While obesity is a serious problem, making fun of them is not the answer. A relevant article would have been to train like a superhero but just poking fun is as low as what Perez Hilton used to do. Not only is it mean but it takes no talent, creativity or wit to take photos and write rude things.

  34. Wow this guy is just mean. If he is trying to come off as funny it simply failed, due to a lack of cleverness and an overall impression that he feels that he is better than these people.

  35. All good points, I guess some assholes never grow up. As a comic fan, nerd, and someone who was overweight and lost 80 lbs (without Men’s Fitness drivel), Thank you Josh for taking a stand for your fans and people in general.

  36. Josh – this is one of the best things you’ve ever written. Great article. Bullying should never be tolerated and the best disinfectant is sunshine.

  37. Christ. What a douche. This doesn’t even make me mad. I actually fell sad for this fellow. Who the hell wants to make fun of over-weight people on their free time?

  38. That article was fucked up man

  39. Right on Josh, this guy (and the magazine he works for) is a mega-douche!!

  40. I would say, “fuck that guy,” but in actuality I hope he never gets fucked again in his entire life.

  41. What’s sad is that the guy seems to enjoy some of what he’s seeing, like when he compliments the guy with the archangel costume. But he’s gotta put himself above other people. He’s one of those geeks who’s like “I’m a geek but at least I’m not THAT geek.” There are a lot of those people in nerddom. Videogame geeks look down on tabletop geeks. Tabletop geeks look down on role-playing geeks, and role-playing geeks look down on LARPers. So hopefully this article will help people recognize those feelings within themselves and try to show a little more empathy. Otherwise, Josh is going to tell them to “eat a bag of dicks.”

  42. Great job, Mr. Flanagan! I agree. It isn’t funny and as humor its as cheap as fart jokes. Zero creativity.

    I used to follow MF on twitter. Felt good to give them a block.

  43. ah man. his captions are sooooo bad. those are some of the worst one liners i have seen in a while.
    i feel so embarrassed for him. He comes across as such an unfunny douche.

  44. Great article Josh. Besides it being an issue in cosplay, it’s just a matter of human decency.

    As someone who’s had a photo taken off my personal flickr account and uploaded to a website that’s whole purpose is bashing people for being “fat and ugly” I can definitely say that internet bullying sucks. Seeing it so blatant on a mainstream publication’s website is completely pathetic.

    Newsflash – Fat people know they’re fat. They’ve been told that every day of their lives by the media and “concerned” individuals. You harassing them about it isn’t going to change anything but them feeling like crap and you looking like a douche.

  45. Well done goos sir. This is why I’m an iFanboy member.

  46. Well said sir, well said!!!

  47. Josh you may remember me from the con, I actually spotted you by the escalator and shook your hand on Friday. Truth is i was scared to death to show up to con in my costume I was having second thoughts because of how tight it was but my girlfriend had pretty much convinced me to do it (her costume was pretty revealing too). I found it pretty funny though that at the convention people who recognized the characters we were dressed as were thrilled about our costumes everybody else was,… less than thrilled. I gotta say I appreciated the first cosplay article you wrote as well as this follow up because it’s really easy to fall to this sorta’ thing without strong support like this that I get from my friends and my girlfriend. Despite all the bullshit I gotta say I’m pretty happy with how comic con turned out and I had a great time. People who think like Mr. Burchette don’t matter because I’m happy with my life, and I feel very accomplished and size has been absolutely irrelevant to all that.

    Sorry if I rambled a bit there.

  48. I disagree. I think nothing should be off limits. There is something somewhere that YOU find funny and someone else finds offensive. There is something you think is GOOD that someone else thinks is garbage.

    Are we really saying fat jokes are out of bounds? Context sensitive? If so when are fat jokes ok? When are they not ok? What about rape jokes? What about jokes about old people? What about Daniel Tosh’s constant racial jokes? Funny? Not funny? Ok? Not ok?

    Who gets to decide?

    It’s either ALL OK, or none of it is. This guy gets to make fun of fat people if he wants to, we get to call him a cunt and a douche bag. People shouldn’t get so worked up about this stuff. If it’s not funny to you move on instead of taking up arms against the ‘injustice’ of it. Someone is reading the multiple uses of the word cunt in these comments and getting mad as hell, either from the language or the fact that it is a super offensive term to alot of women. Should we care? At all?

    I support costume wearers, fat and skinny, they bring lot’s of joy to people.

    • I’d like to add that anyone that puts on a Emma Frost, Slave Leia, or any tight as hell superhero costume, almost no matter their body type is awesomely secure with themselves and could care less what anyone thinks of them anyway. I honestly doubt any of them would be the slight bit affected by the article because they are superhuman anyway.

    • I never said that he didn’t have a right to post that. You’re talking about censorship. I’m not.

      And yes, we should care.

    • I think there’s also a difference between making a fat joke and pointing at a specific “fat” person and laughing at them.

  49. I don’t cosplay, but I am fat and always have had weight issues. Not sure why society can accept that drug addicts have a problem but its somehow the fault of the fat person that they are fat. As if it was that simple and therefor ok to ridicule. So basically, thank you, Josh.

  50. The comics community can take a stand and defend its fans against these bullies…have the NYCC and all other major cons like SDCC reject all media passes to Mens Health and whatever publications fall under their corporate umbrellas until a formal and sincere apology is given. Media credentials are a right and not a privilege…they shouldn’t be used to create sneak attacks on innocent people in a public forum.

    I also hope those cosplayers at least consider legal action.

  51. Look, I agree that this guy wrote some pretty mean, bullying things about the people in those pictures. And Josh is right to bring down the thunder. At the same time, let’s be the better people here. Vote against the magazine (because they let this guy do this) and vote against the writer by not supporting the site or the magazine. Tell friends and family that the magazine puts up hurtful, often mean things about people in our community.

    Coming here and calling him names, making fun of him, or wishing him harm is no better or loftier than what he did to those people in the photos. That’s just us, as a commmunity, bullying him back. I know we’re capable of better, especially if some of us were bullied ourselves.

    Thanks for pointing this out to us Josh. I’ll be sure to let folks know about such a harmful writer when I get the chance.

  52. I genuinely do not understand why everyone is so worked up over this. It’s a fitness magazine; were you expecting them to be complimentary to over/underweight people? I mean, the article isn’t funny, despite clearly meaning to be, and perhaps it’s out of place in what I assume is supposed to be a serious magazine (I’m not a reader); but he didn’t say anything more cruel than you get in your average Cracked or Mad Magazine article.

    As far as making fun of fat people goes, it is open season, and why shouldn’t it be? Sure there are very rare cases of people with genetic disorders that make them unable to lose weight, but the vast majority of fatties–and I’m one of them–are that way because they like pie. And ice cream. And not exercising. It’s a self-inflicted social stigma.

    When you look like that, have some common sense and don’t go out into public wearing super-tight and/or revealing clothing. It’s (usually) gross. And if you do, understand that you’re going to get made fun of; it’s like smoking in a crowd and someone pointedly coughing or scowling at you. Goes with the territory.

    • He’s not just making fun of fat people though, he’s making fun of skinny people and people who have to wear glasses too…..bascially he’s making fun of people he seems to think he is better than, at least, that’s how it comes off to me (beacuse as you said, it’s not funny).

    • I really don’t get your reasoning for why it’s okay to make fun of people, whether it’s something they’re responsible for or not. It basically comes down to you judging them for the choices they make, but according to your value system. Whether it’s obesity, fashion, their hobbies… why does someone feel it’s their responsibility to let that person know they don’t approve? That’s got douche written all over it and it always will.

    • There’s obviously a difference between trying to be funny and trying to be hurtful. This guy is no good at being funny, but it doesn’t seem like he’s being malicious to anyone. The one is wrong, the other isn’t. That’s why it’s not ok to be sexist for real, but it’s acceptable for a comedian to make jokes about how women are annoying. And so on.

      And even if he was being malicious–I don’t know the guy, maybe he was–a (small) part of the blame lays with the cosplayers in question here. They know what they look like, they know what those outfits look like, they looked in a mirror before they left the house. It’s a cruel world, and no matter how nice and friendly people SHOULD be, they’re not. And they’re never going to be. So if you know you get butt-hurt when someone mistreats you, don’t give them the opportunity to do it. Don’t walk through Harlem wearing John McClain’s sandwich board.

    • The fact that you say you are overweight and then also blame yourself for it is proof that it is not as simple as that.

    • Who should I blame for being overweight? No one made me eat all the crap I eat, and no one but myself kept me from going to the gym.

      Personal responsibility: it’s a thing.

    • @MisterShaw I agree with you. I just looked at the article, and found it kinda funny. I’m getting a little over-weight myself, and I wouldn’t subject myself or anyone with good eyesight to me in tights. LOL.

      Man, too many people on this site are over-sensitive “internet alarmists”. 😉

  53. Great piece man, really well written and expressed. I’m not only a comic book and sci-fi nerd but also an exercise and health fanatic as well. And this fanaticism sprung from ridicule I received as an overweight kid. So, I totally get the embarrassment any one of our fellow comic brethren feel when they are confronted by douches like this guy. Thing is, there shouldn’t be any kind of fucking embarrassment. Fanaticism is fanaticism, whether you invest your time in sports or comics. The majority of these assholes are probably heavily into sports. They dress up (jerseys), congregate with other fans (games or sports bars), and sometimes even paint themselves up with their team’s regalia. Sounds an awful lot like the kind of folks you’d run into at a comic book convention don’t you think? Only difference is, this is seen as “manly” and “culturally cool” as opposed to something acceptable to laugh at and make fun of. And the last time I went to any kind of sports game, the majority of the fools there weren’t in shape in the very least. Some of these guys even made the comic book folks look good.
    In short, I second your “fuck this guy.”

    • i agree. Frankly i dont know why people dont address this more often. As much as I realy enjoy playing sports… and sometimes even enjoy watching professional sports. I dont see that being a sports fanatic is that different from having an interest in anything else. At least most convention goers read. Its realy just a majority makes the rules kind of situation. I feel just as you feel. How is that there are millions of people with Tom Brady jerseys with huge guts hanging over their belts.. and somehow nobody makes comments about that. While im at it.. I dont think that spending countless hours checking out sports stats and or participating in fantasy sports leagues (which i admit i do and have done).. is a mature past time.

  54. Josh, your article is well written, funny, thoughtful, and kind. I really enjoyed it! (And based on the above,everyone did.)

    I think everyone here should send this guy and Men’s Fitness an e-mail. (Important: A non-threatening, non-ranting, level headed e-mail saying in uncertain (unswearing) terms that Burchette’s article was unprofessional.)

    There are four things I like best about ifanboy (I know it should really be three or five, but it’s four.):
    1. That you guys seem very intelligent
    2. That you guys are funny
    3. That you guys consider your opinions to be just that – opinions – and put no pressure on listeners/viewers/readers to agree with you
    4. That you all seem like stand-up guys one would want to have a beer with.

    This article really bolsters #4. It’s a mean-ass world we live in, and most of us these days have mean senses of humor (myself included). An article pleading for a few drops of human decency is very refreshing. (And I say this as a former Men’s Fitness purchaser.)

    Well done!

  55. That’s the classiest f-word laden response I’ve ever read Josh. Couldn’t agree more.

  56. Amazing article. Bravo.

  57. “Why are you crying mom?”
    “I just wanted to have a good time at Comic-Con, but some really mean person secretly took my picture, and posted it on the internet while making smartass cracks about my weight.”
    “Why would someone do that?”
    “Because he’s a heartless cunt, dear.”
    ” Wow mom, so a nobody writer whose body of work is primarily snark and mocking, takes pictures of people who are in average to poor physical shape who are dressing up in somewhat ridiculous outfits that really only work on paper and barely look good on people in fantastic shape and then posts them on the internet on a website none of them would have seen unless people lost their shit about it and started posting about it online. He says mean things like “this guy is fat” and “this guy looks like an accountant” (oh the hate speech) and rather than teach a lesson about not letting the opinions of people you don’t respect affect you, you are reduced to blubbering about. You know mom, good health often makes people happier and more self confident, maybe some time on the stairmaster will make you a little less sensitive to the jabs of a snooty writer no one has heard of who seems to enjoy saying mean things to get attention”

    “Eat a bag of dicks son”

    What’s wrong with you, iFanboy?

    Seriously people, why does anyone care? So he says mean and insulting things (but not necessarily untrue things, many of them were in poor shape, and seriously the magnet did look like an accountante. Ian MacKellan is a skinny old man and he pulled off threatening genocidal madman) and the comics internet responds by…

    saying mean and insulting things.

    eat a bag of dicks

    steriod and shrunken testicle cracks

    calling him a prick

    calling him a cunt

    calling him a douche

    saying he’s trying to be cool and he’s not

    Yep that’s so much better. People mock, even people on this website (seriously the mullet mocking around here is tangible, come on its business in the front, party in the back, 2 great tastes. Why the hate?). Sometimes its because they don’t understand something, sometimes it’s because they hate themselves and have to take it out on others, usually it’s just a bad attempt at humor. I am a fat man, i have been mocked of all my life. It hurt until i realized i didn’t really care about the opinion of the people mocking me regarding anything else, why would i care what they thought of me? Grow a pair, even if you have to move aside some fat rolls to see them.

    On the plus side good old Jordan has reinforced the notion that despite all of our differences, when it comes down’t to it geeks and non-geeks really are all the same. A bunch of judgemental crybabies waiting for an opportunity to get their panties in a bunch and pounce on anyone who says things they don’t like.

    Good thing you have me to put it all in perspective for you

    You are welcome.

  58. Men’s Fitness is a rag anyways………

  59. love love love angry iFanboy editorials:)

  60. Ok while I agree that insulting a guy back for saying horrible things is no better I have to disagree with comicbooknoitall on one simple point: people have emotions. Yes you can pick yourself up and yes afterward you can say I’m gonna get on living my life. But that doesn’t it was okay for someone to hurt them in the first place. Saying we shouldn’t care is like saying to your kid who got bullied in the playground ‘whats wrong with you, pull yourself together’. Emotional responses are good and healthy and normal. Being hurt by abuse isn’t bad its the abuse that is. Yes you can be made stronger, if by stronger you mean harder and less emotionally open (which isn’t stronger but whatever), but that IS NOT THE POINT.

    People’s initial reactions to this, mine included, were one of ‘this is wrong’ but expressed through unnecessary angry and name calling. And yes bullying takes many forms and we can be jokey without realising it hurts but that doesn’t make it okay. Telling someone to grow a pair is a prime example. Its emasculating. Same as telling people of any size they aren’t a normal example of humanity. I’m uber skinner and weirdly get the same, though thankfully not in a hateful way that hurts but jokingly and infrequently but you see my point.

    I think the phrase ‘getting your panties in a twist’ has become a blanket term for people getting passionately upset about any topic they have a real moral objection too. You wouldn’t call a civil rights activist someone who was just ‘getting their panties in a twist’.

    Bullying is wrong, by this guy or us or anyone. We should not encourage people to become insensitive. Know I no of no examples where by people have been upset by this directly but it is irrelevant. Its a mindset that should never, EVER be tolerated that an individual person is open to ridicule. You want to pick at a belief system? Okay be my guest. I may take issue or disagree but that’s okay, we can work through it. Don’t like a way of government? Satire away. Gonna post a picture of a specific person you saw with a ‘witty’ (but poor from any comedic standpoint) comment and a snide remark? That is picking out and bullying someone on personal qualities. Whether that specific person has insecurities or was hurt is irrelevant. People should speak up.

    You’ve heard so much stuff you block it out? That’s cool for you. Whether you really don’t care or have decided its pointless to dwell on it is another matter. One seems slightly inhuman the other logical. But you can’t say some people DO get upset. This is fine. We cannot measure other people’s pain to our own as we do not know them or their personal lives.

    If someone says they don’t like your taste in music and you do cry maybe someone should bring you along side and say ‘Come on, you need to work on this.’ Saying ‘why do you care?’ and telling those who do care that person is upset that they are ‘crybabies’ is still bullying. It neglects that people are people. This is what we are debating. The devaluation of humans as thinking, emoting individuals. That is what this man has done. That is why it is wrong. It is a subtle form of dehumanization for a cheap joke. The person stops being a person and becomes a punchline. This is wrong. This should be spoke out against. Disagree with me? Okay. Call me names back (while judging those who do for being judgmental) ok I can live with that. Not gonna care about the very idea of making fun of an individual person? That I have issue with.

    This isn’t a question of censorship or what is funny either. Let’s not start that. As far as I’m concerned all topics are open for comedy. Comedy should be able to make us think and laugh about the stuff that would other wise make us cry. All topics are open for ridicule. Persons never should be.

    Sorry bout the length.

  61. Andy Rooney could only hope to be half as cool as ‘What’s Wrong With You.” Better than “My Two Cents.”

  62. P.S sorry about the appalling grammar and spelling. we need an edit button

  63. Great article.

    Off-topic #1: Re: “Why are you crying mom?”

    C’mon, Josh. Put a comma between “crying” and “mom”. This is a fundamental writing skill. It’s the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma!” and “Let’s eat Grandma!”

    Off-topic #2: I didn’t see any back hair on that guy’s back. I’m not clicking on the picture to blow it up to look for a little back hair. It’s slightly weird to even be talking about this, so I’m not saying Josh is weird for posting the picture. But the whole situation is just weird. Then again, it’s kind of weird for that guy to even have such a picture of himself–black & white and all artsy–on the internet in the first place. He looks like he has a decent physique. Not that I was checking him out or anything. 😉

  64. Where’s Edward? This seems like the first article where it would actually be somewhat appropriate to brag about how ripped he is to a bunch of folks who couldn’t care less.

    Well done, Josh. This Bruschetta guy clearly has some schoolyard insecurities.

  65. Well done Josh and eat a bag of dicks indeed

  66. Haven’t read ALL the comments, but aside from the non-funny funny captions that essentially sound like the school bully on a poorly written episode of 80’s staple sitcom “The Hogan Family”, did anyone notice this hack A.) made fat joke about two perfectly average-sized NYPD cops, and B.) used the words “tsunami relief effort” as a punchline?

    And this guy gets PAID to write?! What am I doing WRONG?!

    Oh, and check out my latest column at StashMyComics.com!


  67. Josh advocates for con attendees! Sweet. We much appreciate it.

  68. Yes!

  69. Josh, How is that article any less ill informed, less focused on preconceived idea or any more mature than the Men’s Fittness story? It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  70. Kudos to you for responding to this hateful article in such a passionate way. Although I fear the bullying, sniggering Mens Fitness types will be around for ever, making nasty comments about various groups of people that don’t fit into their narrow world-view.
    As you say Josh, the best reaction is to carry on and enjoy yourself doing what you love, whether it’s reading comics or dressing up as your favourite comic book character.
    Fuck the bullies.

  71. I find it rather telling that Men’s Fitness either didnt allow comments for this story, or doesn’t allow it for the whole magazine website (I dont read the website or the magazine)… Apparently this way they can probably feel they can piss on whomever they want without anyone reading the angry retorts back. That pretty much puts them firmly under the header of Bully in my book.

  72. Noticed they also have an article on “Freakish Medical Conditions” that basically does nothing but point out how much they suck and then tack on intensely inappropriately light-hearted jokes about how the people with these conditions will probably never get laid.

    So. You know. I don’t think class is even on this magazines radar. We’re fighting the en’s magazine equivalent of The National Inquirer.

  73. Remember when you actually had to do something besides make snide comments to be called a bully? If this guy, and people like him, are bullies, the dude’s who stole my lunch money, gave people swirlies, and started all the playground fights must’ve been straight gangsters.

    People need to toughen up. It’s a hard world, sunshine.

    • i like this guy

    • Yeah agreed. I’d bash the writer for being unfunny, but I think anything else is going a little overboard.

    • bullying is choosing to do things that have the very, real potential to be harmful with no good reason.

    • All I have to say is that just because everyone has the choice whether they’re going to let someone’s disparaging remarks get them down, that does not excuse the person who was an ahole in the first place. You’re confusing two very different concepts here. It also seems like you have some self loathing issues. You’re not your weight. Yes, it’s indicative of certain choices you’ve made, but that’s only one portion of you. It’s not okay for someone to judge you solely on that portion. Those people are dicks. It’s good to move on, but moving on doesn’t mean those people were right, it just means you’re choosing to move on.

    • I’m not absolving anyone of guilt. A rapist is still a scumbag, even if the woman made the poor decision of walking in a bad part of town unaccompanied late at night. Doesn’t mean she’s responsible for the criminal’s actions, but she is responsible for not being avoiding the possible situation she was putting herself in. Maybe a bit of a stretch as an analogy, but I refuse to compare this to genuine bullying.

      As far as self-loathing, nope. If anything, I’m overly pleased with myself. I do, however, understand the concept of personal responsibility, which seems to be a completely foreign concept to many in this thread (and the world at large). It’s healthy to be dissatisfied with yourself when there’s something wrong with you. And being overweight is something wrong with you, because it will kill you. It’s certainly slower than a heroin habit, but the end result is the same.

    • Well sure, but it’s *personal* responsibility, not Jordan Burchette’s responsibility.

      There’s very good reason to stay out of people’s way on “personal” issues. We have no idea what path they’re on. Maybe that lardo everyone’s laughing at has just struggled though losing 25 pounds, but since he still has 75 to go he’s still being targeted as lazy and disgusting. And a lot of times issues with weight are much more complicated than “I really like pie.” There’s a myriad of psychological reasons why some people find solace in a few extra pounds. For example, your own rape situation. Sexual abuse can often trigger weight gain in women in a subconscious way to avoid male advances. It’s a personal issue and people who lose weight for any other reason than themselves have a very high rate of gaining back the pounds.

      Most importantly, no matter what part of their path a person is on, I don’t think they need to apologize. If everyone waited till they were perfect before they donned a costume that made them happy then Comic Conventions would be a much more boring place. Are we really suggesting people instill more shame and unhappiness in their lives? It’s just ludicrous.

    • I’m suggesting if you think you’re man/woman enough to wear an unflattering outfit in public, you be man/woman enough to not get butt-hurt when someone makes fun of you for it.

    • I think they’re aware there will be snickering from attendees, though given the context it’s generally safe to think it will mostly be in good fun. However, making an actual article about for a national magazine it is a little more public and another level of demeaning.

      It’s not about whether people can “take it” or not. It’s whether we’re content with someone thinking that’s appropriate. We are not; thus, we’re speaking out about it. And it worked. The article is down. Score one for people who aren’t so good with sitting idly by.

    • I thought itsbecca was going to say “you’re not your job, you’re not your bowel cancer, you are not your fucking khakis

    • Eerie. I just got a message this morning about some Chuck Palahniuk event…

  74. “I would like to begin today’s missive by formally inviting Men’s Fitness Magazine and writer Jordan Burchette to feast on a giant bag of dicks.”

    Your answer to a body-fascist bully is to try to outdo him by being a homophobic jerk?

    Seriously, is this your idea of taking the high ground and being the better person? Because if so, you just flunked.

    • I just think that would be unpleasant. If you’re looking for homophobia, I guess you’ll find it where you want, but there isn’t any here.

      And who said anything about taking it to higher ground?

    • Unfortunately this isn’t a case of “wanting to find homophobia”. You are basically telling that male writer: “go and suck dicks”. In other words: “go and do gay stuff”. How am I supposed to NOT read that as homophobia?

      And most gay people are actually trying to NOT see the homophobia around them every single day, hard as that is, so being accused of “wanting to create drama” in this case is pretty insulting and not at all in sync with the rest of your article.

    • I’m not looking for homophobia, Josh. I try to avoid it, which is why most of the time when I encounter a 13-year-old insulting someone by telling him to go suck a cock, I ignore the child. But since you were writing an article about how that kind of juvenile bullshit is a Bad Thing, I thought it might be a good opportunity to point out the log in your own eye. Apparently not. Like Jordan Burchette, you’re too wrapped up in being an ass to give a damn.

    • Instead of a 13 year old, my 31 year old best friend of the last decade, who just happens to be gay, tells me to “suck a dick” almost daily. It’s kind of like he doesn’t see it as a homophobic diatribe, it’s funny, it’s like it’s a widely used expression or something

    • If you want to think I’m a homophobe and an asshole, I certainly can’t stop you. I’m not. It’s very important to me that I’m not, and anyone who’s spent any time around me would know that. It’s a joke. It’s a vaguely tasteless joke, and it’s one I cribbed from Louis CK, and it’s one I’m not taking down, because I’ve spent enough time around gay men who are friends and listened to enough Dan Savage to know that I have absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of my standing among the queer community. If you knew anything about my life, you’d know exactly how ridiculous that kind of a charge is, and the fact that I’m even responding to it indicates how offensive *I* find the accusation, and I’m not playing the justification game with anyone. Language is about intent and the meaning behind it, and if you think there’s absolutely anything there about gay people, you’re completely missing the point.

    • As a writer you know how powerful words are. Did you mean the “dickbag” comment in a homophobic way? Taking your word for it I’d say no. But I don’t know you personally. So, without an explanation that comment can be read several ways. Some of the criticsm you got for it, to me, sounds too harsh and got insulting really quick. That’s the bad part about it. The good part, hopefully, is that you might chose your insults a bit more carefully, or are at least prepared to deal with the criticism. (Like Louis CK did by adressing this in the great Poker episode). And while I am strongly against censorship the added “vaginabag” certainly takes the suspicion of homophobia out of your otherwise good article.

      Being gay you have to deal with prejudice on a daily basis so that you really can’t help but notice anything that has the potential to be homophobia, as much as I would like to not do that. Did I WANT to read homophobia into your aricle? No. But my brain still immediately registered it as such. This isn’t a case of “poor me” (because I am pretty awesome) and it’s not about being politically correct. I don’t feel like “we” won by having you edit your article. I guess it’s just that no one wants to feel insulted, neither cosplayers nor anyone else.

    • And this brings us around to why both the Catwoman/Red Hood controversy AND this article just make things worse for everybody in the long run instead of people’s intention of a feel good change the world moment. Someone, somewhere will always be offended by anything that we as human beings do. By giving it legs and making big deals out of stuff we are forcing artist (not to mention regular everyday people) to think about these things and potentially hobble their work so as to not be swept up in the latest outrage.

      I have a gay friend, and I would literally bet my life that he is not offended by “bag of dicks” so does that now make it ok? Or is it only the people that are offended by something that count? Is there a line? It’s an old stale joke and cliche, but it’s TRUE, that apparently it will eventually only be OK to make fun of 20 to 39 year old straight white christian males who like sports and are attractive and fit and have a healthy diet. Comedy gold mine!

  75. Doesn’t everyone know that Men’s Fitness is the Enquirer of the fitness magazine scene? Men’s Health is where it’s at. Don’t read the rag Men’s Fitness.

  76. Did they take the article down? I tried reading it again just now from the link but it says access denied.

  77. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the schoolyard or behind an editor’s desk. A bully’s a bully.

    I’ve worked in education for the last 7 years, and seen how much effort has gone into anti-bullying campaigns and messages. And so to see the article Mr. Burchette wrote published in a nationally syndicated magazine is pretty disheartening.

    While I’m glad Men’s Fitness has taken the article down, I’d like to encourage everyone to (politely!) pressure the editor’s to publish an actual apology.

  78. There. I have now adjusted the language so as to not offend. I am all about equality in insult.

  79. OK, that’s enough. People were actually offended, which was obviously not my intent, unless you were the Men’s Fitness people, and that was obviously my intent. I don’t want to pile on or make fun of them for having those feelings, as much as I might disagree about what was said about me. This was the best way I could think to even the scales, and spotlight the actual intent behind that admittedly childish, but non-discriminatory joke.

    I really do blame Dan Savage for this. He’s made my language atrocious since I started listening to his podcast. But then, I also like that freedom at the same time, and the power of language.

  80. The “feast on a giant bag of dicks” remark really does torpedo the whole point of your essay, Josh. It opens you up to the charge that you’re just as much of a jerk as he is. And I have to say, that charge sticks.

    You try to justify the remark by saying that you think putting dicks in your mouth “would be unpleasant”. But there’s a whole world of unpleasant-to-you-personally things you could have told the author to do…. why that one? You seem to be an articulate, imaginative person; you could have come up with many other put-downs. Why not tell him to swallow a huge bucket of fried chicken and a watermelon? Or a bushel of tamales and refried beans?

    One reason why not is because those would sound like thinly-veiled racism. Because only a racist would come up with those in the first place, then use them as put-downs. So what kind of person comes up with “feast on a giant bag of dicks”? What sort of person would consider that a smack-down insult?

    Another reason you wouldn’t use the “fried chicken” or “tamales” lines to insult this author is that you know he’s not black or latino. Those put-downs wouldn’t hit home. They’d just sound… bizarre, wouldn’t they? But this is a guy who writes for Men’s Fitness, a man who likes thin and muscular male bodies, and ridicules men who don’t meet his standard of attractiveness. Sound like a fag to you? I bet it does. Because that’s the only explanation for why an otherwise thoughtful writer would fall back on a lockerroom taunt like “feast on a giant bag of dicks” in an article that’s supposedly about the evils of bullying.

    You’re trying to punish the bully, by bullying him back. And in doing so, you excused him. You’re living in a glass house, and calling the kettle black, Josh. You apparently don’t give a damn, and that’s your right. Just like it’s the fitness guy’s right to make fun of you.

    • It’s EATING, EATING dicks. That’s unpleasant for any one who is not a cannibal, and I would argue that even most cannibals skip the sex organ’s when they eat people. GAY PEOPLE DO NOT FANTASIZE ABOUT EATING DICKS!

      “Waiter, I am gay, where is my dick that I ordered? I love to eat dicks!!!”

    • I was absolutely resorting to the writer’s level, hence the personal comments on the photo of him I posted. The intent of the language was to express my anger and strong feelings. That doesn’t always translate to politeness. So yes, I was a jerk to him. Totally. I thought he deserved it.

      Anyway, I wrote what I wrote, and it’s not my habit to justify or defend it. I’ll just have to deal with the opinions it created.

    • It appears to be quite the opposite, according to the Wikipedia page for German cannibal Armin Meiwes- ‘As is known from a videotape the two made when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes’s home in the small village of Rotenburg, Meiwes amputated Brandes’ penis and the two men attempted to eat the penis together before Brandes was killed. Brandes had insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off.’

  81. If u are a straight man, id imagine putting dicks in ur mouth is not very much fun. I must say, as a gay man, i d die if a vagina was all I had to eat. Josh, I’m gay, ur not homophobic, bags of dicks isnt homophobic, people are stupid.

  82. As a fat comic geek i thank you for standing up for my people Josh. Well said.

  83. This comments section really took a turn for the worst, what is it about the internet that inspires people to pick out petty, unimportant things to take a stand on? Is the human species this sensitive in real life, or just message boards?

  84. Great editorial, Sir.

    What’s hilarious is people are arguing about “Bags of Dicks”…. priceless.