The thin skin of contemporary comics creators seemingly knows no bounds. Over at Doug Ernst's blog, Doug wrote a series of posts explaining why, in his view, Dan Slott's (at left) Superior Spider-Man is, well, anything but "superior." Slott became rather defensive on Twitter, especially about the argument over sales figures. Slott aggressively points out that Superior is one of the best selling titles in the biz today; Doug argues that was never his [main] point. You can read through the threads yourself (which I highly recommend). But an argument over sales figures isn't my point today.
The point today is ... why are modern comics creators so freakin' close-minded and defensive about any "negative" critique of the work (or views)? Do they honestly expect people to whisper sweet nothings in their ears and kiss their asses all the time? In the above case, why couldn't Slott just point out where he thought Doug was wrong, and do it in a civilized manner? And then be done with it? It's certainly not as if Doug's post wasn't well thought out, after all. What does screaming "IDIOT" multiple times at Doug do for Slott?
The debate caught the attention of Newsarama's Graeme McMillan, who wrote his own blog post about the back-and-forth. And for some reason, Mr. Ernst has been blocked from commenting there -- on a post dedicated to him. Read the comments. Tell me where Doug violated any sort of standard. Yeesh.
All this takes me back roughly fourteen years, to an e-mail convo I had with comics legend Kurt Busiek. Kurt advocated voicing one's displeasure over something by using more speech instead of an economic boycott (ie. not buying a writer's/artist's comics. My point at the time was that the average joe -- fan -- really had no medium by which to express his views. And they didn't. There were no blogs then, no social media ... only e-mail. Fast forward to the present day: Blogs. Facebook. Twitter. Innumerable ways for fans to express their opinions. But now, with these, that "fight speech with more speech" mantra seems to have been tossed aside. Creators like Busiek block people from merely following them on Twitter (and elsewhere). And, again, it's not because of profanity, slurs, or anything similar. It's only because they don't like what we have to say.
Back to Slott: I respect and appreciate what he said here, about knowing that taking a particular political stance may alienate a lot of readers, because doing the opposite "would be selling myself out." I guess Dan isn't similarly concerned about how he interacts with fans ... especially those who simply disagree with him.
If he bothers to interact with them at all, that is.Posted by Hube at April 7, 2013 10:51 AM | TrackBack