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Dave S.
01-13-2011, 08:04 PM
So I stumbled across this blog post. It's actually by a indie video game developer whose work I really admire, but I think it rings very true with any type of creator, and the points he brings up would be equally valid here.

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-reasons-creators-should-never.html


If I have learned anything from writing Indie games for a living for fifteen years (and there are plenty who would say that I haven't), it is that it is usually a bad idea for creators to visit online forums discussing them and their work. It doesn't lead to happy ends.

This is why big, smart companies with actual budgets hire community people who do nothing but deal with and sift through forums. Managing fans is real work, and picking out the realistic and worthwhile comments takes a ton of time and judgment. That is why smart companies put a layer between the fans and the creators. If you don't have this layer, you should keep a safe, respectful distance.

It's a pity. My company, Spiderweb Software, has a really awesome, active online forum. Been there for years. Always active, full of all sorts of discussions. However, unless I've just released a game and are looking for signs of early, evil bugs, I have to stay away from it.

Some of my fans really resent this and take it personally, and they haven't been shy about letting me know. But if you've ever wondered why the creators of your beloved games often avoid the forums (especially the Word of Warcraft forums, Yeesh!), this might help you to understand why.

1. It's Not Productive To Read How Much People Hate You

It's been said that, if you want a healthy marriage, you have to say five kind things for every unkind thing. It is in our nature to gloss over and ignore kind words, but to really fixate on and get affected by unkind ones. This is why Facebook will never have a Don't Like button. If you see "Joe likes your post," well, fine. If the average online denizen see "Joe doesn't like this," he or she will probably freak out.

Which brings us to forums.

A few years ago, I wrote an article for IGN about how I felt that Indie games were far from the only source of innovation, and the big companies don't get enough credit for trying to make innovative things. Slashdot was kind enough to link to it. Someone might agree or disagree with me. Fine. But someone wrote this ...

"This is the kind of commentary I'd expect out of a cynical independent ripoff artist in action, really. You know, the kind of person who is too afraid and closed-minded to try anything new, partly because he doesn't want to lose his money or reputation - a sound judgement - and partly because he just doesn't seem to want to try. ... In other words, nothing to see here. Just near-mindless droning from another cynic with a rather skewed and defeated view of the gaming world."


WHOA! DUDE! What did I ever do to you? Did I run over your dog? Make out with your mom? Go to where you work and mess up the settings on the fry vat? Damn!

Now, I thought that one was pretty funny. I sent links to it to my friends, saying, "Hey! Look what people REALLY think of me!" Over the years, I've developed a pretty thick skin. And yet, if you read lots of people dumping on you, unless you have super-human emotional control, it's eventually going to get to you. Sometimes I'll get weak and look at a forum and see some nasty cheap shot and it'll throw me off my game for hours.

Remember, as Penny Arcade put it (in a far superior and NSFW way), anonymity plus audience makes assholes. (And, for what it's worth, the creators of Penny Arcade don't read their forums either.)

It's a little different on my company's forums. But only a little. Even though it is mainly populated by my fans, it is still full of shots at my design skill, game quality, virility, and facial complexion. Remember, there's a thin line between love and hate. Nobody will lash out at you like a disappointed fan.

When I read the forums for, say, World of Warcraft or xkcd, I'm always amazed at how nasty things get. It makes me think, "If you hate it so much, why are you there?" But that's just the way it is, and excess exposure to insults can really get under your skin, make you doubt yourself, and interfere with your work. It's very sad, but you sometimes need to just protect yourself by staying away. Keep your brain clean.

2. It's Not Going To Be Helpful

It seems like reading forums would be a good way to get design ideas and learn ways to improve your games. With the exception of learning about bugs, this is usually not the case.

It can be tempting, when you're stuck designing a game, to read forums and look for feedback. The problem is this. No matter what the question is, there are people who will advocate strongly for both sides of it. Many of these people reflexively hate change. Many of these people are only happy if the game is much harder (or much easier). Some of them will not, in fact, have a realistic idea about anything. Often, there are issues where intelligent people can come to opposite conclusions, and you can read thousands of furious posts on either side of the issue without getting an inch closer to an actual decision.

Forums contain a cacophony of people telling you to do diametrically opposite things, very loudly, often for bad reasons. There will be plenty of good ideas, but picking them out from the bad ones is unreliable and a lot of work. If you try to make too many people happy at once, you will drive yourself mad. You have to be very, very careful who you let into your head.

Of course, it is still very important for designers to get lots of good, constructive criticism. That is why I have built up an elite cadre of awesome beta testers and interested friends, and I listen to them very closely. And, I must point out, many of those testers were recruited from my forums. You just need to choose carefully the people you ask for advice.

3. You Might Get Suckered Into Getting Angry

Not much to say about this. If you read forums for long enough, you will read a lot of nasty comments and cheap shots. If you read enough cheap shots, you'll get angry. If you are angry enough, you will eventually lash out and flame back.

Snapping angrily at your customers never, ever leads to good results.

One Final Comment

I'm sure some of my fellow Indie developers are reading this and shaking their heads at my idiocy. A lot of developers do maintain close relationships with their forums. It works for them, for now. I'm glad for them, and I hope it keeps working.

Just bear this in mind. When you start out and gain your first following, you get a grace period. You're a fresh face, making awesome new things. Everyone loves you. And, most importantly, you haven't had a chance to start disappointing chunks of your fan base yet.

The longer you are active, the more of your fans will turn on you, justified or not.

And, if you are a member of my forums reading this, know this. I love you guys. The idea that anyone wants to discuss my work at all, even to dump on it, is insanely flattering. I just hope that this makes clearer the instincts of efficiency and self-preservation that lead me to keep a little bit of distance.

Thoughts?

Patch
01-13-2011, 08:11 PM
So I stumbled across this blog post. It's actually by a indie video game developer whose work I really admire, but I think it rings very true with any type of creator, and the points he brings up would be equally valid here.

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-reasons-creators-should-never.html



Thoughts?

Regarding 1. Well, it's not productive, period. :) Though it's a lot nicer to be liked than hated. 2. Unfortunately, pretty much, this is true. Though it is helpful in a general way (that and Marvel should probably go ahead and make a Cloak and Dagger mini). 3. This is the one I hate myself for doing.

Dave S.
01-13-2011, 08:14 PM
I think #3 rings true from the recent Dan Slott incident.

TheNatureRoy
01-13-2011, 08:26 PM
I'm kinda/sorta in this situation in an unrelated world and I wholeheartedly agree with the author's comments. I never broke it down so deeply in my mind, I just learned quickly it was better to stay away.

Treacle
01-13-2011, 08:58 PM
I'm not a comics or video game creator, but the first time somebody started a thread on another popular forum (not this one) about what an evil, shallow, ugly bitch I was for writing a lingerie blog, I was totally floored. That whole, "What in the world did I ever do to you?" thing was front and center in my mind.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and responded which was exactly the wrong thing to do because it was like adding a 55 gallon drum of oil to a fire that probably would have burned out on its own...things just got way out of control.

I've only just started to get popular, so I have a feeling I'm still in my grace period, but if the blog ever really takes off, I'm sure it'll attract some haters. I just have to remember that it's one of the unpleasant side effects of success.

James Patrick
01-13-2011, 09:10 PM
I had someone say they want to shoot me in the head because of an Angel story I wrote. That was funny.

Dave S.
01-13-2011, 09:14 PM
I had someone say they want to shoot me in the head because of an Angel story I wrote. That was funny.

I'm still angry about that story! How could you get the character so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

James Patrick
01-13-2011, 09:16 PM
I'm still angry about that story! How could you get the character so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

I really thought Gunn was white and just in the shadows all the time.

Dreaded Anomaly
01-13-2011, 09:17 PM
There's only one real response to this:


Fuck you, my board!

russw
01-13-2011, 09:17 PM
All the more reason Scottthewriter shouldn't be looking to us for validation.

Ryan Elliott
01-13-2011, 09:36 PM
I'm not a comics or video game creator, but the first time somebody started a thread on another popular forum (not this one) about what an evil, shallow, ugly bitch I was for writing a lingerie blog, I was totally floored. That whole, "What in the world did I ever do to you?" thing was front and center in my mind.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and responded which was exactly the wrong thing to do because it was like adding a 55 gallon drum of oil to a fire that probably would have burned out on its own...things just got way out of control.

I've only just started to get popular, so I have a feeling I'm still in my grace period, but if the blog ever really takes off, I'm sure it'll attract some haters. I just have to remember that it's one of the unpleasant side effects of success.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/users/uploads/11043/0000Leo%20haters%20gonna%20hate.jpg

BJLG
01-13-2011, 10:06 PM
Sound wisdom I reapply all the time!

hamgravy
01-14-2011, 05:08 AM
Glad you posted this.

One thing that's gotten under my skin recently is the practice of posters ascribing intention to a creator's work. You might not like the outcome, but, as with the Slott incident, don't assume you know that a creator is thinking or doing or anything about their personal life. Then, as a creator, it's tough to not want to go on the defensive and lash out.

Myself, I've tried to meet any constructive criticism with a reasoned response, but, for the most part I've already moved onto new challenges by the time a book hits the stands.

Overall, points to the merits of creative people having someone else (if possible) manage other aspects of their career.

xyzzy
01-14-2011, 05:13 AM
Sound reasoning.

I played through all of the Exile games on my Mac back when I was in college. Great fun. I can't really imagine people hating on them that much.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 05:43 AM
What "Slott incident"? How could anyone hate on Dan Slott? He's made of unicorn giggles and gumdrop wishes. I just look at a picture of him and I get happier.

hamgravy
01-14-2011, 05:44 AM
What "Slott incident"? How could anyone hate on Dan Slott? He's made of unicorn giggles and gumdrop wishes. I just look at a picture of him and I get happier.

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/12/dan-slott-responds-to-message-board-insult-with-well-deserved-f-bomb/

And, not to say I know Dan, but, what I do know of him, accusing him of "paychecking" a job on Spider-man is WAY off-base.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 05:53 AM
There are creators who, due to certain online activies/ranting/etc., I have learned to dislike as a person. I still respect them for their contribution to comics and appreciate their work, but I don't really like them as people very much based on the personas they have created for themselves online (real or not). There are other creators who I never would have known about if it wasn't for the wonderful ways they handle themselves online, which has led me to picking up their work. It kind of works both ways. As a creator I think it's important to maintain a balance between being yourself and being diplomatic in the things you say and do online. Because if you come off like a dick, eventually it could hurt your career. Not just with the fans but also with publishers. Think of the comic book medium as politics: in most cases, anything bad you do can come back and bite you in the ass later on.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 06:59 AM
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/12/dan-slott-responds-to-message-board-insult-with-well-deserved-f-bomb/

And, not to say I know Dan, but, what I do know of him, accusing him of "paychecking" a job on Spider-man is WAY off-base.

Dude, Slott was totally right. Fuck that guy.

I love how some comic book fans seem to think that writing Spider-Man is the same thing as having a dumptruck full of money back into your yard and empty itself into your Olympic-size pool. I would guess, on average, most comic book creators could make more money by doing JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD. I don't think there are too many creators left who are doing comics just for a paycheck. If they didn't love comics, and love them a LOT, there are so many better ways to make a buck.


There are creators who, due to certain online activies/ranting/etc., I have learned to dislike as a person. I still respect them for their contribution to comics and appreciate their work, but I don't really like them as people very much based on the personas they have created for themselves online (real or not). There are other creators who I never would have known about if it wasn't for the wonderful ways they handle themselves online, which has led me to picking up their work. It kind of works both ways.

Agreed. And not just online, either. I have met certain creators whose personalities have turned me off so much that I can't or won't read their books. They may be incredibly talented (and from all accounts, seem to be), but I wouldn't know because they were such pricks that I can't bring myself to pick up their stuff.

By the flipside, being part of the Bendis Board community has endeared certain creators to me so much that I will pick up anything they do, just because I like them so much.

Alex(sadly)Maleev
01-14-2011, 07:03 AM
Agreed. And not just online, either. I have met certain creators whose personalities have turned me off so much that I can't or won't read their books. They may be incredibly talented (and from all accounts, seem to be), but I wouldn't know because they were such pricks that I can't bring myself to pick up their stuff.


:no:

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 07:09 AM
:no:

Not you, you big douche.
:heart::heart::heart:

Marcdachamp
01-14-2011, 07:11 AM
There definitely needs to be a balance. If I ever make it as a writer, I know I'd take insults pretty damn hard.

Nelson
01-14-2011, 07:16 AM
There definitely needs to be a balance. If I ever make it as a writer, I know I'd take insults pretty damn hard.
You suck, and your feet smell.














(Okay, I'm just guessing about the feet, but the other part is fact!!)

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 07:19 AM
There definitely needs to be a balance. If I ever make it as a writer, I know I'd take insults pretty damn hard.

If I ever "made it" as a writer, I'd probably never post here again.

This is my secret plot to motivate Bendis to get me a job. :)

Marcdachamp
01-14-2011, 07:47 AM
If I ever "made it" as a writer, I'd probably never post here again.

This is my secret plot to motivate Bendis to get me a job. :)

:lol:

So, it's NOT a good sign that he likes me? :surrend:


You suck, and your feet smell.














(Okay, I'm just guessing about the feet, but the other part is fact!!)

That's the half truth!!!

Oh, wait didn't notice the fine print. :surrend:

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 07:54 AM
One thing that's gotten under my skin recently is the practice of posters ascribing intention to a creator's work.

God, that's annoying. And so many people do it. Plus, ascribing intention is entailed in uncritical phrases like, "lazy writing."

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 08:04 AM
God, that's annoying. And so many people do it. Plus, ascribing intention isa is entailed in uncritical phrases like, "lazy writing."

But that's the internet. Anonymous + Audience = Asshole. The point is that it will always happen, and creators just need to keep away to keep from getting sucked in, as in the case with Slott. Well deserved or not, his response caused far more damage to him than the initial comment.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 08:06 AM
But that's the internet. Anonymous + Audience = Asshole. The point is that it will always happen, and creators just need to keep away to keep from getting sucked in, as in the case with Slott. Well deserved or not, his response caused far more damage to him than the initial comment.

What's this Slott thing you're referring to?

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 08:17 AM
What's this Slott thing you're referring to?
This:

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/12/dan-slott-responds-to-message-board-insult-with-well-deserved-f-bomb/

And, not to say I know Dan, but, what I do know of him, accusing him of "paychecking" a job on Spider-man is WAY off-base.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 08:26 AM
I posted to the Robot 6 blog and I still maintain that Dan Slott screwed up. Message board posters whine about comics and talk a lot of trash; that's the nature of the beast. It's on the creator to brush it off like a soldier.

I don't like the idea that a creator's personal life, state of mind or anything else can be used as a shield against bad work. I mean "bad" in that poster's opinion. I don't have an opinion of Mr. Slott's work at all, never read it. All I know is that no matter how much people hate you or talk bad on you, the second that you argue back, you lost.

The situation as-is seems really ridiculous. Slott should be writing Spider Man, not defending his Spider Man writing from "some guy on the internet." Haters gon' hate; brush it off when you hear it, never fear it.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 08:36 AM
I posted to the Robot 6 blog and I still maintain that Dan Slott screwed up. Message board posters whine about comics and talk a lot of trash; that's the nature of the beast. It's on the creator to brush it off like a soldier.

I don't like the idea that a creator's personal life, state of mind or anything else can be used as a shield against bad work. I mean "bad" in that poster's opinion. I don't have an opinion of Mr. Slott's work at all, never read it. All I know is that no matter how much people hate you or talk bad on you, the second that you argue back, you lost.

The situation as-is seems really ridiculous. Slott should be writing Spider Man, not defending his Spider Man writing from "some guy on the internet." Haters gon' hate; brush it off when you hear it, never fear it.

Sometimes people cross a line when they critique. There's a difference between criticizing the art and criticizing the artist. If you feel your opinion is qualified to put it out there in the open in regards to the quality of someone's work, that's fine. But don't criticize the person behind the work and refuse to acknowledge it as anything other than a personal attack. And a personal attack deserves a response in most cases. Maybe not "deserves" one, but it certainly entitles the criticizee to come back to the criticizer if he/she deems it neccessary.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 08:38 AM
Slott didn't screw up. Who cares? Nobody will remember that in a week, and some people need a good "fuck off." In fact, it probably helped Slott not get any more upset about it, getting to let off a moment's steam.

Vigilance
01-14-2011, 08:39 AM
I posted to the Robot 6 blog and I still maintain that Dan Slott screwed up. Message board posters whine about comics and talk a lot of trash; that's the nature of the beast. It's on the creator to brush it off like a soldier.

I don't like the idea that a creator's personal life, state of mind or anything else can be used as a shield against bad work. I mean "bad" in that poster's opinion. I don't have an opinion of Mr. Slott's work at all, never read it. All I know is that no matter how much people hate you or talk bad on you, the second that you argue back, you lost.

The situation as-is seems really ridiculous. Slott should be writing Spider Man, not defending his Spider Man writing from "some guy on the internet." Haters gon' hate; brush it off when you hear it, never fear it.

Nah, Slott was totally right.

If you're going to be an asshole to someone, don't get the vapors when he CALLS YOU an asshole.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 08:40 AM
What's more ridiculous is thinking that's a whole thang. Nobody should care that Slott told that dude to fuck off.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 08:52 AM
Well, obviously people remember, and obviously people "should" care because it was made into this big thing. The guy cracked some mild jokes at Slott's expense (REALLY mild, I actually read the exchange before passing judgement) an Slott came down like a raging wind--an overblown reaction to what should have been a non-event.

I care because the reporting on this issue had this "YEAH YOU TELL HIM" quality that I found highly immature. Especially since the essence of the story was "writer tells fan to 'fuck [him]self.'"

When I clicked on the story initially, I expected to read about a dedicated troll issuing cryptic threats toward a pro who heroically stood his ground. The real situation was that an average message board poster got pounced for an indirect an relatively MILD jab. A ribbing, even.

Lots of back patting and "you go, boy!" over the internet equivalent of pushing a nerd into the lockers.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 08:53 AM
I posted to the Robot 6 blog and I still maintain that Dan Slott screwed up. Message board posters whine about comics and talk a lot of trash; that's the nature of the beast. It's on the creator to brush it off like a soldier.

I don't like the idea that a creator's personal life, state of mind or anything else can be used as a shield against bad work. I mean "bad" in that poster's opinion. I don't have an opinion of Mr. Slott's work at all, never read it. All I know is that no matter how much people hate you or talk bad on you, the second that you argue back, you lost.

The situation as-is seems really ridiculous. Slott should be writing Spider Man, not defending his Spider Man writing from "some guy on the internet." Haters gon' hate; brush it off when you hear it, never fear it.

Yeah. You're wrong.

Slott's not defending his writing. He's defending himself against accusations from a self-entitled fanboy that his career is based on greed, not love of the medium and characters. That's horseshit.

It's not on the creators to brush it off. That's not their fucking job. Their fucking job is to create. Like what they do or don't, and comment on the work on it's own basis, but you DON'T get to say whatever you want about the guy because you dropped your 4 bucks on a funnybook.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 08:56 AM
Lots of back patting and "you go, boy!" over the internet equivalent of pushing a nerd into the lockers.

If a nerd tells the football player, "You're only playing football for the money," that nerd would deserve to get pushed into a locker.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 08:58 AM
Yeah. You're wrong.

Slott's not defending his writing. He's defending himself against accusations from a self-entitled fanboy that his career is based on greed, not love of the medium and characters. That's horseshit.

It's not on the creators to brush it off. That's not their fucking job. Their fucking job is to create. Like what they do or don't, and comment on the work on it's own basis, but you DON'T get to say whatever you want about the guy because you dropped your 4 bucks on a funnybook.

Exactly. There's a difference between:

"Jack Kirby's art is too blocky! And what's with that stupid krackle?!"
AND
"Jack Kirby is lazy! He must think he has better stuff to do than put out another issue of New Gods now that he cashed that fat paycheck!"

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 08:58 AM
The circumstances I'd stop buying a guy's comics because of what they said online are pretty damn rare. They have to say something as outrageous as the Heavy Ink guy.

Otherwise, I think the quality of the material should be the only criteria when buying a product.

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 09:00 AM
Yeah. You're wrong.

Slott's not defending his writing. He's defending himself against accusations from a self-entitled fanboy that his career is based on greed, not love of the medium and characters. That's horseshit.

It's not on the creators to brush it off. That's not their fucking job. Their fucking job is to create. Like what they do or don't, and comment on the work on it's own basis, but you DON'T get to say whatever you want about the guy because you dropped your 4 bucks on a funnybook.

But you are missing the point. The guy was out of line. Slott had every right to defend himself. But the fall-out was not worth it. For every person that gave him a pat on the back for it, there was another who was angry about Slott's response and it very well may have cost him customers. If Slott hadn't responded, nobody would've given the guy's comments a second thought. All he did was add fuel to the fire.

Was it justified? Certainly. Was it a good idea? No. And that's the whole point of this blog post.

NickT
01-14-2011, 09:00 AM
2. It's Not Going To Be Helpful

It seems like reading forums would be a good way to get design ideas and learn ways to improve your games. With the exception of learning about bugs, this is usually not the case.

It can be tempting, when you're stuck designing a game, to read forums and look for feedback. The problem is this. No matter what the question is, there are people who will advocate strongly for both sides of it. Many of these people reflexively hate change. Many of these people are only happy if the game is much harder (or much easier). Some of them will not, in fact, have a realistic idea about anything. Often, there are issues where intelligent people can come to opposite conclusions, and you can read thousands of furious posts on either side of the issue without getting an inch closer to an actual decision.

Forums contain a cacophony of people telling you to do diametrically opposite things, very loudly, often for bad reasons. There will be plenty of good ideas, but picking them out from the bad ones is unreliable and a lot of work. If you try to make too many people happy at once, you will drive yourself mad. You have to be very, very careful who you let into your head.

Of course, it is still very important for designers to get lots of good, constructive criticism. That is why I have built up an elite cadre of awesome beta testers and interested friends, and I listen to them very closely. And, I must point out, many of those testers were recruited from my forums. You just need to choose carefully the people you ask for advice.
He doesn't even listen to his own advice! :)



To me, reading forums and the like can be helpful if you go into it with the right mentality. Lots of people saying something they like or dislike doesn't mean it's a majority thing, but it might still give somebody ideas on how to improve their work. To me, a message board may be better than his idea of who he gets constructive criticism from because his people are chosen, while in this scenario the people would be more random.

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 09:05 AM
He doesn't even listen to his own advice! :)



To me, reading forums and the like can be helpful if you go into it with the right mentality. Lots of people saying something they like or dislike doesn't mean it's a majority thing, but it might still give somebody ideas on how to improve their work. To me, a message board may be better than his idea of who he gets constructive criticism from because his people are chosen, while in this scenario the people would be more random.

I think his point is that you shouldn't be worrying about what random people think, and just be making the best creative product you can, sticking to your own creative vision. Some feedback from trusted sources is fine, but if you start listening to too many random people you end up diluting your creativity.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 09:06 AM
But you are missing the point. The guy was out of line. Slott had every right to defend himself. But the fall-out was not worth it. For every person that gave him a pat on the back for it, there was another who was angry about Slott's response and it very well may have cost him customers. If Slott hadn't responded, nobody would've given the guy's comments a second thought. All he did was add fuel to the fire.

Was it justified? Certainly. Was it a good idea? No. And that's the whole point of this blog post.

I'm not missing that point at all. Slott's response may not have been the smartest move. But that's based on how he wants public perception of himself and his work to play out. It's not based on a fanboy having some sort of inherent right to a pitched level of nastiness.

NickT
01-14-2011, 09:07 AM
Exactly. There's a difference between:

"Jack Kirby's art is too blocky! And what's with that stupid krackle?!"
AND
"Jack Kirby is lazy! He must think he has better stuff to do than put out another issue of New Gods now that he cashed that fat paycheck!"
Yeah, one is an opinion, one is deciding something you don't know.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 09:07 AM
Well, obviously people remember, and obviously people "should" care because it was made into this big thing.

I think anybody who thinks this was actually a "big thing" has a poor sense of scope.

Remember, we're talking about a blog post about a message exchange on Comic Book Resources. You'd be hard pressed to find a more marginalized conversation that most people in the world haven't read.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 09:08 AM
What fallout? Or rather, what, if any, ramifications do you think said fallout had?

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 09:11 AM
I'm not missing that point at all. Slott's response may not have been the smartest move. But that's based on how he wants public perception of himself and his work to play out. It's not based on a fanboy having some sort of inherent right to a pitched level of nastiness.

And that's the whole point. Slott's response, however justified, was not the smartest move. That's all. No supporting a fanboy, no saying Slott was out of line. Just that it wasn't the smartest move.


3. You Might Get Suckered Into Getting Angry

Not much to say about this. If you read forums for long enough, you will read a lot of nasty comments and cheap shots. If you read enough cheap shots, you'll get angry. If you are angry enough, you will eventually lash out and flame back.

Snapping angrily at your customers never, ever leads to good results.

Ryudo
01-14-2011, 09:12 AM
Slott didn't screw up. Who cares? Nobody will remember that in a week, and some people need a good "fuck off."

Especially on the internet.

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 09:14 AM
Well, obviously people remember, and obviously people "should" care because it was made into this big thing. The guy cracked some mild jokes at Slott's expense (REALLY mild, I actually read the exchange before passing judgement) an Slott came down like a raging wind--an overblown reaction to what should have been a non-event.

I care because the reporting on this issue had this "YEAH YOU TELL HIM" quality that I found highly immature. Especially since the essence of the story was "writer tells fan to 'fuck [him]self.'"

When I clicked on the story initially, I expected to read about a dedicated troll issuing cryptic threats toward a pro who heroically stood his ground. The real situation was that an average message board poster got pounced for an indirect an relatively MILD jab. A ribbing, even.

Lots of back patting and "you go, boy!" over the internet equivalent of pushing a nerd into the lockers.So fans can be thin-skinned jerks and writers always have to walk on eggshells in any interactions?

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 09:14 AM
I think Slott's post was so insignificant in the world of comics and message boards, that even saying it's "not the smartest move" is meaningless.

Why am I talking about this.

Ryudo
01-14-2011, 09:15 AM
I think Slott's post was so insignificant in the world of comics and message boards, that even saying it's "not the smartest move" is meaningless.

Why am I talking about this.

Bendis tells us the same thing all the time.



*Awaits Bleeding Cool article*

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 09:15 AM
So fans can be thin-skinned jerks and writers always have to walk on eggshells in any interactions?

The customer is always right.

Unless they're an asshole.

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 09:17 AM
I think anybody who thinks this was actually a "big thing" has a poor sense of scope.

Remember, we're talking about a blog post about a message exchange on Comic Book Resources. You'd be hard pressed to find a more marginalized conversation that most people in the world haven't read.


What fallout? Or rather, what, if any, ramifications do you think said fallout had?

It got picked up on at least one other comic book site. And I know posted on other message boards. I first heard about it on the gamefaqs comic book boards. There was a thread there with several hundred posts of people debating it, some people very angry that a someone would talk to a customer like that no matter the circumstances.

As for ramifications, I would say it is something as simple as even a few people losing respect for Dan and deciding they don't want to check out his comics. And before you deflect this as "You shouldn't judge his work based on his actions", this isn't a question of should. One sale lost is too many. If Dan had just not been browsing comments about his work it never would've happened. If you browse your forums, you get suckered in. Eventually you get angry. And that never has a good result.

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 09:20 AM
So fans can be thin-skinned jerks and writers always have to walk on eggshells in any interactions?

No, the point is that creators should just stay away from said interactions and not put themselves in a position where they feel they have to respond. The point is just reading the comments puts you in a position that won't end up well for you.

Myk
01-14-2011, 09:21 AM
Comic message boards are so crazy, just because so many creators read them and contribute to them. Yeah, we can say it's bad to assume what someone is going through or thinking while doing their job, but isn't the only reason it's bad because it might be read by the person being discussed?

I mean, no one would question someone saying on this board that Carmelo Anthony is going through the motions in Denver because he might be traded at any moment, but people second-guess doing that with comic writers in a just as public, available-for-everyone-to-discuss -what-they-want message board.

Does espn.com have a no-athlete bashing policy? Why in comic books? Are comic book creators more prone to google themselves and/or are they that much more thin-skinned?

A.Huerta
01-14-2011, 09:22 AM
I'm not a comics or video game creator, but the first time somebody started a thread on another popular forum (not this one) about what an evil, shallow, ugly bitch I was for writing a lingerie blog, I was totally floored. That whole, "What in the world did I ever do to you?" thing was front and center in my mind.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and responded which was exactly the wrong thing to do because it was like adding a 55 gallon drum of oil to a fire that probably would have burned out on its own...things just got way out of control.

I've only just started to get popular, so I have a feeling I'm still in my grace period, but if the blog ever really takes off, I'm sure it'll attract some haters. I just have to remember that it's one of the unpleasant side effects of success.

Whats that saying? If you have haters, you're doing something right.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 09:38 AM
Whats that saying? If you have haters, you're doing something right.

Doesn't necessarily mean that. I've been in bands where I had the thrill of reading online about how I was a "stupid faggot" and my band was a "ripoff". Doesn't mean I was doing anything right. Just means that for everything out there under the sun, there's a big baby tiny dick who hates it.

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 09:46 AM
No, the point is that creators should just stay away from said interactions and not put themselves in a position where they feel they have to respond. The point is just reading the comments puts you in a position that won't end up well for you.I have to say that I disagree here.

As an aspiring writer, I really like being able to interact with writers online.

I'm not sure it ends poorly for the professionals in most instances, aside from the possibility that they wasted a lot of their time. I suspect that under most circumstances, anyone who objects to what an individual said online so strongly that they won't buy a product, wasn't going to buy a product anyway. In comics especially, you've got so many people obsessed with books that they stopped buying a while back.


Comic message boards are so crazy, just because so many creators read them and contribute to them. Yeah, we can say it's bad to assume what someone is going through or thinking while doing their job, but isn't the only reason it's bad because it might be read by the person being discussed?

I mean, no one would question someone saying on this board that Carmelo Anthony is going through the motions in Denver because he might be traded at any moment, but people second-guess doing that with comic writers in a just as public, available-for-everyone-to-discuss -what-they-want message board.

Does espn.com have a no-athlete bashing policy? Why in comic books? Are comic book creators more prone to google themselves and/or are they that much more thin-skinned?I think it's got more to do with comic book writers and artists spending more time on computers than professional athletes, and having a smaller fan-base.

If anyone want to find places where they can say whatever they want without a comic book professional calling them on it when they're wrong, those exist on the internet. But I don't like the idea of someone with that preference trying to make the entire internet that way.

Tyr
01-14-2011, 09:56 AM
I understand the authors point, I don't agree with it, and it makes me sad but I do understand it.

Granted I'm not what you would call a professional when it comes to creative stuff. But I think that when you isolate yourself from you fans like that, you're sending a message that your above them or better then they are. That may not be the intention, but that is the impression people get about you. That's one of the reasons I think Bendis and Gail don't do it.

Also if your not going to read your own forums or participate, then why bother to have one? It's like buying a shiny new wrench and just letting it sit in your toolbox. It could be useful, but if you don't use it, it's just taking up space in your toolbox.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:02 AM
Whats that saying? If you have haters, you're doing something right.

Truth.

If people don't like you, you're on the right track (because it probably means there are people who do like you).

If everybody feels "meh" about you, you're doing something wrong and you're probably not very memorable either.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:04 AM
As for ramifications, I would say it is something as simple as even a few people losing respect for Dan and deciding they don't want to check out his comics. And before you deflect this as "You shouldn't judge his work based on his actions", this isn't a question of should. One sale lost is too many.

What if people who didn't know Dan Slott before, but liked the way he stood up for himself, decided to buy his comics as a result?

Like I said, I'm not in comics, but I don't think it's an admirable goal to try and have everybody like you.

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:05 AM
I've always been of the idea that a major barrier to the commercialization of comics is the accessibility of the talent, and the perceived lack of legitimacy it fosters.

If Sarah Michelle Gellar showed up at a science fiction convention for two days of signings, what would be the first thing you'd think?

Ryan Elliott
01-14-2011, 10:07 AM
I've always been of the idea that a major barrier to the commercialization of comics is the accessibility of the talent, and the lack of perceived legitimacy it fosters.

If Sarah Michelle Gellar showed up at a science fiction convention for two days of signings, what would be the first thing you'd think?

Uhh...that she's hot and that the Grudge movies sucked?

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:09 AM
Truth.

If people don't like you, you're on the right track (because it probably means there are people who do like you).

If everybody feels "meh" about you, you're doing something wrong and you're probably not very memorable either.

You're saying that "not liking" is different from "thinking you suck at what you're doing," right?

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:12 AM
You're saying that "not liking" is different from "thinking you suck at what you're doing," right?

I'm saying that people having strong feelings about you is usually a good thing.

You don't want a bell curve with a whole lot of ambivalent people in the middle. You want an inverse bell, where people either really love or really don't love you, but where at least you're generating some kind of feeling.

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 10:14 AM
The comic book industry also often has a lot of "The writers changed it at the last second because fans guessed it" type things too. Echo/Ronin comes to mind. I don't really believe it happens as often as fans say it happens, but because the writers are all over the boards and fans know this, I do think it is easy to believe it happens.

I don't hear these accusations as much in other media. No one was saying J.K. Rowling changed the 6th book because people guessed who the real half-blood prince was when the title was announced.

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:16 AM
I'm saying that people having strong feelings about you is usually a good thing.

You don't want a bell curve with a whole lot of ambivalent people in the middle. You want an inverse bell, where people either really love or really don't love you, but where at least you're generating some kind of feeling.

You're describing Rob Liefeld.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 10:20 AM
With Dan Slott, the altercation didn't occur on his forum, it occured on the Spider Man public forums at CBR. The fan was talking to other fans, not directing his post AT Dan Slott.

I agree with the person who mentioned that there is a level of closeness to the customer that makes comics seem more fly-by-night. At times one can sense the creators hovering, monitoring discussions and that fosters a somewhat creepy paternalistic environment.

People should "be nice" because creators are watching. They should be nice because they WANT to. And if a fan thinks that the current Hero Man writer is bad, the fan should be able to whine about it with other fans without Hero Man's writer stepping into the discussion to shame the fan.

Even if you've got nothing better to do, make it look like you've got better things to do.

And this is nothing. Hip hop message boards are BRUTAL. However, if a rapper revealed himself to be reading along and came out to "defend" himself, he'd be the joke of the town. Rise above. BRUSH IT OFF WHEN YOH HEAR IT, NEVER FEAR IT.

Nelson
01-14-2011, 10:21 AM
The comic book industry also often has a lot of "The writers changed it at the last second because fans guessed it" type things too. Echo/Ronin comes to mind. I don't really believe it happens as often as fans say it happens, but because the writers are all over the boards and fans know this, I do think it is easy to believe it happens.

I don't hear these accusations as much in other media. No one was saying J.K. Rowling changed the 6th book because people guessed who the real half-blood prince was when the title was announced.
I heard a lot of that about the final episodes of LOST.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 10:26 AM
With Dan Slott, the altercation didn't occur on his forum, it occured on the Spider Man public forums at CBR. The fan was talking to other fans, not directing his post AT Dan Slott.

I agree with the person who mentioned that there is a level of closeness to the customer that makes comics seem more fly-by-night. At times one can sense the creators hovering, monitoring discussions and that fosters a somewhat creepy paternalistic environment.

People should "be nice" because creators are watching. They should be nice because they WANT to. And if a fan thinks that the current Hero Man writer is bad, the fan should be able to whine about it with other fans without Hero Man's writer stepping into the discussion to shame the fan.

Even if you've got nothing better to do, make it look like you've got better things to do.

And this is nothing. Hip hop message boards are BRUTAL. However, if a rapper revealed himself to be reading along and came out to "defend" himself, he'd be the joke of the town. Rise above. BRUSH IT OFF WHEN YOH HEAR IT, NEVER FEAR IT.

The difference here being that Slott's "fan" didn't question his talent -- he questioned Slott's integrity. Big difference and, in my opinion, deserving of the response he received.

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:27 AM
With Dan Slott, the altercation didn't occur on his forum, it occured on the Spider Man public forums at CBR. The fan was talking to other fans, not directing his post AT Dan Slott.

I agree with the person who mentioned that there is a level of closeness to the customer that makes comics seem more fly-by-night. At times one can sense the creators hovering, monitoring discussions and that fosters a somewhat creepy paternalistic environment.


My favorite is when someone starts a thread about a book, and the first response is the creator acknowledging their presence, usually in a joking way. I never understood the logic behind that move.

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:37 AM
The difference here being that Slott's "fan" didn't question his talent -- he questioned Slott's integrity. Big difference and, in my opinion, deserving of the response he received.

But did he deserve it from Dan Slott?

I don't know what my point is, but there's something so unsettling about that lack of disconnect. Like my mom following me on Twitter.

When a guy is bitching about Dan Slott, they're not bitching about Daniel Slott, father of two, mountain biking enthusiast (I have no idea, just making up an example.) For Dan to come aboard and comment, yes, it was justified, but it added a personal nature and legitimacy to simple inane passtime conversation bullshit that GOT TO an individual who should seem much more abstract. They should not be that easy to affect.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 10:41 AM
The difference here being that Slott's "fan" didn't question his talent -- he questioned Slott's integrity. Big difference and, in my opinion, deserving of the response he received.

To clarify, the fan was a Spider Man fan, clearly not a Dan Slott fan. Either way, he's a customer.

Second, I insist, looking at sohh.com (hip hop boards), it doesn't matter WHAT fans say about the artist. Comic guys need to stay off of the message boards, or at least, disregard them. In other art forms or pop culture circles, you have people saying stuff that would make your toes curl. In comics, if someone sneezes without covering their mouth, you got a breathless blog post on Robot 6 with over a hundred comments underneath. This stuff should be beneath professionals.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:41 AM
I don't know what my point is...

I don't either.

Everyone has a different way of handling things. I don't understand why Dan Slott responding to an insult was more wrong than the guy who made the insult in the first place.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:44 AM
To clarify, the fan was a Spider Man fan, clearly not a Dan Slott fan. Either way, he's a customer.

Are you one of those "the customer is always right" people?

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm one of the moderators on the Spider-Man board at CBR. I was on vacation when Slott made his comment, and when it was suddenly covered by Bleeding Cool/ the Crawl Space.

It seems that Slott has since decided to do what several of you are recommending, and has cut down on interactions with fans on message boards.

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showpost.php?p=12376870&postcount=40

One big reason for that is that a comment he made more than a month ago while sick has come to define his online persona. That's kinda sad, because as Rich Johnson points out, the only reason the story was up on Bleeding Cool was that it was funny and atypical of Dan Slott. (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/12/16/thursday-runaround-is-this-the-best-runaround-ever/)

Myk
01-14-2011, 10:48 AM
To clarify, the fan was a Spider Man fan, clearly not a Dan Slott fan. Either way, he's a customer.

Second, I insist, looking at sohh.com (hip hop boards), it doesn't matter WHAT fans say about the artist. Comic guys need to stay off of the message boards, or at least, disregard them. In other art forms or pop culture circles, you have people saying stuff that would make your toes curl. In comics, if someone sneezes without covering their mouth, you got a breathless blog post on Robot 6 with over a hundred comments underneath. This stuff should be beneath professionals.

Treacle, this was my point.

In regards to the Liefeld comment, it's not necessarily an enviable position. But people want what they want I guess. I heard somewhere that having ten thousand people saying they hate you is better than having ten people saying they like you. But I figure it really depends on what the people who like you in either case are saying.

A.Huerta
01-14-2011, 10:49 AM
You're describing Rob Liefeld.

I cant stand his artwork. The man cant draw the basic foundations of comic art, yet, he has waaaay more money and fame than the guys who put their heart and soul into their art.

Yeah, he's doing something right. :lol:

:cry:

Treacle
01-14-2011, 10:51 AM
I cant stand his artwork. The man cant draw the basic foundations of comic art, yet, he has waaaay more money and fame than the guys who put their heart and soul into their art.

Yeah, he's doing something right. :lol:

:cry:

I imagine it's like that for pop music too.

A.Huerta
01-14-2011, 10:52 AM
I imagine it's like that for pop music too.

Indeed... its a sad world.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 11:05 AM
Are you one of those "the customer is always right" people?

No, not really. More of a "choose your battles" person. In comics, I tend to feel that the customer is usually WRONG, but it's just so rarely worth it to get into it with dudes on an individual level.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 11:19 AM
As for ramifications, I would say it is something as simple as even a few people losing respect for Dan and deciding they don't want to check out his comics.

I deflect it because a "a few people losing respect for Dan and deciding they don't want to check out his comics" is so unmeasurable and insignificant that it's all worthless conjecturing about nothing.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 11:25 AM
No, not really. More of a "choose your battles" person.

That's fine, but you don't get to make that choice for someone else.

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 11:28 AM
I deflect it because a "a few people losing respect for Dan and deciding they don't want to check out his comics" is so unmeasurable and insignificant that it's all worthless conjecturing about nothing.

Plus, it neglects the potential positive impact of a professional's accessibility on the internet, such as exposure to new customers and the possible impact any useful advice has had on future writers and artists.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 11:31 AM
That's fine, but you don't get to make that choice for someone else.

Sure I do. This thread began with a round of advice.

The whole point is that in these scenarios, a creator only stands to lose. There isn't any potential to gain anything.

I know this, other professionals in other fields know this (as has been discussed here) and Dan Slott shoulda known it.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 11:35 AM
To clarify, the fan was a Spider Man fan, clearly not a Dan Slott fan. Either way, he's a customer.

Second, I insist, looking at sohh.com (hip hop boards), it doesn't matter WHAT fans say about the artist. Comic guys need to stay off of the message boards, or at least, disregard them. In other art forms or pop culture circles, you have people saying stuff that would make your toes curl. In comics, if someone sneezes without covering their mouth, you got a breathless blog post on Robot 6 with over a hundred comments underneath. This stuff should be beneath professionals.

Put it this way...I talk shit about Michael Vick on my Twitter account. If he sent a message @ me on Twitter calling me an asshole, I'd think he has that right. If "anonymous Spider-Man fan" wants to question the integrity behind Dan Slott's work (not the work itself) then he deserves a response from the man he is attacking. I do not think it's unprofessional or below Slott to respond. If anything, it's unfair to think that the man should not be allowed to defend his own integrity.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 11:37 AM
Sure I do. This thread began with a round of advice.

The whole point is that in these scenarios, a creator only stands to lose. There isn't any potential to gain anything.

I know this, other professionals in other fields know this (as has been discussed here) and Dan Slott shoulda known it.

Nothing personal, but that's horseshit. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're absolutely not the arbiter of what is and is not worth Dan Slott's time and energy to respond to.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 11:40 AM
Nothing personal, but that's horseshit. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're absolutely not the arbiter of what is and is not worth Dan Slott's time and energy to respond to.

This.

And that's why you're the Prez, Travis!

Myk
01-14-2011, 11:49 AM
Nothing personal, but that's horseshit. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're absolutely not the arbiter of what is and is not worth Dan Slott's time and energy to respond to.

Do you think a creator's accessibility adds to the willingness of people to pay money for his work as a fan?

Not necessarily in terms of what the creator does with the accessibility, but the fact that they are right there for the consumers to communicate with.

Look, if the president of coca-cola was accessible to complain to about their products, great. A politician, that's how it should be.

But i say that "fandom" indicates a "looking-up-to" that is diminished when they "come down to our level". If I buy someone's work because I like them as a person, or I had a great conversation with them, that's not fandom. It's something else.

Basically, people didn't go apeshit over the Beatles and Elvis because they were nice people, or helped aspiring musicians.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 11:53 AM
Do you think a creator's accessibility adds to the willingness of people to pay money for his work as a fan?

Not necessarily in terms of what the creator does with the accessibility, but the fact that they are right there for the consumers to communicate with.

Look, if the president of coca-cola was accessible to complain to about their products, great. A politician, that's how it should be.

But i say that "fandom" indicates a "looking-up-to" that is diminished when they "come down to our level". If I buy someone's work because I like them as a person, or I had a great conversation with them, that's not fandom. It's something else.

Basically, people didn't go apeshit over the Beatles and Elvis because they were nice people, or helped aspiring musicians.

Likening comics to other industries as big/ubiquitous as music and soft drinks is a bit dodgy, though. Comics fandom, and the comics community, is an insular world. Almost every fan has aspirations to be a creator, and almost every creator has roots as a fan. The connection between fans and the industry has been one of the fundamental appeals of the hobby since Stan the Man was doing his soapbox.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 11:59 AM
The root of this issue is that comic creators are people. Even the superstars are just that...PEOPLE. Treat them like people. And if you're a jerkoff to a creator, you should expect the same reaction that you would get if you're a jerkoff to any random guy on the street. I applaud Slott for what he said/did, even if he regrets it now (or thinks he was out of line). This issue is no different than current comic creator responding to Alan Moore when he says how much current writers suck. Even though Moore is a legend, he's still just a person like you and me. And so are the unnamed creators that Moore himself was bashing.

Myk
01-14-2011, 12:01 PM
Likening comics to other industries as big/ubiquitous as music and soft drinks is a bit dodgy, though. Comics fandom, and the comics community, is an insular world. Almost every fan has aspirations to be a creator, and almost every creator has roots as a fan. The connection between fans and the industry has been one of the fundamental appeals of the hobby since Stan the Man was doing his soapbox.

Chicken/egg?

I say all this stuff in the thread as someone who wishes comics were bigger/more ubiquitous. Perhaps comics are doomed to remain, as you say, a hobby. That's kind of sad.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:08 PM
Chicken/egg?

I say all this stuff in the thread as someone who wishes comics were bigger/more ubiquitous. Perhaps comics are doomed to remain, as you say, a hobby. That's kind of sad.

I can appreciate that, and we can have a separate discussion about whether or not that ship has already sailed. But I would maintain that comics doesn't become bigger/more ubiquitous by creators acting like they already are.

Myk
01-14-2011, 12:10 PM
The root of this issue is that comic creators are people. Even the superstars are just that...PEOPLE. Treat them like people. And if you're a jerkoff to a creator, you should expect the same reaction that you would get if you're a jerkoff to any random guy on the street. I applaud Slott for what he said/did, even if he regrets it now (or thinks he was out of line). This issue is no different than current comic creator responding to Alan Moore when he says how much current writers suck. Even though Moore is a legend, he's still just a person like you and me. And so are the unnamed creators that Moore himself was bashing.

That's what I was getting at with the whole Dan Slott vs. Daniel Slott, father of two, comment. You can either choose to be "a random guy on the street," or be beyond that.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 12:12 PM
But that's the point of this thread. Do not try to skew the discussion by shifting the fundamental basis for the debate.

Myk
01-14-2011, 12:12 PM
I can appreciate that, and we can have a separate discussion about whether or not that ship has already sailed. But I would maintain that comics doesn't become bigger/more ubiquitous by creators acting like they already are.

Fair point, but I'm saying it's more of an absence of a behavior, not acting like something. But maybe I am pushing for a "dress for the job you want" approach.

I would love to have that separate conversation.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 12:13 PM
That's what I was getting at with the whole Dan Slott vs. Daniel Slott, father of two, comment. You can either choose to be "a random guy on the street," or be beyond that.

That's a slippery slope, though. Because if John Smith comic writer decides one day he's going to act like John Smith Demi-God, when all of the other comic writers are acting like comic writers, then John Smith is going to come off as some aloof douchebag. John Smith comic writer IS and always will be a person. Period. No choice in it.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:14 PM
Fair point, but I'm saying it's more of an absence of a behavior, not acting like something. But maybe I am pushing for a "dress for the job you want" approach.

I would love to have that separate conversation.

"Dressing for the job you want" is why I wear pajamas all day long. :)

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:15 PM
That's a slippery slope, though. Because if John Smith comic writer decides one day he's going to act like John Smith Demi-God, when all of the other comic writers are acting like comic writers, then John Smith is going to come off as some aloof douchebag. John Smith comic writer IS and always will be a person. Period. No choice in it.

By "Smith", are you trying to say "Byrne"? :)

I kid, I kid.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 12:18 PM
Put it this way...I talk shit about Michael Vick on my Twitter account. If he sent a message @ me on Twitter calling me an asshole, I'd think he has that right. If "anonymous Spider-Man fan" wants to question the integrity behind Dan Slott's work (not the work itself) then he deserves a response from the man he is attacking. I do not think it's unprofessional or below Slott to respond. If anything, it's unfair to think that the man should not be allowed to defend his own integrity.

Slott should be confident enough in his integrity that he wouldn't feel that it NEEDED defending. It IS beneath him. Look, he writes SPIDER MAN. Think about that. That's an enormous thing to consider. A fantastic job to have by most people's measure.

Every day that he can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "I write SPIDER MAN" should do more for his sense of integrity than the results of some internet shoot-out.



Speaking of Vick: as much as I talk trash about M. Night Shamalyn I would be a hypocrite to be all sore at the guy who mildly mocked a respected Spider Man writer.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 12:26 PM
Do you think a creator's accessibility adds to the willingness of people to pay money for his work as a fan?

Yes. This is actually one of the biggest benefits to social media which includes everything from forums to blogs to Twitter to Facebook to YouTube.

Some of the most successful professionals in the world (and I'm not just talking about comics) are reaping huge dividends from being more accessible to their fans.

Treacle
01-14-2011, 12:27 PM
Nothing personal, but that's horseshit. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're absolutely not the arbiter of what is and is not worth Dan Slott's time and energy to respond to.

This is why you're the Blackest Person on the Benbo.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:36 PM
This is why you're the Blackest Person on the Benbo.

That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. :)

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 12:37 PM
Slott should be confident enough in his integrity that he wouldn't feel that it NEEDED defending. It IS beneath him. Look, he writes SPIDER MAN. Think about that. That's an enormous thing to consider. A fantastic job to have by most people's measure.

Every day that he can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "I write SPIDER MAN" should do more for his sense of integrity than the results of some internet shoot-out.

Speaking of Vick: as much as I talk trash about M. Night Shamalyn I would be a hypocrite to be all sore at the guy who mildly mocked a respected Spider Man writer.

Dr. Ganesh Mitri, who does open heart surgery on a daily basis, doesn't think that the guy who writes Spider-Man is that big of a deal. But that's besides the point. Let's focus more on our friend Dr. Mitri. If you go to Doctors.com and write a review saying that Dr. Mitri half-asses his surgeries because he's only in it for the paycheck, what do you think is going to happen?

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 12:38 PM
For me, I like that comic creators are accessible. I like that Bendis somewhere could be laughing at some post I made on the internet. But I do think it would behoove the creators to stay out of discussions on their own work. If Warren Ellis wants to tweet about the girl behind the counter at Gamestop, that's cool. But him showing up in every thread about his comics can only harm discussion.

I remember a creative writing class I took in college. A fiction workshop. After you submitted a story for everyone to read, the class would discuss it and you weren't allowed to comment on their comments. It's too easy to get into the habit of defending this, or defending that.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:38 PM
Dr. Ganesh Mitri, who does open heart surgery on a daily basis, doesn't think that the guy who writes Spider-Man is that big of a deal. But that's besides the point. Let's focus more on our friend Dr. Mitri. If you go to Doctors.com and write a review saying that Dr. Mitri half-asses his surgeries because he's only in it for the paycheck, what do you think is going to happen?

I seriously doubt that Dr. Mitri is going to tell you to go fuck yourself. :)

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 12:39 PM
Dr. Ganesh Mitri, who does open heart surgery on a daily basis, doesn't think that the guy who writes Spider-Man is that big of a deal. But that's besides the point. Let's focus more on our friend Dr. Mitri. If you go to Doctors.com and write a review saying that Dr. Mitri half-asses his surgeries because he's only in it for the paycheck, what do you think is going to happen?

Probably nothing because he's too busy doing surgeries to go on rate my doctor dot com.

TheTravis!
01-14-2011, 12:40 PM
I remember a creative writing class I took in college. A fiction workshop. After you submitted a story for everyone to read, the class would discuss it and you weren't allowed to comment on their comments. It's too easy to get into the habit of defending this, or defending that.

On the other hand, I've participated in creative workshops where the open discussion about the comments and a back and forth between creator and critic led to a better and more defined creative work. There are no rules.

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 12:42 PM
I seriously doubt that Dr. Mitri is going to tell you to go fuck yourself. :)

No, but his lawyers may have something to say about it. And Dr. Mitri does open heart surgery. He's not just the guy who writes Spider-Man.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 01:05 PM
You cannot compare medicine with entertainment.

Nelson
01-14-2011, 01:08 PM
You cannot compare medicine with entertainment.
Lies!









http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/3818/droz.jpg

Marc Lombardi
01-14-2011, 01:16 PM
You cannot compare medicine with entertainment.

You can't compare comics to movies, music or soda either.

I think some people are putting comic creators on WAAAAAY too high of a pedestal in this thread. Bendis is a fantastic writer and an incredibly nice guy. But he's Bendis. People who don't know anything about comics don't care who he is (although they may think he was great on Sex in the City if they see him on the street).

To a comic fan it may be a big deal to be THE GUY WHO WRITES SPIDER-MAN. To the average man on the street, they could care less. So why should a comic writer/artist/creator be held to some high moral standard that makes it below them to care what people (especially fans) think about them or their work?

Myk
01-14-2011, 01:26 PM
You can't compare comics to movies, music or soda either.

I think some people are putting comic creators on WAAAAAY too high of a pedestal in this thread. Bendis is a fantastic writer and an incredibly nice guy. But he's Bendis. People who don't know anything about comics don't care who he is (although they may think he was great on Sex in the City if they see him on the street).

To a comic fan it may be a big deal to be THE GUY WHO WRITES SPIDER-MAN. To the average man on the street, they could care less. So why should a comic writer/artist/creator be held to some high moral standard that makes it below them to care what people (especially fans) think about them or their work?

I think they would care, and the fact that you as a comic book fan think they wouldn't speaks volumes.

Do you think putting a comic book creator on a pedestal is less appropriate than putting an athlete on one?

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 02:00 PM
For me, I like that comic creators are accessible. I like that Bendis somewhere could be laughing at some post I made on the internet. But I do think it would behoove the creators to stay out of discussions on their own work. If Warren Ellis wants to tweet about the girl behind the counter at Gamestop, that's cool. But him showing up in every thread about his comics can only harm discussion.

I remember a creative writing class I took in college. A fiction workshop. After you submitted a story for everyone to read, the class would discuss it and you weren't allowed to comment on their comments. It's too easy to get into the habit of defending this, or defending that.I had two workshops in Grad School.

In the fall semester, the writer couldn't comment on what anyone else said about their work. In the spring semester, the writers were able to respond. I think the latter ended up being more satisfying, as the classmates were able to ask questions regarding what the writers were trying to do, and the writers had a better idea of what didn't work, or what was unclear.

With the fall semester system, the class would often waste a lot of time talking about something that the writer could explain in fifteen seconds.

Jef UK
01-14-2011, 02:52 PM
I had two workshops in Grad School.

In the fall semester, the writer couldn't comment on what anyone else said about their work. In the spring semester, the writers were able to respond. I think the latter ended up being more satisfying, as the classmates were able to ask questions regarding what the writers were trying to do, and the writers had a better idea of what didn't work, or what was unclear.

With the fall semester system, the class would often waste a lot of time talking about something that the writer could explain in fifteen seconds.

Similar experiences and yes to all.

darrylayo
01-14-2011, 02:58 PM
You can't compare comics to movies, music or soda either.

I think some people are putting comic creators on WAAAAAY too high of a pedestal in this thread. Bendis is a fantastic writer and an incredibly nice guy. But he's Bendis. People who don't know anything about comics don't care who he is (although they may think he was great on Sex in the City if they see him on the street).

To a comic fan it may be a big deal to be THE GUY WHO WRITES SPIDER-MAN. To the average man on the street, they could care less. So why should a comic writer/artist/creator be held to some high moral standard that makes it below them to care what people (especially fans) think about them or their work?

Not my point. You can't compare criticism of entertainers with criticism of people who provide health care. For one, no one's life is at stake in comics and for another, medicine is much more objective. There are opinions, but the nature of those opinions is fundamentally different. Finally, a doctor's livelihood can be jeopardized by an erroneous criticism. Writers' livelihood never depends on the opinion of one reader.

Anyway, I don't think comparing the societal-level of stardom to that of athetes or actors is relevant here. What IS relevant is that none of those people take time out of their days to slam internet antagonists. Very few professionals in ANY field are spending their time "defending" themselves from random online complainers.

What the poster in the Slott debacle said about him was almost cute in its level of ferocity. But even if that poster had actually been viscous, it will always make the professional look small to lower himself (or herself) into what is really a fan-centric discussion space.

What's particularly ironic is that the character is Spider Man. His whole M.O. is about rising above the slings and arrows, no matter what. Always, always, always rise above.

Unless we're talking about something SERIOUS like physical threats, threats against family, stuff like that. And even then, the course of action is the police, not a "harsh" message board response.

Mister Mets
01-14-2011, 03:28 PM
Not my point. You can't compare criticism of entertainers with criticism of people who provide health care. For one, no one's life is at stake in comics and for another, medicine is much more objective. There are opinions, but the nature of those opinions is fundamentally different. Finally, a doctor's livelihood can be jeopardized by an erroneous criticism. Writers' livelihood never depends on the opinion of one reader.

Anyway, I don't think comparing the societal-level of stardom to that of athetes or actors is relevant here. What IS relevant is that none of those people take time out of their days to slam internet antagonists. Very few professionals in ANY field are spending their time "defending" themselves from random online complainers.

What the poster in the Slott debacle said about him was almost cute in its level of ferocity. But even if that poster had actually been viscous, it will always make the professional look small to lower himself (or herself) into what is really a fan-centric discussion space.

What's particularly ironic is that the character is Spider Man. His whole M.O. is about rising above the slings and arrows, no matter what. Always, always, always rise above.

Unless we're talking about something SERIOUS like physical threats, threats against family, stuff like that. And even then, the course of action is the police, not a "harsh" message board response.Spidey's usually about rising above the slings and arrows. But he's not always about that.

How often has he webbed Jonah to the ceiling?

Dave S.
01-14-2011, 03:34 PM
You can't compare comics to movies, music or soda either.

I think some people are putting comic creators on WAAAAAY too high of a pedestal in this thread. Bendis is a fantastic writer and an incredibly nice guy. But he's Bendis. People who don't know anything about comics don't care who he is (although they may think he was great on Sex in the City if they see him on the street).

To a comic fan it may be a big deal to be THE GUY WHO WRITES SPIDER-MAN. To the average man on the street, they could care less. So why should a comic writer/artist/creator be held to some high moral standard that makes it below them to care what people (especially fans) think about them or their work?

Maybe, but these original comments are coming from someone who is far less important than even the guy who writes spider-man. This guy makes indie games for a even smaller niche audience. At least if you said "I write Spider-Man" people would be like "oooh, that's pretty cool." This guy says "I make a computer game named Avernum" people are like "Huh?"