Talking About Talking About Comics.
I love comic books, and so do you.
Why, then, is the discussion about comic books so toxic?
The answer is probably a “rat king” that can only exist on the Internet. It’s a knot of anonymity, easy access to creators, editors, fans, bad behavior, worse manners…website clickbait and faux outrage aren’t helping, but I think we need more personal responsibility.
We can spit venom, and hit our target with precision. By “target” I mean “fellow human being”. We all understand that this toxicity isn’t unique to comics. Civility is endangered across the (message)board, and the vibe in comics has gotten dreadful. The other day a Marvel editor responded very politely to a public comment on Tumblr that actually wished him dead.
This is comic books.
No one in comics is cutting school lunches to the underprivileged. I hoped comic readers would have an innate understanding of right and wrong. Good and evil.
I bring my knives out on Twitter, but my targets are vaccine and science deniers, corrupt politicians, the NRA and tone-deaf companies. People and entities with body counts.
Why chase a fellow fan off Twitter because they dared to voice a different opinion than you, or cast a character in a way you dislike.
Most infuriating are the threats of violence. If you’re that guy, nobody wants you as a fan. Period.
If this negative energy was instead directed at Citizens United, the world might be an all-new, all-different, and better place to live. When the chips are down for folks like Bill Mantlo and Norm Breyfogle, that’s when this community is at its best.
Make your point without making it personal. Life is too short.
You love comics. And so does the human being on the other end of the “Send” button. Please act accordingly. Thanks for reading, here’s a sunflower.
Now, let the misunderstanding and anger about this piece begin! Thanks for reading, I better get back to work.*
*Jenny McCarthy ain’t gonna shit on herself.