Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Nature of Comics Fans

I woke up this morning without a clue as to what to post for today. So I went through my morning routine of running on the treadmill and lifting, all the while listening to a couple of podcasts from the venerable iFanboy crew.

Enjoyable as always, the iFanboy podcasts got me through my workout and made the whole waking-up-at-five-AM thing that much easier to swallow.

At the end of the second episode, one of the guys mentioned that the iFanboy site was in the process of being redesigned, and that the new site would be unveiled this week. Yesterday, actually.

So when I got into the office, I poured a cup of decaf, looked at the teeming pile of work on my desk and the ready-to-explode inbox on my screen, and I did what any rational human being would have done.

I went to the iFanboy website to check out the new look.

And I liked it. A lot, actually. It's spiffy and you can find things--two traits that I look for in a web page.

But then I noticed the comments section of a post that gave a nice recap of what, exactly, had changed on the site.

Big mistake, that.

I like the new site, but there are people who don't. And they're not afraid to let their (fake Internet monikers) tell you exactly what they hate, and why they hate it.

Though, I have to admit, the comments were nowhere near as mean-spirited as on other comics sites. They were, in fact, quite civil and constructive. Still, I stopped reading almost immediately, because I honestly don't care why someone else doesn't like something that I like.

But it got me thinking about comments sections, and comic book fans, in general.

As many of you know, the comments section on any comics/fan site can be...well, they can be nasty. And insane. And, sometimes, both.

Usually, though, the comments section is just mostly complaining.

I don't like this book. This creator is horrible. They've destroyed my beloved characters--again. I don't like change. I want more change. My foot hurts.

Just like the comic fan in the shop on Wednesday with nothing better to do than tell everyone why he would write a better Batman than Jeph Loeb, comics fans on the Internet are...*ahem*...passionate about their books.

But because it's the Internet, and there's that wondrous veil of anonymity, Internet fans tend to be less rational and more venomous than your Wednesday Warrior fanboy in the corner of the shop, yelling his views at whomever will listen.

Now, I know what you're thinking--crazy Internet fan is nothing new.

I know, I know. But like I said, I had no idea what to write about for today, and this popped into my head.

It's a faction of fandom that I will never, ever understand, and it never fails to utterly amaze me. I mean, I care about the characters, too, but if I don't like something, I just don't buy it.

Simple as that.

In my real job (you know, when I'm not fighting super villains), I'm an editor at a pretty big, very well respected trade publisher. Let me tell you, though. We get our fair share of raving phone calls and rambling emails.

Mostly about how we don't know what we're doing.

It's funny. The most critical calls and emails are never presented in a professional, courteous manner. And they typically end with a note about how our entire editorial staff should be laid off.

And presumably, be replaced by the angry caller/emailer.

Because, you see, he has this great idea about Batman and a giant chicken...

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