- Posted by Johanna on January 7, 2007 at 2:41 pm
- Category: Meta
Ah, the topic of whether it’s a good idea for creators and fans to directly interact has once again been raised.
First, Loren at One Diverse Comic Book Nation sets an excellent example. He had some concerns about dialogue that could be interpreted as racist in a Batman comic written by John Ostrander. After spirited discussion on blogs, Loren asked Ostrander directly at his site, which led to greater understanding for all. (Link no longer available.)
I suspect, aside from the direct interaction and Loren’s very polite approach, another important factor was the location. Many creators are more comfortable in venues they own or control, because they know there’s only so much they have to put up with. I don’t blame them — there’s a lot of overreaction in the unregulated net. It’s easier to discuss potentially touchy issues in a space where you feel comfortable. Of course, that depends on the creator and the kind of environment they’ve built, too. Some won’t tolerate alternate viewpoints on inflammatory issues, while others just want to have a place for fun, light-hearted goofing off.
In contrast, at Tangled up in Blue, the poster tackles Chuck Dixon’s hypocrisy. He thinks superhero comics should be suitable for children, and thus they shouldn’t include gay characters or other sexual subjects. This is hard to reconcile with his work, whether it involves unwed teen pregnancy or his odd views on how to prove Connor Hawke is not gay.
I present these rants because they’re funny, but also because they’re a very different kind of communication. They’re not intended to open discussion with the writer or change his mind — they instead want to show others why he’s wrong. They’re entertainment (sometimes along the lines of “I laugh because I dare not cry”), not convincing debate.
Last, there are those cases where everyone, fan or pro alike, would be better served if creators would shut their mouth and get off the net. This time around, it’s Reggie Hudlin (scroll down to comment #4 and following). I know, those of you who’ve been following his history aren’t surprised that he reacts so badly when his writing is criticized, especially his treatment of Storm.
Ragnell does a terrific job responding to his defensiveness.