Rage-Inducing LinkBlogging

Stupid things people do…

Crazy Authors

Author tries sock puppetry (definition), then threatens to report critics to FBI. (This is from the end of last year, but it made me shake my head in amazement.) A writer of a science fiction romance novel pseudonymously attacked the person who gave her a bad review. Wait, it gets weirder — the writer blamed her editor for “the language used in dialogue or even sequencing of scenes” before threatening to report those disagreeing with her for cyberstalking and to file “felony” charges.

Remember, it’s rarely beneficial to respond to critics of your work, especially if they gave it a bad review. You’ll look defensive and your reputation will suffer for it, all the more so if you flip out to such a degree that that’s all anyone remembers about you.

Fan Entitlement

The NPR blog justifiably takes down Chuck fans who, unhappy with a temporary plot line involving the relationships of the lead characters, are now turning on the show they claim to love. Some are going so far as to suggest a boycott, which wouldn’t help anyone — the storylines are already planned, and if the show gets cancelled, no one gets what they want.

When did fans get the idea that they could dictate content to creators? If you aren’t enjoying something, stop buying/watching/reading it. (And if the overall ongoing story gets to a place you’d like even more, you’ll feel like an idiot for not having any patience or trust in the creators.) If they’re creating something you like, then have a little faith.

Critic Alan Sepinwall spoke to the show’s creators about the whole thing, since the controversy arose in comments at his blog. Sadly, some anonymous idiots take that second post opportunity to once again demonstrate that their viewpoint is the only one they will consider, going on the attack once again.

The language in this cartoon is rough, but I’ve come to agree with its equation that otherwise normal people, given the ability to rant without consequence to the worldwide internet audience, run the risk of being greater jerks than normal.

Stan Lee Realizes His Best Character Is Himself

Stan Lee’s Super Seven will star himself as the guide to seven stranded aliens who become superheroes. Archie is publishing in conjunction with a company that will “focus on developing the project as a TV series and online property as well as handling licensing and merchandising.” Because that’s not putting the cart before the horse.

“Nothing is more exciting to me, as a writer, than creating a new type of story or introducing a new theme,” Lee said in a statement.

New story? New theme? Not even last century was that true of any of his work. Even more interesting is the comment at that first link that reports “This brand new project is actually 6 or 7 years old. Stan Lee’s company originally developed it as an animated series … and they pitched it at various international TV markets in 2003 and 04.” Not only is it generic, it’s stale.

Marvel Wimps Out

Captain America (the comic) is doing a storyline where Captain America (the character) infiltrates a racist bunch of political extremists. This is exactly the kind of thing the comic should do to keep the character relevant — have him represent the best of the country’s ideals.

Well, another group of wacked-out political extremists, the Tea Baggers, found out and got upset. Instead of respectfully acknowledging the right to have a different opinion, editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and writer Ed Brubaker started casting around to throw blame somewhere else. Brubaker said it was added in production, and Quesada said the letterer just picked something up randomly from online.

Most ridiculous is that they are planning to change it when the story is reprinted. How silly, to kowtow to a bunch of ignorant loudmouths! What happened to the Marvel that used to chase controversy as free publicity? Or do those guts only apply when they’re tweaking their competition? (By the way, Bill Jemas is now running, among other things, a hippy-dippy t-shirt company.)

I’m with Mark Waid, who twittered that he is “humiliated and mortified on behalf of my entire industry that Fox News is able to bully us into apologizing to lunatics.”

Update: Jennifer Smith contrasts this Quesada apology with the many things he’s chosen to stand behind.

29 Responses to “Rage-Inducing LinkBlogging”

  1. Kelson Says:

    “If you aren’t enjoying something, stop buying/watching/reading it.” – It seems so simple, doesn’t it?

    Of course, then you’ll get people telling you that you aren’t a real fan, because if you were a real fan, you’d keep reading/watching/whatever even if you didn’t like what they were doing — and even then, you wouldn’t be a real real fan, because a real real fan would still like it just because it’s the show. *grumble*

  2. Simon Jones Says:

    People of the internet… we wouldn’t have this Chuck problem if y’all just watch Parks and Recreation instead. ;)

  3. Thad Says:

    …my favorite part of the Tea Party kerfluffle is their outrage that Marvel would suggest most of them are white.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Oh, the “real fan” debate is just aggravating and energy-sapping. I’m a fan if I say I am.

    I’m not debating whether these folks are fans — clearly, they are. I wish they’d behave more positively, though. And not want to “punish” others so much.

    Simon, Parks, really? No thanks. Didn’t seem funny. Besides, I do love Chuck.

  5. James Schee Says:

    I just gotta wonder at the age of some fans at times. If 2 minutes into episode one (or heck episode 2, 3, 4 or 10 of a 22 episode season) Chuck and Sara or happy together in love with no problems.

    Then what do they do for the rest of the season then? A bunch of mindless villains and explosions? Have these people been exposed to so little entertainment that they don’t know that in the end things work out for the heroes.

    Its why I was content with last season’s Chuck episode just before the finale. Chuck and Sara were together, they had a great family moment and all answers I needed were revealed. I’m thrilled they came back for more, but know that just means a further journey to get back to where they were (or something similar) in that episode.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Someone (I forget where I read it) suggested that the folks so upset over it only see the show as a romance, without paying attention to the workplace comedy, spy action, or Chuck’s story of growing up. So they’re only paying attention to one dimension of what’s a rather complicated tale.

    I just wish I’d SEEN the episode before all this broke, because now some of it is spoiled for me.

  7. Thom Says:

    Thad-Well, some of the Tea Partiers have tans and some are sunburned. That’s diversity…right?

    Johanna-Parks and Recreation is very funny if you like awkward humor. If oneis a fan of the Office, I would suspect one would enjoy Parks.

  8. mark Says:

    Compared to some of the outrageous and patently untrue the so-called “patriots” of the Tea-Bag movement have espoused, I find their getting offended over a comic book to be very amusing.

    What the idiots at Marvel did is reprehensible….and another reason why I don’t read Marvel comics…

  9. Dan Coyle Says:

    To be honest, the stuff with the romance seemed clunky and contrived and reminded me why I don’t watch the show… but I don’t understand why it’s a dealbreaker. I think the fans are just tired of hitting the same notes.

    People always invoke the David and Maddie rule, but they forget that at that point, they’d squeezed as much blood out of that stone as they possibly could. there was literally nowhere else to go.

  10. Johanna Says:

    People who think that getting a couple together ruins the fun have obviously never watched a Thin Man movie. But it is easier the other way. This season on Chuck, I’m not so thrilled with the artificial impediments either.

  11. James Schee Says:

    Yeah I guess, for me I like the Chuck and Sara relationship but its only a part of why I like the show. Their journey which I’m sure is designed to have them find each other again is interesting.

    My favorite parts are the moments with Chuck’s family (not as fun lately there though) and the wacky adventures that keep me on the edge of my seat. Yet don’t have that dark danger that means you think the characters are in REAL danger.

    Though the one sub-character death this season was VERY shocking in its brutality. I’m glad they got past it very quickly since it didn’t seem to fit with how the action had been done prior.

  12. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    This whole Captain America thing illuminates what a coward Joe Quesada is, and why Dirk Deppey, for all his link-blogging kung fu, is usually better off not commenting on politics.

  13. Alex Fitch Says:

    Part of the reason for current fan ‘entitlement’ / their belief they can dictate the course of a series is because the media has been listening to the fan dollar a lot in recent years. The plethora of Superhero movies that claim to be faithful to their source material are often worse films than ones which use the source as a starting point and go in a different direction. Many TV shows are now run by former fans – Doctor Who in particular – and many of the creators of TV shows and films – Paul Cornell, Kevin Smith, Neil Gaiman etc. – have friendly conversational blogs that encourage greater involvement with fans on a level that suggests a releationship deeper than available before between creators and their letterpage respondants. Fans have brought back TV shows from cancellation by letter writing campaigns and sending relevant ‘gifts’ releated to a show to the TV studios and by buying shows on DVD in numbers that countered their viewing figures on TV.
    Fans have been empowered by the internet and a level of interaction with the media rarely seen before the last decade, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the vocal minorities of fandom now believe they have a greater say in media production than the companies that make our entertainment might like.

  14. Johanna Says:

    While companies chase fan money, I’m not sure they’re listening to fan opinion any more than before. For instance, I cannot think of any successful “bring back my show” effort. Even Jericho showed that the studio was right — it didn’t get any more viewers when it was returned, and it was quickly cancelled again. Family Guy returned because of DVD sales, not because of a campaign. It’s money that talks, not talk. :)

    I think you’re right, I think fans do think that they have more say (because they now know more people like them online), but I don’t think that’s an accurate perception.

  15. Tempest in a teapot: Politics, apologies and Captain America #602 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

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  16. William George Says:

    I think we should stop picking on the tea-baggers because it’s hurting their feelings.

    And their tears are making the Hitler mustaches they draw on Obama pictures run, ruining their sole contribution to the political dialog of the day.

  17. William George Says:

    Sorry, If forgot that they’re also keeping Glenn Beck employed.

    Cuz if he wasn’t on FoxNews where we can keep an eye on him, he’d be in a bell tower with a rifle before long.

  18. Mike Says:

    Yeah, I just watched that episode of “Chuck” on Hulu, and if fans are getting that worked up over that, then their heads would have exploded reading the X-Men back in the ’80s.

    Or, to put it in less geeky terms, these really must be the type of people who read the last page of a book first.

  19. December Says:

    “When did fans get the idea that they could dictate content to creators?”

    When did creators get the idea that they are gods and we should all bow down and kiss their asses no matter what crap they put out? If a good show is being ruined, the fans have every right to try to fix it. Without an audience, the precious creator is out of a job. Fans are what keep the show on the air, so yes, they should have a say in the content.

  20. William George Says:

    “If a good show is being ruined, the fans have every right to try to fix it.”

    No. Fans only have the right to not watch it anymore, and the right to express why.

    If they want the right to “fix” the TV show …comic/movie/anime/game… they should get together a good resume highlighting their (assumed superior) creative skills and apply for a job at the production studio like everyone else in the world has to.

  21. mark Says:

    Well stated, William…well stated, indeed.

    The previous comment was loaded with the hubris and arrogance being leveled at the creative types.

  22. Johanna Says:

    December, no one’s saying “bend over and take it without complaint”. I am saying that you don’t get to tell them how to do their jobs. Your feedback can be expressed in many other ways: watch or don’t watch, and tell them why in the many venues open to you (politely, please!). But that should stop short of trying to threaten or dictate tasks to them.

    A fan CANNOT “fix” a show, no matter what they do. Thinking of things in those terms shows a misguided understanding of the relationship.

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