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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Default [RoTF] Surviving Fandom in 2018

    Reading this article made me think of one thing and one thing only: the difficulty with being a Tom King Batman fan on these boards. It applies to all manner of fandom and is an important read (IMO) regardless and I could have posted it anywhere but when it comes to DC Comics this article reminded me of nothing so much as what a drag it is to be a fan of King's Batman and a fan of discussing comics with this otherwise great community.

    Why is it so important to some fans to obsess over what they hate rather than focusing on what they love? The internet has made fandom different than it's ever been and very much to the worse IMO. But don't take my word; read the article and see what you think of it.

    https://revengeofthefans.com/2018/06...andom-in-2018/

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing. An excellent read and just really enjoyed what he had to say.

  3. #3
    Incredible Member kjn's Avatar
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    The attitude of pooh-poohing and anti-squeeing is strong today, but I'd argue it's been with us for a long time. It's not unique to the Internet, but has far older roots. One of the most effective ways to create and maintain a group identity is to exclude someone, saying that they are not part of the group: an object of shared dislike.

    What might be different is rather that the Internet lacks many of the usual group identity forming methods, and that some of the regulators that stops that behaviour from becoming toxic are missing.

    Another factor might that a lot of people here identify themselves with comics, and when one then dislikes a comic it needs to be justified and externalised, eg on the writers, and proper externalisation requires telling people about it. Instead, it could simply be that one is no longer a fan of the specific character, or just a fan of one's own very specific internal of the character.

  4. #4
    D*mned Prince of Gotham JasonTodd428's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the article but I do disagree with one part of it. I really don't think it should be necessary to preface every post with things like "Its my opinion" and so forth. I think its already pretty clear that things that people post are their opinions. People can't be that thick.

    I really think what it boils down to is the sometimes anonymous nature of things like internet forums and people using that to say things they simply wouldn't ordinarily say to someone face to face. You don't even have to be yourself online and so people feel they protected from any type of censure. They get used to getting away with being rude etc on forums so then they take that same rudeness and use it on other parts of the net. This even extends into the realm of places where you do supposedly have to actually attach a "real name" to things. People then get into this habit of thinking everyone who does dare to criticize them or disagree with their opinion must be in the "wrong".

    The flip side of this is people being reactionary to the things people say on the internet without having the ability to see the body language and expressions of the person they are reacting to. A lot of the time people aren't even posting anything intentionally inflammatory from their end at all and people jump them over nothing because they are missing those visual cues.
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  5. #5
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BatmanJones View Post
    Reading this article made me think of one thing and one thing only: the difficulty with being a Tom King Batman fan on these boards. It applies to all manner of fandom and is an important read (IMO) regardless and I could have posted it anywhere but when it comes to DC Comics this article reminded me of nothing so much as what a drag it is to be a fan of King's Batman and a fan of discussing comics with this otherwise great community.

    Why is it so important to some fans to obsess over what they hate rather than focusing on what they love? The internet has made fandom different than it's ever been and very much to the worse IMO. But don't take my word; read the article and see what you think of it.

    https://revengeofthefans.com/2018/06...andom-in-2018/
    I agree, though I think the article isn't as careful with its phrasing as it could be sometimes. The same feeling happened with Tynion's run on Tec, with the constant accusations that Tynion hated the characters he was writing, and deliberately wanted to make them fail and turn their fans against them.

    However, I would disagree that it's made fandom worse - fandom has always had fads and cliques and gossip and hate. It was just harder to find them - but also harder to find the good discussions and activities.
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  6. #6
    Incredible Member kjn's Avatar
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    We also want to be a forum for constructive criticism and analysis, and by doing so help us become better readers. Some comics are bad, and we should be ready to say so. But blanket statements like "bad writing is bad writing" as BatmanJones reacted to in the Batman #48 thread is neither correct in any sense nor good criticism.

    Because there are multitudes of bad writing, just as there is of bad art. Being able to articulate why something is bad writing, or bad art, should be part of what we learn here, and what we help each other communicate. Of course there are subjective takes on this, but learning to recognise ones own biases and tics is also part of becoming a better reader, and opens the way to appreciate more stuff as well.

    Bad writing can be bad writing because someone acts out of character. Then say so, not that it is bad writing. Ditto if it is bad writing because parts of the plot is elided, or because the writer pulls a deus ex machina, or because it ties into problematic tropes like fridging or black dude dies first.

    (FWIW, I don't demand answers why people like a thing. It's not a double standard here, but rather an assessment of the respective social impact of repetitions of the statements "this is crap" and "this is good". But we should applaud those here who try to analyse why a given work is good or what makes it work.)

  7. #7
    D*mned Prince of Gotham JasonTodd428's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I agree, though I think the article isn't as careful with its phrasing as it could be sometimes. The same feeling happened with Tynion's run on Tec, with the constant accusations that Tynion hated the characters he was writing, and deliberately wanted to make them fail and turn their fans against them.

    However, I would disagree that it's made fandom worse - fandom has always had fads and cliques and gossip and hate. It was just harder to find them - but also harder to find the good discussions and activities.
    I agree it was harder to find them back in the day but it does seem that there are an awful lot of people spewing their hate everywhere without regard and it also seems that they are also an extremely vocal group who run off anyone who disagrees with their stances. There are, for example, a lot of people who want to discuss books here but a certain segment of the fandom has run them off because they are not really interested in discussing the books so much as they are in cutting off the dialog between those who like something and those who don't. That or they don't want to hear someone else dissenting opinion on a book. They intentionally set up an "us vs them" scenario and people react to that by jumping on whatever that bandwagon is which in turn causes people to get dog-piled on for their opposing opinion however valid or relevant that opinion might be.
    Supporting LION FORGE COMICS and other independent publishers.

    Check out Lion Forge's Catalyst Prime Universe. Its the best damned superhero verse in comics. Diverse characters and interesting stories set in a universe where anyone can be a hero. And company that prides itself on representation both in the comics themselves and in the people behind them.

    Oh my goodness gracious! I've been bamboozled!

    When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change. AVATAR AANG

  8. #8
    D*mned Prince of Gotham JasonTodd428's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    We also want to be a forum for constructive criticism and analysis, and by doing so help us become better readers. Some comics are bad, and we should be ready to say so. But blanket statements like "bad writing is bad writing" as BatmanJones reacted to in the Batman #48 thread is neither correct in any sense nor good criticism.

    Because there are multitudes of bad writing, just as there is of bad art. Being able to articulate why something is bad writing, or bad art, should be part of what we learn here, and what we help each other communicate. Of course there are subjective takes on this, but learning to recognise ones own biases and tics is also part of becoming a better reader, and opens the way to appreciate more stuff as well.

    Bad writing can be bad writing because someone acts out of character. Then say so, not that it is bad writing. Ditto if it is bad writing because parts of the plot is elided, or because the writer pulls a deus ex machina, or because it ties into problematic tropes like fridging or black dude dies first.

    (FWIW, I don't demand answers why people like a thing. It's not a double standard here, but rather an assessment of the respective social impact of repetitions of the statements "this is crap" and "this is good". But we should applaud those here who try to analyse why a given work is good or what makes it work.)
    I completely agree with you there. I've no problem with someone who can tell me why they think a book is "bad" but I very much take issue with people who go around saying "such and such a book is bad" but never give a reason as to why they think that. The former allows me to take their criticisms a bit more seriously while the latter just makes me shake my head and move on. If you can't support your feelings either way than I really can't take those opinions seriously at all.
    Last edited by JasonTodd428; 06-08-2018 at 09:21 AM.
    Supporting LION FORGE COMICS and other independent publishers.

    Check out Lion Forge's Catalyst Prime Universe. Its the best damned superhero verse in comics. Diverse characters and interesting stories set in a universe where anyone can be a hero. And company that prides itself on representation both in the comics themselves and in the people behind them.

    Oh my goodness gracious! I've been bamboozled!

    When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change. AVATAR AANG

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonTodd428 View Post
    The flip side of this is people being reactionary to the things people say on the internet without having the ability to see the body language and expressions of the person they are reacting to. A lot of the time people aren't even posting anything intentionally inflammatory from their end at all and people jump them over nothing because they are missing those visual cues.
    This happens to me all the time. I'm a smartass. Always have been (its a metric for intelligence, I swear!) But usually when I make a snarky comment, I'm smiling when I say it so it's clear the comment isn't meant to be taken literally or seriously. My particular brand of sarcasm often seems to be interpreted wrong online, especially when I forget the smiley emoji.
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