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  1. #1
    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Default The psychology of comic book fans

    Hi, everybody. After reading yet another thread about OMD, I wondered about the psychology of comic book fans. What makes a person so mad about a fictional 7 year old story that every week someone starts a new thread about it? When you ask that question on an OMD thread, the people that hate OMD say things like "Marvel disrespected me" or some other nonsense. What is it about the mindsets of some fans that prevent them from moving on from a story that they claim they hate?

    Comic book fans are stereotyped as maladjusted man-children that canít handle real life. Things like the constant complaining of a seven year old story that isn't even talked about in the actual comic books just reinforce that stereotype, among other things.

    I put this thread on the community board because I notice the posters here are wiser and although they love comics, theyíre not as obsessed as the posters on the DC/Marvel boards.

    Does anyone have any other examples of extreme fan behavior? Any thoughts on why this behavior exists? Please keep this as civil as you can. And please donít be offended by this. Iím not trying to put people down, Iím just curious about whatís in a personís psyche that makes them go extreme over a fictional character.
    What U putting in your nose?
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    Yahtzee! quinnzel's Avatar
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    People like to play the "all comic book fans are raging obsessed nerds" card but honestly, this is true of any fandom or any hobby that people are passionately interested in. Look at fans of television shows. Look at music fans who will follow their favorite band/artist to the ends of the earth. Even regular book readers can become obsessive and "crazy", in a sense (although I don't think it's "crazy", I just think it's called fandom and liking what you like)-- the best examples are fans of series like Harry Potter and Twilight.

    It isn't restricted to just the above fandoms though, either. Like I said, anyone passionately involved with a hobby, be it stamp collecting or fishing or football or cross-stitching or anything, can behave in the same manner that is commonly portrayed as being the stereotype of comic book fans. I think it's just that comic book readers are already sort of an easy target because there's already that stereotype.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    I think the very premise of this thread stems from a misunderstanding of comics to begin with-- namely, that just like all comics are not superhero comics, not all comics fans fit into a monolithic group. You don't see many Love and Rockets fans arguing about the minutia of continuity points, but I don't think anyone would argue that L&R fans don't love comics. There is a certain subset of comics that work on juvenile themes, and it's perfectly understandable that fans of those books react in a juvenile way. That's not to say that those comics aren't entertaining because so many of them are, but if you won't/can't grow beyond those books, then you should expect to be judged by them. There's a reason why the rest of the world looks down upon the N American market.

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    How many people causing a ruckus own any work by Wendy Pini or Colleen Doran?

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    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    I think the very premise of this thread stems from a misunderstanding of comics to begin with-- namely, that just like all comics are not superhero comics, not all comics fans fit into a monolithic group. You don't see many Love and Rockets fans arguing about the minutia of continuity points, but I don't think anyone would argue that L&R fans don't love comics. There is a certain subset of comics that work on juvenile themes, and it's perfectly understandable that fans of those books react in a juvenile way. That's not to say that those comics aren't entertaining because so many of them are, but if you won't/can't grow beyond those books, then you should expect to be judged by them. There's a reason why the rest of the world looks down upon the N American market.
    The title of the thread maybe misleading. A more accurate title might be "The psychology of some superhero comic book fans". The point of the thread is to examine the reasons of this odd process of some fans taking fiction way too seriously.
    What U putting in your nose?
    Is that where all your money goes (Is that where your money goes)
    The river of addiction flows
    U think it's hot, but there won't be no water
    When the fire blows

    First they came for the mutants, and I said nothing. Then they came for the chickens, and still I said nothing...
    -cyberhubbs

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    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroubleWithTrebles View Post
    How many people causing a ruckus own any work by Wendy Pini or Colleen Doran?
    This is closer to what I'm talking about. I'm sure there are some hardcore Elfquest fans, but I haven't seen them go insane over a seven year old story. Is this thing exclusive to only North American (Let's be honest, USA) mainstream superhero fans?

    Other examples are appreciated.
    What U putting in your nose?
    Is that where all your money goes (Is that where your money goes)
    The river of addiction flows
    U think it's hot, but there won't be no water
    When the fire blows

    First they came for the mutants, and I said nothing. Then they came for the chickens, and still I said nothing...
    -cyberhubbs

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    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quinnzel View Post
    People like to play the "all comic book fans are raging obsessed nerds" card but honestly, this is true of any fandom or any hobby that people are passionately interested in. Look at fans of television shows. Look at music fans who will follow their favorite band/artist to the ends of the earth. Even regular book readers can become obsessive and "crazy", in a sense (although I don't think it's "crazy", I just think it's called fandom and liking what you like)-- the best examples are fans of series like Harry Potter and Twilight.

    It isn't restricted to just the above fandoms though, either. Like I said, anyone passionately involved with a hobby, be it stamp collecting or fishing or football or cross-stitching or anything, can behave in the same manner that is commonly portrayed as being the stereotype of comic book fans. I think it's just that comic book readers are already sort of an easy target because there's already that stereotype.
    I get what you're saying, but for this thread let's stick to superhero fandom.
    What U putting in your nose?
    Is that where all your money goes (Is that where your money goes)
    The river of addiction flows
    U think it's hot, but there won't be no water
    When the fire blows

    First they came for the mutants, and I said nothing. Then they came for the chickens, and still I said nothing...
    -cyberhubbs

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    The behavior I think your talking about is really just some fans who have an overblown sense of entitlement. And some are simply immature.

    As far as buying a comic even after you've stopped enjoying it, some times it's a case of certain fans being collectors. They don't stop buying a title cuz they are completists and don't want to interrupt their run. So they just sorta bear it and hope it'll get better.

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    Veteran Member FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emac1790 View Post
    The title of the thread maybe misleading. A more accurate title might be "The psychology of some superhero comic book fans". The point of the thread is to examine the reasons of this odd process of some fans taking fiction way too seriously.
    Yeah, but no one would read your read your thread then.

    I do think there's a correlation between the juvenile themes of superhero comics and the juvenile reaction to them. There's a very adolescent spirit to them, and you should expect an adolescent reaction. Those comics play on broad themes and identification with characters. Something that disrupts the status quo is viewed with hostile derision.

    Hardly unique to comics, though. Some hardcore sports never progress, some young adult literature fans never progress, etc. Hard to blame the market for realizing this.

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    Dirt Wizard Goggindowner's Avatar
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    Well first I feel I need to clarify with you OP, as you may notice that I am one of those anti-OMD posters from the very thread you speak of. For me, the dislike of the story isn't tied to entitlement or feeling like I got screwed. As I said in that thread, OMD was what drove me out of superhero comics for the most part, because it showed me the futility of being invested in these characters. So in a lot of ways, I owe that crap story a great deal, because it freed up my interest to discover comics that I never would have found otherwise. Basically it turned me from a superhero comic fan into an actual comic fan. I argue against it because it gets brought up, and I have some fundamental issues with the conception and execution of the story. Plus its fun to debate.

    As for what drives superhero comic fans' motivation to continue griping about something a decade later, I think the answer is simple. Most of us on CBR from the US grew up reading these stories about these characters. They were our gateway drug if you will. And as we grew up, we developed relationships with these never ending, never aging characters and their lives. Their is an investment there deeper than money. You get personally attached and start feeling like the character is yours in a way. Then someone comes along and rips part of that story out, and in the case of OMD, it isn't even done in a way that makes much sense. So you feel like part of you got ripped out with it, and the natural reaction is rage.

    Of course, the real issue here is the immaturity that comes along with being an adult who has an emotional investment in a fictional character. And honestly, sports fans are way worse than superhero fans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goggindowner View Post
    Well first I feel I need to clarify with you OP, as you may notice that I am one of those anti-OMD posters from the very thread you speak of. For me, the dislike of the story isn't tied to entitlement or feeling like I got screwed. As I said in that thread, OMD was what drove me out of superhero comics for the most part, because it showed me the futility of being invested in these characters. So in a lot of ways, I owe that crap story a great deal, because it freed up my interest to discover comics that I never would have found otherwise. Basically it turned me from a superhero comic fan into an actual comic fan. I argue against it because it gets brought up, and I have some fundamental issues with the conception and execution of the story. Plus its fun to debate.

    As for what drives superhero comic fans' motivation to continue griping about something a decade later, I think the answer is simple. Most of us on CBR from the US grew up reading these stories about these characters. They were our gateway drug if you will. And as we grew up, we developed relationships with these never ending, never aging characters and their lives. Their is an investment there deeper than money. You get personally attached and start feeling like the character is yours in a way. Then someone comes along and rips part of that story out, and in the case of OMD, it isn't even done in a way that makes much sense. So you feel like part of you got ripped out with it, and the natural reaction is rage.

    Of course, the real issue here is the immaturity that comes along with being an adult who has an emotional investment in a fictional character. And honestly, sports fans are way worse than superhero fans.
    Oh no doubt. That and literature fans, especially of the YA market. If you'd been to a Harry Potter forum during it's heyday that place can be crazy!

    This topic actually reminds me of what usually go down at the Superman forums though. It has been about I think a couple of years since MOS and yet people are still complaining about the movie. I remember one poster joked how the MOS haters are more obsessed over the movie than the ones who either liked it or are indifferent towards it. But as you say it's pretty much a combination of entitlement and immaturity.

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    Look up "Sithies" in regards to their boards and FB pages and twatter pages, and cross reference that with LGTBQ Sithies and how their fan behaviour compares to your example in the OP, emac. I am not saying it us better or worse, but you have basically asked for a comparison.

  13. #13
    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    Yeah, but no one would read your read your thread then.

    I do think there's a correlation between the juvenile themes of superhero comics and the juvenile reaction to them. There's a very adolescent spirit to them, and you should expect an adolescent reaction. Those comics play on broad themes and identification with characters. Something that disrupts the status quo is viewed with hostile derision.

    Hardly unique to comics, though. Some hardcore sports never progress, some young adult literature fans never progress, etc. Hard to blame the market for realizing this.
    well you got to pull them in somehow.

    Anyway, the nature of Marvel/DC comics is such that it always goes back to the status quo for whatever reason. Do people think that Batman won't have a Robin? The Falcon is the new Captain America. You know one day Steve Rogers will use the shield again.

    This becomes a source of frustration for some fans because the status quo that was in place when they first started reading a character maybe different than the original status quo of the character. For example, a person starts reading Spider-Man when he was Ben Reilly. That person likes Ben as Spider-Man. Then Peter Parker comes back. Now there is nothing wrong with feeling upset over that. The problem is when that person goes to every comic site 5 years after the change of the status quo they know and love and demands the book goes back to what they like. Is it just nostalgia or is it entitlement that causes such a reaction?

    That brings up the age old question. Should superhero comics progress? Or should they just keep the status quo going? Can superheroes survive in keeping the status quo?
    What U putting in your nose?
    Is that where all your money goes (Is that where your money goes)
    The river of addiction flows
    U think it's hot, but there won't be no water
    When the fire blows

    First they came for the mutants, and I said nothing. Then they came for the chickens, and still I said nothing...
    -cyberhubbs

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    Yes, no, and no.

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    I wanna be your lover... emac1790's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroubleWithTrebles View Post
    Look up "Sithies" in regards to their boards and FB pages and twatter pages, and cross reference that with LGTBQ Sithies and how their fan behaviour compares to your example in the OP, emac. I am not saying it us better or worse, but you have basically asked for a comparison.
    I googled Sithies and the first link was The Sithies - Jedi vs Sith Wiki. Is this what you're talking about?
    What U putting in your nose?
    Is that where all your money goes (Is that where your money goes)
    The river of addiction flows
    U think it's hot, but there won't be no water
    When the fire blows

    First they came for the mutants, and I said nothing. Then they came for the chickens, and still I said nothing...
    -cyberhubbs

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