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  1. #1
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    Default Fiction vs. Reality

    I've slowly been weening myself off message boards. Here on CBR, I was more than happy to let my account implode and fade away with the site's April message board re-booting...
    ...until I fell victim to that time old trap of "someone on the Internet is WRONG." :-P

    Still, at less than 20 posts since April, I have done a good job of weening.
    And now, with New Year's Resolutions looming, I've decided to take the plunge and disappear from comic book message boards entirely.
    I'm sure that like all New Year's Resolutions that there'll be a relapse here-or-there. But hopefully, in the long run, I can leave you all to it-- and to have your fun interrupted by the likes of ol' curmudgeonly me.

    In the past, when I've tried to detach, my reasoning was that these boards were for you (fans) and not me (someone working in the industry) and that maybe there should be a disconnect.

    With way more time to dwell on it, I think it's simpler than that. These boards are about fiction.
    Not fiction like the world of Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.
    Fiction as in what a lot of you THINK the industry is like.
    Or THINK what comic book creators, editors, or upper-management types are thinking, feeling, believing, and/or what their intentions are.
    Fiction as in what you believe and/or fear is going to happen to comic book characters and storylines.

    Too many fans online pick at interviews, tweets, videos-- what have you-- and desperately try to fill in the gaps. And that's fine and dandy. But then comes the screwy part...

    ...a lot of you take those personal guesses as FACT. And then start arguing those fictions as if they were real.

    And they're not. They NEVER are.

    Let me give you an example:

    "Marvel is ramming this new Silk character down our throats."

    Nope.

    Want to know who chose to put out a new SILK book?

    The fans.

    No. Not the small, angry, vocal subsection that likes to rant on message boards.
    The tens of thousands of fans who voted in comic book shops across America and the world.

    Marvel had no advance plans of putting out a Silk book. None whatsoever.

    But then ASM #1 was the best selling comic of the 21st century. Fan mail came in and-- universally-- wanted to know more about Silk. And then the book had to go back to press.
    And then ASM #2 performed better than anyone expected. More Silk fan mail came in. And the book had to go back to press.
    And then ASM #3 performed better than anyone expected. Again. More Silk fan mail came in. Again. And the book had to go back to press. Again.
    And then ASM #4 REALLY performed better than anyone expected. Even MORE Silk fan mail came in. And the book had to be RUSHED back to press.
    And it all happened again with ASM #5.
    And again with ASM #6.

    In the middle of all of THAT, and based off of fan reaction, is when one of the big wigs said, "We should do a Silk book."
    Fans made it happen.
    It's THAT simple.
    That is the REALITY of the situation plain as day.

    Sometimes it happens lightning fast-- like with the near instantaneous reaction to Jason, Robbi, and Rico's phenomenal Spider-Gwen EOSV #2 issue.
    That was fan reaction that was easy for everyone to immediately see and grasp.

    But that rapid response to Spider-Gwen in no means invalidated the steady, sustained, and strong reaction to Silk-- just because there are those on message boards & tumblr who loudly and repeatedly want it to be that way. Much in the same way that one of the regular CBR posters here repeatedly makes the case that Spider-Man should be dating She-Hulk. The frequency and intensity of a message board post-- from the same corner over-and-over again-- doesn't make the argument or desire behind it any more real. It's all just a fiction.

    Not a purposeful or planned lie.
    It's a fiction based on what that one fan (or small sampling of fans) really, really, really WANTS to be true.
    Doesn't make it true.
    Just makes it something that's passionately believed in.
    In the same way that some people passionately believe that the moon landings were staged.

    Two main kinds of posts have, this past year, brought me back on these message boards.

    1) A fan's heartfelt FEAR of a story/outcome that they BELIEVED might happen.

    and

    2) A regular hater of the book who-- through things I've said in interviews, online, or just how they (inaccurately) have interpreted things I've written in the comics-- have taken the position that they KNOW what I'm thinking, believing, or intending.
    And that's patently insane.
    It's kind of like the ending to the movie THE TRUMAN SHOW, where Truman points to his head and says "You never had a camera in here."
    This guy doesn't have a CLUE what I'm thinking, believing, and especially what I'm intending.
    But he thinks he does. He's so sure of that, that he's bought into his own fiction with a zealous certainty.
    More than any, his posts are the weirdest for me to read. Because he's usually so completely off from what's the REALITY of the situation. But he's so dead on sure that he's NOT.

    In both cases, what CAN I do?
    If I pop in here to stomp out these fictions, suddenly I'm a "cyber bully."
    That's the current take on it.

    Flipside? Who's it really going to hurt? Two people on message boards are spreading untruths.
    They're not intentionally lying. They've just bought into their own fictions and earnestly BELIEVE that they're speaking to the reality of a situation.
    When they're not.

    So... Eh. Fuck it.

    I get it.

    That's what message boards are for. I'd like to hang out here and interact with fans about all kinds of stuff. But it's in my wiring to see such blatant falsehoods-- and to feel the need to stamp them out-- that that's usually all I wind up doing when I am here. So best to just let it go. And to let this be a place that regularly deals in fiction. No worries. :-)

    Hope you all have a very Happy New Year.

    And, one last time, for all you guys supporting the book-- I deeply, truly DO appreciate that support. This is the coolest job on the planet and I owe it all to your patronage. THANK YOU.
    Last edited by Dan Slott; 12-31-2014 at 10:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member FriendRoss's Avatar
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    I quit Twitter a month ago. It was getting to be to much like facebook. It's wonderful not reading people's idotic opinions and baseless outrage.... But of course I've recently come to the conclusion that I don't like people in general.




    merry new year Dan!
    Last edited by FriendRoss; 12-31-2014 at 10:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for clarifying the situation regarding Silk. I always felt that the first 6 issues was the introduction of your newest character. I will admit that I didn't know that Silk's upcoming series was because the fans demand it. It goes to show what little we know.

    In addition, I will give you high praise for your work on Spider-man because it's a very big responsibility of which we can't imagine on how big the workload is. While I will admit that I do not always agree on everything that you've done to the series, the end results were positive overall. As writer of the series, you have every right to take the direction of the series where you feel that hasn't been explored. Writers are different, and they have different views on the characters that they write about. Writers are there to tell their stories, whether it is perfect of not. Therefore, I understand that writers can not please everybody.

    You were assigned to do Spider-man because of your love for the character, as well as the fact that you can breath new life into the series. And I will say that you succeed because the sales numbers don't lie.

    If there is anything that we're talking about that is not correct, feel free to correct us on it. Afterall, you are an industry veteran; so your comments carry a great deal of weight. Not many writers take the time to post on the CBR forums. Heck, even Brian Michael Bendis doesn't take the time to answer any of my questions when his Jinxworld message was online. But, you took the time to answer some of my questions, for which I am quite grateful for.

    Do let the negative comments get to you. Afterall, comic book stories are the work of creative fiction after all.
    Last edited by Darthfury78; 01-01-2015 at 01:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Aruran.'s Avatar
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    I still see Dan Slott joining the message boards again later this year to argue the exact same thing that pisses him off.

    Which is fair of him to be honest. I just personally don't find it productive from anyone to argue on the internet, it's fun to argue but it's seriously the most unproductive thing in history.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member normanosborn's Avatar
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    Cool, do what makes you happy Dan. Happy New Year to you too!

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member Russ840's Avatar
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    Great to see you back Dan. I too find people who present their opinions as fact very annoying, but some can't help it so I just ignore them now.

    So greatful you're back on here as you was always gracious enough to answer my questions.

    On that note, are you going to be in London anytime in the near future?

    I need you to sign my 'Superior' oversized hardcovers lol.

  7. #7
    Lv 67 Pinsir's Avatar
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    The major problem with superhero comics is that readers have certain 'modes' on how their characters should behave, think, and so on, usually built on a sense of nostalgia. No one would say to Rowling, "You should have wrote Harry like this!" but all too often that is how comic authors are treated. Every author is going to have a different Spiderman.
    Want to read Wonder Woman stories, but don't know where to start? Check out my top 10 lists for Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and Modern Age Wonder Woman tales!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    The major problem with superhero comics is that readers have certain 'modes' on how their characters should behave, think, and so on, usually built on a sense of nostalgia. No one would say to Rowling, "You should have wrote Harry like this!" but all too often that is how comic authors are treated. Every author is going to have a different Spiderman.
    Ever think it's more than writers not portraying characters in certain preferred ways and that the fans simply do not see the stories as particularly well written? I'm not saying there aren't fans blinded by nostalgia (though for some reason creators are more exempt from this accusation i.e Grant Morrison) but sometimes this seems like the go to response to dismiss what may actually be valid criticism.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Ever think it's more than writers not portraying characters in certain preferred ways and that the fans simply do not see the stories as particularly well written? I'm not saying there aren't fans blinded by nostalgia (though for some reason creators are more exempt from this accusation i.e Grant Morrison) but sometimes this seems like the go to response to dismiss what may actually be valid criticism.
    it's both. both types exist. and you can tell them apart straight away.

    if anyone is spilling a personal hypothetical as fact (marvel is doing this cos of x, creator x hates y and thus is doing z, etc) then they are the first type. it also extends to the way they interact with other people posting on the boards.

    there are also informed and reasonable people who have issues with slott's writing, and i have time for them and hope slott would too.

    personally, i've enjoyed my limited exposure to his work.
    Last edited by boots; 01-01-2015 at 04:46 AM.

  10. #10
    Keeper of the Torch Ravin' Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Slott View Post
    Much in the same way that one of the regular CBR posters here repeatedly makes the case that Spider-Man should be dating She-Hulk. The frequency and intensity of a message board post-- from the same corner over-and-over again-- doesn't make the argument or desire behind it any more real. It's all just a fiction.
    A-hem.
    Quote Originally Posted by FriendRoss View Post
    I quit Twitter a month ago. It was getting to be to much like facebook. It's wonderful not reading people's idotic opinions and baseless outrage.... But of course I've recently come to the conclusion that I don't like people in general.
    I detach myself to some extent when going on Facebook and Twitter to read reactions on stuff I follow. I just have to be Zen about it and accept the reality that there are all kind of people making all sorts of posts of all sorts of quality and that sooner or later, things get sorted out. Or if not, well, it's the problem of those who are stuck, not mine.
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  11. #11
    All-New, All-Different Mighty Roman's Avatar
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    Dan makes a lot of good points, and I completely understand what he's saying. However, for every outraged fan making fictions about the thoughts of the creators, there are fans who find themselves truly invested in the story, and discuss them on forums like this, without any fictions made at all. Sadly, though, the popular or noticeable opinion is often one of outrage. Which is of course disappointing. Often an opinion of outrage is likely to cause discussion and debate, whether other users are in agreement or denial of the OP. Of course any debate created from such comments is usually negative, and usually leads to a CBR Civil War. However, that said, in the (relatively) short amount of time I've been on CBR, for every negative or fictional post, I've found many more praising the creative process aswell as the stories themselves.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd like to thank Dan Slott for saying this, because its definately an eye-opener for the creative process and serves as a stable rebuttal of most of the negative posts on here. Hopefully this will stop some of the assumption-based posts on here. But I'd also like to say, that a majority of fans greatly appreciate the great stories coming from Marvel for the great storytelling and creative effort, as well as Dan sharing his opinion with us. Happy New Year to both Dan, and the CBR users.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Roman View Post
    Hopefully this will stop some of the assumption-based posts on here
    nah, they'll just dig the heels in further.

  13. #13
    Spectacular Member magnum's Avatar
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    Cheers Dan and Happy New Year to you sir. I am glad that I stayed with SSM, even though I was not on board at first, as your current story "Spider-Verse" is fantastic and the additional books have great writing as well. Keep up the great work

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    The major problem with superhero comics is that readers have certain 'modes' on how their characters should behave, think, and so on, usually built on a sense of nostalgia. No one would say to Rowling, "You should have wrote Harry like this!" but all too often that is how comic authors are treated. Every author is going to have a different Spiderman.
    Funny thing is, I bet there ARE Potter fans like that. They'd correct Rowling on her own continuity.

    I'm pretty sure there's an old letter in Amazing where a reader tells Stan Lee that he ruined Peter Parker...something like ten issues in.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberhubbs View Post
    Funny thing is, I bet there ARE Potter fans like that. They'd correct Rowling on her own continuity.
    It’s true. Almost eight years later, I still can’t get over Dobby’s death. “What did that lovable little elf ever do to you, Rowling?!”

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