A post from my mid-2000s Marvel blog concerning dealing with comments made by people on teh internet.
It’s amazing how fragile all of us are. It takes so little to irritate or depress us. I just came back from Wizard World Philadelphia, a great show with an overwhelmingly positive crowd. Couldn’t be better, more upbeat, more excited about what Marvel is doing. And even the people who didn’t like everything, like the fellow in the “For a Universe to Live, Brian Bendis Must Die!” homemade t-shirt, was articulate and respectful about his complaints. I may not agree with his point of view on everything, or he with mine, but these felt like fruitful exchanges.
And then you see a line in a review, or a post on a message board, and it completely knocks you for a loop.
It shouldn’t. There’s plenty of evidence that not everybody shares that particular point of view–I just saw hundreds of examples of it this past weekend. It’s just one person behaving badly, or without thinking. But it really doesn’t matter, because emotions aren’t rational.
I can see why so many creators flame out from time to time when they’re interacting online. How can you help it? For every hundred or thousand people who are cordial and well-behaved, there’s one ignoramus that delights in getting under people’s skin, or behaving badly in public without fear of reprisal, or who simply lacks the emotional maturity to separate the fictional world of costumed heroes and villains from the real world of hard-working writers and artists trying their best to create interesting stories. And it can taint the pool for everyone.
Let’s be clear about this: Not liking a comic book story isn’t a license to wish ill upon an actual human being. Killing off a fictional character doesn’t warrant wishing for a public flogging of the creators involved. The arrival of a creator on a given title is not a sign that you should wish for them to contract a venereal disease.
It’s not clever, it’s not in-your-face, it’s just rude and it’s cowardly. And it makes people want to turn around and back away from these sorts of online forums.
A little perspective and decorum, please.