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Topic: The Effect of the internet (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Stιphane Garrelie
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 7:06am | IP Logged | 1  

i see real potential for a JBF topic in this interview:

http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=119518

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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 2  

Brad Meltzer (Justice League of America): Most positive is that we're all not alone as readers anymore.

••

I would call that the most negative! And right there we see the danger of what happens when fans turn pro, and are unable to stop thinking like fans.

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Jeff Albertson
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 3  

Can you elaborate, JB?  I don't quite understand your point.

I agree with Meltzer, in that when I was a teen-ager, no one I knew read comics, and even now, it's relatively few people, so the internet enables me to "talk" more about comics than I otherwise would.  That has the benefit of helping me learn about artists and series that otherwise I may have missed or passed by. 


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Mike Dunn
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 4  


Some people like having friends with similar interests.  Even if they don'ty live on the same block.  Society can be fun.

m'dunn
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 5  

Can you elaborate, JB?  I don't quite understand your point.

•••

To think that the internet allowing fans to feel that they are "not alone as readers" plays to the "clubhouse" mentality that is a large part of what's wrong with comics today.

When you have isolated fans, reading the books on their own and not knowing (or much caring) if anybody else is, then the prime reason for reading is enjoyment -- it's all about the books themselves. It's not about "getting together" with fellow fans to dissect and deconstruct. It's not about posting to websites where even the most boneheaded "letters" get "published" because there is no editor to separate the wheat from the chaff.

And, most especially, it is not about the creating of product that is so dense, so self-referential, so impenentrable, that a new reader, someone who has not been part of the "club" for years, even decades, has no hope of getting into.

Every time you go to a website and see a post from someone bitching about MAN OF STEEL, or the Clone Saga, or the Death of Phoenix -- or, for that matter, even just discussing these twenty and thirty year old stories -- you see how inbred fandom has become.* And why the internet is, overall, a very bad thing.


*Yes, even here.

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Michael Connell
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:32am | IP Logged | 6  

Well put Mr. Byrne, well put indeed.
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Greg Kirkpatrick
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 7  

While the internet has a tendency to be a base for bashers can it not also bring together fans who share the common joy of enjoying comics.  Or are we to assume that getting together with other fans leads only to dissection and deconstruction.  Heck JBF folks atempt get-togethers at many a con.

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Stanton L. Kushner
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 8  

May I assume you'll be shutting down the forum?
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Jeff Albertson
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 9  

I don't agree with much of that viewpoint, but I do appreciate the clarification. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 10  

If you had paid any attention, instead of just scanning for places you can display your sparkling wit, you might have noticed that I use this forum in much the same way firemen use fire to fight fire.

But, since you ask, I can shut it down for you.

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David Schimmel
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 11  

ouch.

I did think Brad's second statement about not catering to fans was a good one, and very similar to what I belive you have said before, JB. 

 

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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 12  

Unfortunately, as we have seen, "not catering to fans" --- "Never give the fans what they think they want," as Stan Lee put it -- is almost impossible in the Age of the Internet. Especially when we have people in High Places who have been known to actually change planned storylines because some website "figured it out". Whether we like it or not, the fingers on the keyboards are also pulling far too many of the strings.
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Michael Connell
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 13  

I wish we could get more real pros back into the comic book business. Who cares what the fanboys on bitchingaboutcomix.com say, let's get some quality stories out there again. Enough with this freaking shock & awe storytelling, where's the characterization that made comic books so great in the past?
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Michael Connell
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 14  

You know, it's tragic but it occurs to me if I started up a website called "bitchingaboutcomix.com" I'd have 1000 fanboys join the forums overnight.
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Adam Gomes
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 11:52am | IP Logged | 15  

"To think that the internet allowing fans to feel that they are "not alone as readers" plays to the "clubhouse" mentality that is a large part of what's wrong with comics today."

+++

What is your opinion (then and now) of FOOM and the Mighty Marvel Marching Society?
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Todd Hembrough
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 11:55am | IP Logged | 16  

I guess its true, that Stan attempted to create and foster a community of comic book fans thru FOOM and the MMMS.

Probably the same crap would have happened then with insta-communitcation and the InternEt.  But at the time (as a kid) I thought it was cool.

As I also thought visiting a real life comic shop on those rare occasions I went to Boston or Harvard Square.  It was like Oz (the fantastic part, not the wizard behind the curtain part.  I didn't get to see the wizard until coming online, and joining the JBF). 

Thousands of comics, and people working there and shopping there were comic fans, and not like my idiot 8 year old brother, but real fans.

Those were the days, viewing the comic universe with 12 year old eyes.

T
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 17  

What is your opinion (then and now) of FOOM and the Mighty Marvel Marching Society?

•••

Those were extensions of the lettercols, where Stan had created a "sense of community" without creating an actual community. Part of Stan's brilliance was to give fans a sense of participation, while at the same time keeping in mind that having them actually participate would be suicide.

There had been fan clubs before. The Merry Marvel Marching Society shamelessly stole its name from the Mary Marvel Marching Society. I was, myself, a member of the Supermen of America. What was key to these, tho, was that the fans who belonged were not truly interconnected. There was a sense of being part of a greater whole, but the hobby itself remained largely solitary.

Which, the history of the industry seems to teach, was a good thing.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 18  

As I also thought visiting a real life comic shop on those rare occasions I went to Boston or Harvard Square.  It was like Oz (the fantastic part, not the wizard behind the curtain part.  I didn't get to see the wizard until coming online, and joining the JBF). 

•••

Unfortunately, as we have seen, too many comic shops became the physical manifestations of the clubhouse mentality. Having been born in 1967, I suspect you can barely (if at all) remember a time when there weren't comic shops. That's true of many fans today -- and too many people working in the Industry.

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Bruce Buchanan
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:23pm | IP Logged | 19  

I wonder how much of this is "chicken and egg"? Do comics publishers produce continuity-laden, "adult" oriented comics because that's the kind of feedback they get from the Internet? Or do the older, long-time fans who like these kinds of stories dominate Internet discussions because that's who comics are aimed at these days?

I see the Internet as just a tool. How it is used depends entirely upon the people using it. Sure, there's lots of nonsense out there. But there's plenty of good stuff about comics on the Internet, too (including the JBF). I enjoy interacting with other comics fans here, something I never really had the chance to do as a kid.

 

 

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Todd Hembrough
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:30pm | IP Logged | 20  

Unfortunately, as we have seen, too many comic shops became the physical manifestations of the clubhouse mentality. Having been born in 1967, I suspect you can barely (if at all) remember a time when there weren't comic shops. That's true of many fans today -- and too many people working in the Industry.

-----------

True.  Up until I was 15, I bought all my comics in a drug store or 7-11 kinda place.  After 15, I got them in the mail Westfield.  But even then there were no spoilers, and not crappy stuff, that you read online today.


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Mike Dunn
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:41pm | IP Logged | 21  


So, we're coming out against Internet comics discussion here.  Am I reading that right?  And no, this isn't snark.

m'dunn


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Kurt Anderson
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:41pm | IP Logged | 22  

Good or bad, if not for the internet, I wouldn't have returned to comics after eight years of absence.  My exposure to John Byrne's comics would've ended with Superman in the late 80's.

I doubted that I would ever buy another new comic, as the DC and Marvel Universes' continuity had gone on without me, leaving me without a clue as to what the hell was going on.

Through the net, I was able to research titles, ask questions, and learn about indie titles that I never would've given a second glance.

As a kid, I knew one guy outside of my family that read comics as I did.  As a teen I was alone.  When the shops began to open while I was in college, I could now discuss comics on a limited basis, but the shop owners were doing it as a business, not as fans.

With the net, I could ask any question, and get a multitude of answers.  Some correct, some incorrect, but it allowed me to figure out what comics I wanted to try out.

 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 23  

While I enjoy many of the discussions we have here, I must say that I could've gone an eternity without the "clubhouse fandom" that the Internet provides. It's caused me a great deal of needless distress.

Case in point: A few years back, I was so angered by JMS' "Sins Past" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man that I felt obligated to write a short essay proving how it didn't fit into the previously established characterizations and canon. Being young and ambitious, I worked on it bit by bit for about a year or so, and it eventually snowballed into an amazingly long essay (Linked in my signature, 'natch!), which I hoped would shake some sense into the fanboys who praised the story.

As it turned out, I've received lots and lots of hateful criticism and messages about it. It's been referred to as a "crazy manifesto" and a worthless, ranting "waste of time" that was "written by a guy who thinks JMS raped his childhood". I've since realized that my writing was motivated by passion more than anything else (as well as the arrogant feeling that I could make an impact on some readers), and that emotional motivation made me an easy target for all of those basement-dwelling trolls who worship cruelty. You know, the sort of people who toss out vicious insults while hiding behind a screenname.

Internet bullying is a growing problem, but when comic fanboys are involved, the dial quickly gets turned up to 11. At pretty much any forum you go to, you'll see all sorts of bitter infighting. 

Now that some time has passed, and as I've distanced myself from things (like all current M***** books) that ignite such mad passions within me, I've come to realize that it's not worth the effort to try to make thousands of anonymous Internet fanboys "see the light". In the long run, my opinions don't matter...but neither do theirs.

 

This is the only comic-related site I post at now. I usually enjoy our discussions, but it still gets pretty darn tense around here at times (and I wish this forum wasn't so controversial to so many fanboys, because we have some great discussions around here). So, I've tried to distance myself from that negativity and I'm now spending more time reading comics that I love (as well as doing other, non-nerdy things) instead of arguing pointlessly for hours (and even days) with stubborn people I've never even met.

And I think it's beyond disgusting that people spend their time monitoring this forum, looking for "comedy" material that they can mock on other boards.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 05 July 2007 at 12:56pm
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David Whiteley
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 24  

It's way too easy to complain about the impact of the internet against comics, tv, movies or music. Yes, there may be negative elements but there can also be positive elements. I had a circle of friends as a kid and we would have fun chatting about comics. Now I do the same online. If I want to dodge spoilers for stories, I manage to. In fact, look how DC pulled the wool over everyone's eyes with the recent FLASH issues or the Sinestro Corps.

JB, can you tell us more about how you see yourself fighting fire with fire? Do you think you always succeed? Are there any comments you regret or would have rephrased?
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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 05 July 2007 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 25  

"So, we're coming out against Internet comics discussion here. Am I reading that right? And no, this isn't snark."

No worries. No snark detected, Mike. It's a grand little pot we all find ourselves in. And ain't that kettle over yonder the darkest shade of black you've ever seen?

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