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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Worth a read:


This part is very true:


 QUOTE:
For fan theories to exist, fans have to exist. A fan is more than just passive viewer. A fan is someone who is invested in a story, property or franchise. Investment is a double-edged sword, however; it can create a sense of belonging, but also of false ownership. Caring enough about a work to want to contribute to it in some small way is incredibly flattering to a creator. But the problem with a sense of ownership is that it’s exactly that: a sense. False entitlement can end up souring love into resentment if a story doesn’t go the way you want it to.

I like to think of fans as being akin to passengers in a carriage. It's nice, I'll enjoy the view, but the creators are "holding the reins" and "controlling the horses". 
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Yeah, but if they're driving the horses off a cliff, it seems appropriate to comment. :-)

This is one of those articles where I find that the examples undermine the philosophical arguments. Encouraging fans to keep an open mind and not fall so in love with their own theories that they're not open to what the actual filmmakers come up with is perfectly reasonable but the stuff about Last Jedi comes across as dismissive ("The critics liked it...").
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I knew someone would counter the horses comparison. ;-))

Touche! 

Yes, I understand what you are saving, Dave. I do think the article made some good points, but there is always nuance in life. As someone once told me, life itself, and people, are very nuanced. 
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The analogy of fans being like passengers in a carriage works for me. If a rider
don't like the route, s/he can stay onboard in hopes that the journey will
become pleasurable again or disembark. It's okay for riders to share
displeasure with the driver's decisions, but never to take the reins (unless the
company hands them to you). After all, there are other carriages.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 1:22pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Perfect, Wallace. :)

I think it has to be that way because, imperfect though it MAY be at times, it's better than the alternative.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Another way to look at it: some fans think of the monthly experience as a dialog, but most pros think of it as a monolog.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 3:37am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
Another way to look at it: some fans think of the monthly experience as a dialog, but most pros think of it as a monolog.

There have been times, as discussed previously, where someone thinks a letter of theirs changed an editor's mind.

And then I think about a fortnightly title (UK) I used to buy. I remember the editor once telling us, around the 2nd/3rd issue, that he was already working on material for the 9th issue. It shows how far ahead everything is.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 12 March 2018 at 3:37am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 7:50am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

There used to be one guy in particular who would write almost every month to say he was "pleased" to see that I had taken the "advice" contained in his previous letter.

He really had no clue at all about the time involved in the production of each issue. That the current issue was most likely finished three or four months before he saw it.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Baffling, eh?

The clue for me was something like BATMAN #309 (one of my first Batman comics!). March coverdate, but the story featured Batman taking on Blockbuster during Xmas Eve.

Of course, as a very young child, I made all sorts of assumptions, e.g. artists all sitting in a studio at the same time - desk to desk - and punching a time clock. And believing that my letter requesting a particular battle had been read by the editor and published solely because of what I asked.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 6:11pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I am a simple-minded fan. I simply want my idols to do what they love, and surprise me with their talent. I think the "bad" fans are the ones who, for some reason, think they know better and can do better. I'm just the opposite....I know my place...I'm "just" a fan, while they are the proven PRO.
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 14 March 2018 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Being a spectator instead of a fan must be tough for some people. I was lucky enough to have a great bunch of people to learn from at my local comic shop. Appreciating comics without criticism is a rarity these days, but I would also say the product has changed along with the people consuming them.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 18 March 2018 at 2:40pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Fan ownership is a double-edged sword; there's a positive side and a dark side.Someone wanting to contribute in the continuation of something they enjoyed is good, the big ego type stuff with artists fighting over who more 'deserves' to work on something or other would be the bad side. It can get very hard to untangle but I found that the people who wouldn't look at something original but totally unknown as being 'real' would be the dividing line, or maybe even the name or size of the company involved.

Maybe I'm a bit Ayn Randian here (as in out of fashion thanks to some fanatics) but as with The Fountainhead I think the creator should be the top of the whole thing, and that means someone who has created things. So naturally I fall towards the creator is right even though I know there has got to be a balance.

As far as fans running things I think it was Norman Spunrad that said something about how backwards it would be if science fiction fans controlled science fiction. Double-edged in that too much fan is unbalancing and closes off a wider market, and too much bottom line and everything tends toward lowest common denominator 'product' (like reality tv; cheap to make, grabs a certain amount of sets of eyes so now you get marathons of these things on channels that used to be 'learning', 'history', 'arts', 'science' etc.).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 March 2018 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

The problem with giving any sort of power/recognition to fans is that no creator would keep every fan happy.

I discussed THE LAST JEDI on Facebook. It seemed to be split 50-50 between those who thought it had too much navel-gazing/harking to the past and those who liked the navel-gazing/harking. How could the film have kept everyone happy?

I know my Facebook interactions aren't a "barometer" for discussions pertaining to THE LAST JEDI. But I read a lot of reviews elsewhere, chatted to a few colleagues, spoke to my brother, etc.

Some would say things like, "I liked how the film looked back, reflected on the past, gave us stuff that we'd enjoyed previously in the Original Trilogy, etc." And then others, myself included, would say, "I wish it would move forward, leave behind all that Empire/First Order stuff, close the book on classic characters, etc."

I do not envy those who made the film.

It's hard to keep many happy. I like the character Jonas Quinn in STARGATE SG-1. Many didn't (some of the criticisms were vitriolic). What is a creator to do? Keep Jonas in for folk like myself or listen to the masses and axe the character. 

We sure do give creators headaches. That is why I try (not always succeeding, I'm only human) to just let creators create. If I don't like it, I can vote with my feet/wallet. But I think it's best to let them get on with it.
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 19 March 2018 at 8:33pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Fans can't agree on anything, so listening to the fans is an invitation to failure as everyone wants something different from the material. The storytellers just need to focus on telling the story they want/need to tell and let the chips fall where they may.  
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 3:37am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I'm a fan and not a creator.

Fans should appreciate the work.
Creators should appreciate the fans.

That is as far as their relationship should go.

Fans should never, ever (in my opinion) have any say over the work. Fans are not entitled to anything more than being on the tail end of the creative project. The receiver of the goods, if you will.

This whole concept about fans being so emotionally vested in story and characters, to the point they feel they should have a say over the outcome, blows my mind. It's ludicrous.

Which is completely different than fans having their opinions. They absolutely get to have their opinions. They can voice their opinions. They should voice their opinions. But they shouldn't expect their opinions to trump the creative's decisions.

Then they do get to vote with their wallets.

It should be that simple.


Edited by Robert Shepherd on 20 March 2018 at 3:39am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 1:19pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

This whole concept about fans being so emotionally vested in story and characters, to the point they feel they should have a say over the outcome, blows my mind. It's ludicrous.

••

The worst manifestation of this, I think, is those fans who insist that anything that strays from their perceptions is WRONG. This includes sending in letters of complaint when they can't figure out what's going to be in Part II. It does not occur to them that that's a GOOD thing. It simply means, they assume, that the creative team screwed up.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 1:21pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The problem with giving any sort of power/recognition to fans is that no creator would keep every fan happy.

••

I was the first to start crying in the wilderness as we started surrendering more and more control/power to the DSM. When we saw the earliest signs of retailers refusing to order books because THEY didn't like them, or because they held some imaginary point of contention with the Talent.

Imagine Ford letting its retailers run their lots that way!

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I know many of the comic shops would sell through on some of the kid's (Dennis The Menace, Smurfs) and girl's (Meet Misty, Angel Love) comics but not reorder or keep them in stock.They didn't want that sort of customer I'd heard, maybe because sometimes there were incidents over some other things in the shops...

There was a funny incident with a John Byrne drawing of The Black Queen used on a flyer at a comic shop counter; that brought up fears of hard-core feminists picketing to the staff. Also a Dog Boy (an underground) which had a cover showing the title character grabbing at a woman's feet (because in the story he had developed a shoe fetish, it was really a cutting commentary on consumerism and yuppies though). Seems there were some comics seized at the border, like Weirdo, too. So in a way I can understand why many comic shops kind of preferred the safe most numerous kind of fan customer and would encourage them and sort of repel any other as someone who might somehow blow the whistle on their sanctuary with Betty Page posters and grimacing Lobo cutouts and whatnot.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 20 March 2018 at 1:45pm
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

...those fans who insist that anything that strays from their perceptions is WRONG.

***

Like Robert Shepard above said, they can always opt out. When I was an active reader, if a comicbook didn't grab me, I didn't grab it. That doesn't mean I had any problem that others loved what I didn't. And it certainly wasn't this fan's judgment on any professional! Don't like it, don't buy it. That's your only fan "entitlement."


Edited by Michael Penn on 20 March 2018 at 1:45pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 1:56pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Like Robert Shepard above said, they can always opt out. When I was an active reader, if a comicbook didn't grab me, I didn't grab it. That doesn't mean I had any problem that others loved what I didn't. And it certainly wasn't this fan's judgment on any professional! Don't like it, don't buy it. That's your only fan "entitlement."

••

In many cases, this is like telling a drug addict s/he can "just stop".

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I can only imagine the stories comicbook professionals could tell about these fan(atic)s!
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 20 March 2018 at 7:46pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

There used to be one guy in particular who would write almost every month to
say he was "pleased" to see that I had taken the "advice" contained in his
previous letter.
He really had no clue at all about the time involved in the production of each
issue. That the current issue was most likely finished three or four months
before he saw it.

____________
John it sounds like this person did control you but allowed you to think the
decisions were your own. Very ominous.
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 25 March 2018 at 7:18pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I feel there are really a couple of issues involved. Is it wrong for fans to predict the storyline for an upcoming movie, show, book or comic? Yes, and I try to avoid such speculation on the Internet (including this forum) if I plan to see that film, etc.
But some creators like to plant questions in the minds of readers/viewers and they shouldn't be surprised if fans speculate or are even disappointed in how the creator answers those questions.
And I don't think fans should be criticized when they find the creators have depicted a character unfaithfully.
Those issues have surfaced recently with "The Last Jedi" (and I want to reiterate I don't hate it but get the criticism of it), but they also apply to the new Star Trek films and other things.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 March 2018 at 8:22pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

It would be easier to accept fans protesting unfaithful treatment of characters if so many fans did not exempt some creators, applauding whatever they do with said characters.
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