With Great Power, Internet
That Batgirl cover, though, am I right?
We all know the one by now. It’s the comic book cover that sent the Twittersphere into a frothy, nerdy rage a little over a week ago. It’s the black & blue (white & gold) dress of the comic book industry. Lines were drawn; sides were taken. Is there a right and wrong side? In my opinion…no, absolutely not. A lot of people have some valid points. There is no denying that it is a gorgeous piece, and invokes a kind of emotion any of us creative types only hope of inducing, ourselves. At the end of the day, we have to respect the wishes of the current ongoing team and their vision for the book that they are producing. I could go on and on, but there’s plenty of other articles dealing with pandering to the “vocal minority”, artistic integrity, and all the different views that have been published to death in the past few days, and quite frankly, way more eloquently than I could ever muster. All I’m going to say on the matter is that I applaud and immensely respect DC Comics for sticking by and standing firm with their creators.
I’m not here to take sides. Honestly, those are far from the problems we should be addressing. What we should be addressing is the increasing amount of intolerant fanatics that have roared their ugly voices in this community. I’m not talking about the ones that have taken sides, a friendly debate is encouraged, but the ones that have gone out of their way to maliciously diminish, emasculate, and verbally assault a fellow human being because of their difference in opinion…OVER A COMIC BOOK COVER.
And it’s not just a comic book cover. This is just the latest nerd-rage-inducing controversy. People have viciously lashed out about creative team changes (Gail Simone’s ‘firing’ on Batgirl), drastic changes to a particular hero (Dan Slott and the infamous Superior Spider-Man), or whatever asinine event that has occurred that made them think it was okay to threaten someone’s well-being.
It’s funny, we tell people to keep an open mind about comics. ‘It’s so much more than capes and tights,’ we implore. ‘The superheroes are used to tell real stories,’ we promise. And yet, we can’t even keep an open mind inside of our own amazing interest. How can we expect others to understand this, when all they see is us spewing death threats, arguing over who’s the better superhero.
The comic book community should be the most welcoming and accepting community, ESPECIALLY in regards to superhero comics. We are giving our hard-earned money so we can read and fall in love with stories that try to expose the best characteristics found within ourselves. And yet, more and more “fans” Hulk-out at the first person who disagrees with them. Shouldn’t this be a more tolerable community? We’re all trying to have fun with these fictional characters.
This always been a problem, a rapid growing one at that, since the conception of the Internet. Since the veil of anonymity was granted to us, we have become a fearless but hurtful voice on the Internet; it’s grotesque. Especially when dealing with fictional characters.
Whether it’s a fellow fan, editor, writer, or artist … don’t go out of your way to tell them they are wrong, they suck, or least of all (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, again…) death threats. This is inexcusable; it’s down right deplorable. It doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look and sound beyond childish, and more than slightly insane. It doesn’t matter how you talk to your friends in the seclusion of your cliques, but do not “go off” on the internet simply because you can hide behind a keyboard.
Be a positive force in this community. We, as comic book enthusiasts, are more than community; we are family. Yes, we’ll fight like any other family, but we need to be better. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. WE MUST SET THE PROPER EXAMPLE. Your words have power, friends. Choose them wisely.