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This thing on? [Dec. 16th, 2006|10:36 pm]
Fansanity

fansanity

[opmegs]
[mood |pessimisticpessimistic]

Honestly, after a night of surfing various fan-boards(reminding me once again why I no longer accept offers to work on the staff of ANY fan-run board/community/whatever) and communities, I was looking for a space to make SOME comment on the state of affairs. Amazingly, I came across here. Serendipity. Anyway, I think I've distilled three major questions that I want to ask 'teh Interwebs' as a whole.

1. This is for fandom in general.

What is wrong with change/new angles?


This is mostly brought on by reading reactions to the new Transformers movie coming out(I've seen the designs and while there are a couple that disappoint me, such as the so-called robot mode of the Scorponok toy, I actually like the aesthetic they're going for), but it applies to fandom in general. Seriously, while there are some truly LAME retcons going out there in comics land, people act like this has driven them so deep into xenophobia that anything that doesn't stagnate in what they consider to be 'the best time period' of such and such to be horrendous betrayals of what went before. While I can understand some.....well, yeah, stuff like Transformers that reinvents itself(into newer toys with ever older fan-references/homages) every year make me wonder what the heck these people are on to make them so frothing at the mouth. These are the same people that complain when GOOD stuff by their opinions comes out because it means they'll spend more money. Shouldn't they be happy to have a year off of purchasing this stuff if they hate it so much?

2. This is for comics fandoms in general.

You ARE aware stuff outside DC/Marvel/Manga exists, right?

This....well, I read scans_daily. If anyone here knows that community(I know the maintainer does cause I followed the links in his journal FROM there to get to here because the name of this place intrigued me), then you've probably got an idea of what I'm talking about. Honestly, it's like if a comic's not mainstream enough to be considered competition for the Big Two, there's no reason to really pay attention to it. Some are outright HOSTILE to anything outside their sphere. I'm especially baffled when they try to justify it somehow as 'self defense'. A sterling example:

Capitalism.
Here's how it works. If our rampaging all over a comic like giant wart-covered hill trolls gets someone to stop reading the comic, that's less money in the creator's pocket and less incentive for them to keep making it. This contributes to the possibility of them stopping the comic entirely and thus removing its presence from the market.
But that still seems pointless, right? I mean, why don't we just avoid it when we see it on the shelf? One man's trash etc etc.
Well if it's gone from the market, that's more of the market share for the other comics, including the ones we like (e.g. the good ones, because we have completely infallible tastes. We're like the Pope with liking comics instead of blessing people.) Their creators, thus, are more encouraged to make more comics and feed our tastes.

I'd really like to think he was joking, but given the rest of the 'discussion' devolved into a profanity-rich bash fest based on what, by all rights, he didn't have to look at, I just shake my head. But still, there's other publishers out there. Dark Horse, IDW, Antarctic Press, and more. Yet it seems if it isn't one of the two huge rivals or from Japan, it's trash. When one is a fan of an obscure set of comics(having not the money to keep up with the Big Two in any reasonable fashion), it becomes rather depressing when one has to go to an area dedicated to fandom of that subject to get any reasonable discussion about it(which means of course that reasonable discourse on the subject of comics in general is lost).

3. You do know that other people like stuff you don't?

Seriously, I'm a fan of debating the pros and cons of my favorite things with people. Ask anyone who's ever debated the worth of Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions with me(I love them both) or the Star Wars prequels(I've finally reconciled even Jar Jar to a point that I can tolerate him, or even just playfully dislike him, and thus watch Episode I without cringing whenever he's on screen). If you don't like the same things, or think they suck outright, fine. Let's go watch Shrek instead, or watch Law and Order instead of Babylon 5. I personally, thanks to the overeagerness of one particular fan, cannot stand to watch Dr. Who. It's no fault of the show's; I just was so bludgeoned with how 'you MUST like this! It's superior to everything else!', that I honestly go out of my way to avoid it. The fact that I have friends who enjoy it whose tastes I respect has further ensured me that it's not that it's a bad show...I'm just stubborn in not wanting to be told what to do. By followthrough, I have an intrinsic distaste for anyone who tries to do something of the opposite, by telling me that 'Law and Order is boring as hell. How can you stand it?' or 'Gold Digger? That has kudzu continuity to make the MARVEL UNIVERSE make sense. How can you understand it, let alone like it?' or 'you like WarCraft III but not World of WarCraft? What the hell? Are you just stupid?' (Sadly, all of these are near verabatim of questions I've been asked). In the end, I don't begrudge other people their opinions of what I enjoy(I freely admit that some anime I watch such as Revolutionary Girl Utena are acquired tastes that others may not acquire), but I honestly wish they wouldn't begrudge me mine. It's like they think there's some massive competition between all these things, where if you don't like it, you're trying to somehow drag it down via your apathy or something.

In the end...I could probably ignore all these problems if I just could suppress that urge in me that says 'holy crap, that was sooooo COOL! And the part with the...and when he...and the..' when I read, watch, or play something that grabs me and makes me enjoy it. But that would defeat the point, because half the enjoyment of liking something is comparing notes with someone else who does. It's just that intelligent discourse is apparently an endangered species out here in the wilds of these here Enternets.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: quietdarkness
2006-12-17 07:22 pm (UTC)
I won't participate in most message boards for the same reasons. I have very few sacred cows in fandom (but I have 2 or 3, but I don't over react when they get shot, either) and I try to wait and see how the story unfolds before I jump to conclusions. This, to some people, makes me no fun at all:)

My comics tastes are sort of eclectic, I do read the big 2, but I read indies, also. God knows, there are comics writers/artists out there that I loathe and other people just love, and whereas I can see that they have talent, I just assume that whatever it is they are peddling isn't directed at me.
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[User Picture]From: opmegs
2006-12-17 09:13 pm (UTC)
Frankly, I think the only thing comics fans can agree on is that Liefield art is anatomically painful to look at. But that's something my CISB prof agrees on, so it may just be closer to a Universal Truth(TM) than anything. :)

Most of the Big 2 titles I read are pretty much non-integrated anyway. The current X-Factor run, Exiles, Ult. Spider-Man(c'mon...tell me that the Ultimate universe has any sort of inter-title continuity anymore with a straight face. :) and such that simply have to have continuity with their previous issues. Which is ironic, because I've been told I'm insane for understanding Gold Digger's continuity which is, apparently, worse than Marvel's OR DC's, according to the all-knowing Enternets Fanboys.
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[User Picture]From: dkphoenix
2006-12-18 01:04 am (UTC)
I don't think you're going to find much disagreement in this community. What you will find are a lot of fandom dinos, being that the majority of the members are here because they're Friends of Foenix. ;-)

I don't mind new angles on something, but I'm not a fan of reboots or writers who completely ignore the long established personality traits of characters just because they don't like them, or because the writer can't be bothered to do a little research on what they're writing. If a character is going to act way out of character, then I expect a good, plausible reason for it. (And acknowledgement that it is out of character.)
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[User Picture]From: opmegs
2006-12-18 03:36 am (UTC)
I don't mind new angles on something, but I'm not a fan of reboots or writers who completely ignore the long established personality traits of characters just because they don't like them, or because the writer can't be bothered to do a little research on what they're writing. If a character is going to act way out of character, then I expect a good, plausible reason for it. (And acknowledgement that it is out of character.)

That I'd file under 'lame retcons'.

For instance, Prof. Xavier's my general example. Onslaught was an OoC moment that was worked into what became at the least an interesting look(regardless of that Heroes Reborn nonsense they decided to throw in at the end) at his character. The opposite side of the spectrum is Astonishing's handling of the so-called 'Danger' storyline, Deadly Genesis, and other such things where they seem to be making him out as a dick just because 'gasp, Xavier's not morally sound!' shock value.
For instance, Xavier saying that Danger's freedom just HAD to be suspended to prepare mutantkind is just....dumb. Why not have him ask the developing sentience if it wants to help. Or let it free and manage with a slightly less advanced training program. It makes no sense, and their 'explanation' made no sense, really. It's not just OoC, but an illogical argument to boot.
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[User Picture]From: dkphoenix
2006-12-18 03:50 am (UTC)
I haven't read either the Danger or Deadly Genesis storylines (although I have a general idea of the plots), so I'll only comment on Onslaught. I remember tons and tons of speculating about Onslaught on the old AOL Wizard World boards and racmx before the fact, and I thought it was Xavier all along. And I didn't mind that at all, because Xavier's had hints of a darker side since the beginning. I thought the Xavier/Magneto thing was a bit of a copout, and I think it was a last-minute addition to get around having to redeem Xavier after it was all over. (The less said about Heroes Reborn, the better.)
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[User Picture]From: opmegs
2006-12-18 03:57 am (UTC)
That's, I think, the problem with most of the 'reveals' these days. Onslaught was hinted at/led up to considerably before he ever appeared 'on screen'. The difference between this and stuff like Danger and Deadly Genesis is that they didn't take existing things and expand them(Xavier's ever so slight hints of moral ambiguity, and the ending of Fatal Attractions), but rather wrote the shock ending and then just retconned the history to fit it. In a serial format like comics, that kind of thing just doesn't work unless you're very VERY detail oriented and make sure that nothing conflicts.
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