I actually think that this is less about fans embracing companies over creators than it is about fans embracing whoever they see as the “caretaker.” As Ed Brubaker has pointed out, when a BUFFY remake that Joss Whedon wasn’t involved in or consulted on was in development, fans loudly sided with Joss. And I’d bet that if Alan and Dave wanted to do a WATCHMEN sequel and DC was preventing them from doing it, the fans would be overwhelmingly on the side of the creators, and DC would be horrible monsters for not acceding to the creators’ wishes.
But Alan clearly isn’t going to do more WATCHMEN, so that makes DC the caretaker, in fan eyes, and the caretaker giving them more comics they like gets their vote. Sometimes, it’s not even about comics they like — the Siegel/Shuster lawsuits and Kirby case threaten (at least in some minds) the continued existence of the DC or Marvel Universes as fans know them, so they want that noise to stop, even when they’re loudly unhappy with the publishers over other things. If Superman can be taken away, that breaks the toys. The caretaker gets the loyalty, not the person who threatens the toys, even if it’s imaginary.
This works out in the creator’s benefit when the creator is seen as an active caretaker, in the company’s benefit when the company is seen that way. Note that Spawn fans largely seem to think Neil Gaiman was a twerp who should be kicked downstairs for threatening to break up the Spawniverse, and Neil fans who didn’t care so much about the integrity of Spawn canon had no problem with it.
In the end, it’s all a big hellacious mess, and a warning that however far we’ve come since 1938, it’s still worth being very, very careful, or even with well-meaning people on all sides, you can create a hellacious mess.
Hi. I’m Matt Wilson. This Wednesday, a book I wrote, The Supervillain Handbook, will be available in bookstores. It’s very much geared toward comics fans, and people I trust have told me that it’s a funny read. As you can see, Stan Lee seemed to like it. (Inside,…
“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”—Kurt Vonnegut (via sirmitchell)
A bit more: be incredibly opportunistic and on the hunt for places that can use your art. Be hard on yourself. Shun all the woo woo vagueness that people tell artists: “fulfilling your dreams”, “nurturing your creativity”, the whole lot of that. It…
In the name of gleaning motivation from the looming spectre of public shame keeping myself accountable, I’ll be posting monthly updates! Here’s the first one:
Goal 1: Get in Shape. I’ve been going to the gym at least twice a week and walking more. Right now, I’m mostly working on establishing a routine, but I’m also starting to tiptoe into weight training (a more wholehearted foray into that is probably going to have to wait until I can either afford a session with a trainer or find a friend to walk me through some basics—I have really bad wrists, and I don’t want to sideline myself by fucking them up with poor form). I know it’s only been a month and change, but I had forgotten how generally much better I feel and how much easier it is to eat well when I’m exercising regularly.
Progress so far: On schedule, although I’ll want to ramp things up soon.
Keep up the twice-a-week gym thing, and shoot for three.
Learn how to use freeweights without seriously injuring myself or others.
Find more ways to exercise incidental to going about my day.
Goal 2: Finish a Novel Draft. Roughly 3k words in. Finally caught the protagonist’s voice, and came up with some semi-useful tricks for staving off self-editing (It’ll cost me more revision in the long run, but fuck that—the goal here is a finished first draft, not anything remotely publishable). Biggest challenge on this one is going to be keeping up momentum and keeping myself from reading back over what I’ve written (for now); see above re: self-editing. If I can establish and stick to a semi-regular schedule, I’m pretty confident I can do this.
Progress so far: On schedule.
Outlook: Guardedly optimistic.
Establish and maintain a solid schedule and weekly wordcount goal.
Find a regular place to work. Probably a coffee shop or bar, although it’d be cool if I could work outdoors sometimes…
Goal 3: Beat Mega Man 2. The last month confirms my initial prediction: this is definitely going to be the hardest one. I am making concrete progress—every time I play, I get a bit further, and I’m gradually picking up skill—but I’m still not confident that I can get good enough fast enough. A couple friends have generously volunteered to coach me through this, and I think I’m going to need to start scheduling a couple hours a week of regular time for that. To beat this game by my birthday, I’ll need to do better than a stage a month, and unless my learning curve picks up dramatically, I don’t know how the hell I’m going to do this.
Progress so far: Incremental.
Schedule regular coached play time, bribing as necessary with home-baked cookies.
Stop mixing up the “jump” and “shoot” buttons, and, ideally, learn to use them in conjunction.
Remember that listening to the Protomen and/or the Megas does not actually count toward practice time or improve gameplay skills.
So, I have been reading a few web-comics in my life. I am looking at the PVP Online’s, the Penny-Arcades, the XKCD’s and I am just soaking up the Internet goodness… I start looking for other properties online that I can consume with my voracious online comic appetite. Nothing is truly…