Separating Creations From Creators

imagesIt was about a year ago that I immersed myself in the audio version of Grant Morrison’s book Supergods. If you haven’t read/listened to it, I highly recommend it, as it’s a strange and compelling history of comics and superheroes combined with what’s essentially a biography of the man himself. Listening to it taught me a lot about comics and about Mr. Morrison, who along with being one of the most inventive comic book writers of all time, is also a self proclaimed practitioner of magic. Yes, magic. The man behind some of my favorite books, including All-Star Superman and Animal Man, also believes that he can cast spells. Did this bother me? Truth be told, it didn’t bother me, as it seemed in keeping with Morrison’s overall sense of charm and mystery. And who was I to argue with something that was so clearly working for him? But it did call into question what I would describe as my hero worship, as I was now faced with the reality that one of my comic book writing heroes was also involved in something I essentially rejected as a basic concept. As an extension of this I began to wonder if I would be able to separate my personal biases on the subject of magic and simply enjoy Morrison’s creations just as I had before. Simply put, I wondered: Would I be able to separate creator and creation? And did I need to?

In his book, Morrison describes a series of episodes in his own life that were affected by his willingnessimages-1 to embrace the notion of actual magic, including the use of sigils and incantations. There were drugs involved along the way, but Morrison’s magic as he describes it is more than just a trip in his own mind. In one instance, he even describes bringing his ailing cat back to life via a spell. Morrison’s take on the magic of it all is at times a metaphor for the power we all possess to manifest good things in our lives (which I firmly believe), but the other side of the coin seems to involve a genuine belief in magic and occult. Again, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, as it went against everything that was hammered into me as the son of a Origin of Species-thumping scientist who lived in a house where pure science and logic were the only truths one needed to adhere to.

Now I knew going in that Grant Morrison was associated with magic and the occult. After all, these themes are front and center in a lot of Morrison’s works. But I did find myself a bit surprised to by Morrison’s desire to impart the practices of magic to the reader. More specifically, I was also a bit taken aback by the fact that one of my favorite comic book writers, a man I absolutely respect on every creative level, was embracing what to me felt essentially like hokum. As you might have guessed by now, I’m not the kind of person who believes in the particular brand of Grant Morrison practices or any magic for that matter. I’m not judging Morrison at all; in fact, I sort of envy his ability to put his faith in such things. It’s just not something I’m able to do. And to his credit, Morrison’s worldview and its connection to magic are manifested in his creations; they are a part of his vision and voice. That comes through in his comics and I appreciate it on the level of fodder for comic book fantasies. Still, I found it distracting.

images-3What I found in the months after learning about Morrison’s fondness for magic was that it affected my experience of reading his works. Simply put, I wasn’t exactly able to read his creations without bringing the man himself to my mind. Basically, I was no longer able to simply read and experience his stories on a pure level. All of this led me wonder whether or not it’s really possible to separate the creator from the creation in cases where the creator is bringing along some unwanted level of reputational baggage. In this world of Internet connectedness, it’s almost impossible to pick up a comic and not know at least a little something about the person who created it. If you’re like me, and comics minutiae is part of your obsession, then you bring your knowledge of writers and artists to the table each time your pick up a book. So what happens when you know too much about the creator of a particular book? And what happens when the person writing the book has a reputation, negative or otherwise? Can we as readers enjoy a comic simply as a comic and not as an extension of the personality we essentially “know” thanks to the Internet?

In this case of someone like Orson Scott Card, it’s fairly safe to say that most people now have a hard images-2time accepting his work at face value. Card has made some pretty hateful opinions known, so I personally find it hard to ignore the source when it comes to material he’s written. I’m sure there are people out there who can, but I don’t happen to be one of them. Sure, he’s a creative guy and I wish I didn’t know his politics, but knowing them makes it tough to truly embrace the product he’s putting out into the world. As for someone like John Byrne, the vitriol and negativity that seem to be associated with him seem to me to taint anything he puts out into the world these days. Knowing what people know about John Bryne and his reputation essentially sullies anything he puts out there. I’m not saying he’s doing his best work now, but I have my doubts that a great “return to glory” creation would ever gain any traction because of the negativity associated with the John Byrne name. I use these examples in conjunction with Grant Morrison only because they all seem to elicit emotional responses and not because Morrison’s fondness for magic should be construed as any sort of negative.

We so easily see behind the curtain these days that anyone who isn’t perfect runs the risk of alienating their audience, perhaps merely because they’ve been deemed “tough to work with” or “a strong personality.” And yes, there are creators out there who are just plain jerks. Is it possible to truly separate creation from creator? Can someone who is reviled, rejected or misunderstood as a human being still create worthwhile material? There are egos at play in the comics industry, just like any creative business, so it’s not surprising that people develop reputations of one type or another. But is it fair to judge books on the idiosyncrasies of the writer and not simply on whether or not a book is viable as a stand-alone example of good comics? Personally, I find it hard to not think about the person behind the creation once I’ve become aware of them. Knowing the writer can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation, it seems.. In the end, a great comic shouldn’t be judged by anything more than what’s on the page. But can we separate the creator from the creation? Or, in this age of endless information, are these creations destined to be tainted by the knowledge that those who create them may not live up to the standards we as fans set?


Gabe Roth is a writer living in Los Angeles. He doesn’t believe in magic at the moment, but that may change. He’s @gaberoth on Twitter.

 

Comments

  1. That’s the double edged sword. Comics are marketed and sold on the creators names as much as they are on the characters and stories. So much of comic sales is this grassroots-y “support your favorite creators” mantra that it has to go both ways. You can’t help but let character or outspoken stuff affect how you view that work. Now its “do i want to support that person’s work?” more than “is this story interesting?”

    End of the day, any creator that deals with fans should understand that their name is their brand, and they should maintain it the best way they see fit. If you chose to be outspoken with controversial things, you can’t be surprised when your sales are and work options are affected.

    • daccampo daccampo says:

      That is a GREAT point, Wally, and one I hadn’t really considered. And given the completely plugged-in nature of current culture, creators have more opportunities than ever to connect with their audience… and also to put their foot in their mouth. So that double-edged sword is razor-sharp.

    • i’ve noticed some creators are very good about staying away from controversial things especially on twitter. Is that comment worth risking one sale kinda mentality? That is their public face. While some creators have no problem arguing or getting deeep into politics they do so at their own risk.

  2. chronotis chronotis says:

    Nice article. I have had this problem as well and not just with comic book creators. When you find out things about movie stars, sometimes it can be hard to watch their performances. For example, Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic screeds have made it hard for me to watch his movies. Another example is Tom Cruise and his Scientology. I respect his right to believe whatever he wants, but knowing he believes what I take to be complete bunk made it hard for me to watch him.

    I think it depends on how important the crazy beliefs of these creators are to you. I find the hateful ideas of Gibson or Card more difficult to overlook than the crazy beliefs of Morrison or Cruise.

    Another important point is whether their crazy ideas come through in their creative work. If, for example, Ender’s game was a thinly veiled anti-gay book (it’s not so far as I can tell), then it would be impossible (for me at least) to separate the creator from his creation. It seems obviously the case that this is true in the case of Morrison, but as you said this kind of makes his books more interesting.

    By the way, Morrison’s Supergods is a very interesting book for any comic book fan and I highly recommend it.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      OSC actually wrote a book with a gay main character, no idea how well it did. But yea, “Supergods” is great but it jumps between historical analysis and biography.

  3. flakbait flakbait says:

    It’s tough isn’t it? This is the cost of being old and aware of things. This stuff doesn’t bother kids.

    I tend to not mix the two, and am generally really good at it, especially with actors. This is just someone reading lines, ultimately, and they generally don’t have anything to do with the message or themes of the work. Occasionally you have someone who’s personal life is just too egregious to ignore, like Mel Gibson, but for the most part it doesn’t bother me. I would say the same goes for artists. This dude had a rant on Facebook or whatever? Okay. It’s still a beautiful book. Let me know if he murders someone.

    With writers it gets harder. I never used to care but over the past few years I’m much less likely to tolerate a political slant in a book if I vehemently disagree with it. I just find myself increasingly annoyed. On the other hand, sometimes you can get a writer who blows your mind with new ideas.

    In general I think writers should express their opinions through the work and maybe through interviews, not in random social media outlets.

  4. I’m a Chris Benoit fan. That is my stance on this “separate the art from the artist” conversation.

    • I second that one. Yeah, he was a messed up guy who did some horrible, unforgivable things. But it doesn’t make the 94 Super J-Cup any less amazing.

    • flakbait flakbait says:

      I’m not a sports guy for a lot of reasons, and stuff like this is why. If you’re watching a football game, for example, do you root for the rapist or the millionaire? Trick question: the rapist is also a millionaire.

    • muddi900 says:

      >Wrestling

      >Sport

      LOL

      /douche

      Sorry, I am an old school Smark.

  5. These days it is so easy for a creator to connect with his audience, through blogs, email, facebook, twitter, etc. How much do you show/tell your audience? How much is too much? That line in the sand is different for every creator and every fan. There’s no easy answer for this. In general one should always follow the golden rule – never talk about politics, religion or how much you get paid.

  6. okamido okamido says:

    Don’t care a lick about the artist’s personal viewpoints, only about the art being produced. I for one, hate Grant Morrison as a person, but I still by his comics because he tells a good story that entertains me.

  7. kennyg kennyg says:

    As an English major with a comparative literature minor, I was taught that knowing about an author’s life can add a deeper context to his or her work. Now typically we were looking at works by authors long dead, and there was no Internet back in the late 80s (at least not like it is now). So the information was often difficult to find and usually in print, but it was usually pretty accurate as well. Now, anyone can get on the Internet and say anything about anyone and it can take a life of its own. Multiple forms of media provide information (some of which is flat out lies) about people, and public perception can make or break someone. I’m thinking of this in the bigger sphere of entertainment, not just comics. But you and I both know there are plenty of people bitching about comics and creators online. I think now it requires a keener degree of scrutiny before you believe everything you read on the web about someone. It’s very easy for something to go viral and ruin someone.

    That said, Card’s position is obvious and not really prone to misinterpretation. Morrison’s (as well as Alan Moore’s) practice of magic is no secret. It’s pretty hard to ignore something someone is quoted as saying, or ignore their membership on some committee that espouses what some consider a hate agenda. Still, some creators like Mark Millar get a negative reputation among some based off a perception – in his case, that he is more interested in movie licensing money than meeting shipping dates on comics. I don’t see anywhere that he said this, but I do hear it and see it expressed by readers from time to time.

    Another thing we learned was to try to separate the creator from their work. This is not always easy to do, though. I think it’s even harder these days with our omnipresent media. I’ll admit to thinking Alan Moore is a tool, but he’s done some fantastic work, and no amount of his “tool-ness” can deduct from the quality of those works. Often times, I think it works the other way – creators with big reputations are often given a pass on substandard work. “Well, it’s Grant Morrison, it must be good.” Maybe people are afraid of looking stupid if they criticize the current media darling? Maybe the emperor was naked, but nobody felt they could point that out?

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I can totally see the thing about Mark Miller just caring about movie deals, but that’s just my opinion based my observations and nothing Millar has outright said. That said, 2 of his creator owned books got pocked up as movies within a year of being published and now he’s a consultant for Fox on X-Men and Fantastic Four. Im sure he still cares about his books writing quality tho and not just how much money they could make as movies. Now I did hear from a feminist/gender studies classmate that he was homophobic and sexist and his work showed that, I don’t really see that but maybe I need to look closer at his work.

    • ilovecomics says:

      I kind of think throwing out vague type of hearsay and innuendos Itho is exactly what KennyG was kind of saying sucks about the internet.

  8. On the flip side of this, what if the creator is somebody you like? Does it make you enjoy their work more, knowing they are e kind of person you would want to hang out with and have a pizza and some drinks?

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      I don’t know any professional creators well enough to call them friends or even really acquaintances, but on the few occasions I’ve met creators whose work I enjoy, a positive experience led to a greater willingness to support their work.

      I’m still objective enough to only buy things I like, so I don’t think my enjoyment has been influenced in a major way, but knowing that I’m supporting someone I find to be a good human being makes me willing to take a chance on something outside my typical taste profile.

    • It’s interesting that you say you don’t know anyone well enough to even call them an acquaintance (which is obviously a valid point and absolutely true or most of us), yet people have no problem having negative reactions to creators who they also don’t know at all personally. Sure, there are people making comics, or movies, or novels, that I may or may not like. Peter David seems like the kind of guy I would get along with if I knew him. Alan Moore seems like the kind of guy I wouldn’t get along with if I knew him. But I don’t know either of them, I only know their work. And I like their work.

  9. roboadmiral roboadmiral says:

    Generally, I don’t particularly care about the personal opinions and beliefs of creators in comics, films, or any other medium beyond how it effects what they create. If I didn’t watch movies or read books made by people whose politics or beliefs don’t square up with mine, I wouldn’t be reading many books or watching many movies. Their ability to tell me a story is the only part of them I care about.

  10. bub64882 bub64882 says:

    I have no trouble seperating creator from creation, but I also “vote with my wallet”. Someone like Byrne can be an asshole, and have a lot of negative things to say, but I don’t feel like buying a Next Men comic is going to be contributing to the war on marriage equality, for instance. But there is no way I’m going to pay money to see Ender’s Game, no matter how good it looks. That guy ain’t getting a dime from me.

  11. flakbait flakbait says:

    Is a belief in magic really something that would bother you? That seems, I don’t know. If a writer is Christian it’s basically the same thing, right? I wouldn’t even classify it as controversial. That just strikes me as a weird quirk and not something I’d ever think about while reading.

    • I’m also weirded out by that statement. Do you think giant magical being that created everything is more believable, and doesn’t taint your view of the work?

    • YES!!! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!!! That was exactly what I was thinking while reading it. A lot of people believe in weird shit, I think is stupid. A few sigil rituals and metallic orbs that speak to Grant aren’t the weirdest thing I’ve heard.

    • bub64882 bub64882 says:

      I felt the same way….magic, to me, is the same as praying. Basically you are wishing something to come true. I also believe both methods are valid, and work to some extent.

    • CaptAwesome says:

      Personally, I don’t care what your belief system is as long as you are a good writer/artist and don’t preach through your art. The difference between Morrison’s belief in magic and Card’s homophobia is that Card is active, poiltically and financially, in opposing my very existence. That is where I draw the line.

  12. IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

    I usually don’t have a problem keeping the 2 separate, I’ve kinda had to learn how to. I may disagree with writers because of their politics or personal beliefs, but if their works are good then I’m fine with that. If I didnt read authors that didn’t fit my personal beliefs I don’t think I would read anything before the 1930s, if at all. So I’ve gotta separate what Im reading with who wrote it. I’m surprised you didn’t bring up Frank Miller in your article, since I’m a little more aware of his controversies which have even been in the main stream media. I was aware of Morrison’s belief in magic, he actually wrote the foreword to some book called “The Power of Magic” or something. I think it’s fake, but I believe in the possibility of magic. Alan Moore worships a Snake Goddess (although he admits it’s fake, it still keeps it up). These guys beliefs and backgrounds maybe crazy, but it led to a unique perspective which then lead to some of our favorite comic book stories. I think that’s what should be important.

  13. Qpeeples Qpeeples says:

    It’s important to remember: you have a choice. Don’t assume that just because information is out there (about an author, actor or artist) that you are “required” to seek it out. One of the worst things that ever happened is that we now have access to artists who feel it’s “important” to their fans or supporters that they share every bit of info from their lives. (Brand yourself!) This is terrible for people and its detrimental to their work. I much prefer avoiding any info about creators so that they disappear behind their creation. I’m paying to indulge in fantasy, I don’t want their reality to get in the way. (And I have read Morrison’s book and loved it, but his interests and predilections were easily ignored for me.)

  14. mrgraves mrgraves says:

    As a Lovecraft fan I’ve been dragged into this conversation on more than one occasion, mostly on the angle of “How can you read something by a racist?”

    To me, it can give context to the writer’s work and insight into how their beliefs shaped their talents. I don’t have to agree with what they believed, I just like to know what it was.

  15. sitara119 sitara119 says:

    I don’t have a problem with “crazy” or extreme beliefs, whether they’re magical or Christian, ideological or political. I don’t think anyone should be persecuted for their thoughts, no matter how kooky or hateful or disagreeable or misguided I may find them. We all have crazy thoughts. So I am not at all affected( negatively) by people like Morrison, Cruise or even Gibson.
    I have a problem with the lengths people will go to force their ideals and standards on others who are disenfranchised by said actions. If you are actively trying to create laws that promote inequality amongst people who are not violent offenders, then I have a problem with you and I will not empower you with my dollars. Looking at you, Card.

  16. If the creator is simply someone who’s opinions or attitude I don’t like then that only affects my enjoyment of their work a little bit. I am not that involved with comics creators but if you listen to some interviews and commentaries from the creators of “the shield” and “sons of anarchy” (two of my favorite shows) they come across as… how to put it… maybe hedonistic fratboys with much too big egos comes close to it. So I stopped listening to anything they have to say and just enjoy their shows. Not a problem.

    But if a creator takes the money he makes off his work and puts it to use trying to take people’s rights away like Orson Scott Card is doing then that is something that can’t be tolerated and somebody like him ends up on my list of people who won’t get any money from me. That doesn’t mean that their work has to be bad because of that. Maybe I totally would enjoy “enders game” or “ultimate iron man” but paying for this persons work is simply not an option and would be wrong.

  17. IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

    There’s another way to look at this too; put ourselves in Morrison’s/Bryne’s/whoever shoes. If Gabe Roth become famous tonight, and people found out he was an Atheist would he want people to remember that when reading his stuff? Probably, but who knows? What about something his former co-workers said about him? Its something to think about, if you were famous how would you want people to reconcile your work with your beliefs/personal life? I’m sure that most people that are famous start believing they’re invincible and stop caring what people think about them, while others have kept they’re perspective and do their best not to step on any toes.

  18. OutsideFringe OutsideFringe (@OutsideFringe) says:

    I actively try not to learn much about the people who create something that I really love; I’d rather not let their crazy interfere with my perception of their genius. I find it better to remain blissfully ignorant of creatives’ personal lives because they do tend to be a little odd…

  19. hanson724 hanson724 says:

    A persons politics and views absolutely affect whether or not I buy whatever it is they’re selling. I haven’t watched sports for years and the same for a Mel gibson movie or Tom Cruise for that matter. If they want to be whatever ,I don’t care, but I’m not going to give them what little time or money I have. There’s too much good stuff out there.

  20. jgraff jgraff says:

    I have tried to picture puting aside what I know about certain creators and just enjoying the work as some people here claim to do, but it seems impossible.
    I think it comes down to the difference between strange ideas and objectionable values.
    While time dulls the edges, and it is not difficult to forgive artists who worked in very different periods from our own, I can’t imagine knowing a living artist is currently out there conducting himself in a way that conflictls strongly with my values, and still being okay with supporting him.

    I’m not going to buy any products by a company that tests on animals – I don’t care how good they are.
    I’m not going to buy any stories (products) by a man who beats his wife – I don’t care how good they are.

    Morrison’s magic does not seem to hurt anybody.
    The same can not be said for some of the other examples people have mentioned.

  21. jpriester73 jpriester73 says:

    I think the better question isn’t can we separate the creator for the creation but rather should we actively work to stop them from creating because we disagree with them? The current issue with OSC I found particularly interesting as many signed petitions and applied pressure to DC to not allow him to work. Should we boycott everyone who’s views aren’t appealing to us? Should pro-choice advocates push to have no pro-life working in the industry or vice versa?

    If we boycott creators should we do that in every area of life? There are many business that have employs that with similar views as OSC. Should those business fire all of those employees? Should we protest those companies until they do?

    That’s what frustrated me with the OSC situation. Its one thing to not be able to separate a creator from his creation. Its another thing to fight for that person to not be allowed to work. If what he believes is something you don’t agree with don’t buy his work, but don’t try to pressure a company to deny him the right to work.

    That is what I found tragically ironic about the OSC issue. Many felt he was actively seeking to infringe on others rights so they decided to actively infringe on his rights. If I can’t separate a creator from his work I don’t buy it, I don’t try to keep them from creating it all together.

    This comment isn’t meant to support or condemn OSC’s political views but rather to support his freedom to have those views and work.

    • bub64882 bub64882 says:

      I hear you, and think you have a valid point. However, I can certainly empathize with those fans. The thing is he’s not telling an OSC story, he’s telling a SUPERMAN story, and I can understand fans having a knee jerk reaction to that…It’s conflicting when you want to buy a Superman comic, or support the artist, or something, but a creator that polarizing keeps you from doing so. Right or wrong, I can see those who just don’t want someone percieved to spew hate speech associated with Superman in anyway.

    • muddi900 says:

      I don’t know if you are being obtuse or ignorant on this issue. The details of why Card specifically was the target have been mentioned a million times. It is far more than his beliefs that got him in the mess. Would you say the same of Card was Chair of an organization that furthered the agenda of segregating public schools on grounds of ethnicity.

    • “Many felt he was actively seeking to infringe on others rights”

      There was nothing “felt” about that. It’s a simple fact. It’s not like Card is trying to hide it or anything.

      Why are some people always twisting this into “he is getting prosecuted for his beliefs and his opinion”? I guess trying to turn the blame around is the only thing you can do when it comes to somebody like him.

    • jpriester73 jpriester73 says:

      @muddi900 I think someone who thinks schools should be segregated has the right to that opinion and also the right to work even though he has that opinion. I wouldn’t buy his work if I felt I couldn’t separate the creator from the creation, though I’m sure I’ve read all kinds of works from people who agreed with segregation as I enjoy books from the early 20th century.

      Those that are pro-life would argue that that people that are advocating pro-choice are advocating murder. If they were to protest pro-choice writers the media would call them intolerant.

      Those that are pro-choice would argue that pro-life advocates are advocating for women to not have rights over there body. If they were to protest pro-life writers and keep them from working they would be intolerant too.

      Whats frustrating is that for some reason this issue of marriage is one where you can be tolerant while not tolerating their views.

      Also why isn’t a person against polygamy intolerant? Why does no one try to keep those advocates from working?

    • ilovecomics says:

      Who has a right to work? No one. Work has to be earned. Frankly… about what should be “tolerated”… How bout the person that throws the first stone.. that is the one that should not be tolerated. Conservatives here are all about having and keeping “freedoms” unless those freedoms break a rule in a 2000 year old book, and then they conveniently want to keep others from gaining those freedoms. Card is working towards stopping a large group from gaining equal rights (He started it). Its as simple as that., dont mess with other peoples rights. Is that simple enough (Card started it). If someone is rude to me i will probably be rude back, and the two of us would not be equally bad (the one who started it would be the instigator and probably would deserve what he gets). Having said all that Im fine with people boycotting his stuff but frankly if its good enough ill probably see it (in the interest of honesty). Hell… im disappointed that Mel Gibson has got such a beat down because that dude could direct the shit of movies, but does he deserve to make movies…. i dont think so. Im thinking his big mouth has cost me the pleasure of watching 2 or 3 Epic films that will now.. never be made.

    • bub64882 bub64882 says:

      @ Jpriester…I don’t care if OSC is working…I just don’t want him working on a flagship character for DC comics, the most famous superhero of all time, and a champion of equality and freedom. If he wants to write the opus of “Chix-Fil-A-Man”, I’m all for it, and if DC wants to publish it, then good for them…I’m not going to buy it, but whatever. But I don’t think he should be working on Superman, and THAT job I think he should not get.

      I also think, as others have stated, it would be naïve to think that OSC was the only person working in comics that might be conflicted on the issue of Same Sex Marriage. I really don’t care if those other folks have a job at DC or not. But when someone is so outspoken on that polarizing an issue, then I think they are already prepared to deal with the consequences. OSC isn’t going hungry without a 1 shot superman story in his bank account. And DC could do worse than to avoid another controversy right now.

  22. phess1 phess1 says:

    I think it depends on what were talking about with Comics. An artist is drawing which is much more technique. If he’s doing a big two book they have even less creative input on the proccess. As a writer, even one that is edited, is going to let his point of view and idea’s seep into his work. Orson Scott Card will probably never write “God hates gays” in his comic but the values that lead him there will certainly come up meaning I will probably never read anything he writes. Frank Miller is one of my all time favorite writers. Everything he’s done at DC and Marvel in the 80′s is fantastic and his 90′s dark horse work ranges from great to awesome but knowing his political beliefs post 9-11 has completely tainted anything he has created for me. It sucks and I still stand by Dark Knight Rises, his Daredevil run but he is a raging ignorant moron and that becomes apparent to me anytime I read something he wrote post 2001.

  23. This is a fine line to walk, really. Where o you draw the line? I think Richard Wagner was a hateful person. I also think the Ring Cycle is the single greatest artistic achievement in human history. Sometimes bad people are capable of amazing art.

    Also, what if you are already invested in something and then find out later something about Ty person who made it? What if when George Lucas dies they find the skin of drying children in his attic? Will the millions of people ho love Star Wars stop loving Star Wats after doing so for their entire lives?

  24. Two words: Rob Leifeld

  25. muddi900 says:

    I don’t know how believing in Magic is any different than believing in monotheist religion and how knowing an artists belief in either lessens his or her work’s worth. How can you even appreciate Terrence Malick’s films without the context of his Christian faith? Isn’t the knowledge of Bradbury’s Humanism only enchances the experiencs of his work? I recently saw something similar during the discussion of the new Tom Cruise movie, where people flat-out said they hate him because of his religion. The actions of the Church of Scientology are oppressive, and you might think that only messed up people might follow such an institution, but the Catholic Church has committed worse crimes and it has 1.2 billion followers. I am going to tell you right now that if you find out that your favorite artist is devoutly Catholic, it would only improve your appreciation of his or her work?

    There was this meme on social media recently about how “it’s not your beliefs, it’s what you do with them.” People think less of Orson Scott Card not because of his beliefs, but because of his actions.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I don’t hate Tom Cruise because of his religion, I think he’s nuts because he chose that as his religion. If you’re gonna hate him, hate how he treated Katie Holmes. Its what he’s done to someone he said he loved and raised a child with that would earn my hate towards that man. That said, I don’t hate him.

    • phess1 phess1 says:

      I have a similar thing with Tom Cruise that because of his beliefs and all the other weird shit he has done in the past decade or so I cannot take him seriously anymore. And I’ll say that I really loved a lot of the movies he was in earlier in the aughts such as Minority Report and Collateral but there is no way I can watch him now and not think about him obsessing over blockbusters and auditioning chicks to be his GF at Scientology headquarters. It just weird more then anything and I think that is why people look at him strangely. Also yes that Catholic Church has done some fucked up shit but they have also done a lot of great things as well. I happen to have graduated from a Catholic University that provided the opportunity to a lot of lower income men and women to get high quality education with minimum out of pocket expense.

  26. I really don’t care at all about what the writer/artist does or believes. the only time i find it hard to separate creator from creation, is when i have had an actual encounter with the creator. I.E i went to get an autograph/sketch from them and they were a complete jerk. that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth when i read there stuff.

    but it also works the other way around. ive picked up books that i normally wouldn’t have, because the writer/artist were so nice

  27. SimonBaz says:

    If wish I’d never had the misfortune of reading the bigoted views of Frank Miller. I grew up in the 80s so like for many, Miller meant so much. The images and stories that are etched most vividly on my mind to this day are from the Miller Daredevil run, Wolverine Mini and of course TDKR. As I am a Muslim myself, when the whole Holy Terror stuff came out I was very disappointed with Miller.

    For weeks I just couldn’t look at his stuff, and felt bad even having his books on my shelf. But I kept telling myself that the Miller comics I like he wrote years ago. I finally decided that I would only keep and reread the material Miller produced for characters he didn’t create or have total influence on. I reasoned that a big two editor would have kept out the writer’s bigotry (if he had any then) on their superhero comics for commercial reasons at least, so Wolverine, DD and TDKR are again fine for me now (What was I suposed to do, get rid of my Absoulte Dark Knight? I think you all know the answer to that!). In any case I now see them just as much as Jansen and Claremont books as Miller books. However, I will never own or read books like Sin city or Ronin again, because I now feel I just couldn’t enjoy something directly and solely created by Miller. As for the Spirit movie, I was never going to see that again regardless…

    • flakbait flakbait says:

      Totally hear you on Miller. After some of his outbursts of the past few years I thought, “Has Frank Miller read early Frank Miller? Because this seems like two totally different guys.”

      David Willis of Shortpacked! has some great Frank Miller material, this is one of my favorites. http://www.shortpacked.com/2011/comic/book-13/05-the-death-of-snkrs/onceagain/

    • phess1 phess1 says:

      Wow I’m sorry dude. I have a similar reaction to Miller’s work but I can’t believe what it would feel like to be Muslim and see something like Holy Terror come out. I fucking love TDKR, Year One, Wolverine and all things 80′s Daredevil along with things that he created like Ronin and the 300 but just thinking about what you wrote makes me want to punch furiously punch Miller in the nuts repeatedly.

    • SimonBaz says:

      Thanks for the link flakbait it brought a smile to my face.
      Thanks phess1 for the empathy, believe me iFanboy is the first place I’ve openly expressed my gut punch turmoil about current Miller, I appreciate your solidarity! This is why I really love the comics community.

  28. I can buy and love something regardless of what a creator does. I may not be informed, but don’t we see a history of people cheering on athletes of different sports with criminal records? I’m a Mormon and I have no trouble watching Toy Story, regardless of Tom Hanks being in it. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it seems silly to allow the actions of one person to dictate what you’ll own or enjoy.

  29. JML (@twitter.com/JoshMLabelle) says:

    The inability to do this is what’s kept me from picking up Dave Sim’s stuff for quite a while. For whatever reason, I’m able to read John Byrne’s old stuff without being bothered by what we now know about his personality. That said, every once in a while in his comics there’ll be a bizarre character moment or some piece of alien plotting logic that yanks me right out and reminds me he’s an odd dude.

  30. DhaaminX says:

    Kind of had a experience like this when I decided not to continue following Fables (I wasn’t really following the series but had the first trade) when I found out the creator was a Zionist and was quite anti-Palestine. I decided just not to read his stuff I guess. But its not something I would go crazy over, I wouldn’t look down or judge some one if they did read his work if ya get me.