Be Nice, Dammit

My greatest weakness is poison.

Even with all the recent ups and downs in the business, even with some recent hype-heavy books dragging and a spate of bad news, I still love reading comics and get excited about them every single Wednesday. Ten years of watching “Nü Marvel” slowly succumb to the event cycle has done nothing to diminish my enthusiasm. Seeing good books starve to death on the sales charts has not stopped me from lining up for the next #1 from the next big writer. Every box from Amazon or e-mail from the library is like a little Christmas morning, and getting to work here is rich icing on some moist, delectable cake.

Holy smokes, though, can strangers on the internet ruin my entire day without even knowing they did it.

I’m like a sponge. Or a mirror. Maybe a mirror made out of a sponge. The point is, no matter how hard I try not to, I tend to absorb negativity and reflect it. I’ll be checking the comments in an article like this one, having a fine morning full of sunshine and backrubs, when some one-line “meh” comment will douse the parade until well after lunch. I am poisoned. Next thing you know, I’m writing some kind of profanity fractal in iFanboy’s “Drafts” folder before deleting it for the therapeutic value/because it would get me fired.

I grappled with this a week ago when writer J. Michael Straczynski chose for no particular reason to post a half-baked Amazing Spider-Man sales chart suggesting that the book had plummeted into obscurity without him writing it, garnishing the chart with the always-delightful “just sayin'”. This stirred up all the people you’d expect it to stir up and generated all the zingers and defensiveness you’d expect it to generate in the biz, but reduced to its basic elements it was just one more shmuck on the internet dropping out of the clear blue sky with no particular reason or provocation to crap on something I was enjoying. “Hey, I heard my ex- was in here loving life with her new guy and wanted to poke my head in to say something passive-aggressive and ruin everyone’s day. Anyway, gots ta go! Ciao!”

A few days later, my favorite writer announced that he would be leaving my favorite book. I was not nearly as bothered by that announcement (he’s not dying; there will be other stories) as I was by the vocal few who chose that exact moment to go online and crow about how delighted they were that it was happening.

All right! Something thousands of people enjoy is being taken away from them. Congratulations on your victory, wishing that would happen to them. I know this must have been a big day for you. There were just a lot of other things you could have chosen to say to those people the day it happened including, for example, nothing. Even in the age of my beloved Twitter, it is actually possible– even desirable– to occasionally think things and not say them to anyone at all. I say this as someone who has live tweeted Gremlins.

When a small book with a cult following gets canceled, what drives someone to choose that moment to announce to the mourning strangers assembled in the comment thread that they never thought the book was any good? Or to stride in and declare, “Face it: this book never sold well enough, and that’s the way the market works”? Do you see all bad news as your opportunity to anonymously educate passersby about The Way The Real World Works? Is the end of Daken: Dark Wolverine really just another opportunity for you to rehearse how you’ll talk to your teenager next time he asks to borrow money?

I hope you don’t work in hospice care. “Face it: your grandma has been a huge drain on the system for years without contributing anything. This is just how survival of the fittest works. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go teach my daughter to swim by sneaking up behind her and pushing her off a pier.”

Let’s talk about life and reality, though. Let’s bring internet comment behavior into The Way The Real World Works. Let’s say, a few years ago, there was a local bar not too far from your house that threw a weekly Lost viewing party. If, on the night of Lost‘s final episode— or even the night they announced Lost‘s final episode— you had gone down to that bar, walked into the middle of the room, and had started to shout about how you always thought Lost sucked and how glad you were to see it go off the air, I submit to you that (depending on what they had on tap) you might well have found yourself being bludgeoned with a bar stool inside of ten minutes. Luckily, no sane individual would do this in person.

That’s not even getting into the part where you walked into the bar with a mask of the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee or something instead of your real face and introduced yourself as “JBone1987.”

The only thing that surprises me more than the drive-by hating is the ardent, passionate defense of drive-by hating whenever the topic is broached. If you ever find yourself typing something like, “This is where I come to talk about what I enjoy; I’d really rather not hear about what garbage it is from people doing the lambada on its grave,” it is only a matter of time before someone implies that your fondest wish is to replace the open discussion with a groupthink police state. “I thought we were free to express ourselves. I guess I was wrong.

No. I’m not trying to send you to the gulag because you didn’t care about Doctor Voodoo. It’s just… this is where I come to talk about what I enjoy. I’d really rather not hear about what garbage it is from people doing the lambada on its grave.

All right?

If I wanted to see people crapping on comic books, I would go almost literally everywhere else. In the end, we’re all we’ve got. All I want for Christmas is a little mindfulness of that.

Jim Mroczkowski needs a little Christmas, and he’s taking it.


  1. Wow, nice article Jim. Yeah, something I always say is that you can’t tell someone what they like or don’t like; it;s up to them. The world would be a boring place if we all loved the same things. If somebody’s loving Hawk and Dove how can you say to them “No that’s wrong, you can’t like it , it’s really bad.” We have the freedom of choice to read and enjoy what we choose…and that is great.

  2. Well said.

  3. *Slow clab*

    Bravo, Jim. Put this article along with Josh’s masterpiece from last year:

  4. To each his own. There’s a flavor for everyone out there. I never understood the fervor that some folks hate on others fans faves. Well said Jim.

  5. That’s not even getting into the part where you walked into the bar with a mask of the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee or something instead of your real face and introduced yourself as “JBone1987.”

    That line made my day. Well done. Just a damn fine job.

  6. so basically lets eliminate Schadenfreude, and hater-ade from comic fandom. This site has taught me that basically every book out there has someone who’s loving it, so lets just be cool with that. We’re too small a community to have arch rivals or celebrate failures.

  7. Isn’t that the worst, though? When someone defends their verbal diarrhea with the whole “freedom of expression” tenet? Having a discerning opinion is ok, but when you come by to spread poison and use the freedom of expression excuse to get by, the only thing that you’re expressing is that you’re an asshole.

  8. Honestly, I’m getting a little sick of all these “Hey internet, stop being the internet!” articles. I’ve been on this stupid thing (the internet) since it began, hell since BEFORE it began and everyone used BBS system’s to complain. Just post news and stuff about comics, not life advice that helps nobody. People who come to post negative comments always will, you will never change them.

    But whatever, I’m seriously (no hyperbole) going to just stop reading these little life guides and stick to the news, then everyone wins I guess. You can life in this mythological place where everyone respects different opinions… haha

    • Your opinion is wrong.

    • The comments that regard the quality of this article do not surprise me. They do sadden me. While they are all legitimate opinions my reading of them (which may be flawed) sounds a hell of a lot like ‘let me live my life and say what I like, we should all be grown up enough to deal with stuff’. Which is a fair point. It does however ignore the fact that there is literally no reason to intentionally piss people off other than for your own cathartic release or masochism. Which isn’t cool and the real life comparison is entirely legit. Why do something you wouldn’t do in real life just because of anonymity? I mean I know why, its a recorded pattern of human behaviour. Doesn’t make it cool.

      So my point is I like this post

    • My post reads a lot angrier than it should, it’s just I see this everywhere on all types of sites, this sorta parental guidance type stuff and I just don’t see the point.

      Believe it or not there was someone somewhere that loved fear itself, yet it was savage all over this site in the comments and in the podcast, you can make an argument that that was different but it wasn’t. I believe the term garbage was used. Was that pointless negativity? Legitimate criticism? Different because of who was saying it?

      I suspect, as is usually the case in all areas of life, the last one is the reason.

    • I spoke out against the savaging of Fear Itself all over this site.

    • Jim did. Jim loved Fear Itself. He got upset with *us* for being jerky about it.

      We’re cool with that.

    • @Burritoclock: I get that the Internet has been like this for a long time, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to NOT attempt to raise the general level of discourse. Yes, it may be a futile goal, but I’d argue that a world where people are respectful to each other is one worth striving for.

      Now where could I have learned an ideal like that?

      (spoiler — it’s comics!) 😉

    • @Burritoclock You didn’t just think the article had comedic value, even if you didn’t care for the subject? I sure did. That is why Jimski is here, after all, to make me laugh on Monday afternoons.

      I vaguely recall some here (Josh or Conor, maybe?) saying something along the lines of “The first amendment doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk on my website; it means you get to be a jerk on YOUR website.” I LOVE that! If they want the internet to be a better “place,” isn’t that a good thing?

  9. Wow. I dunno how to respond. you’re writing a post on how people should not bitch about how bad the book and be nice was but you’re bitching about someone else getting excited that a writer they do not like is leaving the book.
    You’ve also conveniently miss out how Wacker went on a rampage and kept on trolling JMS on his facebook even when he already deleted the post, on top of that trolling everyone else on message boards.
    Bias much?

    • So tired of the idea that no one can complain about people who complain because somehow there is some sort of vicious ironic cycle.

      Worse than defending something based off freedom of speech.

  10. So the moral of the story is that many of us are now so over-sensitive that we can’t handle any perceived negativity ever. I’m surprised this site even allows 1-star reviews anymore. After all, someone’s feelings might get hurt.

    Instead of trying to henpeck everyone and force them to be “nice” no matter what, a lot of these problems would disappear if we’d develop thicker skins.

    As a fan of Grant Morrison’s Batman run, I had to endure four years of most internet voices telling me how “stupid” and “incomprehensible” it was. I didn’t care. Some of the negative criticism was actually insightful, though. Some negative reviews of Batman R.I.P. actually gave me different insights into Morrison’s writing style.

    If people are happy that Bendis is off of Avengers, why should that matter to any Bendis fan? Bendis fans have had him on Avengers for eight years and over 200 issues. This all comes down to selfishness and over-sensitivity.

  11. There’s an important distinction we have to make between being “mean” and being “critical.” When we’re speaking with people who aren’t as passionate about the medium as we are, let’s by all means put aside petty squabbles and cheerlead for the industry. But in an environment like this we ought to criticize, scrutinize, and dissect the books as we see fit. We’re comic book fans, dammit, and that means we don’t have the luxury of being passive consumers. The industry and its fan base is small enough that we can be heard; that’s one of the wonderful things about this hobby.

    If watching Marvel succumb to the event cycle hasn’t diminished your enthusiasm and that works for you, great. But it has diminished mine, so I’m going to talk about that. I’ll talk about it on here, on Twitter, at conventions, and in shops not because I want to hurt anyone’s feelings but because it’s creatively lazy, dollar-driven storytelling and I want us to be better than that.

    Where to draw the line between asshole and critic is definitely a conversation worth having, I’m just saying let’s not lose our willingness to provoke just to be good little fanboys and girls.

  12. For decades (centuires?) people have declared the art of criticism dead.
    The internet allows for anonymity and a free forum for venting/ranting/and espousing personal opinons. The same could be argued for the pulpit most critics stand upon. But on the internet, there’s no editing. Thoughts become text and can be spewed into the ether in seconds. However, true criticism, even if conveying a negative opinion, contains positive observations and does not end on “just saying” or “no offense.”
    The lack of genuine accountability allows the worst of our natures to emerge digitally. The fact that so many folks are already decrying Jim’s words above as somehow condemning their perceived right to give their opinions are missing the point. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but just because one can shoot it anonymously internet, does it mean one should?
    Perhaps the word “nice” is causing the knee jerk reaction, but the point made in the article still stands. Criticism causes and initiates discussion not just a series of message board posts with everyone kicking into a hyperbolic defense of their own perspective. That is not discussion, not is it truly criticism. And yes, Jim does have the right to espouse his opinions. He is one of the creators involved in this website. The best part fo the internet is the ability for every sub-genre interest to find like-minded individuals. No where is it said that anyone’s opinion is invald, but no where is it said that someone should have carte blanche to vomit wherever they want. Communities are not created based on the perceived right to do whatever one feels. Social contract, compromise, whatever you decide to call it, creates communities and overtly negative commentary does not. In Ancient Rome, graffitti was carved into walls and painted over murals. Early America had the Federalist Papers and we have the Siskel & Ebert (well, Ebert, anyway) and Message Boards. I think Jim is simply stating that we need to hold ourselves to a high standard in terms of critiques and digital conduct given the reality of the industry. Of course, you are free to disagree, but then again, everyone else is free to disagree with you. In the words of the greater cooler of all time, “be nice, until it’s time not to be nice.”

    • Precisely, and well said. What Jim is on about isn’t the right to express a dislike for something, even vehemently, what he’s talking about is the sort of pure bile some people spit in all directions that does nothing to further the conversation, which is ultimately what message boards are designed for. Yes, you are entitled to your negative opinion, but (and you can call this sanctimonious if you want, but it will not make it wrong) you should not *want* your words to be purely hateful or hurtful to others. You should *strive* to build up those around you in this or any community you belong to, not claw them down into the poisoned pit you are wallowing in. That is the height of selfishness.
      As stated above, a social contract dictates a degree of altruism and a sense of community, otherwise that society crumbles. Anyone who is offended by Jim’s expression of a desire for “criticism with kindness”, or my calling them out on that very offended-ness, finds themselves on indefensible ground. In my opinion.

  13. This writer is not the most positive presence on this site, which hurts the ethos of this article.

    I’d embrace the negativity a bit more and allow yourself a bit more credibility.

  14. I’m also in the camp that feels this is a needless article (sorry, don’t mean to offend…). Just by their nature, comics spark love or disgust depending on individual tastes. If I pay $3.99 for a critically-acclaimed comic, and it turns out to be trash, chances are I’m going to justify a fraction of my wasted money by telling of how much I didn’t like.

    Arguing is constructive when people make intelligent points. When I see a trolling comment that hates without specific reason (I, and I’d like to believe a majority of others) immediately recognize it as pointless, so why let it bother you? You can roll your eyes and know you’re opinion’s better, or you can prove it by stomping them with your intellect. Let the haters hate.

    • Once or twice a year (maybe a liiiittle bit more often, actually) I tire of the notion that Haters are Gonna Hate and it’s just a part of doing business.

      Why? Why quietly support a status quo wherein the worst behavior is expected, and being bothered by it is the faux pas?

    • “Why? Why quietly support a status quo wherein the worst behavior is expected, and being bothered by it is the faux pas?”

      This, a thousand times this!

      We dont have to. We can call out the trolls (because thats all it is, trolling for attention and a second look) and bring our conversation up to a critical level with those of a like mind. I know if its often hard to scroll through and not see the “meh” (Who else would love a block feature?) but you just have to push through it and direct your discourse to those who are on that page with you.

    • i agree with Jim 10000% Never cater to the lowest common denominator. Honestly i don’t want to see this site turn into the typical comics/pop culture site full of jerks and trolling.

      i think you are brave for taking on the crusade of “how to teach internet a-holes, how to stop acting like a-holes” its an uphill battle…

    • Jim, you nailed it. And apparently, anybody named Chris is all about this column.

    • The podcast just featured a user review that led with a “meh” a little over a week ago.

    • a HA!!!

    • @ScoprionMasada – It was a user review and when Josh read it he said something along the lines of “I hate that phrase” – to be fair.

    • And another user complained in the thread that the iFanboy trinity was making fun of users and I said that the review deserved being made fun of.

      Would it have been better to have never selected the review for spotlighting?

    • I just don’t like the word “meh”. It doesn’t mean the opinion doesn’t have value for someone. And if we put something on the show, and we make jokes (which I honestly can’t help) I would think that people know it’s all in good fun. If they don’t know that, then they’re not paying attention.

      And some weeks, you find the best user reviews you can, and make do. It also depends on who is doing the script.

      I don’t know what this has to do with anything.

    • I had no problem with anything you guys did.

      I apologize for the tangent.

    • @ScorpionMasada – I’d like to apologize, I may have misread your comment. I thought you were insinuating that the iFanboys had been hypocritical by using the review with “meh” in it. Sorry about that.

    • I apologize for not being clear. I love iFanboy and understand that the reviews they feature do not necessarily reflect their personal feelings on books.

      Just thought it was a timely observation to bring up cuz I hate the “meh” comment too.

    • Full disclosure: I physically cringed when Josh said it on the podcast because his hatred of the word has really rubbed off on me. I was relieved to hear it was a user review.

  15. After getting past the trite irony of the headline and noting the author, this article is disingenuous at best and an exercise in hypocrisy.

    In light of recent ‘social lessons’ in the guise of articles, I must ask, “For a place that demands their readers to be light-hearted, why so preachy?

  16. @Jim and Chris – Too true. I say keep calling the haters out so maybe, just maybe, a few of them will begin to realize the error of their ways and clean their act up. Maybe then they’ll grow up (because let’s be honest, most of them have a great deal of growing yet to do), raise little internetlings who have been taught the finer points of nettiquette, and perhaps one day the internet will be less of a constant bar-fight and a little more of a intellectual haven. One can dream.

  17. I love that people are arguing with this article by saying “That’s just the way things are.” So? Why would you be okay with that? The way things are is fairly dismal. Shame on Jimski for wanting something better out of his comics/social experience! Why would anyone possibly want that?

    There’s nothing wrong with criticism or debate, but there is something wrong with taking time out of your day to log onto a website, find an article about something that’s going to bum people out (like the Bendis decision) and go “Good. Hated that guy anyway.” You can’t take a few extra seconds to think of something a little less… I don’t know, dickish? You couldn’t have went with “Hey, he wasn’t for me, but I can understand why people might be bummed” or, just like Jimski said, say nothing?

    Does it add to your day to be a jerk? I don’t think so. If it does, we have bigger problems.

    Not to mention people saying that Jimski doesn’t have the right to write something like this because he’s negative. So what? We’ve all been there. I don’t see anywhere in this column that says he hasn’t been at fault. Hell, he even apologized for all the Deadpool hate at one point if I remember right.

    Plus, the people who write for this site have every right to give advice. It’s their site. You come to it. You give them that power. That, and it’s usually pretty good advice. The only reason for this column to upset anyone is if they’re a jerk and they don’t like being called out as a jerk.

    Sorry if that came off harsh, I just have a really hard time trying to figure out how something like this can actually upset people.

    Keep on preachin’ Jim.

    • A plea to act reasonable on this site? What are you…apart of the dreaded iFanboy Booster Club or something?!?!

    • My favorite part of that “Booster Club” comment is that it was meant as an insult. “What? You actually LIKE the people who write for the site that you choose to come to daily?”

    • I made a reasonable argument for loving the Bendis is leaving discussion and still got shit for it.

      I’m all for people being nicer and doing more of a discussion rather then go into a shouting match. But no matter what you post, you’re still going to get some asshole comment back to you on why you’re wrong and post nothing else.

    • To me, that’s still not an incentive to be a dick. You can only control your actions. Not the actions of others. You can however, lead by example.

    • @Chris: I’m not saying it is. But you can reason with crazies.

      You can’t reason with people who have no problem bring up Hitler or political discussions on a YouTube video video about cute babies. It’s what the internet is on a whole and you can’t control that.

      But you can control a forum site like this because you have moderators and what not to control the comments.

    • Ethos is a real thing.

      If you spend the majority of your nonarticle input throwing out snide comments, you will find it hard for people to buy into an article about being nicer or silent unless you have discontinued this habit.

      I love this type of article though but it would be better suited to Ron or one in Josh’s series.

    • I honestly don’t get “snide” out of this. I think it’s pretty earnest and sincere. It’s rare you see a columnist admit to letting commenters getting them down. They usually act like they’re above all that or they explicitly say they don’t read them and there’s nothing constructive to be had in them. To each his own, though.

    • @ScorpionMasada: You are 100% correct, I agree with you COMPLETELY on this one. and i’m not being sarcastic

    • The article is not snide.

      The columnist isn’t snide on the podcast.

      The columnist is often snide in comments towards other users, which is totally fine cuz a great many users deserve it.

      Let’s not pretend otherwise.

    • I’m sorry, when you wrote “non article” I read it as an insult to this article instead of “in the comments and whatnot.” You may see it as snide, but when it’s usually busting peoples’ chops who are being trolls, it tends to not bother me. That might be an issue of mine, though.

    • Shit, I better be more careful with my word choice.

      I agree that regulating “trolls” with words is a heroic act. hahaha

    • Either that or I could take another glance at things before I post. That’s what happens when you’re slacking off on iFanboy instead of studying for your Media Ethics final.

    • Get back to studying and I hope you do well on the final despite your procrastinating.

  18. I think you guys are really beating a dead horse with all these “play nice” articles… shouldn’t anybody be able to post their opinion, even if they think your favorite book sucks? For example, I am not a fan of Jason Aaron’s work on Wolverine, so I was glad to hear his run will be concluding. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to post that?

    • I think Jim is making the argument that you CAN post that because it’s constructive.

      But if you post it like: ‘Aaron iz the sucks, I’m gald it’s over!’ then that’s where the problem lies.

  19. Another article about how everyone should be acting? This is about as lazy as the “Hulk Rules” article. Christ, if you don’t have anything worth saying, don’t say it.

    • Haha! I hope that was intentional. I REALLY want it to be. I don’t think it was, but it would have been awesome.

    • Don’t get your hopes up

    • Telling people to act like reasonable human beings is useless? Huh…

    • I just wonder how many times it needs to be stated. I’m a reasonable person. I’m not a fan of irrational tirades that are all too common on the internet. But we already have a weekly column that tells people how they should be acting at this website.

    • Actually I do a bi-weekly column, and have touched on many subjects to, I must say, great resonance and increased traffic. Jim is a columnist who has earned the right to write about whatever he’d like. There are dozens of other articles about all sorts of stuff that go up every single week. Nothing is a mandate. They are observations based on opinions and experience. No one is “telling you what to do” and the idea that some keep chafing over that misinformed concept of what some of these pieces are is baffling to me. You know how you can tell that no one is telling you what to do? If you go on and keep doing it, there are no consequences. These pieces are for the purpose of engaging a conversation, and making people think.

      You have the right to not click on, or read anything you don’t want to read on the site. You can’t expect every single thing in a store, a magazine, a television network, a restaurant, or a website to appeal to you.

      If anything I write or someone else on this site writes makes anyone else act a little more considerate towards other people, it’s a big win, and we’ll take it.

    • @SEChambers – If you feel that you’re above the advice being given and you’re sick of these types of articles, why read them?

      I think they work as reality checks once in a while. We can all be jerks. We’ve all been “that guy” in a comments thread at some point, and no matter how well we think we’re conducting ourselves, it’s nice to be reminded that we can always do things better. At least that’s how I see it.

    • It never ceases to surprise me just how many people are willing to expend the time and energy to click on an article, read (some of, if not all) that article, click the “comment” button, compose and type a comment, and then click “submit”, just to tell someone they don’t like it.

      I can’t say if Jimski’s column subjects are lazy choices, but what I describe above sure sounds like a hell of a lot of work.

      Love and hate are two sides of the same coin.

    • i found the consequence to being forced to read this article. I had to read more angry at the world comments.

    • Lazy was a poorly used word, I admit. I think that article just rankled me because a buddy of mine emailed me wondering the same thing. He is Hulk! He gets mad! What else is there to think about?

      It’s funny, hours later and I honestly can’t see why I felt the need to try to point anything out. It is really a waste of energy to be a negative Nancy, especially when it’s about a FREE website that is 96% of the time awesome.

  20. To me it’s very simple. This video should be considered Gospel.

  21. In my opinion this isn’t just “the internet”, this is ALOT of us have been posting here for several years and really love the community. I come here because legitimate conversation far outweighs all the BS. So while many of you guys are posting “Welcome to the Internet!”, I would argue that here, for the most part, we do conduct ourselves more civilly than commenters on other sites.

    Is it just me or have those types of comments increased since the New 52 arrived?

    • I’m glad someone said this. The reasons I hang out on iFanboy are many, but the most important is that this site and the commenters showed me what comics fans can, and probably should, be like: Insightful, even-headed, enthusiastic, and decent. I think that’s kind of slipped a bit as iFanboy has gotten bigger and bigger, because of course more people would mean more trolls. Not saying this isn’t still the best comics community on the internet, just that I’ve gotten more wary of certain discussion topics because I know the types of people they will draw.

    • its not just you…i’ve noticed it as well.

      There is a reason why i’m not active on any other comics sites. The trolling is too much for me to find anything of value. This is a great community full of actual discussion. i’d hate to see this place turn into troll town.

    • High Five.

    • Yeah, I feel like a lot of the negativity started when the New 52 was announced back in June. It was the “What the hell is DC thinking — they’re dead meat” camp versus the “Hey this could be just what comics needs right now, I’m excited to see what happens!” camp.

      And I agree that iFanboy can(and should) be an alternative to the Internet at large. I visit several comic book websites, but I can’t read their comment threads without thinking “If THIS is what comic fans are about, I need to quit comics”.

      In general, the community here makes me glad to be a comic book reader. But some folks’ attitudes make me second guess that statement every now and again, and I don’t like it.

  22. I should add: my e-mail address is jim AT ifanboy DOT com. Feel free to chew me out one-on-one rather than making it everyone else’s problem. If there has to be bile, there’s no reason it has to hit everybody in the room.

  23. The mind boggles at the hypocrisy on display

    • and that takes care of your negative snipe of the day.

    • why did you delete that catty comment you just posted, Jimski? I wanted that hypocrisy i was talking about wrapped up in a nutshell

    • I’m just going to call it how I see it here. I’ve been visiting the site for several years now, after a little thought I’ve realised that’s because this is an enthusiastic community of people who love comics. Bleeding cool is great for news but the forums are really ugly places to hang out. 90% of the time the comments in ifanboys threads enrich my reading experiance through recommendations or some other helpful insight. I’m going to say that during my time visiting the site the two people who have spoilt my enjoyment of the site are Edward and The Next Champion. I don’t need to provide examples here do I? To The Next Champion’s credit he’s been trying harder recently from what I’ve seen to get into the community spirit. My overall point is…. either people are free to say whatever they like and we put up with it (well meaning articles like this have got no hope of changing this), or we collectively decide that voting with our wallets speaks louder than celebrating the failures of individual books and creative teams in the posts and ban repeated snarky users. I know Josh, Ron and Conor have expressed some regret over how fear itself was reviewed on the site, I would say that if a book sucks, don’t talk about. If you’re got nothing to say about the biggest event comic on the shelves we’ll quickly realise you don’t think it’s worth discussing. If it is worth talking about then we should all aim for a higher level of criticism than ‘meh’ or ‘this sucks’. My overall point is articles like this shouldn’t need to exist if we all know what this community is supposed to be. Just toss out the bad eggs so we can read articles about comics instead of behavioural guides.

    • Mate, I am genuinely you feel that way. However, if the obviously facetious comments I’ve written about captain America, batgirl or optimus prime offend you on a deeply personal level that not my concern.

    • It doesn’t offend me at all. The point I’m really trying to make is either you should be able to say whatever you like, or the peeps in charge should just ban repeatedly cynical users. One or the other. Writing an article imploring users to stop being themselves was never going to work.

  24. Thing is, the people who get offended at these types of articles? You are the ones! Just behave and you don’t have to worry about it.

  25. I also like how you specifically made the point that your actions and mood are the iFanbase’s fault. You’re a sponge or a mirror reflecting negativity. You’re actually an adult, no one else is responsible for you. You’re happiness is not the iFanbase’s concern and you’re constant snarky comments aren’t the iFanbase’s fault.

  26. 8)

  27. If you took personal offense to this article, you probably need on of those mirrors Jim was talking about.

  28. Yeah im just going to say it. I love iFanboy and it’s writers, and have since i first discovered it 2 years ago.

    That being said, over the past few months, the amount of negativity on this site has been all time high, and it is really driving me nuts. And honestly i don’t even think negativity is the right word. I feel like many (mostly new) members are just plain whiny. They are that guy from your freshman college comp class that ruins the occasional fun stray conversation by saying “well actually…” followed by some point that they NEED to make to seem smarter than everyone else.

    GUESS WHAT? no matter how much you think you know more than anyone, no matter how much more right you think you are than everyone else, no matter how many last words you feel you need to have NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR IT!

    This site is for good healthy discussions whether its in agreement or not. But some people are just ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. Head over to 4chan if your going to be troll, cause we’re all sick of it here.

    you know who you are

    • Agreed. It’s a fuckin’ mood killer.

      I’m really glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. I was starting to think maybe I was imagining it.

    • I’ve had a rule for a few months now that’s made my internet experience so much better. If I’m reading comments and one starts with “um, actually” or any derivation of that, I skip it. It’s wonderful.

    • I’ve been an avid IFanboy acolyte for years, but this is the first time I’ve felt the urge to post…mainly because I thought this article and the subsequent reactions captured exactly the tension in the comment threads recently. And I have no real recall of what Jimski has written and maybe those calling him out are protesting a bit too much. But this all seems like an explosion of digital fury signifying nothing. If I hadn’t posted earlier I would not have come back to check out the thread because as Chris Rohling illustrates above, usually I skip these kinds of conflicts because people are always so divided and no one walks away feeling heard or understood.

      There’s so much that the written word in these circumstances just doesn’t convey and it’s almost alarming how much we are willing to give up to participate in this medium.

    • But look, that last post of mine might unintentionally re-ignite someone’s smoldering fury. Honestly, I didn’t really stimulate the conversation any further but felt the need and (now that I registered as a user) a freedom to spew my 2 cents into the world.
      I get now how easy it can be to shoot off a missive so effortlessly.

      Perhaps this whole discussion can be summed up with one fo the great mantras that we all agree on – “With great power comes great responsibility.” Clearly this is a “great power” when so many people are so vehement about their perspectives.

    • i don’t know if its negativity per say…What i’m seeing more of is people are just bitching about freaking out and just being flat out mean spirited. Almost as if there is a “hyperbole/vitriol” competition. Who can shit on Marvel’s next event loud enough..Who can assassinate Loeb or Liefield’s character the best and so on. I don’t get. What’s scary is that these types seem to think thats how you have a conversation, and that’s what it means to be constructive. As if going on a bitchy tirade about Marvel’s event direction is “helping” the industry or something. I don’t know…its weird, noticeable and discouraging.

    • typo: “bitching and freaking out” haha that could read a totally different way.

  29. People please don’t forget that some of the biggest hypercites are the ones who constantly tell you how to behave. These artcles are my favorite because they always point out the most obvious ways someone should behave (like how to treat ladies or talk too others) and the iFanboy community either praise it as gospel or totally rip it to shit. At the end of the day the asshole and naysayers will stand side by side with the ass kissers and the super positive and enjoy comics together. That brings a tear to me eye,,,

    • And we all shine on…

      This is my favorite observation in this swollen comment thread.
      This is the best part of our little sub-culture. It’s about as 100% percent a part of the hobby/lifestyle choice as the treehouse arguments over just how strong Hulk is and why so-and-so is a jerk (is it Bendis this week? I’ve been out of it…)

    • salud

  30. ya know, i usually dont like being told or advised on how i might act because of how it might affect someone i’ve never even met. but, i’ve come to like these “guides to making someone else’s life fantastic” articles for only 1 reason: it really stirs the shit and brings out a lot of opposing arguments from both rebels and conformists. which is the point i suspect, yeah?

    and it is true that you dont have to read an article that you might not like because of the title or the name of the person writing it. the door also swings the other way. you dont have to read a comment if you recognize the username or avatar and associate negative feelings with what they usually have to say. whether if it’s about something you wrote or a comic you love. how much negativity we allow in our lives, if we’re strong enough, is totally up to us

    • @sitara119
      your totally wrong and i hate you for it

    • @sitara119
      that really hurts my feelings

    • Rebels and conformists?? Ooooooook…

    • comicbookchris?? Ooooooook…

    • This is a great example @Sitara makes a polite/valid counterpoint and BAM @comicbookchris replys with a snarky nothing to add comment. BRILLIANT

    • why dont you conform to the message of the article and keep your negativity to yourself since you seem to feel so strongly about it. or is it ok for you? how can you argue in favor of the article and then turn around and do the exact opposite. talk about hypocrits.

    • …what are you rebelling against? This is a serious question. It just boggles the mind that someone would come here not to discuss, but to REBEL. No one is keeping you here against your will.

    • Chris, relax.

    • “what do ya got?” hahahahahahaha
      sorry, couldnt resist a great marlon brando line. no ones ever set me up for that. thanks.

      i never said i was rebeling. so what are you talking about. i was talking about the extremist points of view on both sides of the spectrum for its entertainment value as far as the “rebel” comments goes.

      so the question still stands from my previous thought block concerning your hypocrisy and this time try to stay on point this time

    • It’s obvious that you’re trying to pry an emotional response out of me, so all I’ll say is this…people come here to discuss and move along a conversation. Sometimes people agree, sometimes people disagree. There are no rebels. There are no conformists. There ARE people who feel the need to whine against what the creators write (as Jimski mentioned), but in my opinion, they are luckily few and far between. They do suck, though.

      That is all.

    • Quite a bit of what Sitara types is tongue in cheek Chris.. hes never really trying to stir up trouble…. your on a crusade thats been going on for weeks.. While its not cool to be negative all the time,, or even most of the time .. its also not cool to be spending weeks calling multiple people dicks and aholes (some of which deserve it and some of which dont).. You aint no saint and thats a fact! The funny thing is the most negative trolling people probably wont even bother to argue with you on these topics.. theyre probably sniping little one line comments somewhere right now.

    • The point is some of the people your arguing with Chris probably arent thinking that differently from you.. but maybe theyre chaffing at your righteousness..
      I hate righteous people.. they suck…. remember its ok to insult people as long as you say it indirectly .. then your a real nice dude..

    • @ drdeeeznuts

      well put. i feel like im taking crazy pills over here. that chris person did nothing but compromise the validity of the article(or rather his interpretation of it) he was so righteously defending like an apoligist. talk about an emotional response.

  31. i could never figure out how we can get so much activity about a article we a dudes really just saying be cool.if you’re going to get worked up about something know this american citizens can now be locked up forever without a trial,rage about that .this is just about funny books

  32. There is a strange sense of entitlement on the internet. It’s like extreme libertarianism. I think it’s from the fact that we’re all sat in a room typing into a metal box, without having to face up to the people we’re talking too. But people have an expectation that they should be able to say what they want, when they want, however they want.

    And of course, people have the right to say what they want. But, as Ian Malcolm said, that doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

    Any time i’ve politely asked people on the net to be sensitive about spoilers, or about the way they discuss things, or about leaving the ‘constructive’ out of ‘criticism,’ they react as of you’re taking away some basic human right. Once i asked (as a Brit myself) another Brit on twitter to hold off on discussing Doctor Who for the seven hours it took for our U.S. friends to have seen it too, and I was told that I was bullying that person, that I was “telling them how to behave” and that I was “censoring them.” Quite a bizarre reaction, that can only come from this warped sense of entitlement that the net has created.

    I’m with Jim on this. And I think the net would be a much nicer place of people had to face the people they were being snarky to. And none of us are immune. It’s easy. We’ve all given in to the easy shot at some point. I’m know I have. And I know there are people who like to come into these comments and point out the VERY rare occasions when Ifanboy staff have done it.

    But the reason i still come to this site after all these years, and when i’ve given up on comics discussion everywhere else, is because the conversation here tends to be adult, friendly, and mindful of others. And I see nothing wrong in people asking for it to stay that way.

    (there was probably an easier and quicker way for me to say this, maybe just “I agree with Jim.”)

  33. “If I wanted to see people crapping on comic books, I would go almost literally everywhere else. In the end, we’re all we’ve got. All I want for Christmas is a little mindfulness of that.” –
    Amen. I couldn’t have said it better.

  34. Yeah, this is how to put down hecklers: beg them to stop.