The iFanboy Letter Column – 04/02/2010

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means freedom as the work week has ended and the weekend can begin. For others, Friday means it’s time to dress up like a pirate and go a-drinking.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming — contact@ifanboy.com


I have a problem. You see, I read a ton of comics, from the weird indie stuff to the mainstream Marvel/DC books. Hell, for years I’ve been one of those guys who worships the “Vertigo” line. But here’s where the problem comes in. I fucking love Wolverine. Hell, I love Batman. And even worse, my favorite character for years has been Deadpool. So basically every time I pick up my stuff at the shop I feel like the luckiest guy in the world because my favorite characters practically dominate the racks. But I feel like the biggest douche when I try to get involved in the comics community. It seems like everyone in our community likes to blame the downfall of modern comics on characters like Wolverine, that I love and grew up reading.

So what I want to know is should I step up and try and defend why these books and characters are cool, and just as valid as the lesser know stuff? Should I just take it on the chin and deal with it because the comics community is full of elitist asshats? Do I just have crappy taste in comics because I got into them in the early 90s? What do I do guys?

PS: I still read Spawn. And it fucking rules.

Rich L. from Houston, Texas

Seriously, what’s the problem?

Here’s the way I see it: you like what you like and everyone else can suck it. Further, I think there’s a very good chance that you’re overestimating how many people like this or that book, and when you really look into it, those books sell a lot of copies, and therefore, someone must be enjoying them. I don’t personally enjoy the same books you do, but even if I thought they were stupid, what do you care? The comics community isn’t full of elitist asshats, the comics community is full of people who love to read comics. Some are louder than others. Some comics are easy targets for easy jokes, and it turns out that your favorite character Deadpool is sitting right there in the crosshairs. But then, at the same time, you said it yourself, you feel lucky that you get to read a ton of stories with your favorite characters. Hell, if I was a Deadpool fan, this time would be about as good as it gets. Even if I make a crack about Deadpool now and then, it’s all in a bit of fun, and I don’t begrudge anyone for reading the stuff they really like.

If I’ve learned nothing else in my time as a comics whatever it is I am on the web, it’s that there is no unifying position. We throw up a story on here, or give an opinion, and within moments, there will be someone stating that they feel completely contrary. It all depends on where you’re coming from, and your ability to accept what other people like, and be confident in what you like. The only time I tend to have a problem with people is when they only ever try one kind of comic book, forsaking all the other great things out there, and they’re only cheating themselves. But that’s not your problem, so go forth, and dig that crazy mercenary, or furry mutant, or man in silly pajamas, or even, God forbid, Spawn if that’s what you want to do. Someone else wants to give you shit for that? Fuck ’em. They’re just trying to make themselves feel better than you because they have no self esteem, and it’s not worth their time. Revel in it! There are comics you love, and that’s awesome.

Josh Flanagan

 


 

I love your show, but you always put me to shame by mentioning indie or non-superhero books that sound great but I just can’t find time (or money) to read. I’m a massive DC fan and so I’m usually reading mainstream, super hero stories. My question is: Do you prefer super hero stories or non-super hero stories? Indie or mainstream?

Also, I really like your shows about specific characters (especially the Green Lantern and Captain America episodes) and was wondering if you would do one about The Flash, considering the recent Rebirth series?

John from Scotland, UK (RapidEyeMovement)

The FlashYou know, I don’t tend to differentiate between superhero stories and non-superhero stories, at least not consciously. I just like stories. I’m a story and character junkie and I’ll take them however I can get them. Superhero or non-superhero, indie or mainstream, as long as it’s good that’s all that matters. I tend to read more superhero comics than non-superhero comics but that’s simply because that is the way the medium is: comics are mostly superhero stories. If you really wanted to take into account all of the comics, films, television, prose books, magazines, etc. that I read, at the end of the day I’m experiencing way more stories that don’t feature superheroes than stories that do.

If the story is good, I want in on it. Super hero or non, indie or mainstream, it doesn’t matter.

As for doing a video show spotlight on The Flash, it’s probably not going to happen, at least not anytime soon. We want to do one, and we tried to schedule one to come out around the same time as The Flash #1 but once con season kicked into gear we lost a lot of flexibility in our video schedule. It just doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out right now, unfortunately. Maybe later in the year.

Conor Kilpatrick

Comments

  1. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Good story is good story is good story, Johnny. 

  2. Every new member (and current member, to be fair/honest) of this website should be forced to read Josh’s response to Rich’s letter.  EVERYONE.

    @John – I was in the same boat, primarily because I didn’t have local access to "indie"-type books.  That has changed for me because I have started to utilize my local library and its excellent interlibrary loan program to check out non-mainstream books.  You might want to give that a try.  It is relatively costless.  I also expect the upcoming digital comics "revolution" to make non-mainstream books more readily available and cheaper.  Give’em a shot.

    I’d love to see a Flash episode. 

  3. A-MEN Mr. Flanagan! A-MEN! 

  4. @josh: Fucking A, well said sir!

  5. But you’ll be doing a Flash video show as soon as Tom replaces Josh, right?

  6. @stuclach I agree 100%. If you like what you are reading, good on you. Don’t let anybody take away from your enjoyment of what you like. I may not like a particular book that is popular for reasons I don’t understand, but Hell, I’m thrilled there are comics making money for the comics companies, so they can take a chance on another book that I might like. I feel this way about everything, not just comics. Yeah, I know Billy Joel isn’t "cool." You know what? i fucking love him. I don’t care if a bunch of hipster douchebags think that’s lame. Fuck them. 

  7. Thanks for answering, Conor! You raise some good points about how story and character are the most important factors and that’s something I agree with. It’s curious how superhero stories do tend to dominate the medium though, but that’s just one of the mysteries of life. I have gotten into several non-superhero books since sending that email, based on iFanboy’s own recommendations, including Walking Dead which rocks.

    I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a Flash show too!

  8. Well said. And the comic community is a way to small one to be snobbish about other people reading the "wrong" books. We’re in this together.

  9. I love Rich’s post script.  Totally made me laugh out loud.  More power to you brother.  Love what you love, and read what you want to read.  It’s all good in the comics hood.

    …and I’ll shut up now.

  10. Damn well said, Mr Flanagan.

  11. @Rich L. from Houston, Tx

    Ah! You speak of the Comic Snob << This link ACTUALLY goes somewhere now. LOL. Please delete previous post. I’m such a dumbass. "My Kingdm for an ‘edit’ button!"

  12. @JohnVFerrigno- Hipsters love Billy Joel, it’s U2 fans that they really shit on. 

  13. @JesseG LOL I never shit on U2 fans, just U2 themselves!

  14. @Unoob that link was awesome! I hate people like that. Just let people enjoy what they enjoy, you know? I would never read X-Men Forever, but I’m glad that it makes Ron so happy. And you know what? While I know I wouldn’t like the book, I LOVE listening to Ron talk about it on the podcast.  

  15. In defense of pricks that shit all over the characters you like, there is a little bit of rhyme to their reason. When Marvel or DC hit upon a character that gets some serious traction, like Wolverine or Deadpool, they squeeze and squeeze it until all the life oozes out of it, like that last bit of toothpaste in the tube. In the eternal struggle between marketing and story editorial, marketing gets the upper hand. And when the ugly machinery of marketing runs amok it is immediately and harshly apparent to anyone paying even a modicum of attention. Some people brush it off easily, avoid the Wolverine vs. Power Pack Christmas Special, and keep on the look out for the good stories featuring their beloved characters. Others have trouble ever getting over such in your face evidence that comic makers care about money first and about the character of Wolverine/Deadpool much closer to last. We knew it to be true (we are not fools), but actual visits to slaughterhouses produce a lot vegetarians. A terrible story is 10x as terrible when you know its only purpose was to squeeze another $10 out of you.

    So yes, there are a lot of passionate comic readers out there that have a hate on for certain characters for no good reason other than the fact that they just don’t get them. But sometimes the hate comes from a sense of betrayal, of anger at the guy that took what you once loved (Deadpool, perhaps?) and used it to trick you out of money. Maybe that is not intellectually fair, but people don’t hate with their heads, they hate with their guts, and some of this venom is Marvel/DC reaping what they sow.

    Of course Deadpool and Wolverine are like magical money machines still, so the comic companies are probably crying to the bank. 

  16. I have never had a problem with wolverine, except as an IP, marvel have oversaturated them.

     

    I also like to state that while I read quite a lot of Superhero comics, my favorite books are non-superhero books from Vertigo and Image. So maybe I am non-superhero guy. 

  17. Honestly, I feel like if the words "hate" or "betrayal" come up in your conversations about comic book reading all that often, it may be time to take a step back and evaluate some things. 

  18. @ohcaroline

    I agree wholeheartedly!

    (Makes note for new artice)

     

  19. I like reading Deadpool and don’t give a crap about what anyone says about the character or his popularity. I have not once apologized for liking him during a period where it is popular to crap on him, and I hope that fans of anything can enjoy what they enjoy without feeling guilty.

  20. You know, ultimately, at the end of the day, when everything is said and done, some comics are just rubbish. you should be allowed to call a spade a spade.

    Some half-hearted comment about how you’re ok, i’m ok and everyone is ok is fine but in reality shit is being pumped out by the comic industry. Let’s be honest. alright?

    JimBilly4 makes a really excellent arguement and i agree with him totally.

    And i loved how Billy Joel came up in this thread for some reason. That musical genius!!