Best selling author Jon Del Arroz delivered an urgent plea for sanity on the part of comic book fans in a recent Periscope.
Here’s a sampling of Jon’s wisdom, somewhat redacted for time and clarity. Be attentive!
Marvel made this announcement about…they’re giving JJ Abrams and his son a miniseries Spider-Man book or something like that, and they hyped it as some big thing. They put a pretty good artist on it, etc. And everybody went ballistic…and they tie it into the Star Wars outrage and all that. And it’s just like, geez, guys, why do you care what they’re doing with their books at this point? Why are you still buying their books? Why are you still reading their books? It makes no sense.
It’s a habit. It’s like a nicotine addiction, and it’s showing your weakness at this point if you care about what they’re doing with a freaking Spider-Man book. It doesn’t matter anymore. None of it matters anymore.
There are alternatives. You can go do something else. The fact that you as a 30 or 40 year-old man care about this is just a sign of being a loser…You need to stop caring about this. It doesn’t matter anymore. We have solved the problem.
That’s what I’ve seen with the general comics culture. It’s a bunch of dudes who are 30, 40, 50, whatever, who are addicted to these properties which are just brand names that were purchased by Disney and Warner Brothers, that you read…when you were a kid. Those don’t exist anymore…You can move on at this point. Or, you can go back and go buy those old collected editions of those old books and reread those if you like them so much. Whatever.
It’s fan fiction, right? Stan Lee is dead. Steve Ditko is dead. This is not their character anymore. It’s Disney’s licensed property at this point. Which, because of our weird copyright laws in America, they can keep these in perpetuity as long as they keep publishing this stuff. That’s all they’re doing is maintaining copyright by pushing these out to 10, 20 thousand people. Who cares? Doesn’t matter. Don’t read it.
[Abram’s book] is gonna sell because there’s a celebrity name and because it says Spider-Man on it, right? And all the little gamma losers are gonna buy it…because “I bought every Spider-Man since 1972!” Well, great. You’re part of the problem. It doesn’t make any sense that you’re still doing that.
That is just the biggest waste of money I could ever imagine and the biggest loser behavior I could ever imagine. How could you still be invested in that?
The next level of marketing is because you guys are outraged and you are promoting the book over and over and over and over again…All you’re doing is amplifying their message that this book is coming out. Now this book, which was not a big deal…is now going to be a big thing because everybody’s talking about it. And now it’s a political tribe cause. You made it into a political tribe cause because you are signaling that your #ComicsGate, or whatever you want to call it, tribe, is anti-this book. And because you’re anti-this book, you’re signaling to the other people on the internet that they must therefore be for the book, and therefore these people who wouldn’t have even cared about it whatsoever…now it’s a cause.
Same with the movie Captain Marvel. You already did this. You propelled this movie from a B movie to a billion dollar property.
The outrage stuff, the clicks, need to stop. You need to stop clicking on videos that talk about this or that DC book or this or that Marvel book, or “Oh, my gosh! Maybe they’re gonna have a gay person in this next movie!” Nobody cares. It’s not interesting. It is not helping anything. It’s not helping the culture, and it’s time to move on.
There are lots of good cultural properties out there now. I have a ton of them. If you hate me because I tell the truth or…because I won’t sugarcoat stuff for the YouTube guys who you’re big fans of, that’s fine. Don’t buy my books. Go buy somebody else’s. But stop talking about this stuff, and start talking about the new stuff in culture.
Because the old stuff is just old, guys. It’s over, alright?
It’s a lie that was sold to you by the comics industry to care about these “legacy characters” no matter who the writers were. And they did this, and they kept that numbering system going as they changed these things through the years, so that you would keep buying this, and you wouldn’t actually care about the creators or care about the stories themselves. It’s a corporate shill thing, and of course the corporate shills are going to bring in the big name corporate shills. That’s it.
They’re never going to change that. You’re never going to have an impact on that. It’s not going to stop that, so it’s time to change your behavior, because that’s the only thing you can control.
Stop caring about whatever Spider-Man thing is happening. Stop caring about whatever Batman thing is happening. Start caring about real creativity and real content. It’s on you. Trust me. It’s hard. You gotta rip the Band-Aid off. You gotta go to your comic shop and say, “I’m cutting all Marvel. I’m not doing this anymore.”
Stop reading that stuff. Disconnect from all of it, and just get into stuff that’s actually gonna change the culture and actually gonna do something positive for once. You can do it. I believe in you!
The comic book-reading and moviegoing public has been meticulously conditioned by mass media and now ubiquitous machine learning algorithms to self-sequester within PopCult ghettos.
Whether the original motive was mere profit-seeking, the results have been disastrous as people increasingly invest the sort of passion and energy rightly reserved for religion into various pop culture-based identities.
Jon is right. With indie offerings of higher quality and in higher supply than ever before, there’s no excuse for giving money to people who hate you.
The key to rooting out vices is to perfect the opposing virtues. We’d all do well to start exercising more fortitude.
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