O Comic Con Appearance

On Saturday, I was on a panel with Richard Paolinelli entitled Criticism, Culture and the Future of Entertainment at Omaha Comic Con in Council Bluffs, IA. Here’s the description:

It’s hard to miss the attacks on creators with the “wrong” opinion in todays culture. With online attacks, doxxing, SWATting and personal attacks, it’s getting somewhat dangerous to create under your own name. This panel will be discussing the unfortunate state of entertainment (comics, writing, art, etc) and how a small group of people are trying to change things through creating a professional guild for creators of all stripes to get support. We’ll also discuss how small presses have cropped up to take on stories that don’t have a place among the big publishers. And if we have time, answer questions on how to handle the personal attacks, attack reviews, etc.

About twenty people or so showed up and there was no craziness at all.

Here was my take-away from the panel:

The general population is so sheltered. I started out with a short quick to gauge the audience. It’s obvious that I spend far too much time online, because not a single person knew what the Sad Puppies was and only a couple even knew what the Hugo Award was.

The internet is where souls go to die. Several in the room had experienced the vitriol that comes with being online and others just had shocked looks on their faces.

That these types of discussions can happen when everyone acts like adults. Everyone, regardless of where they sat politically was respectful and added to the conversation.

I would love to see more discussions among working writers, artists and publishers about how to tone down the vitriol so that we can get back to a place of professionalism.

For now, here’s solid advice for avoiding the vitriol online.

Use the block feature liberally and remind yourself that YOU SHOULD BE CREATING!

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