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Friday, April 02, 2004

Back to the Hiatus -- Yesterday was, indeed, an April Fools sort of thing, inspired by Franklin Harris's specious claim that I had ended the ADD Blog hiatus. I got a couple of confused e-mails from people who thought my vague remonstrations against superhero comics fans was for real, but it was actually constructed with the help of an online complaint generator. Haw haw, etc.

Now that that jolly bit of fun is out of the way, I regret to inform you that the ADD Blog hiatus is resuming, and is to be considered permanent until further notice. My family circumstances just don't allow me to keep up the blog in a way that I am satisfied with, and until things change, this is likely to be the last post for some time to come.

I want to thank everyone who has read and supported my efforts over the past five years at Silver Bullet Comics, Comic Book Galaxy and finally here at the ADD Blog. A list of everyone who deserves thanks would take up many pages, but I'd especially like to mention JC Glindmyer, Logan Polk, Derek Martinez, Sean Collins, Rob Vollmar, Chris Allen, Milo George, Jim Crocker, Neilalien, James Kochalka, Jason Brice, Tom Spurgeon, Dirk Deppey and Eric Reynolds, all of whom inspired and encouraged me and without whom this would have all ended much, much earlier.

Thanks to Milo and Dirk, I should have a two-page appreciation of Paul Hornschemeier in the next issue of The Comics Journal (the Year in Review/Young Cartoonists issue), and I hope you'll check that out.

I hope we'll get together and do this again sometime, but until then, thanks for reading, and be well.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

My Complaint About Superhero Comics Fans -- I want to skip the usual preaching, moralizing, and pontificating and go straight to the facts. To get immediately to the point, superhero comics fans presents one face to the public, a face that tells people what they want to hear. Then, in private, they devise new schemes to impact the comics industry for years to come. Superhero comics fans say they'll spoon-feed us their pabulum within a short period of time. Are they out of their minds? The answer is fairly obvious when you consider that its cult followers believe that creative freedom must be abolished in order for superhero fans to be more secure and comfortable. It should not be surprising that they believe this, however. As we all know, minds that have been so maimed that they believe that it's appropriate to sell children comics about perverts in spandex can believe anything, especially if it's false.

So what if superhero comics fans hate me for pointing out that the choice we face as readers is whether to run the industry ourselves or let brain-damaged deadbeats run it for us? Let them hate me. I consider such hatred a mark of honour, a mark of distinction. All that we have achieved may now be lost, if not in the bright flames of credentialism, then in the dense smoke of the ostentatious theories promoted by laughable comics guerrillas. Pardon me for not being able to empathize with pusillanimous grifters, but untoward gasbags are more susceptible to superhero comics fans' brainwashing tactics than are any other group. Like water, their minds take the form of whatever receptacle it puts them in. They then lose all recollection that even if one isn't completely conversant with current events, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that superhero comics fans used to complain about being persecuted. Now they are our primary persecutor. This reversal of roles reminds me that it's easy enough to hate superhero comics fans any day of the week on general principles. But now I'll tell you about some very specific things that superhero comics fans are up to, things that ought to make a real superhero comics fans-hater out of you.

First off, they are totally versipellous. When it's with plebeians, superhero comics fans warm the cockles of their hearts by remonstrating against ageism. But when it is safely surrounded by its dupes, superhero comics fans instruct them to redefine humanity as alienated machines/beasts and then convince everyone that they were never human to begin with. That type of cunning two-sidedness tells us that if I hear superhero comics fans' accomplices say, "The few of us who complain regularly about superhero comics fans' conclusions are simply spoiling the party" one more time, I'm going to throw up. The largest problem, however, is that superhero comics fans' helots contend that "we can change the truth if we don't like it the way it is." First off, that's a lousy sentence. If they had written that superhero comics fans' devotees have shared the rostrum with voluble know-nothings of one sort or another at recent symposia, then that quote would have had more validity.

As it stands, superhero comics fans have written volumes about how their schemes prevent reader attrition. Don't believe a word of it, though. The truth is that I am making a pretty serious accusation here. I am accusing them of planning to make it virtually impossible to fire incompetent creators. And I don't want anyone to think that I am basing my accusation only on the fact that they fervently believe that they have mystical powers of divination and prophecy. This shows that they are not merely mistaken about one little fact among millions of facts but that superhero comics fans maintain a "Big Brother" dossier of personal information about everyone they distrust, to use as a potential career-ruining weapon. Is your name listed in that dossier? As you ponder the answer to that question, consider that one of superhero comics fans' acolytes once said, "The boogeyman is going to get us if we don't agree to superhero comics fans' demands." Now that's pretty funny, of course, but I didn't include that quote just to make you laugh. I included it to convince you that that's just one side of the coin. The other side is that if you were to tell superhero comics fans that faced by such despicable perfidy and the frustration of not being able to respond to the same audiences as they have had, I must certainly build a new understanding that can transport us to tomorrow, it'd just pull its security blanket a little tighter around itself and refuse to come out and deal with the real world.

One does not have to have a serious destabilizing effect on our institutions in order to call a spade a spade. It is a sordid person who believes otherwise. Absenteeism can be deadly, but superhero comics fans' agendas are much worse. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of individuals and organizations, many of whom may seem innocent at first glance, who secretly want to squander irreplaceable national treasures. Perhaps superhero comics fans' endeavours are merely childish attempts at ridicule, but remember that its vile insults are in full flower, and their poisonous petals of terrorism are blooming all around us. Superhero comics fans really struck a nerve with me when they said that unfounded attacks on character, loads of hyperbole, and fallacious information are the best way to make a point. That lie is a painful reminder that like a verbal magician, superhero comics fans know how to lie without appearing to be lying, how to bury secrets in mountains of garbage-speak. Superhero comics fans are up to no good. I'll say that again, because I want it to sink in: Superhero comics fans are penny wise and pound foolish.

I didn't want to talk about this. I really didn't. But whatever your age, you now have only one choice. That choice is between a progressive, creativity-loving industry that, you hope, may oppose superhero comics fans and all they stand for and, as the alternative, the self-pitying and inane dirigisme currently being forced upon us by superhero comics fans. Choose carefully, because superhero comics fans' perspective is that their decisions are based on reason. My perspective, in contrast, is that superhero comics fans say that unilateralism is the key to better comics. Wow! Isn't that like hiding the stolen goods in the closet and, when the cops come in, standing in front of the closet door and exclaiming, "They're not in here!"? If we don't supply the missing ingredient that could stop the industry's slide into antagonism right now, then superhero comics fans' half-measures will soon start to metastasize until they fund a vast web of creatively inept, pea-brained hostes generis humani, pompous heretics, and sanctimonious clods. If I have a bias, it is only against insolent, combative fans who ridicule, parody, censor, and downgrade opposing ideas. Curiously, I like to face facts. I like to look reality right in the eye and not pretend it's something else. And the reality of our present situation is this: Superhero comics fans' faculty for deception is so far above anyone else's, it really must be considered different in kind as well as in degree.

Isn't it odd that ethically bankrupt psychotic-types, whose treacherous lifestyle will conjure up dirt against its fellow human beings sooner than you think, are immune from censure? Why is that? This isn't such an easy question to answer, but let me take a stab at it: I, for one, am convinced that there will be a strong effort on superhero comics fans' part to inaugurate an era of heartless classism quicker than you can double-check the spelling of "anthrohopobiological." This effort will be disguised, of course. It will be cloaked in deceit, as such efforts always are. That's why I'm informing you that if you intend to challenge someone's assertions, you need to present a counterargument. Superhero comics fans provides none. My mother always told me, "If you don't have something intelligent to say, just keep quiet." Apparently, superhero comics fans' mothers never told them that. Before explaining why salacious subversive-types cause insurmountable trouble for us, I must first find the inner strength to address the continued injustice shown by irritable scoundrels. Those of us who are too lazy or disinterested to convince the government to clamp down hard on superhero comics fans' memoirs have no right to complain when it and its disciples cause neo-egocentric subversion to gather momentum in comics shops. When a political condition of greed, massive corruption, and diversity of objective is coupled to a social condition of drugs, violence, and discontent, therein exists the perfect environment for superhero comics fans to turn the industry into an unsophisticated cesspool overrun with scum, disease, and crime.

Superhero comics fans have, at times, called me "deluded" or "humourless." Such contemptuous name-calling has passed far beyond the stage of being infantile but harmless. It has the capacity to set the hoops through which we all must jump. I'll let you in on a little secret: every time superhero comics fans tell their cat's-paws that they can achieve their goals by friendly and moral conduct, their eyes roll into the backs of their heads as they become mindless receptacles of unsubstantiated information, which they accept without question. As amazing as it seems, when superhero comics fans hear anyone say that the mot juste for describing its tirades is most probably "petulant," their answer is to cause the destruction of human ambition and joy. That's similar to taking a few drunken swings at a beehive: it just makes me want even more to lift the industry from the quicksand of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Superhero comics fans' deeds are part of a larger attack on the very notion of meritocracy and quality. That is why, come what may, we must shoo superhero comics fans away like the annoying bug that they are.





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