The Red Eye: The toxic fandom of the comic book community is harmful to us all

 

marvel-vs-dc

“Marvel/DC/Image/Etc sucks, DC/Marvel/Image/etc is better!”

No doubt over the years we’ve all stumbled across one of these moments, where someone feels the need to declare their fandom by crapping upon the things from another comic company that another fan might like. Most of the time it’s blind fandom that is never really backed up by anything other than profanity and ridiculous insults about who is a bigger fan of something.

This needs to stop.

Not only is it utterly ridiculous & hurtful to many, it is overall hurting the community of comic book fans out there.

“How is a bunch of idiots online insulting each other hurting me?”

I figure some of you are asking that right now. No, I’m not a telepath (anyone else agree that hearing others thoughts all the time is an awful power?). It’s just the type of thing one might think in response to my claim.

Now I don’t have any numbers to back this up. No scientific studies or diagrams that prove that this obsessive fan battle is harming the community as a whole.

What I have is a long experience in the comic book loving community and experiences with those that choose not to partake in this love like many of us. I’m sure most of you have these same experiences.

Those outside of the comic book circle tend to look down upon us. In many cases that is just what it is, and it is their loss to do so as there are many facets of the comic world that are awesome.

Comic book movies make studios billions upon billions of dollars because the world is enamored with them, but most will never ever pick up the source material that the film was adapted from. They have their various reasons, but a big one of them ties right back to where this whole article started.

The comic book community is a toxic place.

We all know this to be true. The die hard “fanboys” with their many times racist, sexist, backwards ways create a barrier that many don’t want to breach. This bullshit battle between two of the longest running companies is part of that.

These pathetic battles across the internet where one person calls the other a “Brainless DC/Marvel Fanboy” because they happen to like Man of Steel but maybe didn’t really care for Civil War or vice versa, continue to perpetrate this idea that comic fans are all angry sad inviduals that bash on others who think differently than them.

Not everyone thinks that of course, and most don’t even think it’s all of us.

But enough people continue to help perpetuate this idea that one side is better than the other, or only these people can be true fans, or that women shouldn’t be reading, or that characters should all be straight white males, etc that to a lot of the outside world it’s a community they want no part of.

Hell there are times even as a lifelong comic book fan and reader that I don’t want to be part of the community. Going to certain websites and seeing the utterly disgusting, toxic and negativity fueled chat room conversations is enough to make me close my browser and go do something non-comics related.

Imagine what that does to those that might want to dip their toe into our community but see this type of garbage as soon as they do so. They’re smart to run the other way.

This matter also goes far beyond just the stupid battle of which comic company is perceived as the best or who is making the better films. It’s a conversation about the toxic atmosphere that belittles diversity and change.

Marvel Mockingbird

Last year writer Chelsea Cain was besieged by the hatred of the toxic culture of the comic book world because of her Mockingbird series. Cain has been writing novels for years but hadn’t encountered anything to the level of the toxic hate that was thrust upon her by the fanboys.  She wasn’t the only one that ran into this sort of thing.

This same wave of hatred has struck many female creators that try to enter the field and many creators of color as well. It’s the same backlash wave of hatred that appears anytime a company brings in a character of color or a character that is gay or just basically not the same old straight white dude heroes of old.

Allowing these people to control the narrative of the community through their anger and digusting words keeps the entire community down.

We’re in a golden age right now. Comic books are the center of pop culture at this point.

Comic book focused TV shows and movies dominate the field, to extraordinary levels. Characters that most of us dreamed to see appear on screen as we grew up reading these stories are finally getting their chance, it’s no longer just the same old same old characters.

But that golden age is being tarnished by this constant garbage fire that is toxic fandom. One that we need to do everything we can to stop or at least minimize if we can.

Fans should be putting their hatred aside and embracing what we’ve accomplished, and accept what is coming & do their best to bring new folks in.

Don’t want to take my word that this Marvel vs DC and other crap needs to stop? How about hearing it from James Gunn and Geoff Johns.

Heed their words. Stop this stupid fighting over what you like more than another person or dislike more, and focus on actually making this community something we can be proud of.

Stop chasing others out just because they are different than you.

Together we need to stand up and say we will not stand for this backwards bullshit that is making our community so toxic. In order for our community to grow and continue, it has to be more inclusive and diverse.

We can never fully stop hatred and stupidity, but we sure as hell can do our part to lessen it.

Be like the heroes you proclaim to love so much, and do the right thing.


Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts on the infighting and state of the comics community by either commenting below or through Twitter or Facebook. 

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