I've received some criticism for my last post, particularly a response on Tumblr by missingkeys. I've been reflecting on it all day. I do still think that a lot of the criticism that creators and comics companies receive on the internet is unfair. I think the fact that someone like Grant Morrison has walked away from a genre he loves partly due to, in his words, "a comic book fan culture where everyone was mad at you all the time" should be something of a wake up call to us all.
But I think I was also unfair in a lot of what I wrote. I used Morrison's decision as a springboard to launch into my own thoughts on fan culture, and I think I was too quick to lump all dissenting voices into one big grumpy package. It's not fair for me to put those who call for greater diversity in the same boat as some poser who eats books, or a blogger who views working on Before Watchmen as the moral equivalent of child abuse. I wanted to make a point about how a lot of fan responses these days seem out of proportion to me. But I'm writing from a certain position, and as missingkeys says, it is a position of privilege. For example, my relationship with a character like Stephanie Brown is going to be completely different to the relationship of a young girl who loves superheroes but feels that there aren't that many identifiable characters for her within the superhero genre. Am I in a position then, where I'm able to judge that her reaction to the character's absence is out of proportion? Probably not.
This is a short post because I'm still reflecting on this, but I wanted to at least acknowledge that there were things in the original article that I need to reconsider. Perhaps I'll revisit this in a future article.
In the meantime, for no particular reason, here's a picture of Aquaman sitting on an octopus and looking mighty pleased with himself.