I spend more time on comic book message boards than I do actually reading new comics. I get just about all my news via “Spoilers” and from the sound of most spoilers I’m glad I find out that way than if I dropped 3 bucks to find out Gwen Stacy had a fling with the Green Goblin before she died. (And that said fling resulted in a pair of super powered kids bent on killing Spider-Man.)
Message boards are an interesting look into the world of fans and I’m always fascinated by what I read. Is it simply a fraction of fans or does that fraction represent the larger sum? Does “WebShooters2’s” opinion really show what the fans think or does the secrecy provide the necessary cover that lets folks say things just to get a reaction out of people? Nevertheless, message boards are always a riveting insight into the world of comic book fandom.
Here are Top Five surefire ways to start a fanboy message board riot.
1. Go on any creator’s message board and say something bad about his/her work.
Now this doesn’t only go for extreme things like “So-And-So sucks donkey balls”. I’m mean, anything at all. Go on the Bendis board and mention that the latest arc of New Avengers could have been 6 issues instead of 12 and sit back and watch the fireworks.
2. Mention John Byrne in any context.
This cat is the lighter fluid in the Fanboy Weber Grill. Most stems from his very odd online presence in which he’s established himself as a curmudgeon yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, but John Byrne circa 2007 has almost erased the memory of the ground breaking work he did on X-Men and Fantastic Four. Again, I’m not saying that work is completely forgotten, but his grouchy routine certainly contributes to the “What have you done for me lately” attitude of some fans.
3. Mention Frank Miller in any context.
Similar to Byrne but without the curmudgeon aspect. Most of this comes from his latest All Star Batman and Robin run that comes out about as often as Haley’s Comet. Sprinkle a little Dark Knight 2 into a conversation and watch sparks fly.
4. Late Books
Late book discussions really bring up some interesting conversations. On the whole, they’re obviously bad things but on occasion, people just don’t to care. Like for some fans, The Ultimates by Millar and Hitch can be as late as it takes Hitch to find Samuel L. Jackson reference while for others 5 months between issues is completely unacceptable. Books written by “Hollywood” writers are interesting subjects as well. Last I heard Allan Heinberg is basically going on a year to write and issue of Wonder Woman…. The same colossal delays go on in his Marvel book Young Avengers. But I seldom read anything bad about a guy who is apparently so busy writing “The O.C.” that he can’t squeeze in a few hours to bang out a 22 page comic script. Late books are always a fun message board read not to be missed.
5. Photo-Realistic Comics.
This is one that is also split. How so, I dunno. I lettered one of the biggest culprits of this on Ultimate Fantastic Four, namely Greg Land. Now I know there’s no concrete evidence that this guy is light boxing Jessica Alba for Sue Storm panels but a few interesting pieces of evidence have raised some eyebrows in recent years. Like this one and this one. Again, in the world of comic book message boards this obviously shady practice is given a pass by some in the name of “great art”. With “great art” being more in the eye of the beholder than ever.
Alright that’s all for now. Go over to the Bendis board and mention how there are too many balloons in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man.