Over at the Bendis Board, it’s all about the question in every fan’s subconscious:
Give 5 Reasons Why Comic Book Readers are ridiculed! Comic book readers are looked down upon quite a bit in our society, I was just curious why you think that is.
Surprisingly, no-one answers “Perhaps it has something to do with the image of socially-awkward fanboys who have sexual fantasies about fictional women that is projected when people have signature images of comic book characters’ asses, just like your ‘Civil War: I’m following Ms. Marvel’ one,” but that may be because no-one else is as mean as I am (Someone comes close, however). Real responses after the jump.
The first reply doesn’t pull punches:
5. “Kiddie books”
Other posters agree:
“That’s pretty much it. You may be able to fit Socially Awkward in there somehwere.”
“This goes along with ‘socially awkward,’ but the total inability to talk about something other than comics.”
“Here’s one: Telling people all about a character/issue/title etc. when those people aren’t interested… and not stopping when it’s obvious that the interest isn’t there. (Though perhaps this is a commentary on the ability to recognize when people don’t want to talk about it?) This is true of most groups of fans, but I feel that some comic peeps can be overbearing on this front. Like the need to talk has been building for so long that it just spills out.”
But maybe more interesting is the parallel conversation that happens, where Bendis Boarders start talking about trying to get other people into comics…”
“when you brought up the walking dead it reminded me that most people see comics as a strictly super hero genre, which is so false it isn’t even funny. Some of the best comics don’t even come within 1 million miles of being about super heroes.”
“it’s been much, much easier for me to get friends to read non superhero stuff.”
“Blah Blah Blah. It’s easier to get friends to read well-written stories from Whatever genre. At least in the circles I run in. They don’t give one rat’s ass if the books involve capes or crying…if I tell ‘em it’s a tale worth reading they’ll give it a shot (at the very least).”
“I agree with that, but the fact is, there are quite a few more non super hero books than super hero books that are well written.”
“Huh? Art is now no longer ‘subjective’? You have ‘facts’ that some is better than others?”
“I’d say that’s a pretty jaded and/or one-sided point of view. I mean, I for example love my superhero stuff, but I have wandered extensively down the non-cape path and found it (for the most part) uneven in quality, narciscistic at times and downright boring. Now I’m not saying that’s the general rule, but I do think that it is true of lots of ‘indie’ books. And that’s coming from someone who aspires to make an indie-cape book.”
From there, the thread turns into one full of Borders-hatred, intellectual-dislike, and some fascinating self-righteousness over why comic fandom isn’t a socially accepted fandom (as opposed to sports fandom, for example):
“People don’t like us because we might be a bit more creative, but also because we might challenge their opinions. We tend to not lay down and let people tell us what is the right opinion, and what is the wrong one.”
Oh, and the advantages of being female over being male (Something to do with rock-climbing, apparently). It’s a long thread, but one worth reading.