Over at iFanboy, Mike Romo has an unexpected reaction to news of Joe Kubert’s passing – The realization that comics fandom likes to eat its own:
Why is it that comic book fans have one of the worst possible reputations in all of fandom? Why is that? Why is “the comic book guy” both awful and absolutely spot-on? What is it about comics that fills many a comic book fan with such destructive self-righteous indignation and vitriol when it comes to this medium that they supposedly love so much? Why do comic book fans take this stuff so damn seriously? I mean, I have been around some serious nerds, people. I have been to my share of Star Trek conventions. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons at gaming conventions with guys whose BO was so bad it literally brought tears to your eyes. I’ve waited in line for Star Wars for 8 hours and argued why Macs are better than PCs basically all of my life.
But never, in all my years, which are numerous but not so numerous enough that I don’t get upset about this kind of bullshit from time to time, have I met fans that have had such blatant hatred for fans and creators of the same freaking medium that they have spent their lives obsessing over.
I find myself wanting to respond that comics discussion, as terrible as it can be, isn’t anywhere near the worst on the net (Try reading the comments on any political blog and you’ll quickly realize that), but Romo’s point about the lack of… respect, maybe, afforded creators by fans hits home in a way that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected. After all, celebrities of all stripes are constantly disrespected online, but there’s something about the closeness and availability of comics pros to fans that makes the interaction – more personal, perhaps? More “real”? – than in other media. It’s one thing to bitch about, say, Jeremy Renner on Twitter, but if you complain about Scott Snyder, Steve Wacker or Kevin Huizenga, there’s a more than likely chance that they’ll see it and maybe respond, after all.