Spoiler-free IRON MAN 3 review! Check it and lemme know what you think. If you prefer, you can also read the text-only version over on my website.
What’s the deal behind the new preview for Thor 2: The Dark World? Who’s the bad guy? And what have they done with Loki’s hair?! Let’s talk, y’all.
I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend lately. Obviously, this does not apply to everyone, but I’ve seen it enough on Twitter, Tumblr and forums that it merits a meaningful post.
Many folks are forgetting that artists and writers are people— living, breathing entities with their own opinions, interests, responsibilities, etc. People that are susceptible to words, insults, even (and it horrifies me that I should actually have to mention this) death threats. Surprise surprise: people can be hurt by these things.
Artists and writers can, are allowed to, have bad days. They don’t necessarily have to answer your questions or indulge you in lengthy chatter, though it’s always appreciated when they do. They may not always want to even talk about their medium (God forbid some of them might appreciate a normal “so how are you” conversation at a convention, oh no!).
They also don’t exist to please you, specifically. You’re allowed to disagree with their work, of course. You’re allowed to defend your own opinion if it contradicts theirs. Some might even be open to constructive criticism, which you can (politely) provide, /if they ask for it/.
I’m not going to lie and say I’ve agreed with every writer or artist’s decision on a comic book, for instance. I’m not afraid of saying so, either— I’ve reviewed books that I find downright silly, and I’ve written as much on my site. But I do it with respect. Respect for the book I paid money for, respect for the many many people that helped create it, respect for the time and thought and planning invested in it. I don’t wish ill on the author. I don’t criticize the artist because I am not fond of his or her style. I don’t decide to give up on comics entirely because one or two or many issues are not in line with what I personally want to see. That would be like giving up on reading because Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey exist.
I don’t post online that such-and-such is the worst person in the world, and he/she should die in a fire because— gasp!— he/she did away with my favorite character. You’re allowed to love a character. You relate to him, maybe, or you look up to him, or you just enjoy his stories. But the character is not real, and if he should die in a book or the plot should develop in some way that pushes him in a direction you dislike… That does not, NOT give you permission to treat the writer(s) and artist(s) of that book like the scum of the earth. They are not Rugen and you are not Inigo Montoya. You do not get to pretend like they just slaughtered your father.
So, please, down a cup of realism when your nerd rage reaches boiling point and you consider writing to or tweeting to or writing ABOUT creators. Think about how it would feel if an army of angry people started emailing you complaints about how you’re doing your job, not because you’re doing it wrong, but because they just don’t agree with you.
I leave you with this quote by Neil Gaiman, about the author of the popular Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire novels:
“George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.
This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.
People are not machines. Writers and artists aren’t machines.”