Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott decided to visit CBR on New Years Eve to explain why Silk is popular and received her own ongoing series. His points include
*Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 # 1-6 sold out and went back to press multiple times. He says Silk is one of the biggest reasons.
*The Marvel offices received several letters of praise for the Silk character.
*Message boards are filled with fiction from a small group of posters and he’s tired of correcting the internet so he literally said “Fuck it.” He tried several times to correct several CBR posters leading up to the big New Years Eve post. Click here to see them.
Read the long “final” post here.
I’ve slowly been weening myself off message boards. Here on CBR, I was more than happy to let my account implode and fade away with the site’s April message board re-booting…
…until I fell victim to that time old trap of “someone on the Internet is WRONG.” 😛
Still, at less than 20 posts since April, I have done a good job of weening.
And now, with New Year’s Resolutions looming, I’ve decided to take the plunge and disappear from comic book message boards entirely.
I’m sure that like all New Year’s Resolutions that there’ll be a relapse here-or-there. But hopefully, in the long run, I can leave you all to it– and to have your fun interrupted by the likes of ol’ curmudgeonly me.
In the past, when I’ve tried to detach, my reasoning was that these boards were for you (fans) and not me (someone working in the industry) and that maybe there should be a disconnect.
With way more time to dwell on it, I think it’s simpler than that. These boards are about fiction.
Not fiction like the world of Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.
Fiction as in what a lot of you THINK the industry is like.
Or THINK what comic book creators, editors, or upper-management types are thinking, feeling, believing, and/or what their intentions are.
Fiction as in what you believe and/or fear is going to happen to comic book characters and storylines.
Too many fans online pick at interviews, tweets, videos– what have you– and desperately try to fill in the gaps. And that’s fine and dandy. But then comes the screwy part…
…a lot of you take those personal guesses as FACT. And then start arguing those fictions as if they were real.
And they’re not. They NEVER are.
Let me give you an example:
“Marvel is ramming this new Silk character down our throats.”
Want to know who chose to put out a new SILK book?
No. Not the small, angry, vocal subsection that likes to rant on message boards.
The tens of thousands of fans who voted in comic book shops across America and the world.
Marvel had no advance plans of putting out a Silk book. None whatsoever.
But then ASM #1 was the best selling comic of the 21st century. Fan mail came in and– universally– wanted to know more about Silk. And then the book had to go back to press.
And then ASM #2 performed better than anyone expected. More Silk fan mail came in. And the book had to go back to press.
And then ASM #3 performed better than anyone expected. Again. More Silk fan mail came in. Again. And the book had to go back to press. Again.
And then ASM #4 REALLY performed better than anyone expected. Even MORE Silk fan mail came in. And the book had to be RUSHED back to press.
And it all happened again with ASM #5.
And again with ASM #6.
In the middle of all of THAT, and based off of fan reaction, is when one of the big wigs said, “We should do a Silk book.”
Fans made it happen.
It’s THAT simple.
That is the REALITY of the situation plain as day.
Sometimes it happens lightning fast– like with the near instantaneous reaction to Jason, Robbi, and Rico’s phenomenal Spider-Gwen EOSV #2 issue.
That was fan reaction that was easy for everyone to immediately see and grasp.
But that rapid response to Spider-Gwen in no means invalidated the steady, sustained, and strong reaction to Silk– just because there are those on message boards & tumblr who loudly and repeatedly want it to be that way. Much in the same way that one of the regular CBR posters here repeatedly makes the case that Spider-Man should be dating She-Hulk. The frequency and intensity of a message board post– from the same corner over-and-over again– doesn’t make the argument or desire behind it any more real. It’s all just a fiction.
Not a purposeful or planned lie.
It’s a fiction based on what that one fan (or small sampling of fans) really, really, really WANTS to be true.
Doesn’t make it true.
Just makes it something that’s passionately believed in.
In the same way that some people passionately believe that the moon landings were staged.
Two main kinds of posts have, this past year, brought me back on these message boards.
1) A fan’s heartfelt FEAR of a story/outcome that they BELIEVED might happen.
2) A regular hater of the book who– through things I’ve said in interviews, online, or just how they (inaccurately) have interpreted things I’ve written in the comics– have taken the position that they KNOW what I’m thinking, believing, or intending.
And that’s patently insane.
It’s kind of like the ending to the movie THE TRUMAN SHOW, where Truman points to his head and says “You never had a camera in here.”
This guy doesn’t have a CLUE what I’m thinking, believing, and especially what I’m intending.
But he thinks he does. He’s so sure of that, that he’s bought into his own fiction with a zealous certainty.
More than any, his posts are the weirdest for me to read. Because he’s usually so completely off from what’s the REALITY of the situation. But he’s so dead on sure that he’s NOT.
In both cases, what CAN I do?
If I pop in here to stomp out these fictions, suddenly I’m a “cyber bully.”
That’s the current take on it.
Flipside? Who’s it really going to hurt? Two people on message boards are spreading untruths.
They’re not intentionally lying. They’ve just bought into their own fictions and earnestly BELIEVE that they’re speaking to the reality of a situation.
When they’re not.
So… Eh. Fuck it.
I get it.
That’s what message boards are for. I’d like to hang out here and interact with fans about all kinds of stuff. But it’s in my wiring to see such blatant falsehoods– and to feel the need to stamp them out– that that’s usually all I wind up doing when I am here. So best to just let it go. And to let this be a place that regularly deals in fiction. No worries. 🙂
Hope you all have a very Happy New Year.
And, one last time, for all you guys supporting the book– I deeply, truly DO appreciate that support. This is the coolest job on the planet and I owe it all to your patronage. THANK YOU.
Slott also tried to correct the poster Kevinroc about ASM sales.
Originally Posted by Kevinroc
Dan Slott: Yes. Having 2014’s best selling comic for the entire industry will be a crushing defeat for the book.
And, come January, only being the 2nd best selling comic of the 21st Century will be the biggest dishonor of all. 😀
One of the things I love about the internet is how– during BND– there were multiple threads about the sales for this book, and how they spelled certain DOOM for the title.
BS graphs were made comparing the Civil War tie-in issues of the JMS run to TWO-THIRDS of the totals of the BND run (purposefully throwing out the TOP THIRD of BND’s sales!)… and these were repeatedly brought up as more “proof” to the “low quality” and “poor reception” the book was receiving.
During the Big Time era, stores were running out of copies and close to HALF the run had to go back to press for 2nd printings. It was one of the few Big 2 titles that, in aggregate, was going up in sales. And when I’d point that out, the same people who regularly posted in the doom-in-gloom-BND-sales threads tried a new tactic: Why was I only focusing on sales? Obviously it was because I didn’t care about the book’s quality. 😛
And with the Dying Wish arc– and through the entirety of the Superior Spider-Man run– the Spider-Man book became Marvel’s best selling ongoing title, a perennial of the Top 10, often doing this twice a month. And then the NEW metric was, “If it were really good, it’d be outselling Batman (the #1 book in the entire industry).”
And when it launched as the best selling issue of the 21st Century, the even NEWER line of spin was, “Well, the Transformers movie did great– and it sucks. Selling great doesn’t mean anything.” 😀
Ohhhhh how far we’ve come since the BND Sales Chart days of CBR.
You guys are a hoot.
So what are your thoughts on this exchange between creator and fans?
Update: Slott’s New Years resolution to stay off message boards in 2015 lasted until January 2nd when he had to correct people on Bleeding Cool.