Newsarama recently posted an interesting article focusing on the fine line between fan interaction and comic professionals. The professional writers and editors talked about dealing with fandom online. They have to deal with everything from praise, criticism to the extreme which are death threats.
The article interviewed Amazing Spider-Man Writer Dan Slott and he has some interesting quotes in it. Here they are,
Dan Slott, Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man writer, muses that “I could write whole books on this,” but gets very itchy, declining to cite specific examples.
“You never want to let that guy know he got under your skin, and you never want to show people examples of bad behavior to emulate,” he says.
Slott is a gregarious, friendly guy who’s always willing to interact with fans on Twitter and the like. It’s where he’s from.
“When I was a fan 25, 30, 35 years ago, if there was a way I could interact with Stan Lee and John Romita, with Denny O’Neil or Walt Simonson, just by typing an at-symbol in front of their name…yeah! I would do that!” he says. “It would be awesome to be able to do that! I would ask them questions. I would engage.”
But personally, that’s where Slott would draw the line.
“But what I wouldn’t do is just ring someone’s bell to tell them I didn’t like their work, to call them an asshole and then run away,” he says. “That’s what I don’t get. Why do that?”
On the whole, Slott tries to measure his online interactions. He recently called the aggregate a “heightened reality,”where the bright spots get brighter, but the dark areas show up so much darker.
“It’s confusing,” he says. “Going forward, I think that when a fan rings my bell and tells me they like my stuff, I need to pay more attention to them, focus on them instead of the other guy, and engage them. Become part of and reward the good example. Maybe that’s the only way we all get better.”
Slott recently engaged in a debate with several posters over on CBR who didn’t care for Amazing Spider-Man #3. They wondered why Johnny Storm wouldn’t be the owner of the Baxter Building instead of Peter Parker buying it. Here’s a link to some of his quotes. The thread went pretty much off the rails. It involved Slott asking the fans to quit buying this book. Others quit the book. And Slott aimed some insults at people who enjoy this website.
So here’s some questions I’d like you to discuss in the comment section.
1) Should creators stay offline and avoid engaging in discussion and let the work speak for itself?
2) What are your thoughts on Dan Slott’s online behavior with fans who criticize his work?
3) What advice would you have for your fellow fans on how to deal with professionals online?
4) Why does Slott lump this whole website as negative? Our podcast grades and online grades of his work are all over the place.
Again, please be civil in the comment section.