Editorial: Slott and Death Threats…

Throughout my tenure here at Crawlspace, I am keenly aware that there have been times where I have popped off and said things that I really didn’t think through or mean. I was stuck today when going through my Twitter Timeline (@spideydude for personal, @SDudePodcasts for Spidey-Dude.com: Home of the Spideydude Radio Network) and saw Mr. Slott discussing something that literally made me sigh. And for Mr. Slott, this is a rare time where I will agree with you: Death threats, over characters that are fictional or of any kind, are never, ever okay.

Let’s go back, for a moment, and examine the context of this. Dan Slott ‘killed’ off Peter Parker, replaced him with his greatest second-greatest enemy, Otto Octavious, and had him masquerade the title as the ‘Superior’ Spider-Man (quotes mine, not in actual title). Though many were upset by the events of Amazing Spider-Man 700,  Otto still had the Ghost of Peter-Parker’s-Past floating as a literal ‘Floating head of Guilt’ (TM, Amazing Spider-Man Classics Podcast) in the mindscape of the shared consciousness of Peter/Not-Otto. From a logical standpoint, it made sense for Otto to capture his essence of his consciousness in a different body, given that he had done it during the Clone Saga with help by Carolyn Trainer, the second Doctor Octopus in the form of the Master Programmer. Tom DeFalco used this as a way to bring him back, with help from the Hand, in Amazing Spider-Man 428 after he was killed by a broken freaking neck during the Clone Saga thanks to the favorite flawed Clone known as Kaine in Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol I) 221. Despite the precedence, despite having former regular member of the Podcast and former front page reviewer CrazyChris literally put all the pieces together months before the reveal, Amazing Spider-Man 698 was unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses, first via illegally scanned pages, then to the general public, and people lost their ever. Loving. Minds.

While passions are important to a fandom, it is important to not lose sight of said passion and venture into the realm of illegality and utterly immoral sense and threaten the life of a person for simply writing a story. While it seems that endless articles on this subject may have been written, its important that we use our standing here at the Crawlspace to make it known: We will not tolerate such behaviors here. It’s in our rules for being a member here, and we’ll outright ban people who commit such acts.  Passion is what brings us together, it is a powerful resource to tap into, but it is no excuse for letting that responsibility to yourself and others be destroyed by sending such a threat to a man or woman who, at the end of the day, is trying to eat, live and be happy and merry in his or her life. Since we are talking about Slott in particular, he deserves the respect that is owed to him as a human being. He deserves the respect you give to your neighbor, your friends, your family. Even if you don’t like what he is writing, he has earned his spot in the eyes of Disney/Marvel to write the character that we all love. That respect is no different than whoever is writing Capitan America, Batman, Superman, Scooby Doo (although Scrappy is fair game… jk), Transformers, Power Rangers or Gargoyles.

To my knowledge, there have never been death threats made on Crawlspace, by Crawlspace posters. I’d love to think of it as never happening with any of our members, but I cannot, not will I police what they do elsewhere. Someone’s livejournal , Facebook, Twitter page is territory that I, nor the staff here can go venture out and inspect everything they do just because someone becomes a member here. If of course, it’s brought to our attention, then we have have justifiable reasons to procede moving forward, but otherwise we have to have the faith and trust in our membership to do the right thing, while they are in the House-That-Brad-Douglas-Built.

The internet is a powerful, wonderful, majestic place where people from all over the world can gather and discuss the wonders of whatever strikes their fancy. But it is also a dangerous place where anyone can do what they so please, disguised as whomever they please, to anyone they disagree with. “With Great Power there must also come Great Responsibility” while such as simple phrase, it is something that we should heed in this Internet age. Think about what you post, say and do. Can it be articulated better? Or is it better to hit the delete button?

Dan, I know we don’t always agree. But in this, I can attest that we, the staff here at Crawlspace, agree with you on this subject.

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(20) Comments

  1. George Berryman

    "Someone once told Dan Slott to die in a fire on here." When this claim first came around (several years ago now) the admins did a thorough site search trying to find any post saying that and found none. I want to say it was Kevin and Zach who combed through searching for it. We did hear about someone who used to post here on the forums and main page at Crawlspace writing something to that effect on their LiveJournal, which isn't something we can't really moderate. "Joe Quesada also had threats issued to him on here after OMD." I have been an admin here several years now and a moderator and board member for longer than that, and I don't recall any. If we did see someone do it, we banned them outright. We've had people saying insulting personal things about Slott, Quesada and Steve Wacker - and we've issued warnings and/or bans depending on the infraction each time it's come up. We even banned Steve Wacker from when he started insulting people on our site, whereas other sites would have just looked the other way due to his position as editor at the time.

  2. Dan

    Someone once told Dan Slott to die in a fire on here. Joe Quesada also had threats issued to him on here after OMD.

  3. Enigma_2099

    @Bill Meanwhile, Gerry Conway is being wasted on an elseworlds book, while Peter David/Mark Bagley are being kneecapped.

  4. hornacek

    @Bill - At this point, I'd take a different crappy writer than the one who has been on the book for the last 20 years. Wait, has it really been that long? Or does it just feel that way?

  5. Bill

    The real irony is that even if Dan Stott did leave Spider-Man, another equally crappy writer would just come along to replace him. Because it seems there is a corporate mandate at Marvel Comics to not only ruin Spider-Man, but to ruin all of their long-standing characters. So, it's bigger than just Dan Slott. He's merely a symptom of the larger disease that's infected Marvel as a whole.

  6. tnr105

    @Andrew CHonestly, I didn't do much digging. I just typed key words I remembered from the comments and apology into the forum search. I did so because I thought it was relevant to this discussion, but I'll concede I could have phrased my explanation a lot better. @Zach if you're reading this? I don't judge you at all for something you said years ago. Something you admitted was wrong, and something you apologized for. I brought it up because I thought the question 'when does a bad joke cross the line into a threat?' Does the intent matter? We don't know the intent of everyone who made 'threats' to Slott. Do the intent behind their remarks matter? Thought it'd open the door for an interesting back and forth, a civil discourse.... but perhaps it'd be best had I let it stay buried. You're a good man, and a better man than the cowards who sent Slott legit threats over a bad comic. Like I said, after listening to you for so many years? I know you'd do such a thing. I didn't mean to imply you're anything like them, or imply you were hypocritical for this editorial. You're not. I don't think you are, and I don't judge you for something you said/apologized for years ago. God, I used to troll other boards for 'the lulz' when I was bored. I've got no room to comment on things others said/did years ago, that they admittedly aren't proud of. All that said, I'm more than happy to drop it and move on.

  7. Andrew C

    @tnr105 Although I think it's a bit weird you took the time to find that quote (or sound-bite) from ages ago, eh.... you have a point. I believe it was a joke in (very) poor taste. But one that could be easily misconstrued as a threat. For example, if you were to say such a thing about the President, then the NSA would probably flag it and open a file on you. Zach apologized though, so let's move on.

  8. wolF

    While I agree that death threats are not the best thing you could ever do online, are we still at the point where we're pretending that they are valid threats? Because that kinda makes everyone look stupid. Or are we still pretending that Dan Slott doesn't enjoy the attention to the point of googling his own name to find this sort of shit?

  9. tnr105

    @Zach and George I've listened to the show for over half a decade now, by no means do I personally think Zach meant that remark AS a threat. Nor an endorsement of violence. It was a joke, one he apologized for and regrets, but it brings up a question... does 'authorial intent' matter when it comes to someone feeling threatened? At what point does a bad joke become a threat? If Dan Slott were to search twitter for his name; though? Saw someone post 'God, just read Amazing #700. Dan Slott should be taken out back and shot for what he's done to Spidey.' ...Is he wrong for feeling threatened by that statement? Or would it specifically have to say "Dan Slott ruined Spider-Man, next time I see him at a con I'm going to do x horrible thing to him"? I don't doubt Slott received legit death threats, because the internet is a crappy place. I also can't help but wonder if he searched his own name on twitter, and found some poorly made and regrettable 'jokes' from people who were either trying to be funny or were venting their frustrations. I don't say this to be confrontational, but where IS the line between the two? The voicing of intent? I did read the opening of the editorial, but to me there's a difference between popping off at the mouth and that old joke. Again, that's just my opinion. To me, popping off at the mouth is something like Mike Bailey saying "Wacker doesn't think Kevin should say ass? Well I don't think they should have erased the marriage, so Wacker can f*cking deal with it." Zach's comment I'll concede, wasn't a threat... but even if he meant it as dark humor... if it had been said on twitter, and one didn't know his intent? I feel like I haven't articulated my thoughts well, and for that I apologize . I don't mean to defame Zach, or dig up ancient history to try and make him look bad. I brought it up I thought the discussion merited it, but I've been known to make mistakes and misconstrue/misinterpret things in the past. Zach is a good guy. He'd never wish harm on anyone over a comic. I feel secure in that impression after having listened to him for so many years. I didn't mean to compare him to those who threatened Slott so much as pose the question 'could a bad joke be taken as a threat, and might that have happened here?' ...I want to think that's more likely than there being stacks of legit threats against Slott over his comic writing, but... who knows. The world is a crazy place.

  10. Zach Joiner

    I guess I should feel like I "made it" since stuff from 7 years ago has been dug up. Yes, I made a ridiculous statement that I regretted, and apologized for publicly. It wasn't my finest hour. I'll also direct you towards the very beginning of THIS article: Throughout my tenure here at Crawlspace, I am keenly aware that there have been times where I have popped off and said things that I really didn’t think through or mean. So I acknowledged that I've said some stupid stuff in the past , owned it and moved on. I'd hardly call the joke I made a threat, given that I was joking.... And yes I know it was in POOR TASTE, which is why I apologized. I get your point, but I fundamentally disagree with my joke being on the level that actual death threats being thrown at Slott directly is in the same class.

  11. Crime Master

    The thing that makes it even more pathetic to me is that it was pretty obvious from the off that the whole thing would be reversed, they were sending those threats over a silly publicity stunt (not that it would have been justified otherwise).

  12. tnr105

    I get that the intent with this article is to show support of Slott on this issue, despite the prior bad blood the site has had with him. ...but... "To my knowledge, there have never been death threats made on Crawlspace, by Crawlspace posters." I'm sure you have the best of intentions Zach, and I don't say this to disrespect you or dig up something years old and make you look bad... http://spidermancrawlspace.com/wwwboard/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8221 ...It has happened. Not on the board, but on the podcast. You were the one who made the comment. I'm not trying to drag you through the mud, or call you a liar. I don't personally remember all the stupid crap I said years ago. It's a sad fact of today's society when people say stupid shit they don't mean as a form of expression. In the instance of the death threats Slott has received... I have to wonder if people actually tagged him on twitter? Or if people were just posting their impulsive reactions and he found it while searching for his name or Spider-Man? Twitter is their forum, like the podcast is yours. It could be an instance where people didn't expect him to see it, and they didn't mean it... but it still doesn't make it okay. Things you say on the internet have consequences. I don't mean to be preachy, sorry. You recognized that, all those years ago, and I commend you for owning up to it and making that apology. I just thought I'd point it out it's unintentionally revisionist to say it's never happened at Crawlspace. (Edited by George to fix the link and clean up the triple posting)

  13. George Berryman

    Nick - ASM #653 was reviewed here by Gerard Delatour, whose behavior at the site and toward other staff members became so toxic that he was removed. Despite that, we don't call one another "idiots" here, blatant or otherwise. First warning.

  14. Nick

    Idk who did the review of amazing spider man 653 but the fact that you don't know what terminal velocity and you actually believe that a human being could fall at a thousand mph means that everything you have to say about... Basically everything, is just nonsense. You're a blatant idiot.

  15. Justin Parris

    I absolutely don't condone behavior like this on any level. Perhaps though, this is a possibility you should consider when going out of your way to antagonize people on the internet, which Mr. Slott does on a regular basis. Obviously that justifies nothing, but the guy is, figuratively speaking, putting on a meat suit and punching a bear in the face when he speaks the way he does to the den of scum and villainy known as twitter. He's a public figure who operates on the internet. The only way to avoid this kind of thing is to start treating your own fanbase, and those who disagree with you politically with a little respect. When you throw dirt around on the internet (no matter who you're throwing dirt at), it only comes back at you three times harder. Should he HAVE to be careful with his speech to avoid death threats? No, nobody ever should have to work to avoid death threats. Still, it's the internet and it just flatly isn't possible to be this visible a figure, as heavily opinionated in controversial ways as Slott is, and NOT get this kind of response. Best of luck to him. Once something like this has started it's hard to ever get it to stop.

  16. hornacek

    "former front page reviewer CrazyChris literally put all the pieces together months before the reveal," The link in that sentence doesn't work (at least for me at work). It contains a hyphen in "spider-mancrawlspace" - I removed that hyphen and it worked, taking me directly to Chris' post. I'm also still waiting for my "CHRIS WAS RIGHT" t-shirt.

  17. Andrew C

    Dan Slott's stories are awful and he's butchered many characters like Felicia, Ben Reilly and even Peter himself. So it's annoying that he monopolizes my favorite character year after terrible year. BUT anyone who makes death threats over a freakin' comic is a pathetic human being and needs to reflect on how empty their life is. It's a comic. This isn't life or death. Your country isn't being invaded, family isn't being rounded up.... hell, you're not even being laid off at work, and your house isn't being repossessed. If you're a mature adult with actual responsibilities, bad Spidey comics have zero effect on your life except having to sigh every couple weeks about the state of your preferred fictional character. And while today's Spidey is bad, it's not like it's Mackie-Byrne bad. It's at least still semi-readable even while it's a completely aggravating read. So in conclusion if anyone is making threats over a picture book, they're a complete loser and should seek a therapist.

  18. Enigma_2099

    I second this. Slott has done nothing... NOTHING to warrant death threats. However, this does not excuse his terrible writing, or his slow, lengthy destruction.. not de-construction, DESTRUCTION of the character, supporting cast, or his book.

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