The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: “Disenchanted Disco”

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Welcome to another week of GBK. For the past several weeks my columns have been riddled with crazed angst filled rants. I’d like to tell you that this week I’ve taken a break from my own cynical delusions, and concentrated more on issues of art and meanings to great comic literature; but I can’t. I’ve still got more pent up angst in me, and it’s itching to get out. So, with your permission, I’d like to release my frustration onto you. I’m going to need your help though, I’m going to need you to tell me when I’ve strayed from any form of logic. If you’re ready, let’s go.

Comic books have long been associated with fat, smelly, geeky boys. You mention a comic book shop, or just comic books in general to the average person, and that’s what comes to their mind. People think of fat lonely boys who can’t get a date, so instead they live out their fantasies in comic books, where, the main character is a buff guy in spandex that all the ladies love (mmm, Batman’s so dreamy). You can’t really blame the non-comic reader for this misprision. The only exposure they’ve probably had to comic book fandom is Kevin Smith flicks. We all know that’s really how it is (sentence heavy with sarcasm). Still, as a comic book fan who is neither fat nor lonely, I take this misprision to heart. I know I’m not the only comic fan out there who doesn’t meet this stereotype, so this column is for you. Actually, it’s not. This column has nothing to do with us skinny comic fans, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Fanboys are what people think of when they think of comics. That’s the stereotypical comic fan, he’s fat, he’s lonely, and he probably lives in a basement. Fanboy is a funny word. When you hear it, you think, “Okay, this boy must be a fan of something,” but that’s not really the case anymore. A fanboy is a guy who digs comics, I mean really digs comics; or at least that’s what it use to me. As of late; however, fanboys have been on the steady increase of loud, hateful creatures. All that pent up sexual angst has caused them to turn to the internet and bash everyone and everything they can think of. Fanboys have become an embarrassing mark on the comic book world. Besides money, they don’t contribute anything positive to comics. All they do is buy a bunch of comics, read them, jerk off to the big breasted females, jump online, and bitch about them. There is no good there, it’s more negativity in a medium already plagued by negative outlooks.

I’m really tired of going on message boards and seeing nothing but pathetic people posting their hate filled bile thoughts. They’re all really the same too. “Geoff Johns sucks cock, he’s dragged Teen Titans on for far too long. It’s so slow, not enuf titties.” Or, “Whatever happened to the glory days of comics, when each issue was one wonderful story? Now it takes a whole damn year to tell one lame ass story!” Shut the fuck up! I hate it when people talk about how good comics use to be, and how all of today’s comics are so dragged out. Of course they’re dragged out, it brings in bigger bank. Plus, unlike the Golden and Silver age, people’s attention span can handle a long story arc. Obviously, not everyone’s attention span can though.

Comic books are a wonderful medium. It really upsets me when an alleged “fan” of the art dedicates more of his time to extirpating it than to celebrating it. I don’t understand why these people continue to spend their money on something they’re just going to bitch and moan about. It’s not like it’s crack or anything people, you can stop anytime. I’m starting to wonder if demoralizing others, makes them feel more powerful. If they’re more addicted to chaos than to comics. That’s a pretty shitty thing to be addicted to. Fanboys spend so much time, so much energy, and so much money on comics. They know everything about every character; everything about every creator; everything about every company. Yet, at the end, all they really care about is pointing out the flaws in these things.

A prime example of the fanboy craze can be seen in the movie, “Comic Book Villains.” If you haven’t seen that movie, it’s really quite interesting. It shows the dark side of rapid fandom. In a scene towards the end, when everything is falling apart, one of the main characters says, that if he would have spent the energy he used to memorize comics, into memorizing science, he could be a great scientist right now. For the most part, that statement is true, for more than just comic book fans. If people would spend the time they use for their hobbies, on something more academic, there would be a lot more scientists and mathematicians in the world. But, hobbies are things that interest people, so that’s why they put so much of their time into them. However, most people with a hobby that consumes their life, love that hobby. There is nothing else they’d rather do. That’s how I would sum up my love for comics. It’s what I love, and it’s what I want to do with the rest of my life. Comics are a very positive thing for me. Fanboys seem to hate their hobby. That wouldn’t be a problem, if they tried to do something about it. Obviously, there is something about the comic book median that draws them in, or they wouldn’t keep buying them. Yet, they consistently trash them, instead of coming up with a solution. If pissed off fanboys would spend the energy it takes them to destroy someone’s work, into creating their own work, things would be much more positive.

What do these fanboys have to gain by being so hateful? Do they think their rage will bring about some form of change? Bitching and moaning won’t change anything, so to all the fanboys reading this right now; get off your fat, lazy ass, and do something productive! It doesn’t have to be some big elaborate thing, you could write a short story for a web-site, or you could make your own online comic. Don’t complain about something if you’re not willing to do something to fix it.

The Good

Last week, The Good was a web-site for an artist selling origami. This week marks the return to comics. Not very often will a mainstream book get mentioned in The Good, but if it’s good, what can you do? Batman #620 is the first issue of Batman’s new story arc. We finally get away from the over hyped arc of Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, and into an arc by two people who know noir. In just their first issue, Brain Azzarello and Eduardo Risso have sucked me into the story. Compared to Hush, which I was never a big fan of, but I read it cause I did want to see who it was. Broken City is on track to be the next big story arc, and this time I actually agree. So, go spend more money!

Have a safe week, everyone. See you all in seven days. ‘Til next time…

-J. Sto

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