Whoah! It's been six months since my last blog which was titled Hit or Miss - Arkham City Portrayals. I know, I know, I've starved my good people. Well, I've been desiring to get on my social high-horse and talk about something which has been sitting closely to me for a long time!
The FanEffect See what I did there? Anyways, this blog will be focusing on the effect that fans have on a character and how we perceive that character - not only that, but also on comics in general.
Before I start - please please PLEASE understand I am not baiting or targeting anyone. If I bring up a character and its fans, blame your fellow fans, not me. If you want to see me baiting, go look at that blog I did about Jason Todd's fans (which, incidentally, I am now one of).
All of us, at least once in our comic-reading lives, have come across a fanatic fanboy. They go on and on about how flawless their favourite character is and are, essentially, relentless in their defense. It's irritating - do not try and deny that you aren't at least mildly irritated by vehement fanboyism. There is a fine line between professing your love for and defending your character, than obsessing over them. To avoid scrutiny, I'll use myself as an example. If you know me, you'll know I'm probably Talia al Ghul's biggest fan on this site (that was, until 2 weeks ago). I've made multiple threads about Talia, discussing why I believe she's the best partner for Batman, why he trusts her over Catwoman etc etc. I'll defend her if I feel someone is unnecessarily aggressive towards her character (meaning they have no evidence besides 'I hate her CUZ REASONZ'). However, that's about as far as I will take it. Sure, I have the most posts in the Talia forum (no that is not a challenge), but I'm not fanatic about her. I don't want my behaviour to affect how someone else views her. That's where the line has to be drawn.
Contrarily, I bring you the most fragile of examples known to this site - Storm. Prior to joining this site, I had nothing against Storm. I respected she was one of the most well known characters and most integral of characters in X-Men, but I never bore any form of antagonism towards her. This changed after spending a couple of months in the public comics scene, and most particularly, on ComicVine. I came into contact with a number of Storm fans who were ridiculous in their fanaticism towards the character. It is one thing to debate that Storm can defeat Iron Man - its an entirely different thing to debate Storm can beat Thor. I was shocked, filled with utter disbelief, and this disbelief slowly turns to antagonism. Now, any time I saw Storm mentioned, it reminded me of those fans, and I got irritated. That's the FanEffect. You mention the Storm forum to any veteran of this site, and they will cringe. It's the Chernobyl of this site - its a cordoned off nuclear zone. Why? The FanEffect. I've seen threads discussing Storm's hair, the material of her cape, whether she should change gender, whether she could make the sky green - you name it. I've spoken to less fanatic fans, and even they are ashamed of that forum. I respect that, because they hate how other fans are turning people away from the character they love.
I adore Batman, but to see fanatic fanboys turn people away from him? That irritates me, because you are not protecting or defending Batman - you're doing him a disservice.
Which brings me to one more point, something equally close when it comes to The FanEffect. Movies.
When the Avengers came out, I stayed off ComicVine. Partly because of the spoilers, but also because I didn't need to hear the rants of hipsters. "NYEH ITS LIKE, NOT EVEN THAT GOOD, TOO MUCH HYPE OVER IT AND ITS LIKE A JUMBLE OF POINTLESS CHARACTERS - LOKI SUXORS'. They present not even a slice of credible evidence, they just hate it because everyone else loved it. Who are you to rain on someone else's parade just because they don't share your negativity? I could respect their opinion if they actually supported it, but if it is just blatant, unsupported negativity, you're ruining it for other people. That is why, probably in the next four days, I'll be avoiding ComicVine, because I see the Dark Knight Rises on Saturday (Australia where I am). The Dark Knight is, easily, my undisputed favourite movie of all time. It has inspired me to become a screenwriter. I adore it, I'll defend it but I won't shove it down your throat. So, with this sequel, I am so immensely excited, and I don't want my parade rained on by negativity hipsters and the inevitable FanEffect.
As I bring this to a close, I leave you with some thoughts. Are we at fault for the FanEffect? As in, is it our problem, or is it the fan's problem? You might say 'oh, you should just learn to not get so frustrated at them', well, I would counter that with 'they should stop giving me a reason to'. The same goes with the FanEffect and movies - do other people have a right to go online and piss on a movie just because everyone else loved it?
Thank you for reading!