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Tuesday, May 02, 2023 

It's not enough to argue writers need to improve interactions with fans

The Bradley Scout's discussing how writers and editors aren't conducting good interactions with fans, but like various other college papers, their arguments are pretty underwhelming:
Criticism is an important test of a writer’s character as they must decide how to respond to criticism in a way that will retain their fanbase while also addressing concerns.

This is the case for Dan Slott, a writer, and Nick Lowe, an editor, who work in the comic book realm. Both maintain positions at Marvel Comics, stewarding Marvel’s flagship character Spider-Man.
Slott used to, but left as main writer about 5 years ago. Though this obviously hasn't led to any improvement, what with the sorry path of PC Marvel's been traversing for a long time.
Their continued work on the character has led to some controversy amongst fans of the books, with many seeing their storylines and character portrayals as dissatisfactory. The more salient point to be made lies in how they handle fan interaction when it comes to their work.

For example, Lowe has received harsh criticisms and questions about his work as an editor in several tweets from fans. His responses to fans were primarily negative with a cheery attitude as he claimed that he was sorry to hear their disappointment. [...]

On the other end of the spectrum, Slott participated in a thread on a large comic book forum highlighting the dangers of defending your own work. He stated, “If you want something to fail, the best way to accomplish that is to not try at all. If I had that attitude, I can think of a number of things that wouldn’t be out in the world right now. . .You can take shots. Be as snarky as you want. But I’ve got a pretty good track record for this kind of thing.”

Slott’s language in this post shows that he is using what he has accomplished as a justification to undermine the original post’s criticism that was designed to get under his skin by saying his work is unremarkable.
Umm, it's worse than that. It's totally insufferable, what with how he put Mary Jane Watson through such crude situations, following in the footsteps of Joe Quesada, whom he'd worked for prior to former EIC Axel Alonso's ascension to the role. And Slott even cybertrolled in the past decade, which was just as reprehensible.
There is undeniably a current trend of writers, producers, artists and other entertainers in show business responding to comments and fans harshly. Fans can be entitled and obstinate, but becoming inflexible in one’s views to show conviction and anger is an exercise in futility against customers. [...]

Slott and Lowe are just two examples of how creators must have thick skin when it comes to criticism and appropriately respond to fans.
Yes, but it's still not enough to just complain they need to cut it out. A better argument would be that their employers need to consider giving such contemptuous creators a wholesale dismissal, and regard them as otherwise unemployable. These press sources had a whole decade or more to make the point, yet never did, if at all. And then we wonder how all these terrible writers/editors/artists are still at work today?

So it's more of a huge disappointment when news writers can't make a stronger argument against employing bad writers who don't deserve the jobs they've enjoyed for years already, and continue to practically enjoy the status of an intern's job when they're not improving anything. Come to think of it, the columnist isn't even making a case why nobody should put money into Slott and Lowe's pockets for stories that aren't even worth buying from the bargain bins. No wonder the dire state in mainstream was able to come about.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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