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Elliott Serrano Presents:

Man, I hate it when Mom and Dad fight.

No, I’m not experiencing any sort of domestic unrest right now, but that’s what it feels like to me when ‘professionals’ in the comic book industry squabble on the internet. Case in point: the CBR boards have been hosting a back-and-forth between comic artist/writer & Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen and Marvel Editor Steve Wacker. It all started when Larsen accused Marvel of stealing his idea for a comic book cover featuring newly elected President Barack Obama. Larsen had featured the then-Junior-Senator on a cover of Savage Dragon, depicting the Dragon ‘endorsing’ Barack for President of the United States.

Then Marvel comes along and puts Obama on the cover of Amazing Spider-man, which garners the title the national spotlight and two additional printings for the issue.

So, you read the tit-for-tat arguments between the two and I just can’t help but snicker. Larsen comes across as a bit naïve that someone else would duplicate such an obvious stunt and Wacker’s statements read like the schoolyard bully who can’t believe the little kid whose lunch money he stole is complaining.

In the end, it’s all just meaningless drivel that everyone will (or should) look back on and laugh about one day. But for today, I’ve just gotta ask: where are the grown-ups here? Who are the –ahem- professionals?

Comic book fans are often derided for exhibiting infantile behavior, and with good reason. We can be pretty childish at times! We get all up in arms about ‘continuity,’ character ‘reboots’ and the like. We vent our frustrations on the internet in a masturbatory fashion, creating fanboy circle jerks on message boards where everyone agrees that ‘SPIDER-MAN SUCKS’ and stating unequivocally that ‘I’LL NEVER READ SPIDER-MAN AGAIN.’

Oh, and then we go to the comic shop and buy the book.

And then you have the fans that have this strange sense of entitlement when it comes to dealing with comic pros. An editor friend of mine told me about how a particular fan was stalking them on Facebook and asking them to answer questions, on a Sunday afternoon no less, about…wait for it…continuity.

Good god, I’m starting to hate that word.

This editor in question, not really in the mood to spend a weekend afternoon answering continuity questions, refused to bite. The fan didn’t take kindly to this and proceeded to insult the editor on Facebook. Talk about puerile!

So, I have to take fanboys to task when they act like they’re entitled to some sort of, I dunno, wish fulfillment when they deal with comic pros. Unless you’re a ten-year old fan who’s never had mommy and daddy tell you ‘no, Junior, you can’t have that GI Joe action figure set until your birthday,’ you really have no excuse for getting cheesed off at an editor who has better things to do than answer silly questions on a Sunday afternoon. Besides, isn’t that what Wikipedia is for?

So Erik and Steve, let me say this: stop acting like you’re back in high school, and behave like grown-ups for jeebus’ sake! Us fanboys have enough problems keeping our own lack of social competence in check and need the grown-ups we idolize – the comic pros – to show us what it’s like to use our power words, play nice and share our toys.

Cuz’ if you guys can’t do it, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Elliott Serrano is a writer/columnist/blogger/geek who is often accused of being childish. He has been diagnosed as having a classic case of ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ where he refuses to grow up and wishes to live on an island with a bunch of other immature boys and one hot girl who’ll act as a nanny for all of them. (He thinks Megan Fox would fit that role nicely.) You can e-mail Elliott and you can also read his blog at RedEye Chicago and see him rant about how much ‘Spider-man Sucks’ and ‘Brian Bendis is the God of All Writers’ on the Comic Culture Warrior YouTube Channel. 

E.R. Serrano

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