Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Six Stupid Things Fanboys Say

Nowhere near as nice as they appear in this picture
Face it; we’re all fanboys/girls in some way or another. All of us have things we like more than other things. But comics seem to have a special breed of people who say some pretty stupid stuff.  Most of this is said in rage, but some of it in sheer ignorance. While these arguments can be entertaining, most of it makes me weep for the species. Below are nine comments made by fanboys that I believe need to be made illegal.

1.       “[Comic X] is a money-grab!”

I’ll start with the most confusing one first. This one has been levelled regularly at DCs New 52, but generally, fanboys lob this one at any major change to their favourite comics. The idea runs thus; the really good comics are made out of pure love for the art form and nothing else, whereas the bad ones are made only to make money.

Actually, fanboy, any comic that has a pricetag is made to make money. Publishing houses are businesses; their goal is to make money. The old DCU was every bit the money grab that the New 52 is. Marvel wants your money just as much as DC do- it’s part of being a business. Does that make the bad comics good? No. Does it mean that even the good ones are money-grabs? Yes!

2.       “[Character from Company X] could beat [Character from company Y]!”

I hate- let me say it again, HATE arguments about whether a character from DC could beat a character from Marvel. Let me make this clear; Hulk could not beat Superman and Superman could not beat Hulk- not because either one is weaker than the other, but because they live in separate universes.

But what makes this a stupid thing to say is the assumption that a fan of the opposing company is suddenly going to go “oh, I guess I like this really amazing character less now.” For those who haven’t left Neverland, that never happens! Instead, a long and very uninteresting flamewar commences. Why do fanboys think anything else would happen?

3.        “I can give FACTS for why [Company X] is worse than [Company Y}!”

The stupid part about this comment is that no, you can’t. You’re judging an aesthetic experience; how much joy someone gets out of consuming a story. That can’t be done with sales figures for movies. It can’t be done by talking about the company’s gross profits for the last quarter. It can’t even be done by comparing the stories themselves, since all you’re doing is drawing a list of things you do and don’t like and asking another person to make theirs.

This means that instead of fanboyism, fans actually have to maturely accept that some people, in a world of around seven billion, like different things. Though, I know.

4.       Anything involving a meme

Thanks to memes, sarcasm is now only the third lowest form of humour, and American Pie movies are only the second. I won’t spend too much time on this. I’ll simply say that if your argument was unconvincing in text, adding a picture won’t help.

5.       “[Company X] will always be better than [Company Y]!”

This is an argument that more follows movies. DC fans were saying it when The Dark Knight was released, Marvel fans have been doing it since The Avengers. Again, this argument relies on the idea that everyone likes the same things- they don’t.

It also assumes that the entertainment industry is a stagnant entity. It isn’t. A film outselling another  isn’t a death sentence- it’s a challenge. And that challenge is always eventually met. This is the sort of thing that drives growth in the industry. When you say that Company X will never be better than Company Y, what you’re also saying is that Company Y will never get any better, and that, eventually, it will come to bore you.

Fanboys should want competition. They should want their favourite publishers to push their own limits and reach their absolute best time and time again. Yes, that means occasionally being the loser, but that’s the kind of thing that drives these companies to be winners in the end.

6.        “You only don’t like [Company X] because you’re a [Company Y] fan!”

I’ve saved the stupidest for last. The idea is that Marvel fans cannot possibly “get” DC (and vice versa) and therefore are not qualified to criticise it. But why are there differences between Marvel and DC fans? Fanboys like to pretend that it’s because the other side is shallow and unintelligent. But the real case is that fans of Marvel like what Marvel has been doing, and fans of DC like what DC have been doing. The reason they don’t like the other company is that, simply put, the other company hasn’t been providing to their needs the way that their favourite has. It’s not a reason to say that the other side is rubbish, but it is a perfectly good reason to like one company over another. There is a reason the person you’re criticising is a Marvel/DC fan!

So that’s it. What are some other arguments you’re sick of seeing from fanboys? Leave a comment below.

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