I have decided to post this final item after replies I've received about some of my own posts - most recently from Dagwan, on the "Thor material published 2009-2011" and "Fear Itself."
My great sorrow is seeing things happening on this board that I wouldn't have countenanced when I was Admin... ah, but we all know that what's done is what's done, and "shut up and get out" was the order of the day.
Regarding my comments and Dagwan's:
Interesting that I haven't heard from any of the admins yet... well, except for Dagwan, of course. (Still an admin, Dags? I know that when I was leader of the band, we extended you an invite.)
ELS (from Fear Itself thread): Another summer crossover event, to go with Avengers books crossing over into Avengers books, FF crossing into Spider-Man (at least), Spider Island, and all these books requiring mini-series... Wow, I am SO glad I'm not collecting this crap anymore. And from the look of the posted panels above, I'm obviously not cool enough to get them anyhow. Good luck to Marvel Comics, the house of idea.
Dagwan: You went out of your way to post in a thread about Fear Itself that you're not reading it, and that it's crap. If you want to read something and don't like it, that's fine. Post about how you didn't enjoy it. What didn't work for you. Calling something that others on this board enjoyed quite a bit crap -especially sight unseen- is not just a judgment on the comic but on the opinions of the other members of the board who did like it.
You're right. I DID go out of my way to post something, because I didn't have to come to the Captain Comics board, didn't have to read that posting, and didn't have to comment on it. Same as anyone else who posts anything on this board.
But so we get our facts straight: I wasn't criticizing Fear Itself as I haven't read it (which you very accurately noted.) And I criticized Spider Island, and the FF/Spider-Man crossover, and Marvel's general concept of company wide crossovers - which you obviously didn't infer. Okay, that happens. I was criticizing the trend of mini-series, and crossing through several issues of several titles, requiring readers to pick them up as well. I have said the same thing about Secret Invasion, Seige, that Avengers junk, etc. Shucks, I wasn't all that fond of it back in Secret Wars (and, to be fair, not so hot on it in Crisis on Infinite Earths either.)
As to the opinions of those who did like it - what, is it the rule now to not upset the sensibilities of other posters by disagreeing with them? Then shame on me.
Dagwan: On a related note, do you have anything nice to say about any comics anymore?
This was in response to a comic which I think would have failed the standards of a lot of comic book companies, and I thought I gave the reason - characters out of sync with the current continuity (and damn ME for a fool for expecting continuity, right?), art that I really think is little better than high school level... y'know, a critical observation instead of "It sucks because I say it sucks!" But again, you might not have gotten that - it happens, and although not everyone is happy and pleased with comics today, it seems to be the mandate on this board anymore.
Is this mean? Some people might think it's mean, and some people - like, y'know, those who used to post on these boards - consider it discussion. I was posting strongly about it because I feel strongly about it... my opinion, and it used to be implicit that that included " YMMV". But I guess Dagwan didn't get that - okay, that happens.
I could go on, but this is obviously a comment on my postings, and, I think, a comment on my presence on the board from Dagwan and, implicitly (even by their silence) from the Admins. What I think, due to whatever is going on with me, is what I think, and people used to be able to post such around here.
Instead, when I asked for what I thought was a reasonable action - if you think I've gone over the line, get the Admins to contact me about it, and if it really upsets you, please ignore it - got a biting, sarcastic reply, and a "don't tell us, go tell the comic book publishers, and stop whining."
Nice. I probably wasn't going to be able to post here for a lot longer anyhow, but this does make it a little easier to decide.
So, after everything that has happened to me on this board - Dagwan's comments, the Administrator crap, etc. etc. etc., I will go away with one last comment for the admins.
Good riddance to every last one of you.
Eric L. Sofer
The Silver Age Fogey
For what its worth, SAF, I have noticed Dagwan's often aggressive defense of modern comics, but I wouldn't call it over the line. Though I don't have any real insight into Dagwan's personality, I suspect that its because he makes a living selling modern comics. He's just defending his livelihood, though somewhat rudely. If you think about it, Dagwan probably hears this kind of complaint all day long from his customers, and he definitely can't lash out at them. It's unfortunate that you feel you are his sole target, as I'm sure it's not a truly personal attack on you, but rather the old-school fans.
And Dagwan, I see where you're coming from in many of your posts. Essentially you're saying "if you don't like comics, why are you here? Why are you wasting energy to tear them down?" SAF is just grumbling like all "Fogeys" do. He even warns us that he's a fogey in his screen name. Is he being rude to complain about modern books in threads that are explicitly about modern books? No, I don't think so. He has a perspective that's worth hearing, just like you have a perspective as a retailer and a fan that's worth hearing.
Since the rise of other social media sites, this site's activity has slowed down to a crawl (though traffic might be higher). Because of that, I think the admins have also slowed down on their policing efforts. The ning site operates a lot differently than the older version did, so perhaps that's also to blame.
To tell you the truth, I don't even know who the admins are anymore. It appears to be impossible to contact them unless you happen to be a site "friend." I can't even go into the moderators group to see their roster, which would make sense.
... Well, I hope I didn't tick anyone off too much.
I will miss SAF here, if he truly leaves. Perhaps he should focus on the Silver Age books he loves so much. We all have a great fondness to the comics that we read in our formative years, mine being the Bronze Age. There are a lot of great books that are being published now and some not-so-great. We should be able to constructively voice our opinions without defending our love for our chosen hobby.
Do I enjoy every book I buy? Sadly no, for different reasons for different titles. Do I genuinely hate those I find fault in? Of course not. A good example is Deadpool which I can handle in small (guest-starring) doses; I don't buy his books. But then I can't criticize those that like the character. We like what we like. Just because some people like the current incarnations of our heroes does not negate others' feelings for past ones.
We should be able to find a comfort-level in having these discussions so everyone can contribute on what they think without being labelled a complainer.
Can't say I have much respect for "one last comment for the admins" though.
I've been reading the threads, and I've been an Admin on another board, and I agree that I'm not sure what an Admin should have done. It seems like a reasonable conversation between someone with an opinion and someone who doesn't believe that opinion is justified. I've seen flame wars (not here) that I (or someone) had to step into or messages that had to be deleted, but posters here never come close to that.
I've been where SAF is (probably not surprising, since I qualify for the title, too). At some point, I knew that the Marvel and DCU super-hero comics were not entertaining me, much less the massive crossovers that required an all-in approach to fully understand (if then).
I tried to keep my toe in the water, reading FF or ASM and JLA or JSA or something that would keep me at least on the edge. But then those either tied in or became less interesting, and I gave up on the continuity universes altogether as uninteresting at best.
But I'm still interested in discussing comics, especially current comics, which change every week. But the only comments I have are negative or not fully informed, since I'm out of the loop. At some point, I realized there wasn't much I could add to those conversations, and I stopped participating, even if I still read the threads.
There are lots of good comics to keep reading even when the universes aren't interesting. But few people talk about them. That's a big part of staying involved in comics for some people, and adjusting to that is difficult.
I agree with Philip that SAF might enjoy the MSA Forum, where we talk about the comics we enjoy the most, whatever the period. But those won't be impacted by this Wednesday (mostly). And the comics I DO read that are current don't come up much. But occasionally they do--like Gladstone Academy--or I can start a thread and see what happens.
I learned that complaining about the comics I don't like, even if it's just the concept or commitment that's needed, gets to be a drag, especially when people point it out. There ARE other ways to channel an interest in talking about comics, but it takes a shift in thinking.
I think SAF is mad at having to make that shift, and mad that the comics he wants to talk about aren't interesting any more and lashed out at the Admins for it. That's too bad, but I doubt they need to take it personally.
Yes, Fogey has left before and returned.
What I think is hard for many of us to accept is that things change. This is not the same board it once was and that is OK. It changed and we either adapt to it or we don't.
When I was chief moderator, what took place between Fogey and Dagwan would have been dealt with by asking some questions privately about intent. No one would have been sent packing. Just asked why it was said the way it was.
I don't act as a moderator any more. That was a change I made.
I don't come here as much as I used to, but that does not mean I do not support Cap's vision and the board. I don't read comics like I once did. That does not mean I do not enjoy them. Just a change I made. We have to roll with the changes. That is life.
I am sorry Fogey feels as he does. We are always weaker when we lose one from the board. The community is less. But that is his choice and I support it.
"(Still an admin, Dags? I know that when I was leader of the band, we extended you an invite.)"
Speaking as a lo-o-o-ong time admin, I can state that Dagwan is not an admin and I don't remember him ever being one.
"Wow, I am SO glad I'm not collecting this crap anymore."
I didn't see your original post where you wrote that and if I had then I would have called you on it. (Since I'm waiting on "Fear Itself," I was avoiding the thread.) I understand being cynical. I am cynical--just look at what I post in the "Comic News" group area. But, geez, calling something "crap" before you've read any of it isn't OK and it certainly wasn't when either you or I were the ONLY admins. Calling something "crap" even after you've read it is barely acceptable. We're smart people around here, you most definitely included, and we can do criticism better than that.
Like Mr. Silver Age wrote, we have a section targeted for people who like the books you like. There's no rule that you need to read every thread so just don't read the threads about stories that you have no intention of reading yourself.
You feel like you're not welcome here which is, of course, not true. If you still want to go away for a while then, well, OK. Just know that if you change your mind then you are still welcome here.
One of the hallmarks of this board is the belief that we all should always be civil. This does not mean -- or is not supposed to mean -- no one ever argues or disagrees with anyone else.
Another is to strive to state things in a positive tone. This does not mean no one can criticize or complain about any piece of work. It also does NOT mean someone can't say what he or she thinks. It does mean not indulging in personal attacks and it means not being gratuitously nasty (or even non-gratuitously nasty). It means striving to be informative and illuminative rather than being insulting. It means striving to be persuasive rather than abrasive. It means striving to be artful rather than crude.
On the other hand, it does not mean being a relentless cheerleader. Part of this exchange is pushing back against the notion that one must be "positive" or be silent. To that extent, I agree, and I've pushed back against that notion myself from time to time. I also don't accept the notion that criticizing a piece of work someone else enjoys is criticizing that someone else or his or her judgment. We like what we like; we don't like what we don't like. That's as far as it goes.
I don't see where this series of postings rises to the level of needing an administrator's intervention. I do see a failure to find the balance between two positions and the willful failure to express it respectfully. ("One last comment for the admins"? C'mon. I'm disappointed. We can always do better than that.)
I think we can all get po'd over what people say sometimes -- they can be negative, patronizing, whiny, myopic, rude, and so on, but really, it's just comics. Sometimes it's us. Sometimes it's the other person. Sometimes it's just a book disappoints us. Sometimes it's stress. And sometimes it's a little bit of everything.
And when that happens, you just need to cool off for a while, and realize it's not a big deal, it's still a nice group, and then you come back a little more accepting than you were before...