Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Thread

Author
oldspideyfan


Location: Austin,Texas
Member Since: Sat Aug 06, 2011
Posts: 75


Do you remember when a few weeks ago I said that on dec 25 and 26 combined
in 2006 there were 98 posts? Well, just to show I am as capable as anyone in wasting time, I counted the posts in dec 2006 and divided by 31.
In that month the board had about 58 posts a day on average.

In perspective, in Jan. 2015 we averaged 6 a day, total 185. \(sad\)

d


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FormerSMBMember




Under a different user name I was a prolific member of this community from the end of the 90's and into the 2000's. I made some friends here, had some great times and even made a trip to visit some folks. This place was a lively carnival. I look back fondly on those days.

But in the days after OMD, Comicboards.com got very heavy handed with the moderation. Not the mods on this particular board back then; they were fine and I considered them the best of the bunch. Yet at one point we had mods from other boards here stepping in and silencing OMD criticism.

With that, I stopped posting here altogether. I went to another forum where civil criticism was still allowed and I've been discussing Spidey there ever since. I drop in here just to see reaction to certain news or storylines but this is the first time I've posted here in roughly six years.

Again, this isn't a knock on this board's mods from back then (or now). They were doing fine. This is just about the site in general and the boards as a whole.

This post may get deleted and my IP may get banned. Doesn't affect me either way since I don't consider this 'home' anymore, so to speak. But when I saw your post I felt compelled to comment on it.

All my best,

Former SMB Member \:\)




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GParadox




nt


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Iron Man Unit 007

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,392






Come to the Star Wars message board! https://www.tvshowboards.com/starwars/
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Blargh





    Quote:
    But in the days after OMD, Comicboards.com got very heavy handed with the moderation. Not the mods on this particular board back then; they were fine and I considered them the best of the bunch. Yet at one point we had mods from other boards here stepping in and silencing OMD criticism.


I haven't been posting here as long as you but I sure was here when OMD hit. I have absolutely no recollection of anybody being "silenced" about criticizing OMD. It was a nearly universally despised story, here and elsewhere. I'd even argue it is harder to come out and say you like the books because inevitably you will get "it is after OMD, therefore it sucks" type of responses.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:

      Quote:
      But in the days after OMD, Comicboards.com got very heavy handed with the moderation. Not the mods on this particular board back then; they were fine and I considered them the best of the bunch. Yet at one point we had mods from other boards here stepping in and silencing OMD criticism.



    Quote:
    I haven't been posting here as long as you but I sure was here when OMD hit. I have absolutely no recollection of anybody being "silenced" about criticizing OMD. It was a nearly universally despised story, here and elsewhere. I'd even argue it is harder to come out and say you like the books because inevitably you will get "it is after OMD, therefore it sucks" type of responses.


Well, I'd say "silence" is probably the wrong word, but I'm hard put to think of an era where it was more common for posters to come under such fire, often by argumentum ad hominem ("you're just prejudiced, you hater!") merely for criticizing a story/reboot or voicing their dislike of a new direction/reboot. While practically nobody professed to actually like the story or claimed that it made sense or worked as a story (apart, obviously, from Joe Quesada and his cronies) there were a lot of people on hand to defend it to the utmost by rationalizing it as a necessary evil to make Spider-Man "good again" (when Slott became the solo writer, many of the same people in effect rejoice: "Okay, BND sucked, but now Happy Days Are Here Again!") or by castigating protesters for not waiting until everything was explained satisfactorily in-story (remember how gloriously that turned out when the much-delayed OMIT came out).


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Blargh




Well now we're talking two completely different stories and two completely eras of the board. One is OMD an almost universally despised story.

Another isn't really a story but rather 2-3 years worth of comics.

And yet I still don't recall mods, on here or elsewhere on the boards, trying to silence (or anything of that sort) anyone. Because there were plenty of people doing plenty of complaining in the three years of BND stories.


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    Well now we're talking two completely different stories and two completely eras of the board. One is OMD an almost universally despised story.



    Quote:
    Another isn't really a story but rather 2-3 years worth of comics.



    Quote:
    And yet I still don't recall mods, on here or elsewhere on the boards, trying to silence (or anything of that sort) anyone. Because there were plenty of people doing plenty of complaining in the three years of BND stories.


At the time I think the mods got fed up with every other thread being about people complaining about the direction. They did get sick of it and lock threads...and that rubs people the wrong way.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    Well now we're talking two completely different stories and two completely eras of the board. One is OMD an almost universally despised story.



    Quote:
    Another isn't really a story but rather 2-3 years worth of comics.


What I was driving at was that the defenders of OMD - fully aware that the story in itself was indefensible - used the tactic of declaring it a necessary evil and, like it or not, in that light of that BND should have been the immediate payoff. Brevoort had said at a convention even before OMD that Spider-Man only was working at 40 per cent of his potential when he was married, so it should have been easy for BND to be twice as good as the pre-OMD stories, right? But it plainly wasn't, and to demonstrate that it wasn't I referred to the view of BND in retrospect as voiced by a fair number of the fans who had defended OMD because it ended the marriage.(1) And I had to mention OMIT in order to show that the tactic to defend OMD by telling people to wait and see because everything would be satisfactorily explained in due course turned out to be a case of raising false hopes in an effort to, well, silence the critics. I think that if you find it hard to say that you like current Spider-Man because other fans will be vocal of their disapproval of post-OMD continuity, then I think it is only fair to speak of a pretty concerted effort to silence critics of OMD back then.

This is now seven years ago, so I'm a bit fuzzy about some details, and I was mainly speaking of the efforts of non-mods. But IIRC, there was a bit of a carrot-and-stick approach by the mods at the time in the name of combating "negativity". The carrot was the system of awarding points that you no doubt remember.

(1) I could also say that how the OMD changes "improved" Spider-Man becomes evident when you see how many of the fans of the new direction cheered when the "younger, better Peter Parker" was killed off to be replaced by a villain old enough to be his step-father. ;\-\)





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Blargh




I really do think that any amount of "silencing" is absolutely ludicrous because the fact is there were people complaining about the JMS era Spidey, people complaining about OMD, people complaining about BND era, and people complaining about Slott.

At all of those times, I at times in at least some instances fell into the complaining side rather than the fan side. That I was able to complain and never feel "silenced" makes me think that the people who feel "silenced" probably did something to deserve it.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    I really do think that any amount of "silencing" is absolutely ludicrous because the fact is there were people complaining about the JMS era Spidey, people complaining about OMD, people complaining about BND era, and people complaining about Slott.



    Quote:
    At all of those times, I at times in at least some instances fell into the complaining side rather than the fan side. That I was able to complain and never feel "silenced" makes me think that the people who feel "silenced" probably did something to deserve it.


I think you're setting up a false dichotomy here. The way you put it, "silencing" is no problem as long as it isn't 100 per cent effective or it doesn't inconvenience you personally.

Obviously it all depends on what Former SMB Member meant by "silencing". Personally, I think that the way people got flak for the mere fact that they criticized OMD, that they were right from the start maligned as "haters", accused as being "selfish" for liking married Peter Parker, told to "get over it" etc. pretty clearly amounted to an attempt to silence dissent instead of engaging with criticism.




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Comp 

Moderator

Location: Owings Mills, MD
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,976




    Quote:
    I think you're setting up a false dichotomy here. The way you put it, "silencing" is no problem as long as it isn't 100 per cent effective or it doesn't inconvenience you personally.



    Quote:
    Obviously it all depends on what Former SMB Member meant by "silencing". Personally, I think that the way people got flak for the mere fact that they criticized OMD, that they were right from the start maligned as "haters", accused as being "selfish" for liking married Peter Parker, told to "get over it" etc. pretty clearly amounted to an attempt to silence dissent instead of engaging with criticism.


To my recollection it's the discussion element that was the problem. On one hand, you'd have people making blanket statements without any inclination to defend or discuss, resulting ultimately in personal animosity versus actual debate. And the other issue, if I'm remembering right, is that we reached a point where virtually every thread, no matter what it was actually about, would drift into the same angry back-and-forth about "One More Day" and "Brand New Day." And that became exhausting, no matter what side of the debate you happened to fall on.

-Comp





My first novel, The Listeners, is in bookstores now! Check it out at www.harrisondemchick.com!
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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    To my recollection it's the discussion element that was the problem. On one hand, you'd have people making blanket statements without any inclination to defend or discuss, resulting ultimately in personal animosity versus actual debate. And the other issue, if I'm remembering right, is that we reached a point where virtually every thread, no matter what it was actually about, would drift into the same angry back-and-forth about "One More Day" and "Brand New Day." And that became exhausting, no matter what side of the debate you happened to fall on.



    Quote:
    -Comp


Oh, no doubt about it, there was an awful lot of back-and-forth, partly due to the fact that for several years Marvel simply refused to answer most of the questions raised by OMD and the ca. 3-month gap between OMD and BND(1) with the BS excuse that there were so many important things they had to tell in BND that they simply had no time and space to address any of them (for roughly three years). Important things meaning e. g. Jackpot the dead herring. So every little crumb of information we got (a lot of it out-of-story via creators' and editors' interviews and therefore of dubious use) was micro-examined by the fans and since in the most case these crumbs did not actually provide enough info to significantly affect the picture that already existed when BND began, so unsurprisingly debates wound up becoming repeats of those of December 2007 and January 2008.

One factor was that many of the OMD/BND sceptics would look at a story with underlying questions like "Is this good enough to justify the derailment that occurred in OMD?" and "Could this story have worked with Spider-Man still married?", while among the BND fans there were those who wanted to enjoy the new stuff so much that they blanked out OMD and therefore disliked it when these questions were posed. (OTOH they were quick to seize upon stuff that clearly had nothing to do with the Mephisto retcon to proclaim OMD/BND a success, e. g. the return of thought bubbles and the thrice-monthly ASM replacing the three parallel Spidey books).

And of course another problem was that there was so little else being discussed here. E. g. at the time I really enjoyed Ultimate Spider-Man, but it wasn't mentioned on this board much.


(1) AFAIK some of them are still not answered, e. g. "What happened to the organic webshooters and the "Other" powers?". Also AFAIK, the fanon contention that MJ never became pregnant during the OMDized Clone Saga is only something people inferred from the obsessive and out-of-character connection Quesada!MJ made between marriage and having children in OMIT (and nowhere else).


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scottsnewpostingname




As I recall, in Joe Q.'s exact words the master plan was to "Crack the internet." I guess it worked. I wonder how he feels about completely polarizing his fan base now?


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Blargh




I remember people barging into normal discussion threads, who hadn't read the books and had no intention of reading them, derailing the threads into off topic discussion. If they were "silenced" for breaking the rules of staying relatively on topic, then put on some big boy pants, build a bridge, and get over it.

I'm just saying I have been a very vocal critic of some of the Spider stuff I've read and have never felt silenced or stifled in any way. I don't mind having a discussion and defending my point of view.

If other people felt "silenced" then it sounds like the problem is with you rather than with your specific opinion.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    I remember people barging into normal discussion threads, who hadn't read the books and had no intention of reading them, derailing the threads into off topic discussion. If they were "silenced" for breaking the rules of staying relatively on topic, then put on some big boy pants, build a bridge, and get over it.



    Quote:
    I'm just saying I have been a very vocal critic of some of the Spider stuff I've read and have never felt silenced or stifled in any way. I don't mind having a discussion and defending my point of view.



    Quote:
    If other people felt "silenced" then it sounds like the problem is with you rather than with your specific opinion.


Of course someone else might get the idea that you approve of the "silencing" because it so happened to target people whose contributions you disliked and declare "off topic". What you may feel off-topic need not be to anyone.

This reminds me: Another reason why OMD kept being discussed all over the place is probably that back then it did not take that long for enough new threads to get started for the thread on which you were debating to be pushed under the end of the first page, and then many would continue their never-ending debate on some thread on the first page rather than go to page 2, then 3, then 4 to continue in the original thread.




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Grey Gargoyle

We're getting older

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man




What's off-topic is off-topic. If people want to criticize the books for the actual content of those books, that's fine. In fact, it should be encouraged, because that's the whole point of having a message board in the first place. But if someone has nothing to say about a book other than "it's a post-OMD Spider-Man book, therefore it sucks", that's not contributing anything to the discussion and I can't blame the mods for "silencing" them.

Now, if they wanted to complain about OMD in a separate thread, that's fine too, though I can understand why the mods wouldn't want literally every other thread to be about that particular topic. But there's no reason to derail every other discussion by making it about OMD.


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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man




You and the OP seem to be cherry-picking statistics to draw some unwarranted conclusions. You make it sound like the sudden drop in activity was a result of OMD, but the board has always had its ups and downs, and you're comparing a time when there was a lot going on in Spider-Man's world to a time when there's not all that much happening. As Comp noted in an earlier thread, this isn't a particularly eventful time for Spider-Man discussions. Spider-Verse is a fairly mediocre crossover, and there's not a lot to say about it. It's not intriguing enough for people to talk and speculate about it, but it's also not bad enough to people to complain about it. Spider-Man doesn't have another movie coming out for a few years, and his new cartoon isn't all that popular. There's just not a lot to talk about.

If you looked at this board's activity when The Amazing Spider-Man came out, or when the Superior Spider-Man story arc first began, I bet it would be a lot higher than it is now. Likewise, if you looked at this board's activity during the middle of the JMS run, before The Other and Civil War and Back in Black, I bet it would be a lot lower than it was in the months immediately preceding OMD. The scenario you're describing, where these boards were buzzing with activity prior to OMD and dead as a doornail afterwards, didn't actually happen. There's really not any clear divide like the one you're proposing.

Additionally, Comicboards as a whole is less active than it used to be. This site isn't particularly well-advertised anymore, and hasn't been since the early 2000s. The site also has a lot more competition than it did ten years ago, thanks to the rise of mass-media comic sites like Newsarama and Comicvine, which provide forums to talk about comics in addition to plenty of other content. It also uses a rather old-fashioned formatting style that probably turns off a lot of younger internet users, since they're used to more responsive and faster-paced sites like 4chan, Reddit, or even Facebook. As a result, old posters leave because they're too busy with real life, and new posters don't show up.

On top of all that, the comics industry itself is slowly dwindling, despite the success of superhero movies and TV shows. Old readers are getting frustrated with modern comics and quitting, and potential new readers are put off by the real or perceived inaccessibility of those comics. So there are increasingly fewer people who want to talk about comics in the first place, and out of those few people, only a very small percentage of them will find Comicboards and stick around, for the reasons mentioned above.


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Blargh





    Quote:
    Of course someone else might get the idea that you approve of the "silencing" because it so happened to target people whose contributions you disliked and declare "off topic". What you may feel off-topic need not be to anyone.


That's really insulting that you would accuse mods of playing favorites and punishing people whose opinions they disagree with.

It is even more so insulting to think that I am a mod or someone who has had any authority over...well, anyone.

Also, I know at least one of the mods said he hated OMD and nearly everything after that. Another more publicly has said it is a mixed bag. So you pretty much have two members on "your side" (though to count me as some pro-BND fanatic is kind of odd considering my posting history). Yet you feel silenced and discouraged....why?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I've been on this board off and on since shortly before Marvel published Civil War. In each of those eras in those years, there's been some Spidey I've loved, some I've hated, and a lot of mundane. When it is stuff I've hated, I've never ever felt that I was being silenced, discouraged or whatever adjective people choose. But I'm also not afraid of discussing my opinion or exchanging thoughts on it.

If you have, the problem was probably with you. Just saying.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Of course someone else might get the idea that you approve of the "silencing" because it so happened to target people whose contributions you disliked and declare "off topic". What you may feel off-topic need not be to anyone.



    Quote:
    That's really insulting that you would accuse mods of playing favorites and punishing people whose opinions they disagree with.



    Quote:
    It is even more so insulting to think that I am a mod or someone who has had any authority over...well, anyone.


I did not say the mods were playing favourites, but I did find myself disagreeing with some of their decisions at the time. I observed that you approve of their decisions at the time, but that did not lead me to the nonsensical conclusion that you were a mod or anything, I just noticed that we reacted to their policies in a different way.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    What's off-topic is off-topic. If people want to criticize the books for the actual content of those books, that's fine. In fact, it should be encouraged, because that's the whole point of having a message board in the first place. But if someone has nothing to say about a book other than "it's a post-OMD Spider-Man book, therefore it sucks", that's not contributing anything to the discussion and I can't blame the mods for "silencing" them.



    Quote:
    Now, if they wanted to complain about OMD in a separate thread, that's fine too, though I can understand why the mods wouldn't want literally every other thread to be about that particular topic. But there's no reason to derail every other discussion by making it about OMD.


A few problems with that:

This is a Spider-Man message board, so in principle everything Spider-Man-related is in the widest sense on topic.

Fans clearly wanted to continue discussing OMD and OMD kept being relevant because Marvel kept telling people that BND was the awesomeness (apparently of 20 years of absolutely terrible quality during the marriage) that OMD made possible. So pointing out that a storyline did not vindicate OMD either because it was itself merely mediocre at best or because it could have been told just as well if not with more drama with a married Spider-Man was on-topic was on-topic.

As was pointing out and complaining about that the BND stories clearly avoided the many unanswered questions caused by the ending of OMD and the segue to BND. The fact that Marvel wanted people to ignore the elephant in the living room does not mean everybody here on this board had to obey them.

I have to wonder how many people seriously proposed that a story was bad because it was set after OMD or whether this isn't a straw man.



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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126


In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a social scientist of sorts myself (a historian).


    Quote:
    You and the OP seem to be cherry-picking statistics to draw some unwarranted conclusions. You make it sound like the sudden drop in activity was a result of OMD, but the board has always had its ups and downs, and you're comparing a time when there was a lot going on in Spider-Man's world to a time when there's not all that much happening. As Comp noted in an earlier thread, this isn't a particularly eventful time for Spider-Man discussions. Spider-Verse is a fairly mediocre crossover, and there's not a lot to say about it. It's not intriguing enough for people to talk and speculate about it, but it's also not bad enough to people to complain about it. Spider-Man doesn't have another movie coming out for a few years, and his new cartoon isn't all that popular. There's just not a lot to talk about.


Umm, saying that there is less activity here now because this isn't an eventful time in Spider-Man discussions is saying that there is less activity now because there is less activity now.

Spider-verse is supposed to be a huge event, Marvel used it as justification to launch new titles (Spider-Gwen, Silk etc. should have spawned many threads of their own), much-loved characters were killed, etc., but the reaction here is apathy. (People should also be talking about the possibility of Marvel rebooting this year and maybe speculate about the "Renewing Your Vows" teaser). There is actually quite a bit of stuff going on re. the moview with talk of a second reboot now that Marvel and Sony seem to have come to an agreement. So the normal expectation would be that there should be a lot of debate here - and not just on navel-gazing threads like this one ;\-\) .


    Quote:
    If you looked at this board's activity when The Amazing Spider-Man came out, or when the Superior Spider-Man story arc first began, I bet it would be a lot higher than it is now. Likewise, if you looked at this board's activity during the middle of the JMS run, before The Other and Civil War and Back in Black, I bet it would be a lot lower than it was in the months immediately preceding OMD. The scenario you're describing, where these boards were buzzing with activity prior to OMD and dead as a doornail afterwards, didn't actually happen. There's really not any clear divide like the one you're proposing.


I think you're arguing beside the point; oldspideyfan only compared activity pre-OMD to activity in January, he did not describe the scenario that you say he described. And FormerSMBMember only wrote about being made to feel unwelcome here during the aftermath of OMD. Myself, I never claimed that the boards were buzzing with activity before OMD and dead as a doornail afterwards, knowing full well that if anything OMD for quite a while resulted in a rise of board activity.

But I would still say that OMD is one of the reasons that activity on this board diminished in the long run. OMD, BND, OMIT etc. made many people stop caring for Spider-Man because he became a different, for many less likeable character and that the fan-fiction by Quesada, Slott and co. had made the franchise "jump the shark". With that a lot of people no longer mustered the energy even to voice their discontent, which made the discussions of recent storylines a bit more one-sided and consequently shorter.




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Blargh






    Quote:
    Additionally, Comicboards as a whole is less active than it used to be. This site isn't particularly well-advertised anymore, and hasn't been since the early 2000s. The site also has a lot more competition than it did ten years ago, thanks to the rise of mass-media comic sites like Newsarama and Comicvine, which provide forums to talk about comics in addition to plenty of other content. It also uses a rather old-fashioned formatting style that probably turns off a lot of younger internet users, since they're used to more responsive and faster-paced sites like 4chan, Reddit, or even Facebook. As a result, old posters leave because they're too busy with real life, and new posters don't show up.


I only post on one other comics forum besides this one (Something Awful-Batman's Shameful Secret) but it is clearly obvious that other comic sites and forums are much more popular. And for others, they may avoid that completely and just discuss over social media via hashtags and whatnot.


    Quote:
    On top of all that, the comics industry itself is slowly dwindling, despite the success of superhero movies and TV shows. Old readers are getting frustrated with modern comics and quitting, and potential new readers are put off by the real or perceived inaccessibility of those comics. So there are increasingly fewer people who want to talk about comics in the first place, and out of those few people, only a very small percentage of them will find Comicboards and stick around, for the reasons mentioned above.


This too. I think when I first started reading comics, the top 10 or so comic issues were all selling for 100,000+ units (okay, Diamond shipped, but I digress). Nowadays, if I eliminate the stuff with mainstream popularity like Walking Dead, the mega events like Axis, and A-list character #1 issues, it is pretty rare for the biggest selling comics to reach much further than 100,000.


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Blargh




It isn't that I approve of their actions or not. I just don't see them making moderating decisions based on people criticizing a story and think the claims to such are bull, because I've criticized stories and never felt anything less than welcome to do so. It also seems even more of a dubious claim considering at least two of the mods are not fans of OMD, and at least one of them only buys Spidey comics second hand now at cons rather than directly from comic stores.

Also, because, you know...the massive amount of criticism on the stories during OMD and BND. So to claim people were silenced (I know you didn't use those words) when there's hundreds of posts suggesting otherwise is really, really odd.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126



    Quote:
    It isn't that I approve of their actions or not. I just don't see them making moderating decisions based on people criticizing a story and think the claims to such are bull, because I've criticized stories and never felt anything less than welcome to do so. It also seems even more of a dubious claim considering at least two of the mods are not fans of OMD, and at least one of them only buys Spidey comics second hand now at cons rather than directly from comic stores.


Well, the thing for me is this: I see FormerSMBmember's post and your reaction to it, and since my own memories of the post-OMD debates in 2007 and 2008 are somewhat different from yours, your posts are not enough to make me laugh off FormerSMBmember.

I would not go as far as saying that moderating decisions were based on people criticizing stories, however I would say that when moderators at the time were more likely to make decisions against members of the anti-OMD/BND camp than the pro-OMD/BND camp because it is much easier to claim that an anti-OMD/BND poster is derailing a thread about the latest BND instalment because s/he brings up OMD than to claim that a pro-BND poster is derailing an OMD-related thread by bringing up BND stuff. Also, the way the mods declared a fight against "negativity" left me with the distinct impression that criticism of OMD and BND was at best tolerated, while a supportive attitude to the new direction was encouraged (win points for "positive" posts!). (Also, some of the moderators' positions evolved over time, IIRC).

Also, I would be so bold to claim that nobody was a fan OMD then and no one is now. Only Joe Quesada made a half-hearted attempt to sell it as a good story, but in general the supporters and apologists were content to justify it as a "necessary evil" and to try to pin the blame for the story's crappiness on J. M. Straczynski.



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