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So I've been reading around on the blogs of a couple of my friends, and JD Cowan, Bradford Walker, and Brian Niemeier have really got me thinking, and I think this needs to be said. Well, honestly it probably doesn't need to be said, but I'm gonna say it anyway! Willfully and knowingly stating the gob-smackingly obvious has never stopped me before, why let it now?
In their posts (Bradford's is here, Brian's is here, read Bradford's first because Brian builds on it) they talk about Star Wars and how it's basically gone to shit. They have several theories about why, and like I said they got me thinking. But this post is about what we can do about it. Now most of you already know the solution I'm going to give, but there might be some out there that don't, so allow me to be that guy and just go ahead and state the bafflingly obvious for everybody.
These companies and franchises are shells of their former selves. They are no longer producing material of any quality (except maybe Marvel's movies and tv shows, but I'm so bored and turned off by the practices of their comics division that I can't even get excited about the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie), they're derivative, their heroes have all become bad xeroxes of Watchmen, and they're not doing anything new or fresh that really resonates with people. JD Cowan explains in this very good post on his blog, Wastelandandsky. It's a long one, but my god is it good. You should all go read it.
These companies are not what they once were, as I and others have said. They have been infected by several illnesses, and much like our beloved genres of SFF, it's slowly killing them. Much like in a zombie movie, wherein someone will be bitten, turn, then bite their idiot family member who doesn't get that they're not who they were anymore, these companies are trying to bring their industries and genres down with them.
It's time we stopped being sentimental.
It's time to put them down.
Metaphorically and financially speaking, of course. As RagingGoldenEagle said on twitter:
One simple line that Marvel seems to have completely forgotten! pic.twitter.com/M83bJ3RIOe— RagingGoldenEagle (@RageGoldenEagle) April 16, 2017
And he's right. These companies have completely forgotten this. They have lost their commitment to JUSTICE and as such their fate is beyond sealed. They've lost their once iron clad knowledge of what audiences are really after, and because of this sales numbers are declining. So they've already consigned themselves to slow death. The Marvel Vice President of Sales is so stupid that he actually thinks that "diversity" is killing comics, and that people just want more white men in their comic books. People don't care about "diversity", he is right about that. People love "diverse" characters like Luke Cage, Storm, Black Panther, and all the rest of them. For some people out there these are some of their favorite heroes. The problem is that they're taking beloved characters and racebending them to make them more diverse in hopes that the name (like Iron Man or Ms. Marvel) will keep enough readers interested, and that the story will hold their interest.
Well, the issue is that people can see through this, and they're not having it anymore. You guys screwed the pooch so fucking hard with FemThor that everybody knows what you're trying to do, and we're done having this political agenda shoved down our throats when all we want is a comic to read to escape from our everyday lives. We don't want to see your writers lampooning Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, we don't want your speeches about how "women superheroes are oppressed because they're women", and we damn sure don't want you fucking with our beloved characters! This is as clear as I can make it. Nobody cares about the sex or skin color of the hero.
Well, maybe some people do, but those people weren't gonna buy the fucking comics anyways, AS WAS PROVED WITH FEMTHOR IF YOU REMEMBER THAT DRASTIC DROP IN SALES, so their opinion should be discarded and you people should be listening to the actual fans. And the actual fans want you to stop fucking shoehorning your leftist political ideology into your comics. We want you to stop making the politics the main focus of the story. Not everything has to be political, for fuck's sake! Dial it back a few notches, and concentrate on writing and drawing fun stories that will get your audience back.
Now, as I type this, I know that this advice will fall on deaf ears and unseeing eyes. These companies and franchises have hit the death spiral with a will that is astounding, almost as if they're begging for bankruptcy and irrelevance.
I say we should give them what they're asking for.
Let's see if we can't accelerate that death spiral we see them obviously engaging in.
And the way to do this is to just stop fucking buying their crap. Don't go see the movies, don't watch the tv shows, and damn sure don't buy the comics. Take that money you were going to use on that, and go spend it on something actually worthwhile. There are independent publishers out there. Dark Horse, Image, IDW, not to mention all of the smaller publishers like Kung Fu Comics, Alterna Comics, and others that you could be getting your new and exciting material from, instead of staid bullshit that doesn't go anywhere and doesn't matter because they're gonna reboot the universe anyway in five years. This isn't even counting all the manga you could be buying that actually does take its story seriously and has good plot development. Which you can get at RightStufAnime.com via my affiliate program on the left there (shameless plug).
Point is, there are so many other places that deserve your money. Why are you still giving it to these people who don't care about you? These companies are the equivalent of the rock star who's gotten monumentally famous and now doesn't have time for the fans who got him there in the first place.
They don't have time for you.
Return the favor.
Stop giving these people your money, clicks, and attention.
They turned on you a long time ago. It's time to turn on them.
Now I hear some of you saying that the tv shows and movies are still good, but are they? Are they really? Especially knowing that the people who comprise this company fucking hate people like you and me? Do you really want to fund those people? There are, as I said, other, smaller, more deserving entities that you could give your money to. People with an attitude like Brian Niemeier's. "The customer is the boss, we give them what they want." You have limited funds for stuff like this, and you probably shouldn't be giving it to people who hate your guts. Just sayin. I know how it is. I grew up reading Marvel and DC. They are home to some of my favorite characters. But now I've cut them off. I know it's doable. If I can do it you can too. Besides, if you still need your Marvel/DC fix, there is a thriving used market where you still get your comics and they don't get a fucking dime. (hint hint mycomicshop.com hint hint shameless plug)
You need to cut them off completely, and encourage everyone else to do so as well. That means no comics, no loot crate, no merchandise, no movie tickets, no Nielsens on the tv, no nothing. Cut off their profits and bask in the schadenfreude as they shrivel up and die, still maintaining that they were right and the customers were wrong as they fade into irrelevance and history.
Because sales numbers are JUSTICE. And when you turn your back on JUSTICE, eventually JUSTICE will come for you.
This public service message provided by your local bitter, angry comic book/Star Wars fan.