Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Message Board Threads to Avoid

Hello, I like to be helpful to you. One of the ways our site has been helpful in the past is by Alex showing you how to be a happy nerd. In it, he describes the evils of comic book message boards in brief. Today, I'd like to take a bit more time and list some specific threads that you may want to avoid if you find yourself looking at a comic book message board.

1. Threads about creators whose work you really like. There will be some idiot with shitty taste talking smack. It will annoy you.

2. Threads about creators whose work you really can't stand. There will be some idiot with shitty taste talking nice. It will annoy you.

3. Threads full of apologist bullshit. Some people will go to any lengths to make DC's current editorial direction seem TOTALLY AWESOME! They are morons.

4. Threads about sex. This should be obvious, but apparently it isn't. You will read a lot of gross shit if you click on that link. Ugly people bragging about their ugly sex and moderately attractive people being worshipped as goddesses. It's real icky and uncomfortable.

5. Threads about politics. People like to say message boards are like a party, or a bar. Then why do people constantly break important party rules? Never discuss politics. It never changes anyone's mind, and if you all agree, then why don't you just go jerk yourselves off?

6. Threads about posters' personal lives. Either the posts themselves or the responses thereto will depress the shit out of you.

7. Threads where people post pictures of "hot girls." a) It's demeaning; b) if you really need to look, just go outside; c) if that's impossible, go to internet sites dedicated not to comics, but showing you what hot girls look like; and d) they are rarely actually hot and usually look like this:

self-esteem issues galore

And while, no, they're not fat and yes, they have the correct number of limbs, only an amateur would mistake these headcases for "hot girls." I mean, look at this. DENTAL WORK, PEOPLE! It's not THAT EXPENSIVE!


8. The other threads. If you find a thread that doesn't qualify as one of the above seven, it eventually will. So just avoid it in principle before it bites you on the ass.

I hope this guide has been helpful. I live to serve.

44 Love Letters:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Message boards are sucktacularly depressing.

For a variety of reasons.

They fall into several camps, all of obvious suckiness:

Sycophantic Mobs of Creator Ass-kissery

Nerds, Nerds and More Nerds.

Mean nerds, who take themselves very seriously.

Sad Nerds, who NEED THAT BOARD for a social life.

The "Publisher X Can Do No Wrong while the Basically Identical Publisher Y can Do No Right" Board

and of course, worst of all...

the DOCTOR DOOM VERSUS CATWOMAN board. I will never in a trillion billion years understand the IMMENSE appeal of the character versus character baords. People actually debating whether or not Thor could beat Darkseid.... FOR WEEKS.


10:54 AM

Anonymous red_ricky said...

I can't believe you were staring at their dental work!?!? Are you insane?

I mean, didn’t you notice their fine costume craftsmanship???
Their double needle top-stitching!
Their pleating and shirring!

Those are two major sets of talent, those girls have there!

By God, man!!! What have you done to your Y chromosome?

11:47 AM

Anonymous Nate Atkinson said...

to quote y'all:
"How can I have any pride in this hobby?"
These women are real people and you did nothing to hide their identities. I doubt they had that picture taken so that you could talk a bunch of shit and make a point at their expense... or so that other posters could make comments about their "two major sets of talent."
Nate Atkinson

1:08 PM

Anonymous red_ricky said...

I was talking about their sewing abilities you jerk! And how those costumes rocked and how I think they are two of the most awesome seamstresses I’ve ever seen.

And even though I don’t know them, I’m sure they were very proud of their costumes and body of work; and that’s why they posed for the camera!

But hey Nate, if you’re bored, then maybe I could give you a list of all the Blogs and Message Boards that I frequent; so that you can get ‘crakin’ on getting me banned from all of them.

Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll have enough material to get Joe to include an addendum to his list about self-righteous dweebs who police the web just so they can run back and ‘tell’ their favorite writers and artists when someone is criticizing them or their work.

Oh look! Someone just sat on a whoopi-cushion! Quick Nate! Go tell John Byrne that someone farted! And don’t forget to make your thread real long and juicy and get everyone riled up for war! I'm sure he's bound to reward such a good soldier with, I don't know, his firstborn, or something.

2:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to hid etheir identities? That picture was posted all over another MUCH FUCKING LARGER nerd community, but at long last, it's up to us to protect their anonymity?

Fuck off.

And by the way, if you think they didn't make those costumes to get a lot of fanboys riled, then you're a schmuck. People do dumb shit like cosplay TO GET ATTENTION.

I should know. I spent a year recreating an absolutely accurate Ghostbuster uniform. But I don't have fake tits to show off, so what do I know?

-John Penrod

3:18 PM

Anonymous Nate Atkinson said...

Perhaps it was the "two major sets" wording, or maybe that it preceded your questioning the writer's manliness. Sorry for attributing clever word-play to an unfortunate turn of phrase.
I can assure you I have no interest in getting anyone banned from anywhere, though I understand your paranoia. After all, you seem ready to have me added to a list of some sort.
For the record, I'm a big fan of whoopie cusions, but Mr. Byrne doesn't need my help pissing people off.
Mr. Penrod,
I'm not sure who "we" is. Do you contribute to the site? In any event, I think some hiding of identities is in order, given that the post's purpose was to dress down the women in the photo. And even if the photo came from a "MUCH FUCKING LARGER NERD COMMUNITY," and was designed to rile up "fanboys," I'm not sure they wanted the ridicule, even if ridicule is a risk you necessarily assume when presenting yourself online.
To the folks at Listen,
I quite like your site, and I really believe you want to contribute to making the medium and the blogosphere better. The thing is, a BLOG is a public forum, and your BLOG is a public face for a medium and community that has a long way to go toward proving to the outside world, and the comics blogosphere. that it isn't a boy's club.
Nate Atkinson

3:44 PM

Blogger Paul said...

If the non-comics-reading public looks to our blog for anything at all, it's by mistake.

And it doesn't really matter to me if 40 year-old men want to dress up as Klingons. Whatever floats their loser boat.

But since you started it...

Nate: "Your BLOG is a public face for a medium and community that has a long way to go toward proving to the outside world, and the comics blogosphere, that it isn't a boy's club."

So, since our blog is "a public face" for this hobby of ours, and we're burdened with the responsibility of "proving to the outside world" that comics aren't "a boy's club," we SHOULDN'T decry the idiots that slobber all over adult women dressed as Power Girl?

To prove we're not a boy's club, we should condone this type of thing by our silence?

Dollars to donuts that woman dressed as Power Girl doesn't even know who the fuck Power Girl is. And if she DOES know who Power Girl is, why in God's name is she dressed as her? Sorry, I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a real Power Girl fan.

There are such things as attention-whoring morons and skanks, though. And THAT'S the face the public sees. And THAT'S the kind of thing should be combatted if the public is ever to accept that we aren't a "boy's club."

4:57 PM

Anonymous red_ricky said...

Nate, dude, you missed the whole joke.

I wasn’t questioning the writer’s manliness (I know for a fact that the guy is very successful with the ladies). I was juxtaposing his focus in ‘dental work’ with my knowledge of the tailoring craft; in what I was hoping was an amusing and entertaining way. The girls were background even though they are foreground. It really wasn’t about them.

I thought he was being funny. I was trying to be funny. But Dude, you never gave him a chance to respond. How do you know he (or some other reader) wasn’t about to dress me down? You blew up at comment #2.

Which brings me to your post.

First, the list I was talking about, is the one we are currently commenting on. You know… has 8 points, number 7 was about pictures, number 5 is about politics, number 9 will probably be about flame wars or blowing up, or taking things too seriously. Get it?

And second of all, do you really think that putting a black box over their eye-line really protects their identities? Isn’t that conducive to more objectification? I mean, poets say that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul. Take that away, and you are just looking at their bodies. Right?

5:29 PM

Anonymous Nate Atkinson said...

The irony of this whole thing hasn't eluded me, and I never meant to start a flame war. I realize the post was a joke, my whole point about the public/private thing is that sometimes jokes that are totally acceptable in one context cause problems in others. For example, I can say outrageous shit to my friend because he knows I'm not sexist, homophobic, rascist of whatever. But if I'm tossing something out to people in the public, I'll be a little more careful with my words.
That said, you have a point about the insularity of the comics bloggong community. Still, as the uproar over at Pereitakos (sic?) over Rose's comments about CBG, people are touchy even within the blogging community. Now berfore things get really bad, let me say that I am not taking a position on that whole debate, which I think ended up needlessly overblown. The same could be said for this one. Clearly I stepped into a humorous exchange between friends, and nothing sucks like having your parade pissed on by someone who seems like a self-righteous whiner (see what I mean about context).
I can't say that I'm totally at ease with your intial response, or that I'm cool with with posting the pictures in the way they were posted. But I'm happy to answer to the sort of questions you posed at the end of your last response.
Black boxes: I don't know whether they objectify the model, and objectification wasn't my point. My point was teasing people in public either without their knowledge or consent, and without giving them an opportunity to tease back. (Keep in mind, I'm assuming these ladies aren't in on the joke, if they are, then all this can be tossed out the window.)
So again, I'm sorry if I'm stirring things up here. If this post leads to a bunch of circular debate and hair pulling, I'll be happy to keep off the thread.

7:07 PM

Anonymous Nate Atkinson said...

PS- By teasing people, I include Klingons, Green Lanterns, and the rest. Yes, I was particularly concerned by the gender at first, but like I said, I didn't think think the post was misogynist so much as I felt it could appear misogynist.

7:20 PM

Blogger Hinch said...

"These women are real people and you did nothing to hide their identities."
I thought the point of super hero costumes was to hide your identity, atleast a little bit. Sure, Supergirl and Powergirl don't do as good a job as Batgirl, but they are atleast trying. I don't know who they really are!

PS - The post about character vs. character threads gave me an idea. Who would win in a fight between Powergirl and Supergirl? Please, debate about it until we all degrade into screaming idiots.

10:43 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

If you do something stupid and post it in a public place, you are willingly saying "It's OK to make fun of this."

That's all I have to say about that.

12:59 AM

Blogger Lena said...

Great list- 4 and 5 are spot on.

9:51 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Thank you, Lena. Your praise warms my heart.

10:01 AM

Blogger Dread said...


Nerds laughing and pointing at nerds has got to be one of the best spectator sports in the entire universe!

You could sell fuckin' tickets, I tell you!

10:11 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

There is no more a cannibalistic group more willing to destroy their own.

Still, I don't count these girls as my own.

10:20 AM

Blogger Dread said...

Can I have them?

I have wonderful ideas involving swiss cheese and horseradish sauce.

10:22 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...


10:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only person in the world who sees a difference between nerds that are people who happen to like reading and discussing comics, and nerds who are total losers with shitty taste, internet message boards being their only social outlet?

I mean, if you took examples of both, and put them side by side in a social setting, it would be pretty clear that there's a difference.

I mean, I see the humor in attempting to point out hypocrisy, but it doesn't totally work. It's more justified to call these guys out for being jerks, but "nerds laughing at nerds" rather simplifies the social pecking order, no?

I thought it was funny, anyway.


10:27 AM

Blogger Dread said...

I think the "pecking order" thing is pretty telling, actually.

"Well yeah, I like Sci-Fi, but Star Wars isn't really Sci-Fi."

"Well, yeah, I like Star Wars, but I wouldn't stand in a line for it!"

"Well, yeah, I'd stand in line but I wouldn't dress in costume."

Comic geeks > RPGers > LARPers > Cosplayers > furries etc, etc, ad infinitum.

And the whole "shitty taste" thing is sooo subjective. For example, you may think I have shitty taste for thinking that the Paul Pope [i]Solo[/i] was the only one of that series to suck hard, while I might think that if you *liked* it you therefore had "shitty taste."

And neither of us would be right, nor would we be wrong.

10:50 AM

Blogger Paul said...

Dread has been a pal of the bloggers here for many many years, Anonymous K.F. He can simplify the social pecking order however he wants, particularly because he's at the top of ours.

And that has nothing to do with the fact that he's bigger and meaner than all of us put together.

10:57 AM

Blogger Dread said...

Enh, we're all social misfits, Paul. In some ways, you readily surpass me!

Jackie > Beelzebitch.

11:07 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

I still firmly believe that taste and art is not totally subjective. It CAN BE PROVEN that the quality of writing and art in Mr. Pope's work is superiour to the, say, Sale issue. There are technical issues that can be addressed. There is nothing wrong with liking what you like, but liking something doesn't make it good. Just because someone loves the taste of shit doesn't mean it has equal cuisinal value.

Recognition of excellence does nothing about a person's character, worth, or hygiene but it is not a subjective intangible. Relativism is a false directive forced upon western liberal society.

2:46 PM

Blogger Paul said...

Cuisinal is totally not a word.

3:03 PM

Anonymous Evan said...

Doesn't this blog with it's comment section qualify as a message board?

4:19 PM

Blogger alex said...


5:14 PM

Blogger Hinch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:14 PM

Blogger Hinch said...

"Am I the only person in the world who sees a difference between nerds that are people who happen to like reading and discussing comics."

I think Dread was onto something with the nerd pecking order here. There are many subtle types of nerd. Just because you aren't uncomfortable in a social setting doesn't mean you aren't a nerd. It just means you have evolved a little more than some. Your genes will be passed onto the next generation of nerds.

6:16 PM

Blogger Brad Curran said...

Joe's last post is very interesting to me, mainly because I disagree with him a lot.

"It CAN BE PROVEN that the quality of writing and art in Mr. Pope's work is superiour to the, say, Sale issue. There are technical issues that can be addressed."

You're completely right. I do think that there's a lot of subjectivity to criticism in that everybody applies critical standards differently and filters them through their biases. But yes, you can look at things like plot, pacing, characterization, and so on, and judge writing on those terms, so you can prove that Pope's issue is better than Sale's, or my personal favorite face off, that Watchmen is a better written comic than Ellis's Authority.

"There is nothing wrong with liking what you like, but liking something doesn't make it good. Just because someone loves the taste of shit doesn't mean it has equal cuisinal value."

See, when I say I like, say, Claremont's X-Men more than David Boring (to pick one example that will make a vein in your head explode), I'm not saying that the Dark Phoenix Saga is a better crafted work than DB. I'm just saying that I prefer on to the other. Empirical quality's not tacitly involved.

Taste is ultimately subjective, because it's personal. It doesn't have anything to do with the provable, empirical qualities of a work, and somebody saying they like something isn't a declaration of quality. Well, okay, it usually is, on that person's part. I remember that I used to fully believe that everything I enjoyed was art was a capital a at one point in my life.

My point is that I agree with you that saying you like something doesn't mean its good. That's completely true. And that's why I think that getting worked up about matters of taste is kind of pointless. "There's no accounting for taste" has stuck as a phrase for a reason.

I don't think people should conflate taste with liteary value and think that just because they like JSA more than Jimmy Corrigan that the former's better. That said, I think you're conflating the two here, too, Joe, just in a different way than the person who thinks that Green Lantern Rebirth is art because they like it Although, I have to wonder if people even think in critical terms like that in matters of taste.

"Relativism is a false directive forced upon western liberal society."

What's the alternative? Seriously.

8:23 PM

Blogger Jake said...

Joe, you should have just wrote "all of them" and saved yourself the trouble of caragorizing them.

Although I'm still on CBR because there's still a few people I like to talk comics with on there, every day brings me closer to quitting like you did.

1:49 AM

Blogger alex said...

one of us

one of us

one of us

6:51 AM

Anonymous Dubin said...

Uh, what's wrong with their teeth? I feel like if you're going to stoop to ripping on someone's teeth, they better be missing, bright yellow, gold capped or British. Those girls' teeth look perfectly fine to me. Better than Joe's teeth, anyway.

Also, who's Power Girl?

11:49 PM

Blogger alex said...

I (shudder) have to agree with Dubin on this one.


7:19 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Gentlemen, your screens need better resolution then. Supergirl has some weird incisors that don't JUT out but stick out a bit. Power Girl has GREY TEETH!

I'm very picky about teeth. No Englishwomen or Japanese girls for me.

And Dubes, Power Girl is a lame-ass Supergirl ripoff whose claims to fame are that a) her origin keeps changing because each one is too dumb and b) she's got big boobs.

9:12 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Brad, you're actually pretty much TOTALLY agreeing with me. Like what you like, that's awesome. But don't conflate liking something with quality, because they're very different things. I can't stand some great things and I love some crap. Same goes for everyone else. So I guess taste IS totally subjective BUT it is possible for the hierarchy contained within your taste to be incorrect.

9:25 AM

Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Well, Joe, you make a lot of good points and- WHAT'S THAT?!

(Runs away, and jumps out the window)


9:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these girls are rather attractive, and I see nothing worng with their "dental work". And I actually do, honestly, think that those costumes rock and are worthy of inclusion on any message board related to comic books and comic culture. To think otherwise seems ridiculous and pompous on your part. -Reggie Swats- CBR Forum poster

1:52 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Well, Reggie, sorry, you're wrong. Those two are bleached beasts.

Yes, their costumes are quite nice. And if they were brought up strictly in that way, I'd have no problem. But that's not how they were brought into play. They were brought into play as sex objects. "LOOK HOW HAWWWT!!!" That's demeaning and nasty to begin with, and when the drooling is after such mediocre aesthetics, it's just sad.

9:56 AM

Anonymous Chris Griswold said...

Wow, man, I was linked to a decent entry on this blog, and I even subscribed to the RSS feed.

But this is fucking atrocious. You like to bash comics fans -- and really, who doesn't? But you certainly don't rise above the level of discourse by trashing these two girls.

Were you supposed to hide their identities? No, but you were judging these girls pretty harshly, and even garbage magazines on the supermarket rack will hide people's faces when they disparage their appearances.

It's not constructive, and it's just plain mean.

I won't be reading this blog anymore. You've shown yourselves to be ignorant and low-minded.

It's really too bad: Like I said, I had enjoyed what little I had read.

4:56 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

If one guy on a blog publically finding two drooled-after average women sub-par is offensive to you, don't let the e-door hit you on your e-ass on your e-way-out, Griswold.

Like we'd want a Chevy Chase movie hanging around here, anyway.

9:33 PM

Blogger Chris Griswold said...

I just remembered this blog, you douchebag hack.

Have you ever been funny?

9:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


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