this is what they think about you

February 27th, 2012 by | Tags: ,

I grew up on Marvel comics. I liked them as a kid, but our relationship is more complex now. It’s honest. I like a lot of things Marvel does. I dislike or ignore several other things. But overall, I think of Marvel fondly. They’re where all my favorite heroes came from, and their artistic bench is deep. I write about comics online, including Marvel comics. Sometimes I love them and slobber over them for weeks. Sometimes I hate them and write about why. I try to do it without breaking down into ad hominems and all the garbage that litters comics internet. I’m a smart dude, too smart to fall into those traps. I think my posts reflect that. I even have this unspoken rule about cursing on 4l!. Excepting times when I’ve quoted other people, I’ve probably cursed less than ten times over the however many years I’ve been writing for 4l!. I don’t not-curse. I just like the challenge of expressing displeasure without going for the easiest routes. (I think it’s sharpened my sword, personally, but that’s neither here nor there.)

I say this to point out that I’m far from a Marvel hater. I did some freelance work for Marvel.com last year, and I’m not the type of guy who can work for someone he hates, no matter how many cool drawings of Spider-Man are on the checks. Just last week, me and David Uzumeri found an obvious error on Marvel’s website that let people grab jpgs of comics published in the past and, from what I saw, as far as two weeks into the future. Rather than updating the investigative/conjecture post we came up with, I emailed someone at Marvel directly. I’m not a hater, and I was surprised when Marvel editor Stephen Wacker came to my site and treated me like a hater after I expressed my opinion on the creative team changes over at Marvel.

You can see him in this post, which was about why double-shipping as Marvel has implemented it devalues the artist and hurts the comic, and this one, where I talk about instances (including a Marvel example) when art changes have been done, or will be done, in cool ways. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I’m expressing opinions, obviously. David Uzumeri, a good buddy of mine, disagrees with me. He understands why I think the way I do, and I understand the way he thinks, too. I’m not giving the sermon on the mount, here. I’m talking about something I like, and how something else interferes with that thing I like. I skirt up against the edge of insulting someone, but it’s still framed as my opinion of his work, rather than his person.

And when Stephen Wacker finds the post, rather than ignoring it (which is cool) or engaging in discussion with me on the issue (which is rare, but totally awesome), he came out firing shots at commenters and generic pundits before finally condescending to me. He implied that I’m just looking for something to be mad about (a stupid and incredibly ignorant argument to make), that I hate Marvel because I love Image (he did this in the comments of a post where I praise a Marvel comic, and shortly after commenting on a post where I praise other Marvel comics), and then he betrays the fact that he didn’t even read my post before commenting. Instead of addressing my points, he talks about things I don’t even mention, he calls me defensive, he calls me angry, and he generally turns the passive-aggressiveness all the way up in every single interaction he has with me and other commenters. He tells me that I’ve bought into Marvel vs Image before asking me why I think the time I complained about will be different. I tell him this:

I’m not buying into any shtick, and I can’t believe you’d even say something as stupid as that. Especially this idiotic rivalry you’re trying to pitch–did you miss the part where I praise Immortal Iron Fist to the high heavens and point to it as an exemplar of what can be done with multiple artists? I could’ve talked about T-bolts, another Marvel book that does well with this sort of thing, or like Chris Arrant says, DC’s Animal Man. In the post itself I explain exactly what you’re asking me to explain.

But yeah, since you want to come at me with condescension and disingenuous arguments, but sure, let’s get into it.

Other than the “Image-GOOD!/Marvel-BAD!” schtick you’re buying into (congrats to Image marketing for that coup!), what makes you think this isn’t the case here?

I don’t think that’s the case here because you went for the pass-agg condescension instead of explaining what Kano or Samnee bring to the book and how well they work with Waid. We all know they’re good artists, obviously, but how do they fit into the structure of DD? What do they add to the recipe? It would take you two entire sentences to do that. “Chris Samnee’s clean style brings to mind the swashbuckling Daredevil we haven’t seen in a while, and Kano has an incredible aptitude for fight scenes. Pham’s blockier style is somewhat reminiscent of JRjr’s run on Daredevil with Ann Nocenti, and I thought he’d be good for this story because it’s a big classic cape comics action story.”

That’s why I don’t believe you. Instead of talking to me like a grown man or pointing me toward some interview on Marvel.com, you treat me like an idiot. I’m not one of those douchebags who constantly harass you online. I hate Kbox. Why do I get treated like him for saying “Yo, I don’t like this, and here are several reasons why?”

and he says this:

You are very angry. I can see why what with it being a discussion of comics and entertainment.

I don’t believe i’m at your beck and call to explain my creative choices at your bidding, but I do interviews regularly, so my advice would be to look there and or ask our PR people for an interview. (though given your needlessly hostile tone, I’m not sure that’d be such a great way to spend my time.)

Essentially though anyone on DD or any books I oversee is there because I like them (except for Paolo who’s here because he’s dating Waid).

Who’s KBox? Is he an enemy of some sort? I don’t think you’re an enemy for what it’s worth. I don’t even know you. You’re just wrong about some stuff as are some of your posters here.

And setting aside my surprise at getting u madded (it is the penance stare of the internet, and for a brief moment, I saw the shape and color of my soul), “You’re not the boss of me” is an incredible response to an intentionally provocative request. Either way, I admitted defeat and bailed out. I knew that it was going to go nowhere but south, and frankly, I had paying work to do that was only slightly less frustrating than arguing with this guy.

I could point out more and more of his garbage. He left 18 comments between 1130 and 1430. They’re all generally the same–wondering where we get off telling him what to do (we aren’t, we’re talking about what we think is a problem on a site that isn’t his [it’s mine]) and what, should he just stop publishing Daredevil because some, snerk, “pundits,” heh heh, don’t like Chris Samnee? And when someone says no, we all like Samnee, and you’re not talking about the discussion at hand, he switches tactics again to something else.

I put an end to things by banning him. He said this in a comment: “Again I’m under no orders to deliver whatever information you or David might command at a given moment. The books speak for themselves.” and you know, I’d had enough. No one’s commanding anything. I’m one voice on the internet. My commenters, all fifteen of ’em, don’t have enough buying power to sway anything. Except for a couple bad apples I have to keep on track, my comment section is pretty good. It was all rational conversation. More of it agreed with me than I expected, but whatever, there were still good discussions down there. We’re not commanding anything. We’re doing the exact same thing people do in comic shops.

But let’s recap. I state an opinion on a website in a pretty respectful and civil manner, other than saying that I don’t like one guy’s artwork. Commenters pop up and agree or share stories about books they liked. Wacker shows up and poisons the entire well with his passive-aggressive behavior and constant disses. When called on it, he doubles down, because we are so mad that we just gotta get our Marvel five minutes hate in. When called on that, he doubles down again, because this time we just don’t like the artists. And on and on down the toilet. Later, after a couple hours of nonsense, he @s me on Twitter. I tell him:

I’m frustrated at this point, and trying to decide whether or not to ban him or let him have it out with the commenters. He makes it a point to @ several people I spoke to on Twitter about the argument. I lose my temper and tell him off. Pow.

I called it quits on the argument in the morning, and then he kept on with it and I stopped that, too. I wasn’t going to post about it because the whole situation was embarrassing. I haven’t gotten into many public fights with creators or other writers, but it always looks stupid in hindsight. I’m not that guy. I thought I learned this time because I stepped away. I was gonna stick to my resolve until I see this on my way home from work:

So, okay. Maybe it’s an innocent favorite. Maybe he really liked how I said what I said. But considering how unbelievably childish and passive-aggressive this guy has been all day, I’m going to take this as a shot. I hate being condescended to, and he got under my skin. An hour or so ago, he follows me on Twitter. So fine. Here. Listen.

Stephen Wacker: I’m not your enemy. I’m not those guys that follow you around and ask who would win in a fight, Spider-Man or the Hulk. I’m not that guy that commissions explicit Spider-Man porn while typing missives about how Marvel doesn’t know anything about the real Spider-Man with his withered claw of a jerking hand. I didn’t particularly care about the spider-marriage going away. I don’t spend all my time talking about comics I hate. I’m not even a The Comics Journal guy, not even close. I’m not that dude.

I’m that dude that’s been very fond of your books. I praised Brand New Day to the high heavens, and it still has some of my favorite Spider-Man stories ever. I read and enjoyed 52. Daredevil? Punisher? Avenging Spider-Man? Osborn? Shadowland Elektra? I’m that dude who buys your comics and talks them up to his friends. I buy the floppies and then the trade because I’m too stupid to realize how small my apartment is. I’m your customer, homey, specifically yours over the past few years, and, in a way that I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable with, I’m also your free PR. But that’s a neurotic meltdown for another day (or a day in November 2011, I think, but tomato, tomato.) I buy your books, I read your books, I enjoy your books, and I like the creative teams you tend to pick out.

I’m not that other guy. I’m me, and I’m over here talking about something I like and my concern about something I see as being a problem with that thing I like. I’m not ranting or screeching out unintelligible complaints. “I like this, but this new thing? I dunno, I’m worried.” And somehow, that gets me treated like the scumbaggiest of your target audience? I get accused of demanding things to you when I wasn’t even talking to you in the first place? I ask in the post for consistency in the comics I spend three and four dollars on a couple times a month, I guess that was the demand? Is that where we are now? You either get blind, unquestioning fealty or I’m an enemy?

I don’t make big proclamations about boycotts or quitting series or whatever whatever. It’s easier to just do it and not tell anybody. Not everything is a statement. I’m not going to do that here, either. But, Stephen Wacker. I want you to do one thing. Look at yourself, look at how you treated somebody who committed the cardinal sin of expressing concern about something he likes and wants to continue liking, and then think about whether or not being talked down to, insulted, and harassed is something that would make me want to keep buying Marvel comics. That’s not a threat, either. I’m one drop in a bucket that’s several hundred thousand people deep, I know, but take a step back and look at yourself and maybe conduct yourself with some class instead of immediately pulling the knives out.

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73 comments to “this is what they think about you”

  1. This is what Stephen Wacker does, David Brothers. Whenever he sees any negative comment, he goes onto the board and makes passive-aggressive remarks, shows off bad reading comprehension(especially for an editor), insisting that the guy he’s arguing with is “mad” or “worked” up, and does his best to run off people who like his books, but are concerned about them.

    He’s done it on CBR, Bleeding Cool, Newsarama blogs, and now here.

    It’s weird, isn’t it? I don’t understand it, either. Especially because he’s probably THE best editor working in the Big Two today. 52, BND, Spider-Island, the man’s scheduling prowess speaks for itself.

    But for some reason he’s a condescending asshole on the internet.


  2. :damn:

  3. Welp.


    @hermanos I’m sure you’re a good guy and I like your blog (at least what I’ve seen), but you are being very silly. Have fun on the crusade!
    11:58 PM – 27 Feb 12 via Twitter for iPad

  4. LOL that twitter post

    Like I said, you just…you can’t use logic and reason with him. No matter how much you clarify, no matter how much you say, “No dude, seriously, I really like your books, but…”, he throws you under the bus as the angry mob, the evil crusaders against Marvel. From here all the way to Crawlspace.

    And THEN he plugs one of his books on his way out the door.

    He’s just weird. Honestly. He’s a weird guy.

  5. Man. That is some hardcore lack of professionalism.

    It seriously makes me wonder about comics as an industry when staff pull this garbage. Not the first time I’ve seen it either, sadly.

  6. @Barry Convex: Oh, man, that’s actually his thing — calling you “silly.” He did that to me the very first time I ever got into an argument with him on Twitter. The second time he did all of the exact same things he did on this blog, and then called me passive-aggressive, which was kind of mind boggling.

    He’s done the same thing recently on Newsarama.

    I would hate to live like that. How much time must he spend tracking down columns like this and how much time must he spend thinking about them?

    That’s got to be a rough life.

  7. @Jeremy: http://www.spidermancrawlspace.com/wordpress/2011/09/20/podcast-150-steve-wacker-interview/

    Want some serious cognitive dissonance? Listen to this podcast interview. Then read the comments. Wacker comes off as nice, polite, reasonable, even contrite about some of the decisions he’s made as a Spider-Man editor. And considering the grief that site has given them, he’s more reasonable than they have any right to expect. The guys on the podcast respond, as is their right. I think those guys are kind of chowderheads sometimes, but it’s their podcast.

    Then in the comments, the nice guy from that podcast turns it into World War III.

  8. Now that is a tactful and reasoned response. Well played.

  9. I just read both of the previous posts comment threads (I normally skip comment threads) and I have to say Stephen Wacker didn’t come off as hostile to me. It felt like he defended his choices (which I would hope he would do, it shows he believes in his choices) and the commenters (including david brothere) seemed to get very angry quickly. By the end Stephen might have been slightly snarky, but I am not even sure I could concede that.

    I like your columns (don’t always agree with your opinions, but that’s not the point) but I find your reaction to Stephen to be an over-reaction.

  10. I’m pretty sure all those SEO/traffic guru types have data showing that on the Internet, people are inclined to just skim once you hit over that 300 word mark. But writing like that just isn’t my style. I often take over 2000 words to get all my thoughts down, and much of what’s on 4L! is along similar lines.

    Granted, I’m certainly not as prolific a writer as any of 4L!’s contributors, but for those of who write Internet posts in this manner the sort of response like what Stephen gave isn’t extremely uncommon. It’s among the most frustrating sorts of feedback to get, because the person in question is often disagreeing with you over points you never actually made and things you never actually said.

    My first reaction to replies like that is always self-doubt: “wait…did I screw it up? Did I not say what I thought I was saying? Did it make sense in my head, but once I wrote it down I left out a vital thought?” So I go back and re-read, trying to be as detached as I can, but even if I conclude “nope, it’s all there” their responses are there to puzzle me. So I clarify, and try to do it in a slightly abridged manner with the assumption that the clarification plus the original text should leave no doubt. When THAT doesn’t work, that’s when things start getting rough.

    It is a rare case when someone will straight-up admit that they didn’t actually bother to read the thing they’re responding to in negative fashion. Typically, if you play the “you didn’t actually read what I said, did you?” card, then you’re mentally filed under “condescending jerk,” right next to Dilbert creator Scott Adams. But the Internet is all about speed, and nothing’s faster than just reading the headline and jumping straight in with comments, so it’s not an unreasonable assumption to make even if few will own up to it. But that’s exactly what Stephen did here, and I just don’t get it. How can people do this and simultaneously think they’re engaging in an honest discussion? It isn’t the same as straight-up trolling, because there’s no underlying joke. There’s no beneficial endgame to acting like you can’t read as others point this out to you. The people who do so aren’t thinking “dance, puppets! DANCE!”…are they?

    Like, I get that people are used to the trenches of the Internet where people repeat the same things over and over. I bet people like Stephen have to deal with that stuff all the time. But like you said, this isn’t the same thing. The topic being address is not a cyclical retread, the kind for which you can make Bingo cards or whatever out of the inevitable responses even if you pre-emptively try to address them in the article (typically futile, as the guilty parties are also the ones not reading past the headline). What I’ve noticed is that for people like that, being presented with arguments that don’t fit into whatever pre-written mental flowchart they’ve got means they’re either going to ignore the statement entirely or respond as if it WAS something they’re equipped to respond to.

    And just so my post has some modicum of content, an observation: manga doesn’t typically have to deal with this issue of fill-in artists. Successful artists may be fortunate enough to afford to hire assistants, but I can’t typically think of manga that would suddenly switch art teams entirely for a few chapters. Perhaps that’s a benefit of being originally serialized within anthologies rather than being sold separately; you have the luxury to miss dates once you’ve got a following. The most notable exception is Golgo 13, which to my knowledge has never missed an installment in over four decades. Of course, the production of that is something akin to Archie, which as noted is made by a swarm of different writers and artists all of whom are conforming to a pre-set style. Hmm, perhaps Duke could be sent to Riverdale now that the Punisher has visited…

  11. Man, this whole thing just turned out to be exhausting. Yeah, Wacker was being a jerk, and I felt like he was just trolling people in the end. But everyone involved needed to back and just walk away hours ago. We can do better than this.

  12. Seriously, this is almost beyond ridiculous, and apparently so par for the course for someone who’s supposed to be one of comicdom’s biggest editors, if not THE biggest editor.

    I once had a very short experience with him that I like to think I bailed out of carefully to save the hassle on twitter, back when he was calling out every comics news website for not running the latest All-Ages press release. See, he’d spent hours riding this point, and Andy Diggle, I believe, had the good sense to ask him if Marvel.com had the press release on it, which seemed like a good idea, especially if you want other people to promote your release. Wacker’s response was that it was nigh-on impossible to find on the site, which piqued my curiosity.

    So I asked him why Marvel don’t have a website that runs its press releases in a more accessible manner, so that they can at least say they promote their own stuff better than all these other sites he’s riding, which led to some weird defensiveness that got to the point of him insisting over and over that them releasing the series was enough on their end, and putting his repetition down to not knowing what I was on about, which to be fair could be the case. But man, that escalation was getting more stand-offish, something I’m not made for, so I just politely thanked him for not going off on one and left it there.

    It’s like he’s a complaining machine who only addresses stuff as it suits him or makes Marvel look like victims of the tyranny of those stupid comics sites or something.

    Anyway, it must suck to have to be at the point of talking about this whole experience on here and I admire how much it took for you to get to that point

  13. All I can really take away from this experience is that one should never, for any reason, attempt to have a constructive debate online, if the other person is set on “winning”.

    It’s clear Wacker came to scrap, and have a little fun at somebody else’s expense. He’s good at it, and clearly likes goading others into taking shots at him. Too bad he didn’t actually say what’s on his mind. Who knows, maybe Wacker secretly agrees that the Daredevil run is being disrupted by too many guest artists. Perhaps he doesn’t have a choice, and Marvel is trying to capitalize on one of their more succesful comics. Or maybe he disagrees entirely. This is all just guesswork, since he didn’t come with the intention of providing an honest answer.

  14. Great response, David. Honest and direct without getting too heated. A lesser man would have banged out a venomous missive and hit send without thinking.

    But man, this whole Wacker situation, paired with the Brian Bendis “Lemme tell you how to write your reviews” Twitter tantrum from a couple days ago has got me seriously bummed out. It’s like these bros feel some need to control how people react to their work, and as one of the many people who publicly react to said works, I find it insulting. It’s like, c’mon, I like what you guys put out! Why am I being scolded?

    Yeah, I understand being frustrated at seeing your work misinterpreted or reading opinions about some problem that none of us readers know the behind-the-scenes reasons for, but c’mon, creators, don’t take your frustrations out on us. Quit looking over the shoulders of CBR forum posters and picking fights.

    Or does Wacker just scrap on the ‘net as some kind of pastime? That can’t be very good PR for his books? And what frustrating is that I LIKE his books, too! Going back to the DC days of 52 and Legion and Waid’s JLA. That’s what really irks.

    Then again, all the jokey asides in his responses make me think he doesn’t realize his tone? Or that he’s really bad online communicating without coming off as condescending? I’m probably just deluding myself trying to figure out an explanation for those baffling actions but Occam’s Razor does a quicker job of it. Sigh.

    Either way, one day a guy’s gotta turn off his Google alerts and quit obsessing over what people are saying about his books.

  15. I have had more than a few run ins with this guy. The guy who said you can’t use logic to reason with him is right. His main goal seems to be to bait, insult and undermine.
    Marvel should be very proud, to me he represents everything the company stands for these days.
    Stan Lee should be so proud.

  16. Dang David, you and your crackpot crusade to have people behave like adults. So silly.

  17. u mad bro?

  18. All I can say, David, is that I hope you don’t let this horse’s ass keep you from writing more posts like that first one in the future. Hell with that guy.

  19. I don’t get how he can come to a blog, post in the comments section, appear to be engaging someone in a discussion of the topic and, then, pull that “you’re not the boss of me” BS when he’s asked questions, countered or criticized for his approach. His “you’re not the boss of me” seems like people who yell about how much they don’t care: the protest betrays the truth. It appears anyone can be the boss of Wacker for short periods of time by posting something he thinks is “wrong”.

  20. Well, at least he’s consistent . . . the dude is an absolute troll to any opinion that criticizes Marvel.

    Instead of actually addressing those points of criticizing he almost immediately resorts to name-calling and ad hominem attacks to derail the conversation.

    One of the most recent examples that sticks out to me is a fan who realized that according to the Sales charts Defenders #1 actually sold half as many copies as was reported by Diamond, because Diamond was also counting the extra issues that Marvel shipped for free (they doubled all retailers orders for free).
    Wacker’s initial response was “it’s like watching my dog do math.”
    After being pressed on it, he was forced to concede that the poster’s observations were actually correct.

    The man’s online persona is an embarrassment to the company.

  21. Ari’s recollection is missing several pounds of context.

    Also that dog thing is a funny line. I was proud of that one.


  22. @Kyle Garret: It’s a horrible life doing something you love. Yes. I would not recommend it to anyone here–especially you– given the serious cases of thin skin.

    Seriosuly though, Do you guys do mind reading and psychic channneling as a side job? I mean imagine if someone at ::GASP:: MARVEL COMICS did the same to you. The hand wringing and Redd Foxx-ish chest grabbing hysterics would be positively biblical!


    PS: One thing I have to commend the 4thletter community on is the use of real names for the most part. That’s pretty cool. Well done.

  23. Steve Wanker.

  24. We were all thinking it.

  25. Its nice to know that Stephen Wacker loves to Internet bully when he can’t handle criticism.

    But hey, that’s Marvel for you. :smug:

  26. It’s always just a matter of time before they stoop to making fun of my name.

    That’s how I know I’m on the saide of the angels.

    I have a stutter and was a chubby kid* with a lisp as well, if you want to get a head start on your next post.


    PS: Admittedly I’m now a chubby dad, but I had a good “not horrible looking” run back in the late 90s.

  27. Wacker: Cool trolling, bro.

  28. Came here from Bleeding Cool, and read Wacker’s comments in the initial article, and I think David is way overreacting. Wacker cracks-wise here and there, like any comment-savvy poster, and then gets called a troll. I don’t get it. I liked the initial article, and I liked Wacker’s responses. I don’t see the problem.

  29. David is not overreacting, Wacker is being an ass. Plain and simple.

  30. Hey, if Steve Wacker’s really taking questions– is true you guys only have one bathroom at your office? I read that on a Comics Beat article but it wasn’t sourced or explained in sufficient detail; there weren’t photos or anything.

    I have a LOT of bathroom anxiety, a crippling amount, just generally in life, so that made my stomach flip to read that. Is that true? How many of you have to share that bathroom??? Someone in the comment section of the article described it as 3 stalls and 3 urinals, which made it sound like a normal-sized office bathroom, but it didn’t give any context i.e. how many people need to use it, what the foot traffic’s like, the layout of the building. Like, I’d imagine you’re in an office building– aren’t there bathrooms on other floors you can go to?

    And if you’re getting a bum deal on the bathrooms, I’m sympathetic that you need to come on to the internet and try to feel better about your lot in life. If I had to deal with comic creators for a living, and having to coordinate the rough production schedules, and spend my waking hours putting out rushed ugly comics, and people around me were getting fired… and I only had a SINGLE BATHROOM to escape to that was constantly filled with the sounds and smells of an overused bathroom…? I’m sure I’d want to blow off steam on the internet, too. I’d be in worse shape than you are.

    So, yeah– what the heck is the deal with your bathrooms??? That is the only thing I want to know about Marvel comics right now, in any way– not Marvel comics, just Marvel bathrooms. I only want to know about the #2 that Marvel employees are releasing into toilets and not the #2 that Marvel employees release every week into comic shops. (I don’t mean that in a gross way). Thanks in advance.

  31. @steve wacker: Personally speaking, I fucking LOVE watching Wacker take Internet trolls to task. Most of the “fans” on the Internet feel free to fling as much bullshit hyperbole around as they want to, all under the auspices of being ‘fans’ who just ‘care about the product.’ Yet when they get called out in the same fashion, with the same snarky, condescending answers, everyone gets butthurt & cries “How can you talk to me like that???” I say, good for him. Plus, he’s fucking funny, & the books he’s the editor on are some of the best at the Big Two. He defends his creators to the death, & his creators do the same for him. There’s this expectation that people can basically say “Fuck you” to a creator, & they’re supposed to bow & curtsy & say “Thank you, sir, may I please have another” because they happen to produce comics. I wish MORE editors were like Wacker; maybe then comics journalism wouldn’t be in the sorry fucking state that it is.

    In other words – man up, Internet. Quit being such Sensitive Sally’s & grow some fucking balls. Or get a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

  32. @Abhay: We could always use more bathroom space.

    However, I keep a wig, a spare dress and some hot punps at the office for just such an occasion. “Stephanie Walker” will not be stopped!


  33. Remember, even Charles Manson has his defenders :barf:

  34. Charles Manson? C’mon.

  35. heh heh Wacker wins.

  36. Won what? That’s he’s a jerk who likes to troll and bully people who has a different of opinion?

    Wow, his small fan base is as delusional as he is.

  37. Does Charles Manson really have defenders?

  38. @steve wacker: Nah mate, taking the piss out of you for any of that would be mean and unfunny.

    ‘Steve Wanker’ is a peach though. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try it out again.

    Anyway you’re so rough and tough and stuff that you won’t even feel it, so I may as well roll it once more:

    Steve Wanker.

  39. Oh! I see what you’ve done there. Well played, disarmingly honest.

  40. @Jeff Alme:

    Comics journalism is in the “sorry state” it is because creators are unwilling to accept anything resembling criticism. If you aren’t on “team comics” then you’re not getting access. It’s unprofessional remarks such as the ones we’ve seen from Mr. Wacker in these comments that propagate this.


  41. As long as you’re sharpening your sword, consider expanding beyond curse words to avoid saying things like “idiotic” and “I can’t believe you’d even say something as stupid as that.”

    “I can’t believe you’d even say something as stupid as that…. Hey, why did you stop listening to me?”

  42. @Jeff Alme: Er…you realize that David didn’t invite Steve to give his opinion, right? Steve just stumbled upon a post, probably while googling his own name, obviously didn’t read said post and then basically started insulting the author. Fuck you and your “man up, Internet”, if someone comes onto my website uninvited and starts insulting my writing while obviously not reading it, I’m going to be pissed too. Being a dick isn’t funny, it’s being a dick, and Steve Wacker was being a total dick.

    @steve wacker: Wow…if I actually read comics rather than just following them on the tubes, I’d totally not buy yours. You are a major dick dude.

  43. @Jeff Alme:
    The thing that you seem to miss is that Wacker wasn’t being attacked by Brothers and the initial post was largely positive of his books and the artists involved. The initial posts were centered on an aspect of the business that turns some people off and Wacker came in with some pretty dickish behavior immediately.

  44. @Tim:

    He wins. He makes you guys get your angry little panties in a twist. That’s a win for all of us on the internet. Watching you comic “fans” cry is always a win.

  45. @rizzo: That’s too bad you don’t read comics. I recommend DD and Punisher.

  46. Wow. I admit I haven’t read this full article yet (setting it aside for when I have time to fully focus on it), but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s gotten into a squabble with Stephen Wacker on Twitter. He essentially did the same to me: talked down to me, insulted me, and acted like I was an idiot. And perhaps I was an idiot for spending nearly $100 a week on comics and helping him to pay his bills. Ho hum.

  47. I just read both of the previous posts comment threads (I normally skip comment threads) and I have to say Stephen Wacker didn’t come off as hostile to me. It felt like he defended his choices (which I would hope he would do, it shows he believes in his choices) and the commenters (including david brothere) seemed to get very angry quickly. By the end Stephen might have been slightly snarky, but I am not even sure I could concede that.

    Couldn’t agree more. I see a few people who can’t stand the notion of their ideas or opinions being challenged getting upset when it happens and taking obviously general observations personally. Those same people claim moral high ground while they call him a jerk, call him a troll, call him an asshole, question his professionalism, and tell him to fuck off on Twitter. It’s peculiar behavior.

  48. @Floyd Lawton
    Oh he definitely wins. It’s just a pity he doesn’t have anything of substance to say about his work.
    Brothers puts a crazy amount of work into writing about comics. Wacker came and treated the whole thing as a joke, and basically made Brothers question why he should do any of this work when the people behind it don’t seem to care.

    Uhh, I guess I can see how some people might find that funny. Kind of a bummer in my opinion but there’s a valid point to be made here in that nobody should take themselves too seriously when talking about comics (haha, funny, right?). I don’t see why that point couldn’t be made without resorting to backhanded compliments and twitter drama.

  49. :damn:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to take the company badge off before brawling with your internet critics? This kind of thing is why I only tend to support creator owned material.

  50. @steve wacker: Steve, this is a good example of what many of us have been saying about your responses. I obviously said that checking blogs and social networks for comments about your books and then getting into arguments about them must be rough. That kind of regular interaction cannot be fun.

    But you ignored what I said completely and decided I was saying something else.

    I’ve seen you do that so regularly online that I can’t help but think you’re intentionally being obtuse, but I can’t figure out why.

  51. Shout-outs to Wacker, who has used what, four or five different email addresses and names to crap up my comments? Nice one.

    @Ron Simmons: I like you.

    @Jim: Is that really what you think happened here? ’cause like… I feel like it’s all pretty straightforward. I’m the bad guy for saying that something Wacker said was disingenuous and idiotic after he spent half an hour trolling me and my readers? I’m the bad guy because I described something he said as stupid? Try again. He said that I was buying into Image > Marvel, which is a rivalry I am pretty emphatically not interested in, with no evidence for his assertion. I feel like that’s a pretty stupid thing to say. I’m not going to not call stupid things stupid, dude. Sorry.

    Put differently–I treated Marvel with respect when talking about their books, and then Marvel came into my house and proceeded to smear feces on the walls. I was exactly as civil to that guy as I needed to be.

    @Floyd Lawton: You’re right. We all lost. :negativeman:

  52. Did Wacker really used fake emails and user names?

  53. David seriously why even bother with this guy? I said this on the first thread. Instead of doing his job, he’s following a harrasing a blogger/journalist like yourself who has an opinion on something he’s taken offense to.

    I could point out that some of the books he edits and oversees barely even make the top 10 month in and month out but why waste my time and yours with the obvious my pointing out someone has too much time on their hands…

  54. @Stacy: Yeah. Here’s three that I still have, though I deleted the rest:

    (I edited this comment slightly–a reader wrote in to point out that I published his email address, which I agree wasn’t right of me. I’ve blurred it so that you can see that the emails are different, but without actually publishing his email.)

  55. Now that’s sad :negativeman:

  56. @Floyd Lawton: Nah they cost too much these days and honestly I don’t like most of the conventions that modern comics have adopted. Most of you would probably say that I have horrible taste, but I’m a big fan of mid 80’s to mid 90’s comics(except for Lifeldian shoulder pads), so modern stuff just doesn’t turn me on.

  57. @devious1:

    Judging by the list i just saw, his books are barely in the top twenty.

  58. @Jon: The only person I see reacting badly is the wacker dude, he’s the one that seemingly can’t read articles and just wants to go on accusatory rants. He’s the one that came into the original thread acting all butthurt when David was praising all but one or two things about his books. It’s David’s blog, and I can understand him getting pissed when someone comes in shitting up his threads without even reading the original article, or at least only skimming it.

  59. This was embarrassing on both counts. You lost your cool earlier, regained it later yeah but still. He jumped the gun with his accusations and was obviously trying to get at you and it looks like it worked. Nice thought out response here, but maybe you should’ve lead with that.

    I also do see his point where he says you were asking him to defend his choices. You did ask him to justify why Samnee or Pham were good choices for Daredevil. He’s the editor, he doesn’t have to defend himself to you or anyone else his decisions just like how as a fan you should be allowed to express your displeasure.

  60. @marvelprince: Prince of Marvel, was Wacker asked to defend his choice of Daredevil artists before or after he dropped bad faith, passive-aggressive smears on David’s writing on the subject of Daredevil artists? At the risk of redundancy: it was after, as in “if you’re going to come into my house and tell me I’m wrong, how about you explain whyI am?” I mean, I know he’s the editor and all, but that sounds fair to me.

  61. @James W: Hmm, I gotcha. Well then I agree if Wacks is going to come and kick down the doors saying that you’re wrong its only fair to ask why.

  62. @rizzo: Considering the content of your contributions here, I’m wholly uninterested in your ideas about who was “reacting badly.” Sorry.

  63. […] David’s second post addresses most everything, but I want to drill down to one statement that Steve made which I think is germane here: […]

  64. I love Steve Wacker and the work he has done and is doing right now. I love that the creators who work with him genuinely love the guy and that he defends them and sticks by them to the end. I also love his “unconventional” humor and his flippant posting style on blogs, forums etc. Anyway who follows him, can recognize that getting a serious answer out of him on a forum post is hard. I think David has genuine concerns about increased shipping cycles affecting the quality of a book he loves, but an interview with Wacker would probably be a better idea if you want answers regarding creative choices. Publishing questions are better left to someone like David Gabriel or Buckley.
    Steve Wacker didn’t seem “passive-aggressive” to me but at the same time I don’t want to be in the position to tell Brothers what he finds offensive or not.

  65. Werd. Thanks for writing this David. Keep writing, and we’ll keep reading.

  66. Good job, Steve, you’ve gone viral! Now let’s see if that turns into book sales.

  67. @Chris Beckett: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! But calling him an asshole & impersonating him as Stephen Wanker is TOTALLY professional. Fuck that. Comic fans online are DICKS. They deserve everything they get.

    Comic journalism sucks ass because people keep manufacturing faux controversy & focus on tearing shit down. Sorry, but a company doesn’t need to respond “professionally” to a bunch of aspies who compare creators to Charles Manson or suggest that they’re butt-raping their childhood, or who react with such outrageous fucking hyperbole to every press announcement or creative change.

  68. @Jeff Alme: No one impersonated him. Stephen Wanker has the same IP as Stephen Wacker. Do me a favor and don’t be a dick, please.

  69. @Kedd: Because the aspect of the business that turns them off has been going on since the first comics were published. Getting butthurt & accusing Marvel of dirty tricks because an artist goes on to another project is fucking retarded, especially when books are NEVER solicited with “This creative team will be here FOREVER!!!!” I didn’t realize Marcos Martin had been drawing Daredevil since 1963. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I fucking LOVE Daredevil, but I’m not going to weep in my Cheetos because the artist changed for an arc.

  70. @david brothers: @david brothers: @david brothers: LULZ. Because this is the first thread where it’s ever happened. Get over yourself.

    One of the original comments made – “Daredevil is announced with team of Waid, Rivera and Martine, gets changed along the way, feels like a cynical cash grab.” That’s so fucking uninformed/uneducated it isn’t even funny. Everyone’s acting like this is some kind of fucking bait & switch, which is RETARDED, to use an “unprogressive” slur.

    If you engage Wacker in actual, civil conversation – he’s an awesome guy, incredibly forthright, & extremely honest. I know, because I’ve done it, even on topics that we don’t agree on. But I don’t approach him like a fucking troll, because unlike the majority of comics creators, he doesn’t a) ignore it or b) tolerate it.

    It probably shocks you to hear this, as the online fan community thinks they are the majority, but they aren’t. If they were, then all the fans who’ve supposedly quit reading books Wacker edits would’ve caused those titles to be cancelled, but lo & behold, people are still reading them. Why? Because online comic fans are a minority voice making so much fucking garbage noise that it’s impossible to take them seriously.

    I’ll guarantee you half the Marvel office is laughing their ass off at you.

  71. @Jeff Alme:
    You’re still missing the point, either because you didn’t read the initial articles or because being obtuse is where it’s at for you.

  72. We’re done here. It’s sour on both sides.

  73. […] Let’s consider Marvel’s current policy of double-shipping titles. For some time they have been pushing more than twelve issues of a particular title in a year, and they are starting to do this on more and more titles. One of the unfortunate side-effects is that the art suffers. David Brothers did a great piece on this, which unfortunately earned the ire of a certain Marvel editor. […]