Last week I was inadvertently engaged in a conversation about whether comics should be more mainstream. This was after I unfollowed the lead comic editor of the site "International Gaming Network" and he basically confronted me asking why comics shouldn't be more mainstream and gave some great "talking points" such as the more people reading comics the more the industry can sustain itself. Now, I'm not one to argue on Twitter with only 140 characters and frankly I was never planning on addressing this because my intention of unfollowing him was not based on his or his sites views. I honestly felt attacked as two of his followers chimed in against me as well. I'm still not going to get into a long winded argument/debate on why or why not comics should continue to be more mainstream (aren't the movies and video games enough to keep people at bay?) or make detailed examples comparing comic mainstream-ness to what the Wii and iPhone did for video games by watering down the content just to get it in the hands of everyone. (How's that Wii treating you now?) What I will say is that I now have a two word answer to my argument that will sway any Twitter battle in the future and that's Jordan Burchette.
Hell, I wasn't even going to address his New York Comic Con rampage and the controversy that followed, but then it dawned on me that two arguments were connected in a strange way. You see, if comics and conventions weren't so mainstream people like Jordan wouldn't be attending them. One silver lining for comic fans (which you can read all Jordan at Bleeding Cool) is that if you look at like this... he wasn't important enough to get into Comic Con International so don't give him more power than he actually has. Seriously, think about it. If he had gotten in with a press pass (Kevin and I did! Thanks Dark Horse!) then we would have had this discussion in July. Instead he had to attend a smaller convention at the end of the season.
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|Cue the Suicide Machines|
The way that these two issues connect is that Jordan represents the mainstream and its views. He calls attendees "doughy","fat" and several other equally insensitive views, but if comics weren't as big as they are right now then he wouldn't even bother being there. Now the comic community may have sunk to his level calling him even worse names, but the point is they defended each other. Now tell me is that something that would happen if comics continue to get bigger and bigger and let in more causal and mainstream people in to the market? Will the Jordan Burchette's of the world that saw X-Men: First Class and like it defend you when you decide to dress up like Batman, but you've got love handles from living in the real world?
|Wear it proud son!|
No, it won't and that's the biggest reason why comics shouldn't be mainstream and it's because of the community; the sense of respect that we have for each other. Even if I don't like your views on a story line or character you bet your ass when some jack ass comes along to tell you your doughy and a nerd that I'll scream in his face, "Your damn right and proud! Now go do some squats and pretend your penis isn't small!" Because that's how nerds roll, we band together because we are a subculture and I'll continue to protect that subculture from being watered down for the masses to "sustain the art form" aka "Business Plan." Comics will endure no mater what, even if the "Big Two" collapse the art form will make it because the fans won't let it die. That being said, I'm ready for you now on Twitter or anywhere else you want to hold this discussion with my two word answer of Jordan Burchette.And even if you still don't agree with me on comics in the mainstream at least we can agree that there is some underlining sense of community in the comic fandom that keeps us all on the same page.