I've already updated everyone on the Comic Book Resources interview/Comic Geek Speak controversy, but just to provide a scorecard, the interview response that seemed to piss people off the most was when I said "I always get really frustrated with people who say 'I don't get it' or 'it just doesn't make any sense.' I just think that people who say that are just bad readers. They just don't know how to read. To be a reader, it's not just figuring out the obvious stuff, it's seeing the underlining patterns, seeing beneath the surface, seeing the symbols and themes, even if you don't have the background to analyze all those things." I also say that authorial intent doesn't matter in the interpretation of a text. You might disagree with my statements, with my philosophical belief about what makes a good reader, but here's how some posters at the Comic Geek Speak message board chose to respond, in order of appearance, and directly quoted:
(1) "This guy gives credence to the phrase 'Those who cannot do, teach.'"
(2) "He's a dick"
(3) His opinion is utter crap
(4) His dismissal of the author's intent based on what he reads into subjective work (ie. art) is idiotic
(5) He comes off as pretty didactic and even vain to me
(6) I can't reward that snotty attitude
(7) It looks like some one has been handing out literary degrees at the Troll academy.
(8) You sir, are nothing more than an affronterous coxcomb
I don't take that stuff personally--I find the whole thing ridiculous.
If I weren't talking about comic books in the interview, but I were talking about Shakespeare, or Joyce, or Pynchon, do you think posters at the literary message boards would have flamed me for what I said?
Why do comic book readers have such low self-esteem?