Thursday, March 22, 2007

Message Boards

Via Dick Hyacinth, we present Mark Millar takes on Graeme McMillan.

Now, the actual topic here is of interest, but I've got nothing much to add beyond the fact that I've enjoyed what McMillan's had to say since he was doing "Fanboy Rampage," which I still miss (along with others). I've never seen a strong bias against Millar, although that could be because I have a bias against Millar and his work. (Although, I will admit that much of his work reads 50% better if you either don't hear him hype it up or try your best to forget what he said to hype it up. I once considered spending weeks going through interviews to pick out pieces of hype and collecting them all in one big mega-post, followed by round-table reviews of his books where the only question is "Does it live up to the hype?" Many people I talked to seemed enthusiastic and thought it would be funny, but I could never work up the energy to do it. Someday, maybe.) And, you know, when everything you read by a writer is relatively similar and you never like it, it's hard not to form a bias. Except it's different this time because it's Millar and Millarworld.

I used to post on Millarworld quite extensively. I began at DC's Authority boards and moved to what was then called X-Fan and then through the various iterations and servers of the independent version of the site. A year, year-and-a-half ago, I quit message boards altogether. I was sick of them. Didn't see the point anymore. Especially Millarworld where, well, it's Mark Millar's message board and I don't read any of his comics because I haven't liked anything he's written really since The Authority (although, I do have the first Ultimates volume hardcover, which I enjoy for the pretty pictures and mindless action--but it's not revolutionary or brilliant or any of those other words, it's decent).

But, yeah, I quit Millarworld along with a couple of other places. I got tired of the scene. I'd been posting for somewhere between four and five years and, after a while, it just gets pointless, especially on creator-driven boards. Look at the mechanics of that thread above. Creator says A in a very loose, rude fashion, 90% of the people automatically agree and the 10% that disagree have to use very careful, purposeful language for fear of incurring the wrath of moderators despite the fact that the creator set the tone for the discussion. And that's that.

Regular threads aren't much better. You have the ever-rotating batch of threads like "Favourite character/series/creator," "Why do you read comics?" "If you ran company A, what would you do?" and comments on the latest news peppered with the same in-jokes made by the same people. And that's fine. All of that is fine if that's what interests you, but I grew tired of it after a while.

Not trying to make a point really, I just don't see message boards discussed often as entities in their own right. Usually it's just a thread here or there. Probably more to it, especially from the perspectives of those who continue to post on them.