Let’s gossip about gossip in the comics industry
It’s hot out there, and we just had a weekend or two without a major convention, so we’ve all been talking amongst ourselves. And as a result, we’ve been talking about… talking.
The major flare-up has been on Heidi MacDonald’s blog, chroncling a heated discussion between Gail Simone and Rich Johnston…
Sometime in the night, the marvelous Gail Simone went on Twitter and spoke thusly: Do We Need Tabloid And Gossip Comics Journalism?
which Rich Johnston picked up at the above link. Simone is no stranger
to the message board, so the debate continues in the link and its very
own Twitter topic.
…with comment thread cameos from Mark Waid, Mark Engblom, Kurt Busiek, and Dwayne McDuffie, and since the comment thread has closed down over there, I’m reopening it over here.
Let me throw in an example, and try to give some of an idea as to what we’re trying for here at ComicMix.
Very late last night, someone IM’d me that an editor had been laid off. Reasonably impeccable source, and I know the editor. Should I post it on ComicMix?
Well, no. If it’s true, I don’t think that person would appreciate personal employment issues being broadcast to the world. If it’s false, it’s even more damaging to their career and possibly the freelancers that editor employs. So there’s a good reason to hold back on it, until confirmation.
But wait! If that editor is truly gone, then that means that an entire line of publications goes down as well! Does that make it newsworthy then?
The scales tip a bit here. Because now you’re beginning to impact a number of other professionals (who I also know) who may suddenly find themselves out of work, and a number of businesses who will suddenly have their stock (and backstock) affected because books may be canceled.
Then it’s a puzzlement. In that case, there’s a case to be made for private gossip– check with the affected pros privately to give them a heads up, mayhaps. But it’s fluid. We make our choices day by day, and yes, we have our
own sacred cows and things we don’t like to talk about. We don’t want
to tick off publishers– we’re publishers. We don’t want to tick off
retailers, we publish print editions– but then, we also do electronic
versions of our books. We could pick on some websites when they go down, but then we look like idiots when we have technical problems.
My only personal take on it the matter? Always punch up. Picking on an editor who’s doing the bidding of a large company is fair game. Picking on an editor fired by a large company? No. Or, if you prefer, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
Or, simply enough– what would crusading columnist Oliver Queen do?