Friday, March 09, 2012

Editor Antics

A certain Marvel has been trolling the interwebs of late. If you mention his name (once, not even three times), he seems to appear...and trolls.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around it a bit.

Forgetting the right/wrong of the debate, I'm trying to think about ramifications of it and, indeed, the thought process behind it.

There are few people more critical of that editor's behavior than me. Yet I don't find myself moved to take action on it beyond a few responses on message boards. I couldn't blame someone else for dropping a book he edits as a statement on how they feel about his behavior.

But for as much as his performance is based on the success of the book, his contribution to the actual end-product is minimal when compared to the writer and artists. On this more than other potential boycotts, I'd be ever aware that dropping the book would hurt innocents. I feel like publishers would take a loss of sales on a title as far more reflective of interest in a character or creator than ever pin it on the staff.

But, again, I'm not moved to boycott. Which is odd, because I'm normally one to take a principled stand over things that even friends of mine would call trivial. Quite honestly, if this was the talent on the book, I'd probably be telling my retailer, on every trip to the counter, "I'm not buying _____ because _____ is being a flaming asshole."

The flip side, though, is that I don't see what positive development this behavior brings. It's a shock jock angle, but, with the individual keeping the antics to the free internet and only contributing a tame column to his books, where does it benefit the company or the product? If you've ever watched Howard Stern's biopic, they boil down the commercial viability of the shock jock approach by going over the survey results that show haters tune in even more faithfully than the fans, because they need to hear what outrageous thing is said next. But, again, this absurd behavior isn't happening where he'd be rewarded for bringing the extra attention and it doesn't seem to translate to that much additional attention to the good product his office is generating.

I think the net results of his performance art, if anything, will lead to a slight decline in his readership, but not so much as to be a major concern. But I could be wrong...


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