Comic Book fans are widely recognized as the most calm, forgiving group in all of fandom. As comfortable with patiently explaining convoluted continuity as they are excepting pretty much every storyline change involving their favorite character, no matter how minor… Okay, who are we kidding? Comic Book fans are a bunch of crazy, reactionary nutbags, and we count ourselves happy to be in their number. But if there is one thing fans of the four color funnies can agree on is that we all have to team up against NON-Comic Book Fans. Why? Because they say stuff like this:
10. “I read a comic once. I didn’t like it.”
Are you kidding? That’s like saying, “I ate food once. Not my thing.” Yet to the comic book fan trying to introduce their friend or family member to the medium they love too much is often like walking through a mine field, where one wrong move can lead a potential life-long reader to dismiss the entire span of titles due to one, tiny wrong choice. And all because you asked them to read a Care Bears comic, and they were more of a Snorks fan.
.9. “Comics? You Mean Like Garfield?”
Speaking of which, there’s nothing that quite gets our goat as confusing newspaper strips and comic books. Yes, they came from the same source, and you can like both… But the name “comics” doesn’t actually mean they’re all three panel goofs. To be fair, neither are all newspaper strips, or webcomics; but they’re a different approach to the medium, with a different structure, and different rules.
8. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Name
It’s acceptable – and even downright cute – when my two year old daughter sees The Flash and shouts, “Batman!” When an adult does it? Not so much. Like the alphabet, numbers, and being able to use the toilet effectively, you should be able to suss out that the guy with the Spider on his chest isn’t frickin’ Superman. Mom.
7. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Publisher
For some reason, this is far worse that just wholesale mixing up characters, as there’s a level of knowledge that comes with the territory. Don’t know who Batman is? Fine. Asking whether he’s on The Avengers? Unforgivable. (Thanks to @jimmy_boots on Twitter for the suggestion).
6. Asking Where To Buy Comics
Sure, we’ll give you that it isn’t the easiest in store buying experience all the time, but being clueless that comic book stores are even conceivable as a thing that exists is just non-fans creating a mental block of some sort. There’s a store that sells nothing but M&Ms for goodness sake… You don’t think there’s a shop that sells one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment?
5. Making Top Ten Lists Of The Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters
There’s a veeeery slight possibility this might be a personal pet peeve rather than a universal one, but every website in existence finds it necessary, upon discovering Marvel’s Squirrel Girl, or DC’s Matter Eater Lad, to write a list of “Top Ten Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters!” much to the delight of their non-fan audience. And sure, maybe half of their list is ridiculous, but then we look at it and think, “But you didn’t read [INSERT ISSUE OF AVENGERS] when [INSERT CHARACTER] was totally awesome!” And then we cry. A lot.
4. “They’re for kids, right?”
NO THEY’RE NOT COMICS ARE A VERY MATURE FORM OF STORYTELLING WITH GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE AND okay fine some of them are for kids. Sadly, due to the fact that some comics – in fact some of the best comics currently running – are actually for all-ages, and the “adult” comics are often aimed at man-children, this is an indefensible position. You know the statement isn’t true, but somehow, any piece of evidence brought up pokes major holes in your otherwise correct theory.
3. No, It’s NOT Based On A Graphic Novel
Once the public realized graphic novels were a thing, and they were the acceptable form of reading comics on the train or bus, it was all over. Now, every credit sequence says, “Based On The Graphic Novel By…” And every time the movie – or TV show – is actually based on a comic book series, and NOT a graphic novel, we wince. Particularly because sometimes there are things based on Graphic Novels. Confusing, right?
2. Biff! Bam! Pow! Stop Using That Headline!
Another press/media pet peeve, but every single headline in the mainstream press about comic books says, “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Aren’t For Kids Anymore!” Which of course defeats the premise in the headline itself. Other reasons this drives us up the wall? How about “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Don’t Use Biff, Bam, or Pow Anymore!” And how about the fact that we’ve seen the same headline surrounding comics for, oh say, a decade. Makes us think that maybe the papers are on to something.
1. Incorrectly Hyphenating Spiderman… We mean, Spider-Man
Nothing quite gets to the heart of the comic book fan as the teeny, tiny, minuscule mistake that exemplifies everything wrong with non-fans. And there is no mistake as big/small as mis-hyphenating Spider-Man. And we should know: we follow a lot of comic book professionals and fans on Twitter, and not a day goes by where someone doesn’t have a long, freak out rant about the hyphenation of everyone’s favorite wallcrawler. Er, wall-crawler. Cough.