Friday, June 26, 2009

Sewer Diving: Shaenon K. Garrity is a Very Brave Woman

Before there was an internet, comic book devotees were able to pretend that they were actually a bunch of smart, tasteful folks who were largely misunderstood. Now, of course, we know that they are awful, stupid, maladjusted cretins who should be shunned, or possibly arrested. But few people have the wherewithal to actually dive into the reeking sewer pipes that are comic book message boards and present the world with concrete proof; that's why we all owe a debt of gratitude to Shaenon K. Garrity.

Last week in her Comixology column, Garrity visited the forums at, the Comics Journal, DC, and Byrne Robotics, among others, doing a fine job of amateur anthropology by unearthing the sexism, racism, mindless contrarianism, and massive dysfunction that can be found there. It's a fine, funny, and very perceptive piece of writing; she not only tallies up important categories like average reading level, typical dismaying thread topics, and frequency of Tom Spurgeon, but also makes some keen observations about how quickly it takes for any mention of race to degenerate into moronic white-people bitching (approximately 2.4 seconds) and how comics fans act when there are no women around (in other words, all the time). She also hones in on how, curiously, none of these folks actually seem to like comics very much; "if there's one thing comic-book fans hate, it's comic-book creators," she notes. Good thing they're all getting their stuff off of BitTorrent, anyway.

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