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“No Comparisons Between Creators”

by  in Comic News Comment
“No Comparisons Between Creators”

That’s a rule on the X-Men discussion board on the Comic Book Resources forums. You cannot compare one creator to another creator. So you can’t post, “Chris Claremont is not as good as Grant Morrison.” Doesn’t that just sound utterly absurd?

No comparisons between creators?!?

However, once you imagine the situation surrounding the absurd-sounding rule, while you still might disagree with the rule, you’d at least understand the idea behind it. On the discussion board in question, debates soon ground into the rut of, if you were discussing Claremont’s work on an issue, it would be “Well, it’s no Morrison.” or, in the alternative, “At least it’s not Morrison.” Each and every thread consisted of this method of “debate,” so the moderator proposed a month of no comparisons. If you wanted to knock a creator’s work, you had to actually give a reason. It went well enough, and once the month ended, the moderator allowed all discussion – and whammo – it was right back to “It’s no Claremont!” and “Thank goodness it’s not like Claremont.” So the moderator just made the one month experiment a full-time rule.

I bring this up because I saw some recent discussion around the ‘net about a different moderator on Comic Book Resources who temporarily banned all discussion of the title Black Panther.

Again, this is the sort of thing where your first impulse is to say, “What? That’s absurd! You can’t ban discussion of Black Panther.”

However, when you look at the situation, it really doesn’t seem all that strange. A few points:

1. All threads on Black Panther turned into this idiotic insult back and forth between people who like Black Panther and people who don’t. The debate over the most recent issue is the same exact ones people were having over issue #1 or #3 of #10. It never changed.

2. The ban was only on general discussion of the Black Panther. As the title is currently tying into Civil War, the moderator knew there would was still be continual discussion of the most recent issue on the Civil War board, so the only thing being banned was general discussion of Black Panther on the general Marvel board.

3. It was only a month! The book is monthly! So essentially, when the next issue came out, people could discuss it again.

It all came down from a moderator’s frustration with people’s inability to discuss something without falling into the same stupid, uncivil argument again – almost word for word. The moderator figured that he was trapped in a cycle of essentially either shutting the topic down, or not allowing certain posters to post anymore, and he figured it was a more just result to shut the topic down that to cut posters off from the board itself.

And I can totally understand that, even if it leads to a decision that I, myself, might not have made (oh, and the moderator in question ultimately decided the moratorium wasn’t worth the grief he was getting over his decision, and since it was a temporary one anyways, he just ended it early – demonstrating exemplary flexibility).

I’m just tossing out my thoughts on the topic here. I’m really not looking for a discussion, so I turned off the comments.

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