Religiously patrolling our comment section as we do, in between all the spammers who think this is an excellent site and would love to talk to my webmaster — it was just what they were looking for — we’ve noticed that our peanut gallery is turning into more of an Ensure gallery, as crotchety old folks argue about newfangled devices like the ballpoint pen and what it will mean for the comical picture book industry.

Now, being something of a cranky old coot in training ourselves, we can see how easy it is to fall into this trap. But it is tiresome! Come now, people, wake up and smell Gears of War! While it’s our duty as host to attempt some manner of timeliness, we’re going to be more vigilant and punitive about pointless whining and moaning. Step lively, now!


  1. grumblemumble… shoulda stayed in the ocean…evolution…bah!

    People like to complain, it’s a release valve. They don’t think while doing it, thus ignoring how far we’ve come since The Good Old Days.

    For comics, they don’t recall having to wander through the city hitting every spinner rack, trying to find a specific issue. Or when bookstores and libraries would only stock the occasional comics title from a big publishing house, yet ignore comicbook and comicstrip collections like Peanuts. Or when you had to frequent head shops or weird dark places to find underground and independent titles. Or when it was cause for celebration that a comicbook was being adapted for TV or movies, or the New York Times ran an article or review…

    If people want to stay up in the trees, fine. Me, I’m gonna take a stroll through the savannah.

  2. You kids and your multicellular organisms with independent systems! Why in my day we were all single-celled and we LIKED IT, dagnabbit!

    Now where’s my Geritol?

  3. All blog writers or providers seem to make this type of post at some stage.

    All writers like to think they have a well-educated intelligent crowd, better than the great unwashed who are on “other” blog comment sections. Then one day, they take a proper look at what people are saying and find it’s people throwing virtual poop at each other.

    The Guardian’s comment is free section has had to increasingly heavily moderated because of the rug-chewing mentalists who post there.

  4. I’m afraid this is all my fault. I fear a sparked a firestorm of controversy last week with my very bold Fathom-related comment, “Megan Fox is pretty.”

    I apologize to the Beat readers, and promise to be less contentious with my comments in future posts.

  5. Gene Phillips,

    Can’t we aspire to be that progressive peanut gallery?

    Just because the other kids at other blogs jump off the allegorical cliff doesn’t mean we have to.

  6. “… as crotchety old folks argue about new fangled devices …”

    Maybe the real problem is those young wipper-snappers who like to beard the “older” collectors. Remember the fall-out from the BRAVE AND THE BOLD “controversy”? And if someone expresses an interest in comics older than last month, someone usually trots out the “babyman” label.

    You might be right … maybe it is time to turn off the comments.

  7. “Remember the fall-out from the BRAVE AND THE BOLD “controversy”? ”


    “maybe it is time to turn off the comments. ”

    God, how I wish the news would do that

    “have your say! (shit for brains)”.

  8. I like the idea of turning off comments for all but selected articles. Some topics and incidents do bear more commentary than others. It would also make it easier for you to read through it all.

    But really, seriously–The Beat has always had such a buoyant, self-actualized tone that I thought (really, I did!) that you couldn’t care less if anyone commented. The column always seemed to be more in the service of enthusiastic, inside-industry reportage, and sharing same, as “Look! Wow, isn’t *that* interesting?”

    Also, while I read the page regularly, it’s information-input for me. While I often send article links to friends, it seems to me that the facts are the facts, and my commenting on them won’t change anything.

  9. This may sound pretty obvious, but getting rid of comments would draw the hit count for the blog waaaaay down. Because this blog has so many comments–and so many GOOD comments–I find myself checking it a good 6 or 7 times a day for new, interesting comments, sometimes up to 12-15 times a day if there’s a really ripping debate going on. If there weren’t any comments, that number would drop to once a day, twice tops.

    Also, I’m not sure what specific string of comments prompted this, but I happen to think the comments section here is head-and-shoulders above most other places. I’ve completely given up on reading comments threads at CBR and Newsarama, and pretty much entirely dropped out of visiting comic book messageboards, but I check out the comments on pretty much every post here at The Beat. That’s gotta mean somethin’.

    And finally, please please PLEASE don’t stop posting the sales charts. They’re one of the comics-related things I look forward to most every month.

  10. I’d hate to see the Comments go away completely. Sometimes they’re nearly as interesting as the original news item. And when they’re not, it’s not hard to figure out and hit the “Back” arrow.

  11. “… it seems to me that the facts are the facts, and my commenting on them won’t change anything.”

    Geez Loiuse … now who’s being stubborn?? :)

  12. Peter K said:

    “Gene Phillips,

    Can’t we aspire to be that progressive peanut gallery?

    Just because the other kids at other blogs jump off the allegorical cliff doesn’t mean we have to.”

    I don’t know how we can do it if we don’t know what we’re shooting for.

    Prior to the last month I would’ve agreed with Joe that the mods here seemed remarkably sanguine about most of the flapdoodle here.

    Can it be that it was all so simple then?

    Or has time rewritten every line?

  13. I’ve long suggested to Heidi to get rid of the comments.

    I would not mind seeing something similar to what tom does and just print letters to the editor as some kind of mailbag.

  14. Maybe that’s why the old letter page editors filtered their mail.

    Maybe Julie Schwartz got his fair share of old crotchety mail…
    “This new-fangled Flash is such a flash in the pan! The only Flash should have a winged helmet! You guys stink!”
    “What’s with this new Green Lantern? In my day, there was only ONE Green Lantern, not a whole Corps of them! And what’s with his color scheme? He should have more colors in his costume! You guys stink!”

    Or Stan Lee:
    “Where’s Steve Ditko? He’s the only artist for Spider-Man! I predict this comic won’t last another 3 months! You guys stink!”

    Truly, there is a reason why Woz and Jobs had a trash can on the desktop. I say filter your comments if you want. Let the grumpy oldsters (myself included if you get sick of me!) build a blog and vent their spleen elsewhere. Let’s start the new age of eFandom!

  15. Y’know, if The Beat did away with the comments, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the little giggle I just got from gene phillips’ response to my comment.

    Gene, I guess that was the way we were.

  16. I’m with Jason Green. The comments are one of the main things I like about The Beat. There’s a sense of community. I hadn’t noticed that there was a certain direction in the comments, whether it be crotchedy oldsters or flippant youngsters.

  17. Personally I think having comments can be helpful, informative and lend context to many articles, especially when exploring the archive.
    It just seems that often there are far more comments by people who seem to be looking at comics and the industry from a vantage point of, let’s say, five or six years ago.
    Things like people being amazed/shocked that girls read comics, manga sells to younger readers, that there ARE younger readers, that people read and enjoy webcomics, movies are violent– these are not things that seem like they should elicit comments of offended shock and declarations of how things were once different.

  18. I, for one, detest the ballpoint pen and resent your technofacist propaganda. Please discontinue your use of this website and return this blog to its traditional parchment and ink format.

  19. “If you want no one to disagree with you, block the comments. It’s been done before. ”

    Or just make them vanish as has happened to a couple of mine (why they vanished is beyond me).

Comments are closed.