After suffering public embarassment last month when DC Comics discontinued their ongoing editorial Q&A column on CBR after CBR reporters dared to ask Bob Harras real questions about real issues, the website appears to be trying to get back in DC's good graces. Their latest attempt is a decree by the CBR forum moderation staff that all complaints about DC comics shall be merged into one giant mega-thread, and that any negative statements about the publisher should go in that thread. The plan is revealed in a forum sticky thread titled "Planning to Start a Thread to Complain About DC Comics? Read This Post First."
The decree has sparked outrage amongst the internet comics community, which has worried for some time that greater control of the comics media through a sycophantic relationship of paid advertising and "exclusive" news scoops that are little more than press releases will kill the already feeble journalistic integrity of the comics media.
"First they came for the front page columnist asking actual journalistic questions, and I didn't speak our because I'm not a front page columnist asking actual journalistic questions," said Niemöller84, a CBR forum poster. "Then they came for the snarky parody sites, and I didn't speak out because I'm not a snarky parody site."
"Then they came for me," he added sadly, "and there was no one left to speak for me."
Niemöller84, of course, makes reference to the public blacklisting of The Outhouse by DC Comics unless the snarky website agreed to "stop making fun" of DC Comics in their ridiculous parody articles. While Outhouse Editor in Chief Christian Hoffer refused to comment, staff writer Frankenstein: Former Agent of S.H.A.D.E. told us, "CBR BAD! DC BAD! FIRE BAD!"
That's very insightful. But is this all just a hysterical overreaction? We reached out to CBR's chief forum moderator, Hitler Teapot, who told us, "we're not saying that there's no place on the CBR forums for criticism of DC comics. We're just saying that that place in is one giant, incoherent thread where anyone who says anything bad can be marginalized as the pesky troublemakers they are. Is that so bad?"
Look, we understand that CBR has a relationship with DC Comics that they don't want to damage by providing a soapbox for complaints about the beleaguered publisher. But let's do away with the pretense, and stop pretending like this "catch-all" thread is some attempt to make it more convenient to complain about DC in one place. It's simply a way to appease CBR's corporate, Big Comics masters by silencing criticism, and, admittedly, a step up from simply banning the critics, which was their policy in the past.
"I don't know what you're talking about," said Mr. Teapot in response to our accusations. "We love our forum posters, and we'd never try to censor them just to appease DC Comics. We even thought about giving DC critics a special 'brand' on their forum profiles so that everyone would know how brave and outspoken they are. Tell me, is that the kind of thing a ruthless, oppressive despot would do?"
Well, that's not for us to decide. We leave it up to you, dear readers.