The comic book industry was shocked Wednesday night when Newsarama blogger and person with excessive number of vowels in his first name Graeme McMillan posted a scathing top ten list on the popular comic book website, listing the "Top Ten Things We STILL MISS About The OLD DC Universe." Amonsgt the things McMillan complained about in the article were DC's odd position on the marriage of its characters, the undoing of Barbara Gordon's character development as Oracle, and the lack of comprehensible continuity in the Nu52. The top ten list, considered by many within the comic book media to be the ultimate form of journalistic expression, is traditionally not used in such a critical manner, leading many to criticize the formerly reputable website of shirking its responsibilities and succumbing to a baser, tabloid nature.
"Kids these days," said stalwart of comics journalism and bony saltwater fish Todd Sturgeon. "I remember back when I started out, no one would even think of doing a top ten list like this. It was all like, 'The Top Ten Reasons The Yellow Kid is an Old Timey Comic We Know the Name Of' and stuff like that."
"Sometimes, we couldn't even have ten things on our list," Sturgeon added, wistfully. "Due to conservation efforts for the war, you know? So we would have a top seven or eight list, and send whatever was left over to our boys over there."
"Of course, we didn't have the internet back then either," Sturgeon went on, rambling long after everyone stopped caring like old people always do. "We had to get up on a stage and perform our journalism for a live audience, like God intended."
Todd Sturgeon performs his famous 'Top Ten Reasons Cary Grant Should Play Batman in the Upcoming Superman vs. Batman Kinetescope.'
Sturgeon wasn't the only one to find fault with McMillan's article. Comicbooks.net reporter and master of the top ten list Gus Sterlingham called McMillan's article "a gross perversion of a sacred art form" and then went on to list the top ten reasons Joseph Gordon-Levitt should play McMillan if they ever make a movie about the article.
Frankly, we here at The Outhouse are just disappointed to see a respected outlet like Newsarama stooping so low as to criticize a major comic book publisher. That's not the kind of behavior we believe comics journalists should engage in.
"Why can't McMillan blog about the things he likes about DC Comics," said Outhouse Editor in Chief Christian Hoffer. "He should use his writing to lift the industry up, not tear it down."
Hoffer makes a good point. Criticizing mainstream comic book publishers is the sort of thing that gets a website passive-aggressively referred to in "year-end best and worst of" articles on Multiversity (motto: we'll verbally fellate the companies the bigger sites can't be bothered to verbally fellate). Is that really the path Newsarama, a once proud website, wants to go down? Do they know where that kind of attitude leads?
"Oi, wot are you tryin' to say?!" wondered universally reviled tabloid journalist Rich Johnston, chief rumormonger at Bleeding Cool, a website considered by many to be the Bleeding Cool of comic book blogs. "Linkin' to me site whilst cautioning about the perils of negative reportin'? Don't think oi didn't see that. Oi'm always watching, oi am! Pip pip!"
We didn't mean to offend Johnston, but it's true that the kind of negativity espoused in McMillan's top ten list would be more at home on a site like Bleeding Cool than on Newsarama, where it threatens to undo all the good will stuff like giving the terrible Age of Ultron 8/10 reviews has built. Here at The Outhouse, we believe that comics journalists should hold themselves to a higher standard, one that treats the esteemed comic book industry with the respect and reverence it deserves.
Head over to Newsarama and read the now infamous top ten list, if for no other reason to see a cautionary example of what not to do when writing about comics. Then head back to the Outhouse for our next feature, an article in which a fictional Bob Harras has sex with a donkey.