Tempers flared on the Twitter tonight when Superior Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott took issue with Bleeding Cool mogul Rich Johnston's spoilage of Batman #28 in a "Twit Longer" post, which defeats the purpose of Twitter by allowing you to post a long ass diatribe like this:
Dear @richjohnston & @bleedingcool, please stop posting spoilers-- ESPECIALLY the last pages-- of books on the day they come out.
It is a terrible practice and it makes it harder and harder for storytellers to deliver ANY kind of surprises to the readers.
If you think ANYONE who worked on BATMAN #28 appreciated what you did last Wednesday, you're 100% wrong. Period. End stop.
There was absolutely NO need to post that full page scan of the end of their book-- before everyone in the U.S. market even had a CHANCE to go to a store and pick up a physical copy.
It doesn't matter how many spoiler warnings you put up on your site. You're disseminating that image to your readers-- who will then go out and spread it around the web. You know that.
It's just bad form. Please stop.
If you care about this industry, these characters, and the people who make these comics-- let storytellers do their job and TRY to deliver surprises once in a while DURING the stories they're telling.
I don't care if other sites get these images out. Or if there are other places on the web where people can find them first. WHO CARES? Your site gets traffic anyway. You don't need the extra clicks that badly.
Please show some restraint. Please exhibit courtesy towards both the people who make the comics and the readers who don't wish to see things spoiled ahead of time. At least please wait till the people who have 9-to-5 jobs have a chance to go to their comic shops after work, and read the issues themselves before you go spoiling any of the endings.
@DanSlott Dan, you are making some incorrect assumptions. I have emailed you.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott Such spoilers are run, very very occasionally, where we believe they are newsworthy or serve a greater purpose. But always flagged— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott Anyone who reads them has to go through layers of spoiler warnings, and they are aimed at people who would not buy the comic.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott And we also do consult with creators when we can. Sometimes we get it wrong. But we avoid gratuitous spoiling for the sake of it.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott Well I bought the comic. But because that's the time when you can have most influence on people's purchasing decisions.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott We ran the last page of the last issue of Green Team. Three times as many people read that than bought the previous issue.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott I'm told that really helped shift copies to an audience who would have been unaware. But it ran because it was very newsworthy.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott And we also say to people that if they have any interest in buying the comic first, then do so. There are layers of warnings.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
Layers upon layers upon layers.
@DanSlott And the thread had posts by a number of people who wouldn't have bought the comic, but now are.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott That's the intent. We sometimes get it wrong. But no one gets spoiled who doesn't want to be.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott And even in those very very occasional spoilers, we only give away a small amount, and leave the rest as undiscovered country.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott I could if I were so minded run the last pages of every Marvel and DC comic every week. I'm not just running gratuitous spoilers— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
Uh oh... It's starting to get like the "Rich Johnston Has a Secret That Could Destroy the Comics Industry But He's Not Revealing It Because Journalism" story.
@DanSlott No it does not. But you were talking about BCs prominence before. If this is the issue, I suggest you direct your ire against them— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott No, I'm not ruining anything.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
LOL. Throw them under the bus, Rich.
@DanSlott but that's not my argument. No more than yours is that you only ruin Spider-man when you could ruin so many more comics.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
It's your opinion that it's his opinion but in his opinion your opinion of his opinion is... wait, where were we?
We do appreciate Dan's frustration with spoilers, but is he aware that he works for Marvel, which, along with DC , spoils its own events in the mainstream press whenever they can get USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, or the Washington Post to pay attention to them? We've written about this extensively in the past:
- MARVEL SPOILS INFINITY, BATTLE OF THE ATOM TO ANNOUNCE INHUMANITY EVENT
- WILL BLEEDING COOL SUE MARVEL FOR SPOILING AVENGERS VS. X-MEN?
- WASHINGTON POST TOTALLY SPOILS ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES
- DAN SLOTT BLOCKS MARVEL AFTER PRESS RELEASE SPOILS AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700
...just to name a few. The conversation would touch on this point multiple times, so we thought we'd explain it. Anyway, it continued:
Heh. At this point, Rich was all riled up and taking on all comers like Jason Aaron in a Crisis of Infinite Wolverines porn parody gang bang scene.
We've reached the Jewish Mom benchmark of passive aggression now...
@DanSlott When they could have already picked them up from ComiXology six hours earlier?— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@DanSlott Dan, are you responsible for me posting what I do? After all I read it in a comic without ANY spoiler warnings— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
@Lord_Orbwet just stop reading it— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
Well, we usually don't, but if it's actually newsworthy a different set of criteria comes into play.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 16, 2014
And then the tattletaling began...
@DanSlott Only if the studio had previously erased sleds from movies and declared that the used of sleds in movies was toxic.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 17, 2014
@DanSlott it can be closed. Follow the countryside code.— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) February 17, 2014
And round and round we go...
Alright, you know what? We were wrong. Twit Longer is a good thing, and Rich should start using it. Know this: we did not embed every tweet. It was actually longer than that. Not to worry though, Rich and Dan are still friends:
So yeah, that happened, and if you think it's pretty sad, then think about how sad it is that I just spent forty-five minutes embedding all those tweets into this article. There are no winners here. Well, except, you readers.
Oh, and for the record, this is how you properly spoil Batman #28.
UPDATE: Bleeding Cool decided to rip off our ripping them off and publish their own Fanboy Rampage. We were gonna be super mad, until we saw that they ended it with a tweet from Bald Reporter Jeremy Shane, so it's all good. I'd also like to note, on a personal level because a commenter here accused me of having it in for Bleeding Cool - it's my favorite site on the internet besides The Outhouse. We only hurt the ones we love, Walter.
Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of Newsarama and Spinoff but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation. We're copying it from Bleeding Cool without permission because parody.