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RU’s Views: An Open Letter To Dan Slott

Written by GHERU on Tuesday, February 18 2014 and posted in News with Benefits

RU’s Views: An Open Letter To Dan Slott

Q: Do readers care who spoils a book?

A: No.

Source: Fanboy Rampage: Rich Johnston vs. Dan Slott

Mr. Slott,

First, let me say that I hate spoilers. HATE them! I don’t understand the mindset of people who want to know details of a story before they get a chance to read it for themselves. From last pages to hidden details, I don’t want to know. I can say with confidence that I cannot recall any instance where a spoiler inspired me to buy a book, whereas spoilers have kept me from buying a book. Not because the spoiler made the book seem bad, but because I don’t see a need to spend $4+ on a comic book that I already know how it ends.

All that being said, you are wrong.

You are not wrong in disliking spoilers, you are not even wrong in asking people to hold off on posting spoilers even with warning language / huge stop signs. What you are wrong about is the idea that it matters who spoils a book. In your discussion with Rich Johnston this past Monday, you repeatedly argued that Marvel and DC are allowed to spoil books because they own the characters. [writer’s note – many of these tweets have since been deleted] You stated that, even with spoiler tags, BleedingCool was wrong to spoil Batman #28 the day it came out, but you have no problem with Marvel spoiling (at least) two major plot points in Civil War in national newspapers with no spoiler warning months before and day of publication (Spider-Man unmasking and the death of Captain America.).

Mr. Slott, people who don’t like spoilers do not care where they come from; be it BleedingCool,, Previews Magazine, or even the New York Times. We do not care if the spoilers were approved or not. We do not care what the excuses are. All we know is that something was spoiled.

Just this past calendar year Marvel spoiled two “events” before they even started (X-Men: Battle of the Atom and Infinity) just to announce their next event, Inhumanity. Marvel routinely spoils current stories in Previews Magazine, “First Looks,” the national press, and the soundtracks to their own movies, all without fair warnings. Let me tell you, it didn’t matter that these were “official” spoilers ok’d by Marvel, all that mattered was that something was spoiled and I was not given a fair chance of avoiding said spoilers.

You want to place the blame at the foot of BleedingCool for the Batman spoilers spreading around the internet with no regard for spoiler warnings. Is it USA Today’s fault when other “real” news organizations report on the death of Captain America? The New York Times? Newsarama? CBR? No, it’s not. If a spoiler is out there and not tagged as a spoiler it is not the fault of the source but rather the personal responsibility of the poster.

Let me ask you this: knowing twitter the way I do, is it your fault if some of your followers harassed Rich Johnston on your behalf due to this discussion?  No, of course not, it is the fault of the troglodytes who have no regard for common decency. The same thing applies to Rich; your followers are not your responsibility, his readers are not his.

Mr. Slott, think back to any panel discussion you’ve been a part of; can you honestly say that you’ve never revealed facts that would count as a spoiler?

The problem with the argument that Marvel can spoil but news sites can’t comes off as disingenuous as Alan Moore lecturing writers about working on licensed properties. And almost as hypocritical

I understand why you didn’t want BleedingCool to publish the last page of Batman #28, and I even somewhat agree, but any difference between “official” and “unofficial” spoilers is fictional and highlights a severe lack of self awareness in the entertainment industry.To those of us who hate spoilers, we hate them wherever they come from, and I’d argue that it’s even worse when a company ruins their own product with spoilers.

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