Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When You Love Enough to Hate the Very Best

I love to criticize my genre in all of its various and myriad forms. There's nothing I enjoy more than ripping apart a beloved comic book plot line, a series story arc, or yelling at the top of my lungs about some bone-headed character arc in a long-running novel series. This is why I attend cons, really. There's nothing more awesome to me than finding a group of people who have all seen or read something I've been dying to complain about, and hole up in a corner of the lounge and shout about it all night long.

This, however, should not be mistaken for anything other than what it is: love.

I know it doesn't look much like love from all the foaming and frothing, but it is. If I don't love something, it simply doesn't engage me. I could care less. But, the more I love something, the more wounded I feel when the story or characters betray my vision of it. The more important you are to me, the more I despise you. (You know who you are *cough* Star Wars, BSG *cough*)

I've been thinking about this because I've been ranting about my current favorite comic book title over on my LiveJournal, CAPTAIN AMERICA. No one has, but sometimes I get that classic, "Well, if you feel this way, why do you keep reading?"

Sometimes, as some of you know, I *do* stop. I quit BSG when they got to the first Earth because the spoilers I'd heard about would have made my head explode (please remember that in my other life I write about angels). When I consciously stop watching a show because I suspect the ending is going to disappoint, I call that Schroeder's Plot line. As long as I don't "open the box" the possibility exists that the plot doesn't suck -- of course, it could also be dead. But I'll never know unless I open the box.

But most of the time I keep going with a show or a comic book or a novel series because I wouldn't have gotten as far as I had if the author/writer(s) hadn't already won my trust. Once you've sold me, I'm actually pretty hard to lose. Oh, I'll complain, alright, but I'm extremely loyal.

I think this is also why I don't mind criticism of my own universe. If I've gotten under someone's skin enough to piss them off, I figure I've done my job as a writer. Because all of us have our "Quantum Bullet of Scott Evil" moments as writers. It doesn't mean I still don't love you, Ed Brubaker.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I like the Schroeder's Plot line idea. I do that a lot, as well.

BSG is a good example, although I'm not sure if I actually like that show anymore. Somewhere after they got off New Caprica... I just lost steam... ugh.

I walked away from Angel Season 5 right after the WWII submarine episode, but I was finally enticed back and I opened the box... and inside, it was awesome.