You Are Not Owed
Travis Hedge Coke
Twenty points about what is or is not owed to fans or pros that, if adhered to, might cut thirty percent of the BS out of all comics discussions online. Written only so that, hopefully, I won’t ever have to write them again. (But, if people are being wrong on the internet again, I will! I will!)
1. A publisher does not owe you a comic exactly the way you want it.
2. A company does not owe you toys or licensed clothing featuring the characters or costumes you demand.
3. A company does not need to dress its characters the way you want them dressed.
4. A company does not owe you allegiance.
5. A company does not owe it to you to stick to one particular continuity.
6. A publisher does not have an unspoken contract with its audience.
7. You are not more important than any other fan of a property, to the property, unless you actually work for the owners or are the owner.
8. A fan is not someone who complains online about comics they don’t buy featuring characters they have never liked.
9. When a writer or editor or whoever says, “Sexist fans…” or “The racists in the audience…” and you immediately get mad that they’re talking shit about you, you are talking shit about yourself.
10. No character deserves an ongoing comic, a miniseries, or even another appearance in any medium.
11. When Spider-Man comics repeat storylines too much and you’re annoyed that no one ages and matures out of their cycles, it is time for you to leave Spider-Man comics behind.
12. You are not owed a new issue on any timetable, even if solicited for that date at an earlier time.
13. Fans of a character do not have to support a book they don’t like just because the character appears.
14. A writer does not owe it to you to write only from your political perspective.
15. Comics professionals do not owe you any more lenience than you owe them.
16. If you are a professional artist and draw something offensive or out of character or off-target in an egregious fashion, it is not censorship, it is not pompous for people to criticize your choices.
17. An artist does not have to draw the way you like, even if they used to use that style.
18. Being a fan of a character or comics in general does not mean when you say nasty untrue things about real human beings, you can’t be called out or pilloried for it.
19. A company does not owe it to you to keep perpetuating imagery that some fans dislike just because you don’t think it’s that bad.
20. A company does not owe it to you remove elements you find unpleasant or offensive. It’s on you to leave them.