How Not to Hype a Webcomic

“Achewood is better than what ever webcomic you are currently reading.
It is actually a verifiable fact.”

“If you didn’t find Achewood funny, you probably had some type of disease or damage to your brain.”

“Not appreciating Achewood is evidence of either moral laxity (not being willing to read it until it starts to make sense) or cognitive defect.”

“If this doesn’t work, then…I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.”

The last few days there has been an ongoing discussion at Scans_Daily, wherein some devoted fans of Achewood have tried to convince the masses that, no, really, it’s a good comic.

The comments above are a sample of the attempts to do so, from a variety of different posters.

I… am not impressed.

For some reason, this seems to be a recurring trend with fans of Achewood – this is certainly not the first place I’ve seen this sort of attitude of “If you don’t like it, there is something wrong with you.” And you know what? That is far and away the last thing that’s going to convert someone into reading your favorite comic.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not actually a fan of Achewood – but I am someone who respects it. I read The Great Outdoor Fight, which strikes me as the comic’s definitive arc. And I understand why people like the comic – Onstad clearly has a fantastic grasp of language and characterization, and a gift for clever ideas. But in the end, I have trouble getting past the art, and it just isn’t my cup of tea.

Insulting me isn’t going to change that. Telling me that my opinion is wrong is just going to look silly. Explaining how this is a sign of my mental failings is just going to drive me even further away.

It is ok to be excited about a comic you like. I’m writing a post on a website devoted to doing so – I’m not going to say there is anything wrong with it. And I won’t deny that even I’ve been taken aback from time to time in discovering that a friend doesn’t like a webcomic I find brilliant…

But them’s the breaks. Different people have different tastes, and while it might be a good thing to try and spread the word about a good comic, you can’t force it down someone’s throat. Seriously, you’re not winning the comic any points with that sort of behavior.

That’s what really gets me here – I’m confident this attitude isn’t even remotely connected to Onstad, the strip’s creator. From the (admittedly little) I’ve seen of him, he strikes me as a mellow sort of guy. He’s got the respect of a ton of people I think well of, and judging by the very nature of Achewood, it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing he would try and make proclamations regarding.

But the fans… man. Like I said, I know a ton of people who like the strip and are calm, rational, thoughtful folks… but this is a comic that seems to have a disproportionate number of fans who are practically rabid in their devotion to the strip, and seem to take it as a personal affront that their evangelism hasn’t born fruit.

And hey, all the better for them that they’ve found a comic that has inspired such levels of dedication… but given the path of ill will they’ve been leaving in their wake, they might just be the sort of fans a comic is better off without.

3 responses

  1. While I’m a regular reader of Scans Daily, the majority of the posters there are so stereotypically “fanboy” that I have to constantly wash the forehead grease from my internet connection.

    This religious fervor for Achewood… well, if it wasn’t that comic, it’d be Booster Gold or something else. Just another example of fanish herd-think.

    It’s an ideological abyss and if you ponder it too much, you’ll go mad. Best to shrug your shoulders and hope they choke on something one day.

  2. You wanna see a rabid fan? Check out this baby. I’m still not gonna insult you if you don’t like Achewood. I might roll my eyes a bit, but damn. Not everybody likes what I love.

  3. I’ve been a bit annoyed at both sides of that argument recently. I’m getting sick of people online, and in one case real life, telling me how much better my life would be if I read it (I think my opinion is similar to yours, its a clever comic but not really my type), but some of the antiachewood comments seemed a bit harsh (wankish) to me. I’m amazed at how worked up people get over this.

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