Petition to Stop Fan Petitions

This blog inspired by a recent article on CBR.com

Petitions started by fans of particular geek/nerd franchises are nothing new. As pointed out in the article I linked above they have just become exponentially easier to initiate as well as gather “signatures” for since the ease of access to and overabundance of internet connections.

The article proposes that these fan petitions are “ruining … everything”. Sadly, there is no true argument about anything actually being ruined, just the mention of two specific petitions. Now, are the petitions ludicrous? Yes, but their existence hardly qualifies as ruining anything. With all the social media outlets, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., the only thing these petitions seem to bring to light is the number of fans aggravated by a particular nerd/geek/fandom issue.

One such petition is to have a “Zack Snyder” cut of Justice League released and netted over 100,000 signatures. Another collected almost 100,000 fans signatures “demanding” that Disney rollback Episode VIII, stall Episode IX, and remake VIII because they didn’t like it.

Or, when Ben Affleck was announced to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in BVS, petitions began to show up online, the largest gaining close to 100,000 signatures. A quick Google search showed at least 4 other petitions with less that 100 signatures each. None of which had any effect since he’s now played the character 3 times. Having now seen Affleck in the role in 3 movies I will openly admit he’s not my favorite to play the character, but I can imagine worse choices.

I’m not disagreeing with fans ability to voice their concerns or dislike for a particular movie, casting choice, or even change to a character’s mythology, but these petitions give off the aire that fans are entitled to complete control of fandoms. That is simply absurd.

The petitions need to stop. Not because they are futile, but because they are selfish. We should be thrilled that we live in a world where these comic books and superheroes are being made into incredible visual motion picture spectacles. Growing up even 20 years ago these same characters were too geeky and nerdy to be mainstream, to be popular. Now we are getting to see them come to life as we never dreamed. As a whole these fandoms should just enjoy the explosion of geek/nerd entertainment being popular enough for TV and movie studios to keep the train rolling.

As a side note, some petitions shouldn’t exist because at times change is a good thing (i.e. Doctor Who regenerating into a female Doctor) and sometimes, a show was cancelled because it didn’t live up to fan expectations (*cough cough* Inhumans).

I get it. Fans, particularly those of comic books and superheroes, are enthusiastic and extremely passionate about characters they know and love, but these petitions do little more than highlight those same fans inability to see the forest for the trees.

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The Infamous TBR List

As a writer I am most definitely a reader as well and as such I typically receive a fairly hearty pile of books for Christmas and birthday gifts. But once all the wrapping is discarded and the new and wonderful books sit piled high next to my desk the real trouble begins. Where do I start?

In all reality I’m making this a bigger deal than it is, but still…

Aside from finishing whatever book I’m currently reading, how do I pick the next one? Should I go with the one I’ve wanted the longest or the newest release that looks incredibly enticing?

Like most readers I have a running To Be Read List (TBR) that is longer than a skyscraper is tall. It’s a list that is never ending and grows longer more than it shrinks. Some books have been on the list for years and others only a few months or less. Do I pick up where I left off? Or pick up something different too keep things from getting tedious?

Back sometime last year I decided I was going to try and read an entire series (16 books) beginning to end. Haha, yeah. That didn’t last. Maybe the reason I stopped was me, maybe it was the series. Maybe someday I’ll go back and revisit that question along with the remaining 14 books. But nevertheless, I made it 4 books into that series and was distracted by a new flashy title away from books that (although I wanted to read – and still do) I planned to read. With that task abandoned I am back at square one.

This year I received a couple of classics, a couple of graphic novels, and a couple of newer releases I’ve been waiting to get my hands on. So, as I am about halfway through one of those newer releases I couldn’t wait to get my hands on I’m already itching to pick up another of the shiny new covers from the TBR.

Sometimes I think about actually creating an all encompassing TBR instead of the mental one I currently have so that when I can’t decide what to read next I can literally just throw darts and TADA!

Until then, I’ll just continue to look over the top of my current read, eye-balling the pile, already ruminating over where I’ll let me mind travel next.

Goals vs Resolutions

Since I began taking my writing more seriously a few years ago I have made more “resolutions” than ever before. But this year in particular I have seen more comments/posts/blogs/etc about not making resolutions and instead making goals. I have decided to follow suit.

When searching the resolutions in Google one of the definitions given is “a firm decision to do or not to something.” Trying the search again, but this time for goal, one answer is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” A resolution seems pretty cut and dry. If I may borrow from Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Goals, on the other hand give a little more leeway.

The more I’ve thought about it, when it comes to writing, the term “goals” just seems more appropriate. Partially, for me, because it is little more fluid. I’m setting my sights on a few specific tasks and going to put forth the effort to reach said desired result.

My biggest goal for 2018 is to see my novel, in print, in my hand by Christmas. I will be ecstatic if this comes true, but there are so many factors that go into this becoming a reality that I feel like making it a resolution leaves me either a success or a failure. Either it happens or it doesn’t. By making this a goal, even if I’m close, but not there, in the desired timeline, I will count it as a win, a success.

There are many parts of being a writer that are cut and dry like resolutions. A story was accepted for publication. It was rejected. A story was finished by the deadline. The deadline passed and the project was not completed.

I’m hoping that by looking at my aims and goals with a little less stringent set of guidelines I will remain committed, encouraged, and excited for everything I can accomplish in 2018.

Book of the Year (2017)

A few weeks ago for the last episode of The Geek Awakens we went around and discussed a few of the things that we remembered most about 2017.

On air I spoke about how Wonder Woman was probably the geek highlight of the year for me. And as far as movies go, I maintain that stance. There was little about it wasn’t phenomenal and exciting. But I would be remiss if I didn’t add to my choice from the show.

While I was thrilled with myself and my ability to read the books I did during the year there was one in particular that stood out to me. A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau. A title produced by Inkshares (a crowdfunded publisher of sorts), blew me away. The book was exciting, haunting and profound. The book begins with the capture and arrest of a serial killer that has been terrorizing a small Canadian town for eighteen years. That’s how it starts! And it goes downhill from there. Secrets that should have remained buried are unearthed. A killer behind bars, but people continue to disappear and a creepy circus sets up camp on the edge of town. There are touches of Lovecraft, King, and Barker, all blended together magnificently with some thriller and crime novel aspects woven in as well.

Simply put, this is a book for anyone that enjoys any of those genres. (One small note, there is some gore, but if nothing out of the ordinary for fans of King or Barker.)

Two years in a row now, my favorite book has been one I’ve discovered through Inkshares. Like with all publishers, there will be some that stand heads above the rest, but two in a row is good enough odds for me to dig through their upcoming titles and read another.