Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mediocrity on a variety of fronts (with one exception)

-You know what I'm sick of hearing about already? The radioactive spider semen. It was funny and/or shocking at first, but now that everyone with a blog has riffed on it, I just don't care anymore. I'm ready to move on to whatever new comic pisses people off this week, or we could go back to talking about free review copies. Whatever.

-Wikipedia contributors run amok! First we learn, via Dirk Deppey in my case, that webcomics are being targeted for deletion (follow-up here). Then, Graeme McMillan alerts me to similar problems for Scott Pilgrim (see, I told you there was a backlash coming!).

Wikipedia is a weird community--since anyone off the metaphorical street can edit its entries, many entries are defaced in an effort to settle (or pursue) grudges and grievances. We all remember the John Byrne wikipedia fiasco, but have you ever looked at Rob Liefeld's page? But in the case of Scott Pilgrim, the deletion was suggested not by some vandal, but someone actually involved in the somewhat ominous-sounding Wikipedia Comics Project. McMillan notes that the contributor in question also targeted Top Shelf, a publisher of similar (if not greater) stature. The person responsible for all this calls himself "Emperor" (no really--I wonder if it's a reference to the icky death metal band?), and has also questioned the notability of IDW, Antarctic, Boom!, Avatar, Arcana, and Virgin. He also claims not to be responsible for the tagging himself, but that unnamed "editors" probably did it in "bunches." (See the discussion here--I don't think I'm capable of summarizing it without destroying some of its inherent wiki-ness.)

This all seems pretty bizarre to me, considering how much arcane shit makes the cut on Wikipedia. If you want to know about Ant-Man's arch-enemy Porcupine, you're in luck--there's a 1600 word essay about his history and cultural impact. There's an equally long article on Surge, a character I've never even heard of. This related article on Decimation (the thing where all the mutants lost their powers at the end of House of M, IIRC) is longer still, including numerous tables and 75 footnotes!

I won't deny some people can use this type of information--I take some comfort in knowing that there's a place where I can sort out the ins and outs of Jack O'Lantern's history (DC version as well). But I also use Wikipedia to find out about comics not published by Marvel, DC, Image, or Dark Horse. I guess I could always take it upon myself to go out and write/edit/protect these entries, but I'm not sure if I would fit in with the wiki aesthetic. I just can't decide if the Neat Stuff strips featuring Buddy Bradley are officially part of the continuity or not, and the existing entry is just asking for that sort of detail (actually, it literally is asking for it--the entry is a "stub").

Maybe the Encyclopedia Britannica people were right about Wikipedia.

-One entry that had better not be deleted off Wikipedia is the one for Achewood. Have you updated your computer yet? I have. (Better do it quick, cause I'm not sure if those links will still be there tomorrow.)

-This kind of goes on and on, doesn't it? Also, a lot of people did superhero-themed parodies of those Valentine cards we used to give away in grade school, but none of them really made me laugh. Sorry, guys.

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