The John Byrne Forum is no longer amusing.

§ September 21st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The John Byrne Forum is no longer amusing.

So yesterday I posted about how people on message boards were almost certainly going to start complaining about the casting of Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters in the Fantastic Four movie. And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, posters on the John Byrne Message Board stepped on up and proved me right.

I had no idea that things could get worse.

As I was looking over that particular thread I linked to, I found this statement:

“I AM wearying fast of this self-conscious, politically correct angle they’re taking to the material. The Marvel universe already has terrific black characters w/o having to change everyone’s race in some hollow, condescending gesture to a cliche. (Although I could probably handle HALLE BERRY in ANYTHING; I am drop dead in love with that chick; I will FOREVER be her slave!).”

Oh, dear God. And that, my friends, was the final straw. I decided, right then, that despite my interest in Byrne’s comics work, I no longer wanted to be exposed to some of the fans that post on his board.

I had no idea that things could get worse.

This morning, Fanboy Rampage linked to another thread on the forum, where John Byrne commented thusly on Jessica Alba’s appearance as Sue Storm:

“Personal prejudice: Hispanic and Latino women with blond hair look like hookers to me, no matter how clean or ‘cute’ they are.”

Yes, he gave it the qualifier of “with blond hair,” and I know he was trying to say that he finds the contrast between the dark skin and blond hair unappealing, but you know what? The way he put is was incredibly stupid at best, and racist at worst. If he wants to believe that, fine. But did he expect that he wouldn’t take any crap over it? However, like Graeme on Fanboy Rampage points out, people on that forum couldn’t wait to support John Byrne’s observation. And the few that pointed out that maybe, just maybe, what Mr. Byrne said wasn’t the brightest thing in the world…well, they’re just “trolls,” apparently.

By the way, I ran that quote (and its context) past my girlfriend, who just happens to be Mexican, and asked what she thought about it. She found it appalling.

So, that is definitely that. I’ve had some enjoyment out of the John Byrne Forum in the past, but now I’m saying goodbye. Let Byrne’s ego be borne aloft by his sycophantic toadies, lapping up every drop of wisdom that spills from his mouth. Let them wallow in their reactionary fears of anything “new” and “different.” Let them continually express, with the attitude of a child wishing that every day were Christmas, their desires to have Byrne write and draw every comic book by every company. Let them put up with Byrne’s abuse of anyone who expresses anything but absolute adulation for any aspect of his creative genius.

Let us hope that some of the more rational Byrne fans on that forum will wise up and abandon it, before they are irreversibly tainted by association.

Oh, and as one of the very few comics webloggers who supported Byrne’s work? And as a manager of a comic shop that ordered and displayed and recommended Byrne’s work? Suddenly, my desire to continue such support seems to have diminished.

And yes, I realize that, given the Byrne Forum’s bunker mentality, the outrage expressed by my weblog and by many others will be seen as unwarranted attacks, as yet more examples about how it’s the “cool” thing to attack Byrne and his work, about how we can’t wait to jump on the latest “controversial” statement.

Well, guess what. You brought it on yourselves.

Comments are closed.