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The Wednesday Waffle Issue #27: Gatekeeping.


A genuine opinion based Waffle this week - but if you want to have a bit of a browse around the comics that came in for today's New Comic Book Day you can:



Before we get into the opinions though, some sad news was announced last week:


IN MEMORIUM

Si Spencer, 1961-2021

We are saddened to hear of the death of writer Si Spencer. Like many veteran British writers his name isn't as well known as it deserved to be. Si Spencer was a stalwart at the Judge Dredd Megazine for many years, responsible for creating beloved series such as as ‘Harke & Burr’ and ‘The Creep’, as well as ‘The Returners’, which graces the pages of the current Megazine.

A good Sheffield lad, Si was inspired to write by his secondary school English teacher, Viv Nicholls, and eventually discovered 2000 AD and other titles such as Warrior. He got into creating comics with Sideshow, a self published comic he produced with artist Adrian Dungworth.


Professionally he got started on the more adult oriented 2000AD spin-offs Revolver and CRISIS! Before moving on to edit the much missed Deadline comic/magazine. He also did some TV work, writing for such BBC staples as Grange Hill and Eastenders - and ITV's The Bill.


A meeting with Shelly Bond led him to work on the Books of Magic series for Vertigo amongst other titles, and then back across the pond to the Megazine.


Our sincere condolences go out to his friends and family. He will be missed.



FOR ALL "TRUE FANS"


Adrian Wassel's tweet about Gatekeepers
Adrian Wassel's tweet about Gatekeepers

This is a train of thought that was started specifically last Wednesday by this tweet (which I saw literally as I was tweeting about last week's waffle...) from Adrian Wassel, Editor in Chief of Vault Comics, all 'round good egg and (to date at least) the only publisher who ever rang me personally to find out how his company could work better with retailers.


It's something that I find myself thinking about a lot though, because I spend more time on social media than is really healthy and I see a lot of gatekeeping.


You don't have to spend much time on any social media page attached to pretty much any geeky topic, be it comics in general, specific comics series, Sci Fi movies or shows, gaming, whatever - hang around for a couple of minutes and you'll soon see it.


Somebody asks a question, or ventures an opinion and the comments immediately go off on one. Let's use the above example. Comics letterer extraordinaire Taylor Esposito reacted to the announcement of the new Batman '89 comic (see last week's Waffle...) with genuine enthusiasm - tweeting that he's love to work on it because Michael Keaton's first outing in the suit was "why I got into comics".


In response somebody felt the need to impose some negativity into what has started out as a genuine expression of joy to say "Huh weird I got into reading comics from reading comics".


Now, some of you might be thinking that Wassel and myself are a little extreme in our reaction to this. "Surely", I hear some of you thinking, "this is just a dude responding with their own experience?" But I have a habit of reading in a tone of voice, and I don't appreciate that dude's tone. Frankly, there's a sneer in it.


Seems to me that what the guy is saying is "Oh, you got into comics through a movie? Well that means you're not as pure a comics fan as me, because I just went straight into comics!" and I can't stress enough how much I hate that attitude. Speaking personally I also got into comics through reading comics - specifically 2000 AD.