Controversary makes for interesting reading. There is no such thing as an impartial opinion. Everyone has a point of view, no matter how objective s/he may strive or claim to be. Some journalists or writers are flexible and go wherever their subject or interviewee takes them. Others have points they want to make, and sift through the material for items that support their points or attempt to get an interviewee to make a statement that sounds like it supports their slant on the suject.

Things you may read about the comics industry are no different. Everything has a point of view, an angle, a slant. Indeed, even my own modest scrawlings are motivated by a singular point of view... mine. That being fully admitted, I'd like to present a few of my observations about the world of information presented as news and views:

1. Don't believe everything you read. It's impossible to anyway, since what you read may often be contradictory.

2. People whose work you admire can sometimes be misguided, oddly motivated, or just plain wrong.

3. When it looks like there are two sides to an issue, there are probably at least three.

4. When it looks like there are two sides to an issue, don't look for one side to be the bad guy and the other the good guy. Hasn't reading Marvel comics taught you no good guy is totally blameless and no bad guy is without a redeeming trait or two?

5. Beware when someone says s/he is impartial and has no ax to grind in a given matter. You can be certain s/he does.

6. Do not blame individuals for inconsistency. If one keeps an open mind, one's views and attitudes are bound to modify over time.

7. Do not blame companies for past sins when no one who committed those past sins is at the company anymore.

8. Realize that company spokespeople(which can include every single person who works for a given company) often feel restricted by their positions in what they are at liberty to say. When they do no respond to criticism, potshots, or claims against them, it may not be because they have been caught dead to rights. It may be because it is not appropriate for them to comment in kind.

9. Everyone works for a company, even those who are self-employed (a company of one). The object of many individuals is to work themselves up into positions of such importance that they can afford to bite the hand of the company that feeds them.

10. Nobody stays on top forever. But being a has been is generally preferrable to being a never was. No one listens to never wases, but has beens can still make for good copy on occasion. I ought to know, eh?

-- Mark Gruenwald


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