DC Rebirth, Liam Sharp And Social Media Negativity

It’s a clumsy title, but that’s what I’m going to talk about here this morning: the DC Rebirth announcements from Wondercon, the reaction of artist Liam Sharp and the general negativity of people on social media. Yes, this is an opinion piece.

If it wasn’t for my job, I don’t know how much time I would spend on social media. I use it to promote my writing work and I watch it to pick up news stories for this site. It’s a necessary tool in my life. But it’s a tool that has become so overtly negative that sometimes it’s hard to scroll through. Post after post touting hatred against a movie, against a specific candidate or whatever some person has decide to rage against the light about.

That changed for a bit yesterday. DC comics held their panel at Wondercon and made a ton of announcements for new creative teams and new books. And for a while, the vitriol that has been choking my news feed was pushed aside by messages of excitement. Talented artists took the time to share the news of their new projects. Brad Walker on Aquaman, Jon Boy Meyers on Robin, Phil Jimenez on Superwoman and the list goes on. Writers and artists excited about new gigs and their family, friends and fans congratulating them. It was amazing to see such a positive outpouring.

One of the best examples of it was Liam Sharp. Liam has been in the industry for a long time. He’s worked for most of the publishers and is one of the driving forces behind Madefire, a company revolutionizing motion comics. He is working on the new Wonder Woman series with Greg Rucka. For an industry veteran you’d think this was just another announcement. But it wasn’t. Here is what Liam posted to his Facebook page last night:

Ok, it’s late, and I’ve had many beers. I’ll likely be a bit soppy and incoherent – but today has been one of the most memorable days of my life. I can’t remember the last time I had such a sustained feeling of happiness and excitement. I can’t remember ever feeling quite so humbled, elated, validated and content. It’s been – and I don’t say this lightly – profound.

The last time I did a book of any particular note in the mainstream there was no facebook or Twitter. My Twitter exploded today. I couldn’t keep up! It was astonishing!

And I have yet to see a negative comment. Not a one. Nothing! Maybe I have missed that aspect – it must be there of course! How could it not be? – but so far the incredible feeling of goodwill has been almost overwhelming. It’s soppy (I said it would be!) but I feel like my friends here, and everywhere, have been part of this journey, and are part of it still. I don’t take that lightly either. I will give it my very best and try not to let you down.

Thank you thank you thank you all so much.

I’m back! I didn’t stray too far, but it sometimes felt like a million miles.

Thanks again, and can’t wait to share the ongoing journey with you all over the coming months and years!

Very best, and thank you again!

One of the most memorable days of his life? That is amazing and heart warming. Years ago Liam approached me to participate in an anthology he was putting together called Event Horizon. It was a book that included other creators like Steve Niles, Kody Chamberlin and some guy named Rich Johnston. I remember getting his message and thinking… “maybe he wrote to the wrong guy.” I looked at Liam as being one of the established, upper tier comic creators. Here we are a decade later and he is on the cutting edge of the technology movement in the industry, and he is thrilled about getting to draw Wonder Woman.

Seeing his post and so many from folks talking up their new DC projects. Or other creators excited to be at Wondercon. Ryan Cady of Top Cow sharing photos form the booth. Tess Fowler of Rat Queens talking about how great it is to be back at a convention after a few years. Or even actor Clark Gregg holding up a skateboard deck that someone made for him with Lola on it. This is part of what makes the industry fun to be a fan of and to be part of.

Sadly, it didn’t take long for my news feed to revert to form. Posts about Donald Trump and Ted Cruz fighting over their wives. Images made up to deride Batman v Superman. Someone melting a chocolate Easter bunny with a hot iron… okay, that last one was kind of cool.

But my point is this. If you are reading this post, then you care about the comic book industry. You are a fan of the work and you want it to succeed. Otherwise why would you be looking at Bleeding Cool?Whether you admit it or not, you want the industry to thrive so that more books are shipped, more movies are made, more television shows are adapted. And you’re not going to like everything ever made nor are you expected to. But each of you have people who read what you say on social media and they pick up on what you are feeling. If you share excitement, then excitement spreads, but if you share hatred, then that is what they will pick up on.

What’s the point of telling people how much you didn’t like something, how much you think a movie has destroyed your vision of a character or a comic has made you feel like you wasted your money. Negativity breeds negativity. And negativity hurts the industry that we love.

If you didn’t like Batman v Superman, fine. But why put that negativity into the world when you can talk about a movie you did like or one that you are excited about coming up? Why talk about how much you think a certain publisher is ruining their characters when you can talk about a comic you do like. You can share your excitement about the good things in this industry just as the writers and artists yesterday shared there’s. You can be negative and keep someone from going to see a movie or you could be positive and get them to pick up a new book or try an animated feature.

This industry survives through the excitement of the fans and creators involved in it. And it thrives when that excitement is shared. Maybe think about that the next time you go to post something.

And to borrow from Dennis Miller…. that is my opinion and I could be wrong.

And since you got all they way to the end, here is the black and white and color versions of the Liam Sharp Wonder Woman image that was part of the announcement and that he shared on twitter.

Liam1 Liam2

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.