Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Do you remember being surprised?

Well, let me turn on my laptop and cellular modem and log onto www.spoilitfortherestofus.com.
-The Great Luke Ski, In the Line Again

There are days when I really hate the internet.

Oh yeah, without it, I wouldn't be writing these words for you to read. Not unless I had a 'zine. (remember those?) And I'd be lost without my e-mail, and the other blogs I read, and forums, not to mention online games like City of Heroes.

But before the internet it was a lot easier to keep a secret.

Do you remember reading in the Star Wars forums about the fact that Vader was Luke's father? Or how about that fascinating discussion on http://www.kane.com/ where we were able to disect why Rosebud was a sled?

The internet has made it too easy to find spoilers.

Now, I like cutting edge news as much as the next person. Hell, I just reposted advance pictures of the Joker from The Dark Knight. But sometimes I miss that sense of surprise.

The death of Captain America was a cool comic to read. So was the unmasking of Peter Parker in Civil War/Amazing Spider-Man. But long before I had those colored pages in my hand, I already knew all about the stories. And I picked them up the day they hit the stands.

I remember being shocked at the final page of Thunderbolts 1. Discovering that the heroes I had been fond of since seeing them in the pages of Incredible Hulk, and spending an entire issue starting to really like, were actually the Masters of Evil was amazing. It was amazing that it remained a secret at the time, what with Wizard of Comics, and the Internet really beginning to become a vehicle for transmitting information. Now it would have been out on a million forums days after Busiek wrote the scene.

Earlier today, my wife told me that spoilers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were already around, and that she literally stumbled across them. I'm avoiding that site. I want to read the book on Saturday and see how it all ends. And I feel the same way about my comics.

This blog will never become a spoiler site. I'm happy to discuss what's already available in print, but I want to preserve some of that mystery and wonder for those of you who anticipate what you will find on the next page.

So, I ask you again, do you remember being surprised? Wasn't it nice?

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Blogger Matt said...

Comic secrets can still be kept. I find this all very similar to the later years of my childhood around Christmas time. I knew where my parents kept the gifts and could have peeked at them if I wanted to, yet I knew doing so would ruin that feeling of surprise on Christmas morning.

I have that same choice when it comes to comics. I avoid reviews about comic titles I read and comic websites that I know to be filled with spoilers until I can get the titles myself. It might be hard to keep such things like Elektra's true identity in New Avengers from being spoiled, but I exercised the option of doing so and loved it when the big surprise was revealed.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Sure, you can still be surprised. But now it actually takes effort. To use your analogy, you would have had to go peek at the presents, and it's not like it was impossible to find spoilers ten years ago.

But now, the presents are lying across the welcome mat when you walk in the door. You purposely have to say "I'm going to go in to the house through the back door" to avoid seeing them.

I too tend to avoid "spoiler" sites. But Captain America's death, Spidey's unmasking and other stories are now thrown onto Yahoo! News before the comics come out.

It isn't impossible to avoid spoilers, but it's now become the case where you actually have to work to avoid them, as opposed to working to seek them out.

6:43 AM  

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