JMS on Usenet


Subject: Re: Amazing Spider-Man #510 (SPOILER SPACE--BIG REVELATION)
Date: 06 Aug 2004 01:55:31 GMT
From: (Jms at B5)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe

Let's take this one step at a time, shall we?

I said: 

>>I'd have to be the sloppiest writer in the history of...well, really 
>>sloppy writers to not take into account the time factor in Spidey 
>>chronology, and deal with it straight-up in the writing.

You then took that statement and re-phrased it, taking it to another level of
intention as follows:

>That goes beyond "I wouldn't make a mistake like that."  What it's 
>saying is "No competent writer would make a mistake like that.  And no 
>reasonable reader would assume that that was an error."

I will point out that I said nothing of the kind, nor was I generalizing to
other writers, other competent writers, or to what readers should or should not
assume concerning errors.   You took my statement and came up with another one,
attributing it to me, and following it with:

>And I'm saying to you that you're wrong.

So the statement you rephrased is wrong, and I don't disagree that it's wrong
because you'd have to be a complete bubble-head to make a statement like that
and mean it.  But that has nothing to do with what I actually *said*.

This is called creating a straw-man argument, where you revise the statement to
make it indefensible, and proceed to attack it.

So I'm not going to defend something I didn't say.  If you want to take it to
another whole level and argue about things I didn't say, that's fine for a
hobby, but it has nothing to do with this conversation.

>Competent writers make these 
>mistakes all the time

Competent and incompetent writers do make mistakes, yes.  Perfection, I've
discovered, is a state that some tend to demand in others while excusing it in
themselves.  But be that as it may....

>Now, maybe you work to higher standards in this regard than the other 
>books, and maybe you don't.

The ASM books are the core books, and have a greater responsibility to be as
accurate in their storytelling as possible.  So that is my responsibility.  I
don't speak to other people's responsibilities because I can't get inside their
head...something you should try avoiding yourself in future because thus far
you're getting a lot of it wrong.

But mistakes happen, right?

>The point is that there is no reason for 
>readers to give the benefit of the doubt to you on this point when (for 
>entirely sound reasons) they wouldn't give it to any other writer on the 
>Spider-Man titles.

So there is no distinction in your mind between writers?  They are all the
same?  They should all be treated in exactly the same manner?  Do you think
they are all working in lockstep, with no qualitative differences or

Do you really believe this?

If so, may I inquire what the color is on the world where you come from? 
Because on Earth (my planet) a writer, any writer, builds his or her reputation
on what he or she does, not on what others do, and is evaluated on a
trustworthiness scale by the degree to which he/she keeps their promises, not
by what other people do or don't do.

So one doesn't judge Bradbury by Heinlein, you don't judge Macy's by Bullock's,
you don't judge broccoli by bananas, and you don't judge me by Bendis, Bendis
by me, me by Waid or Waid by anybody else.

At least, that's how we Earthers do it.  I would be very much interested in
hearing how they do it on your world, Ambassador.

Please give my best wishes to the rest of the Martian delegation.



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