Do you folks actually hate on MTMTE/LL?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by NTPrime, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. pluto

    pluto Well-Known Member

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    Um no dude, g1prowl literally said those things, and you defended his right to say so? I am guilty of paraphrasing at best. Arguably about as sordid as poorly applying high school debating skills without self reflection but here both are.

    As for your other points
    A) cosplaying transformers
    B) sales
    C)agenda driven writer
    D) chasing ppl away
    E) A GOOD BOOK
    The first is in matter of fact an ad hominem attacks insofar as its a bizarre mischaracterisation. and if true of mtmte/ll then also true of all tf fiction too? G1 is just robots cosplaying as star wars characters, animated is really no different either, prime was robots cosplaying as edgelords and so on. Fundamentally, tho, whats so bad about cosplay &c&c&c

    B) if you qualify art on basis of sales you dont know shit about art.

    As for c) all writers have an agenda whether they admit it or not

    D) the boards lit up with discussion like nothing before or since.

    E) the book won numerous accolades and was pretty constantly in a number of high profile end of year lists. But was it a GOOD BOOK. There’s only one good book my friend, and it was published by jesus christ of america
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  2. pluto

    pluto Well-Known Member

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    Only on tfw would a 20 years out of date theory still be controversial.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  3. misfire19d

    misfire19d Geewunner with some cash to buy toys

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    A)It was not an attack on you. It’s a critique of the book. puzzling that you took it personally

    B) It’s a product on a shelf in a store. It was mass produced in a factory in China. Not art.

    C) Nope. Wrong again. A good writer has no idea where the story is going. They’re along for the ride with the reader. This guy knew what he intended to do from the start. 5 minutes on his twitter was all it took to figure it out.

    D) It was so popular it was cancelled.

    E) Anybody with a computer can create a website and pass out awards. They’re meaningless. I used to think they represented accomplishment until I realized some of the awards were conjured up and awarded by people trying to kiss ass and break into the industry. Other awards are meant to create the appearance of merit and talent. They’re clever marketing gimmicks. Nothing more.
     
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  4. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    what the frick person

    This is one of the harshest truths of the internet these days.

    "Awards" mean nothing anymore, because the people handing them out can have any number of reasons for doing so, and virtually anyone can "establish" an award to be given.
     
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  5. pluto

    pluto Well-Known Member

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    Lol okay my dude. Tell that to...the history of narrative i guess?

    Also fun fact; if mass production negates the possibility of art you are in for a wild ride when i tell you about this lil invention called the printing press.
     
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  6. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    I think he's referring to authors of long-running series.

    And he's not especially wrong. Some of the best long-running books are often made up as they go along, with only general ideas of future story beats. They rarely have a clear goal when producing something intended to last years because you can't control what may or may not influence a work.

    But that's just my interpretation.

    I think you got hung up on the mass-production thing, but again it's pretty clear Misfire's point was that the book is a product to be produced and sold cheaply and en masse. It's not something carefully crafted over years by a starving artist expressing his vision in a medium, it's a corporate-mandated comic released (almost) monthly to make money. Which it didn't do.
     
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  7. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Plus ca change. When have awards ever meant anything other than that you impressed some group of people somewhere?

    Most art sits between these two extremes. Clearly, Roberts did have a vision and an idea of the kind of story he wanted to tell. Misfire has straight up said on this very thread that he's particularly upset about this - that Roberts used a corporate property to express some of his own views.
     
  8. misfire19d

    misfire19d Geewunner with some cash to buy toys

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    Rhetoric. Not a meaningful rebuttal. Next.

    Porn magazines, instant scratchers, SAT tests , and 1040ez forms (you pay your taxes with these) are to be considered art now because they were printed on a press? That’s a hard sell.


    I’m actually glad you consider me your dude. I’ll buy you a beer if I ever meet you at a con. That’s a promise.
     
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  9. pluto

    pluto Well-Known Member

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    I consider this a reductive view of art and artistic practice. Plenty of thing designed for banal interests have been since reinterpreted as having immense value. Pulp magazines feature little known writers like Hemingway, reconstruction era women’s magazines featuring raconteurs like poe. Our history of narrative comes to us as pieces of receipts to pay the bills.
    Ergo, as above, the tools we use to analyse all of these things are by necessity, and by history indifferent.

    Mass culture does not negate the possibility of meaningful art and not even crotchety old elitists like Adorno could muster a meaningful argument to the contrary.

    I mean dialectically he isnt especially right either. Plenty of long form pieces stretching back to omnibus dickens and up to stuff like saga have definitive plans about the story to be told. even within comic books it is true on the short to medium scale considering how long it takes from writing to print.

    I mean porn magazines like playboy helped most of the silver and bronze age scifi authors we know and love to get published and stay published.

    But you have mistaken the meaning of the word “negate” with “provide” in most of those examples regardless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  10. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

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    Your other statements made some semblance of sense. Might’ve even agreed. But this?!?...:) 

    I would argue that given he said LL was a “narrative mess” he’s more referring to *MTMTE* being good than LL, but don’t want to speak for him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  11. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

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    Controversial perhaps, but I think as Roberts started receiving the polarizing feedback he chose explicitly to "double down" on the parts that were so polarizing (and notably most of the major changes he *did* make to his storylines were in that direction too - for example his abandoning Chromedome's original backstory because he liked Chromedome and Rewind as a couple and didn't want that drama introduced anymore). I speculate it might have been both out of his own sociopolitical leanings as well as him digging in against more of the vitriolic feedback he was receiving and in favor of the audience that in some cases told him the comic had literally stopped them from committing suicide. It's *really* difficult for a human being with empathy to turn aside from that (and I'm not saying that as a slag on people who dislike the direction Roberts took the book - if someone tells you that you or something you did/created literally saved their life, it changes you as a person).

    I think so too, but I unfortunately think that comes from Roberts having written the large strokes of the ending when he wrote the beginning of the series. For example, the Skids/Rung scene in issue 3 was put there so that he could call back to it when Rung was about to die in the conclusion. Finding that out explained why a lot of the concluding arc felt like "old Roberts" to me...it *was*. =)
     
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  12. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Yep, I can agree with all of this. But I don't think you even need to be an especially empathetic person - all media has a tendency to head this way, becoming a conversation between the creator and a particular crowd.

    I often think this with regard to video games, which have a large audience but are still, for the most part, culturally niche because they're so ideosyncratic in both content and controls. The comics industry is also shrinking for lack of broader appeal.

    The irony here is that Roberts took MTMTE/LL into potentially game-changing territory by focusing on aspects of storytelling usually neglected by comics and sci-fi properties. It looked feasible that it could have blown up really big, and broken out of the Transformers/comics bubble. If he had succeeded in this respect beyond a smattering of coverage in the mainstream press, it would have more than countered the loss of readership among the TF community.

    That's the risk you take when you innovate: you will almost certainly alienate some of your home crowd. And to come back to the main topic of this thread, the meta-discussion going on here is to do with who Transformers belongs to.

    No question in my mind - the real reason a minority of fans ferociously hate MTMTE/LL is because Roberts aimed above their heads at a different readership. They know that if he'd comprehensively succeeded, the whole Transformers brand would be pushed in that direction (as it has been, to a very limited extent, with Nautica turning up so soon in the new series, and more emphasis on female characters).

    That's the reason why they (again, a minority) can't be gracious enough to say "It wasn't my thing but it succeeded in various ways". Every quality has to be denied because the conversation is really about who gets to have these toys.
     
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  13. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    Another thread good for identifying candidates for the ignore list.

    A few points:

    1. “Plot backwards write forward.” Is one of the well known rules of writing a good long running story. If you think the only good writing is making it up as you go along, you’re wrong. Objectively wrong.

    2. Cancellation isn’t a good indicator of quality. Lots and lots of artists were unloved and under appreciated in their time. Lots of popular long running shows turn out to be crap on rewatch.

    3. Mass production doesn’t have anything to do with whether something is art or not. A lot of instant classics were mass produced or created for market value reasons. Most of the Shakespearean Cannon is written for the crowds of the day. If he couldn’t fill a theater, he’d be out of business and that would be that. Arthur Conan Doyle and Dickens fall under similar situations.

    Look you don’t have to like the book, and you don’t have to read it. But trying to argue it absolutely has to be garbage just makes you look foolish. A lot of folks liked the book. Scoff at the year end awards it got, but a fair number of people inside and outside the fandom cared for the book, bought it monthly, and were sad to see it go. Arguing “Everyone is wrong because they don’t share my opinion” makes you look like a jerk and means folks like me immediately discount future posts as trolling.
     
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  14. misfire19d

    misfire19d Geewunner with some cash to buy toys

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    1. Calm down. You seem upset.

    2. I’ll buy you a beer too.
     
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  15. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Can someone buy me a beer?
     
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  16. misfire19d

    misfire19d Geewunner with some cash to buy toys

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    If you are of legal age, then it would be my pleasure.
     
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  17. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    I was considering that as a point, but you totally beat me to it. Realistically, I think it's very hard for an author to not want to please his vocal fans. Money aside, there seems to be only a few authors that do what they do with an eye towards this sort of mythical literary integrity. Even removing the allegations of Roberts' book saving people from death, it feels good to be praised and it's very human to want to please the people praising you. That's not evil, depraved, or even necessarily bad. It's human. I'll dig into my opinions of Roberts' writing all day, explain why I believe certain parts are bad or good, and like you even speculate as to the causation. That said, at this point I don't think there's any real question that he was definitely being influenced by a certain portion of his audience. However, that's hardly an unforgivable sin. My opinion is that it's hardly fair to lambaste the man for being a human being. Which is more or less what @Focksbot said:

    I agree with you in part. Earlier in this thread, I stated I thought Roberts brought more to the table than almost any other Transformers scribe because he did stuff with the stories that rarely got done. Making these immortal war machines relateable while still keeping them fairly alien, introducing cultural aspects and ideas that no other author did and effectively filling in a lot of gaps was a feat. I respect Roberts for doing that and it's one of the things I found enjoyable. I also think that Roberts (with a lot of help) could have elevated Transformers farther into the cultural zeitgeist.

    However, there's something to be said about why there's such a hostile reaction to Roberts' book by some. I can't speak for everyone, but to my mind I think the issues presented are a lot less steeped in a "minority" of angry adult-children being pissy because they feel the threat of being denied toys and comics.

    Just for context, I'm an old school Transformers fan. I've been following the exploits of my favorite robots for 35 years now and for the most part have loved it more than I've hated it. I'm a straight male, but I also generally feel like I'm a social liberal both due to my socioeconomic status and my general life situation. In short, I love all kinds of culture and really don't feel it's my place to pass judgment or feel like anyone should be hurt or threatened or deprived because of who they are, who they feel they are, or even who they want to be. Follow the rules, try to be polite, and I'm generally okay.

    However, as stated, I'm a straight male. As an added wrinkle, I was raised in a quasi-traditional Asian household, surrounded by US culture. There's certain things I don't always identify with, or will never comprehend completely because I don't embody those things and/or did not grow up internalizing those things. However, as opposed to being over my head, I feel like those things are simply not things "for me", just like many things such as recreational drug use, organized religion, extreme sports, fancy coffees that take more than two words to describe, certain breeds of dogs, so on and so forth. If you wanna drink your double foam whateverchino deluxe and walk your 175 pound schnauzer to church, great! I won't get it, but I don't gotta. None of my business. However, with those examples, I can ignore them because I don't have to deal with them. What happened with IDW was a little different.

    Roberts packed "social progressive" stuff into his work. It's a given at this point. So consider a fan like me, 35 years in, getting handed a book that has something we love - Transformers. Awesome! New book! New narrative. But wait... something I don't get. Something I don't and will never really truly comprehend. And then again. And again. And again. And then plastered on the news. And discussed ad nauseum by these very vocal NEW fans I've never seen before and don't get and why are you writing horrifying fanfiction about Rodimus Prime!?

    And that's the rub for some people. I firmly believe that there were more than a few moderates that got turned into ogres. IDW was all TF fans got, comics wise. It's not like we can go and read some other transforming robot book elsewhere, as if it was some DC/Marvel/Indie thing where we had alternatives. It wasn't even that there was socially progressive stuff in the book. Comics have been doing that for a while. It's that it was slammed into the book and arguably pounded on repeatedly to the point where there was at least this impression of overexposure, compounded by this strange, new group of people that showed up in the fandom that were downright hostile to anyone that expressed exasperation over not liking what Roberts was doing. It was too much, too soon, too fast, too in your face... and it was ANGRY. I mean... shit guys. I feel like I'm a pretty even guy but even /I/ got called nasty names by some people just for trying to provide counterpoints.

    While I'm sure there's a few - I'm not naive enough to believe otherwise - I seriously doubt that even the angry minority of the books truly are or believe they're anti-whatever-it-is. I think they're exasperated that the only TF medium they had that was initially apparently geared towards them - a mature fan - was slathered with stuff that wasn't for them. That's probably not even the big the issue. The issue is that there's this impression that it was rubbed in their face repeatedly, and in some case gleefully.

    So yeah. I'm not making excuses for anyone. In the words of Furman: "It's over... finished!" I don't feel that most people talking about the book NOW in the aftermath are necessarily terrible or unreasonable. However, Roberts' books to me do carry the taint of some seriously foul and angry language from his most ardent fans, and that's harder to shake for some and definitely plays into whether you like or dislike MTMTE/LL.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  18. Pwsyn

    Pwsyn Well-Known Member

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    I could not have said it better. Thanks !
     
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  19. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    You're welcome. As a caveat though, I don't think the angry, militant anti-Roberts position is warranted either. Just that there's at least some discernible basis for the behavior outside of "people just being babies/ignorant rubes".
     
  20. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Then we good!
     
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