I’ve been seeing a lot of posts recently about bad behavior from fans and creators on social media and it’s amazing to me that so many people don’t know about “The List.” Every pro in the comic book industry has a list. One could call it a “secret” list but it really is no secret because everyone worth their grain of salt has one whether it be a mental list or a written one. This list is comprised of people they already know they DO NOT want to work with. The lists grow much faster these days because of social media, but comic book folks have always had lists. Here are some pointers.
Things you can do on social media that can get you ON the list
- Unfairly bad mouth a publisher, editor or creator, actually bad mouthing in general
- Be dogmatic and adversarial about industry issues, continuity or which publisher or film universe is better
- Stalk an industry pro by constantly tagging them, posting on their wall or messaging them
- Send pitches and work solicitations on social media or private chat when not requested
- Be a condescending know-it-all
- Commit to a project then disappear, also known as “ghosting”
- Always, ALWAYS complaining about how bad the industry is
- Forcing your religious or political beliefs down other people’s throats
- Making racist, sexist or mysoginist posts
- Being mean to aspiring, less knowledgable creators
Bottom line: Be nice or be quiet. If it seems like sometimes you’re having to choose between being honest with your opinions or getting work, it is. It might even be unfair. But as I said, it is a “choice” we each have to make for ourselves between what’s truly more important. Being right or being employed.
Now if you think political correctness has gone too far, know that just because something is labeled as politically correct doesn’t mean that it’s not correct to begin with. But if it all still seems stifling, it’s not all bad. Here are some things that will PROBABLY NOT get you on the list despite all common sense.
- Posting your religious or political beliefs but respecting other’s
- Being a fan of New Age music
- Being a hipster
- Breaking the posting rules of certain comic fan groups (maybe)
- Posting selfies in provocatively revealing attire (Don’t take this personally, Bob)
- Not liking the latest DC, MCU or Bladerunner film
- Drawing women with unrealistic proportions (debatable)
- Having more than three cats
- Constantly posting about your personal problems (big maybe)
True, there might be some people who you wouldn’t mind being on their list or there are certain publishers you swear you will never work with, but a creator you think can’t help you today might be an editor or publisher someday. For example, back in high school, I thought this kid Stan Lee was just a nerdy Asian dork (stereotype, I know) but look at him now!