Star Wars-ing: Reactions to this Week in Star Wars

5 ‘Star Wars’ Costumes For Pregnant Women That Are Perfect For A Galaxy Far, Far Away: These are DIY costume ideas based on Star Wars.  Nothing too intricate.  Great for Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple.

‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Released The First Minutes Of Its Campaign Story, And It Features A Post-Mortem Emperor:  The trailer looks amazing for soon to be released game. Now to just find time to be able to read the book leading into the game and time to play it. I wasn’t as impressed with the post-mortem emperor as the article stated.  It didn’t seem anything more than a recorded message.

 

That’s it for this week. Most of the “news” was of the spoiler/conjecture type. 

Editorializing: Criticism from Fans

Too many fans in too many fandoms do not really understand what criticism is. Far too many fans think that criticism is not liking something.  Not liking Captain America being a Hydra agent is not criticism.  Not liking a gay character in a Star Wars novel is not criticism. Not liking Thor because it is a woman is not criticism.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not liking something is completely fine. I don’t like lots of things. But the teacher in me knows that is not criticism. Not liking a plot is just a matter of taste.  Realizing a plot is not fully developed and being able to state concrete reasons why is.  Not liking a character’s choices is not criticism.  Being able to demonstrate why a character’s choices are not in that character’s character is criticism.

As a football coach, I would never tell a player they played poorly and leave it at that. I would explain why and how to get better.  Now, I’ll never ever tell a writer that I think they did a poor job until I get published.  And since I’m not writing for publication anytime soon, that won’t happen.  Too many people send tweets to authors telling them they hate their work.  This boggles my mind. What is this person’s endgame? Do they think the writer will change? Do they believe that the author will write the story that is in their head? No.  All they will end up doing is taking away access to these writers from their more level-headed fans.

Am I saying not to write negative criticism? No, that would make anyone with a blog, like me, a hypocrite.  But I won’t tweet an author or artist a negative review. They don’t need that negativity in their lives. Nothing gets published without going through many different reads, so they have heard many of the criticisms. Plus, some people do this for a living and do it well and properly, that the authors can turn to if they want to read valid criticism of their work.

So why should someone like you and I write criticism?  First, it will make us better readers and writers. Reading a story for point of view, symbolism, plot and character development allows us to grow as readers. Learning how to articulate how well a story does these things allows us to grow as writers.  We should have spent many years of our K-12 and, in some cases, college education learning how to do this. Put it to good use.

Now, some people in fandom hide behind the word “criticism” when they really just mean bigotry.  People that oppose diversity and social justice too often just make hateful comments to authors, and when the author responds, they reply that the author cannot take criticism. Almost every time, however, they never truly offered criticism. It’s a free country, and you can be against diversity and social justice.  You can also not read the book or the comic or watch the movie. That’s part of being in a free country too.

The next argument will be that I’m trying to limit someone’s freedom of speech.  I’m not.  If you want to tell an author you think they suck, you have that right.  What I’m arguing is don’t hide behind the word critic, when, in fact, you are just a jerk.

(Or you can be a “professional” critic and still a jerk.  And still not not understand criticism….i.e., Harry Knowles reviews).

ComicCon-ing: First Peek at Wizard World New Orleans

We are three months away from Wizard World New Orleans, the biggest comic con in Louisiana. Mrs. Nola Nerd will be seven months pregnant when the con rolls around, so we are researching cosplays for the weekend.

The early guest list looks fantastic. The main attraction is Stan Lee who will be appearing only on the Saturday of the con.  We have met him before, but we are thinking of doing a photo op because this might be the closest Nola Nerd Baby gets to meet Mr. Lee.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple is excited to meet Jason Moma again. He is funny and charming, and we need him on some Game of Thrones posters. Sean Maher and Summer Glau, who played siblings on Firefly, will be in New Orleans.  Looking forward to having Ms. Glau sign my Firefly poster. From Walking Dead, Austin Amelio and Lennie James sill be there on Saturday and Sunday. Ray Park, who we need on some Star Wars posters and pictures will be earning our money also that weekend. Holly Marie Combs, Jon Heder, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Nicholas Brendon and John Schneider will also be at the con. I’m most excited to meet Charisma Carpenter to add to my Buffy collections.

For comics, they already have an impressive list, and we will talk more about the whole list in the future. Two that I want to talk about now are Howard Chaykin and Mike Grell.  The legendary Howard Chaykin will be at Wizard World New Orleans.  We met him once before to have him sign a Star Wars variant cover. However, that was when we were just starting to get into comics. Learning more about his work, both as a writer and an artist, I can’t wait to meet him again and buy some of his work.  Owning a sketch of his will be a major piece for our collections. Another creator we are looking forward to is Mike Grell. Mr. Grell has had a long career that included runs on Iron Man and Green Arrow.

Wizard World New Orleans will take place January 5, 6, and 7 2018 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Center.