Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Columbia Journalism Review has a cute post on newspapers who have had to run retractions on their Star Trek movie articles as the result of (their words) "hard core fans" who sent in corrections.
To be fair, the examples cited in CJR and excerpted on the Regret The Error blog aren't that nitpicky. I think things like the basic title of the movie and the alien race of the Big Bad aren't the result of basement-dwelling mouth-breathers having an Aspergers attack. I mean, the Los Angeles Times called Eric Bana's character "Captain Nemo."
But post any inaccuracy on comic book and sci-fi topics, and watch the corrections fly in. Or get stuff wrong when putting out a comic. At DC the level of editorial stressing over getting every minutia of continuity right was intense. And when the inevitable minutia got through the cracks, there was the fan backlash.
Now, I can understand the need to keep continuity and all that; to make the fantasy universe in question as rich, textured, and comprehensive as possible. When that gets into grayer matters like characterization, it can get kind of stupid, because there are often several versions and takes on the same superhero.
But why do comic book & sci-fi fans get so nitpicky? Does this happen with sports fans as well? Or with any sorta fan? Is it just in the fan DNA?
Meanwhile, Roger Ebert baits Trekkies. He's a brave one.