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Old 11-21-2020, 11:55 AM   #41
PizzaPower1985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
Why do comics even have letters pages these days? Back in the 80's and early/mid 90's there was no internet so there was no way to tell what readers were thinking back then besides the small handful of letters published. Like there was no way to discuss the events of the comic with anyone unless you knew people in-person.

By the time we moved into the early 2000's everyone had internet and online forums became a thing, so I have no idea why letters pages still existed. Especially ones where people physically mailed a hand-written letter in an envelope to Mirage (I remember Peter saying he got a few of those and he had to re-type the letter into word to put it in the comic), it's so bizarre.
YOU are so out-of-touch... you must live in a highly urban area... Not everyone had internet in the early 2000s. Hell, there are whole swaths of the U.S. that still dont have internet access because of extremely rural conditions where WiFi isn't even accessible.

Letters pages still exist because of tradition in comics. They give readers an idea about mass opinions on issues, stories etc. It's easier for companies to read them and print them than it is to gauge social media for those opinions.
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Old 11-21-2020, 12:23 PM   #42
CyberCubed
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Originally Posted by PizzaPower1985 View Post
YOU are so out-of-touch... you must live in a highly urban area... Not everyone had internet in the early 2000s. Hell, there are whole swaths of the U.S. that still dont have internet access because of extremely rural conditions where WiFi isn't even accessible. .
The internet was pretty mainstream by 1998/1999. By the early 2000's between 2001-2006 or so, it felt like pretty much everyone had the internet. Websites and message boards/forums were all at their highest activity at that time since social media didn't exist yet. Youtube came out in 2005, by that point even streaming was mainstream since prior to that you had to use realplayer or stuff to download videos.

Unless people live in really poor areas, the internet was mainstream everywhere by 2001 at the latest.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:00 PM   #43
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The fact is having a fan letters section was a consuetude for magazines and fans loved to have their letter appear on their favorite magazine or comics. The cool thing is that now you can still read those letters even after decades, they are a part of the comics, tied together in a time capsule. With online boards or social media is not the same.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #44
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^^^^ looks like we're arguing semantics here then... yes, most people have it! But most is not all and most places do not mean it's everywhere. The FCC reports that 6% nationally (19 million people) have never had access... EVER! In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service.

https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research...this%20service.

How many of those 19 Million read comics? Some. There are a lot of comic book stores in my neck of the woods and I live near the mountains. 8 stores within a 100 mile radius of where I'm at now!

If you're going to use words like EVERYONE and EVERYWHERE you have got to include EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. If you're too comfortable in your urban environment you might think about some travel... to experience some real life.

How long might you survive without a device? Could you go 6 months without access?
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:09 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by frank_one View Post
The fact is having a fan letters section was a consuetude for magazines and fans loved to have their letter appear on their favorite magazine or comics. The cool thing is that now you can still read those letters even after decades, they are a part of the comics, tied together in a time capsule. With online boards or social media is not the same.
Well said!
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:52 PM   #46
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You have to remember that Cubed doesn't read comics and "tradition" means nothing to him, and also that he's a tech-worshiper. And that he thinks everyone should be exactly the way he is. So he'd be entirely ignorant on the subject of something like this.

I'm pretty sure DC dropped the letters pages again at some point - I only dip in and out anymore, so I can't say for sure - but that it mostly had more to do with the fact that books are so expensive now with the gloss paper and everything that they couldn't financially justify "wasting" two pages on letters; they'd either have to raise the price another quarter (not desirable as books are already too expensive) or yank a couple ads (not happening, since books need to have more ad pages than ever now just to keep the price under $5 per issue).

Before that, though, a few years ago they dropped the letters pages and so many readers complained about it that they reinstated it. Well into the "internet age". It's just part of the comics experience and people prefer it that way. Although again, it seems as if the publishers just can't afford to keep it going anymore, but if it were solely up to the fans and readers it would never go away.

The demographics of people who write in letters vs. people who post their opinions on social media are entirely different. Lots of people like sharing opinions, as well as reading those of others, but the type of person who'd write an actual "letter to the editor" tends to be more educated and open-minded than your average forum poster of Facebook wag. Like back in the day, sometimes you'd read a long, detailed letter in the back of a comic and at some point the writer would reveal that they were only 12 or 13 and you'd be amazed at how they were able to express their thoughts in such a cogent manner. Versus now, when you go on Facebook groups and people pushing 40 (allegedly) come across as if they never got through middle school. It's just an entirely different level of expression.

I can still re-read those old letters pages and get a kick out of all of it; I absolutely cannot read the drivel people post on social media or most message boards. It's vapid beyond belief and everyone comes across as a functional-illiterate. Nobody ever bothers formulating an opinion outside of "That was trash" or "That was awesome!", so why even bother reading them? There's no depth or nuance of opinion or expression whatsoever in those places. Educated and intelligent people wrote/write fan letters. Mouth-breathers post "witty" quips on social media. It's not even the same sport.

One thing I really miss was seeing the same names pop up in the letters for many different books; that was always neat. Even cooler was that a few of them would even write to the wrestling magazines back then, as well, the old "Apter Mags" out of PA like Pro Wrestling Illustrated and so forth. It was like not a month would go by without seeing multiple pieces of correspondence from guys like "Harry Simons from Las Vegas, NV", and guys like that became a huge staple of multiple fan communities through their constant presence, in the "pre-internet" era and beyond. That guy, sadly, ended up killing himself, and it made pretty big waves throughout said communities because again, we'd heard from this guy so much for 20 years that it felt like we all knew him. I know for a fact that a lot of people became personal friends through the letters pages of comics and wrestling magazines, as well, as for many decades you could print full addresses and many readers/writers insisted on it. Then the 90s happened and everyone turned into a sh*thead and ruined it for everyone. But before that, you could make "real" connections with people through those pages at a time when electronic communication wasn't an option. It was a different time, in many ways definitely better.

But I mean, yeah, if you don't read comics and you worship technology, then no, you're not going to "get it".

I only ever wrote one letter to a comic as I recall. I knew better than to ever bother, as I'm far too long-winded. As you can expect, it didn't see print. But I was always a big fan of the letters pages and it's a bit sad when I get a new comic and get to the end and it's just a full-page ad for whatever new cross-over event is out. I'd much rather read two pages of (intelligent) fans' opinions, instead of a full-page editorial telling me why I HAD to buy all 47 books coming out this month to get the "full" story, or a checklist of same. Most people who read comics agree, BUT... that glossy paper is expensive.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:32 AM   #47
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I certainly miss the letter pages for the community aspect it brought straight into the book, which was sort of an extension of the personal feeling Stan brought to Marvel comics.

But also, it just made the book more fun and gave the reader more variety. I also appreciated Frank Miller inserting those "mini comics" into the "Dark Knight: Master Race" series, because it was another fun way to mix things up.

Sure, story needs to be the priority, but I also appreciate going through a comic and occasionally having my eyes diverted like I'm flipping through a Wizard magazine. At this point, if I want a more story-focused reading experience, I'll pick up the hardcover or even read digitally.
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