381: Through the Cronen-Hole

Today we descend into darkness as we discuss those wretched hives of scum and villainy: comment sections and fan forums! Okay, okay, there are plenty of wonderful and positive fan communities that we all love, and should! But something about the direction of fandom online over the decades tends to take a turn for the toxic whenever negativity, bullying, and anger (and, uh, threats to drink spit in protest to watching a movie?) take hold of the conversation.

What makes a good thread go bad, or even go on for 15 years? We dig into the evolution of fandom and fans online, how the platforms we use change the experience, how we’re hard-wired to choose and defend our favourites from childhood, and plenty more in this free-wheelin’, far-reaching discussion from three middle-aged fanboys who’ve seen it all on this ol’ Internet of ours. Merk even shares the twisted tale of the most deranged comment thread under a Brie Larson news post that was ever cursed upon his feed by: The Algorithm!

But on a brighter note, we just realized it’s the 9th anniversary of when we started making Zero Issues! And to celebrate this auspicious occasion, Merk challenges Kyle & Bry with a NEW GAME using his trusty deck of 1991 Marvel Universe trading cards: the roll of a die will reveal hidden truths about randomly-selected but still totally bodacious heroes and villains.

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