Marvel writer Dan Slott has a reputation for weird behavior online. There was the time he stalked The Main Event. There was the time he searched out a random woman to troll on Twitter and made jokes about the quality of her life. He has now taken it to the next level. Dan Slott is simultaneously stalking Twitter accounts he has blocked while telling his fans that the people he is stalking are “crazy.” The Amazing Spider-Man writer cannot get me out of his head, which is why this tweet went up yesterday after my review of Renew Your Vows was posted. Here is what Mr. Slott did: Even though he has blocked my account and the account of Twitter user “Doctor Bizarre,” he obviously found Bizarre’s link to my review and concluded that we are, in fact, the same person. The implication is that I am so “crazy” that I start dummy accounts for the sole purpose of “hating” Dan Slott — even though my ASM reviews stick almost exclusively to his fundamental misunderstanding of Peter Parker as a character.
Where are the Dan Slott fat jokes? Where are the Dan Slott Danny Devito jokes? That’s right — they don’t exist in my writing because I don’t “hate” anyone. And if I were inclined to create dummy accounts, then it would be because Twitter recently blocked me after I complained it did nothing (yes, nothing) to the Islamic radical apologist who threatened to kill me.
Sadly, Dan Slott can not separate in his mind the difference between criticizing a man’s creative work and criticism of the man.
Here is the truth: Years ago I was struggling to make ends meet while trying to get my career started in Washington, D.C. I was contacted, in many ways out of the blue, by a man who runs a website called “Molotov Softball: Weird News for Weirder Times.” This man said he liked my work and offered to pay me just for allowing him to link to my blog. I jokingly asked him if he was Rumpelstiltskin or a guardian angel. (I never got a straight answer, so he may come knocking for a child one day.)
Long story short, this man eventually asked me if I had any creative friends who would be willing to write “weird” pieces under the pen name “Doctor Bizarre.” Those pieces would supplement another writer, whose pen name is Penny Franklin. Molotov Softball got a new contributor soon afterward.
Is Doctor Bizarre an old Army buddy or relative of mine? Am I Doctor Bizarre? Is he really my mysterious benefactor (who I still haven’t met in person and have no idea what he looks like — although his checks always clear)? I wish I could tell you, but the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter because Dan Slott is the one acting like a crazy person. Again: he blocks people on Twitter, stalks them, and then makes things up to his Twitter followers to gain praise and sympathy.
“Hate”? Where is the hate? Look through Doctor Bizarre’s Twitter feed or read his blog and find any posts that are personally directed at Dan Slott. You will not find them because they do not exist. The blog contains zero references to Dan Slott — again, zero — and the Twitter feed randomly shares links my work here — never personal opinions or “hate.” Dan Slott acts like a troubled man and makes up “hate” out of thin air to receive retweets and “favorites” on his Twitter account.
I have seen Dan Slott use the same tactic on different comic websites. If a user is banned and he suspects someone else of being that banned individual, he will relentlessly harp on the point. Why? Because all he has are personal attacks. He will call people like me “crazy” from afar so his minions lick his ego-wounds, but he won’t come here and actually debate my work on the merits. The few times he did engage me on different websites, he intellectually got his clock cleaned and had to beg the moderator to shut everything down. Ask him about the time he deleted an epic YouTube conversation because he looked like a raving lunatic.
Now, since I’m tired of Dan Slott acting like anyone who goes by a pseudonym online needs to be “exposed” by thin-skinned Marvel writers, I will explain why this is an utterly moronic move on his part. I will use my own life as an example. I encourage regular readers who go by an alias to add their two cents in the comments section.
I currently work for a newspaper.
My writing is seen by many people. People associate me, for the most part, with work on national security matters. If there is a breaking story on the Islamic State group, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, or cool military technology, then there is a good chance that I am writing on it. Do I want to mix tweets on Dan Slott’s Renew Your Vows in with my work on Sunni radical terrorist groups? No. I do not. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that sometimes there needs to be a line of demarcation between an individual’s personal and professional life.
Since I’m assuming that makes sense to the vast majority of readers, I will now move on to exposing Dan Slott’s utter hypocrisy for all the world to see. How interesting is it that Dan Slott likens Twitter to “talking outside,” but yet he seeks to keep his own conversations private from anyone who is inclined to call him out on his “BS”? Again, I cannot stress this enough: Dan Slott blocks accounts and then weirdly reads the accounts that he has blocked. This is the man who puts words in Peter Parker’s mouth. This is the man who actually holds creative clout at Marvel.
Congratulations, Marvel — you employ a man who blocks accounts, stalks said accounts, and then calls the owners of those accounts “crazy.”
If there is a colleague who cares about Dan Slott, then that person will pull him off to the side and tell him that his regular behavior, usually around 1:00 a.m., is not healthy. It is not productive. And it is certainly not professional.
Update: You can’t make this up. At 1:04 a.m., prime Dan Slott weird behavior time, he reads this blog post and then takes to Twitter to say that his previous stalking had nothing — nothing — to do with me, despite his long history of reading this very blog every time a review of his work goes up.
Best case scenario: “Hey guys, I wasn’t stalking Douglas Ernst yesterday — I was stalking another guy. But…reading Douglas Ernst’s blog just now at 1:00 a.m. (i.e., the guy I blocked on Twitter) means nothing. It’s not stalking. Seriously. Trust me.”
Dan Slott needs Damage Control for his damage control.
Update II: In the comments section below, I spoke with Carl about why Dan Slott would continue to read my work even after blocking my Twitter feed. The short answer can be found by tapping into my WordPress stats, which show me where people are coming from. Today, for instance, I had people coming over from Tumblr — “Walloping Web Snappers!” was one such account. Dan Slott knows that this happens often. That is why he will continue to read my reviews as long as he is on ASM.