Dan Slott stalks online critics he blocks on Twitter — while telling fans that said critics are ‘crazy’

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. Dan Slott RYV TweetHere 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.

Molotov SoftballI 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.

Air Force national defense TWTMy 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. Dan Slott Twitter BlockHow 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. Dan Slott Twitter stalking excuseThis 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.

Dan Slott Twitter BacktrackUpdate 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. MJ Watson Tumblr

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Renew Your Vows: Dan Slott opts to divorce Peter Parker fans with tale of ‘stupid red and blue suit’

Dan Slott Renew Your VowsDan Slott was given a golden opportunity to use The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows to build bridges with Peter Parker fans. Instead, he opted for divorce. Fans who have waited years to see Peter and MJ back together finally got their wish, but unfortunately it was granted by the same guy who saw nothing wrong with turning the character into an afterthought in his own book.

Imagine you’re a fan of Peter Parker. You’ve patiently piled up a mountain of lackluster stories while waiting for another glimpse into the married life he once had. Finally, when Renew Your Vows hits, you open it up and the first thing you get is MJ nagging Peter not to fix his web shooters at the table. You turn to the second page to see a sullen Peter complain about changing diapers. Pensive and sad faces abound on the third page. The reader is told that Peter has “wedded bliss,” even though the evidence doesn’t back that up. Dan Slott then takes the action out of the apartment, and the next time MJ is seen she’s being held hostage by venom. No build up — he just escaped from Ryker’s Island penitentiary.

Renew Your Vows SpiderManQuestion: Why should anyone care about an alternate universe MJ that they’ve “known” for all of three pages when those three pages have done nothing to show younger readers why the couple is so good together?

Answer: They shouldn’t.

A few pages are then allotted to MJ attempting to keep her daughter safe — as any sane mother would do in the same situation —and alternate universe Peter Parker ultimately ends up killing venom. “I did what I had to do,” is all he says before MJ can finish asking if Eddie Brock is dead.

Renew Your Vows ASMFans of Peter Parker are apparently supposed to have their minds blown that their hero — even an alternate universe version of the original — would ever be placed in a situation where he might have to kill a man. Correction: A psychopathic madman whose body has fused with an alien symbiote.

The only people this may be shocking to is Dan Slott of the infamous “No one dies” mantra, and those who think a man can be a hero and never — never, never, never — have to make such a difficult choice.

Newsflash: Cops are heroes and sometimes they have to kill. Soldiers are heroes and sometimes they have to kill. Spider-Man is a heroic character, and it makes sense that on a long enough timeline he may — despite his best efforts to avoid it — have to take a (likely super-powered) life to save others.

Only in the mind of Dan Slott would having to do what real heroes do every single day constitute the “death” of Spider-Man.

“That was the day The Avengers died. That every last hero died. Even Spider-Man. It just looked like him standing there. But that was just me. Peter Parker. A dad in a stupid red and blue suit,” the hero thinks while reflecting on his actions and The Avengers’ battle with Regent (aka: lame villain introduced for Secret Wars).

One word: Pathetic.

Renew Your Vows1On the last page it gets worse. Peter says “It’s not a perfect world. But, I look after me and mine. And that’s good enough.”

Imagine a world where cops, firemen, soldiers, doctors and many other kind souls all had the “I look after me and mine” mentality of a married Peter Parker (written by Dan Slott). What would that world look like? It would look like a pretty scary place, which is why no one who fundamentally understands Peter Parker would put those words in his mouth.

If you own The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows, then I suggest looking through the issue for all the times Peter really looks happy. Try and find a wide smile on his face. You’ll see four — all from pictures hanging on his apartment wall — and he’s not even smiling in his wedding picture. He has a look on his face that says, “Here. I’m married. You got the shot you wanted. Can we move on?” It’s a small detail, but one worth noticing.

Marvel gave fans what they were thirsting for, but its creative team made sure to spike the product with something bitter. Although it should come as no surprise at this point, it really is quite stunning how Marvel uses every opportunity to mend fences with Peter Parker fans to spit in their faces instead.

Exit question: Why does Mr. Slott have a sick fetish with killing Peter Parker, whether it’s outright killing the 616 version, killing off 616’s ghost/memory fragment/soul/whatever he was, killing off countless other versions in Spider-Verse, and now doing so symbolically in Renew Your Vows?

Exit question II: Why is Mr. Slott asking if Renew Your Vows brought back readers? For years Marvel has told us that the number of fans who stayed away from the book post OMD was marginal at best. When guys like me talked about a significant number of fans who were sitting on the sidelines, we were scoffed at. Yet now, suddenly, those numbers are enough to warrant a sales pitch to catch up on “Big Time” and “SSM”? Interesting.

Dan Slott Renew Your Vows tweet

Dan Slott: I write Peter Parker like a blockhead because Charlie Brown never kicked the football

Dan Slott LucyMarvel’s “Renew Your Vows” is just around the corner, which means Dan Slott has been making the rounds to preemptively defend the weird editorial mandates Marvel will soon shove down readers’ throats. Think of it like the “medicine” Tom Brevoort is fond of telling fans they need.

Flashback: “The medicine may not taste good, but if it makes you feel better, then you need to take it.”

Tom Brevoort Twitter OMDIn its lead-up to questions with The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, here’s what Entertainment Weekly said March 16 about Marvel’s past attempts to administer fans their “medicine.”

While there isn’t much of a way to objectively measure these things, the dissolution of the Spider-marriage in 2007’s One More Day is easily one of the most widely disparaged story decisions for the character in recent memory. (The “death” of Peter Parker leading up to Superior Spider-Man may have come close, but a lot of people have come around on that front. Not nearly as many have said, “Hey, the Parkers selling their marriage to the devil to save Aunt May was actually great.”)

Entertainment Weekly writer Joshua Rivera (perhaps best known for not understanding why self-censorship is a bad thing for the industry), gently alluded to the possibility that Marvel would once again screw things up with “Renew Your Vows.” Dan Slott’s reaction: talk about Charles M. Schulz denying Charlie Brown the opportunity to kick the football out of Lucy’s hands.

Mr. Slott said:

“With any story where you give people what they want—there’s a difference, as a storyteller, between what your readers want and what your readers need. In a good Peanuts story, you want Charlie Brown to kick that football. But if Charlie Brown kicks the football, it’s over!” says Slott. “All the best stories in serialized fiction–it’s always about teasing the greatest wishes and wants, but monkey-pawing it. Always giving you what you want, but not the way you want it.”

The Marvel writer was so proud of his false analogy that he even started using it on Twitter:

Dan Slott Charlie BrownHow bizarre is it that Dan Slott willingly casts himself as the comic industry’s Lucy Van Pelt and then wonders why fans often want to verbally kick him around like a football? Regardless, like Mr. Brevoort’s “medicine” comment, the hubris of the modern comic book creator is on full display. Tom Brevoort knows what medicine you “need” to take. Dan Slott knows what you “need” — and it’s not what you want.

Dan Slott Charlie Brown footballDan Slott seems to really believe he is comparing apples to apples when he compares a static character who never ages with one who is much more dynamic. In one instance there is Charlie Brown — the sole property of Charles M. Schulz — who is inspired by the artist’s childhood. In the other instance there is Peter Parker, a character who was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, but in no way meant to be trapped in his own hell-ish editorial version of Groundhog Day.

Why is it “over” if Charlie Brown kicks the ball? It’s not. It’s only over if your point all along was to convey some strange message about how women are duplicitous jerks who send good men reeling when they are trusted.

Is Dan Slott saying that Peter Parker’s “Lucy and the football” situation is marriage to a strong woman like MJ? What does Dan Slott have against writing a married version of Peter Parker? Just as it’s totally legitimate to ask what the heck Charles M. Shulz was thinking by never allowing Charlie Brown to kick the football, it is also quite valid to wonder why so many writers and editors at Marvel are uncomfortable with a marriage between Peter and MJ.

If Dan Slott really believes that his job as a writer is to be the best “monkey-pawer” in the business — and I have no reason to doubt that he is sincere when he makes that case — then it should be abundantly clear why the relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man has been an embarrassment in terms of Peter Parker’s characterization.

Dan Slott is great at telling naked Spider-Ham jokes and he is great at treating Peter Parker like Charlie Brown trying to kick at the old pigskin, but he is not great at characterization. If you plan on buying “Renew Your Vows,” then you should take the writer at his word when he says that his job is not to give the fans what they want.