This is a repost of what I wrote on Twitter earlier today, which explains the occasional dodgy phrasing. Sorry for the novel, but I feel this is quite important.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It distorts the perception of memories of our past, by filtering out the mundane and the bad, only keeping what's perceived as good. It's like a picture perfect split second snapshot of a sometimes not-so-great moment. It defines the moment.
Fans don't like when we mess with their nostalgia. Somehow it feels like we are attacking their good experience of a thing. Giving a beloved childhood game a bad review. Changing a beloved character's backstory. Rebooting an old cartoon series for a younger audience... Touching an element of nostalgia is blasphemy to some. Sequels: you're ruining it. Reboots: you should have left it alone. "Inspired from": it's unoriginal, it'll never be as good. Sometimes a thing can be objectively better, but nostalgia is just so strong, nothing trumps it.
What's worse, nostalgia can turn fans into vicious creatures. When content creators, artists or actors receive death threats, get called names, are told to kill themselves, are doxxed or forced to delete their social accounts, you know there's an entitlement problem with fans...
It's OK to feel nostalgic, but people need to stop feeling threatened by changes in the status quo, or cling to it just because it's supposedly "perfect as it is". Not every remake's goal is to make you forget about its original iteration. Your memories are still valid. A new thing might be aiming a different demographic, it might have a change in tone for artistic purposes, it might be revamped to fit with contemporary aesthetics or storytelling styles. The reasons are broad...
I mean, it's also OK to dislike a thing that's not in line with your nostalgic feelings, and to be vocal about it, but it's certainly not to actively harm people over it. Being a fan of something doesn't grant you the privilege of being an asshole. Just walk away and don't look back.
I've seen examples of such toxic behaviour too much this year already. Solo, Thundercats Roar and the new TMNT being prime examples. And while it's not exactly on the same scale, I'm starting to fear the same for the sequel of my Super Mario fan comic, The 3 Little Princesses.
It's been 10 years since I last touched that series. I've gotten well over a hundred requests for a sequel since then. Now that it's finally here, I'm wondering how will the fans' feelings of nostalgia affect their view of it? Like, will the Mario fans be complaining if it's not on par with their expectations? Will they get offended if I don't treat a beloved character a certain way? What kind of backlash is it possible to get from a long awaited sequel of a fan comic on the Internet?
The Super Mario fanbase is not particularly known to be aggressive, though its fans CAN be emotional, like fans from other series. I've been on the Internet long enough, so I'm used to deal with moderate backlash, but I can't help but feel like the times were simpler back in 2009, and that people weren't as aggressive on the Internet back then... Maybe this is nostalgia speaking?
In the end, I hope fans (and non-fans alike) will be able to appreciate this new story of mine. Trust me, let me tell you my story, and don't let your nostalgia blind your view of it. And if you don't like it, just keep being a nice person on the Internet. It's not that hard.
Thanks for listening to what I had to say, y'all. The first three pages of T3LP part 2 will be published at 12 PM, East Coast time (9 AM West Coast, 5-7 PM Europe). Then, new pages will be published weekly every Friday.