Thornbrake said: I'm also curious to know if you ever got this kind of feedback from prior storylines. Is there something different about how you're telling Final Quest? Are readers today just different?
We've certainly seen a big difference over the years, between those readers to took the years-long ride with us, and those who had the benefit of the entire banquet all at one sitting. Very different reactions and perceptions to the same events. There's really no difference between how we're telling the story now, versus how we've always told it - well, aside from the fact that we've got 20 pages per issue now, where we used to have more. But that's a nit, in that it only affects a superficial aspect of the story rhythm. Remember in the original days, you got 28-32 pages every four months, which is substantially less than the 20 pages every two months you're getting now. So, logically, people can't be griping about the amount of material, because it's actually more now than when we started. And we're still telling exactly the story we want to tell, in the manner and at the pacing we want to tell it, as we always have.
From where I sit, the substance lies in your last question, "Are readers today just different?" (Here, I don my flame-retardant battle suit.) I say yes, very much so, in two ways, both internet-born and -related. One, the sheer amount of information available, and the tsunami-like delivery of it, means that everything of necessity gets taken in faster and faster. The time we used to devote to quiet reflection is simply gone. It's just the nature of 21st century digital culture. To have any hope of keeping up, we must skim. We don't give ourselves the time to dive deep. So immediate, superficial impressions become the baseline.
Two, because we now have instant digital connection between and among everyone and everything, a new social paradigm has arisen and metastasized. I'm not sure if there's an actual term for it, but it expresses itself as a form of entitlement. If both you and I have equal access to the internet (particularly via social media) then - as we are surely seeing every day - everyone has the ability to say whatever they want, to or about whomever they want, about anything on their minds. There is no filter. Anyone can be as polite or as crude as they want. People will say things from behind a digital veil of anonymity that they would never utter in person. Some assume familiarity where none truly exists, simply because everyone has equal access to Facebook. Or Twitter. Or here. Fandom is nothing like it used to be.
And, like everything else, there are upsides to that and downsides. The upside - for us, anyway, I don't want to presume upon how any other writers/artists feel about it - is that we have access to more fan feedback than ever. The downside? Same thing.