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Spoiler Policy - NEW 3/18/2015

Thornbrake

Here are the rules on posting and avoiding spoilers.

1. For ONE WEEK after official release date of any new Elfquest, please do not post spoilers, either written or images, without a spoiler warning. If you are creating a new thread, include a spoiler warning in the title of the thread. If you are commenting on an existing thread with spoilers, include a warning and several blank lines before you get to the spoilers. This courtesy will make it easy for those seeking to avoid spoilers to do so.

2. After ONE WEEK, all posts about the latest issue are allowed without spoiler warning. Avoid this group if you don't want to see spoilers. It's not realistic or fair to expect no one to talk about it here until everyone everywhere reads it.

3. Sign up for Dark Horse Digital and read each new issue of the Final Quest as soon as it premieres so you won’t have to worry about spoilers. You can read on your smart phone, tablet OR computer. Even if you're a physical book-lover, try it out. It's a fun and totally different reading experience, and you can still get your hard copy.

Some additional thoughts from @RichardPini on the subject:

It was bound to happen, and it has. Elfquest - Final Quest is out in the world, and cries of "Don't spoil it for me!" ring through the land. Once again, the conflict erupts between those who just can't wait to talk about new surprises, and those who haven't yet seen the issue. A patchwork of etiquette has grown up around the so-called "spoiler alert" - the notice, in bold capital letters at the start of any discussion in which key plot points or unexpected twists may be revealed. Spoiler alerts exist so that readers who have not yet seen the latest issue (or episode on TV, or movie) can avoid accidentally learning something that they'd really like to experience for themselves in context.

Let's get this out of the way first off: Spoiler alerts are a courtesy. There's no law mandating them. As we all fancy ourselves courteous people, we try to observe the rules. But what are the rules? A quick search on "spoiler etiquette" yields many hits. Surprisingly, most writers on the subject do agree on one point, however, and that is - not to put too fine a point on it, "Chill out!" Paul Levinson, a professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University and author of the book New New, Media says the idea that “people have a right to be free of spoilers is absurd, and it’s an absurd misuse of the term ‘right.' “You have a right to communicate,” Levinson assures. “... If you feel like writing something you’re entitled to write it as long it’s not slanderous or libelous or breaking the law in some way. Why anyone would get into a rage about entertainment is beyond me.”

That's one view. Another comes from Zach Ames, in his "Guide to Proper Spoiler Etiquette." With particular reference to comic books, he says, "You can spoil comic book story lines after about a week. True comics fans are die hard and they stay up on their storylines and no amount of spoiling is going to deter them from reading the new book in one of their favorite series. I guarantee you that anyone that is a serious comic reader is going to be there in the comic shop on Wednesday getting the new issues. If they aren't, then they've already read everything on the internet about what is happening."

Granted, we keep pretty mum about what's going to happen in Elfquest, so maybe there's not so much on the internet to read up on. Even so, given the speed with which content can be delivered - if not in print, then certainly digitally - we think that a week is plenty enough time for anyone to tap into the latest issue.

If you're waiting for your print copy to arrive via the post from the antipodes before reading it, that's your choice. Accept the consequences of that choice. Some of your Twitter- or Facebook-mates will have devoured the story in digital form within minutes of its availability, and they will want to talk about it. Hopefully, they will - for a week or so - remember to do the courtesy of leading off with "SPOILER ALERT!" But if they don't, or they forget, you must realize that if you start reading a comment thread, you're taking a risk.

So here's the "new rule" for Elfquest: You will always know when a new issue is due, because we post its release date all over the place. For one week after each issue becomes available, everyone please use the spoiler alert. Put it at the top of new threads that you start, or at the beginning of comments that you post within a thread. After that, anything's game. Because, in the end, it's not fair that a few should try to regulate the freedom of the many. That's happening right now in the US Congress, and not only does it suck, it's wrong.

Heather

Thanks so much @Thornbrake!

RedheadEmber

Uhm... now I'm gonna play the "stupid questions" card.

I don't suppose the don't post spoilers without a warning rule Counts in the designated issue thread (issue #3 currently).
And what about the character threads? If I recall correctly it has long been the "rule" that those threads (as well as the official bios) contains spoilers.

Thornbrake

If the entire thread is marked with a spoiler warning, there's no need to put a warning on every post within the thread.

krwordgazer

I like waiting for my print copy to arrive. There's just something about having that shiny new comic in my hands....

Crucent

Since I dont have money to buy anything online, and since I cant keep my hands (and eyes) away from the threads about the current last issues of EQ on this site, I rather just dont come to EQ, problem solved.^^

Thornbrake

@Crucent, that's unfortunate. There are plenty of threads here that aren't spoilery. We will miss you if disappear! With that said, Wendy herself has some good perspective on your conundrum (as posted on her Facebook page):

"Over time I've noticed a number of you saying you can't afford to buy Elfquest - the Final Quest comics ($3.50 US currency) and you're waiting for the graphic novel collections to come out from Dark Horse Comics. Seriously? For less than the price of a burger and fries you can't afford to buy a comic book? Look at it this way. If sales of the individual comics are low because everybody's waiting for the graphic novels - there won't BE any graphic novels because there will be no economic motivation to publish them. I'm not saying that's how things currently are - but it COULD happen, over time, if enough of you ignore the "floppies" (which have cool extras and goodies just to make them more appealing). To get more Elfquest collections and merch there has to be ground level support of Elfquest comics as they come out (this includes the digital versions available to you on different apps). We're doing our part. But YOU have a part to play, too. Visit the Dark Horse Comics web site often and keep up with all they're doing for you now! http://www.darkhorse.com/Search/elfquest"

Crucent

Yes, but i dont live in the states, shipping alone will make me have to sell my grandmother's firstborn :/

RedheadEmber

They don't sell them in Norway? (It's Norway you're from, right?)

Crucent

Not way up here where I live no. The closest comic book store is... 797 km away, so I'll have to wait until 1) they get it in and 2) I am in the city where that store is :( and yeah, I live in the very very northern part of Norway.

RedheadEmber

Where do you live? Båtsfjord?

Heather

The great thing about getting it online is you don't have to pay for international shipping.

Crucent

Red: nope, Vadsø

Thornbrake

Discussion of spoilers has come up in the EQ Facebook Fan Group and wanted to share this thought that I posted there:

I'm in several other groups where they only require spoiler alerts for 48 hours. A week is a REALLY long time, especially since anyone, anywhere in the world can get the book instantly via Dark Horse Digital if they choose.

And consider this - even a week-long spoiler period stifles online conversation at the exact time that the buzz about the newest issue should be highest. Today, properties are judged by the explosion of social media conversation that happens immediately upon release of an issue, episode, premiere, etc. The overly generous spoiler period of a week could actually be hurting EQ in terms of showing Dark Horse and the larger entertainment media the actual interest in it.

RedheadEmber

Just out of curiosity; how could not talking spoilers affect the "broadcasting" of Elfquest? It's still being talked about, even if the direct talk about what happens in a specific issue doesn't happen.
On the other hand, how does Dark Horse know what's being talked about in the EQ group?

Rob

People are more interested in new things than old things. Talk about the latest issue/episode/version/events is where it's at.

Dark Horse (like all media companies and publishers) plays close attention to the volume and nature of public discussion about the things it invests in, and the composition of its audience.

Thornbrake

RedheadEmber said: Just out of curiosity; how could not talking spoilers affect the "broadcasting" of Elfquest? It's still being talked about, even if the direct talk about what happens in a specific issue doesn't happen.
On the other hand, how does Dark Horse know what's being talked about in the EQ group?


Being overly militant/fearful about posting spoilers essentially dampens the conversation immediately after an issue comes out. I know I personally have on more than one occasion started to post something but stopped because of potential spoilers and thought "I'll just wait 'til next week."

As Rob pointed out, every comic company, TV network, etc. is on high alert for the buzz about their latest product. In media terms, the publicity cycle happens immediately and only lasts a few hours to a day or two at most.

Even if Dark Horse isn't actively participating, following every thread, and reading every message here in the forums or on Facebook, you can bet that they are tracking social media generally on their products, and periodically checking in on EQ forums/FB pages to see if there's a buzz about the new issues and books. Even if there's active conversation going on about EQ in general, if it's not about the new product, the message it sends is that there's not interest in that new product. And that's a dangerous message to send if we want to keep the buzz going for EQ with Dark Horse and other potential publishers or producers of new EQ products.

Tam

Perhaps a compromise could be to have a dedicated post in the Facebook group for spoilers, per issue. Something like a picture of the cover, SPOILERS BELOW in big text, and people can post all their discussion there for the week. Then people can still kind of follow the group and fairly easily avoid getting spoilers if they can't get the issue right away, but also Dark Horse can see more easily just how many people are really talking about it.

Thornbrake

Tam said: Perhaps a compromise could be to have a dedicated post in the Facebook group for spoilers, per issue. Something like a picture of the cover, SPOILERS BELOW in big text, and people can post all their discussion there for the week. Then people can still kind of follow the group and fairly easily avoid getting spoilers if they can't get the issue right away, but also Dark Horse can see more easily just how many people are really talking about it.


That is the current process, for the first week. After that discussion is open without spoiler warnings. But the problem with Facebook, unlike a forum structure, is that it might show you posts or comments in posts in your feed, without you actually going to the page and actively clicking on discussions. But generally, people don't post there too much about the new issue in the first week, even with spoiler warnings.

Tam

I know, but the current process of saying "spoiler alert" before everything just seems to result in more of a free for all. I'm suggesting a single post for all spoilers to go for that first week. That may cut down on the number of posts or comments popping up in someone's feed (then it's at least not the same friend posting on different spoilery posts).

The other question is, how much does a week-long mandated spoiler alert period REALLY hurt Elfquest if people don't post a ton about the latest issues on Facebook anyway? Is that because of the spoiler alert period, or is it because people prefer the forums, or some other reason?

Thornbrake

Tam said: 'm suggesting a single post for all spoilers to go for that first week.


In theory that make sense, but the nature of social media like Facebook makes it almost impossible from a practical point of view. We CAN post one spoiler thread, but there are over 3,000 people in that particular group and there's no guarantee that everyone will see that particular thread before posting something (with or without a spoiler warning). Then it becomes a whole bunch of work to monitor and remind and reprimand and it's really like Sisyphean task since that's not how FB is supposed to work in the first place. It's not linear, it's relational, with the FB algorithm showing some participants some posts, and not others, and friends of friends some posts, etc. There's really no way around it. It's just the nature of the beast.

Tam said: how much does a week-long mandated spoiler alert period REALLY hurt Elfquest if people don't post a ton about the latest issues on Facebook anyway? Is that because of the spoiler alert period, or is it because people prefer the forums, or some other reason?


There's really no way to know for sure or measure it. But think about this: when an episode of the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones airs, or a new issue of any mainstream comic comes out, there's an immediate and huge surge of social media discussion and chatter. Networks and publishers --and industry media--very definitely watch for that and use it as a gauge of success for their products. Imagine if there was quiet for an entire week for one of these other properties?

As for people posting on FB vs. the forum, it's pretty clear FB continues to be favored by more fans, as it has for the last several years, which is in line with general trends. In fact, the EQ FB Fan Group that I moderate actually feels a lot like this forum did ten years ago, with a lot more people reading, commenting, interacting and posting, at a much higher volume, than here (and that's just one of several active FB groups).

But, clearly the forum still enjoys popularity with a core group and has even gotten a good number of new members since its relaunch a year ago, and at least here, it's a lot easier to find and participate in--or avoid--spoiler conversations.

Tam

I don't disagree with you on any of your points. *chuckles* And I certainly understand the potential for alarm if buzz around the latest GoT or Walking Dead episodes was nil. I just don't know what can be done. Either we keep the week long spoiler warning window, shorten it, task the FB page mods with monitoring the page for spoilers while trying to keep them confined to a single post, or remove the spoiler window altogether.

I can say, from my experience, I appreciate when a page refrains from posting about their latest episode for a day or two...especially for things like reality shows. I don't have cable at all, so I, at the very least, have to wait for Hulu to get something, or for the network to upload an episode themselves. I have definitely unfollowed pages for spoiling their own content within 24-48 hours. But I don't expect them to remain silent forever. Past that point, I think it's the job of the viewer/reader to avoid spoilers; a week-long spoiler window is quite the luxury, though one I find unnecessary.

Also, I dunno if anyone else on Facebook has noticed, but the VAST majority of the posts that pop up in my news feed for the past few days pop up with the comments collapsed. That could seriously help people avoid spoilers from the EQ page posts. People can also always turn off notifications until they can get ahold of their own copies.

RedheadEmber

Thornbrake said: Being overly militant/fearful about posting spoilers essentially dampens the conversation immediately after an issue comes out. I know I personally have on more than one occasion started to post something but stopped because of potential spoilers and thought "I'll just wait 'til next week."


But I still think Elfquest is being talked about pretty much when the newest issue comes out, even if the actual events aren't spoken about. A few days before release-date it begins, first with the release of the preview, then all the "only [x days] to newest issue release!" then, when it's out people going all "Uuuh! that and that is so shocking" (all cryptic-like). Not to mention the "Remember you can by the digital version on Darkhorse.com."

RichardPini

NEWS FLASH! There is so much exciting stuff in upcoming issues of Elfquest - Final Quest that readers will be howling about it everywhere. To allow you to discuss all the dramatic developments, we are changing our spoiler policy. The wait period for talking about the current issue is now gone. Instead, we will create any spoiler threads with a "warning picture" that will make it crystal clear the comments below contain spoilers from the Final Quest and that you read at your own risk. We know some fans won't get their hands on each new issue the same day but it's unfair to those who want to explore, not to be allowed to. The new warnings will say loud and clear - if you haven't yet read the most current issue and want to stay unspoiled, steer clear of this thread and allow others to howl until you're ready to join in!

You can get each new issue of Final Quest the day it comes out on Dark Horse Digital.

Shade and Sweet Water,
The EQ Admin tribe

EQ spoiler 0

RedheadEmber

Just out of curiosity; how does that affect things around here?
Obviously you shouldn't check the issue 8 thread if you haven't actually read the issue. I suppose it also would be a good idea to avoid the issue 9 thread, as stuff happening in issue 8 might give a clue to what might happen in issue 9. Character threads are also a good idea to avoid, especially if a thread suddenly appears from obscurity and/or gets extremely active. Some people might make fan-art/stories about the most recent events.
That leaves... Games and Off-Topic! Those two sections are - relatively - safe, right? :-j

Eyeshigh

Well, clues for the next issue aren't neccessarly spoilers, because we don't know for sure that it is gonna happen, we just speculate about them. Although we somethimes hit the mark! ;)

Maybe in the case of Characterthreads there still could be a "spoilerban" for a week, then conversations about a character could just go on, without people getting bumped for reading spoilers there.
So.... only spoilers right away in the Final Quest issues threads? And new threads with fanart about the latest issues....?

RedheadEmber

Eyeshigh said: Well, clues for the next issue aren't neccessarly spoilers, because we don't know for sure that it is gonna happen, we just speculate about them. Although we somethimes hit the mark!


Things that happen in issue 8 (spoilers) could provide clues to what might happen in issue 9 (speculation).
Let's say for example we get introduced to some important new character (not just one of the random background Go-Backs getting a name) and some people go "This new guy, could he be the one Two-Edge makes his alliance with?"

Eyeshigh said: Maybe in the case of Characterthreads there still could be a "spoilerban" for a week, then conversations about a character could just go on, without people getting bumped for reading spoilers there.


I think it's probably just as easy to avoid the character threads, and get totally excited about what happens to suddenly make said thread(s) so active.
Now we're at it; you should probably avoid the character bios as well! Our intrepid Bio Updater Trio is quick! @-)

Mkal

SPOILERS