Since Graeme over at Fanboy Rampage needs to do some work or something this week, he’s not going to be posting the latest insane ramblings of John Byrne and this heavy duty has to fall on someone. Shaenon’s comment to Graeme’s latest post pointed to this thread on the ByrneRobotics.com forum wherein the mainstream’s equivalent of Dave Sim talks about “correct” comics terminology and replies to this inquiry from one of his Moloids:
Then this all brings up the question of language. Do words have inherent meanings or just those we ascribe to them? If enough pros, in addition to the fans, say “speech bubble” then why wouldn’t “bubble” be just as valid as “balloon”? JB says “balloon”, someone else says “bubble”, and they could both be right.
With this answer:
There are lots of people who call Black people “niggers”. Are both terms “right”?
You seem to have missed the rather important point that my response indicated roughly the same percentage of fans and pros use the improper terms for various elements of what we do — but that percentage does not approach a balance. It is not that roughly half say “balloon” and half say “bubble”. It is that some say “bubble” and they are wrong.
That’s right, Byrne – people who say “bubble” instead of “balloon” when describing speech or thought as presented on the comics page are the equivalent of racist bastards who want separate drinking fountains and happen to have a lot of white sheets laying about the house.
Jesus Christ on toast, I am going to be cranky over this for the rest of the day.