Sunday Roundtable: Do You Feel Pressure When Giving Advice to Friends?

JLA Roundtable adviceSundays are known for folks gathering around tables on television and pontificating about some of the hottest topics out there, offering their expertise. We bring that tradition to Graphic Policy as the team gathers to debate in our Sunday Roundtable.

On tap this week?

There’s a concept known as influencers, these are people who are gone to when an individual needs advice. Do you think you’re the “geek” influencer in your social circle, and if so, do you feel responsibility in giving the right advice when asked a question?

Elana: Absolutely. And proud of it! I do my research when people ask.

One thing I’ve learned is that there is no right answer to the question “what, should I read?” You always need to find out what people’s tastes are in other forms of media before suggesting which comics they might be into

Alex: A lot of my friends have the same interests as me generally in terms of pop culture, books, movies etc. Some like comics, and have probably been reading longer than I have.

But I’d say I’m probably the person who is the most immersed in the comic book world…

Comics have become a part of who I am in a very intrinsic way; do I know everything about them? Do I bollocks. But I’ll still tell you what I loved and why. So when I’m asked for a recommendation for something, I’ll happily give the best one I can.

Elana: Most of my friends are geeks about something that’s in a traditionally geek-y domain. I’m just one of the designated comics experts. If you want to talk about video games you to to Chris or Mike. If you want horror films it’s my husband or Tait. Trek is Peng or Daisy (who are married to each other of course). And of course my friend GP contributor Steven Attewell is one of the leading experts on A Song of Ice and Fire in the world. So I do have other people to go to.

Alex: Yeah, I’ve got a few friends who love ASOIAF books, and while I tried to read them, I just couldn’t. It’s awesome having people who know the material when I have questions, so I’ve always tried to do the same for them with comics.

Paul: I definitely am. Comics, pop culture, general geekdom…I am my friends go to guy, and like Elana, proud of it. I don’t worry so much about giving the right advice; I just give my opinions and let them make their choices, But I try to steer them the right way tongue emoticon

Christopher: 9 times out of 10, I am, which I’m strangely proud of that. For the most part I don’t have uber geek friends, but those who are trying get into comics outside of the stream of movies from the big two. I try to ignore some of the pop culture stuff, like the soap opera with zombies, The Walking Dead. I’m still waiting on Game of Thrones to complete the books before getting into the show. Which a good chunk of my friends watch, without much knowledge of the books. I usually try to that opinion to myself, about that.

Madison: It depends on the social circle. I’ve been the sole comic reader in a group, which means the friends in that group get my biased recommendations. (Shoutout to my mom, who gets to listen to a lot of comic-based rants and has no context for understanding any of them. She’s the real hero, here.) However, I do enjoy hanging out with friends who read comics, because then it’s more of an even exchange of recommendations.

Being (relatively) new at comics, I don’t feel qualified to answer many questions correctly, so to speak. I do enjoy recommending things, though, and I’ll happily research to the best of my ability to fill gaps in my knowledge to suit someone else’s tastes.

Alex: Honestly, I think when it comes to giving recommendations on comics, so long as you’re honest there’s no wrong way to do it… and sod the people who think that just because you’re relatively new your opinion doesn’t carry as much weight as others.

Madison: I agree. I mean, I’m always going to be biased because I have writers and genres that I absolutely favor…the trick is finding people who share, if not exactly the same, then similar interests.

Alex: I think bias is healthy, though. I’d rather hear your honest opinion of a product than hear an emotionless response. If something made you angry, then I wanna know why.

Madison: In that case, would you rather have the twenty minute speech on Ant Man or Age of Ultron? Haha

Elana: Madison

what can't be both

Alex: Haha, I haven’t seen Ant-Man in awhile, so AoU, maybe.

Elana: Never to late for us to run another piece about AoU in advance of the new movie…

Javier: Unfortunately, as I got older, and moved from job to job, my social circle has shifted. I have friends who have geeky interests; but usually that centers on a movies or shows that are based on sci-fi/fantasy novels or comic books I’ve read (obvious examples being Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and the Marvel Movies). I give my opinions when asked, and try to avoid spoilers; but as far as comic books and graphic novels go, I’m pretty much a lone wolf nowadays.

Brett: I actually feel some pressure. I know people are going to ask me how the latest comic movie is, so I feel like I need to see it opening night or watch all the shows.

Elana: People expect that of me. But I never do opening night. I always have to remind them of that. You are great at going to see everything so you can review it. If I think something is going to be bad, like the green lantern movie, I just don’t even go

Alex: Batman V Superman was the first time I’ve been to an opening night comic book movie in years. I’ve usually seen it within the first week, but rarely opening night.

Steven: For me in my inner circle of friends, i’m usually the guy they go to for sports advice or questions, but at work, my co-workers usually come to me with questions about comic books and questions about superhero shows. And ironically enough my best friend asked me today some questions about power rangers.

Brett: And what about you readers? Sound off in the comments below!