I have found that disagreeing with a writer about an interpretation of their work to be one of the most freeing things as a reader. And as a writer. “So-and-so thinks their book is about X? Nope, wrong. it’s about this other thing” is fair. Authors can be wrong about their own stuff.

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Without a doubt. Especially as some creators tend to be precious bunnies.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re right or your argument necessarily holds any examination.

I’ve actually kept this one in my inbox for a while, as I wanted to do a proper answer talking about the interpretation and fiction. I’m pro people making their own takes on my stuff as an author. That’s magical. Make it make sense to you.

Conversely, me as a critic is a little harder to convince. Not by much, but I hold any argument up to the same standards as any argument about art I hear. Just because it’s mine doesn’t change that. However, if you’ve got a take that’s supported by the text? I’ll admit that.

I’ve got a standard phrase which I use in interviews where someone says an interpretation to me that I hadn’t considered, but can completely see their point: “That wasn’t my intent, but I’d be a fool to say the evidence isn’t there.” I say it a lot.

Conversely, there’s arguments that people make which I think have poor or no evidence for, or are even worse, entirely counter-factual and I can point to the exact panel which makes their position literally impossible. They’re not arguments I can pretend to agree with without patronising people. Not that I’d say as much unless I was asked directly.

To re-stress, this is about all work, not my work. This isn’t about the word of god. This is about not necessarily accepting weak arguments just because they’ve been made by a reader. Not all arguments about a text are equal, and when I’m reading criticism of everything, this is what I’m thinking about.

Let’s walk through one of the most famous questions in comics. It’s the end of Watchman. There won’t be direct spoilers of what happens, but there are spoilers about the nature of the question. This will involve a little simplification, obv.

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