Friggin’ Venom

I’m seeing a lot of Venom fanart.

Some of it’s being shared by people genuinely horny for it, and we’ll just set that aside for now. Some folk are amused by it, who like the transgressive comedy in treating Venom and Eddie as if they’re boyfriends. It’s a fairly widespread thing, which has both a broad texture (in that there are lots of fairly specific opinions and niche representations of both symbiote and Brock), and almost entirely generic taste (it all kind of feels the same).

Mostly, I hate it.

In amongst this, someone pointed out that it’s weird how, in all this fanart, nobody can draw Tom Brady. He doesn’t look the same in any of them, sometimes not even from the same artist. They all wanna tell a story or show a moment, and yet, despite all of it, none of them seem to be able to represent the person they’re supposedly so driven to draw.

This is the kind of thing I’d normally find as kind of concerning. It’s not quite like how in Overwatch, where every artist brings their own style to the characters they draw and inevitably, the way they represent the unknowable or flexible facts of those characters’ bodies. That’s fine, that’s normal. What’s really strange to me about the Venom fanart is how utterly unable they are to ever represent anything of the character they’re trying to show.

But it doesn’t matter, because they don’t care. They don’t need to show him, because by being the guy with the Venom parasite he’s talking to, you know it’s Eddie Brock.

This is both excellent character design and terrible character design. Eddie is literally nothing, a vessel for Venom to exist next to; he can be anything, do anything, and there’s no reason to doubt or expect anything of him. There can be no out-of-character behaviour, and therefore, no really in-character behaviour. There’s nothing there to get wrong.

This is pretty saddening, really. Because people love this character, even though all he is is a set of fenceposts they can put whatever they want in the middle.

I’d love to put some sort of high-minded, positive coda here, some sort of ‘and isn’t it great that everyone can have that space to create in’ but, like, no. No, I actually find it super annoying that when critics point out problems the movie has, the work of criticism and analysis is discarded because The Venom In My Head Is Better Than The One You Saw, and therefore the critic must be clueless. I hate that a multi-million dollar movie franchise being made by someone who apparently doesn’t have a flipping face is given so many special breaks and given so much love not because of what it is but because of things it absolutely and definitely is not.

And as someone who makes things, who makes things for people to love, it makes me sad.

Because I can’t do that.

And I probably never will.

And that’s just how it goes.

Sorry about hating Venom. I’m sure not all you fans are just monster-frickers.

I’ve been informed that Tom Hardy is the actor I mean when I say Tom Brady and you know what, I’m willing to let that mistake stand because that’s how little of an impression Tom Buckley makes.

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