Founded in 2005, Byrne Robotics (www.byrnerobotics.com) is the internet home to comic-book legend John Byrne and basically nobody else.
That wasn’t always the case.
There used to be dozens of new posts every single day on the main page with robust comments made by 100+ people every day and read by many more “lurkers”.
As of today (December 2, 2020) the site boasts exactly 550 members, but only about a dozen or two people are commenting on any sort of a regular basis, albeit frequently. Here is a screengrab of the non-pinned threads that have comments in the last 24 hours (the top 2 are pinned for context).
7 threads in total. That’s it. I know it is hard to read so I’ll tell you what they are called.
“Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden”
“Susan Storm and Ben becoming the Thing”
“What’s the Point of R Rated Superheroes?”
“What’s in your sketch book?”
“Question for JB re: Wolverine’s untold Origin”
“In Praise of JLGL”
Wow. Those are some amazing topics. I can’t believe people aren’t knocking down the doors to post there anymore.
Kidding aside, the topics aren’t the reason nobody posts there anymore. The fact is Byrne and his moderators (Matt Reed and Tim O’Neil) have gone out of their way to delete comments they disagree with (especially Tim O’Neil who most believe is the main actor in these shenanigans), mock and/or ban people with differing viewpoints (aka “being contrarian” as Byrne would say).
Eventually, they ran out of people to drive off.
Enter “John Byrne Says” a Twitter site where people could go to read John Byrne’s inane ramblings as well as see his new artwork without giving his archaic website traffic. This Twitter page had roughly 10 times the amount of followers as Byrne’s site has members. However, it hasn’t had a new post since June of 2019.
Why? Simple. Byrne was unhappy (to put it mildly) that people were going there instead of to his own site. At the time Byrne was starting to publish his new X-Men stories (that Marvel didn’t publish) on his website under “Fanfic” and he wanted people to come to his website to see the pages instead of getting it from other sources.
A few of his board members took it upon themselves to harass the Twitter page until the guy that ran it decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and quit.
One could assume that with this Twitter page out of the way Byrne Robotics would thrive again since people didn’t have that as an option to read his comments and see his artwork, thus possibly bringing the floundering activity on Byrne Robotics back to its earlier and more successful engagement levels.
No such luck. The stagnation continued unabated.
Byrne Robotics is so pathetic now that people don’t even bother to troll it anymore. Instead, it just wallows in the mediocrity of the 30 or so people that post on there all day.
Like Byrne’s comics career, I doubt Byrne Robotics will ever return to its former glory but fingers crossed.