Ilan Strasser of Fat Moose Comics didn't like the portrayal of comics in Spider-Man 2:
I just got back from seeing Spider-Man 2 and I am angry as hell! Yes, as an entertainment the movie was excellent almost any way you look at it; but will the comic retailers that have kept this hobby alive long enough to net Marvel and its top dogs millions and millions of dollars ever treat us with any respect at all?!
Did we really need a scene in the movie where in response to Peter asking about his old comics, Aunt May responds, 'Oh, those dreadful things? I gave them away.' Maybe if Marvel hadn't blamed me (and all the other retailers) for all the industry ills of the past 20 years, I could find some humor in the dialogue -- but you know, they have -- and the reality is that the only people keeping comics alive the past 15 years have been the hardworking, conscientious, honest, and determined retailers who have managed to keep comics at least marginally viable.
I can overcome being blamed for Marvel's self-imposed problems; I can deal with exclusives going to Barnes & Noble and who knows where else by promoting what I do have to sell; I can even keep people who are already excited about comics, even in a crappy economy, excited about comics. But I cannot deal with a comic book based movie -- something that could not exist without the source material -- telling millions of potential customers that comics are 'dreadful things.'
I thought as executive producer, Stan Lee would excise such an offensive and damaging line of dialogue from this movie -- if for no other reason than he helped usher in the Marvel Age of comics and is the grandfather to everything that comics have spawned over the past 40 years.
To Marvel I say the comic stores, your front-line partners for over 30 years, the partners that let you get to this point at all, have once again been left outside the back door, cold, hungry, and unable to come inside.