How did the Theme Park Version of the comics and game setting where absolutely everyone is an evil bitch who goes around doing horrible things to people for no reason — seeming to originate primarily from 4chan's /tg/ board — gain so much traction? It's a gross misrepresentation of the actual game and comics, and people don't normally seem to give things from 4Chan a lot of credit.
Well, it's not like the source material itself doesn't cater to it. A lot of the art in the books is of characters doing horrible things to regular humans and even in canon, a lot of characters have a lax attitude towards others who treat humans as little more than playthings. Plus, middle school girls can just be down right mean and vindictive even without magic. That's not to say that everyone in it does these things. But those characters are the ones that stand out the most to the casual onlooker and anyone not familiar with the comics. (Also, not every board on 4chan is /b/. /tg/ actually does churn out some good stuff when they put in the effort.)
The annoying canon sues inspire a certain degree of disdain, too, as do the uncomfortable fetish overtones.
Maybe I'm just a fan, but I find the canon sues not that bad, and the complaints about them somewhat exaggerated.
Two words: Princess Lucinda. Princess Lucinda is an example character and bloody everywhere and several adventure hooks involve catering to her whims. And she's never not-turning-someone-into-something-else, which brings up the "fetish overtones" bit, and she has a ~tragic past~ and... so on and so forth. She's a Creator's Pet at least, and toes the water of Black Hole Sue. It's not a bad game, it's pretty fun actually, but she basically sums up all the squicky bits in one convenient and highly common package.
Princess Lucinda is a character who's being pushed heavily because she's the focus of her own upcoming miniseries and was considered for a movie at one point. She may be being pushed too heavily, but she's not as overpowered as claimed (She's the big magic girl for the girls introduced in the new run of Witch Girls Tales, but is not overwhelmingly more powerful than, say, the original Coventry girls — many of the examples of "proof" that she's so tremendously powerful are out-of-continuity gags about her defeating Superman or Hellboy or such), nor does the game/comic universe actually revolve around her — she's one character of many, and others also matter. Also, outright lies don't help your case. None of the plot hooks suggested in the book involve Princess Lucinda unless the Director wants to insert her. She has no role in the in-book adventure, and only a bit part in "Pirates of Bucaneer Hill" as a character in an optional scene. In all but two of the comics outside her miniseries or promos for it in the second run, she's been a minor character or part of an ensemble cast — and she didn't even exist during the first run. In those two stories, one focuses on her, and the other has her as the guide to a new student. She may be a Creator's Pet, but she's far from a Black Hole Sue — she's pushed a lot, having a facebook page, a prominent role in much of the series art, and her own miniseries, but the plot does not even come close to revolving around her or bending to her will.
The description of the "Wicked" trait is a pretty good note on it too. It basically states that most witches act like that sometimes, but those with the trait go out of their way.
Witches act like this sometimes in other, similar works — for instance, in the Sabrina TV series, Hilda has repeatedly been shown to have magically imprisoned or horrifyingly cursed some of her former boyfriends. It doesn't seem to rankle as much in these cases.
Probably because Sabrina and any of those other series don't feel like they're catering to transformation fetishists and people who enjoy watching witches do horrible things to people.
I've... not quite gotten how it is supposedly catering more toward such people than other, similar witch series.
Because in large part, the game itself does point out that witches do casually abuse, imprison, and murder Muggles for the most petty offenses, or even just For the Evulz, and this is outright encouraged by the witch community (example: the "Mini Mortal" fad, with jars specifically designed for holding shrunken mortals sold over the counter). It's not like /tg/ even needs to drive this (even if the Malleus Maleficarum fit right into their ideal pantheon of heroes); when Princess Lucinda is essentially the flagship character, the creators are saying something about the nature of the game.
Because most people simply wouldn't have heard about it if it weren't for people talking about the horrible aspects of it.
It also always bugged me that, despite a lot of focus on Muggle fear and anger, there was no mention of I Just Want to Be Special situations.
There's a comic from the original run focusing on this. One of Janette's friends ends up temporarily turned into a witch while she's brought to Coventry. She's initially thrilled, but ultimately decides to Just Be Herself.