A Word… On The Latest “Controversy”

I read The Geek’s post and thought, “Oh boy, I’ll bet this’ll be good,” so I raced to a happy little google search and found the original post by Joey Manley and all the subsequent comments behind it. I gave the column itself a thorough read, but sadly it and all of the comments afterwards were written in a strange language that I can only describe as a combination of “Elitist Geek Double Speak” with a healthy dash of “Bitter Speak” for color. A language in which self-contradictions abound and (when written) noses must be promptly thrust into the air.

I am a bit rusty on this particular language (or amalgam of languages) and regretfully I forgot to put the babel fish in my ear this morning so I had to decipher it on my own as best as I could. Near as I could figure, the original column itself expressed a dislike for “dicks” and or “farts” and the happy variety of their accompanying jokes. The column also seemed to take a pretty good shot at “Certain Cartoonists”, but of course sources were never cited. Rightly so I believe. Citing sources is a practice reserved only for professors, high school students, and other bottom feeding low lives. No REPUTABLE column would EVER cite a source.

The subsequent comments following the post were very similar. “Certain Parties” either made themselves known or were mentioned, a few of the larger names in web comics said a bit, and mud was hurled worse than those delicious wrestling matches that happen to come on after 1am. It seemed as though there was a school yard throw-down. A throw-down by 7 or 8 year olds that had vocabularies larger than their thoughts. First one would say, “Joe is a pooh-head”. Then Joe or his supporters would say “Nuh uh! YOU are!”. Then the first would say “Yes HUH!”. Then Joe and or his cohorts, or “ilk”, would fire back a well thought out “Yeah? Well you’re FAT!”

I am of course paraphrasing. Each comment sometimes took several paragraphs to say “poo-head!” in an accusatory manner.
This went on for 5 pages.
In fact I believe it still goes on.

I’m a bit stuck at this point. What on Earth are people fighting for? It seems to me as though we are all in this game together. We all enjoy reading and creating in this medium alike, and thanks to our precious Internet, no one can really step on anyone’s toes or stamp out anyone’s potential audience. As far as I can figure there is a cloud of bitterness against a genre that by definition doesn’t try to hurt anyone or cause any problems. Who thought dicks and or farts could piss people off so badly? I would ask, as many a rational mind has, that folks stay positive and sheath their tongues. At the very least have opinions as opposed to attacks. Don’t place a subtext of disdain, and certainly don’t deny it later. Don’t sink to the level of those who mean to discredit you, and CERTAINLY don’t fall as far down as to resort to “well you’re just a fat drama queen”. Especially when you were LOOKING for a fight. (And don’t say you weren’t, Joe and assorted members of his ilk. You KNEW what the responses would be if you went with the words and tone you chose.)

This, however, does demonstrate my lack of translating capabilities. Joe in one post said, “This isn’t a middle school playground — there are no fights going on. Just conversations. You know, like grown-ups do.”

Well Mr. Manley, if these are the conversations grown-ups have, I pray I never grow into one.



9 thoughts on “A Word… On The Latest “Controversy”

  1. Well said, sir. Who said the internet wasn\’t being used in a productive manner? Hell, we have five pages of people pissing and moaning about dick and fart jokes to prove otherwise. Viva la interporn!

  2. The last three posts here have been ABOUT this issue. I\’d say if you want these things to go away, don\’t fucking post about them. You know??? Especially if you don\’t understand why people were upset by the column.

  3. Dear Drew,

    Yeah, that\’s my bad. I didn\’t know there would be a third post on it. I apologize.

    Dear Joe,

    That was a very nice apology post and I respect that you did that. Thank you very much.


  4. Discourse is good. And discourse on sites like Digital strips keeps it \”in the family\” so to speak. Everyone reading this are people making webcomics.

    Joey, where is the new column you were promising? Did you decide against it?

  5. I sent it to Jen a long time ago. Either she\’s decided to can my column, or she\’s been too busy to post it, or something. Either way, no big deal. It was not a trouble-making installment. And I\’ve decided to swear off writing columns for Pulse. More trouble than it\’s worth.

  6. I\’d say if you want these things to go away, don\’t fucking post about them. You know???

    And I agree with you. Funny, huh?

  7. trangely, this forum is not quite entirely invisible to some of us who merely read web comics with no pretention to create any.

    This discussion would justify a citation, I think, to Einstein\’s view of

    The frog-mouse battle

    One thing to be said in favor of the basic gag comics whether or not they focus on bodily parts and functions. Their schedule works.

    I try to like the online \’graphic novels\’. Really I do. I try like heck to follow several of them. Even when the avante-garde art style makes them nearly impossible to \’read\’.

    Try as I might, however, I\’m constantly frustrated by the pace.

    Oh creators, a graphic novel is a novel. Sure, Dickens serialized novels, but not one paragraph of narrative at a time.

    For some comics, I try to discipline myself to stay away from them for a few weeks at a time so that they have a chance to build up a coherent lump of content.

    Wigu\’s status seems to reflect a creator who has the same reaction from the other side of the tablet.

    Maybe you\’d get a more illuminating conversation if you questioned the meaningful limits of the (on average) 4-panel-a-day format.

  8. You\’re frustrated by the glacial pace, bim_reader?

    Taking the liberty of speaking for my fellows: Us too.

    Unfortunately, the reading habits of the web demand regularity over all other considerations. As well, the strength (and weakness) of the gag stip is that it\’s quickly digested. Some folks are willing, and able to, sit down for the twenty or thirty minutes needed to read a graphic novel-sized work. But for the most part online reading is done in quick bursts. Never underestimate the power of gold-bricking.

    So, online \”graphic novelists\” needed to adapt to these habits by providing a quick burst of comic on a regular basis. And if you take into consideration things like having day jobs, a social life, and sleep, this works out for the artists as well.

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