Submitted by John on December 7, 2005 - 21:16
I can't tell if Scott is satirizing himself or is really pissed off. Is anyone else's sarcasm detector working? I think mine's broken.
by Xaviar Xerexes - 12/12/2005 - 16:19
died would be preferable
You know, Scott, if one of your rabid fans comes over to my house with a shotgun, there's going to be hell to pay in civil court!
I'm just saying!
Have fun in your world! I'll have fun in mine!
Wow, this has turned into one fierce thread. Since I don't even have time to write this post I won't venture any opinions, but just wanted to note that while I don't really think Scott or Joey mean anything "serious" by the quoted posts above, I really encourage everyone to try to stay on the civil side of discussion. And to really stay away from anything that smacks of threats, etc - that's not necessary to make your point and isn't something I'm going to tolerate here.
P.S. Except for when people call, Kristofer "Kristopher" - I mean that's just not right!
I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.
by Chris Crosby - 12/12/2005 - 22:17
Y'all make some great comics, but it ain't Moby Dick; it ain't Cerebus or Maus.
But that must be because I'm not one of those uppity Joe College certified COMICAL CRITICS, with their high-class insanely-long ten-page writerings showcasing their so-called "opinions" of things they have read with their upturned judgemental eyeballs. DEATH TO THEM ALL! (Except Websnark 'cause he say nice thing about me.)
by Chris Crosby - 12/12/2005 - 22:31
Tsk. Just because I don't give out blowjobs... *drops dead*
It's so good that I am now a Republican and will be voting for George W. Bush in the 2008 and 2012 elections. EIGHT MORE YEARS!
by Chris Crosby - 12/12/2005 - 22:37
By the way, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading Rob Schneider's awesome attack ad against a critic who made a joke about DEUCE BIGALOW, it's located here in PDF form: http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/gossip/rob-schneider/index.php
(Seeing it mentioned here made me want to go read it again.)
by Chris Crosby - 12/12/2005 - 22:40
Oh well, won't get any of those around here, I live 5 minutes from a high school...
by Joey Manley - 12/07/2005 - 21:31
Drama is like Neil Gaiman's Sandman -- if you dare invoke its name, it will appear!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 04:27
I pride myself on lacking sophistication! My next Comicon column is about poopy!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 04:47
Poopy, I tell you!
That's my next column! I'm totally serious!
I'm out of control! Somebody better stop me before webcomics is ruined forever! Yaaaaaaaaaargh!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 04:59
Are you people ignoring me? Are you deaf?!?
I said POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPY!
by Joey Manley - 12/11/2005 - 14:45
"Let the work speak for itself" is something that older artists often say to younger artists. The idea is that running your mouth off about the work -- or about things tangential to the work -- may cause readers to mix up what you've said with what you've created -- if they don't like what you've said, they may stop liking the work (and, usually, artists are better at creating great work than they are at saying things about it).
Scott Kurtz, of all the artists I know, would profit most from following that advice.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 00:34
That's a pretty interesting allegation ("webcomic review and discourse seems to want to be this additional, as-important industry"). I haven't experienced that. But then, I'm not a cartoonist whose ass can possibly get chapped by somebody writing about my webcomic ... or choosing not to write about it.
No form of art or entertainment in history has managed to escape the accretion of layers and layers of criticism, reviews, commentary, and, yes, gossip. Few artists in history have ever appreciated the role of critics in the cultural process. Most artists hate most critics. Big whoop. That's the way it goes. Ultimately, the same license that Gabe & Tycho have to comment on trends in the videogame field, and to build their business around this commentary (even though they, themselves, are not designers of videogames), is the license that commentators have to jabber about the webcomics field, and to try to build a little meta-industry out of that activity. If the commentary is poorly written, or if, as Kurtz and others claim, there's *no reason for this stuff to exist,* because nobody cares about it, then, obviously, nobody will read it, and it will fade away.
If the commentary is interesting, though, and an audience exists for writing on the subject matter -- well, it won't fade away.
Doesn't seem to be fading away. Quite the opposite.
Aside to Tony: you don't think my posts are amusing? I'm offended!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 01:31
People write about incredibly boring things on their blogs all the time (like [ahem] whether they have a cold or if they are tired or whatever). I don't see that sort of uninteresting commentary fading away any time soon...
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 05:52
Zing! Good one, Scott!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 05:58
Now people are going to be confused as to whether we hate each other or not ...
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 06:05
But that is a utopian world we can only dream about ... if we close our eyes, and think sweet thoughts ...
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 15:21
ah, okay, sorry. Thought you were talking about the article!
It is a little pressurized in here sometimes! Welcome to the webcomics community! (grin).
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 15:30
You're ... you're welcome, Scott!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 15:33
The poopy column is up now, by the way!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 05:23
I apologized for embarrassing you, because, as I said in our correspondence, I hadn't expected that something that is linked from the top of every page on your site would be something you'd be reluctant to have people discuss in public. Frankly, that shocked me. If I had known that this public utterance of yours, which you still publish to this day, was something you'd rather not have in the public realm, I certainly wouldn't have quoted it. But that's the extent of my apology.
As for the larger article, here's what I have to say about your pronouncements on your homepage, and subsequently in other places (semi-private and public):
a). The point of my column is to be entertaining. It is not one of these highfalutin' reviews that are also getting trashed in this thread (there's some confusion, generally -- are we talking about my column throughout most of this thread, or the Webcomics Examiner, because there seems to be an undercurrent of the latter, and my column, which is a wholly different animal, is being used as a club to beat the poor WCE over the head). People liked my column (or, at least, felt compelled to read it). It was one of the more popular items on Pulse before you linked it. It went through the roof, of course, afterwards. Thank you.
b). It was actually quite kind to you, and to the other troublemakers. "Troublemaker" is even used in a way that shows there is some social value to being a gadfly -- keeping all of us on our toes. That even such gentle criticism as that I made of you, evokes this sighing, sicktohisstomach, always-the-victim Scott Kurtz in public, makes me, frankly, sad, and sick to my stomach. Sigh.
c). I don't really write the column to "present webcomics to the larger world." Your analysis of my position seems to be that I've set myself up as a self-appointed ambassador, and that, as an ambassador, I suck. Because an ambassador would never, ever show anybody anything that might be the least bit unpleasant, about the domain he represents. True enough. An ambassador would never do those things. My suckiness as an ambassador isn't an issue for me, though, because I am not your goddam ambassador, and I am certainly not attempting to be your PR manager. I am a guy writing a column of opinion on topics he finds interesting. If other people find those topics interesting, they will read the column, and if they don't, they won't. Now, I understand that the context under which the column is published -- on a website which attracts readers who many webcartoonists, especially those with print deals, would like to woo -- makes it seem like I should be an ambassador. But I didn't take the gig to be a PR hack for webcomics generally, nor for its most successful practitioners. I took the gig to get some things off my chest. I've been too nice too long.
d). Finally, I would submit that there's a lot of self-importance going around in the webcomics world, and that not *all* of it is in the heads and hearts of writers, commentators, or critics. Glass houses. And so on.
e). My next column really is about poopy.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 06:30
Try reading the column we're talking about first, Dutch. Then you can have an opinion. Nobody said anything bad about Scott Kurtz's comic or his success. In fact, only nice things were said about those two particular facets of Scott Kurtz. Nor was there any moaning about audiences going to this or that comic. Nope. It was an awards ceremony of sorts, ticking off the five people who make the most trouble in the webcomics world. Very nice things were said about all of them. And also some embarrassing moments were viciously highlighted.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 12:44
Ah, I'm afraid I've oversold it. It isn't a comprehensive overview of poopy and webcomics. Actually, it's just a tutorial on how to read webcomics on the toilet, using Sony's Playstation Portable (r) handheld multimedia entertainment device!
[quote:9c79211f35="Anonymous"]Can you mention the guest comic I did for Fight Cast or Evade a few years ago, called "People of the Sewer" in your column about poopy, Joey? It features a cute catgirl, the Samurai ethic, haiku poetru and poopy.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 15:59
You're parched?!? Try staying up all night screaming POOPY at Scott Kurtz and Kristopher Straub!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 16:02
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 16:06
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 16:49
Who's to say that reading those things isn't fun? If you don't like'em, don't read'em! Those of us who like'em, will read them! Where's the harm here? What's the threat? What are you afraid of?
Just FYI, to those following along at home, we're switching topics again. There's a subthread here about a past installment of my column at Comicon.com (which is a chatty, gossipy, in-no-way-intellectually-challenging bit of fluff with a few barbs stuck in it -- for fun!) and another subthread about the evils of High Criticism when applied to webcomics. Since my column can't possibly be described as "a ten-page-long postulate on cartoonist intent," I can only imagine that this is the case, anyway. Though none on the anti-criticism front have named the name of the beast, I'm fairly certain that this subthread was occasioned by the recent rebirth of the Webcomics Examiner, at http://www.webcomicsreview.com/ and, specifically, their announcement of the "Best Webcomics of 2005 selected by the Webcomics Examiner Advisory Board." I am in no way associated with the Examiner, except that I give them free hosting, because Joe Zabel is a friend of mine, and I helped them jumpstart a few technical items (like their RSS feed, and their more recent WordPress installation). Note that I have also offered to provide Comixpedia with free hosting as well (especially back when they were crashing a lot).
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 17:13
My perspective on the Examiner is definitely not the same as, say, William G's. Since I don't work on the project, I can't speak for them -- so I'll shut up and let them speak for themselves! When the thread veers back over to my gossip column, I'll pop back in for some more barking ...
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 17:25
as a reader, I get reviews of comics
No, he's doing it right -- he's definitely getting reviews, or at least he says he is. They're just word-of-mouth rather than written.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 17:30
Can't argue with that! Some loon at my former dayjob once recommended PUPKIN to me! I shit you not! He wasn't even a "comics person."
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 17:32
PUPKIN is strong, strong medicine to be recommending haphazardly, out in the wild! Only a professional should be permitted to administer a dosage!
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 19:19
I don't hate all comics, though I do have to admit, the last time I went to the Comedy Club here in Louisville, I heckled one right-wing homophobic performer so badly that they actually escorted me from the premesis (I should have known better than to go there on "military appreciation night" -- it was all like some lowgrade version of Spike TV). Richard Pryor was a genius, though, as was Steve Martin during his stand-up days. And those are just comics I've seen in person. I also have a lot of Lenny Bruce albums -- er, admittedly, I don't really see what the big deal was about him, either ... I sort of inherited those from an old relationship.
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 04:09
Wow. Sarcasm, snide remarks and a fat joke.
But I'm the one lacking sophistication.
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 05:08
Joey, we hear you.
Why are you being so indignant in this thread?
You were very introspective and apologetic in private correspondence to me.
But here you're being flippant and sarcastic.
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 05:50
[quote:eef8a7072a="joeymanley"]I took the gig to get some things off my chest. I've been too nice too long.
Ooh...is it time to stop being nice and start getting REAL, Joey?
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 05:57
Hey, that's me....the troublemaker.
by Joe Zabel - 12/09/2005 - 23:00
"I heard a little about what Jerry has to say in it and I'm really hoping that once the book is out, the people who are choosing to elect themselves as our ambassadors read it and pay attention."
I promise not to pay any attention unless he gives me licence to do more evil.
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 20:44
I'm with Kristofer (see? I did it right!) on the prior-experience-in-the-field thing. Actually, I don't think that that has any bearing at all. Look at other forms of art. I happen to be familiar with literature, so we'll go there for examples. Some artists are very engaging critics (Virginia Woolf, for example, whose socio/political/literary critique "A Room of One's Own" -- something she dashed off as a speech to a women's college one day -- is read by at least as many people -- possibly more people -- than any of her actual, you know, fictional works). Most artists who try to write deeply and seriously about their field, though, just end up crafting little dogmatic lockboxes for their fellow artists, and themselves (Bertolt Brecht, for example, who, by the time he had finished defining every single legitimate effect he could imagine in playwrighting, giving it a name, an appropriate use, and a set of rules, had become a sad little robot putting out scripts-to-order, like those fiction-writing-machines people make on webpages, where you feed them little bits of words and phrases, and they make a "story").
So, yeah, it doesn't make any difference at all. What matters is whether or not you're a good critic. Your status as an artist has no more to do with it than the color of your hair. The one difference, though, is that it can actually be dangerous to their own artistic work, for some artists, anyway, to think like critics (as in the Brecht example).
by Joey Manley - 12/12/2005 - 21:12
Since when do different critics, writing in different venues, about the same subject matter, have to agree with each other about why they're doing what they do? Like artists, critics all have different motivations, and different expectations of what they want to accomplish.
In other words, just because, say, Scott McCloud and Jerry Holkins don't agree on the nature and purpose of webcomics, that doesn't mean that all webcartoonists are insidious liars who are always changing the rules of the argument ... for that matter, I'll bet Kristofer Straub and, say, Dave Kellett aren't trying to accomplish exactly the same things with their webcomicking efforts.
Why should critics be obliged to toe One Party Line, then?
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 15:27
I love how William didn't address any of our points, just continued to make snide comments. That's awesome.
Scott: I know you don't give a shit about me or my review site. I know you'd rather I drop off the face of the earth since I don't ass-kiss constantly. And it's obvious that you feel that sites such as Websnark and the dozen or other blog sites out there reviewing and talking about comics are a big waste of time. But I think you take all this entirely too seriously at times. If you don't care about criticism... IGNORE IT. Simple as that. Seriously, what does it matter what someone else has to say about you or your comic? *shrug*
Yeah, because that's what I look for in people. Constant ass-kissery.
Man, it must be so cool to be you guys on the cusp of the critical review revolution. You're really making a difference out there, taking the shots at the "kings" of this community. Walking where angels fear to tread. You're not going to play it nice anymore...NO SIR...you're going to tell it like it REALLY is. Because you're HONEST even if it makes you enemies.
William, Tangent, Joey...you guys are truly the light in the dark. If not for you guys....where would we be?
I guess we'd still be enjoying Penny-Arcade, never aware that we were wasting our time with such bullshit.
Thank you. Thank you from saving us....from ourselves.
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 15:58
[quote:a270bd3d38="EricMillikin"][quote:a270bd3d38="Kurtz"]Man, it must be so cool to be you guys on the cusp of the critical review revolution. You're really making a difference out there, taking the shots at the "kings" of this community.
I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe I'm missing some context on this but Kurtz is absolutely right. It doesn't make you a big shot just because you can launch clumsy attacks at the Kingz of Webcomix. So whoever was taking cheap shots at Derek Kirk Kim, Cat Garza, Roger Langridge, Jason Turner, Drew Weing and Merlin Goodbrey, just knock it the fuck off. That's totally uncalled for and you're totally hurting comics.
Yeah, Tangent is right. I could really care less if any of you lived or died.
Died would be prefereable I think.
You're all such a bunch of assholes.
by Joe Zabel - 12/12/2005 - 21:06
BTW, it looks like Kris posted two longer responses that I didn't see before posting my response.
by Joe Zabel - 12/12/2005 - 22:39
"I've yet to see anyone claim to be professionals (except possibly the webcomics examiner, but I don't go to that website)."
The Examiner staff certainly don't claim to be professionals. Sorry to hear that you don't go to our site, John.
by Reinder - 12/12/2005 - 12:46
[quote:056e0639da="joeymanley"]Ah, I'm afraid I've oversold it. It isn't a comprehensive overview of poopy and webcomics. Actually, it's just a tutorial on how to read webcomics on the toilet, using Sony's Playstation Portable (r) handheld multimedia entertainment device!
Bah. I never get any breaks (that was me up there posting anonymously because my password wasn't on the machine I was posting from).
by Scott Kurtz - 12/12/2005 - 04:45
The rest of the accusations being lobbed by Scooter, and even yourself, is nothing more than insecure bullshit masquerading as anti-elitism.
You keep throwing insecurity in our faces as if that's a quality to be ashamed of. In fact, as an artist and creator, it's an important and valued commodity. Insecurity of your own work and its value is what drives most artists to improve and keep to continue creating. It also keeps artists from buying into their own hype. Which can be easy to do if you get any kind of a following.
William, I would propose that you could use a good dose of insecurity.
Fact #2: Our current "pros" are the worst representatives of webcomics we can possibly put out there because they still act like fucking fanboys every chance they get. This bullshit is Rob Schnider taking out an ad in Variety telling movie critics that they don't have an opinion on Deuce Bigalowe unless they have a Pulitzer.
Actually, it would be more like if Rob Schneider took out an ad in Variety and told people with Pulitzers that they had mistaken his dick and fart joke movie for a multi-layered allegory on the ramifications of modern social stigmas and how they effect the delicate sexuality of pre-pubecent males. I'm not claiming that PvP is more important that people think. I'm saying that it's less important that these webcomics pundits would like to make it out to be.
Of course, if you want to present webcomics to the world and your goal is to make people aware of how great they are, perhaps it's best to use that opportunity to showcase the BEST we have to offer as a community and not the worst.
And when you do present it...just PRESENT IT. You don't have to talk it up or frame it in some bullshit critical review. Just get it out there and let people digest it. They can decide for themselves if they like it or not.
It's not 1999~2001 anymore. And while word of mouth was good enough to get them in the comfortable positions of power they're in now, there are just too many comics, and too many potential readers looking a small section of the internet now for it to work. It takes a hype machine now, and critics are part of that machine... As are collectives like Blank Label. As such, it is a good starting point because THAT'S how people find out about new works. It creates awareness of a product that likely wasn't there to begin with.
You're right. It's not 1999-2001 anymore. Thank god. I think you might have a misconception about how business is here in 2005-2006. It's a lot more stable than it was back in 1999. Things were pretty really terrifying back then.
Things in 2005 are 100% better for PvP both creatively and business wise than they were in 1999. The strip and the business have grown (and grown up, I think). The really scary question is what will things be like in 2010-2011.
If they're pros, maybe they should start fucking acting like it instead of kings trying to hold on to their kingdom. Scooter wants his comics to be important, but he's angry because people aren't looking at his work the way he wants them to... That they're acting in ways he cant control...Tough fucking shit.
Wow. Who's really angry here, William? What a horrible picture you have painted of us who experience even a small amount of success. Do you hang that picture and shake your fist at it every night?
Go back and read my post. I mention concern, disappointment and being sick over Joey's column. Never anger. There is more anger in your one paragraph than in my entire post.
Fact #3: Them complaining about "teh Drama" is idiotic since 90% of it comes from them anyway. Fucking hypocrites.
I'm not complaining about the drama. I'm concerned about gleefully presenting ourselves at our worst to the rest of the world. Not only that, but presenting it willingly and proudly with a smile. It was sensationalist at best and really fucking stupid and embarassing at worst.
You consider me an idiot, William. Why do you have such trouble interpreting this simpleton's words?
by Scott Kurtz - 12/13/2005 - 02:53
Since the original question posted in this thread has been completely lost, let me try to state myself a little more clearly.
I was dissapointed by Joey's article on comicon.com in which he listed, what he felt to be, the top 5 troublemakers in webcomics. I was dissapointed in the artcile before I ever read the article (which is unfair) because the topic made my heart sink a bit. My feelings were validated when I talked to a couple other webcartoonists who shared my sentiments.
The most important points I was trying to make (and I welcome discourse and debate on these points) were:
1) The drama in the webcomics community is bad. It's embarassing. We all participate in it, but I think we can all agree that we'd be better off without it. It's public but it's within our community. Certainly spotlighting it to the public OUTSIDE our community as way of introduction is a bad idea. I certainly was not excusing myself from any "troublemaking."
2) I see a trend where people are positioning themselves as "authorities" on webcomics. And I see these people spending a lot of time making themselves known as authorities on the subject. This isn't happening naturally, it's being manufactured and constructed. I think that McCloud and Burns have illustrated that there is real potential notoriety and celebrity assosciated with becoming an authority of webcomics and I'm seeing ex-comicers putting down their pencils and jumping ship to the journalistic side of the community.
That's concerning to me.
by EricMillikin - 12/12/2005 - 19:14
[quote:a87ed234b9="Ghastly"]And reviews are like sex. Sometimes it's better to get it from mouth than in writing.
Sounds like you've either experienced some horrible oral sex, or some amazing love letters.
P.S. Joey Manley hates comix.
Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.
by Airsick_Moth - 12/12/2005 - 06:03
If only people would stop filling webcartoonists' heads with glowing, flowery, essay-length reviews, they wouldn't be so self-important!
Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com
by Airsick_Moth - 12/12/2005 - 16:04
by Airsick_Moth - 12/12/2005 - 16:42
Do you know what's the most important thing about comics? Having fun.
by Joe Zabel - 12/12/2005 - 19:39
Joey wrote, "My perspective on the Examiner is definitely not the same as, say, William G's. Since I don't work on the project, I can't speak for them -- so I'll shut up and let them speak for themselves!"
I appreciate criticism of The Examiner and always try to put it in perspective to help build a better magazine. I don't see anything here that really calls for a defense, but Kris Straub's perception of the magazine is a bit different than mine.
The way I see it is, The Examiner is a forum for reviews that are as sophisticated as the audience is. For comparison purposes, consider this passage from a Michael Phillips review of Pride and Prejudice for The Chicago Tribune: "While this "Pride & Prejudice" bustles along to a crisp but not frantic rhythm, thanks to editor Paul Tothill, the real payoff comes in the complex long takes and gliding camerawork. When the camera scurries after this or that domestic crisis in the Bennet home, or the guests at a manor bash thrown by Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), Darcy's sweet-natured comrade, the effect is pleasurably intoxicating. At one point, Wright's camera snakes its way along the outside of the Bennet home, eavesdropping on one conversation after another. The effect isn't showy—it took some doing, but it comes off without any conscious dazzle."
It's the rare Examiner review that can be as perceptive and eloquent as Phillips is about the relationship between technical details and storytelling qualities. But we don't intend to stop trying!
As for Roger Ebert, here's his take on the same scene: "All of these characters meet and circle each other at a ball in the village Assembly Hall, and the camera circles them. The sequence feels like one unbroken shot, and has the same elegance as Visconti's long single take as he follows the prince through the ballrooms in "The Leopard." We see the characters interacting, we see Lizzie avoiding Collins and enticing Darcy, we understand the politics of these romances, and we are swept up in the intoxication of the dance. In a later scene as Lizzie and Darcy dance together everyone else somehow vanishes (in their eyes, certainly), and they are left alone within the love they feel."
Once again a terrific job of interweaving the technical observation with an appreciation of the story. I especially like his observation about the Lizzie and Darcy dancing and everyone else vanishing. I had forgotten that scene from the film. By the way, everybody, Pride and Prejudice is awesome! Don't miss it!
by Joe Zabel - 12/12/2005 - 21:03
Kris wrote, "I don't think the webcomic audience is that sophisticated. (And if it is, webcomics are doomed to having a tiny, well-read audience.)"
I have trouble understanding your point. The one example I sited was a review from the Chicago Tribune. That's a major circulation newspaper the last time I looked! And the other example I quoted was Roger Ebert, who you yourself gave as an example of a good critic.
I think you're vastly underestimating the size of the sophisticated audience.
I agree with Joey, it doesn't make any difference at all what your background is otherwise, good critics are people who are good at criticism.
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