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Do Original Art Sales Negatively Affect Storytelling?

In his latest column, Keith Giffen makes the following claim:

I’ve recently come to believe that, were you guys to stop buying original artwork, the visual storytelling in comic books would improve dramatically.

Do you think Giffen’s belief is correct?

Do you think original art sales have that much of an effect?

59 Comments

I’m not sure what kind of point he’s making, if he’s saying that the original artwork makes more artists concentrate on pin-ups and less on storytelling, or that because artists are spending so much time drawing commissions that they have less time to concentrate on their interior work. If it’s the former, I can’t really say. But I do know that a lot of artists make a ton of money doing commissions, so they do a bunch of those, which cuts into their time doing regular monthly titles, which leads to weaknesses in the storytelling. So my answer is “yes,” in that the quality of the interior art suffers because the artists don’t have as much time to focus on them. But I could be wrong, of course.

There are numerous rumors of Bart Sears completely ignoring scripts asking for multiple panels to do more pin-ups because it sells better

I’m pretty sure he’s making the former point, Greg, that artists are going out of their way to do pin-ups to the detriment of storytelling.

I don’t know if I’d support this as a blanket statement or not, but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the desire to sell original art was a factor in the sometimes excessive use of splash pages in the ’90s.

Pedro:

Priest writes here about his experience with Bart Sears on Captain America and the Falcon. I remember reading the first (only?) trade of that run and being completed baffled as to what was going on, and by the bizarre page-sized drawings of Cap and the Falcon on almost every page.

Oh, of course. The customer is a fault for the business’ strategies.

I mean, it’s not like the artists could take some resonsibility for what THEY draw and the choices THEY make.

Oh, of course. The customer is a fault for the business’ strategies.

I mean, it’s not like the artists could take some resonsibility for what THEY draw and the choices THEY make.

Agreed Dan. This was my problem with his last piece on continuity. He once again is right about a particular problem, but laying the blame on the feet of the wrong people, the customer. If you don’t want a certain type of customer, you as professionals shouldn’t produce the type of product that attracts that type of customer.

Seriously, couldn’t Giffen also phrase his statement as “I’ve recently come to believe that, were artists to stop selling original artwork, the visual storytelling in comic books would improve dramatically”?

Chicken and the egg. I wonder if you could compare this issue to the whole “should publishers keep making variants?” question.

“If you don’t want a certain type of customer, you as professionals shouldn’t produce the type of product that attracts that type of customer.”

But the issue here is the competing preferences of two different (if overlapping) groups of consumers. And the market for original art existed before artists for the Big Two were reliably able to sell their original art themselves (and thus produce art with it specifically in mind), so the initial conditions of the market that produced this result owe more to the customer than the professional.

Apodaca said: Oh, of course. The customer is a fault for the business’ strategies.

“Dear Mr. Sears,

I know I’m just a guy on a message board whom you’ve never heard of and who usually doesn’t buy your work anyway, but you should stop profiting from original art to make comics as a whole better. Listen to me: stop drawing pieces and deviating from the script in ways that are meant to make you more money than a standard story page would; and stop selling the pin-up pages you’ve already done to help dry up that market. In exchange for your giving up this lucrative source of income, I will praise you on a message board on the Internet. And maybe even try one or two comics you’re drawing in your story-oriented style.

“I know people are willing to buy these things from you, and so you have a pretty strong incentive to keep doing unnecessary, often story-disrupting pin-ups. And I know the companies you work for don’t really care if you stop or not, because the three or so people who will actually drop the book because of your practices are outweighed by the thousands of complacent nerds who either don’t care enough or actually have the tastelessness to like overrendered pin-up shots inserted into perfectly good scripts. (Even Rob Liefeld still has fans, right?)

“That doesn’t et you off the hook, though. Markets may reflect customer preference according to every credible economic theory of the last half-century, but the mainstream superhero comics you primarily work on, as we know, are a nonprofit creative enterprise and should just be above those sorts of things. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Sears, for being more concerned with original art sales that with the comparatively lesser page and royalty rates you’d get if you were a purely story-oriented artist. Take the hit to your wallet in the name of art, Mr. Sears. It’s what Stan would’ve wanted. Mr. Lee would never endorse or produce projects of dubious artistic merit just to make money for himself, and neither should you as long as you’re in the house that he and Jack built before Jack left over creative differences and credit.

Thank you,
A guy on the Internet”

I can’t help but wonder how much of a given artist’s proclivity for splash pages is about being able to sell them easier, and how much is just being a lazy artist who prefers making splash pages to developing storytelling skills.

The original art market probably has contributed to the rise of splash pages with a banner of panels overlaid at the top or bottom that do the actual work of storytelling.

How about “I’ve recently come to believe that, were editors to kick some artist ass, the visual storytelling in comic books would improve dramatically”?

Isn’t it the editor’s job to make sure the artist draws what the story calls for? Maybe when a few jobs get rejected, the artists will shape up.

Of course, that would require editors to, y’know, edit, instead of playing traffic manager.

I am in love with Omar Karindu.

That really does seem like blaming the wrong person for the problem. I think if it is a problem, the blame lies with the artist and the editors. Actually, I think a lot of aspects of current comics would be better if editors started editing books.

I see Giffen’s point, but I think the rise of pin-up-drawing, storytelling-deficient artists has more to do with poor storytelling than selling original art. Haven’t artists been getting original art back since the late ’70s or early ’80s? I don’t see storytelling eroding until the Image founders became the best-selling artists (and thus most imitated)in the business.

I can’t believe I’m defending Apocada, but…

Omar? It’s called work for hire. As in, if someone pays you to do a service, you do your best to put your employer’s satisfaction before your own self-interest. So if maximizing the price of your original art comes at the cost of the finished product you are being paid to produce, you have to choose the interests of your employers. If that’s too much to ask, as an employee you have the right to (a) find a collaborator or company that doesn’t care or (b) strike out on your own. But he’s not entitled to look out for himself at the expense of what his collaborators and employers want just because the market supports it. Now if the employer and collaborator are cool with it and don’t care, then go to town.

Wow, Omar. You have COMPLETELY misunderstood what I said. I don’t know where you got all that stuff about artists being responsible for improving the industry and everything. All I said was that they’re responsible for what the draw.

Everything else is in your head. Thanks for sharing, but you really shouldn’t give me any credit for your ideas.

Besides, I couldn’t care LESS what Bart Sears draws or how he draws it.

Francis Manapul will end up a pauper then as he is working with Jim Shooter.

By the way Brian………

It’s been said that the character ‘M’rissey’ in LSH #38 is named after a Legion superfan that passed away.

Can you find out if this is true?

Giffen’s right, but it’s not just artists wanting to draw big splash pages because they sell better on the original art market, it’s also editors wanting big splash pages in the book because the less information you convey on a single page, the more issues you need to tell the story and the more likely it is that you can stretch a single story arc out to six issues (also known as, “writing for the trade.”) Warren Ellis’ run on the Authority, for example, could probably be compressed to three issues long, total. :)

Me, I’m more interested in his “Whatever happened to the Impact characters?” question. I loved those series. (Showcase Presents: Impact!)

Hey, T., notice that Sears keeps getting hired? Would that be a useful index of his employers’ satisfaction with his work? You seem to have missed the section in my earlier post discussing the reasons that publishers don’t care what Sears does: because there’s no evidence that it affects comics sales significantly, and those sales are what matter to the companies.

I guess it’s about what you’re upset about, in the end. Is it that Sears does what he does, or that lots of artists do it, or that the industry doesn’t really prevent it? And do you want the source of your upset to go away, or just to gruse about it? Because the practical way — not the “Bart Sears et al. listen to meeeee!” fantasy way — is to try and make an issue of it for the customers. If you can’t get the customer base sufficiently concerned witht he problem, and the persistence of the problem seems to indicate that the braoder customer base doesn’t care all that much, then I suppose it’s either the customers’ fault for making it profitable for Sears and his publishers to screw up storytelling or it’s your fault for failing to convince them. Take your pick.

And Dan, it’s quite true that artists are indeed responsible for what they draw. If you can explain quite what that responsibility practically entails in terms of publication and sales, do let me know. What artists rather obviously aren’t responsible for is being published, being poorly edited, being supported by sales, and so forth. That would fall onto the shoulders of entities called “editors,” “publishers” and “customers,” and especially the latter, since, you see, publishers are responsible for what they publish, but not for its being bought by customers. And since both artists and editors work for publishers, and publishers are in the last analysis kept afloat by…customers!

Appeals to Bart Sears’ conscience or his editors’ consciences or what have you seem to me to miss the final resting place of responsibility in a profit-driven industry, as well as being risibly ineffective. Whatever Sears’ moral failings as an artist, surely the only reason he’s even in place to screw up Priest’s scripts is because Marvel looked at sales data and found support there for the idea that Sears might draw sales.

Oh, and also, Dan, thanks for stating that you don’t buy Sears’ work anyway. I’m sure that makes him and everyone else here all the more inclined to take up your notion of Sears’ artistic responsibilities. I know that I’m always compelled to adopt the ethical and aesthetic standards of complete strangers who’ve already let me know they couldn’t care less about what I do!

Seriously, though, I understand that you guys wanted to respond to Keth Giffen’s statement about the way market forces interact with the comics industry by venting about artists you don’t like. It’s not your fault I find that a comically blinkered response to the issue being raised, not to mention finely ironic in its exemplification of exactly the kind of “not me!” fandom Giffen was critiquing in the first place.

Seriously, though, I understand that you guys wanted to respond to Keth Giffen’s statement about the way market forces interact with the comics industry by venting about artists you don’t like.

No, see that’s the thing Omar. You don’t understand, because that’s not what I’m doing. I wasn’t even talking about Bart Sears originally. You brought him up.

Now, please read carefully, so I don’t have to explain this for you a third time.

I’m saying that the fans buying art are not responsible for what the artists draw. The artists are responsible for what the artists draw. If Keith Giffen has an issue with what they’re drawing, he should be complaining to the artists, not the fans.

The artists are perfectly entitled to draw however they want. But for anyone to say that the artists are being forced to draw in any particular style because of customer demand?

That’s just playing the blame game, instead of saying anything important.

Here’s hoping I don’t have to come back to any more wrong-headed condescension.

Is that you, Bart?

Omar Karindu, thanks for that.

Hate the gum-bumping e-whining sometimes.

Hey, T., notice that Sears keeps getting hired? Would that be a useful index of his employers’ satisfaction with his work? You seem to have missed the section in my earlier post discussing the reasons that publishers don’t care what Sears does: because there’s no evidence that it affects comics sales significantly, and those sales are what matter to the companies.

Hey Omar, notice we have no access to information about how much work Sears DIDN’T get due to his habits? I mean, how often do you see the guy’s work? I do know it’s significantly less than we used to.

According to Christopher Priest Captain America and Falcon lost lots of sales due to dissatisfaction with Sears’ storytelling, and from the story he tells it seems like Breevoort and Priest will be in no rush to work with him again. I think creators own words are a better indication of their satisfaction with his art, but what do I know?

And like Dan points out, YOU’RE the one who made this about Sears and projected some arguments onto us that we weren’t even making in the first place.

Omar Karindu, thanks for that.

Hate the gum-bumping e-whining sometimes.

Are you really that clueless or do you just really, really like unwitting irony?

Stephane Savoie

February 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm

I’m far more interested in the fact that he’d like to bring back the Impact characters. That would be… well, the greatest comics seen in years.
I’m serious.

I’m saying that the fans buying art are not responsible for what the artists draw. The artists are responsible for what the artists draw.

Ah, I see. At that very bare level, yes, artists are responsible for what they draw; if I draw something on a cocktail napkin, I’m responsible for it in the same sense. No one else cares about that scribble, but I’m responsible for it.

Artists are not, however, solely or even primarily responsible for the art being published, as I’ve said twice over in this discussion. And since that’s the only kin d of art I could imagine anyone caring enough about to get upset and post message board comments, I naively figured that the extra steps and factors between “drawing badly” and “drawing badly, having it published, and then selling the originals” might be relevant in some fashion.

Why, I even wackily assumed that since you were replying to Giffen’s statement, that I could point out why Giffen might not just be talking about bad artists who draw bad art badly!

But you’ve corrected my misimpression. Apparently your entire point is that someone who draws something badly is responsible for drawing it badly.

So sure, in an incredibly reductive, useless fashion, your point holds. Which means that you’ve made one so infinitesimal and insignificant that it constitutes a point only in the geometric sense of lacking all dimension.

Hey Omar, notice we have no access to information about how much work Sears DIDN’T get due to his habits? I mean, how often do you see the guy’s work? I do know it’s significantly less than we used to.

You’re right, T., I should have considered the absence of evidence as well as the evidence. Or not, since I like using the thing called logic.

The visible fact that Sears is still being hired — he’s got a series with Peter David running right now — trumps the absence of information about hires he didn’t get, because one is, you know, ACTUAL INFORMATION instead of grumpy speculation about facts none of us have. You can’t argue from a fact you don’t have, just from the facts you do. Since you seem to be resting on facts you don’t have…well, thanks for playing.

Did Sears’s art help wipe out that series? I don’t know for sure. But notice that Sears is still getting work. Seen a Priest comic lately? That speaks much to me regarding publishers’ attitudes regarding what caused the failure of that series. Those attitudes, and their reinforcement or at least apathetic treatment by the vast majority of the customer base, is more interesting and argubaly more of the reason bad art gets published than anything else.

And being that the Giffen comment you and Dan were responding to was about the stuff being published, not just whatever crimes against sequential art or whatnot can be laid on the doorstep of the artist, then yes, the customer part of the market for both periodicals and original art becomes something that must be considered.

Both of you seem to have decided to argue about something quite removed from what Giffen was saying; I pulled Sears in because someone else brought him into the thread and seemed a worthwhile and handy example from whcih to make my own points. This is all part of the wonderful thing called context, in which a post on a messageboard tends to be read in the “context” of other posts and comments on the same topic.

I guess I made the mistake of using context to read and reply to you; in the future I’ll be sure to assume you’re posting from T.’s House of Solipsism, where the motto is: No Outside Matters Need Apply.

“Giffen’s right, but it’s not just artists wanting to draw big splash pages because they sell better on the original art market, it’s also editors wanting big splash pages in the book because the less information you convey on a single page, the more issues you need to tell the story and the more likely it is that you can stretch a single story arc out to six issues (also known as, “writing for the trade.”) Warren Ellis’ run on the Authority, for example, could probably be compressed to three issues long, total.”

Yeah, I’m really sure it was the editors making him do that.

There are six-issue trades out there that aren’t decompressed. Hell, there are four-issue trades out there that aren’t decompressed. Decompressed stories with lots of splash pages keep getting made because the artists and writers who produce them are popular audience draws. And they’re popular audience draws because the audience (or at least enough of it) likes them.

You’re swinging a baseball bat at a strawman that burned down years ago.

Or not, since I like using the thing called logic.

You do? So what happened today?

Look Omar, obviously you have a real bug up your ass about this topic that’s clouding your judgment and making act like a really pissy little girl and see arguments that aren’t even being made. But if it bothers you so much to see people on the internet talking about whether original art negatively affects storytelling, here’s an idea….why not include Brian Cronin in your little meltdown since he;s the one who had the audacity to actually ask us to share our opinions on the matter?

And being that the Giffen comment you and Dan were responding to was about the stuff being published, not just whatever crimes against sequential art or whatnot can be laid on the doorstep of the artist, then yes, the customer part of the market for both periodicals and original art becomes something that must be considered.

Holy crap, all those windbagging pompous 5 dollar words to basically make an illogical point you could have made in half the words and still retained all the uselessness. Congrats Omar, you hold true to form.

We knew what Giffen’s point was. We were just disagreeing with him. Then you had your whiny over the top meltdown, which ironically enough outscreeched and outwhined the very behavior you were supposedly condeming.

How many comics fans actually buy original art anyway? I can’t imagine it’s a substantially large percentage.

Actually, you know what? This is embarrassing. A sincere apology to Brian and the rest of the board for getting caught up in all the cattiness and excess estrogen floating around. I’ll leave this topic alone and move on.

Nice to see you add misogyny to your repertoire there, T. In any case, you weren’t disagreeing with Giffen so much as with some bizarre strawman version of his point, one in which lousy pin-up shots are published solely because of the artist.

Giffen’s quite indisputably right: if the stuff didn’t sell, it wouldn’t be getting published in the first place, or wouldn’t be getting published for long. Nothing you’ve said in this thread so far survives that simple observation so far as I can tell.

Giffen’s right, but it’s not just artists wanting to draw big splash pages because they sell better on the original art market, it’s also editors wanting big splash pages in the book

Honestly, I think it’s simpler than that: Fans like pretty pictures, often more than they like coherent storytelling. It goes back (at least) to the Image days, when Lee, McFarlane, Liefeld et al could be counted on to fill books with pinups and splash pages everywhere, and those books sold like hotcakes.

[…] Do Original Art Sales Negatively Affect Storytelling? from Comics Should Be Good! […]

Because ALL the blame can only be put on ONE party.
Right.
You’re all wrong and it’s everyone’s fault (at least partially).
Sure, artists make choices that they’re responsible for, but those choices aren’t made in a vacuum, they also happen under writerly and editorial influence. I have no problem with the idea of fan’s maybe being able to skew the market a (humblingly little, I know) bit by staying away from the pinup crap when buying original art. I know I’d have no problem with that (had I the disposable cash), if only because I’d prefer a multi-panel plot-oriented page on my wall any day over that splash page crap. Maybe saying “no original art sales will save the abysmal current quality of comic art” may take it a bit far, but it’s a throw-away statement in an opinion column, obviously meant to provoke discussion, not to be taken as holy writ carved in stone.
People seem to be overreacting so much because they’re interpreting this as an accusation aimed at fans, and are getting all defensive over a triviality.

Personally, I think that comics should be all about what sells, and if full-page spreads that can be sold as originals and commissioned work are what sells, then that’s all that should be published.

A couple of years ago I realized that the best sellers are really the only thing worth talking about or exploring. I’ve been a lot happier since I gave up on independent comics, music, films, etc. Why should I eat at the new Indian restaurant downtown when there’s a Subway just down the road? Why should I read Ondaatje, Murakami or Eugenides when I can just grab the latest Grisham or King?

Seriously, people should just stop with all this “creativity”, “quality” and “artistic credibility” bullshit and just realize that it’s all about sales. People gots to get paid.

[quote=”T”]Look Omar, obviously you have a real bug up your ass about this topic that’s clouding your judgment and making act like a really pissy little girl and see arguments that aren’t even being made.[/quote]

[quote=”T”]…do you just really, really like unwitting irony?[/quote]

Okay.

Anyway, I don’t see what the huge conflict is here. “Vote with your dollar” has long been a mantra (if nothing else) of longtime comic fans when it comes to the quality of a title or the lack thereof. Why is there such a huge disconnect between that thinking and what Giffen is suggesting?

Add up all the letters in the cognomens “Apodaca” and “T” and the result is shorter than “Omar Karindu”. And,a s it happens, Omar’s posts have BURIED theirs, combined, in terms of sheer paragography. Reading a little too much into a little too little, O.K.?

“Anyway, I don’t see what the huge conflict is here. “Vote with your dollar” has long been a mantra (if nothing else) of longtime comic fans when it comes to the quality of a title or the lack thereof. Why is there such a huge disconnect between that thinking and what Giffen is suggesting?”

not a mind reder or anything but i think the irony he’s talking about is you holding up omar the biggest e-whiner in the discussion as some kind of warrior against e-whining. i thought (hoped) you were being sarcastic tho

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 5, 2008 at 11:23 pm

If an artist is laying out a page thinking about the sell on market, then he is being un-professional and unethical towards the publisher, who is paying him to do his best work on the book, and for the book.
If he doesn’t want to do that, then he shouldn’t tale the cheque.

If it is a true detriment, like the Sears pages someone showed earlier in the link, (argue all you want about Sears, but I found that page hard to follow) the editor should reject them.

Are fans feeding this habit of artists drawing for a sell on market? Yes.
Is it their fault? No.

It’s the artists for behaving unethically.
It’s the editors for not demanding more from the artist.
It’s also the publishers for not paying enough, or providing enough benefits, so that the sell on market has become worth more to the artist than the books work.

I think Giffen’s schtick for this column to blame it on readers, for problems that aren’t necessarily their faults.
Good idea too, upset people, get more hits of people coming to see what the fuss is.

I know a comic book artist who gets a sizable chunk of income from selling original artwork. From what he tells me, this isn’t uncommon. It’s not like your average artist can retire on comic book money, so any $$$ counts.

Since pin-up style artwork sells the best in that market, is there an incentive to work it in to as many pages as you can? Sure. Does that mean visual storytelling must necessarily suffer? I don’t see why.

Contrary to a previous poster, I don’t think The Authority suffered story/art-wise from the liberal use of “widescreen” style. Nor does Ultimates. Many artists might do it poorly, but it CAN be done well.

So if Giffen’s point is simply “selling original artwork leads to poor visual storytelling,” I don’t agree this has to be the case.

Dan (other Dan)

February 6, 2008 at 1:32 am

“Do Original Art Sales Negatively Affect Storytelling?”

Probably not with small press or self-published work, as I would think the overriding goal is to get the work out to the public.

You guys need a time out in the Snark Free Corner. Do I get cool points for finding three characters with their heads enlarged to ridiculous proportions?

Short answer to this is, depends on the artist.

I believe Omar is right (if he’s saying what I think), though he hasn’t been very concise.

It’s the free market guys. While I agree that we can’t lay all the blame at the customers’ feet and that artists and editors should take some responsibility for their product, they make it because people buy it.

If GE produces huge gas guzzlers, we blame them for the environmental damage they do. However, if customers stop buying their product and shift to a product (with lower emissions) from a competitor, GE will change their practice.

In reality though, I think Giffen is complaining about a problem where there is no problem. The free market ensures that there is something for everyone. If the majority want pin-up style art, then the majority of art will be such, but the demand for story-driven art ensures that such art continues to be produced. If most of the stuff the industry produces is crap, who cares? I can still buy stuff that pleases me, and so can all of you.

Michael said:

“Decompressed stories with lots of splash pages keep getting made because the artists and writers who produce them are popular audience draws.”

It’s true that there are a lot of popular writers who prefer to work in a decompressed style right now, but don’t take that to mean that there isn’t also editorial pressure to do so. John Byrne has been very vocal (yes, big surprise to some there) about his work on JLA, and about being told to add in splash pages and larger panels to “fluff” the story out to six issues. “Writing for the trade” is the choice of the editor, as well as the writer and the artist.

In terms of trends, I think Ellis was the first to get credit for bringing “widescreen” storytelling to mainstream American super-hero comics, which was combined with Bendis’ lotsa talk/ climactic action style and became “decompressed” storytelling. It went from the aberration to the norm in the early ’00s. I am pretty sure Marvel under Jemas made it a sort of mandate. I may be wrong, but looking at Johns’ Avengers, Jones’ Hulk, Morrison’s New X-Men, and vaguely remembering Johns saying something to that effect, I think it was the case.

Combined with ’90s pin-up junk, I think the trend towards more pictures/ less words hasn’t gone away since the early ’90s. Again, I think original art sales had something to do with storytelling erosion, but I think the above-mentioned trends had more to do with it.

Yay for Omar!

T hates girls and Oestregen

“By the way Brian………

It’s been said that the character ‘M’rissey’ in LSH #38 is named after a Legion superfan that passed away.

Can you find out if this is true?”

I’m not Brian, but I suppose it could have been a reference to late BNF Rich Morrissey. I associate him with Batman rather than the Legion, but who knows?

Regardless of everything else that’s gone on in this topic, I have to say that Sears’ art in Cap and the Falcon totally turned me off the series. But it’s possible I still wouldn’t have been into the story with a different artist on board.

Misogynist? Oh for real now…

viscous: “Regardless of everything else that’s gone on in this topic, I have to say that Sears’ art in Cap and the Falcon totally turned me off the series. But it’s possible I still wouldn’t have been into the story with a different artist on board.”

Hard to say, isn’t it, since Sears’ art made the story pretty incomprehensible? But hey, he got to sell dozens of pages with roided-up Caps and Falcons on them, so good for him.

And T’s not being misogynist so much as sexist with his girls/estrogen=trivial whining business.

Yeah, sorry, when you are comparing someone to a woman as a form of insult? Or castigating someone by stating they’re behaving as a grotesque stereotype of a woman? That’s classic, old-school, indefensible sexism.

It’s wrong and insulting to the forum, the topic, and everyone involved in the discussion. It’s also pathetic– nothing like resorting to ad hominem bullshit to admit your own argument’s fundamental weakness.

Yeah, sorry, when you are comparing someone to a woman as a form of insult? Or castigating someone by stating they’re behaving as a grotesque stereotype of a woman? That’s classic, old-school, indefensible sexism.

*sigh* I really was going to leave this alone, but the whole misogyny/sexism thing is something I want to address. It’s not an insult to women. There are different ways to handle conflict. Some ways are preferred by women. Some are associated with men. Women can be catty and a little more passive aggressive or snide when in conflict with each other. Women themselves admit to this. Men do macho tough guy posturing and physical threats and chest puffing. As a man I can admit to this. Neither gender is perfect and pointing out these truths is not an insult to men or women. This thread was classic cattiness and passive aggression at its worst, and it was ugly, and I got caught up in it. Cattiness is forgiveable in a woman, but it’s just extra ugly in a man, just like excessive fistfighting and machoness is extra ugly when done by a woman. I’m not exempting myself from the criticism. Sorry if that’s politically incorrect but it just is. I’m not apologizing for it or backpedaling. Just because someone else comes in snarky and catty doesn’t mean I had to respond in kind.

It’s wrong and insulting to the forum, the topic, and everyone involved in the discussion. It’s also pathetic– nothing like resorting to ad hominem bullshit to admit your own argument’s fundamental weakness.

Wait…THEN and ONLY then did the thread become wrong, insulting to the forum, the topic and everyone involved in the discussion? So you mean this thread was all about civility and respect of others’ opinions before comment #33 by T. dragged it down into ugliness? I suggest you reread it from the top and tell me again when the tone got lowered and when the personal insults to the forum and everyone involved in the discussion began. I’ll accept responsibility for keeping the tone of this thread in the gutter, and I expressed regret for that, but I am NOT taking the blame for dragging it there in the first place.

Uh, so… lemme get this straight. It’s not sexism to say that someone is being as catty as a woman, because ONLY women are catty and passive agressive and women can ONLY be catty and PA? Would you like to borrow a shovel? It might be slightly easier to dig that hole deeper with.

There’s a blog for PA notes out there on the internet, and the divide is, interestingly enough, actually in favour of the men when it comes to note leaving.

actually you’re right, i should have left out “passive aggressive” and just left in “cattiness.”

Wow T, do you even realize how incredibly insulting you are?! You have an extremely narrow and distorted view of gender roles and behaviors. Guess what, everything else you posted in this thread, whether it raises some good points or not, is completely obliterated by your ridiculously blatant sexism. And to quote Bob Herbert from one of his recent Op-Eds “Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life.” So thanks T, thanks for being yet another example of the rampant sexism by way of reaching for the cheap shot to defend a silly argument taking place in medium where many women already feel like outsiders.

Since I’m the ass who started this and kept tossing on gasoline, I’ll just say two things:

1) My sincerest apologies to T. and Dan Apodaca for being an asshole in this discussion.

2) My sincerest apologies to the rest of you for being an asshole in this discussion.

Let’s get back to talking about how and why Comics Should Be Good!

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