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Brooke McEldowney on why Pibgorn comments were removed

I reported earlier this week that GoComics.com removed the comment section for Brooke McEldowney’s Pibgorn and 9 Chickweed Lane. Brooke has posted on his blog two explanations: the first an explanation for the removal and the second his email response to those contacting him.

So, I objected and objected and objected as time went on and the tenor of posts became subject more and more to abuse. I wanted my work to appear as it did in the beginning, alone, without a raging public forum affixed to it. It was like looking at a work of art with the walls about it scrawled densely with graffiti.

Community Comments

#1 Stephen Beals
December/17/2010
@ 11:11 am

“Graffiti” is a perfect analogy.

#2 Ted Rall
December/17/2010
@ 12:30 pm

Brooke has a point. Unmoderated comments sections are a blight.

#3 Dan Olson
December/17/2010
@ 1:54 pm

It’s a shame that there are people who aren’t happy unless they’re offended and have to ruin it for everyone else.

#4 rodd perry
December/17/2010
@ 2:12 pm

“Thanks Brooke, for being the most entertaining personality on the comics page today”

(comment emended with sarcasm excised)

#5 rodd perry
December/17/2010
@ 3:07 pm

OK, apparently Joe called out the second panel in this strip for what it was:

http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/pib/2005/pib051126.gif

#6 Joe Minotaur
December/17/2010
@ 6:07 pm

Rodd,
Thank you for the invite! I can tell that you’ve visited my blog.
I’m sorry, but Comics.com asks for too much info to register. I also do not agree with some of their policies regarding contacting me by email.
Those of us who remain Brooke’s fans(myself included) have gathered at a web blog that was set up over a year ago. We respect Mr. McEldowney’s wishes to isolate his comics from those who wish to comment on them.
I hope that the issue of ownership of the comments will be addressed someday. Whether as a proffessional or amature/hobbiest, a commentor on a web site that invites the public to post there, should have some rights as long as the comments do not violate the terms of use.

#7 Mark_Tatulli
December/17/2010
@ 6:30 pm

In my experience, the best way to avoid negative comments from readers is to write and draw funny gags.

I can only image how Brooke must cringe at sharing the comics page with the rest of our plebeian scribblings. Truly, his strips belong on the Works of Art page.

#8 Joe Minotaur
December/17/2010
@ 7:09 pm

Mark,
Lio and Heart of the City have been on my must read daily list since I found them at Gocomics. From the comments that I’ve been seeing, I wonder if cartoonists spend much time reading each others’ comics and the comments they generate. Even Non Sequitur’s Wiley Miller wondered what the fuss was all about.

Rodd,
I am now on Facebook and have left a comment. Thank you for the invitation!

#9 Mark_Tatulli
December/17/2010
@ 7:24 pm

Dear Joe,

Make no mistake, comics is commerce. We are beholden to the readership. Without them, we are nothing. It is not a masturbatory activity, so to speak.

#10 Joe Minotaur
December/17/2010
@ 8:13 pm

Mark,
You don’t read manga, do you?
I would agree with you as far as cartoonists who are paid and contracted to provide their work to a syndicate or publishing group. Those who do so as a hobby, may hope that their work is recognised and gain enough fans to be self supporting through on site ads. Then there are those…
Those who comment may fall into the same catagories. Pros, editorial writers and paid bloggers, unpaid fans who comment because they like/dislike what they see, and those who comment just to see how many people they can offend and how quickly they can get kicked off a site.
All in the name of free speach.

#11 Mark_Tatulli
December/17/2010
@ 8:32 pm

I signed a contract with a syndicate, but my comics are for readers. Just like Brooke, believe it or not.

#12 Mike Peterson
December/18/2010
@ 4:40 am

I’ve never believed in the “don’t like it, don’t read it” approach to comics in print — bad comics take up real estate that could be used by good comics. But the web is infinite and there’s no reason to continue to slag a comic you don’t like, unless you are simply there to make trouble.

There are a few strips — read Josh to see examples — that, by their ham-handedness, seem to invite hecklers. And if the creators cared, all they’d need to do would be, for instance, to stop making every person with facial hair a villain. For my part, I find the continuous sniping of these snarky self-styled critics to be as tiresome and repetitive and derivative and unamusing as the flaws in the comics themselves, but then I don’t identify with the clever hipsters in beer commercials or the Jersey Shore crew, so what do I know?

In this particular case, it’s pretty clear to anyone who tries to pay attention that Brooke considers both Pibgorn and Chickweek to be a sort of performance art. The question is, does everything have to take place in a hockey arena? Could some of it happen in a concert hall?

The request for comment moderation was futile, because that’s just not how it works. But the request to turn off comments is within his rights as an artist. Especially since it could cost his strip some eyeballs. *shrug*

#13 Terry LaBan
December/18/2010
@ 4:52 pm

“It was like looking at a work of art with the walls about it scrawled densely with graffiti.”

What’s wrong with that? It’s worked pretty well for Banksy.

#14 mike weber (Fairportfan)
December/19/2010
@ 11:41 am

Brooke was entirely within his rights, and i can understand his position.

That said, a little more advance notice would have been appreciated, and, given his usual precisionist use of language, i really feel that he could have phrased his remarks a bit more felicitously.

THAT said, i have exchanged a few e-mails with Brooke (most recently about the vanished “Comments” section, and, unlike some (apparently), i have gotten no other impression than that he is an intelligent, well-spoken person.

Meanwhile, the trolls who attacked the “Pibgorn” comments section in such force are doubtless celebrating in their basements and under sundry bridges, having proved that (to their own satisfaction, at least) they have bigger sexual organs than the rest of us…

#15 Steve Skelton
December/19/2010
@ 7:30 pm

For me, the comments I receive on Gocomics keep me going. I have learned things from the people who read my strip everyday as well. I’m not syndicated, nor making much money with my strip at this time…… But the comments from those who are reading my strip are pretty invaluable.

#16 karen millens outlet
May/20/2013
@ 8:00 pm

Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

#17 wayne paul
July/10/2014
@ 6:20 pm

I think Brooks art work and thoughts are fantastic. People should stop finding fault and just enjoy the strips as are written and drawn.

#18 Joe Julian
January/20/2015
@ 3:23 pm

Once again Brooke is lazier than ever. He has subjected us to three days of his ramblings about prophet motive without bothering to draw any new material.
If I had any influence over him I would prefer his artwork over a diatribe.

#19 adam
February/8/2016
@ 4:58 pm

Once again Brooke is lazier than ever. He has subjected us to three days of his ramblings about prophet motive without bothering to draw any new material.
If I had any influence over him I would prefer his artwork over a diatribe.

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