deantrippe asked: I guess for me it comes down to thinking that without context, it's wrong to summon the pitchforks and hate-brigades around a dude you don't know. I keep hearing from people who say they've only read a few of his comics, so they don't know him well. You brought up his interviews, which are all hilarious nonsense, just like the post we're talking about today. But people who don't know John, haven't read his work, and have limited context are calling for violence. But yeah. I'm really am biased.
I can easily imagine that if you see people telling your friend that he should be physically assaulted because of a joke he made (or a piece of art he put out) on the internet, you would not be in a super great mood, full of the milk of human kindness and the benefit of the doubt. That shit was awful. I went to look up some of the specific death threats and then remembered how terrible the #john campbell tag is right now and was unwilling to continue, but some of them were vividly violent and all of them were horrible.
But putting aside the calls for violence, which obviously it doesn’t matter how much context you have they’re not fucking okay, it’s not really as simple as “people who have only seen one or two comics” vs. “avid followers of John Campbell’s work”. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I’ve been following PFSC since its inception off-and-on, and I think I’ve read every comic he put up online. I enjoyed the photoset of his gallery show. I hadn’t sought out further art by him, though. I’m certainly someone who doesn’t know him, but I’m not someone who’s never read his work, and my limited context is… not really that unusual? I mean, this was a Kickstarter update for a book of Pictures for Sad Children comics. It’s not a stretch to assume that some of the people who Kickstarted it enjoyed his comics, but were not aware of his broader oeuvre as an artist, and I don’t think they should be mocked for misunderstanding his point.
I agree that concerted protest like the “get him pulled from TopatoCo” stuff should probably wait until you’re sure everything is on the level, and I profoundly agree that “I hope you die, I’m going to shit on your face” was a totally fucked up response. But much of the rage and sadness I saw last night was coming from long-time fans of PFSC, people who were saying that his comics had meant a lot to them, and who felt betrayed by someone they respected. I think the gap is between people who have read his work but who don’t and can’t know him. It may seem absolutely obvious to you that his satirical persona is the one you should default to in every circumstance, but all I can say is that a lot of the people I saw responding to him last night were long-time fans of his comic, and/or the usually very skeptical, and/or the usually very calm, and I think that’s evidence that it wasn’t as simple as it would naturally seem to you.