The webcomics blog about webcomics

Drama For Drama’s Sake

So Joey Manley has a new gig doing a gossip column at His current offering is on those who provoke shitstorms in the webcomics world. There’s a lot of congratulation and self-congratulation in the comments section if you scroll down.

Opposing viewpoint is being provided by Contestant #4, Scott Kurtz, which may well be gone by the time you read this, so here’s a selection of his best points:

I’m concerned about the people who have elected themselves as the ambassadors of the webcomics community….When given the opportunity to present our community to the world, why in the HELL would Joey decide to display us at our worst? The drama and infighting and petty bullshit that the best of us participate in all too often? Joey, that’s what you want the world to know about webcomics? What were you thinking, dude?

Look, I didn’t vote for any of these guys to be my representation or PR manager to the rest of the world. It really irks me how so many of them have just stepped up and taken ownership of that role. From the public displays of dirty laundry to the self-important internalization and faux critical review of the work that’s out there…it’s all making me sick to my stomach.

Can’t you guys just let the work speak for itself? Seriously. The comics are going to do a much better job than you guys ever could.

Seriously, when Scott Kurtz is calling for a calm, rational approach to head off the next flamewar, and making a hell of a lot of sense doing it, one of us is off his meds. Manley’s running a column on a site devoted to print comics; people reading it may have never read a webcomic before. If that’s the case, the first impression they may get is, “Hey, this webcomics thing is filled with the bile and backstabbing that I despise so much in the print comics world. Pass.” If you’re trying to make a living (or even server costs) off of a webcomic (and Manley is), this is probably not the way to go about it.

Webhead is a column about webcomics written by somebody who owns and runs a webcomics business.

That alone should tell you it isn’t meant to be taken seriously, and that it definitely isn’t journalism.

And if that doesn’t help, then the content should — “how to read webcomics on the toilet,” and “on the Internet, tentacle porn is free!” are the most recent two installments of the column. Nobody talks about those, though, because few in the webcomics world actually read them (the only installment that people in the webcomics world seem to have read is the one that’s on a topic that everybody in the webcomics world says that nobody cares about — weird, that).


Guess what?

The Webhead column?

It’s mostly meant to be funny.

And it is! That “drama” column, and all the sputtering, indignant, self-important denunciations of it that came along after, were the funniest things of all!



[…] At any rate, one thing I do find funny in all this: while Rosenberg was using manufactured drama to promote the site, one of the first articles published to the site by “Gary” (I really wish they had more info about the writers on the site. Last names, at least.) was criticizing Joey Manley for his lighthearted Webhead column about all the drama in webcomics. The concern was that pointing out all the drama would dissuade potential new readers from wanting anything to do with webcomics. Rosenberg knows the truth, though: nothing draws eyes like drama. I have no doubt that the webcomic links in that column got more clicks than those in any other column Joey has published yet. I hate that this is true, but my hating it doesn’t make it any less true. From a business standpoint, drama is priceless. […]

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