The webcomics blog about webcomics


On any other day, the newly-revealed poster for Scott Pilgrim vs The World (“An epic of epic epicness”) would get pride of place up top, but this isn’t any other day. This is the day (well, okay, last night) that John Keogh, after many teasers, has dropped the last Lucid TV on us, and it’s a masterpiece. Last one to leave Jim Belushi Memorial Hospitul, turn out the lights. And may I note that the flashing logo on the side of JBMH will always remind me of one of Chuck Jones’s better sight gags.

  • In other news, I’ve been meaning to mention this for a couple days now — Jim Zubkavich has been responsible for a lot of projects with his UDON Entertainment studiomates, and as of a week ago, that includes a new mini-series that is a) licensed from b) a fighting video game series that c) I’ve never played. I still enjoyed the hell out of it, because as Chris Sims rightly notes, You can never have too many ninjas.
  • Last up, a philosophical diversion. Anonymous (as you will see in a moment) writes:

    Hello Gary,

    So recently I’ve been trying to get under control the large (for me) amount of hits one would get when they google my name, for a couple of reasons, mostly being the fact that they were created during an adolescent time of my life (my adolescence) and would like them to be kind of, well, removed. With the internet being like an infinite attic that everyone can shuffle through I would like my presence to be something more conscious, if you know what I mean. Could you please take a few seconds out of your day and just delete my last name ([redacted] from [redacted]) from the post copied below? I would be most grateful!

    [link redacted]

    Thank you!

    This is actually a bit of a dilemma for me — while it would be trivially easy to remove one word from one post, we at Fleen have had a long history of not retroactively de-publishing content. No matter how stupid, abusive, or misinformed the content (and that’s from us; the comment threads can get downright evil), it stays up because it’s a record of what actually took place. Corrections have been logged, of course (very minor things like typos and bad punctuation without notice; more weighty things like rewordings or retractions via strikethrough), but no comment or posting has ever been taken down.

    There is one caveat to that last statement, actually. At the height of the Todd Goldman Shitstorm of Aught-Seven, with lawsuit threats a-flying, one poster contacted me with a request that a comment be deleted because he’d submitted it from work, and was afraid if the lawyerin’ got out of hand, his employer might terminate him. I did so, and he resubmitted the same comment from his home computer, so the net effect was zero (aside from the chill in the air that expressing an opinion can be dealt with so harshly).

    Anonymous’s request reminds me a lolt of the story of “Peter”, who legally changed his identity to get away from Google searches; I take it as a given that the words and works that we craft should be things we are willing to stand behind, but must we be tagged with associations forever? I also take it as a given that everybody — every. body. — was an idiot as a teenage for instance (you really can’t help it, what with the hormones and the brain not being all the way cooked). Anybody with a smidge of self-awareness looks back on those years and slowly shakes their head with a muttered comment thanking [insert thankable entity] that they aren’t like that anymore. Heck, I find the process of growing, changing, and maturing (kicking and screaming all the way) means that any random interval of the past, from last week to third grade, is likely to leave me wondering how I could be such a dick back then and I hope I’m not like that now. So the line about an adolescent time of my life rings true for me.

    Ultimately, the full identity of Anonymous isn’t part of the story — not like a more prominent figure would be. And while the no-depublishing rule was something I set in stone for myself when Fleen started in 2005, if we are to grow, change, and mature, then we must be willing to revisit our ironclad beliefs as situations and circumstances warrant. Request granted, and we’ll take such considerations under advisement in the future.

I had a similar situation on when someone asked that I change one of their posts slightly literally a year after it had been published. I took pretty much the same route you did.

I believe I have a responsibility to acknowledge every asinine thing I’ve ever posted, but that’s just me.

I believe your previous response to someone wanting their name obfuscated was “non-response”.

And whatever “crazy” things you did as a teenager, Gary–spray-painting a bridge on the interstate, whatever–they weren’t indexed into a database that a prospective employer could easily search, from the comforts of his/her home/office. You don’t understand, man!!!

That’s an interesting problem. I don’t know about you in the US, but in France after some time criminals can be entirely redeemed (that’s the closest translation I can think of; the term is “réhabilité”, but has nothing to do with rehab), i.e. forgotten, insofar that the old court sentence is not to be mentioned in connection with the person in publications or whatever anymore. This can lead to slightly weird situations: recently there was a trial of someone who had escaped justice for many years, for so long that her accomplices, who had been found and sentenced much faster, had actually been redeemed in the meantime, so when they came to testify in the recent trial newspapers could not mention their names or show their faces. I think it is a good rule; even though anyone could (even without the Internet!) browse some newspaper archives of the time of the first trial to find out the names of these people, it makes it as hard as possible to casually find out that information, and that’s the whole point. There have been talks on the application of this in the era of the Internet; for my part, I don’t think the responsibility of the application of this should fall on the content producers/managers, as it could prove way too complicated to manage the “expiration”, but on whoever indexes that content. Follow my glance. Of course, Google will have to know how old some piece of content is to do this, so some cooperation will be needed from the content producer, but that should be about it (not saying you were wrong to do this, of course, far from it! In the meantime, we get on however we can; but ultimately, the likes of Yahoo! will have to take responsibility for this).

(posting this with my full name and from work… I must be crazy!)

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