Mercury, Allison, Erik, Carolyn, sorry everyone's so sensitive. To those losing their shit over this, our town and our indie comics fest will be just fine. No, it's not a club meeting, it's a great show that people come from thousands of miles away to see, and this comic doesn't take away one bit of that. This strip is a roast, guys, and most of the Mercury's readers are probably hip enough to understand that. The Mercury has done a lot for the comics fest, and if they didn't do all of it with the proper awe and reverence, I'm sure you can go read some boring shit in the Willamette Week.
What an overboiling crock of self-important horseshit. Even as--or maybe especially as--a gigantic comics fan, I'm embarrassed that a small group of people who spend their time writing and/or drawing comics lack the ability to laugh at themselves. I mean, seriously, your genre is called COMICS.
Lastly, just because you've thrown some doodles into your stupid little emo diary doesn't make you a comic creator. Oh, Portland.
The comic shouldn't have been drawn "for nerds" or whatever dumb stereotype Stumptowns audience is perceived to be limited to. Considering this show hasn't had as much outward promotion (it seems to me) as in past years this was a prime attempt to get the word out to as many people as possible... preferably a large number of non-comics readers. This does the opposite and its one of the biggest pieces of media that non comics people/ the general portland population is going to see.
There are a LOT of people who work very hard through-out the year to come to this show (and others like) it to help make rent and food money. This isn't just a club meeting or a giant portland comics scene pat on the back... for some this show is a boost to their livelihood. It's their jobs... some spend real money and real time to invest in making the products they sell and in getting to attend. I don't think its out of bounds for many of them to want that to not be perceived as a just a gross joke or reduced to a stereotype in front of the largest potential audience they might have. Self depreciating humor is one thing... this doesn't have that. Its just dumb.
Throughout the last couple weeks I have been looking for a good reason to go to this year's Comic Fest (I have been to all but the first). Still no reason to go this year. Disappointing.
I put up a post about this whole kerfuffle: http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/Blogto…
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?
Calm down people. The comic was drawn by a nerd for nerds. If you don't understand self deprecating humor than perhaps you should stick with Family Circus.
Jeez guys, relax! I guess some people see vitriolic smearjobs in anything...
Stop taking yourself so seriously.
Wow, nerds have thin skin.
Jesus, if all the Mercury wanted to shit out a terrible comic about the Stumptown Comics Fest designed to alienate comic book professionals and potential attendees alike, I would've done it for free:
I've seen some claims online that it was the Mercury editor that forced Parker and Main's hand towards making the comic more mean-spirited than what it was originally supposed to be, but after seeing a few panels from the original version floating around online, it's obvious that it was Parker and Main's original intent to be hipper-than-thou mean-spirited jackasses from the start.
I'm the last goddamned person on the planet to think that the Stumptown Comics Fest should be treated with awed reverence, but this comic (when combined with this week's "OMG COMICS=NERDS DUR HUR" cover) was just a big mistake.
Over the past few years, I have seen the hard work of the festival organizers and every professional who takes part in this show turn it from a tiny local weekend 'fest into a show nationally recognized in the national comics community as one of the best of the year. It is a show I personally spend weeks preparing for, because it is my hometown showcase of both immense talent and the goodwill of the community. When a self-aggrandizing, pointless attack comes from within, as in this case, and is then given the singular chance to disseminate that nastiness to the entire town via the Mercury only days before the show, it is a mind-boggling and hurtful event. Though I don't know Mr. Parker, I have known Ms. Main for years and never imagined such vitriol lurked under the surface, aimed at the very community of people who have embraced her as one of their own. This incoherent mess fell far short of its target of "loving parody" and went straight into a cess-slinging smearjob.
What a disappointment. If this was the "tempered" and "less mean-spirited" version, I'd hate to see the original. This was ugly, both in execution and in spirit.
This sort of thing seems to be epidemic in media coverage of pop culture conventions. The inaugural year of a sci-fi and anime convention in Madison, WI, the local rag (technically the "newspaper of record" for the entire state) published a terribly drawn comic above the fold that insinuated similar things, and included what we could only assume was a furry standing in the background of one panel. Making fun of nerds is good copy, I guess.
That the Mercury has been otherwise supportive of the comics fest is part of what makes this so bewildering. It's the tonal equivalent of yelling "Fuck you!" in the middle of an otherwise friendly conversation.
Hey Alison, I just wanted to say that I really have appreciated how supportive of comics and the Fest that the Mercury has been in the past. Please don't take it too personally that people are lashing out at the vessel (your paper) because they're offended by the content (that piece of trash comic). Please do keep up the good work and know that it really is appreciated, even if people have been riled up because of one turd. (Oh, and maybe don't bring back this particular "creative" team in the future ;)
From Ms. Main's Facebook: "Don't even get me started on the friction. They can cry themselves to the "bank for babies" for all I care. Yes, You heard me right."
Really? That's the angle you're choosing? Many of these people who were subject to a beating in the comic are my friends, and ALL of them treat Stumptown as one of the biggest moments of the year to display their hard work and achievements in what they do. It doesn't help having such a mindless attack published to our fair city. Not sure who should take the blame, but whoever does should be ashamed of themselves. That was a mindless sucker punch.
@ Paul, and everyone else who has decided the Merc is anti-Stumptown:
Our entire books section is devoted to comics this week. (It was last week, too—and I'm just about positive we run more comics coverage throughout the year than any other local paper.) And while you might object to the cover, it was commissioned and conceived by an artist appearing at Stumptown (as was the feature, for that matter). We also listed Stumptown as a pick in our My, What a Busy Week! section, and we've covered it every year since it began. If you don't like the comic, you don't like the comic—but that hardly constitutes grounds for concluding that the Mercury has a bias against Stumptown.
Also, I'm not sure what original drafts Carol posted on her Facebook page, but our #1 concern about their first draft was its mean-spiritedness. The final draft was tempered considerably.
C'mon. It IS a nerd-prom. For losers.
Meh, I'm going anyway.
This doesn't read as an "in-joke." It would have to contain something funny in order for it to be a joke.
A video for Bridgetown Comedy:
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