Schlock jumps ship

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Postby Howard Tayler on Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:52 pm

Wow. I'm not going to bother defending my actions to YOU anymore. You're spiteful and hateful and MEAN.

If you want to feel wronged, nothing I say is going to make that better. And apparently if I tell you that I feel perfectly justified in my actions, it'll only make you feel worse. Your question was not "how do you feel, Howard?" What you really said was "I hope you feel as bad as I do."

I don't. I'm sorry you feel bad, and it saddens me to see you bitter, but it's not my fault you feel that way.

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Postby Dr_Nick on Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:58 pm

Keenspot central is for gross pictures and flame wars :(
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Postby Howard Tayler on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:26 am

Dr_Nick wrote:Keenspot central is for gross pictures and flame wars :(


So give us a gross picture. That frowny face hardly qualifies. :-)
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Postby Dr_Nick on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:37 am

Howard Tayler wrote:
Dr_Nick wrote:Keenspot central is for gross pictures and flame wars :(


So give us a gross picture. That frowny face hardly qualifies. :-)


ok.

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Postby carsonfire on Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:10 am

The best thing to come out of this, actually, is to remind us that Keenspot is too often defined by powerful webcartoonists who for some reason hate our guts. We really need to find more ways of defining us ourselves to the rest of the internet.

You understand this, Howard, but guys like Tycho and Scott Kurtz seem not to. Keenspot isn't just some undefined blob on the web that's oppressing other webcartoonists. Keenspot is *us*. When they slap around Keenspot, they're slapping around Boxjam personally. They're slapping around Jamie Robertson personally. They're slapping around Thomas K Dye, Meredith Gran, Graveyard Greg, and Joe England one by one by one. And that end of it really, really stinks, and that's what fires up all these emotions.

This is what's called being a bully, and the webcomics community has it bad. If you have 10 readers and your neighbor has one, you seem to have carte blanche to amble over and poop on your neighbor's head. Not only do you get away with it, but your 10 readers acclaim you as a genius for the high intellectual content of your poop!

Personally, I do think that you should have put off Tycho a little while, but there's nothing to be done about that now. It was Tycho who pooped on us, not you. In a less vicious webcomics "community", you really *shouldn't* have had to worry about giving out that info.
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Postby Howard Tayler on Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:37 am

Gotta type fast. Leaving for Michigan in 20 minutes.

When I worked at Novell, it used to make me physically ill when our competition ran ads that wooed our customers away. I grew to despise Microsoft. I spent 10 years in that environment, and it wasn't until after I left in September that I managed to let all that go.

In fairness, Microsoft WAS hurting me. My Novell stock options never made me any real money, while MS employees were building grand homes in Issaquah. Still, I was taking it more personally than was healthy.

While I was with Keenspot, I felt the same way. I took every attack on Keenspot personally. Even when Scott Kurtz would couch his diatribes with statements like "I have nothing against Keenspot cartoonists, they deserve better, blah blah" it would raise my hackles.

I took it personally, even though unlike the situation at Novell I wasn't really losing money over it.

Somehow, since leaving Keenspot, I've forgotten that I felt that way. The passion I had for defending the brand has long since given way to a passion for making my OWN brand more successful.

Here's the view from the outside, where it's easier to be impartial.

1) The Keenspot brand matters less than you think. You're cartoonists, and you shouldn't be required to get your guts in a knot when the brand comes under fire.

2) If somebody says "All Keen comics suck, and they're only popular because blah blah blah" then you can unload on 'em with both barrels. NOW you can say that YOUR WORK is being attacked, and you have a right to defend yourself. Note, please, that Tycho did NOT say that.

3) If somebody attacks the Keenspot business model, Chris and Gav can get their guts knotted over the criticism, but you shouldn't. You should evaluate what's being said, and then decide whether or not this is something you can help Keenspot with.

So: Boxjam -- I forgive you for comparing me to anti-abortion acvitists who make murder possible. You were angry, and now I remember why.

Cars, Boxjam, and everybody else... RELAX. I really do think Keen can weather this. Chris seemed pretty serious when he emailed me about Adsense and making more money. If there are internal money problems at Keen, it sounds like he's anxious to fix them.

Oh, and if your sites start running Adsense ads, and you start making lots more money, I'll expect written apologies. Signed in blood. ;-)

--Howard
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Postby Kiwi on Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:27 am

Howard Tayler wrote:While I was with Keenspot, I felt the same way. I took every attack on Keenspot personally. Even when Scott Kurtz would couch his diatribes with statements like "I have nothing against Keenspot cartoonists, they deserve better, blah blah" it would raise my hackles.

I took it personally, even though unlike the situation at Novell I wasn't really losing money over it.

Somehow, since leaving Keenspot, I've forgotten that I felt that way. The passion I had for defending the brand has long since given way to a passion for making my OWN brand more successful.


If someone had told you to "relax" while you were on Keenspot, I'm not sure you would've taken it to heart. This sounds more like condescension than genuine advice, to be honest.

That said, I don't see anything wrong with telling people and letting word spread that money can be made elsewhere without the help of Keenspot. I've always thought it was silly to represent ourselves as a collective of artists, rather than a company that merely hosts comics. The webcomic community takes itself WAY too seriously, and egos are bruised every time business-related issues come up. And don't even MENTION actual comic-related criticism. :o

Anyway, just my two cents. Congrats on your success so far, Howard.
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Postby BoxJam on Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:54 am

Howard Tayler wrote:While I was with Keenspot, I felt the same way. I took every attack on Keenspot personally. Even when Scott Kurtz would couch his diatribes with statements like "I have nothing against Keenspot cartoonists, they deserve better, blah blah" it would raise my hackles.

I took it personally, even though unlike the situation at Novell I wasn't really losing money over it.
Wasn't it your wife who said you had to leave Keenspot now because Bobby Crosby was dragging your name through the mud? Was she off-base?

Howard Tayler wrote:So: Boxjam -- I forgive you for comparing me to anti-abortion acvitists who make murder possible.
Wow - thanks! Oh, wait, I never apologized. Weird.

Howard Tayler wrote:I'm not going to bother defending my actions to YOU anymore. You're spiteful and hateful and MEAN.
Congratulations. In 40 years, you're the first person who's successfully pegged me as the mean guy I really am.

My problem isn't that you told people how you're doing, nor that you're doing well. That's great, and honestly, I expected you'd do well. My problem with you isn't that Tycho crapped on us. My problem with you is that you have the internet equivalent of a shit-eating grin, because, oh well, I didn't say bad things about Keenspot and golly, it helped my stats!

You come across as not caring if Keenspot was hurt, because your wang was more important than Keenspot's image.

You're right, we don't have much of a brand, so there's not much of one to hurt. We're trying to have a brand, though, incompetent though we are. You know that very, very well. We're trying to be a stronger brand, we've always been the nice guys (in my view), and we get more jabs taken at us than all the other big comic strips and webcomic portals put together.

But I forgive you for not acknowledging that what Tycho did was unfair, because you wanted the hits more than you cared about the place that you're nothing but grateful for the leg up they gave you.
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Postby communist trees on Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:09 am

Not that my opinion makes one iota of difference, but from reading this thread, others similar, and various news articles from Penny Arcade, I have to say that I support your decision to leave, and I support your decision to inform others about how much better you are doing after having left. However, I do not support you manner of informing others. As everyone else has said, you had to know that the PA guys would portray this in a negative light. You could've made a much more tactful announcement through other channels, and it strikes me that, at best, you showed terrible judgement.
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Postby macclint on Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:20 am

However Howard handled the publicity of his leaving...,

..now the fab four are actually looking at better ways to promote Keen, which wasn't really happening when HT was here to any large degree. (Except for the free newspaper strips, of course)
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Postby Dr_Nick on Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:35 am

macclint wrote:However Howard handled the publicity of his leaving...,

..now the fab four are actually looking at better ways to promote Keen, which wasn't really happening when HT was here to any large degree. (Except for the free newspaper strips, of course)


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Postby Matt Wilson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:39 am

A couple of negative words about Keenspot don't hurt the cartoonists. What hurts the cartoonists is when they go out and make asses of themselves in public discourse and piss on someone's good fortune. I'll be offering shovels at discounted rates if anyone else wants to start digging a hole.
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Postby Kiwi on Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:47 am

Matt Wilson wrote:A couple of negative words about Keenspot don't hurt the cartoonists. What hurts the cartoonists is when they go out and make asses of themselves in public discourse and piss on someone's good fortune. I'll be offering shovels at discounted rates if anyone else wants to start digging a hole.


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Postby wrightc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:59 am

Which of the people in this thread do you think are pissing on Howard's good fortune? I've yet to read anyone do that. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to "win" an argument if you dissmiss your opponent's view as a byproduct of bitterness and jealousy, instead of actually dealing with and responding to what's being said. Yes, that can be a very effective tactic indeed...
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Postby Kazriko on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:10 am

BoxJam wrote:But I forgive you for not acknowledging that what Tycho did was unfair, because you wanted the hits more than you cared about the place that you're nothing but grateful for the leg up they gave you.


Schlock Mercenary. Right there in the title. I can respect that. :)
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Postby Matt Wilson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:15 am

wrightc wrote:Which of the people in this thread do you think are pissing on Howard's good fortune? I've yet to read anyone do that. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to "win" an argument if you dissmiss your opponent's view as a byproduct of bitterness and jealousy, instead of actually dealing with and responding to what's being said. Yes, that can be a very effective tactic indeed...

Looks like we have another casualty! How many more cartoonists will needlessly involve themselves in something that doesn't affect them in any way? People believing they've been personally attacked giving people a reason to personally attack them... welcome to Keenspot! DONT FUCK WITH TEXAS
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Postby Piratezim on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:18 am

keenspot is apparently one big streetgang, where every cartoonist is supposed to stand up for his homies and dance around on the streets like the jets.
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Postby wrightc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:18 am

See? *very* effective! All you have to do is keep replying like that through the entire thread, and you can't be beat!
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Postby Kiwi on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:19 am

Matt Wilson wrote:Looks like we have another casualty! How many more cartoonists will needlessly involve themselves in something that doesn't affect them in any way? People believing they've been personally attacked giving people a reason to personally attack them... welcome to Keenspot! DONT FUCK WITH TEXAS


I'll attack you, buddy. :x
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Postby Matt Wilson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:23 am

wrightc wrote:See? *very* effective! All you have to do is keep replying like that through the entire thread, and you can't be beat!

I don't feel it's necessary to draw a diagram to illustrate the EXTREMELY OBVIOUS POINTS I'M MAKING.
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Postby wrightc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:29 am

It's very obvious only if you assume that the only reason any of them could be angry with Howard is because he's successful.

It's also only obvious if you assume that the only reason someone might point that distinction out is because they agree with everything the other people said, and that they're angry with Howard because he's successful.

But because the world is actually a lot more complicated than that, I don't make those assumptions... and so I conclude that your "obvious" point is also an incorrect one.
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Postby Matt Wilson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:41 am

It's very obvious only if you assume that the only reason any of them could be angry with Howard is because he's successful.

This has nothing to do with Howard being successful. It's about Keenspot being 'attacked' and therefore cartoonists feel they're 'attacked' even though they're not at all, so they come out of the woodwork to publically embarass themselves by behaving like whiny jackasses, completely justifying future attacks against them!

They dig dig dig dig dig dig dig from early morn till night, to their grave, to their grave, TO THEIR GRAVE, TO THEIR GRAVE, WHERE A THOUSAND CAREERS.... LAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY


HEIGH HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


(note: i'm being exaggerative, noone ruins their career in these drama battles, they just look stupid for the whole world to see and by the whole world i mean 20 people)
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Postby wrightc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:55 am

Well Matt, that is something I'm a lot closer to agreeing with.

This has nothing to do with Howard being successful.


Well, OK... but I'd like to point out something you wrote in the original post I replied to:

What hurts the cartoonists is when they go out and make asses of themselves in public discourse and piss on someone's good fortune.


Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant, but that reads an awful lot like "the cartoonists are mad because Howard is successful, and they're lashing out."

If I misunderstood, I'll cheerfully apologize.
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Postby macclint on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:55 am

Dr_Nick wrote:
macclint wrote:However Howard handled the publicity of his leaving...,

..now the fab four are actually looking at better ways to promote Keen, which wasn't really happening when HT was here to any large degree. (Except for the free newspaper strips, of course)


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Postby Kazriko on Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:56 am

I went back and read the post, and Howard really said nothing bad about Keenspot. He merely used it as a baseline reference for ad revenue. Tycho only said a single bad thing about keenspot in the whole article, as kind of an opening jab.

Howard had been sending the information to various people including Gav and Chris according to what I've read here. That information is extremely handy to anyone who is looking to put some advertisement on their site without spending alot of time doing it and also as a possible conduit for both Keenspot and the Keenspot Cartoonists to increase their income by 50%.

Basically, Howard was handing out an icepick for various websites to break the ice between them and Google adsense. It's strange to me to blame Howard when one of the people he gave the icepick to turned around and jabbed it in Keenspot's ear in one brief line, then turned around and started spreading the icepick using their own massive distribution channel. Blame Tycho for his one little jab. Howard was trying to connect a world of web comics to an effective turnkey advertising setup. If it benefits his comic by being exposed to the same information distribution channel, hey, it's not "Schlock Philanthropist" you know.

BTW, wrightc. Love your comic. I've been following it since the old days when it was in the OS/2 Ezine. :)
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