Update, Jan.14th — It’s been brought to my attention that this comic, especially panel 2, reads as aggressive and mean. That wasn’t on purpose! I’m honored to be a part of my friends’ special day, and have no intention of doing any of the things I’ve drawn in the comic. I really don’t have extreme views (beyond what you may think about Christianity) and nothing whatsoever against Americans or their country. Please read on for further commentary.
When I’ve portrayed myself as being an idiot, a jerk, or having extreme or offensive opinions, I’ve always done so with the assumption that people will “just know” that’s not who I try to be. The contrast between what I draw myself doing/saying and who I actually am is partly where the humour of these comics is intended to come from. I guess I’ve always thought people will get that extra context either from reading a lot of my site or knowing me personally, and it never worried me that anyone reading might not be from either camp. In my mind the reach and influence of Interesting Times is still very small.
So, when the complaint was raised about this comic, I didn’t see the issue. Since then I’ve talked it over with some other folks who encouraged me to look at it as someone who has never met me or read a line of my work. And in that sense I can see how things look bad. There’s not a wink, a grin, or a “just kidding” to be found in the actual comic and I can’t expect that readers will tack it on for me.
I don’t want to take the comic down, but I do want to talk about issues as they arise. And I’ll try and be more mindful of all this in the future. Of course, if you have comments on any of this, please share them!