Glenn's Junk Chest

An assortment of Glenn's writings, photography, gaming resources, flash movies, and other creative output.


Monday, December 06, 2004

Comics: Open Letter to Scott Kurtz

Mr. Kurtz,

I've been looking at the PVP strip for Sunday. It bothers me, and it took me a little bit of thinking to clearly articulate why.

You often have Francis saying "gay" in response to things he doesn't like. I can live with it because he's a teenager in the gaming community and it can be construed to be fairly accurate representation of what this community can be like. I think it's a bad idea to include such a highly offensive characterization in a newspaper-targeted strip, but I can stand it.

Yesterday's strip wasn't like that.

This is a strip format you've used before. A convoluted organizational name that shortens to a funny acronym, which another character then points out. The problem is that this kind of convtrivance isn't produced by the characterization, it's produced by the strip's author. The hand of Scott Kurtz, if you will, is very apparently shining through the characters whenever this technique is used.

Put another way, when you have Francis say "gay", it's believable that the speech comes from Francis, and that Scott Kurtz doesn't really think it's OK to backhandedly insult a whole group of people just because he needs another synonym for "stupid". Because this strip is so contrived, it's clear that it's not Francis saying "homo", it's not Brent saying it, it's Scott Kurtz saying it.

If this were in a newspaper I read, I'd probably be demanding an apology, and possibly asking the newspaper to consider removing the strip. Since that isn't the case, I'm asking you directly. Please change or remove this strip, it's offensive, and it reflects badly on you.

Sincerely,

Glenn Loos-Austin

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