Peace in our time: Scott McCloud, 'Penny Arcade' make nice

Mon, July 2nd, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

Note: Adult language in the following story.

As reported in the last two Comic Wires, comics creator and theorist Scott McCloud was taken to task in June by the creators of online comic strip "Penny Arcade" for his enthusiasm for not-ready-for-prime-time payment methods to support Web comics.

McCloud responded, and then the warring parties got on the phone and discussed things.

"Penny Arcade" writer Tycho posted his take on the conversation, saying essentially that the two talked over their differences and found them not nearly as large as first imagined.

"I must say, his willingness to employ the word 'Fuck' told me right off that this was a man I could trust. Reader response to Friday's thingy was profoundly, powerfully negative (which Scott even apologized for - can you believe that?), but it's important to note that there was considerable support to be had from many Web comic authors -- authors I can guarantee you read. If I had it to do over again, I would have let the strip speak for itself -- and then switched quickly to something innocuous, like wool. There is more than a reasonable chance that my news approach will be much softened, at least in the short term. Your responses were deft and had the weight of punishment, and I feel as though I have been taught a valuable lesson by a bloom of aluminum baseball bats. At the root of it, I misjudged the man. For his part, he says that he has not made himself as aware as he should of the way online comics are progressing -- and the ways they are endeavoring to support themselves. I wish I'd recorded it, I said some really funny stuff."

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