September 20, 2017

Regrets, I’ve Got a few

I get a lot of e-mails – probably 98 percent of it positive. But once in a while, I do get complaints from people who’ve taken offense to a particular panel I’ve drawn. Sometimes I feel like they may have misinterpreted my comic’s intent. Other times I feel like they understood its intent perfectly but may just be too easily offended. And still other times after reading a reader’s e-mail and then re-reading my comic, I agree that I might have crossed the line. Today is the first time I’ve ever felt like I crossed the line without having it pointed out to me by my readers.

For that, I’d like to sincerely apologize. After looking at today’s comic from an objective standpoint, it’s clear to me that it’s in bad taste and I apologize to my readers and to the Carpenter family.

And to be clear, nobody has asked me to apologize – not my editors, nor the newspapers who carry my comic – at this point, I haven’t even received one single e-mail complaining about today’s panel (although it’s still early). Hindsight’s 20/20 and seeing today’s comic in print gave me more of an objective eye. Rarely (if ever) am I actually shocked at my own comic but seeing it in that perspective made me cringe. So just know that these are my unprompted words of regret.

Those familiar with my work know that my humor does tend to be a bit edgy at times but I do typically try to stay within the boundaries of good taste. Today it’s apparent to me that I didn’t do that and I’m sorry.

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    You've nothing to apologize for. The cartoon is very funny, and I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long, long time. All the humor-impaired fusspots crying about this comic would apparently rather read Marmaduke (wow, big dog) or the Lockhorns (I hate my spouse) or Garfield (Mondays suck) or something else "safe."

    And fercryinoutloud she died over a decade ago–close to TWO decades. You don't get to play the "too soon" card, guys.

    Funny comic. Thanks for the laughs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Jeff, very funny cartoon, and I don't feel it's in bad taste. Like he said, it's been a long time, it's not like it was a Michael Jackson joke.

  3. Suza says:

    If you go over to Go Comics, you'll see quite a few comments on that particular strip (mostly negative).

    http://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater/2009/10/05/

    I wasn't "offended," per se, but I did feel it crossed a line, given the way she died. It's nice to know you did feel you crossed the line.

    I enjoy your strip, but probably would have stopped reading if it had gone off in that direction too often (just because it wouldn't have been funny for me any more).

  4. Michael says:

    Scott – I realize it was six months ago, (I just discovered your work through being subscribed to Tim Whyatt's blog, and he also responded to the survey from the David Wasting Paper blog) but I agree with Jeff in that it's not offensive. I left an epistle on the GoComics comments for that cartoon with my reasoning that I won't repeat here, but you can read it if you like. It is critical of the cartoon in question, but not because of Karen Carpenter. I will definitely be following your work now that I know about it.

    Michael F.
    Wichita, KS

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