Barry’s answer: “When your server crashes.”

Well, that hasn’t happened — yet — but yesterday’s cartoon on the media/public discussion of the Chris Brown abuse of Rihanna might do it. So far about 5,000 hits for that cartoon alone have come from a growing list of referrals. Once again, a link from Barry started it off. Jezebel saw it and linked with approval (thanks to Leigh for the heads up.) E!Online has a referral link, but damned if I can find it. Sean Kleefeld has some very nice things to say:

Comics, on the other hand, have a greater permanence to them and give the viewer to digest the message. There’s a much greater capacity for substance. (Indeed, this is exactly what some critics have said is the greatest disappointment of the Watchmen movie compared to the comic.) Kevin Moore, I think, gets that and makes a very concerted effort to not dismiss the subject too casually. His concern is a completely valid one and, readers might note, that he doesn’t so much discuss the abuse itself as the media’s discussion of the abuse. It’s not a dissimilar approach to The Daily Show which spends at least as much time criticizing the media and their reporting as it does the subjects of their reports. Moore’s comic is criticism of the discussion.Which isn’t to say that’s not a valid subject! Just that he needn’t have worried so much about tackling domestic abuse as a subject since, effectively, he didn’t.

Which further leads me to wonder if domestic abuse itself is a subject that warrants more attention in comics.

Cool – I love a comics-based analysis. And, yes, comics — especially political comics — should take up subjects like domestic abuse that make us squirm. If that’s how we react, then there is probably an injustice lurking within our horror. Mind you, Kleefeld is right — I didn’t take on domestic violence directly; my “Daily Show” approach (nice insight, Sean) was a way to get some traction on the subject.

This seems to have worked. Tana Ganeva at AlterNet thinks the cartoon should be recommended reading for the show biz media, probably because she has seen the same maddening press coverage that drove me to draw the toon in the first place.

So far the reaction has been positive. Not a peep of reactionary misogynist NetSpeak — a relief, really, but surprising, cuz, damn, it’s Da Webz. No one has called me a “fag”! It’s like a new chapter in my life.

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