From the offset, understand that I am/was an avid reader of webcomics, particularly the likes of Penny Arcade and CAD. I would consider myself a fan, even though I haven’t read in a while, but that particular fact has lead me to missing out on the whole Dickwolves debacle.
To the point, I think both sides took the issue to much greater lengths than they needed to. On Penny Arcade’s side, the dismissive nature of the author’s response to fan complaints is disturbing and the perpetuation of the dark joke makes the fan base believe that it’s their official position to support and perpetual rape culture, even if this isn’t really the crux of who they are. It simply would have been better to be apologetic about it, and leave the comic as is.
This next part is a little tricky, so I’ll tired to be mindful and clear.
On the other side of the issue, what things can we make fun of? It is a serious question. Would we classify the abuse that Meg takes on Family Guy to be of the same offensive caliber as Dickwolves? There are children out there that are abused daily. Would we take the racial self depreciation of Carlos Mencia and Dave Chapelle as being overly racist? I sure some people do. But never within my culture (I think this me claiming my long inherent geekdom), have I seen something this troubling. I am glad there are movements against injustice in our culture, but I am wondering, how sensitive should we be?
So for my benefit, could someone please enlighten me? Was it really the comic or more the dismissive nature of the author that set people off? I’m trying to figure how a comic, using a fictional world, with even more so fictionalized antagonists became a talking point of the geek culture.
Edit: Currently, I am watching the numbers of the latest Humble Weekly bundle sale featuring Penny Arcade. Currently they are sitting at a little over 20k in bundles sold. I feel that number is a little telling and has some correlation to the continued controversy. Of course, I could be completely wrong, as both the books and the games have been out long enough for most stalwart fans to have already picked them up.