How not to respond to criticism -

How not to respond to criticism


Update: Something we didn’t know at the time this strip ran was that it’s about to come to an end. As noted in comments, there’s some genuine anger in that strip – the anger of a son upset at the way his father’s work was mocked – that makes its tone more understandable.

Every morning I read The Comics Curmudgeon, where Josh Fruhlinger single-handedly maintains awareness of long-running, little-read comic strips by mocking them. Usually, when a strip responds to his mockery, it does so in a good-natured way that shows that they’re in on the joke (and that they appreciate the attention). And then there’s Crock, which gets some of the toughest criticism on the site. The author of the strip took notice and responded yesterday:

Now that’s just mean, and worse than mean, it’s ineffective – it confirms everything the blog has been saying about the strip’s lack of humour. If they’d punched back in a good-natured way, the way Jeff Keane of The Family Circus responded to the jabs from “Pearls Before Swine,” they’d wind up looking good. Instead they just look petty. Especially since the joke here – those bloggers just say mean things because they have no talent themselves – isn’t even fresh, let alone funny.

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How not to respond to criticism

  1. As a regular on the Curmudgeon, I maintain the minority view that this was an attempt at an affectionate swipe, hampered by the ability of the brain trust that continues to grind out Crock.


  2. I’m also a regular on Curmudgeon, and I’m going to support Kip on this. I’m pretty sure it was an attempt to join in on the fun of swiping at Josh, but missing the mark — sort of like an uncool kid trying to join in on round of “Yo Momma” insults by saying something like, “Well, yo Momma so dumb because she’s got an inoperable brain tumor.” Another problem, of course, is one you pointed out — nobody except for CC readers would get it, leaving the rest of Crock readers (there are other Crock readers, right?) sitting there shaking their heads in bafflement.

    No, wait. That must be their regular response, so maybe it just seemed like a normal Crock comic to them.

    I’m still giving Crock credit for trying, though.

  3. Initially I agreed completely. But now that word has come down that they are ending the strip (it has become too emotionally draining for them to continue their father/father-in-law’s work.) I see this past Sunday’s strip as truly angry (that Josh and the rest of us just didn’t understand the pain they were going through to continue to bring us a strip that almost everyone probably wishes they would have let die last year.) And that is just sad.

  4. There’s something really sad about the idea of a son struggling to live up to the legacy of his larger-than-life father, and failing, and admitting defeat. There’s something kind of hilarious that said legacy is Crock.

  5. MTE Daniel. And said much better than I did.