Back in March I did a comic about Tropic Thunder when the first teaser image was released and received some pretty harsh criticism for it.

Last Friday I did a comic about Pineapple Express partnered with a bit about annoying people in movie theaters and was criticized for that one, too.

When Tropic Thunder came around again and there were news reports of advocacy groups representing the mentally handicapped picketing the premiere (they object to the film’s repeated use of the word "retard"), I knew I was setting myself up to put my foot in my mouth once again. So I decided to beat my critics to the punch and have my characters silence me before they could.

I don’t feel like I’m kowtowing to the vocal minority by editing myself in this way. Truthfully, the reaction of these critics played only a very small role in my decision.

Basically, I decided that when it comes to matters of race, gender, disabilities or any other sensitive subject, I’m simply not intelligent enough to create comics that tackle the issues in a constructive way. Invariably, I am always left to explain myself and what the comics actually mean. And, frankly, I think I’m doing a piss-poor job representing myself to you, the audience.

I don’t consider myself to be racist, sexist or discriminatory in any way. I don’t harbor ANY ill will toward anyone because of superficial differences.

However, I will admit to being ignorant and not often understanding the complicated facets of a given issue. As a white guy in my 30’s, I’m not often forced to approach things any differently. I try to remain open to different points of view. But in my attempts to learn and eliminate my ignorance, I believe intent and context are shoved to side and what’s left is an irresponsible cartoonist left to explain himself to angry readers.

You have to understand the kind of guy I am. I’m not the kind of guy who seeks to offend anyone. I don’t get off on making people uncomfortable. And while I like to comment on controversy, I don’t like to be the center of it because that’s not the kind of attention I want to attract.

I know some of you will read this blog and think to yourself "What’s wrong with those comics? I thought they were funny!" If so, thank you. Sorry for wasting your time with this entry.

But, like I said, I’m starting to cultivate a reputation that is in conflict with who I really am and what I really feel as a person and I seek to reverse that course.

I want Theater Hopper to be a positive experience for everyone who reads it and I think I am setting up road blocks in regards to reaching that goal by making jokes that really have nothing to do with movies directly. So, moving forward, I think it’s best for me to stick to what I know and resist the temptation to make an easy joke that might end up offending someone unintentionally.

With that said, the controversy surrounding Tropic Thunder will not be enough to keep me from seeing it. But, at the same time, the controversy is not what attracts me to the film, either. As I perceive it, the movie is about the self-centeredness of actors and the bloated entitlement of big-budget Hollywood films and I think the subject matter is always ripe for parody. I feel sorry for anyone who might be legitimately offended by certain aspects of the film, but I’ve decided to reserve judgment and see the film first. That’s really the best I can do.

Moving on, I wanted to let you know that response to the donation drive for my crashed hard drive has been strong out of the gate and I want to thank everyone who has donated so far! Right now I’m trying to respond to the e-mails and get started on the initial batch of custom artwork. If I haven’t contacted you already, you’ll be hearing from me soon.

To help keep people up to date on our progress, I will be uploading a progress bar to the homepage with a rough estimate of the money we need to cover the data recovery process. With luck, I’ll be hearing from my representative at OnTrack Data Recovery today. So keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks again to those who have donated and for those of you who haven’t, click here to learn more about the drive and what your donation can get you. Custom art all around!

Even if you’re not able to meet the minimum donation amount for custom art, please consider other ways you can help spread the word. Link to Theater Hopper through forums, web sites and social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon or, buy advertising on the site or buy merchandise from our store. Every little bit helps!

If you have suggestions for other ways we can raise money, please e-mail me and let me know. I’m entertaining all ideas!

That about does it for me. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you here on Friday!

↓ Transcript
Man, can you believe the controversy surrounding Tropic Thunder?

First it was Robert Downey, Jr. in blackface, now it's the movie's use of the word "retards..."

Stop right there.

I'm doing this because I'm your friend.


Because every time you try to talk about something controversial, you sound like a damn fool!