Friday, December 11, 2009

I Write Letters

Dear Scott Kurtz,

I’ve been a long time follower of your comic, PvP. In fact, it was one of the first 2 webcomics I read on a regular basis, and from you I discovered multiple other wonderful artists. I know you don’t know me from any other person in this world (I met you once, at Staple! in Austin, so for all it’s worth, you’ve never met me before) but it came as a punch in the gut to read your comic today.

You see Scott, I know you don’t know this about me, in fact most people don’t, but I’ve been raped. I have some dear friends of mine who have also been raped. In fact, 1 and 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been raped. It’s probable that a sizeable portion of your audience has been raped. Rape is horrifying. It’s often violent and sometimes humiliating. It can effect how people live the rest of their lives. You know what rape isn’t? It’s not anything like hearing bad music, not even if it was the most horrendous, ear-bleeding music you could possibly imagine.

And yes, I did catch that it was a reference to Deliverance. But your joke? Just wasn’t funny. Rape being used to describe anything that’s not actually rape? Is. Not. Funny. And the word itself? Also not funny. Spatula is a funny word; so is goiter. Hell, even banana can get a chuckle out of me in the right case. But I hear the word rape, and laughter is the last thing on my mind.

I’m not angry, Scott. I’m contemptuous that you have so little regard for your readers. I’m sure you won’t miss me as a reader of PvP, but I still felt I should tell you that I won’t be back, both because of this and because of your apparent support of a homophobic, bigoted company (Oh hello there eharmony ad at the bottom of the page!).

I hope your time in Austin goes well, and I sincerely hope that you realize the hurt you have caused to many of your readers.



  1. groggette,

    it's imnotemily from Shakesville.

    Here is what I emailed him this morning:

    First things first. I love PvP. I've been reading your comic for a few years now, and I remember clearly the glee when I first discovered it and read through the archive in one go. Your art is beautiful, your characters are compelling, and your storytelling is hilarious. So thank you.

    But I am emailing you about your current page (12/11/09), in which you show a review of Davis' music, where his album is compared to rape. Music can never, by definition, be anything like rape. To compare shitty music to rape is to completely diminish the violation and horror that is to be a victim of sexual assault. I am a sister, a daughter, and a friend to many women in my life who have been raped by men they trusted, and believe me, it is a great insult to the trauma they have gone through to make such a slight of their experiences. You can turn off shitty music, but you cannot stop the repercussions of someone violating your body, your sense of control, and your trust.

    I will continue to read your comic because I feel emotionally invested in your characters and their stories, but please reconsider not making rape jokes in the future.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    With admiration,


    ...granted, it doesn't have the gravity or elegance of what you wrote, but I think I got my message across. Perhaps I was too light on him in my letter. As I said on Shakesville, if he doesn't make a clear response that he understands what he did wrong, and will not do that in the future, I'm gone. This e-harmony thing (which I didn't notice) is another nail in the coffin.

  2. Your letter's great Emily. As far as e-harmony goes, I actually just happened to see the ad when I was looking on PvP for something else. It's part of a rotating ad spot so it was just pure luck that I happened to stumble upon it when I did.

  3. Update: Still haven't heard back, and I'm sure he's had time to respond since Austin. I might read through the Kringus story line, then call it quits.

    Le sigh. Farewell, Jade, Marcy, Skull, and Scratch.

  4. It's been more than a week, he still hasn't changed the "punchline" so I'm just going to stop checking.

  5. Yeah he never responded to me either. Oh well, now I just have more time for better comics. Yep, he sure showed me who's boss ;)