Penny Arcade artist doubles down on attacking rape survivors
And then on Monday at PAX, in front of an audience of thousands, Krahulik told business manager Robert Khoo that he regretted pulling the Dickwolves merchandise from the Penny Arcade store — merchandise he had created as a “screw you” to rape survivors who had had the temerity to complain about a comic strip. While the audience burst into applause, Khoo nodded sagely and said that now they knew better; now they would just leave it and not engage.
Let’s be clear: Making the dickwolves t-shirts in the first place was engaging. So was Krahulik’s decision to draw dickwolves at PA’s make-a-strip demo at PAX and then put on a dickwolves t-shirt and wear it to a Penny Arcade event. These were not neutral choices. Nor, at this point, is the decision to attend, exhibit at, or cover PAX. There is no longer a clear line between uncomfortable silence and complicity — and more members of the gaming and comics communities are beginning to speak out.
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Cartoonist Rich Stevens of Diesel Sweeties reached out to WIRED when he heard we planned to report on the PAX incident. “It’s just so disappointing to see people I’ve known since we were all new and broke turn out to be such tone-deaf, old man bullies. He’s Rush Limbaugh with tattoos. I could get over the original comic if they’d just moved on or apologized, but they had to make merchandise out of rape just to poke back at people and then encourage fans to wear it to a convention that supposedly has pro-woman policies,” said Stevens.
“It’s like he never got the point of growing up having been bullied as a kid. You’re supposed to get older and not repeat it … I wish more people in our field would be open about this, but I think there is a lot of social and economic pressure not to be… I really want to let them know that not everyone in webcomics is scared to stand up to them.”
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