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Sunday, 10 November 2013
THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH...
Well, I see that Lew Stringer is still at it - presenting a little bit of 'truth' over on his blog in order to perpetuate a big lie. I had tried to downplay the situation because it all becomes rather tedious after a while, but his latest remark is a step too far. So, hopefully, once and for all, let me present the facts for those not in the know or anybody who has bought into his distortions.
What kind of man is Lew Stringer? Someone who is economical with the truth when it's expedient for him, which I proved when he insulted members of a comic forum of which he's a member, and then denied he had done so. He's also adept in the art of hypocrisy, and what follows is a perfect example of his double-standards.
On the aforesaid forum, someone revealed that ROGER The DODGER's dad had been restored to his original self after having been 'rejuvenated' for a short time. However (as usual), there was a catch: an artist whose style is, to say the least, controversial was now drawing the strip. I joked that it was akin to being told one's terminal illness was in remission, only to be run over and killed by a bus on the way out of the doctor's.
Black humour, sure enough, but it illustrated an irony - that even good news can ofttimes have its drawbacks. While eagerly commiserating with a BEANO colleague who had insulted me on the forum and then said that they could "all go and F**k themselves", Mr. Stringer condemned my remark as a 'sick joke'. "So what's wrong with that?" you ask. Well, this is the man responsible for a comic strip called SUICIDAL SYD, about a character who continually tries to kill himself. (An idea he 'borrowed' from the late, great, KEN REID apparently.) What? Suicide's a joking matter which is okay with him, but my remark is 'sick'? If that ain't hypocrisy, then nothing is.
How did this animosity between myself and Mr. Stringer originate? I'll tell you. While discussing a topic on his blog a few years back, he descended to insulting and mocking me in his responses. I won't lie to you - I immediately returned the 'compliment'. That should have been the end of it, but no, Mr. Stringer couldn't leave well enough alone. It was soon brought to my notice that whenever someone posted a comment on his blog which seemed to be in accord with my point of view on the matter discussed, he implied it was by me and poured scorn and derision upon my head.
Well, it had to be, didn't it? I'm the only person in the world who thinks as I do on any given subject. (That's sarcasm by the way.) He refrained from actually naming me, but having designated me as a 'troll' (apparently a term for someone who disagrees with him, in this particular case, me), it was clear to those who emailed to inform me what he was doing that he was alluding to myself. When I took a look, it was clear to me also.
I wasn't having it, so I addressed the matter on my blog. As he was using his to slyly attack me, I felt no qualms about using mine to robustly defend myself (as I am doing now). Any time I have ever published a post about Mr. Stringer, it has usually always been in response to remarks by him about me, either on his own blog or Twitter site, or those of others. If anyone ever criticised me, whether directly or indirectly, he was never slow to chip in with his own two cents worth on the matter.
And so to the present situation.
Being a fair-minded individual, I have, in the past, published dissenting opinions to my own on my blog, as long as they were polite. I have even, on occasion, published outright insults and hate mail to demonstrate that I do not shy away from confronting personal attacks. Recently, I have been subject to numerous emails hinting at destruction to my property and personal injury by some obsessed nutter who seems to imagine I'm quaking in my boots at the prospect. (Again, clearly someone who doesn't know me.)
They quickly became tedious, so I adopted a policy of deleting all anonymous emails unread. (I've recently removed the anonymous option from my blog to deprive them of their fun and to stop them wasting their time, because, clearly, they're unable to accept the fact that I don't actually read their drivel.) But hang on - if I don't read anonymous comments, how do I know they're from who I think they're from? Simple. They usually pick a particular post or two, and then bombard them with more emails than such posts would usually attract. Doubtless there is also some Spam contained therein, but that wouldn't account for the volume of comments.
Anyway, I know from the ones I had previously read that most of them emanate from the same people - no more than about two or three, four at the very most. From time to time, I would check the anonymous comments - three words in was usually enough to determine the nature of them, and most of them were consigned to oblivion. Now and again, there would be one or two that, although negative in tone, contained a point that I felt was worth addressing, so I'd publish them.
Such a thing happened recently in a post of mine, which brings us up to date. What follows is part of my response in the comments section to the situation, and addresses Lew Stringer's blog post in which, once again, he intersperses little bits of fact into one big lie. Never misses a trick to paint me in a bad light.
"In the interests of balance, I've often published comments on my blog which are less than favourable towards me, some of which have been referred to on this very post. However, it's now become obvious to me that it's the same few people time after time, which gives the impression to other readers not 'in the know' that the tide of opinion is not in my favour. That's not balance, that's imbalance.
Consequently, I have now deleted these comments and, since they would make no sense on their own - AND FOR NO OTHER REASON - I have also deleted my responses to them so that they are not read out of context.
(Later, despite me having clearly explained why the comments had been removed, Mr. Stringer tried to exploit my actions for his own ends. I therefore added the next paragraph to specifically address his insulting and unfounded insinuations.)
I should emphasise that, contrary to what Mr. Stringer is currently trying to suggest on his own blog, I have not removed these comments in order to conceal 'what happened' (I am well-aware that he has screen-grabs), but from now on I refuse to let people use this blog as a platform to insult me. If I publish such comments, I am accused (by thickos who don't know me, obviously) of trying to portray myself as some kind of 'victim', and when I remove them, I'm accused of trying to distort the facts. The commenter was not 'challenging' me, as Mr. Stringer suggests - he was just being bloody insulting.
To the few people who've emailed me asking about Lew Stringer's recent piece on his blog, it's my firm conviction that the man's entitled to voice his own opinion on his own blog.
However, I'd dispute his claim that I was taking a 'little pop' at him. I gave what I consider to be a reasonable assessment of three artists that someone else innocently mentioned, and I think my remarks were pretty fair and balanced.
My other comments were made in response to someone who was using Mr. Stringer as the yardstick by which to measure my place 'in the food chain', a view which he has often appeared to agree with when referring to those he regards as bitter and frustrated people on the 'periphery of comics'. Therefore, when I receive personal attacks from an 'anonymous' person using someone else's (or his own, for all I know) 'success' by which to measure my alleged 'failure', I feel entitled to point out an apparent flaw (clearly labelled as such) in his comparison. Especially when the person referred to has implied or stated (or agreed with) the same comparison numerous times before on various blogs & Twitter sites in the past. Therefore, putting his nose out of joint is hardly a concern of mine.
The strangest thing about his post is that in addressing the subject, he reveals a concern that anyone should ever perceive him as being anything less than the success he and his sycophants clearly think he is. And, to be fair, in a way, he has been. A 30 year career, even in an industry which appears to be on its last legs, is nothing to be sniffed at.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone who hasn't pursued the same career path as him is in any way a 'failure', which, inadvertently or not, is the impression that he and some of his supporters have often given in their attempts to dismiss the opinions of others, especially mine. Personally speaking, I find his current at- tempt at portraying himself as the meek and mild 'offended innocent' quite stomach-churning. He is well known for his arrogance elsewhere, so I'm not the only one who has a problem with him.
As for Mark Millar's appraisal of Mr. Stringer as 'the heir to Baxendale' - that's like saying Timmy Mallet is the heir to Robin Williams. Wee Markie's entitled to his opinion of course, but it should be remembered that he makes his living creating fantasy scenarios. I doubt there's much potential for a movie in this latest one 'though - and that's something on which Mr. Stringer and myself would appear to be in complete agreement. Wow! There's a first.
And no, the reasons for comparing the opinion of a successful Glasgow comics writer (in regard to Mr. Stringer's art) with that of a 'has-been letterer' from the same city didn't escape me. It's really rather obvious what he's implying."
So, the insults and my responses to them were removed for the reasons stated, and not to hide 'what happened', as Mr. Stringer slyly seeks to suggest. If I were trying to hide anything, I wouldn't have left my lengthy response addressing the matter and explaining the reasons for my actions, would I?
As for the sycophantic Peter Dunn, 'Gareth', and 'Datamouse' - total dobbers who know diddly-squat.
UPDATE (November 18th 2013): In light of Lew Stringer's latest provocative posturing on his blog, the following extracts from his Twitter exchanges should serve as a perfect example of his 'honesty and integrity' when it comes to his denial that he criticised the comics forum of which he is a member.
Beanomark, on August 6th, said: "I never EVER thought that comparing comics
to Cancer would ever be a thing. Like, what the F**K!?"
(It should be pointed out that I did no such thing, so that's a distortion for a start.)
Lew Stringer, on August 6th, replied: "And somehow you're painted as
the villain. It's all gone Bizzarro World over there. Sickening. I'm done with
(There it is, in black and white, spelling mistake included. If that's not criticism then I don't know what is.)
Beanomark, on August 7th, responded: " Just read it, they can all
go f**k themselves."
Lew Stringer continued, same day: "That certain troll they've embraced into the fold has a history of poisonous comments. They'll learn, hopefully."
To which BeanoMark replied, same day: "They're welcome to each other. F*ds."
Adding, in response to another, on August 8th: "Without adding fuel to their fire, Paul, it's supposed to be 'the' comics forum in the UK. *laughs sarcastically."
And there's more of the same, with Lew Stringer referring to me as "Trollboy" and generally disssing me. Note that he makes no attempt to correct Mark McIIMail's distortion (who, by his response, clearly regards LS's remark as a criticism of the forum), nor does he at any time try to disassociate himself in any way from the general tone of the conversation, exploiting the opportunity to get some kicks in at me. I really hope he's monitoring and gathering this 'evidence', because, seen in context, it verifies the truth of my claim. And remember, this is a person who has often used his own and other sites to describe me in the most unflattering (and inaccurate) of terms, so his cries of "foul" and attempts to portray himself as an innocent victim on this occasion show just how much 'honesty and integrity' he really has - none.