Comments are closed.
It wasn't an easy decision, and in total honesty one I'd rather not make, but comments on the comic have been disabled. A lot of you aren't going to like this. I don't like it either, the comments have been a source of inspiration and purpose for me more times than I could remember. It is, however, necessary.
This isn't the result of the comments during Book Four alone, but the comments during Book Four are indicative of the reasons that this change is needed. In fact, the decision to disable comments at the outset of Book Five was made almost three years ago. Why? Well, a long list of things led to this, but the original reason is still the biggest.
I'll try here not to spoil, but to explain. Much of the subject matter in the coming books of Pictures of You will be highly touchy, controversial, and deeply polarizing, far more than has been seen in the pages so far. It's become clearer over time, especially over the last year, that it will be impossible to stop some people from espousing hateful and hyperbolic opinions, in varying degrees, in the comments section, even from those with whom I agree in principle. In short, the internet has come to Pictures of You.
While, yes, it is unfair to penalize the majority of reasonable readers, it's also more than I can handle, for time-management and mental stability, to police the comments for such things. I can't explain the drag on my will it was to dread each comment for months, fearing what it would be. They were not all bad, and the encouragement and praise was there in abundance, and I don't mean to diminish that. Still, the praise for me is not worth the ugliness that was and will be expressed against and about others.
I should also mention that the impressions expressed in the comments about the story, malignant and benign, have coloured the impressions for other readers, and have indeed created some confusion about those events playing out on the pages. I saw some comments inventing plot points that didn't exist, others erasing points that did exist, and a handful of folks believing those errors. It's a long roll-out for these stories, details get forgotten over weeks and months, and I get that. I would rather, however, that those gaps not be filled by the false recollections of others. That will only connect the wrong dots. This may be a minor reason, but it's there.
Of course, there has been the suggestion of starting a forum. While I'm not against a fan-run forum, I don't have the time (or, really, the brain-space) to run a forum myself, which would almost certainly require even more effort and policing than the on-site comments.
While I'd rather not have to take this step, I don't believe the ability to comment on the pages is necessary to enjoy or appreciate the story of Pictures of You, as it does not affect the experience of reading a printed comic. I know some feel differently, and they should feel free to have the comment option on their sites.
There are still many ways to send your thoughts to me, via email, Facecult, and the Tweety, links to which are found easily on the site (as long as you turn off your adblocker, which you should do anyway because I make money that way.) I love getting emails, even the ones telling me how crap my work is. More often than not, I'll even write you back, but try to keep the dick pics to a minimum.
posted by Gibson Twist @ August 8th, 2013, 11:51 pm | 27 comments
Post A Comment
Djer (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 12:34 am
Can't say I didn't see this coming. The fallout over the last book especially was aggravating to watch, so much so that I stopped reading the comments. While I wouldn't mind a forum of some kind to talk about the comic, the sad fact is there are always going to be people who are angered by the characters actions, because they see themselves in them. At least this way, people can read the story and decide for themselves what is happening, rather than letting other people form their opinions for them. I know I'll continue reading until the bitter end.
(Edit: I did find a bit of amusement when I posted this comment, mainly from "Thank you for commenting on 'Comments are Closed'!")
youngcannibals, August 9th, 2013, 12:49 am
Just when I was going to start commenting again, too. And, like the above guest, I find it ironic that we can comment on the "Comments are closed" post. Anyway, dude, as always, I support you in this venture. I'll shoot you an email from time to time. Later, buddy.
AtypicalGuest (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 1:04 am
The time has come. Let the beginning of the end commence.
PS: if anyone does start a fan-run forum, please share the link here as I wouldn't mind checking it out (or joining).
Gibson Twist, August 9th, 2013, 1:13 am
I too find that closing comment amusing.
The comments on the News section will remain, at least as long as they don't become overrun with bigotry or hate.
If I find out about a fan forum, I'll make an announcement, for sure.
LeyLegbreaker (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 2:02 am
Too bad. I really partially enjoyed reading the comments of the readers as much as the comic, though of course when it got heated up, it wasn't as enjoyable but still fascinating to see how people react to things. I'm a bit sad to see that being taken away, but well...let the story continue.
The_Hankerchief, August 9th, 2013, 2:04 am
It's all good, Gibson, do what you think is best. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
XenoVega, August 9th, 2013, 2:05 am
I read around 15-20 webcomics regularly, and one major distinction I make is between those who have a comments section or a forum, and those who have none. The difference is huge - the comments give a whole new dimension to a website and the experience of following a story. In my opinion they are a must.
I understand your concern about ugly comments. If you don't have the time to censor them, MAKE A FORUM YOURSELF, and choose fans you trust to be moderators. If you can't let someone else moderate the original website comments (I don't know if that's convenient or not). Do NOT kill the community experience that a good webcomic can give through the comments section. Best regards and good luck.
Martine Votvik (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 3:06 am
Line up then
For people who desperatly want a Forum I suggest lining up to volunteer as moderators here so the people who are considdering making a fan forum can see who you are. It's a lot of work so only say so if you mean it.
jodie (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 6:09 am
as i read the news and let the events that happened sink in, the more i realize this is exactly something peter would do
mcjstar (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 8:41 am
I will miss being able to comment here, but I shall continue the read and support you Gibson. Carry on with the story!
Fyb, August 9th, 2013, 8:55 am
Sad to hear the comment section is closing, tough I understand your reason for doing so.
But since I probably won't have the chance to do so anymore, I will take this last occasion to tell you something very important to me Mr. Twist.
I love you.
Seriously, your work has been more than an inspiration to me. I came upon PoY during a very dark time in my life. I had just gotten dumped by a woman that had literraly turned my world upside down, a few months before our wedding. She was very much like Kara, both in looks and attitude (almost picture perfect actually, just a bit less tanned). My job sucked, my new appartment was small and gloomy, most of my friends where either far or more fucked up than I was, my sister had just moved to BC with her family (I was in Quebec City at the time) and I had learned that both my remaining grand-parents had alzheimer's. Anyways, to summarize, my life was a real clusterfuck at this time, and I spent a damn lot of time roaming the internet looking for something to relate to. At some point, I stumbled onto "Our Time in Eden", devoured the few pages done at the time, and wanting more checked out the "Also from Gibson" tab. Thus I ended up on the PoY page.
I was immediately drawn in. The characters, the setting, the story. This comic was one of the first sources of stability I got back at this point, the antics of Peter and the crew bringing a smile to my face every uptade after I had rushed trough the archive section.
So, this has been long enough, but in short, I wanted to thank you for having been such a huge part of my life at a critical moment, and still being there today. Hell, I even got the honor of being immortalized in those pages! Even without being able to comment anymore, know that I will follow this adventure to the end.
Godspeed Mr. Twist.
amiko_16, August 9th, 2013, 9:01 am
I was a bit upset at first, but can understand your reasoning after reading this.
Honestly, I stopped reading the comments a long time ago (which is why this caught me by surprise), but I stopped reading them *because* some of them just got way too intense, so I can see the need in disabling it altogether.
Anyway, I'll still be sticking around, stalking your comic in silence :D
Orfeo, August 9th, 2013, 11:52 am
I'm totally in to help with a forum! if anyone's working on it, you can reach my bookface at facebook.com/sonoforpheus
Mike J., August 9th, 2013, 12:28 pm
Comments Are Closed should totally be the name of a band in-story.
amy t (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 3:52 pm
Well I guess I should take this opportunity then to say THANK YOU. Your work is incredible and I hope that even when PoY is done that you continue with the same enthusiasm that I've seen throughout my reading. You rock.
pfmoi, August 9th, 2013, 4:12 pm
I entirely understand why you've done this, and I'll make sure to message you some way if I hit really interesting plot points and wish to comment. Thank you for continuing to make this comic, and do know that even though responding was trying for you, it has gained you at least one fan for life.
darkamnios, August 9th, 2013, 8:21 pm
Makes me a bit sad that we won't be able to comment on it, even though lately I haven't commented as much as I used to, but for what I gathered by some of the comments I saw, I can't say I am surprised by it.
Never the less, for me anyways, has always been about the story, so Im quite looking forward to what book 5 will bring.
Always a fan and an POY supporter,
Face (Guest), August 9th, 2013, 9:01 pm
OK guys, let's make it happen. Proboards looks pretty legit, has anyone ever used it?
Unless someone else is interested in taking charge, I'm happy to. Anyone have experience with this sort of thing?
VoxAngeles, August 11th, 2013, 10:44 am
I'm so sorry, Mr. Twist.
I'm really sorry that the comments section evolved into a medium of hate. Pictures of You is far too touching and evocative a work to have instigated such poor behavior.
Regardless, the decision to close comments will not in any way deter me from avidly anticipating each and every new page. You kick all kinds of ass, and the story has and will continue to mature to astounding sophistication in webcomics.
Thank you for a beautiful webcomic. Keep writing, Mr. Twist; we will certainly be reading.
Guest, August 12th, 2013, 5:58 pm
Heya Gibby. I love you, man. This comic is amazing and fuck the haters. Your integrity, strong boundaries, and eloquence in handling the negative commentors has exemplary. And I think this decision is exemplary too and I respect the hell out of it and you.
Shaz, August 14th, 2013, 2:56 am
I don't like this. I understand it, I do, and I'm not going to gripe & whine & say you shouldn't close comments, because I understand. I just don't like it. Of course, neither do YOU, but what must be done must be done.
It just makes me sad, because I won't be able to easily react to the comic. Yes, I could email you my emotional (frequently giddy) responses to the comic, but... eek. It's odd, but I'm frequently more comfortable posting even personal comments in a public space than in private. I'm just backwards.
So, anyway, if I never get to comment again- thank you, Gibson. I love the comic, and I appreciate everything you put into it. :)
Onyxlight, August 17th, 2013, 2:09 pm
I totally understand *hugs* sorry this has been so hard on you.
Looking forward to the next book in PoY
jodie (Guest), August 21st, 2013, 7:56 am
hi mr twist,
i keep coming back to read the comic and in current days i feel less and less enthusiastic to come back
i also keep up with a comic that, like yours, has an amazing story, a lot of plot twists, and a lot of readers, who post a lot of comments, which also sometimes turn into discussions
there are times the comic leads us to perceiving certain things about certain characters and certain storylines, but instead of paying attention to our comment banter the author uses the story, sometimes even days or weeks later, to eventually prove us wrong
i think the reason why i am moved to tell you this is it feels strange for me to encounter an author who publishes his work for the world to see and would rather block off his audience and their humanness just to present his piece
i can understand i guess that some people are more sensitive than others. maybe it was detrimental to your productivity to read various comments of various viewpoints. it just felt, and continues to feel, very 'cold' to me as a reader of your comic to switch us off from you (i do not wish to email for privacy reasons) and from the rest of the community reading your comic
i dont know if you'll understand where i'm coming from, i don't know if i fully understand your case either. this recent move however has made me less and less inclined to follow your work.
all the best in your future works
Gibson Twist, August 21st, 2013, 8:58 am
I understand where you're coming from, but I'm afraid I just don't agree. I would suggest that if your motivating reason for reading the work is to be able to comment on it publicly, that your interest might be more inclined to the public expression of your opinion than to reading the work.
I am curious what you think I would or even could do with the tiny amount of personal information revealed in an email address. I would point out that hundreds of people have given me that information, some even sending me photographs of themselves, and others sharing some incredibly personal parts of their lives. Still, I understand the suspicion online, it's a dark place out there.
Whatever your feelings are on the comic or lack of comments, whether you continue to read the comic or not, the best of luck to you, and to anyone else who feels the same. I am simply not guided by that, and I feel this is the best course for the larger portion of the audience.
LeyLegbreaker (Guest), December 18th, 2013, 1:52 am
I can't enjoy the comic as I did before, without the comments after all...it's been too much fun reading up on everyone's thoughts, and even though it went a bit out of hand, those are things one can overlook, no? It's like having a yummy toast with a slice of something yummy on top, but no toppings and nope, no butter either. Please give back the comments to the people!
Will (Guest), January 4th, 2014, 6:22 pm
New Reader; Adding Two Cents
Aw it's a bit of a shame to lose the sense of the wide readership your comic has but you're the author and I trust that you know best which way the story will take us! Thanks for sharing your great story with us and I hope you don't mind I'm posting my classic 'just started reading, you are amazing, this comic is so great' post here!
Gibson Twist, January 4th, 2014, 10:25 pm
Thanks, Will. I don't mind at all. Cheers, welcome to the adventure.
Post A Comment