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"Listen close, Iris, 'cause here's a lesson obviously never taught you -- actions have consequences."
--Howard The Duck

That popping sound you hear is the last person willing to give Gareb Shamus the benefit of the doubt going away.

Shamus is no longer welcome in the comic book world.  Not by those of us in the trenches.  Not by The Bigs.

And now, not with anybody who has a single shred of dignity and respect for other people.

To understand what happened, I need to introduce you to Ryan Sohmer.  Sohmer is writer with his own art studio, Blind Ferret Productions.  He puts out a several times a week web comic he writes and hires others to draw called The Gutters that frequently satirizes people, companies, and trends in the comic book industry.  IMHO, it's nothing really special, it's just another web comic, and not particularly funny at that.

However, that is where my apathy ends.  Unlike douchebags like Peter Gallagher at Megatokyo who is simply amassing an army of sycophants to blindly buy his stuff and act as his personal army (like when they tried to zerg rush the web server hosting Scott Kurtz's PvP comic) and everything he does is simply made of FAIL, Sohmer is one of the greatest guys in web comics.  He may not be that great of a writer, but he's a great human being.  He gives people chances to expose their work and maybe get out of the trenches.  He gives advice and counsel to anyone who asks.  He's great to talk to and a lot of fun.  He has done more to explore earning a living on web comics than any cartoonist since J.D. "Iliad" Frasier, and just like Iliad, he will tell you everything he knows to do and avoid.

Sohmer is one of the good guys.

And he's not the one Shamus went after.

The Gutters recently did a strip slamming Shamus after his announcement that he was leaving Wizard World, Inc.  The strip in question was written by Sohmer and drawn by one Paul Southworth.  Southworth dabbles in comics, his 9 to 5 is in the art department at a major toy manufacturer because comics don't pay shit.  Shamus didn't think the cartoon was funny.  So what did Shamus do?

Shamus contacted Southworth's employer and tried to get him sacked.

Sohmer pulled down the cartoon.  The replacement cartoon was the same thing, just drawn by a different artist that Shamus couldn't threaten his livelihood.  (A little Google fu turns up the original, but I will not be posting it here.  Sohmer took it down to protect Southworth, and I refuse to do something Southworth might end up paying for.)  Sohmer also posted this on the strip's blog, and while he didn't name Shamus in it, it's pretty easy to connect the dots:

"Should you find yourself the subject matter of a Gutters page, and take offense to it, don't go after my artists. Should you be so offended that you attempt to get someone fired from their day job, don't be a coward.

"Come after me.

"My e-mail is Sohmer@blindferret.com, I will gladly provide you with my contact information, as well as that of our legal department.

"I take sole responsibility for every comic and news post on this site."


And here's a little advice for you, Shamus:  I've found that the easiest way to keep people from criticizing you as a bad person is to simply not do bad things.  From your agendas with Wizard to the subscription money fiasco to trying to get a guy fired for drawing a  cartoon that simply talked about things you did that are public knowledge and on the record, you have a lot of balls acting like you have principals and dignity now.  Go away.  Go far far away, and never darken humanity's doorstep ever again.

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