Matt at Shocklines deleted my comment that the cover to Phobia magazine was ugly.  He said I was insulting the publication.  He also issued me a warning.


from: Shocklines to: cussedness subject: Re: Re: Re: Hello



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Coming onto someone’s thread where they’re proud about a publication and saying “that’s ugly. I would never buy it.” is disrespectful. It also doesn’t help the artist in know what you don’t like.

If don’t like something, offer constructive criticism. Again, you wouldn’t want someone to come on talking about your fiction and simply say “Your fiction sucks. I would never buy it.” You would want them to explain what they don’t like and why they don’t like it , while still being respectful of the work you put iinto it.

From: cussedness
Sent:July 17, 2008, 7:00 am

I don’t see that as an insult. I do think that it is ugly. That’s a subjective statement of opinion and was never intended as an insult. There was no name calling and no belittling there. Had I said that I thought it was “disgusting” as I have elsewhere, that would have been insulting. Ugly is a very mild word, Matt. Calling something ugly is not equivalent to putting up nazi images.

I think that much of what goes on is a matter of degree. There are far worse things going on on your board these days than one person seeing an image as ugly. Having done two semesters as an art major when I was younger, I could have ripped it apart inch by inch starting with contrast and composition. I have often felt that it is covers like this that account for the low sales figures of many horror novels and the current prejudice by the larger publishing industry against horror. But I chose not to go that far and let it become truly insulting.

By and large, low key covers sell better than covers like that one. You can see that by the types of covers that the majors are currently using for the horror novels they bring out.

From: Shocklines
Sent:July 17, 2008, 6:49 am

I’ve removed every post you’ve asked me to. But on the Phobia thread, you then not only posted a direct insult to a cover someone was posting that they were proud of, but then tried to derail the conversation.

It’s fine to not like the cover — but post your thoughts in a respectful manner that remembers that people put their time and love into it. You would want someone to treat your work the same, even if they didn’t like it. It’s okay not to like it – but always use respect when posting.

From: cussedness
Sent:July 16, 2008, 5:27 am

Matt, Philbin is using images to insult people. I find the Nazi image he posted to the Cognitive Dissonance thread to be personally offensive. My father’s family fled Nazi Germany when he was a boy because my grandmother was Jewish. Can you do something about this?