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Kel McDonald: The Untold Story

Jul. 22nd, 2008 | 10:31 pm

Since kellhound1365 has decided to not only disparage me publicly but to lie about it, I feel no more need to hide behind masks of protecting the identities of the not-so innocent.

In April of this year, Kel McDonald of Sorcery 101 (a webcomic), got in a heated discussion on the board (dannysdomain) with me over donations, and personally attacked me, She called me worthless and waste of life because I gave criticism, work a minimum wage job, and did not donate to her comic. Although I admit I was not "polite" in my response, not once did I call Kel or anyone else a nasty name in reply, and I did not condemn her work (In fact, I gave several positive remarks to balance my negative ones). Kel McDonald then deleted the whole exchange, even when I caught her in a few inconsistencies (for instance, how she wrote Rebecca would stay punished because I complained about it, then wrote a few moments later that the whole story of Sorcery 101 was planned out years ago and nothing would change it). She then warned me for attacking her multiple times, but stated that I could discuss the issue with her privately, just not on her community.

Please note, that I did not say or imply she was an unskilled artist (she's not), or anything of that nature in her community. I did state she was being inconsistent by citing very specific examples as evidence. I also stated that find it hard to believe her claim that multitudes spontaneously offered her money for no reason from her first strip and she felt compelled to give a donation button in response to the overwhelming generosity she received the first weeks she updated. Given that most comics have to work for their bases, I am still skeptical of that claim, even though I did admit in the next sentence I could not prove it did not happen. Somehow, being skeptical is an attack.

Still, I reflected on the situation, and I thought I would come back to the community, but only to discuss the comic itself. Then Kel started insulting me inexplicably and encouraged her members join in (I've since been called a troll and a monkey even after I expressed positive comments about her work). I wanted to see what I was doing wrong, because I can't fathom what would trigger this response. Since Kel has even stated publicly that loves random AIMs, so I chose that method to talk to her.

Kel, this is Nangbaby. I just wanted to warn you so you didn't think some random person was sending you an instant message for no reason.

I just wanted to say that I was extremely hurt by your comments as of late, but maybe I misunderstood them. Since you mention you love IMs from fans, I just wanted to know if we could use this method of communication to keep the boards clean.

I know you may not be able to respond right now, so I hope in the future you can return my message. I hope we can be adults about this and not dismiss each other needlessly.

She did not reply, either then or later. Instead, the ban is her response. Never mind that I had not even posted anything in Sorcery 101 for several days at this point. I find it incomprehensible how it was communicated that I could discuss matters off the board, and once I begin a discussion in that manner, it is used as an excuse to ban me.

Personally, if someone bans me if I broke a rule in existence I can't complain, but I am infuriated by the "I'm banning you because I don't like you" attitude. Sure, a person can act in that fashion, but that's not a mature way to handle criticism. It is also contradictory given that Kel McDonald wrote (in the deleted conversation) that she did not ban people because she didn't like them, as that would not be professional. More importantly, after I reached out to her and tried to be respectful, she decided to take action against me specif ally for reaching out to her. Note how the notification that I was banned did not come in the original comment or as a response to anything I wrote in either community, but as a communal decision. (This is very strong evidence my instant message was passed around, despite me receiving the silent treatment for my message.)

If what I did was so self-evidently wrong, why did Kel feel the need to not only to ban me, but to delete all evidence (even her own replies and posts) of what I supposedly did to deserve such a banning? In fact, she and others bragged she would ignore my words from the point of the initial argument, provided that I did not break any of the six rules. Still, I was banned for writing "negative" things such as this...

As far as the art is concerned, though, the pages you have drawn make an excellent counter-argument against mine, as they are fantastic. One of the things that bugged me about the early comics was that I initially couldn't tell upon first reading if it were day or night based on visuals. Still, the black and white art did have its charm, and it took a while for your coloring skills and general layout abilities to get to the level where it could tell the story without losing the charm. I also like how you removed the pointed teeth from Rebecca's...reverse silhouette thingy. For a long time, I thought she actually did have fangs.


You condensed the dialogue and took out a lot of the jokes. Although I miss the humor, I can understand why it was done -- the early comic was a bit too heavy on humor compared to what came later on. I am also glad you took out the blatant exposition. Better to let us learn more about Sorcery 101's world by looking at it than by telling it.


I might complain a lot, but so far this arc is something I would like to see, instead of the idea of adventure for adventure's sake. While I know Danny will never do the things that I'd like him to do, I do hope that he does realize that his lifestyle is at odds with his personal life far more than a mere inconvenience and seriously re-evaluates his life.
And, despite my initial quibbles, I like Strange Someone a lot better than Sorcery 101 in terms of writing, even though I prefer the art in Sorcery 101.

Finally, in Strange Someone...

This may seem odd coming from me, but I do genuinely wish Mia well in her new job, despite not knowing her well.

Sometimes, real life takes precedence, I'd much rather see someone recognize that and step back than try to burn themselves out and try to do too many things.

I also admit that I love the democratic approach you are taking toward Strange Someone's future, and I applaud you for your efforts with this comic. Since the comic is still "young," then I'm glad to actually see it evolve, growing pains and all.

You can actually look the posts up to see that these excerpts are not unrepresentative samples. But given that Kel has decided to not let me give her compliments, that's fine, but I do have this to say to Ms. McDonald for disrespecting and defaming me in such as childish fashion.

Kel, until you started calling me names and stating that I was a worthless fan because I did not donate to your business, I actually did think highly of you. The fact that you decided to say I attacked you when I disagreed with you is appalling. The fact that you admitted that you did not like people who did not give you money is the embodiment of the very arrogance that I rail against.

Just keep ignoring me. That's what I want. If no one reads this, then all the better. Don't respond either here or on Sorcery 101's various forums, or have your subordinates come after me. But I won't let anyone forget that you said that people who don't pay for your comic shouldn't ever give criticism and implied that anyone who did not donate was stealing from your "store" and "business." Sorry, but despite your talent, I now have a very low opinion of you. In my opinion, you are an unprofessional, extremely rude, and dismissive artist who cannot stand being told "This is fine, but this could be done better." Since you have shown me no respect with your belittling tone and actions, I have no respect for a conceited and stubborn woman such as yourself.

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Comments {7}

brandon johnson

from: piratezim
date: Mar. 15th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)

maybe she banned you for being annoying and whiny? also your criticism is worthless.

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Gather around, folks...

from: nangbaby
date: Mar. 15th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)

Why look. Someone replied to a two-year old post. How cute?

And they say I'm obsessed.

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from: nangbaby
date: Mar. 15th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)

I will admit my first reply was a bit dismissive and I apologize. I reflexively seized the opportunity to be unpleasant instead of pointing out that your comment precisely reflects and reinforces my entire rant. Since you did think of me enough to reply, even with a flame, I am obligated to entertain your words before showing why your comment is both misguided and foolish.

At the time, there was no rule about being "annoying" or "whiny." The problem with those qualities are that they are very subjective and open to interpretation. Spamming is bothersome, but spamming can be fairly easily defined. Insulting people directly (you know, calling them "annoying" or something like that) is an attack. But disliking and disagreeing with someone is not reasonable basis for trying to censor them. It's immature and childish, and is a reflection of one's character. An artist who expresses himself or herself who goes and restricts that rights of others to comment on their work is being hypocritical. I am not saying it's not her right, but I am saying it's not right to only listen to what you want to hear. And it is certainly not her right to lie and call cry a criticism, an opinion, or a complaint an "attack."

Plus, if a reader's criticism is worthless (again, a very poor position for ANY artist to take), why would you feel the need to legitimize it by denying it. You could simply not listen to it. After all, I've stopped reading Sorcery 101 a long time ago. I don't need to block the site. Apparently, merely ignoring or dismissing it through passive action isn't enough for her. Given my relative unimportance, I fail to see how I could be such a threat to her ego that it would warrant the censorship treatment. Maybe the truth hurts...

I must praise you for one thing. At least unlike the other fools I've dealt with, you've at least shown yourself. It's a shame, though, that you only reply to the entries which allude to or directly mention Ms. McDonald. Unlike Kel, I won't ban you. I would just encourage that you read my other entries, and feel free to disagree, not matter how "annoying" your attacks may be.

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brandon johnson

Re: Actually...

from: piratezim
date: Mar. 15th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)

so if I reply to a two year old post that you've been whining (bragging?) about, repeatedly, that's obsessive? And the other strange thing is that the reason given for your ban, in the post you linked, wasn't that you were being critical, its that attitude was combative, and from what I can tell from my in-depth research, you would criticize the artist, and not the art, which if you've taken any sufficiently advanced language course, would qualify as an ad hominem fallacy.

We see more logical fallacies when you imply that I said that all readers' criticism was worthless, I didn't. I said that YOUR criticism was worthless. Merely from the examples you've provided, all that's given is vapid complaints and backhanded compliments. But since the actual substance of your "criticisms" wasn't the reason for the ban, but rather, the tone, lets return to that.

These criticism have a tone of, among other things, superiority. This can be rather insulting to a real artist, since you have no pathos, considering the most artistic thing I have seen credited to you is a few youtubes where you glue a few midis together. Apparently Kel wasn't the only one who thought your tone was terrible, because there were not many clamors for your unbanning in that post you linked. And if multiple users find your behavior irritating I think that can objectively be classified as "annoying." And as we've seen from your two year grudge, you certainly are whiny.

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Where do I begin?

from: nangbaby
date: Mar. 16th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)

I have to break this up into two posts.

First of all, if you reply to a two-year old post of mine negatively solely to get in a dig at me (since you have not yet begun to discuss the matter at hand), then yes, that is obsessive. The only other time you replied to my journal you disagreed with me It doesn't matter how much or little I advertise any of my posts. You chose to come here and reply both then and now. Given that you have not so far attempted to disagree on this matter without resorting to name calling or belittling, and your previous replies which establish your persistence, this is evidence of an overreaching, unreasonable desire of you to not grant me any legitimacy, respect, or good will. Generally, people don't respond so negatively over such a long period of time to someone whom they merely disagree with, let alone call them names because they disagree with them.

However, since you mentioned that I advertised my post, I wonder how you found it in the first place. Given that I have only posted about this matter on my LiveJournal, my Twitter account, and maybe one or two other places, you would actually have to go out of the way. I only have 80 something Twitter followers, and only a handful of LiveJournal friends. You do not appear to be a regular reader of those things, so unless you were looking for me (obsession) or for Kel McDonald (another possible obsession), you would have to have come across my post by chance, which makes the number of times I mentioned the original post even more irrelevant. But could you please list where I advertised this post aside from a few recent Twitter posts or at most three or four mentions on my LiveJournal over a two year period? If I've been whining about it for all of these many months as you indicate, I'd like to know where as it must mean my memory is failing me. If there has been a grudge, then I'd like to see the constant stream actions taken against Kel.

I do not deny that my attitude was combative in the discussion posts surrounding donation. I don't deny that my attitude toward you (and her) is combative now. In both instances. I've been attacked, and I do not back away from a verbal jab. However, in the excerpts I have provided, how many instances of truculence toward Kel have I shown prior to the original LJ entry? I've shown plenty toward the characters, but that was explicitly allowed by the rules. How were any of the excerpts of what I provided "combative?"

Putting aside the question, though, the next part of what you wrote unsettles me.

"...you would criticize the artist, and not the art, which if you've taken any sufficiently advanced language course, would qualify as an ad hominem fallacy."

Criticizing an artist is not an attack against the person. In fact, being critical of anyone regardless of profession is not an attack against the person. Criticizing someone is judging someone, and in the connotation you have used it it's judging someone negatively. An attack, on the other hand, is a label, an insult, a characteristic which is attached to a person. There is a very big and important difference. To equate criticism with an attack is intellectually dishonest and suggests that negative judgments themselves are fallacious and without merit. Again, that is a childish worldview. It's negative so therefore it can be dismissed.

Also, a form of ad hominem is an attack against a person, but the fallacy comes into play when the attack is used to devalue the person's position in lieu of an examination of their argument. For instance, you are labeling me as "annoying" and using that label and other circumstantial evidence (the content of my YouTube videos, for instance), to suggest that my words are worthless. On the other hand, the point of my post is that Kel McDonald was being inconsistent and childish in an attempt to defame me, and I tried to demonstrate why with both evidence and explanation. (Note, since she deleted many of the posts in question, much of what I wrote is, sadly, difficult to prove.) I don't see where that is an attack.

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Part Two

from: nangbaby
date: Mar. 16th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)

Concerning the other fallacies on my part, I suppose it stems from my line.

"Plus, if a reader's criticism is worthless (again, a very poor position for ANY artist to take), why would you feel the need to legitimize it by denying it?"

That was grammar failure on my part, which happens often in my posts. It was not my intention to characterize your position as declaring all readers' criticisms are worthless (taking it to the extreme, are we?). What I meant is that if a person's criticism is truly worthless, there is no need to actually declare it worthless. The only reason for a person to declare something as worthless is for him or to her grandstand and make himself or herself look superior. However, by even acknowledging the response indicates that there is worth to the words. Something that is worthless has a zero value, and given that words have to have some worth before a person will respond. Kel responded by banning me. If she really thought my words were worthless, she would take no action one way or the other.

With regard to "backhanded compliments" and "vapid complaints," I suppose it is a matter of opinion as to the quality of my feedback. I would hardly characterize those as negative or combative (to be honest, I'd be thrilled if someone gave me as much praise). Either you are reading more deeply into my words than I have, or you are attaching labels to my words to "prove" they are worthless without explaining or demonstrating why.

As far as tone is concerned, as I mentioned, tone was not a bannable offense. "Tone" is subjective and difficult to quantify when it comes to written responses, so at best it can be considered a collective opinion. Even if tone were an offense, it is a superficial quality, as it is not tone what dictates the meaning of a writer's sentences in written words, but content. Surely that is the basis of a comic an art form, that it usually marries atonal words with charged images to produce meaning, leaving the reader to fill in the tone with his or her mind.

But you mention I am without "pathos," presuming I cannot sympathize because I have never been "artistic" and claiming that my words are "insulting to a real artist." Perhaps I can't, but again, that's irrelevant. I'm sorry if you or others feel only "real artists" should declare opinions about Sorcery 101, but given that Sorcery 101 is aimed at a mass audience, it is preposterous to suggest that only "real artists" should criticize it and/or Kel. In fact, even Kel herself never made that argument; she saw herself as a store owner and all of her readers as customers. From your words, you are the one who is projecting a superior attitude (since I'm not a "real artist").

And with regard as to whether a majority of posters feel I'm annoying, that's an opinion which, once more has nothing to do with the belief that it is wrong for a person to deny access to someone because her or she don't like them, especially when he or she explicitly stated that he or she did not do that. You cannot appeal to the people after the fact as proof that the decision to ban me was a sound or moral one and consider your position logical, or even fallacious but sensible.

Despite the fact that I don't like your words, I won't ban you. I'm not Kel McDonald.

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from: No Name Person
date: Mar. 16th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)


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