Brian Clevinger, the author of an immensely popular sprite comic, 8-Bit Theater, insinuated Thursday morning that sprite comics are not a legitimate art in the midst of a tirade against fans he previously called "entitled whiners."
A heated discussion on the Nuklear Power Forums, the official message board for 8-Bit Theater, led to Clevinger making a public declaration of his feelings on the medium. He wrote, "Sprite comics make for good practice to start a real comic. The problem is that after all these years I've never seen anyone who got the progression from sprites = practice to real/original art = real comic."
In the same post, he rebuffed the implication that 8-Bit Theater was not a real comic, joking "Right, because I have so little to do with these 8-bit pages. They appear fully formed."
One poster, claiming to be a fan of the Clevinger since 2002, took offense at the remark and declared she would no longer buy any of his products. In response, Clevinger berated the individual with numerous insults such as "stupid, stupid, stupid child" and "asshole." Another moderator openly wished death on the poster.
The discussion had been started by another poster who criticized fans who commented on 8-Bit Theater, an opinion Clevinger appeared to endorse with his remarks. Several posters did not share this viewpoint, including one from another commenter.
"People are throwing out ideas and a few suggestions in the threads to talk about the comic," he wrote. "I have no idea where along the line this becomes 'imposing one's will'. There doesn't seem to be any actual effort on anyone's part to force or manipulate what is going on in the comic. They're just discussing the comic. It's what people do."
In response to the remarks that followed the discussion was locked by the moderators.
8-Bit Theater is a sprite comic -- a genre of comics published on the Internet which uses video game graphics as visuals -- that has been in existence since 2001. Clevinger has since written a novel, Nuklear Age, and is currently the author of several projects, including the ongoing comic book series Atomic Robo.