Seth Scriver: I know that you were probably just being "ironic" or using a lazily cliched character, but using the phrase "cocksucker" as an epithet in numbers 17, 18 and 20 of your strip The Gomer Times, and then having the character using the term shoot the alleged cocksucker in strip number 21 was something that I (as a proud cocksucker) found to be insulting and outright hateful. There is still too much violence and hatred directed at my queer brothers and sisters to make this kind of humour anything but ignorant and irresponsible.
In #17 it was just another offhanded homophobic comment, the kind that straight people make all the time without even thinking of it. In #18, I found it actively annoying, and by the third "cocksucker" in #20, I was angry it was a running joke. By episode 21, I was flat-out disturbed. Looks like you started a new storyline in #22, so I'm guessing the bear character is, indeed, dead. Nice.
So what if his bullet just grazed the hair off of the top of the bear's head, so what if it's just a stupid comic strip---you CAN draw better than that, right?---and so what if another cocksucker gets shot? And so what that yet again we, as readers of your strip, are reaffirmed in the (untruthful) lesson that it's cool or funny or acceptable to hate non-heteros, even (or especially!) if those non-heteros are the readers ourselves? I'm not saying that your strip made me feel bad about being gay (I don't), but I do feel bad your strip contributes to the homo-hating mindset and that it was published in a paper that I expected a bit more conscience from.
Coast editorial staff: In all the years that I've read The Coast (since the beginning!), I've never been rankled enough to comment on anything else you've published until now. I know you pride yourself on political correctness and try not to offend too many of your readers, and that you must balance that aim with not censoring the "artistic" output of your contributors too much, but you really disappointed me on this one.—Troy Fourbeers, Halifax