This started out as a post about The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, which Jason, Steve, and I were just talking about on our podcast about the Harvey nominations last week. But then it got derailed in an unfortunate way.
For those not in the know, Poo is the story of Edgar Allen Poe’s imagination, which becomes separated from him in a time of turmoil (he poops it out in an outhouse, hence the title) and has to journey through a mythical underworld to be reunited with him. It’s a bit of a sagaâ€”the reveals come too far apart for meâ€”but the writing is clever and the art is wonderful. What’s more, it’s a truly all ages webcomic: Kids will read it as a simple adventure, with a bit of scatology thrown in just for giggles, while adults will catch more of the literary dimension. And in this interview with Poo writer Dwight MacPherson and artist (for the second volume) Avery Butterworth at Comic Book Resources, the creators make it clear that they for an all-ages audience.
…OK, right after I wrote that, I went to the site to get an image and the ad under the comic was for “FREE ONLINE PORN: Hardcore Movies, No Membership Required. Start Watching Now.” The image below it was of a couple having sex, full penetration on display. I know it’s possible for our advertisers to dish up a surprise once in a whileâ€”it happened to us here on Digital Stripsâ€”but I also think, as we said in the podcast, that it’s time for these guys to get their own domain. Their site is beautifully designed, except for the ugly Drunk Duck crap at the top and bottom, and a kid seeing an ad like that (and telling Mom or Dad) would be a real disaster. While that’s the first time I have seen a porn ad on the site, the fact is that if you’re providing comics for children, you have the responsibility to monitor your ads really closely. Time to move on, guys. It looks like www.edgarallanpoo.com is available. Domains are cheap; your reputation is priceless.
UPDATED 7/20/08: Wow, I didn’t think this could get worse, but it did. I just went back to look at the comic and they have added interstitial ads. So I’m reading along and all of a sudden my screen changes to a huge ad asking should smoking be allowed in public places or some such thing. There is no way I would recommend this as a kids’ comic when they’re doing this. I wouldn’t even recommend it for adults. Put your comic on a site that doesn’t get in your way, guys.