‘SMBC’ Webcartoonist Wreaks Rainbow Revenge on Anti-Gay Marriage Site
Last night, idly clicking on a cryptic link at The Comics Reporter led me to a story that may be my favorite thing to happen in comics so far this year. Zach Weiner, creator of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, had one of his cartoons misappropriated by NOM (National Organization for Marriage), an organization opposed to same-sex marriage. NOM didn't actually repost the cartoon, however. They hotlinked it, which meant that the image itself still resided on Weiner's own server. Which gave Weiner the perfect opportunity to wreak sweet revenge that managed to be both badass and classy.
Weiner's blog post, here, takes readers through the events of February 3 blow-by-blow. Essentially, after pondering some more juvenile ways to respond to the use of his cartoon to advance a bigoted lobbying campaign, Weiner and his webmaster brother hit on a stroke of genius. Because the cartoon in question still resided on Weiner's server, Weiner could change the image to whatever he wanted.
Unlike some of us, who might have chosen to replace the cartoon with a picture of a phallus decorated with obscenities, Weiner swapped in a rainbow flag and a quote from the Declaration of Independence. Which then proceeded to hang out on NOM's front page until the website crashed from Saturday Morning Breafast Cereal fans descending upon it to snag screenshots.
What I would have given to have been in the room with any NOM personnel paying attention to their webpage that Wednesday morning, as their site first transformed before their very eyes into its own evil (read: good) twin, and then spasmed out of existence as their server crashed. I wonder if they even realize now how much their own sloppy internet skills (seriously, who hotlinks on a professional blog?) contributed to the headaches they most surely endured.
Along with the link from The Comics Reporter, Weiner's clever switcheroo has been flagged (pun mercilessly intended) in numerous spots on the internet, from an article at popular tech blog Gizmodo to a shout-out from syndicated sex columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage at the blog for the Seattle newspaper The Stranger.
Weiner and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal deserve to have their hilarious and righteous prank become a hugely successful if unintended PR bonanza, and if nothing else, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is guaranteed at least one new reader -- me. And if any of Weiner's cartoons are even half as funny as this stunt (note: they are), I think I'll stick around for quite some time.