If you had a blog, and a group of comics people gave you hosting, would it be right to plug that group all the time, and not mention the hosting deal?
Someone who's been in webcomics a lot longer than me asked me this today. My first thought is that I'd want to verify all the facts, though the blog in question doesn't give me that honor when mangling accounts of my reporting.
My second thought is I'd want to know just how close they were, and when the person showed me shmoozefest pictures of said blogger and said comics group, hanging out at conventions, I might wonder.
In the end, I'd figure that the bootlicking rang hollow anyway, and I'd discount it. I'd let it slide.
But if that person was so incredibly vile, making noise about buying the group's art at every opportunity, humping their wares, dropping their names -- then would I care? If their hosting connection was known, even paid for, would I care?
OK, I give. I have a gag reflex, and the idea of a front shill makes me sick. Rather than have someone else throw up the details, I imagine the person will want to set the record straight about Dumbrella, Fleen, and the enormous amount of promotion generated by Mr. We At Fleen.
Dishonesty is so rampant in webcomics, we could nail these people for years and still have a backlog. It's time to clean up Dodge.