This story isn’t as corroborated as we’d like, and a bit hard to piece together, but it seems that web cartoonist Matt Boyd of Three Panel Soul was fired from his government job and then visited by the police for drawing comics about his interest in…target shooting. Co-workers were threatened by his gun talk. R. Stevens at Diesel Sweeties has the most succinct summation:

Matt was working as a contractor for a branch of the government. He made the mistake of being interested in the hobby of paper target shooting at about the same time as the VA Tech shootings and talking to someone about this hobby at work. Keep in mind he wasn’t even talking about those shootings, in fact he was discussing how he wanted a gun which would make it difficult to kill someone.

He was promptly fired and not allowed back to work because people were scared of him.

To top it all off, he was later visited by police detectives for making a comic about his experience, because it was a “borderline terroristic threat.” (Is “terroristic” even a word? Did they get that from the Colbert report?)

Fleen has a bit more with the promise of an interview with Boyd to run tomorrow.

Details are sketchy at this time, but it appears that making a comic about his experience counts as making terroristic threats. I realize that by this logic, me reporting on the making of a comic that’s seen as a terroristic threat may count as lending support to terrorists. If I wake up in Gitmo, tell my wife that I love her, and I’m sorry I’m not there to help walk the dog.

UPDATE: Fleen’s interview is now up:

Fleen: On what complaint or authority did these detectives say they were talking to you?

Boyd: On the complaint that I may have made terroristic threats through computers. At least, that’s what was passed down to me from the State’s Attorney through the detectives on the phone.

Fleen: So who is it that you’re supposed to have threatened? Is it now law in the state of Maryland that if anybody anywhere unknown to you feels uneasy at something you write, it’s a crime?

Boyd: Well, a terroristic threat is an old legal concept. Basically, it’s calling in a bomb scare or something similar.


  1. I’d comment, but I hate the color orange, and I don’t speak Cuban. (ut Oh, I just insulted the President…)