A man in Arizona hired Internet trolls to post negative comments about his son's webcomic, according to our sources.
The man, named by the I Hate Webcomics blog as Mr. Brunell, was concerned about the amount of time his 23-year-old unemployed son was spending drawing comics. He hoped his actions would deter his son from updating his webcomic, he's reported to have said.
His son eventually asked one of the trolls why they kept criticizing him.
"It's not going to do much for family relations," Professor Peter Griffin, a webcomics expert at Stanford University, told us.
"I've never heard of that kind of intervention before, but I don't think these top-down approaches work. Most creativity's usually a symptom of an underlying problem."
Griffin said he heard from many parents who were worried about their children's webcomics.
"I've spent 10 years studying webcomics," he said. "I've come across very prolific creators -- drawing for 10 to 14 hours a day -- but for a lot of these people it causes no detrimental problems because they aren't employed, aren't in relationships, and don't have children. It's not the time you spend doing something, it's the impact it has on your life."
Father and son are said to have reconciled, but trolling expert Merv Kurschner said he didn't think Mr. Brunell's actions would necessarily act as a deterrent.
"Getting trolled by someone happens all the time," he said. "People are just like that online."