Unfounded Criticism

I declare I don’t care no more, I’m burning up and out and Growing bored, In my smoked out boring room, My hair is shagging in my eyes, Dragging my feet to hit the street tonight, To drive along these shit town lights, I’m not growing up, I’m just burning out, And I stepped in line to walk amongst the dead – My Mental State

I don’t usually take criticism well. I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a bit of a reactionary hot head, and I let stuff get to me. Character flaws I should work on improving.

If you’ve been following my comments on the Facebook page then your likely aware of my frustrations over a recent scathing podcast review of I’m Famous! from Digital Strips. You can listen to it here. http://blacksnowcomic.com/digital-strips.html

I’ve already discussed this a lot on Facebook, and let it take up too much of my time, so I’ll try to be brief here. Listening to this really pissed me off. It put me in a foul mood, caused me to stop in the middle of drawing Black Power, got me fighting with Alex, and led to me seeking out a back and forth email exchange with Jason Sigler (one of the two men speaking in the podcast). It also caused me to spend almost every minute of my free time for the last two and a half days completely redesigning the website like a man possessed. BTW, go check it out and send me any feedback.

Well, I’ll just fill you in on the follow up I got from Jason. First off, I don’t know these guys at all, as I submitted the comic to any review source I could find. So I truly have no idea what their credentials are. But here’s what I learned: they only read the first few pages of the comic, didn’t read anything else about it, and based their criticism solely on the art they saw in that. That is insane, and totally irresponsible. It shows a complete lack of professionalism and integrity. Oh yeah, most things are WORSE IN THE BEGINNING! As Alex brought up to me, it’s like judging The Simpsons, Seinfeld or any other number of similar shows based on only the first few episodes, instead of their whole catalog. Things take time to improve, and you’re always going to get some growing pains in the beginning.

So that right there tells me all I really need to know about these guys who feel they can pass judgement on me and all my hard work. It’s just internet stupidity at its finest. You know what they say about opinions.

I voiced these concerns to Jason, and he acknowledged some of their failings. Supposedly they will do some update on us in a future show, but who cares. They already peddled their unverified trash talk to whatever audience actually listens to this dribble, and they already lost my respect. What authority are they? What do I care if my art is up to their standards. Oh, it’s not in true perspective Jason? NO SHIT! That’s because I don’t want it to be! It’s a cartoon, and an experimental expressionist one at that. I don’t need to conform to their standards of webcomic, and I don’t want to.

“Oh hey, Van Gogh, that paintings all fucked up. Look, the perspectives wrong and your colors are weird.” “Yo, Steve Ditko, your art is imperfect, so you’re no good. Your scale is off, your posing is awkward, and your perspective is screwed.” Ridiculous! Not that I’d compare myself to either man, but just attempting to demonstrate the absurdity of some internet nerds trying to declare that all webcomics need to conform to and be judge by the same standards.

Oh, and Jason, if Jake the Evil Hare is definitive and quantifiable as a better webcomic why do we outrank them on virtually every voter site, by leaps and bounds? I’ve got nothing against Jake, but they are not better than us. It’s fairly derivative anime action that usually only has two or three huge panels on a page, very slowly showing drawn out fight scenes. I don’t even see why or how the two are comparable. What is this comparison based on?

Anyway. That’s my thoughts on that. Hopefully it’s time to forget and move on. It wasn’t a totally negative experience, as they did point me to some helpfully resources, get me to think about what I can improve on, draw my attention to odd minute details like font, and push me to redo the website (something I had been planning to do for awhile now).

So I do listen to criticism and take it seriously, just not when it’s unfounded. And I’m not afraid to confront someone about it.

Now rock out to the bitter, cynical 90’s.

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