As you can see from my About page, and pretty much from my drawings in general, I was a writer before I was an artist. And while the comic medium is new and challenging for me (I’ve been told that I sometimes drown in text, so I’ve been working on that, to an extent), I have been writing short stories and unfinished novels since I was in Grade 4. And like any good-hearted writer, I quite enjoy wreaking havoc with words. So back in the time of having a daily newspaper arrive at my breakfast table every morning, I used to send in all kinds of bitchy opinion letters complaining about all sorts of stupid crap. Racist editors, name changes to beloved landmarks, the local team’s trading habits, and, the issue that obviously is the most pressing, super-bright headlights. No, seriously, how the hell is someone supposed to watch the road when some jerkass in a BMW is illuminating the back of your head with those interrogation lights? Okay, fine, I sound like an old man, which is exactly why my friend said she thought the letter was from some cranky geezer before she looked at the name.
This decision has not come easy, but I have been mulling over it for quite some time now. With the return to school and a full class load, the proper choice became quite clear. Starting next week, WCST will be updating twice a week, Mondays and Fridays.
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When I started this webcomic I held no delusions about the kind of place I was throwing myself into. I spent a good (quantity, not quality) amount of my own time trashing other people’s work on the web. So what happened today really did not come as a surprise. Well, it was actually surprising that it took almost a year for an incident like this to occur.
This morning, I was looking through my website statistics and found a site that referenced my comic. Turns out, it was some forum post where I bunch of people took turns throwing punches at WCST, particularly about the drawing style. I’ve been drawing for over a year now, and though I can’t say that my work has approached a comparatively high standard, when I look back at the first months of WCST I can see how far this webcomic has progressed since then.
One consolation always is: everyone gets trashed on the net. Of course, some of those people are also praised on the net, and while I have picked up a few fans and a few nice comments, I am not so secure about my work that I could just force these comments to roll off my back. But even so, an hour after I read those posts, I was back at the kitchen table, drawing next Friday’s comic.
Perhaps it is a fool’s effort. Or perhaps I am merely going through the first stages of what would eventually become a great product. Either way, shit happens, and if you don’t shrug it off and move on, you’ve let them win. Behind the sarcasm and petty attempts at witty comments, I gleaned a little bit of constructive criticism. All I can do, is use it, and continue. There’s no room for arrogance, and simply declaring that your stuff’s is God’s gift to the art world and the rest are simply blind fools for not seeing your brilliance. That would make you even a bigger douchebag than the critics. What you can do, however, is learn your lessons, and evolve. Hopefully, that’s what I’ll be able to do.
Okay fine, the title doesn’t exactly gel, but you try rhyming something awesome with “nerd”.
It is my theory that you can’t write webcomics unless you are a total nerd about something. And while I do dabble in a bunch of things here and there, like Star Trek and WoW, and I do pick up a lot of stuff from places like PvP, Penny Arcade, and Full Frontal Nerdity, my nerd mistress has always been Star Wars. It started with my family having the first trilogy on VHS. Episode IV was an original in English, and episodes V and IV were bootleg Russian copies, where the single guy with the nasal voice did real-time translations, oftentimes not being able to keep up with the characters. Despite the horrendous qualities of these two tapes, I fell in love with Star Wars and the affair has lasted ever since.
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I’ve realized that there is a fairly significant difference between me, and the creators of my favourite webcomics. And that is the fact that I have the benefit of having those webcomics created before mine.
When I started WCST, I’ve been reading webcomics like mad for almost a year. And even before then, I read Cyanide and Happiness and Penny Arcade, though at that point, I didn’t know what “webcomics” were. The point is, when these guys were starting, the concept was either very young, or not really extant at all. They were just comics on the internet, and their creators were guys and gals who were artists and writers that didn’t quite make it in “the real world”. Well, they went invented their own world and created an entire field that you can actually make a living off.