Comic Talk and General Discussion *

The importance of taking things with a grain of salt
mks_monsters at 7:10AM, Oct. 19, 2017
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Let's face it. Not everyone will like your comic and that is only human. It was a tough lesson to learn and maybe even the hardest lesson to learn, but once you learn to have thick skin when facing dislike, you are going to be a happier and healthier artist.

However, then came the lesson that came after which was taking criticism with a grain of salt. Does someone not like your comic because it really has a flaw or is it for a biased reason like not liking the art style, they do not like the genre, they had different expectations or were they hoping two people would wind up together? When that happens, take the criticism with a grain of salt. You don't have to agree with their reader's reasons or you can just select what parts you agree with. Of course do it politely and kindly. And maybe the best thing you can do is just thank them for their input especially if they were polite about it too. It is ok to not agree with criticism but it causes no harm to give an opinion and honesty is the best policy. Plus, preferences are everyone's right. It's not you. It's not them. It's everyone.

You make peace with it while standing by your work. After all, people would rather make contact with an artist who may make art that is not their type yet is a sweet and understanding person than a great artist who is a grouch and a snob. In other words, even if your art does not win people, your humility and kindness always will.
last edited on Oct. 19, 2017 7:15AM
Hawk at 1:53PM, Oct. 19, 2017
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You've essentially got it, mks_monsters. That's a very good way of looking at criticism.

I feel like for a person to put their comic on the internet and only expect good feedback is really hypocritical. You have to take the good with the bad, it's what art is all about. Artists who level up from that begin to see criticism as a gift, so long as it's criticism they can use to improve.

I'm sure we all know an artist or two that never learned how to accept criticism, and their growth has completely halted.
 
last edited on Oct. 19, 2017 9:25PM
bravo1102 at 4:40PM, Oct. 19, 2017
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I was a grouch and a slob long before I ever decided to inflict my fictional creations on the world.

And I prefer curmudgeon thank you very much.

Some of us have had long uphill battles to gain the tiny bit of respect we do have and still have to endure derision and prejudice so the only solace remaining is a talent for self deprecation.

Face it, I haven't exactly seen either of you lining up to read my shit. You have no freaking clue about being on the bottom with work that is publicly and consistently ignored and privately despised and derided.

But then of course all of that could be my own insecurities and self doubt that all the positive affirmation and decades of therapy haven't yet cured. I am just better at coping with it and taking it with a pinch of salt.

And yes Tantz if you read this. I am beating myself up again. ;)

I've been living this pinch of salt shit for ten years and it's still all uphill.
last edited on Oct. 19, 2017 4:47PM
KimLuster at 9:14AM, Oct. 20, 2017
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Bravo, don't ever change!! (unless you have to for therapeutic reasons ;))

I've won the Most Supportive Reader award for three years on a row, and that's what I always want to be: Very Supportive. I mean, c'mon, by far most of us are doing this for free. Our only payment is personal fulfillment and having others read and enjoy our work…!

Maybe I'm too much ‘Miss Sunshine’ but it's my strong opinion that you don't overly criticize other people's freely-donated work unless you have some truly helpful advice, and even then, be nice! Being nice isn't that hard…

Now, there are some creators who outright ask for strong criticism - you can be firmer then (and you should be if they're looking to perhaps make some big bucks, perhaps a living, off this stuff), but still, be nice!

If you truly don't like a page, or a comic in general, maybe you, you know, shouldn't read or comment on it. Again, unless the creator asks for it (I've asked for it before). Some creators do want the critique, as helpful pointers on how to get better, but I think most of us already know what we're capable of, we already know what we need to do to get better (and we decide if we're going to take the time and energy to actually do so) - we really don't need other people to tell us that.

That said, there are a few comics I do read that I don't comment on (why? *shrug*) but I still enjoy perusing them (Jay's Internet Fight Club & Grin n Spirit are two such ones…). Often I will start commenting eventually. I followed Usedbooks & Without Moonlight forever before I started regularly commenting there…

This means creators shouldn't always take a lack of comments as proof that people aren't reading your stuff…

Even so, Readers, we should comment as much as we can - it does bring smiles (always room for more of those)!
KimLuster at 9:20AM, Oct. 20, 2017
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Also, if you, as a creator, want comments, you should, at least occasionally, acknowledge the readers doing the commenting. I do understand when creators have a very large following - they simply can't reply all that much (Modest Medusa is like that. Huge following here and other sites - Jakes makes his living with it!). But for smaller followings, let your readers know you appreciate their input occasionally, or accept it, and if you don't get many comments, take it with a grain of salt *hyuk*! I know that I comment much less, and with fewer words, on comics that I never get any acknowledgment on!
mks_monsters at 1:44PM, Oct. 20, 2017
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Well, said KimLuster. Nothing is more valuable than lending and ear and communication. And it's important to value your fans. After all, you owe everything to them.
Tantz_Aerine at 4:08PM, Oct. 20, 2017
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bravo1102 wrote:


And yes Tantz if you read this. I am beating myself up again. ;)



STOP DOING THAT.
 
Tantz_Aerine at 4:16PM, Oct. 20, 2017
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I really should start commenting more. I used to comment everywhere. Now I'm just running around and zip through pages without pausing to do so. I'll correct that.

That said, I've always felt that if you really need to criticise soemthing, before you do so in the comments ask yourself if you'd do it in a private message- if it still feels worth it for just the creator to see, if you feel that it'll help them progress and ultimately give you a better experience when reading their comic. If it does, then your criticism is likely something you truly intend to be constructive so go ahead and PM or PQ that person. If not, then you're probably trying to get attention from other readers rather than do it for the artistic value.

So don't, then. A webcomic's comment area is somewhere where your word is hosted, so afford it due respect.

Also, know how to offer criticism. It's elegant to be able to do it without resembling a bull in a china shop.
 
usedbooks at 5:29PM, Oct. 20, 2017
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I was stunned to receive my first critiques/suggestions. Honestly, I find it flattering and humbling – provided it's more than a “you suck.” If someone puts an effort into analyzing and encouraging you to improve, it means they see value in your work. It means they are investing (time and interest) in you.

To be honest, early on (and now if I don't stop myself), I initially responded defensively against suggestions. But in nearly every case, I would take it to heart. When I worked up the confidence to try to implement the suggestion, I did. That's why my comic doesn't look the same as it did ten years ago.

If it is a bunch of plain “you sucks,” that's not so bad either. They clicked on a link. They looked at your work. It's better than silence.


Like Tantz said, be respectful to creators. Some are very sensitive and not looking to improve. They are missing opportunities, but not everyone is creating for the same reasons.
bravo1102 at 10:07PM, Oct. 20, 2017
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On a more serious note (previous post had its tongue in cheek. I have a reputation to maintain as a curmudgeon and cynic)

As an NCO and army instructor all after actions critiques were “praise in public and criticize in private” . Furthermore all criticism had to be couched positively. In other words “ X is wrong, here is a way to fix it. Y could be bettrr if You do this. ”

My first comic I received scathing critiques in PQs. I took them to heart because all gave me concrete ways and suggestions on how to get better. That's how you learn. Research indicates that without negative feedback and constructive criticism one cannot improve. Period. Practice doesn't make perfect. Being told how you messed up and coming up with a plan to fix it does make you better.

But were the empty remarks about Barbies and dolls pretty worthless? No, because they got me thinking about how to transcend the limitations of my medium. Come on look at those first few pages of Go a Viking or Attack of the Robofemoids and compare them to later productions. How can I get past that? Give me an action plan to improve what I'm doing. I am open to all suggestions.

And I hope you like hot sauce because for me salt isn't often enough.
KimLuster at 6:18PM, Oct. 22, 2017
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Bravo and UB make good points…

I never did receive a harsh PQ for the Godstrain, even for my eye-gouging early pages… Maybe it's because I often pointed out what my deficiencies were myself, thus allaying the need for anyone else to do so (I did stop doing that so much because I read somewhere else that can seem like fishing for compliments (I really wasn't - promise)), and admitting that one of my own goals for doing the comic to begin with was to get better at doing art quickly and without art references…

Or maybe it's just cuz I'm so sweet!! ;)
bravo1102 at 5:19AM, Oct. 23, 2017
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KimLuster wrote:
Bravo and UB make good points…

I never did receive a harsh PQ for the Godstrain, even for my eye-gouging early pages… Maybe it's because I often pointed out what my deficiencies were myself, thus allaying the need for anyone else to do so (I did stop doing that so much because I read somewhere else that can seem like fishing for compliments (I really wasn't - promise)), and admitting that one of my own goals for doing the comic to begin with was to get better at doing art quickly and without art references…
You admitted you were aware of your limitations and proved that you were striving toward making it better. Though there were no scathing PQs there was a lot of positively phrased constructive criticism in your comic's beginnings. And you reached out to your readership asking for advice.

Despite my cynical curmudgeon persona of self deprecation, If someone really gave me honest critiques I'd consider it seriously and work towards changing things in future. Both Interstellar Blood Beasts and the Robofemoids comics did get serious reviews and things adjusted accordingly.

I got a PM about the explicit violence towards women in Mask of the Aryans and I've tried to shy away from that kind of gruesome violence since or at least reserving it for the villain.
PIT_FACE at 1:33AM, Oct. 26, 2017
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I think it's important to know how to be able to take a punch. Granted, that doesn't excuse vicious dickheadery. But it WILL happen. The good news is that you don't have to let it define you. It's a pain in the ass, i know, but you ultimately have to pick yourself back up and continue on if you want to continue making comics. you HAVE to. Those nasty words will probably nag at the back of your head for some time, but if you let it make you too nervous to get back in then the problem ends up being with you. It sounds cruel and probably a bit heartless, but you HAVE to get over it. it will take time and working through, but if you don't and you stop creating because you're afraid of the UNCOUNTABLE number of dickheads out there, then the blame for your failure on your project doesnt lay with them, it lays with you. You will be okay. you will grow a thicker skin and learn that word vomit is just that. Noise. The joy of making something you love will come back and the rest of that shit wont matter. You dont have to create in order to please others. do it to please yourself and fuck the rest. You're not a wounded animal.

Ozoneocean at 9:16PM, Oct. 26, 2017
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PIT_FACE wrote:
I think it's important to know how to be able to take a punch. Granted, that doesn't excuse vicious dickheadery. But it WILL happen. The good news is that you don't have to let it define you. It's a pain in the ass, i know, but you ultimately have to pick yourself back up and continue on if you want to continue making comics. you HAVE to. Those nasty words will probably nag at the back of your head for some time, but if you let it make you too nervous to get back in then the problem ends up being with you. It sounds cruel and probably a bit heartless, but you HAVE to get over it. it will take time and working through, but if you don't and you stop creating because you're afraid of the UNCOUNTABLE number of dickheads out there, then the blame for your failure on your project doesnt lay with them, it lays with you. You will be okay. you will grow a thicker skin and learn that word vomit is just that. Noise. The joy of making something you love will come back and the rest of that shit wont matter. You dont have to create in order to please others. do it to please yourself and fuck the rest. You're not a wounded animal.
Well said
 
KimLuster at 5:12AM, Oct. 27, 2017
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Yes, there are an Uncountable Number of Dickheads out there, and we have to learn to deal with them…! As long as I'm just dealing with them without becoming one of them, I'm doing alright! ;)
reghu02 at 6:39AM, Oct. 27, 2017
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Rough sketches from our upcoming manga.pls, support and share us.
Ozoneocean at 6:47AM, Oct. 27, 2017
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reghu02 wrote:
Rough sketches from our upcoming manga.pls, support and share us.
Hello reghu02.
It's good to have you on the site but please don't spam.
If you're going to comment on a thread like this, please address the subject of the thread and don't spam about yourself or your work.
Doing that is the best way to ensure no one will ever check out your work.
 
Emevsa at 5:47AM, Nov. 1, 2017
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When asked for an opinion I try to highlight what they may be doing right as well as where they can improve. It's really easy to come down on something like a ton of bricks but if you can show them that they are on the right track then it gives them somewhere to begin.

Also Bravo's advice of praise in public, criticize in private is not bad at all. Not only did you take the time to reply to them in person it also opens up a dialog where you can both bounce ideas around. If you go into any review or criticism with the intention of wanting someone to improve it helps reinforce your view. ^-^
Call Me Tom at 12:47AM, Nov. 3, 2017
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I always seem to upset people who give me criticism. I don't quite get why, I agree with them! I mean last year I had some one get very upset when they said I didn't understand how draw and I agreed 100% with them.
I'm sorry for any offence I cause.
usedbooks at 7:08AM, Nov. 3, 2017
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I agree and then name ten other things that suck about that page.


I'm pretty sure somewhere there's a balance between self-loathing and narcissism, but I don't know many artists who have found it. People often tend to fall to one side or the other.
last edited on Nov. 3, 2017 7:13AM
Hawk at 2:04PM, Nov. 3, 2017
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Call Me Tom wrote:
I always seem to upset people who give me criticism. I don't quite get why, I agree with them! I mean last year I had some one get very upset when they said I didn't understand how draw and I agreed 100% with them.

I think it's because so few people truly know how to accept criticism, and some people feign humility and self-deprecation as a way to cultivate praise.

And to be fair, it can be really hard to accept criticism, and some people don't word it very well. But we could all probably benefit from developing a thick skin.
 

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