May the Forcefulness Be With You
I've been fascinated to watch the unfolding of the “battle” between Disney's Lucasfilm and the fandom playing out over the past few months.
If you haven't been looking at the fallout, there's too much for me to cover here; I could easily do a month of newsposts inspired by the daily drama going on with this stuff!
In short, there was a lot of fan backlash after The Last Jedi, and the tactics of Lucasfilm to combat the backlash has been pretty astonishing, with the accusations of racism and sexism leveled at the audience who didn't like the movie. After the SOLO movie lost money at the box office, the vitriol has continued from both sides - again, the nasty accusations from Lucasfilm are the shocking part. It's just bad business!
Anyway, the comments I want to focus on are the insistence from the filmmakers that the next movie, and the franchise going forward, will NOT be affected at all by the criticisms and backlash of the fandom.
Please the Audience? Or please yourself?
This epic unraveling of Star Wars has made me think of is the choices that must be made between pleasing the fans/audiences and being true to a creative vision of one's own.
So again, the official line from the creatives at Star Wars has been that things will not change going forward, based on fan reactions.
I don't know if that's true; it may not be. But if it is, I personally think it's another catastrophic decision from the Lucasfilm kids. Especially since their business model of making blockbusters with mass appeal…well, it relies on pleasing as big a majority of people as possible!
What does this have to do with webcomics, dummy?
In our world of making and reading webcomics, things are different. Most are made by one or just a couple of creators, and are more of a niche thing, whether that niche fits thousands of people, or is just a niche of one: something you make for just yourself.
We don't have big advertising budgets or test audiences, and we don't have executives to answer to. We don't need to make a billion dollars to be considered a success. Our goals can be completely different - maybe we do it to improve our writing and art. Or we have an idea for a story or characters that appeal to us. Or we do it just to have fun, or express ourselves.
But even then, there is a spectrum between completely, rigidly never altering anything on the one end, and being way too flexible and even pandering on the other.
Do you do it for you? Or for readers?
For my part, I'm the biggest fan of the comics I write, but I'm definitely doing it to get a response from people. I want to see it being enjoyed by readers, and give a satisfying laugh or smile, or an emotional experience of some kind.
Has reader feedback or reviews impacted how you approach your comic?
Do you stay true to your plan or vision regardless of what anyone says? Do you change big things based on what readers want, or what you think they might want?
Or are you somewhere in between?
Have a good one,
Banes at 12:00AM, July 5, 2018
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