Damonkey Business by Damonk
Tired of hearing this yet?
Maybe it's 'cause I've been around for the last six years â€“ as a reader first, then as an artist, and now as a critic â€“ and I feel like I've seen and heard it all before.
Maybe it's because one of the best and worst attributes of the webcomic medium is that there are hundreds of new young (and old) hopefuls trying their hand (or mouse) at it each year, which is why the cycles keep reperpetuating. Maybe it has something to do with human nature and this weird innate penchant for high-yield ends without considering the necessity of the work involved in the means â€“ i.e., the "get rich quick" mentality.
Maybe the webcomics medium has somehow struck some sort of eerie dÃ©jÃ vu chord â€“ in part due to the global village power of the Internet â€“ where people, who have felt snubbed in high school or college or in the office, people who always wanted to be popular or seen as "good at something", feel that this is a place where they can finally get the notice and adulation they are convinced they deserve.
And lord knows that I see the same immature tactics happen all over again here... I see cliques and pricks across the board(s) taking advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to proclaim they are the Shiznit when they wouldn't be able to string together a coherent sentence, much less a put-down or some posturing when confronted in person.
I'm not attacking the fact that people are playing the same games. Rather, I'm attacking the fact that people arenâ€™t REALIZING that they are playing the same games. They live in denial, yet are JUST as bad as those people they hated in high school/college/the office.
Face it â€“ most everything we humans do is due to wanting attention. Wanting to be noticed by others. Needing to be validated. Craving proof that we ARE there, are alive, are EXISTING.
People are constantly whining about all the big names, saying either that they wish they were as popular as Big Comic X, or that Big Comic S doesn't deserve its popularity, or that Big Cartoonist K is an asshole (and doesn't deserve his popularity), or that...
Shut up already and DRAW.
Stop caring about who is popular NOW, who deserves to be popular and who doesn't, who is Mister or Miss Webcomic Thang. Stop worrying about how to join Webcomic Corp M or be initiated into Cartoonist Coven P.
Who cares if someone got popular for reasons that you don't agree with. How is pointing that out going to help YOU get more popular? How is begging for notice on message boards going to lift you up to the heights you so desperately crave? How is whining about how you wish you could do this for a living going to be of any use if you're too busy whining in your spare time to create those comics you wish you had the time to create?
Stop using the stupid excuse "I'm only drawing for fun" while saying that you donâ€™t think so-and-so should be getting the attention they are. Do you realize how hypocritical you are?
Hell, let's be Frank here, shall we? It may be a hard truth to accept, but if you even post ONE public comment, you have to accept that you are doing so because you CARE about other people's responses/thoughts on your opinion. If you didn't, you wouldn't have bothered to post said comment. Even if you think you are making your comment because you want to "educate others" or because you're posting it for "only your close friends", it means that it DOES MATTER to you what other people think. Don't be ashamed of this fact â€“ it only means you're human.
Instead, just DRAW.
See, nothing serves as a better weapon in the war of attention than actual ARTillery fire. Picture two battling sides, entrenched in their respective fronts. Yelling at each other between the fire may have some effect on morale, but in the end, it's the actual sequential SHELLING that will decide who lives and who dies. Scott Kurtz has been talked about WAY too much lately in message boards and blogs, people whining and complaining that he is an ass, a hack, whatever. What does Kurtz do in response? He continues to DRAW. The whiners can sit there and relish in their verbal masturbation, but in the end, the words are lost and their energies wasted, while Kurtz' incessant ARTillery barrage is getting him somewhere.
Words are easily drowned out in the loud Blams, Zappos, and Pows of actual fire.
So all you webcomickers â€“ old, but particularly new â€“ could do well to declare war on those who are all talk, and back up ambition with actual comic creation firepower. Don't draw blanks through empty threats, hollow words, or impotent wishes. Don't waste your time with propaganda. Don't get sidetracked by enemy decoys.
The key to Victory?
Damonk is the Editor-in-Chief and the Executive Editor for Reviews and Columns.