Human, or brand?
Submitted by The William G on July 12, 2006 - 23:32
Over at Newsarama, a fellow named Eric Adams has been running a series of articles about what it's like to be an indy-creator. He has a lot of interesting points, and some good advice that could be applied to webcomics, since we're all really indy creators anyway. I suggest you all go read what he has to say, it's interesting stuff.
His latest article is on the topic of branding. The branding of your comic is important to have it stick in people's minds: Logos, color themes, tone, etc. However, it stood out at me that his first example he used for the power of branding was himself.
[Cross-posted from WilliamG blog]
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Am I Eric Adams, the person? Or Eric Adams, the concept?
Both exist. But have you ever met Eric Adams? If not, then how can he be anything but an idea to you? What's your perception of him? Is he a smart, business-savvy comic creator with a cut-through-the-crap attitude and slightly off-kilter sense of humor? Or maybe he's full of shit, and this column is a self-promotional ruse that is only filling all these would-be creators with delusions of comic grandeur.
You don't see the Eric Adams that misses deadlines, bites his fingernails and all too frequently doesn't give his loving girlfriend the attention she deserves because he's a workaholic bastard. No, Eric Adams only shows you what he wants you to see. Has he just tarnished his brand by confessing these things about himself? Perhaps. Or has he just cleverly reinforced his brand by revealing his flaws in order to seem more human to you? Again, perhaps.
Think about that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I've seen and had this discussion many times recently. You're selling yourself as well as your comic. Everything you put out there, from blog entries, to messageboard comments, are part of your branding as a creator. And thus you have to post accordingly. This sort of personality branding is a very common thing in on the web. At times it seems to be more important than the content of the website itself. It does seem that the building of a personality cult around one's public persona is just how things get done.
You are your brand, and it's no secret that I find it a rather distasteful philosophy to follow. I'm a man. I'm not a concept, I'm not an idea for you to follow, and I am NOT a product to be sold. If you're reading my comics, it's because you like my comics. I should not be a factor.
I realize that we live in a culture where the desire for fame is so strong that people are willing to make assholes of themselves just to get on TV, and a generation where the goal is far more important than how you reach it. But does it really have to be like this for everything? Slaves and prostitutes are the only people who are products. Why the desire to be just like them?
Like Adam said: "Think about that."
So, do you agree or disagree with the ideas presented?