Now that my comics are being posted in several different forums, they have come to the attention of Those That Say Negative Things. As a victim of bullying in his youth and a man living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I can probably say that I feel the negativity presented by others a little more than the average person.
When I was bullied in Junior High and High School, the only words of advice given to me at the time were “ignore it.” Yes, people tend to think that if you ignore it, it will go away, but it doesn’t. It’s like a chronic pain in your shoulder. Your body is telling you that something is wrong and that you should go to a doctor. If you ignore it, it may go away for a little while, but it can end up becoming even worse back pain or causing you to lose feeling in your entire arm. If I ignored the bullying the first time it happened, it would have gone away from -me-. The next thing I would have seen is some other nerdy kid being shoved into a locker. Ignore it and it will go away, but it won’t stop.
It is time to stop it. I will not back down. I will no longer say nothing.
Here is my first action, a response to Those That Say Negative Things:
@[user name removed]- I apologize for taking so long to get back to your comment (and your comments on my previous entry) in My Journal here on [website removed]. I was going to follow the advice of “Don’t Feed the Trolls,” but decided that I should say something before you could continue on what I believe is your current path of anonymously posting hateful comments and not realizing that you are targeting -real- people. These people have real thoughts and feelings, just like you.
I love comics and sequential art. I make them because it is what I was meant to do. Like most artists (even though most won’t admit it), I also love hearing what people think about my work, especially if it is constructive criticism. What you’re doing (calling my comic a “trainwreck”, saying that it’s “so bad”) is not constructive, it is destructive. It is also considered a behavior used by bullies and it is not cool. I doubt you would seriously say those things to me in person.
To put it in context, what you just did was walk by my table at a busy comic convention, spit on my portfolio, and then stare me in the eye.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t surprised by your comments at all. I hear that stuff ALL the time, but 99.9% of it is coming from my own brain. I am the biggest critic of my own work, hands down. Nothing you can say about my writing or drawing will even come close to what I’ve said about it to myself.
Now, if you are smart, you will not see this as a challenge for you to prove me wrong. This is not an invitation to post the most vile and hurtful things you can think to type. No, this is a challenge for you to cease your destructive and hateful comments, to stop bullying people, and to become a better person. It is a challenge to join with the rest of the human race who are capable of kindness and empathy.
Come and help us continue build a place where we are all comfortable to live in our own skin and where we can share our art without the fear of violent, uncompromising rejection from our peers.
Can you do that?
If you need any more convincing, please watch the following video: Why Internet Jerks Aren’t Going To Win, And You Can Help
I’ve been featured on a FASHION BLOG!!! YEAH!
I actually remember when the dude was taking my pictures. I was walking out of the Library on Capitol Hill, sipping on my breakfast and voting for my comics on my iPhone. I heard the familiar *click* *click* *click* of a camera over my left shoulder and I turned to look. The old guy (at least I think it was an old guy) had it aimed right at me and (even though he didn’t ask permission like a gentleman), I decided to give him a good shot of what he wanted… my ass, er, my hair.
I’ve often had strangers take my picture because of my hair. The most memorable was in the airport when Dawn? was putting my hair up for me. An older Asian lady with a HUGE expensive looking camera started taking pictures from across the lobby. Dawn slowed down her process so that the woman could get in a bunch of good shots.
Random people have stopped me out in public in every city I have visited to compliment my hair or ask me about the process. This has happened so often over the years that I’ve come to expect it. I have honed my answers to typical questions to short, witty responses that draw laughs from everyone who hears them.
My hair is clean and well maintained.Some of it is fake, but most people can’t tell.
It is a work of art and I love it. And so do a lot of other people.
My hair is the thing people see when I’m in a crowd.
My hair is what currently identifies me, but it doesn’t define me.
I am not surprised that my hair (and I) have turned up on a blog somewhere. I was expecting it to happen sooner or later and I was secretly hoping that it would happen.
I chuckled when I read the one word caption, “Yech!” followed by a mere 100 points.
Seriously? You couldn’t think of anything better to say?
Hell, even the motorcycle cop that pulled me over for not wearing a bike helmet was clever enough to call me “Goldilocks.”
I looked through the rest of the blog and saw that a few of my friends were actually featured too! Chris and DeMonika, Lurch, and PurpleMark too! Many of the people shown on this blog have a sense of fashion that fits them and separates them from the crowd. Some of the people on the blog dress the way they do because they just don’t care about societal norms or “proper and decent” [read: boring] fashion. To the people that live in Seattle, the way these people dress IS normal.
I remember you, sir, taking my pictures outside of the library. You were non-descript. I can’t remember what you were wearing or even what you looked like because you could have blended into a crowd as easily as a ninja… (isn’t that what you usually hear about serial killers?) All I remember was your camera and the fact that you came across like a kid that was newly exposed to the wonders of the world and the fact that there are people different than you. You’re like that kid in grammar school that makes fun of everything that is new to you, everything that’s different, everything that scares you.
All I have to say to you is, “Welcome to the world, mama’s boy. You don’t have to wear those tighty-whiteys anymore.”
OK folks, it’s time for a big announcement!
Comics will start up again in January!
I’ve done a lot of thinking [and worrying, hand-wringing, moping, anger-ing, and what-not] since the beginning of October when I put both comics on hiatus.
Since June 2012, I have been on Unemployment Insurance, earning my Digital Art Certificate, looking for work, working on my portfolio and websites, and creating comics for all of you out there in internetland. Basically, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I accomplished all of that with the help of my wonderful and beautiful girlfriend, Dawn. If it wasn’t for her, I would either be working in a soul-sucking cubicle or living in one. [Think: cardboard box]
In any case, here I am: a 40 year old, out-of-work, creative person about to launch his comics again in the hopes that they can possibly help him survive.
“What? How the hell are your FREE comics going to help you survive?”
Hopefully, through my crowd funding campaign.
I have signed up with a site called Patreon.com which works a little different than Kickstarter. Instead of trying to gather a bunch of money to complete a massive project, Patreon helps me sustain my comics with small amounts of support over a long time. Supporters of Writhe and Shine and Overcast With A Chance Of DOOM! can help me achieve my goals by pledging a small amount of money for every comic strip I produce. In exchange, there are several rewards for various levels of support. These include being able to see the comics the day before they are posted to the general public, access to view my previous comic strip Schwartz, getting actual sketches from the strips mailed to your door, access to an exclusive Google Hangout every month where we can all chat or you can just watch me draw, as well as several other neat things.
“WHAT?! You’re charging us to read your comics now?!?! C’mon, dude! They’re not that goo…”
My comics will ALWAYS be free for as long as I keep posting them. Patreon is merely a way for people who want to help me [and can help me] to do so. Patreon will help me find patrons who can support me with as much as they want for as long as they want.
I know that many of you out there are low on funds. I get it. I’m right there with you. Hell, I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention. Yet, there are some among you that would still like to help and that makes me smile [even though the pictures make it seem I haven't done that since High School!] For those people here is a list of ways you can make this project really work:
- Tell your friends about my comics Writhe and Shine and Overcast With A Chance Of DOOM!
- Go to the sites and read the strips and read through the archives
- Reblog, ReTweet, Share, Repost, Like, Comment on, Link to, and Tag your friends in any of the strips or posts
- Keep coming back
- Keep Favoriting, Reposting, Sharing, Liking, and Commenting on the comics and the posts.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy the strips!