As for the content of this week’s strip, I couldn’t say that I have felt the Seattle Freeze very often. I came here at the height of my “popularity” as it was in 2005. I was doing my Writhe and Shine strips and had a pretty consistent following. I was online as much as I could be, cultivating relationships with people in different cities and goth scenes across the globe. That really helped when I first started going out here in the northwest. I felt like I was immediately accepted and was asked to go places and do stuff with a variety of people. It was fun.
And then I stopped doing my strip. Bad move on my part but at the time I really had to take a break from it. I should have told myself that I would pick it up again at a certain time. I should have given myself a deadline. Now it is several years later and I find myself starting from scratch trying to garner readers and comic supporters. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate everyone that is still here or have come back. I am thankful for all my friends that have stuck around.
But I need to get that “fan base” back to where it was and then multiply it a thousand-fold.
I still have a box of Writhe and Shine fliers from the last time I had too many printed. I carry them with me in my messenger bag to hand out whenever I see a person that might be interested in the strips. A couple weeks ago I was riding the bus to work and stood up when my stop approached. I passed a young guy who held some computerized display very close to his face. I saw that he was reading comics. I waited until the bus had nearly arrived, all the while telling myself that I should hand him a flier. “Do it. Do it. Give him a flier.” I finally pulled one out, turned around, and handed it his way saying, “Can I give you this? It’s about comics.”
The guy glanced up from his screen looking slightly offended and simply said, “no.”
I turned around and left the bus slightly embarrassed and a little bit annoyed, both emotions I constantly feel when situations don’t go the way I expect them to. I started to berate myself for even thinking that the guy would be even slightly interested in my comics, when I realized that I had just experienced The Seattle Freeze directly for the first time.
The funny thing was that I happened upon it again the very next day when I tried to hand a flier to a young [20-something] girl dressed all in black with pale skin and dark lipstick. She looked at the small sheet of paper in my hand, then looked at me for the briefest moment and just kept walking without saying anything.
Right after that I ditched my stack of fliers in the nearest metal trash cylinder vowing that I wouldn’t embarrass myself like that any longer.
But giving up like that is easy. I can’t let it get to me. I have to promote. Even if people don’t want to be bothered, I still have to offer them the chance to turn my comics down. I mean, they’re free for fuck’s sake.
And you know what free means…