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.

VF-antibullying

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?

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If you need any more convincing, please watch the following video: Why Internet Jerks Aren’t Going To Win, And You Can Help