Sunday, 14 July 2013

Half-Masked: "Your Webcomic Is Bad"

Oh lord, I found it: I found that amusingly mean-spirited review of a terrible gamer webcomic I once had.

John Solomon's "Your Webcomic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad" is from a long line of edgy internet Strong Bad personalities that mistook cruelty for wit. For a time, it seemed like everyone wanted to be Maddox(myself included). I disagreed with almost everything he's ever said or done, and I don't think he actually accomplished anything. Criticism was too much responsibility for him, so he resorted to the Cool Kids Club wailing and gnashing of teeth.

...But he was SO RIGHT about my comic.

"The comic font is Arial, or some other kind of sans serif font, which leads me to believe that Mr. Alex Hill either has no concept what a decent comic font , or just has nothing available to him but sans serif due to some kind of font embargo upon his native homeland."

-John Solomon

"Half-Masked" was an abomination, which I'm glad no longer exists. Some of his complaints were unfounded(I didn't use gradient fills, that's just how shitty my art looked on its' own, and he gave me crap for the web design which was out of my control because I'd just moved to a new host). But I did learn a lot from his slaughter of my teenage shame. This is where I learned that the typical human ear is level with the eye, something I had trouble with. But while the rest of the internet was realizing what a pompous waste of time his blog was, I was one of the few people I knew who didn't throw out everything he he was saying.

My comic wasn't funny. In fact, it was cringe-worthy. The art was inconsistent because I was still finding my voice as a teenager, and I could never settle on a defined "look" I was satisfied with. Non-jokes, way too much dialogue, a reliance on non sequiturs, obscure references, the works. It was everything wrong with webcomics, and pointing that out is fair.

"Oh, John Solomon-sama!" I hear you exclaiming. These are the first strips, surely after much genki hard work, Half-Masked has become suupa sugoi webukomiku-chwan!"
-John Solomon 

My webcomic is bad, and I do feel bad about it. But at least I took it in stride. And as much as I was able to deprive nutrients from his venom, I don't think he was healthy for webcomics, or the discussion of webcomics. It's fun to be a jerk on the internet, but there has to be something to show for it at the end.

Whatever happened to John Solomon? Well, it looks like the internet shamed him into existence about five years ago, when he thought he could apply his Slash-and-Burn form of "criticism" on comics that are actually good. He hasn't updated since 2008. Making fun of my awfulness is easy, but he was out of his league trying to insult Dresden Codak.

Am I better now? I mean, as a webcomic author? All signs would likely point to: NO. And yet I feel like I've improved somewhere. That's kind of a letdown. I should have tangible results to show for improvement, shouldn't I?

I saw an episode of Louie recently where he meets Joan Rivers. She gives him a frank pep talk about working in comedy. "It doesn't get better. YOU get better."



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