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There has to be a support group somewhere…

May 27th, 2007

I was catching up on my webcomics (bring it on Dina, I don’t care) and I came across this thread. Now, I follow that comic but I don’t ever post in the forums. I was just there to see why there hadn’t been an update recently (I still don’t know). Now, as J can attest and I’m sure Clint and Gene know intimately, the Internet sucks. It sucks because there is no gatekeeper. Over at Newsweek or Time or your local paper, there are people whose job it is to sift through the hate mail in order to pick out the one or two “representative” examples for print. But on the Internet it is nothing but criticism all the time. Sure, you occasionally get the pat on the back but for every one of those you deal with 10 “you’re a freakin’ idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re a disgrace to your profession, your gender, and the entirety of the human race,” comments. If you knew how many people take valuable time (some of these emails must take hours to write) to tell me everything I’m doing wrong, you’d just die.

The pure ego of it is mind-blowing. To think that some random person that you don’t know is going to completely revamp the way they do things just because of your unsolicited comments is staggering. Now I fully admit I’m egotistic, egocentric, and egomaniacal… but I’ve never thought that.

I found the author’s rant very familiar. And in a way, I just wanted to reach out and give him (her? I’m not sure) a big hug. It’s OK dude, I’m there. I remember (I know J can remember as well though I don’t know that Clint and Gene have ever divulged to me) the first really negative thing I received. Sure there were emails and the occasional “I wish the reviewer would have done X” stuff but when I did the SVS SBS-01 review, I got lampooned. It was brutal (reading back through the thread, it wasn’t that bad, but at the time, I was crushed). The sinking feeling in your stomach, the cold sweats, the feeling like the walls are closing in on you. It was brutal. Clint just waved it off saying, “That’s gonna happen, don’t take it personal” but it took me a while to get over it. When I read the author’s post from the webcomic, I know he (she) is feeling that same way. I don’t know how much Internet experience that person has but that skin takes a while to build. They’re going to get there but it would be easy to be discouraged. Luckily they are working with Rich Burlew who’s been doing this for a long time. I’m can only hope they are getting the “don’t let it get to you, you can’t please everyone and when you don’t, they’re going to email you” speech. When you put so much of yourself into your work (like the author and illustrator of that comic do) it is easy to see every complaint as a mountain and every compliment as a mole hill. If they can push past this event, they’ll be fine but it is the first real breakdown like this that is the hardest.

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  1. May 28th, 2007 at 10:38 | #1

    I agree – regardless of how much my “logical” side told me not to let it get to me, getting trashed after posting something you have spent weeks working on is, well, difficult to stomach….

  2. majorloser
    May 28th, 2007 at 12:48 | #2

    Try working for the government. Nothing you do is right and the entire public thinks you don’t deserve your pay.

  3. May 28th, 2007 at 13:51 | #3

    Oh, I’ve had a governmental position (school district), and for the most part they don’t deserve their pay. In my department, one guy (our immediate supervisor) did 90% of the work and refused to delegate. The rest of us sat around and answered phones, surfed the Internet, and slept. That was the second worst job I’ve ever had. The apathy, the inertial, and the overall willful ignorance of my “colleagues” was as mind-blowing as it was disheartening. I’m not saying my experience is universal but I think it is much more prevalent than I’d like to hope. One just has to go into the DMV or the Post Office to see similar attitudes.

  4. June 2nd, 2007 at 14:50 | #4

    OK-I have tried to keep quiet but I can’t stand it anymore.

    Webcomics?????!?!?!?!!!!?!? REALLY?

  5. June 2nd, 2007 at 14:53 | #5

    Don’t make me edit you

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