Let’s have a little talk..
This is a subject that that is very close to my heart, but which I have never seen discussed properly in the comic world. I think it’s weird, comics are very closely tied to commercialism and thus they are always products. Only recently webcomics have changed this.. kinda. People sell even those or promote the finished product trough that media, or use their web project to learn more so they can later publish and sell their stuff, but generally comics are made to be sold and paintings are made when someone is happy, sad, drunk, high, in psychosis or whatnot then later shown in galleries and someone might even buy them.
Because of this “true art” aka not comics has allot more space to be a pretentious fuckwad, so when you don’t get money from your paintings because you suck, you can always say you don’t actually do it for the money, but because of the art itself and you fucking LOVE being poor, sitting in the cold and eating from the garbage.
I don’t have to lie, tho. I fucking love dupster diving.
All artists are still pretty much the same, we’re poor, we’re hungry, we’re eccentric, we are bohemian and we’re absolutely entangled by our own way to depict reality. But I have a serious problem with the “Art is my soul”-attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I draw from my soul, heart and sometimes butt and nose but there’s one thing seriously wrong with this attitude.
I’m not even talking about constructive criticism and people who flip a lid whenever you tell them their sparkledog looks fucking horrible
My problem is completely different.
There is a whole art style dedicated to not doing research, being lazy and fighting the power. Often this style actually requires the artist to get rid of their knowledge so they could draw poorly aka “not commercially”. I used to have an art teacher like this and he was honestly the shittiest fucking teacher I ever had. I didn’t learn anything else from him than how to drink as irresponsibly as possible, we could even bring alcohol to class if we just hid it fast enough when others came into our classroom. Sure, he was our best friend and we had fun but it was a complete waste of my life to be in his class.
Of course if I would teach I wouldn’t force my ideals on others, if you want to do shit, you can do shit but you can’t sell shit.. unless you sell fertilizer and comics are mostly really poor fertilizers. And don’t get me wrong, world would be a boring place if everyone would draw the same and shit does serve a purpose – it gives a different experience.
You could make your audience feel by drawing so shittily that they feel cheated,yes. But using gruff style as a method is completely different and will bring a better result. This of course requires allot of work, reseach, feedback and thought but it will be worth it. If you just decide to do as much comics as you can with minimal effort and hope one of them will break trough will you really be proud of yourself? Why would you be proud of yourself when you haven’t even shown anyone what you can really do and your fame is only because of a lucky strike. No one can ride on the wave of fame forever after all, you’ll have to do work to stay on top of that wave.
So how to create just the feeling YOU want to a comic? Research. Hard work. Of course you could break trough with no effort by doing something so shit that someone makes fun of you and it becomes a meme, but then it is not actually you doing the work, it is the work of one bright individual who caught you on your shit and made it gold. You’ll always need your audience and you better motivate it with the real feeling you want to create rather than a lucky strike which is impossible to steer to the direction you want it to go. An artist is always a slave to the audience and you can’t really decide who your audience will be, but you can create a good product that meets nearly the audience you want to meet (young people, old people, people of certain minority..) and does what intended.
Now that we have gone trough the basics, let’s go to the big question: how exactly do you sell your soul? In other words, how do you make a good comic.
I can already hear the whiny little voice that says “But art is the reflection of your soul! you can’t put a price tag on that! Art is invaluable expression of the most abstract matters in our reality!”
And I agree. Yes it is. But it is for sale. And it is NOT the exact feeling or abstract matter you speak of, it is a material thing materialised in our material universe and the only way to sell the exact thing you want to capture is to go to a spiritual plane with meditation or on a robot rainbow unicorn, I dunno. You are indeed making a material thing that can be touched and even if it can create the exact feeling you wanted to capture on the audience, it is still a tool and a marketable thing. If you wish to keep those feelings and abstract beings as sacred as you say YOU WOULDN’T BE MATERIALIZING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!
It’s as if a man found out how to bring unicorns to our world so everyone can see how amazing they are, but then started cloning them, selling them and then was really surprised that they got used as draft horses and fucked in the bum like they were five dollar whores. People are people. And I won’t even go on to the whole debate about dualism, anyone can have their own idea of that.
Unicorns are best kept far away from people and our material universe, but comics and art is a good material thing. We need it. We need experiences, and we need professionals to bring that for us.
No one should ever be afraid of failing, you should avoid it, yes but if you have tried your best you can always say “Fuck you, I tried my best and if it’s not enough for you.. fuck you!” and this is actually the reaction I wish people to have when I catch them up on their fail. Come on, show me how to do even better, give me and everyone else your best shot untill we can’t say that you haven’t at least tried! There will always be someone or something you can reach and get your prize.
..I’ll get you one day, Lambi..
So if you want to do good work and make the best comic for people for money – go for it! If you are a human being who epresses themselves trough their art and the expression of your immortal, beautiful soul are too great to measure in money..
I hope we’re clear now and I got my point across.
But hey, I am finally free from Boss McBitcherson! I worked hard for so many weeks, I lived in a trailer with Birdgirl with no privacy except “Get out you fucking creep I know you want to oogle at me when I change WHY AREN’T YOU OUT YET GET THE FUCK OUT!” I had to use a toilet where was this bigass window with no curtains and I was really fucking busy working my ass for for rednecks who have lived in a barrel and can’t do things in ways that work because “We’ve done it this way for decades so it must work”
So quess what I’m going to do now?
FUCK YEAH! I’ve been waiting for this for WEEKS! You cannot imagine the anguish I have gone trough…
See ya next time! It will come soon, very, very soon.. unless the people in white jackets from rehab catch me.
Lambi picture s-kankaanpaa.fi ‘cus I know you all wanted to know where I found a picture of a Lambi-toilet paper package
Birdgirl who kept me reasonably sane for the time we were working together and who had to suffer from my indecent behavior, flatulence and smell of old booze and sweat. I have no idea how you survived. And we’re totes gonna fight like an old couple and people will throw strange looks at us for that. Sorry 😦
Miisa for the delicious drama which I cooked up into even more delicious copypasta. I will use your links in the future, too. Keep on being awesome. Skviik skviikiti skvii svkiik! Skviikin.
OH! I forgot to mention! BLAW is back!
I took this entry down because I wasn’t sure about the morality of it anymore. It was done by a sweet little girl who tired her hardest but.. it really was the worst shit I’ve ever seen. I don’t belive anyone over the age of 15 who is selling their comics cannot take what publicity will bring them. When you make a product and go to the public to ask money for it, you should know what you’re getting into. And I don’t think that kicking 6-year old child’s yard sale spot to smithereens and giving honest critique while being funny are particularly hard to distinguish from eachother.
At least the person who made BLAW didn’t ask 20 euros for a printing that she got for free from her daddy’s work place printer (which her dad probably had to use in secret anyway) and lie the price was so high because of the “high printing expenses” because she thought the product of her immortal, beautiful soul deserves to rip off other people’s money.
If you wonder what the hell I’m talking about.. here, I’m talking about this comic:
Yeah, that seriously happened. I hope that lass has learned some proper work ethics by now. I have no idea how she didn’t feel ashamed of selling that piece of crap for 20 euros with that kind of background. It was few years ago, though and I really hope she has grown up and become a bit smarter, she indeed was quite young.
But the lass who did BLAW sold it for the exact price you should ask for, and she was very professional in every other sense than the art itself. You become a professional cartoonist when even a one person buys something from you, but professing a skill is a whole other thing and it doesn’t require selling a thing.
So, BLAW is back up so STOP E-MAILING ME ABOUT IT! lol! No, seriously it’s nice to notice that people really do come back to my old entries and start missing the lost ones. Weird. And people really loved BLAW.
So, what should I do from now on? I didn’t get any complaints, the maker of that comic didn’t make a squeak, it was only my inner turmoil that made me hide that entry untill I think it trough once more. Do you think n00bs deserve the same amount of criticism and harsh truth than pros? Why so? I thought it would be more degrading to go “Oh you’re just a widdle little girlie so I’ll go gentle for you so that your pretty, frilly little panties won’t get in a bunch” than just let myself go wild.
..that sounded strangely sexual.
SO! I thought about making a whole new category or whatnot for self-publishers. I’d only dissect them in groups of three instead of putting all the strain on one person so that all noobs can fail, win and blah together!
Tell me what you think 🙂