A New Strategy
As you may have heard, I solicited some feedback on reddit a couple weeks ago. Don’t bother going to look for it; I deleted it earlier today.
As I took one last look at the thread, I saw where a reddit user had left a scathing attack on my work about 5 days ago. He literally started out by saying, “Your art is tasteless and lacks style”.
Well that was nice of him.
He went on to lecture about art and pacing. After his delightful intro, I didn’t give two shits about what this cocksmuggler had to say regarding my work, and his advice was little more than boilerplate bullshit that I could have read off the back of any second rate author’s dust jacket.
So here’s something to note: He linked to one of my comics as an example of what he didn’t like. He got the premise because he was able to fully explain to me why he didn’t like it, and even rewrote the dialog in a way that he felt would have been better.
I read his version. It contained the exact same setup and punchline, and was marginally better. So it seems pretty obvious to me that he got it.
But there was one thing he said about the last panel of my comic that clicked with me: “I’m suddenly hit by an authorial voice complaining about something that I don’t really empathize with or fully understand.”
And that was when he explained his version of my comic back to me, demonstrating that he did fully understand it.
So this was my “aha moment”. We live in a society where we don’t care so much about what is said, but rather who is saying it. If a listener doesn’t empathize with the speaker, it doesn’t matter what the speaker says. The listener will not trust the speaker’s words or motivation if there is no empathic connection. It’s why Obama/Hillary supporters tend to not trust/understand Trump supporters and vice versa.
So I got to thinking… “Women and children first.” And since I don’t have any child characters (yet), I’m going to focus on the females. Same situations, same thoughts, same writing, and the only difference will be the gender.
After all, just about everyone loves women. Women love to relate to women, and since men are by and large sexually attracted to women, they tend to sit up and take great interest in every subtle move they make.
So here’s my new strategy: Every comic from now on will use female characters unless I absolutely need a male as a foil. I’m going to have to work on the female templates a bit, and I might have to run some filler panels while I create a few new female characters, but I think (and you’ll correct me if I’m wrong) that more people will like the comic if I shove the men to the side, and let the women run the show.