1190 Whine & Cheese.

A few people either took Monday’s blog post the wrong way, or just didn’t like what I had to say. Which is fine. I don’t expect everyone to agree with, or understand, everything I write. When I was a fan of things, having never actually produced anything, I saw the world a very different way than I do now. I think you actually have to enter the arena to truly understand what it’s like to be out here, under constant scrutiny. I certainly didn’t fully grasp what this would all be like, even with my fairly limited notoriety.

As far as I can remember this was never posted here. It comes from tumblr, but is probably the clearest response to the pertinent line of thought from Friday, Monday, and today, which is tangentially related to Monday’s blog.

http://ishotmyboss.comicgenesis.com/ asked me this and it’s the most complete response to the question of crappy criticism versus actual criticism:

Since you have been writing and placing your art on the internet for a long while now, are you immune to anonymous insults and harsh critiques now? Or does the occasional horrible person still get to you? Do you have any tips on relaxing/getting past such things? Just want to be prepared if things like that start coming my way

The short answer is yes.

First of all, a harsh critique and an insult are very different things. The internet doesn’t seem to understand that. A critique is meant to be a teaching tool, but a lot of people think that if you say “Your work is bad and you should feel bad!” that is an acceptable critique, and not only should you shut up and take it, but they should be praised for their staggering insight.

A real critique, the kind you’d get from a professor, or colleague, would point out specific flaws and offer solutions to address those flaws. I have no problem with that sort of critique. I don’t want them coming at me from random people unsolicited, but when I need help I seek out people whose skills and opinions I trust.

If someone tells me I suck it’s a pretty safe bet they have no interest in helping me improve. If they had my best interests at heart they would know better than to lead with that anyway. So stuff like that I generally ignore, and it typically doesn’t bother me long term.

The longer you do any kind of public entertaining the more you’ll come to realize that some people have a desperate need to blurt out their opinions all the time. That is how they gain their validation. I know this because that need is strong in me. If I was still working at Gamestop, having never taken the chance to actually produce anything, I would still be trolling around the net trying to make myself feel better by telling random people how shitty they are.

of course you never really get over that sort of thing. It’s in the very code of your genetics I think. Sometimes I just can’t help publicly stating how much I hate Least I Could Do and it’s smug asshole of a lead character, in spite of the fact that it’s really just not my thing and if you like it that’s perfectly okay. That said, I don’t fuck around in the comments, or forums, or whatever it is they have over there. That sort of activity is uncalled for. Also I have my own faults to take care of before I start pointing out the faults of others.

Still, fuck that comic. I hate it.

Not everyone is going to like what you do. Some people have in them the need to let you know this. It’s not the end of the world. just delete the comment, or whatever, and move on. As long as there are people who want to hear your stories it doesn’t matter. There’s plenty of different kinds of people in the world and you’ll never please them all.

Don’t internalize that stuff. It’s pointless.

That’s where the original post ended and here’s the addendum for tonight. It’s pretty simple. Praise people who make work you enjoy. Praise them three times as much as you think you should. People have generally gotten out of the habit of praising people while doling out thoughtless criticism constantly. Negative stimuli is far stronger than positive. That’s hard wired into our brains. If someone creates something you like, anything you like, tell them so. I probably don’t need to tell the majority of you all this because you are WILDLY supportive and praise me constantly. That praise is what allows me to brush away the random negativity that comes my way. I know that there are people that passionately hate my work. I’m never going to convince them otherwise. I don’t keep doing this for them. I do it for all the people who come by to tell me how much they enjoy the comic, how it helped them get through a tough time, or that they love how the short, plump, girl can be the love of someone’s life.

And as I said it’s not wrong to passionately hate someone, or their work, just don’t bring the hate to their door. I don’t know who said this, but I think it applies here: Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.

It’s sad when someone feels the need to tell you they no longer enjoy your work, but it’s also inevitable. People grow and change and sometimes they outgrow you, or you outgrow them. That’s actually a huge part of Thomas’s journey. Accepting that it was his fault that he got left behind, but also learning that you can’t let that stop you. Whatever I may say at the time, if you feel the need to walk away from me I hope you understand that I can’t stop walking either.

In other news the Teen has caved when it comes to traveling to my workspace when I’m busy trying to make comics. She will now watch SOME television in my room while I work. COMPROMISE!

79 Comments

I have enjoyed your comics for a good amount of time now, I think I came in sometime around the beginning of the nerf gun fight and read the archive around then. This said I also have to agree with you that I am not a fan of least I can do for that main character as well, he certainly calls attention to himself and is therefore not boring; but he is the sort of person I could not really get along with. As for the constructive criticism thing, I can hardly give you any since you have not seen anything I have created and I suck at pointing out specifics anyway. Either way, I appreciate this comic for all of its entertaining moments and at times the laughter it has given me. :)

Nice little snippet on feedback. For the record, I continue to enjoy your comic, if I ever cease to enjoy it, I’ll keep it to myself, but I’ve come to trust your decisions as an author as generally sound.
I enjoyed the Jo and Jess romance, and I like the Thomas and Nina friend dynamic we have now.

Is there any other reason you hate LICD, besides Rayne’s obvious douchery and marty-stueness?
Personally, I enjoy it from time to time, but it’s easy to see why so many hate it. I like it because Rayne, for the most part, seems half parody and half mouthpiece for the writer’s opinions. Many of which I happen to share or have similar ones.

I too used to read LICD. Went all the way back thru the archives etc. Then Rayne got douchey and quite frankly, the plots seemed like they were written by a dementia patient on LSD. So I deleted LICD from my RSS feed and haven’t missed it.

Crave, I’ve been thru your entire archive several times. Your characters have a real depth, they’re real people. Flawed, sure. But aren’t we all? To me, the story line is way more important than the art. (I love XKCD). Your art is a great accompaniment to your stories.

You have one of the first strips I check for in my RSS feed.

The fact that the plots resemble something written by a mental patient on LSD is actually why I still read it. If I can’t take the story in any way seriously, the characters are a lot less offensive, because they come off as parodies or jokes, instead of someone genuinely trying to write a serious story.

But, yes, the fact that Crave’s characters act like real people and have real issues is part of why I love this comic.

Also, Carol’s boobs. Those things are epic. (And strongly remind me of a close friend, who’s rather similar in personality, and almost as scary)

My hate for LICD all on Rayne the other cast members are fine and likeable, but it’s mostly him and the last time I read it nothing ever went wrong for him, everyone tolerated his crap, but he wasn’t endearing like, say, a Homer Simpson, or Peter Grffin. Also, the Calvin and Hobbes esque thing was a bit too much for me to take.

I started reading this story right before the Thomas’s Ex showed up. During that time I was not the happiest and everything Thomas was going through really spoke to me every time you posted something new I wanted to be the first one to see it. Only one other web comic has every spoke to me like that. That someone else knew how grey things can be.

Have you gone through the archives?

This comic started out in B&W. It has the best transition to color in webcomics.

He sees the anger as the foundation for all the good he has done? Interesting. Hope there is more to this conversation.

I love your comic. Have tried unsuccessfully to sell it to my friends. Not sure why it didn’t work but they are half my age so maybe it is the same reason as your The Teen. (my older friend likes sci-fi and fantasy characters that can kick Godlings arses so… probably won’t try him… )

I love many of your blog posts and your fiction story as well. And if The Teen became a webcomic I think I would read it! (she probably won’t let you do that but it would be a great one I bet!)

I love the way you word things so much I get withdraws and am thankful for your tweets…

Even when I say something you think is dumb and you reply snarkily to that I enjoy reading how you word it… I wonder if there is a 12 step program for this…

The only thing I have to say is keep on keeping on. I am among the several masses who silently view and read your comic. A lot of people seem to be really closed-minded (or are very vocal if they are). I have personally had a gay roommate in college and the biggest revelation to me is they are just people like the rest of us. We need strong people like you to tell it as it is without dramatization or fluff. Thank you!

Am I the only one who thought Jo would end up with Ed? But with the developments in the past few weeks I can see Jo and Jess works just fine too!
What I really like about this comic is that while staying funny and relevant it doesn’t sugar-coat the characters or show only one side of them. They are real people that can be identified with, yet aren’t perfect or have their flaws be little cute things like “oh I just sometimes smother people in my love and they sometimes don’t like it!” or whatever.
Or in shorter the words the writing is well thought-out and planned with beautiful pacing and solid characters.

I saw Ed and Jo more like movie buddies. Though the foreshadowing of Ed and Nina has been getting stronger, but will they end up together? Who knows!?

Okay! I love your comic, it’s wonderful. The art is great, I’m invested in the stories, and I come back every MWF. :)

I think you have a great story going here, and any time at which I can speak of the characters as having lives of their own (such as QC), rather than having political ideas or the most recent tabloid-ish political garbage in satire form hurled upon their characters, something extraordinary is happening. What we’re seeing is a genuine story worth reading, from an author who truly cares about his art, not just about forwarding his own opinions through the popularity his art has past achieved.

I’ll admit, many a comic, tv show, etc., has really offended me with sudden developments in the direction of homosexuality or other sometimes controversial situations. But it wasn’t the homosexuality and whatnot that was actually the offensive part, as I would later realize. It’s actually what I’ve just said above, that someone was using their art and popularity to push a political agenda that had nothing to do with their art (think, Star Trek, BUILT to destroy racial inequality = ok and appreciated, but Ender’s Game and the author’s homophobia being unrelated = NOT ok in his art).

So where does that leave your wonderful comic? Well, Jo’s behavior is self developed and something that has been foreshadowed upon in the last several comics, and seems as much a part of her own character as the color of her hair or her sudden revealing of herself to her friends. It also isn’t something done to just increase fan service, I believe. Since it is borne of the character, and not of an agenda, it’s still a part of the story, still a part of the art, and another piece of the puzzle that increases, not detracting in the slightest, the beauty of this work.

Thank you for your hard work! It is truly enjoyable to read!

I am saddened to see someone once again mistaking a deeply held core religious belief for a phobia and resort to name calling. I actally know Orson Scott Card and have found him to be one of most compassionate people I have met. To my understanding he feels deeply that pursuing

Urgg – Computer problems cut off the comment mid-sentence…to continue..
He belives that pursuing same-sex romantic relatioships will eventually bring those involved pain and remorse. He also strongly believes that we all have a right to our own religious (and non-relgious) beliefs and should be allowed to worship (or not worship) accoding to the dictates of our own conscience.
Personally I’m willing to allow Mr. Card the same right to state what he believes is true that I grant the auuthor of this Web comic. So far I don’t feel threatenrd by either one.

I actually know what you mean, but my reasons for boycotting comics range from disinterest in storyline (Ctrl Alt Del, but I hit it up every now and again) to a comic that asked me to create a product for them and then never returned my e-mails when the product was made (Penny Arcade).

That being said, I like your work. It’s rare to find someone who can draw and write well, and you pull it off. This is something known everywhere in it’s rarity, and I’m not talking about art and books. I’m talking about the particular medium of comics; it’s hard. You do a great job, I think. It feels real, and comes off polished.

Oh, and on Nina’s dialogue: ba-dum pish

Hey crave, you said short, plump, girl. I got that carol was supposed to be a little wider than average, but honestly I never saw her as short. Maybe cause thomas slouches and everyone but nina is pretty small? I dunno. I always figured her for average height, maybe 5 foot 4 to 5 foot 6? How tall is she actually supposed to be?

It’s true. We do live in a culture of hate where it’s not only acceptable to be a total singularity of doucheyness, but even encouraged. I only see it from a perspective of someone only beginning to create rather than anyone who has seen as much success as some of the biggest web comic artists. It’s not much better at the bottom than it is at the top.

Yeah, this. And their lame “reasoning” is, “Hey man! I’m tellin’ it like it is,” or (one of my favorite variations), “Hey man! I’m just bein’ like, brutally honest,” trying to make their behavior out as natural and even honorable. In reality, there is no virtue in brutality. If the only way someone can be truthful is to be brutal, then maybe they should just lie, or better yet, be silent. Sometimes, the truth itself is brutal, and if it must be told, then one should have the grace to feel some kind of sorrow or sympathy for having be the one who tells it, but to arrogate one’s brutality as honest and honorable is purest deception, both of self and others.

Thus endeth the lesson. ;-)

I’ve heard a lot of people claim to “tell it like it is.” I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone who actually did that.

Just sayin, so you know.

I love reading this comic! I love hating the characters that piss me off and “d’aww”ing the cute moments, generally when jo is on the page or a moment between Thomas and Carol. My boyfriend and I both avidly follow and will often quote our favourite lines back and forth to each other :p I won’t be a fan of Jo getting her heart broken but at the same time I won’t fault you for breaking her heart if you so choose and I understand you try and keep this as realistic a fantasy world as possible which is a big reason I wait for your twee every time a new comic will be posted.
I know you aren’t looking for validation here, but keep up the awesome writing!

Whoah. That’s pretty… deep commentary I guess?
I don’t usually comment much on comics indeed, so I suppose it’s also right.

Anyway!
I indeed enjoy your comic, how the characters seem to change and develop, etc., and they are not just black-and-white, even the seemingly jerks like Reggie, who had his good moments.

Although – what happened to John? He seems to have kind of disappeared. (unless he left the store and I forgot?)

Hello!

First time poster to this site, but I really wanted to take a moment and respond to what you said in the news post thing for today (I want to call it the comment box, but I am way too tired, to do that at the moment and be certain I am right.) I really can’t help but agree to a lot of what you said. When I was younger, negative feed back used to utterly crush me, break me down despite the many more positive comments I would get, the bad ones used to break me down. Then as time went on I took them for what they were, and laughed at them more than took them to heart. Even when they were tearing my beloved work apart (usually using ideas incorrectly, or not having the full picture of it yet.), and this made me think of how I changed over the decade and a half I have been making work.

I tend to be only a positive poster, throughout the internet (though, I tend to be rather vocal in political forums, and sometimes more negative towards peoples thoughts and opinions.) But sometimes I do find myself wanting to point out flaws, or incongruities, and such to the author or artist. I tend to do this far more in written rather than visual media, as I have no skill in drawing or visual art, thus I could be wrong anyway!

So, on to my new point. I plan to post up from now on to every one of your comics that touches me about how much I liked it. I tend to try to lurk more, and support quietly, but I think that at times, even shy people need to stand up and tell someone they like their work. I really enjoy Between Failures, I’ve enjoyed it for a long while now, but I’ve always just been quiet about it. I can’t remember a time when I was negative about the comic at all. So thank you very much for the webcomic, and I can’t wait to see more of how everything turns out.

(By the way, I used to love Least I Could Do, but I felt that as I was forced to be more responsible and mature, the comic’s warmth, and its entertainment value dropped immensely to the point where its just…no…but I do still like Looking For Group…cus that’s a thing…)

You Suck! ™ … Any way, I first want to get this out. I really enjoy your comic. I happen to like where it went over the last week and not because “oooh, two chicks kissing.” Your characters have well represented and defined thoughts, beliefs and feelings. The only thing that truly surprised me, was that it was Jo who made the first move. I am one of those who have ‘bonded’ with Jo, anthropromorphically (sp?), and believe that “if you hurt her needlessly, we’ll have to be her big brother and pummel you!” That said, I do not believe at all that you would do that, at least not needlessly.

Here is my problem with praising in blogs: if you do so, then more often than not, you are labelled a fan-boy of the whatever-it-is. If you think you, as the producer of the object being blogged, do not like being slammed, then I, as a simple enjoyer of your comic, would not like be ‘called out’ either.

I don’t understand why it’s so bad to be a passionate fan of something.

I think it has to do with places that are more…divided. If there is a big enough group of dissenters, then people who praise will be considered “blind fanboys/girls.” Case in point: I’m part of He-Man.org, where the big conversation is over the Master of the Universe Classics toyline (pretty much remaking just about any figure related to He-Man through the years). Mattel has had their share of screw-ups, and naturally that pisses some people off. Sadly, if people try to throw some praise their way for the AWESOME figures we’ve gotten so far (with an amazingly long-lasting toyline, for what it is), then you get the dissenters coming in and pointing out how horrible Mattel has been, and that the people praising are just sheep following the herd.

…conversely, you get the people who praise coming in against dissenters when they call out problems. So it goes both ways. A passionate fan can be annoying if they are too far in one direction or the other. No one should be blamed for loving or hating something, but when they start breaking down doors to shut-up the people with complaints or start yelling at the “blind fanboys” for loving things against what they consider to be a massive problem, well….

I guess it boils down to sticking to your side. If you don’t agree with the other side…come on, man. Leave ’em alone. No need to start lobbing bombs on ’em. Ya’ll can love or hate whatever you want so long as it doesn’t come to blows. Some arguments can lead to understanding, but when it comes to passionate fandom, it feels like they just want to be RIGHT. So badly, that both sides will cover their own ears and shout and shout even though neither side is listening to the other.

Well, I’ve been here for a while. And so far don’t see no reason to stop doing so. ;)

You bring up a few good points in these comic’s commentary. As for the need to blurt out your opinions: I think that need is quite strong in most of us. At the very least, most people who create something and show it to public out of their free will have it. As well as most people who comment on their work. ;)
I know I do. Strongly.
That being said, there is an acceptable way of doing so. And then there is just being a negative, stupid and assholic (is that a word? if not, it should be!) bag of douche! And any comments in the way of “Haha, you suck!” generally fall into the second category. If you don’t like something in what you saw and feel strong enough about it to tell everyone, you’re allowed to. But pay heed to those two simple maxims:
– Be civil.
– Be precise.
The first one really should need no explanation. You’re out in public, so watch your mouth. It’s basic courtesy.
The second one is about not simply saying “Meh, I don’t like/get it.” Say, why you don’t like it, what you don’t get! And try to do so in as few and simple sentences as you can manage. That may need a little work from you, but it makes sure that others will actually get your point.
Doing so will at least show, that you care about the commented work. Enough to take some time actually thinking about it. Trying to make sense of things in it you didn’t understand.
And even if it’s criticism coming unsolicited from a random source. And most of the time steming from either you not having the full picture or simply a slightly different worldview than the creator. But every now and then you might just have stumbled upon something the creator hadn’t realised himself. Pointing out a problem, that he wasn’t aware of and his proofreaders didn’t catch.
(I had this happen myself with one of the short stories I occasionally write. Saw nothing wrong with it myself. Nor did my brother and usual proofreader or my friends who read it. It wasn’t until I showed a chance acquaintance that she pointed out how bad it was. It wasn’t the story itself. But I had filled the paragraphs with so many nested sentences that they were hardly readable. It was only after her harsh critique that I realised it and rewrote the thing.)

Of course there’s a third maxim coming into play at this point:
– Don’t expect the creator to go out of his way to thank and appease you.
He might see the bigger picture that you don’t. Have a different agenda yet to be revealed. Or simply disagree with you. Whatever the cause, he has every right in the world to completely ignore you. So if he does: Don’t whine, don’t rage. Just shrug quietly and accept it. And give him a chance to prove yourself wrong in his work. If you think he fails in that account, you’re free to stop following his work at any point. No need to be a douche about it.

And if you feel that he does a good job, except for the points you criticised: Say so! Because it is not obvious from the start! We’re not all telepaths, mind you.

Well, that’s my two cents about this. Sorry about the wall of text. I warned you the need was strong in me, didn’t I. ;)

Well I love your work and I love you for making it and making my day that much more enjoyable with it. I may not comment much but I read what you have to say and I have come to value your opinion on certain things

Well I don’t normally post but I felt the need to.
I’m sick of reading about you defending yourself, and your work. I enjoy your comic and your stories and reading about your interactions with “the teen.” I don’t entirely understand your adult obsession with action figures, but twelve year old me would have been right behind you.

And I will will forgive your harsh comments about Least I Could Do.

Also, did you know there’s a new season of Community? I thought it was done forever but it’s not. That is all… Um, later tater?

When I was little I didn’t have people my age to play with and was very shy. The kids at school were cliqueish and mean so I spent almost all my play time writing epic sagas with action figures or watching tv. I was into Star Wars mostly at first, then Transformers came out and I went nuts. The idea of hidden robot friends fighting evil was the best thing ever. I also really liked MASK for a while and He-Man. Then Ghostbusters came out and Ninja Turtles. Ghostbusters was my complete obsession for ages. I wanted ghosts to be real SO BAD. During all of that time I was basically writing stories about characters I liked, which lead, eventually, to me learning to understand people. So I’ve always wanted to have little versions of characters I like around.

Anyway, we’ll have this defense of the artist stuff sorted out soon.

I have been watching the new Community. I thought I had said so. I’m enjoying it in spite of the loss of some characters.

Kind of interesting with your affinity for fantastic and science fiction type stuff that you would create a comic so grounded in reality (compared to most all other webcomics anyway). ‘Cept for the cute redhead falling for the dork- that’s still a stretch. But I do like the idea.

A lot of people tell me that Carol falling for Thomas is the least believable thing in the comic, just not the army of nerds with hot, red headed, wives who say it reminds them of their courtship.

The thing about the strip being so grounded is actually a reaction to other strips I like. Questionable Content, Shortpacked, PVP, are grounded in reality, except for the wacky magical robot, or whatever, that saves the day when the jokes run dry. At the time I started the comic I saw those characters as a crutch, so I refused to make one. There are absolutely days I wish I’d allowed magic, or robots, or whatever. At this point I couldn’t pull something like that because it would do too much damage to everything I’ve built. Even with the ghost hunting stuff I tried to keep it real. The thing with the car was probably just bad wiring. (Because I secretly hope ghosts are real in spite of the total lack of testable evidence.)

Wait — isn’t Wil Wheaton a nerd with a hot, red headed wife? At least she was when he married her fifteen years ago. I think his next book is something like, I Hate Wesley Crusher (and Here’s Why You Should, Too).

I kind of like Pierce’s replacement character, and the Jeff Winger teacher thing. And I just assumed that Troy’s boat trip will be like when he was in air conditioner repair school. A side adventure we’d be clued into.

Questionable content is another one of my favorites. I usually check it weekly.
Yours I pretty much check mon/wed/fri along with Shotgun Shuffle which I think you’d like if you haven’t read it.

I don’t see whats so unbelievable about the red head/dork relationship. It’s not like Carol is Scarlett Johanson, she’s short plump cute, not a pin up bombshell.

Oh, and the only thing that upsets me about Jo being in a relationship is that she’s no longer available. Which is absurd and irrational.

Peace out, Crave
Can’t wait to read tomorrow.

Ah! I realized I forgot to make a comment I intended to anyway. Well, Crave, I think you might remember me well enough to know I’m in this for the long haul. I don’t comment all that often because I feel I don’t have much to say most of the, but I will be here quietly reading until you finish this.
And then I’ll probably follow your next project as well. You make great stuff. (OH! and I love the fact that you use ear-blushing, though I’ve said that before)

Out of curiosity, has the Teen read much of Between Failures?

She hasn’t read any significant portion. Honestly, she’s too young to understand it.

At first I thought “huh, I guess as young as 13 does count as ‘teen'” but then it also occurred to me that youth implies a certain lack of life experience. I know I probably wouldn’t have really “got” this comic even a few years ago. I think having colossally screwed up something important is a necessary step on the path to adulthood, now that I’ve considered it.

The first time I saw Clerks I thought it was the dumbest shit ever made. Then I watched it again a few years after actually working retail and realized it was fantastic. So at least some part of why you like some content comes down to experience and perspective.

I’ve been reading your comic for a long time now (and the blog post about 80% of the time, depending on how much time or energy I have), and I never once thought to leave a comment telling you, or any other webcomic I enjoy, how wonderful they are and how much I so greatly appreciate them. That is completely my bad, and now here I am to tell you: Your work is wonderful, it’s real, the characters you write are realistic and the story is believable and the characters, in art and in writing, all are unique in the same way that each person in life is unique. Thank you for creating this, thank you for continuing to create this, and thank you for helping me through some tough times. This comic has helped a lot in my life.

I only came across this comic recently and have already eaten it up. The characters are so alive and believable. The dialogue is so worthy of being in a novel. In fact, this would make a great novel or film. I am into porn comics so my compliments to you on a fine experience that I ate up way too quickly. Only what’s good (other than porn) gets my attention for long. Thanks.

Personally i just enjoy reading comics. I enjoy reading your comic. They are you characters. You wanna take them in any direction. Good by me. Keep up the good work. This post was mostly pointless except to say i enjoy reading the comic. So i guess it had a point. Good work.

And I caught up again on months of story. I’m the type who likes to marathon hehe ^_^

Wow stuff happened, makes me wonder what’s coming next. Do you have a soundtrack in mind when you create these strips? I usually feel like I’m reading this to a lot of Clams Casino and sometimes I got to turn up my Chief Keef and Rich Homie Quan when you attack me with the feels. Your feels are like black ice, you can’t see it until you’re on the side of the road, and the only protection I have against it is my hood rich music haha.

Keep on with your smooth moves dude!

Ignore fools saying you suck. They’re a minority opinion. Sometimes people confuse opinion with fact. I say, they’re the ones who suck!

Even high majority isn’t fact, it’s the accepted answer/majority opinion. When it’s a fact that someone sucks instead of an opinion, they’re probably rather obvious to figure out, and/or may be related to a vacuum. (Hey look, it’s a pun so terrible that I’m almost asking to someone to say I suck. Without being related to a vacuum. (Quite the opposite, really…))

Please, by all means, continue with what you’re doing. Having recently re-read the whole comic, from what I remember, I can only think of two noteworthy problems. The first was to say the cast is likely to break up at some point (which is only saying they won’t work there anymore, not that you’re getting rid of the character). The second was to not make every single joke exceptionally funny.
I’m sure you can write the first into working out in a satisfactory way. As for the second…yeah, ignore that. Saying you’re funny enough would be insulting, but I’m sure there’s a joke or two that I never noticed. That said, I’d say that Between Failures could rather easily be classified as a comedy if you ignored the drama bits.

I have finally, finally caught up to this story (which is AWESOME by the way), and I have to know ’cause this has been driving me nuts: is Thomas s’posed to remind me of David Tennant or am I just crazy? Because seriously, put some brainy specs on him and you got the Tenth Doctor.

No, Tennant didn’t walk into public consciousness until way after I designed Thomas. He’s a combination of anime traits I like. He shares design elements from Riding Bean and Lupin III, for example. It just happens that so does David Tennant. Which is why he should play Lupin III in a live action movie. Also thanks for reading and welcome to the group.

I’ve gotta say that the fact that you did your research alone makes me stick around (I love the comic, I’m just saying that if I didn’t, a dedication to getting it right earns you points all its own).

You’re an amazing artist and your dedication to your craft is noteworthy. The fact that I feel like so many parts of this are straight out of my own life, to the fact that Carol and Thomas even look a bit like me and one of my gfs (the other looks a bit like Brooksie, but I like how that turned out~). Everything here has been great. I look forward to whatever else you decide to do with this.

All I gotta say is brilliant work. this is by far my favorite comic OTW for its witty quirkiness and realistic feels.

I don’t usually do this – but I feel as if you’re asking for comments and affirmation. I LOVE your comic and look forward to reading it every time it updates. I was disappointed some time back when it seemed to stop updating, lost touch for a bit and then rediscovered it recently. I like the simple-appearing graphic style, the clear dialogue, and most importantly the STORIES behind it. Thomas is someone many of us can identify with, someone who has made some mistakes and is trying to live past them and fix himself. He’s fortunate to have so many friends.
Oh and the relationship between the girls is perfectly in character with what you’ve set up already and as someone said in an earlier comment, doesn’t feel manufactured.

YOUR WORK SUCKS!
Here’s why:
Here’s what you can do to improve it:

There is a name for the sort of person who posts the usual “You Suck” comment: iVandals. These are the thugs who prowl the Interwebz, looking for targets. Drive-by commenters. They are usually poorly educated (if their comments are any indication), bored (might I say, jaded), without any talent of their own, and I suspect they’re mostly 20-30-somethings living in Mom’s basement.

Not that I have any particular talent, myself; I can’t draw (although I used to doodle some cartoons, nothing good enough for public posting) and apparently I’m not that good a writer, if the half-dozen views my work on deviantART received in the past month (without so much as a “You suck,” thank you). But I agree with a number of the opinions expressed above (and probably below, but Wednesday was a real busy day for me). If you’re going to leave a producer negative criticism, at least identify what you think is wrong with their work. The model I posted above is a bit crude, of course — I was going for shock value, as usual, but I hope it gets the point across.

Oh, and yeah, today’s exchange was great — especially Nina’s little zinger there. One more reason these are people I’d love to know. Can’t wait to see what changes Thomas makes in his life, now that the reason for his anger has been appeased.

I am enjoying your comic. I, unlike you, rarely, if ever, feel the need to express myself over the internet, so I’m generally reading along, enjoying myself, perhaps with the vague feeling of ‘I should tell him I enjoy this,’ but it never happens. You’re right; I should do it more often. So now I’m telling you that I do, and I think I will go and tell all the other web-artists I read as well. Thank you for this. I trust you as an author and want to see the journey you will take me on as a reader.

Really, I should make more of a habit of reading artist comments.

In any case, I would like to say that I have been reading and enjoying your comic for a little while now, and that I’ve been enjoying it immensely. I feel bad that I haven’t previously taken the time to tell you so and even if you don’t see more comments from me in the future, as long as pages go up, I’ll be here in my quiet corner of the internet, silently enjoying your work over a cup of hot chocolate and admiring your ability and determination. I always admire webcomic creators for their tenacity, bravery and dedication to their work. Hopefully some time this year I’ll join your ranks. In the meantime, you have my silent support as a reader. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and work with us.

Psst. Crave.

This is me praising your comic.

I love your comic. I really do. I’ve not been following it half as long as it’s been running, but since I found it, I’ve been absolutely, 100% behind it. The characters are people I could know in my life. They aren’t perfect. And the flaws that make them imperfect aren’t afterthoughts. They make sense for the character, and they’re played realistically.

I also want to say I love reading the author’s comments with each post. It’s nice to see that you’re human and that you portray yourself honestly and realistically. I appreciate that openness. I hate when authors just kind of give you the best parts of their life and try to make themselves seem like the most awesome person on the planet.

Anyway. Now that that rambling’s done…

Keep up the awesome work, and I’ll see you tomorrow. :)

Ive posted on occasion before, but most of the time i refrain because i dont generally go for the “your comment sucks” type of reply. I can say that while i enjoy your comic for its banter, i tend to dislike most things you post. This one though i feel is over the top, so i figure why not toss out some “random unsolicited” critiques.

Point one: You say you dont mind critiques, then go on to say BUT only the ones i want to get. Then offer your own “critique” of another webcomic…that isnt a critique at all but you just saying “i hate this”. Wait a second here, didnt you JUST say that isnt helpful, or useful or cool to do? Evidently your days of trolling arnt behind you, but still right their with you. Just with more ego.

Point two: you despise a comic for its lead characters ego, a comic that literally states in its name that it is about him(note the I in least I could do). Offering nothing more against it than its egotistical, while you in your (lengthy) post beg for validation and accolades for your own web comic.

Point three:For someone who produces good dialog, bad artwork(i could start listing comics that put far more detail etc into it but i dont think it necessary), and nothing but self centered posts you sure do seem to be down quite heavily on a COMIC about someone being “self centered”. The difference being not only is that comic make believe, but that within the comic you see the character doing genuinely courageous things for his friends and family as well as strangers. I’m not saying you are wrong to dislike the comic itself(or to hate it), just that what you say you hate it for. If your busy running around being an egocentric asshat in REAL life, you shouldnt be bashing someone for doing the same…in a make believe world.

Final thoughts:I’m sure you can tell i like licd, i do. Im a long time reader of a number of webcomics(including this one). My issue however isnt with you disliking something i like. I could care less. My issue is as stated above. Even the “make believe” character of that webcomic shows more moral fiber, and a greater understanding of others than you do. I intentionally left out the known good Sohmer has done for other webcomics, charities etc because while your “hatred” could be taken to include him you didnt say so so i figure gee you must think he is a stand up guy.(which to any/all accounts i can think of, by any reasonable definition, is) These things being said, try getting off your high horse, try following some of the words you preach.

In the end while i dont think ill stop reading this comic, your words(especially over the past few months) have really tarnished the enjoyment i got out of it.

Hi Crave,
I just wanted to thank you for creating this webcomic. I’ve been enjoying it for about a month now, having read through the entire archive in my first week. I don’t regularly read many webcomics outside of QC and XKCD, but this one is rapidly becoming my favorite. Your character development is some of the best that I’ve seen so far. I find it interesting that I struggle to see any specific examples of dynamic characters; rather, you somehow make their personalities emerge from the aggregate of panels.
I’ve been going through some difficult times lately, so it’s nice to have something like this to look forward to every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Thank you again,

I seldom post anywhere public, but like many readers, felt the need to tell you how much I enjoy your work and your commentaries. A friend turned me on to web comics only recently and of all the ones I browsed this is the only one that caught my interest enough to gobble down the entire archive in a few days and avidly check in every M/W/F. I love the evolving characters because everyone in that age group IS evolving and changing, trying to find who they are or who they want to be and as someone old enough to be their mother, I am cheering them on to experience it all, make mistakes, recover, make better choices and find their bliss. And btw I think it was perfectly in character for Jo to make the first move, she read the signals that Jess was giving perfectly, and Jess does not seem to me as calculating as others have suggested, I rather like her honest enjoyment of her sexuality.

That is a pretty good summation of good versus bad criticism; but I think to the people writing it at least, bad criticism can feel an awful lot like it must be good criticism. People are sometimes really bad at knowing whether they are being specific. We spend most of our lives saying “but… you know what I’m saying?” and people nod along; usually they *do* know, and when they don’t, we might never find out.

People even confuse being emphatic with being specific. I have a friend who sometimes criticizes good movies really harshly; he’ll start cracking jokes about it, implying they never should have made the movie etc. etc. Of course one or two movies are above criticism; but he only does this with movies good enough that he wants them to be better. He’ll call them terrible, but if questioned he has much more specific problems with them, and actually he really likes them.

Hopefully that’s an ok example. Anyway, so when we tell an author they’re terrible, we often get emphatic about it rather than getting specific, and we think it’s clear what should be done better. So I think in their heads, many of these people might be making good points, they just aren’t used to actually communicating well. Or rather, people get good at communicating *dramatically* (or just, entertainingly), because in many life situations that’s more useful than communicating *specifically*; the people we usually interact with will usually know what we mean.

This is a wonderful comic. It’s what got me hooked on story orientated web comics about a year ( maybe two ago, i.e. just after it had broke 1000 or so). Most of all what I love is the characters, there not perfect, there better than that, and there better than to think that ( which is Really hard of a hero type like Thomas.( by extension you must have these qualities/ a true confidence in your work to humanise your characters so when so many move to Idolise). This comic has It’s own life, and I have wanted to praise it for so long, but not had the courage.

Huh, I like LICD, I just got bored of it at some point. In fact, I got recent with it due to you talking about it D: You have inadvertently added to his page views. It’s gotten slightly more soapbox-y; starting to resemble rhjuniors work a bit more. Still decent and enjoyable.

Now BCB? Fuck. That. Comic.

I don’t mind if other people like LICD. I just don’t like it myself. A lot. Takes all kinds to make a world.

Is BCB Bittersweet Candy Bowl? I must confess I’ve never been able to bring myself to read it. Although I’m curious about why you don’t like it now…

Sorry for the late reply, but yes. bittersweet candy bowl. A comic about about people and relationships by an author who clearly understands neither, and doesn’t look like she will learn any time soon. I’ll leave it at that.

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