1552 Settlers Of Craptan.

Oh Kayla, the world needs ditch diggers too, and professors who never really live their dreams. It’s pretty surprising how many of you really liked Kayla. I seriously spent no time creating her. Which might be why she looks like a discount Pinkie Pie. If a character is going to appear a lot I try not to design them with a lot of intricate details. That’s why Carol and Nina don’t have freckles, for example. I sometimes draw them that way in outside art, but in comic it takes to much time. I try to keep designs as streamlined as possible. It’s way easier to do that when you have to keep to a schedule. If you update whenever it’s not such a big deal. The regularity of updates is very important for monetization online though. so the easier you make the art in general the better.
If you look at your Penny Arcade, for example, the art is pretty streamlined over time, but the better the artist gets within those three boxes the more he makes things complex. In some ways he outgrew the panel. That’s a good problem to have really. It’s way better than always struggling to fill them. I’ve always struggled and wanted to show more than my capabilities. When I was feeling good, at my peak before getting sick, I felt like I was slowly getting to a good place. Getting sick knocked me back down the steps a fair bit. I was able to keep going because I have a lot of tricks now I can use to save time. The kind of things that people give you endless shit for in forums, but that get the job done. People who aren’t making anything actively get pretty high and mighty about things like that. Once you actually work on a deadline, and depend on your ability to produce something to survive, you lose a lot of that sort of douche mentality.
Digital art has made it possible for people like me to do things we’d never be able to do in traditional media. I used to spend so much money on paper, ink, pencils, and whatnot; only to fuck up hours of work with my unsteady hand. Being able to reverse a bad move makes this possible for me. If I were ever to get a tattoo it would probably be CNTRL+Z.
I’ve always felt let down by my college instructors because they told us that digital art would NEVER surpass traditional media. I don’t know how I was stupid enough to believe that. The fact of the matter is that they didn’t want to have to learn how to do it themselves, and the college didn’t have the means to teach us, so they just told us what we needed to hear. Who knows what my life would be like now if I’d been exposed to photoshop 2 decades ago. My name might be one of those ones that gets mentioned with the big online comic people. On the other hand I might not have ever crashed and burned into retail. The way I fucked my life up made all I have now possible. If I’d been successful from the off I’d probably be a massively tedious art douche. I’d be the guy who draws fucking… damnit, what’s it called… Dresden Kodak. XD
(I don’t actually know much about that guy. I only see him through the filter of his tweets that go viral and whatnot, and people who already hate him pouring poison in my ear. ) If life had never fucked me over I’d be insufferable, callous, arrogant… Well, a lot more than I am now anyway. I’d be everything terrible about the internet, updating at my leisure, while people kept telling everyone how good my unfinished stuff is.
I probably wouldn’t be any happier than I am now. But that’s as may be. I made the choices I made, and this is what happened. What I do seems to help a fair number of people and that makes me feel like I’m making the world suck less. That’s pretty much my goal in life now. Do as much as I can to make life less shit for as many people as I can. I have to work within the confines of my personal gifts, but so do we all.

By the way, if you ever wanted to see what Thomas’s nakey butt looks like I got a request for it and went ahead and posted it on Patreon for everybody who supports me. I’m sure it’s not going to be as popular as the girls, but at least one person wanted to see it, so I went ahead on. The link is Nina’s pic on the sidebar, like always, if you want in.

45 Comments

Jess is, of course, talking crap. In a highly competitive world, over-supplied with graduates, position in class and grade level is exactly the sort of thing which opens or closes doors in the crucial period after leaving college and establishing yourself in the Real World

No disrespect, but that’s also true about why people rise to prominence in web comics or any other creative field – hard work and better ideas. That’s why 99.9% of people fail, or stagnate – they reach the limit of their ideas.

Position in class will only play so much of a part. There’s a reason people who were middle/bottom of the class have obtained their positions. People you know.

However, it seems more a matter of her wanting a less thought inducing, need less thinking job. What does she want to do? Become an internet sensation based on her looks w/ maybe a hint of her personality.

Job’s in physics, math, science in general would require her to think and likely work :p

Well, yes. But every little thing counts in the present climate.

What employers are really looking for, most of the time, is the ability to learn and adapt to specific tasks. Come middle of the class, or bottom, and you are showing either that you can’t, or don’t want to; employers aren’t looking for either of those things, so it doesn’t matter which.

So… Jess (presumably) doesn’t know anyone who counts in that respect, and is neglecting her studies (which cost her money) to pursue something she could have already done, or could do later; which she has no real idea how to go about, and which a very large majority of those who try, fail in.

She isn’t half as smart as she thinks she is..

I knew a boss in one company who just hired based on one thing…college degree. :p He’d throw out a more qualified person just because they lacked a degree.

Others I’ve known have hired those they knew, even if they weren’t qualified or even really wanted the job, because they were friends/family.

I had bosses who came to me, asked me if I should hire the person they were looking at. If I told them no, they never made it past three weeks. If I told them yes, they at least made it year.

They’d still hire the ones I told them no to and when I asked, why do you even bother to ask me, you hire them anyways. The answer was “Because you always say they won’t make it.” To which I replied “Not always and I’ve always been right.” :p

Of course, I’ve been “lucky” enough to have some of the worst bosses around at my jobs. :p So maybe I’ve just had bad experiences with them.

Actually, I’ve found even immediately after college, employers and HR folks care more about what you’ve actually done in college than GPA or even where in the class you ended up gradewise, particularly in the science field. It’s who you know (alas, the stupid networking) more than what you know beyond the basics that are important.

Colleges, like high schools, are growing more incompetent in graduating students with the skills employers are looking in their chosen majors. Jess is possibly seeing that she is finding her voice in something other than physics.

I’m not saying grades isn’t something they’ll look. But it’s more of a weeding out mechanism than actually a determining factor as to who gets it versus who doesn’t in the end.

we’re talking two different things. Th University world is an oversupplied with qualified candidates for any math or physics job. Where I am, even community colleges have found they can turn up their noses at a Masters degree for any new professorship. A Masters degree in an academic-oriented subject is toilet paper. It’s no wonder that universities are using any little thing, such as the school one went to or graduating Nth in one’s class to differentiate possible new hires.

On the other hand, Silicon Valley has a whole procurement system spread across the globe because the US does not produce enough technically skilled people to fill the jobs we have created.

If Jess simply wants to be “successful” using her innate intelligence, academics is NOT the direction she wants to go. Computer Science or Electrical Engineering is where it’s at. Top-flight grades AND a girl? The tech world would be at her feet.

People INTERESTED in the tech world might be at her feet, but in Silicon Valley and most other tech centers, she’d struggle to advance no matter how brilliant she was, BECAUSE she’s a girl. I work in IT myself, and even in my relatively low position on the ladder, there are few if any women in my peerage, and the men there are… less than open-minded.

True, there are successful women in the tech world, but they tend to be exceptions to the rule rather than a subset. The tech world may very well be the most misogynistic industry of them all.

I graduated in the middle of my class for reasons unrelated to my abilities. I didn’t have any connections in the industry I wanted to be involved in. I got my first job simply due to determination.

But that said, I feel it was much harder for me to get a job as someone with a middling GPA from a good school who actually excelled at their major than it would’ve been for someone who had a middling GPA from a good school who had only been able to achieve that much. Most of the interviews I went to, they were clearly looking for someone who would work hard and not have the talent to compete with their boss.

Not to nitpick, but I think Kayla’s eyes changed from baby-blue to dark brown.w

Aw, We’ve only seen Kayla for two panels, and already I feel sympathy for her. Nice job on the puppy dog eyes.

It wouldn’t surprise me if after Jess leaves, Kayla turns to her professor and cry, “DAD! How could you?!”

Also, if I were Kayla, I’d lash at the professor basically saying this is something to tell me privately, not in front of another student.

This is potential lawsuit material, really. The prof here is humiliating Kayla in front of another student.

Also incorrect.

Talent only takes you so far. The podcast Freakonomics Radio ran a “Self help Month” not long ago discussing what the limits are on people when they set their minds to breaking those limits. There aren’t any.

Practice is far more important. What you need to succeed is the willingness to keep at it, to honestly appraise your work and seek to improve.

If Kayla loves physics, the prof is doing the worst possible thing to her by advising her to “settle”.

I loved physics but couldn’t handle the math. I settled. It’s been a good life and one free of the constant battle for tenure and funding, but I wanted to be at the center of the universe’s weirdness and I’m not.

XD a lawsuit? Hello everything that’s wrong with the world. I was wondering how long it would be before you showed up.

Speaking as someone who is studying for the bar right now, it’s unlikely you’d get anywhere with that sort of thing. The closest thing I can think of would be Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, but that requires extreme or outrageous conduct and I doubt this would suffice. Think of things like incorrectly telling someone that a family member had died or threatening them or someone they care about with severe harm. Just being a jerk generally doesn’t cut it.

Just my 2 cents:
Yeah, I agree with that. If I could get money from everyone who was a jerk to me, [ Bill Gates] would be begging me for money. : )

As someone who enjoys the Dresden Codak comic, I feel obliged to note that Aaron Diaz crashed and burned too. He swapped majors in school until he ran out of money, and somehow fell into comicmancy after that.

He is also not someone I would get along with personally, though he seems to be making an effort to be far less abrasive these days. I assume he finally decided he had better things to spend his energy on than flame wars.

Tangentally, I noted with wry amusement that shortly after he quit ranting about the treatment of women in comics, his own comic spent a month drawing exactly the kinds of things he used to roast others for.
So maybe he accepted he liked Certain Parts Of Women, and there was no shame in that. Or possibly he had a big elaborate self-deception he was throwing at critics about why it was different when HE did it. Either way…

“If I were ever to get a tattoo it would probably be CNTRL+Z.”

And then you would CTRL+Z and redo the tattoo.

Jess isn’t wrong. She would be better off goong into the trades or engineering. The hard sciences are all well and good, but are as likely to lead to a job as the arts are. At least, according to Forbes.

But that would be work on her part :p

I can believe it though. Besides what they tell you in school, there are only a limited number of jobs out there and a limited number of some of the more…I’ll call them…endearing…jobs out there. :p Nobody wants to work blue collar jobs, but there’s just more of them and more “boring” white collar jobs than there are of the jobs that make people think “OMG! I’m important/special!” :p

It’s suckie, but it’s true :/

Yeah in this economy, university for actual learning is for aristocrats, and polymaths with three lifetimes of bursaries. You have to target that paycheck from the start, and that means playing the market, not following your dreams.

The setup for that final panel…

I am going to Hell for how much I laughed

Yeah. I’m in this boat, too. I mean, I think the whole situation is unlikely and unprofessional. Then, I remember professional is rarely funny, so I just let the absurdity do its thing.

It must have been nice to go to schools where the instructors were professional all the time, and never dressed down fat kids, or made fun of the slow kids. I wish I had grown up in whatever magical land you did…

I got a recession proof job that was fun and exciting, paid ok, and offered that wonderful buzz of adrenalin that makes the day worth it…until I got injured on the job and told I would not be able to go back (physically, permanent injury and restrictions). You never can tell what life is going to curve ball at you.

The world does need ditch-diggers too. I was one of them or rather I did fairly menial tasks for much of my working life. I chose to not expend my mind on my work but rather I used my mind for my own pursuits, and only gave my employer my back. Now I am retired with a strong back and a great mind, and they are both all mine.

I do like Dresden Codak as a comic. It is well drawn and innovative in its presentation and style.
I know nothing of the artist other than the art. That is fine with me. I don’t tweet, text or facebook or other “social media”. I burned out in chat rooms in the 90’s and can’t drum up the effort to do it all over again. As individuals we all have our problems and quirks that can make us seem messed up to others.
I do like this comic as the folks are just a screwy as we all are.

Well. That professor’s a real jerk. A completely worthless, degrading remark meant simply to spite and humiliate one of his students. What the hell has this Kayla done to deserve that kind of remark?

Perhaps there’s more in your head on these two characters that better explains the situation, but to any reader… all they see is this comic and the last.

I seriously can’t think of anything that would make those kinds of remarks socially, professionally, or academically acceptable. Does this professor hate her guts and want to see her suffer?

Ha, with the blank eyes and the curly red hair Kayla looks like college-age Little Orphan Annie this time. 8-)

I’m seeing her as the little red-haired girl from Peanuts. ‘Cause Charlie Brown would fall in love with someone who could allow herself to be treated like this, and still not have the guts to approach her…

I know it’s probably not intentional, but it sounds like the professor is saying that he was aiming to sleep with one of the pretty students, but had to settle for Kayla.

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