Maddison is all about positives and solutions.
I kind of left the comments from Friday last because I didn’t feel like talking about that stuff at the time. First of all, part of my income is still generated by people actually coming to my site. I don’t know how people can do that shit where they turn their adds off if they get a lot of patrons because I find that I still need that income. Maybe when you’re young and healthy you can get by on less, but for me every time something happens it’s thousands of dollars. I need to get a tire for my truck to replace the one that got ruined, but I have to wait because of the fun hospital times, my insurance, and the fucks who rent my c-pap. I actually need a set of tires because they haven’t been replaced in over a decade, but one is about all I can do if pricing is worse than it was back then. Which doesn’t even take in to account the fact that it hasn’t been serviced properly… since I don’t know when. The point is, I can’t not work. Doing this isn’t a choice for me. I’m not physically well enough to do any work but drawing ridiculous nonsense at this point. So I’m going to keep working all the time. I don’t view making the comic as some kind of thing I just fuck around with like so many other artists. I may not be the best, the most successful, or anything, but I fucking come to work every day. The only thing that makes me feel better is being safe in the knowledge that I have content ready for you guys all the time. Especially the ones who pledge money on patreon. The stress of working on this stuff is nothing compared to the stress of having to go back to retail, or something. I have nightmares about that. Literal, terrifying nightmares about being stuck in some new job, with tons of shitty people acting like it’s their god given right to treat employees like trash. That said, I appreciate that you guys want to give me a break. I know you worry about me sincerely.
If you wanted to get enough guest comics for a week off for me that would be very nice, but you won’t. I’ve tried at times when I was desperate and no one has time. They have their own things to do. There is a certain level of quality I’m willing to accept from guest material and what you’ve seen on the occasions I acquired some were the only things that met that criteria. There are very few people who see my audience as desirable these days. There aren’t as many people starting from the dirt like I did. They start out with slick skills and don’t need to shop their content around like used to be common. In any event I appreciate the sentiment. Your support means a lot more to me than to other creators and I try to show it by always being here.
Another thing that got talked about was the SJW status of Jeph Jaques. I know that SJWs can be annoying, but they just want to make things better somehow. They want to help, and sometimes the way they try is misguided, or inelegant. I actually stopped following his twitter because it got to be a bit much even for me, but I think the things he says and does come from a place of real desire to improve the world in the only way he knows how. I’ll give you that the introduction of his trans character was very conveniently timed, but that’s kind of how it works in all media. People chase trends. He did it, David Willis did it, I’m sure there are others, but I only read two comics these days really. Back when I read a lot more they all did the same sorts of things at about the same times. People want to deal with whatever is relevant to the zeitgeist. It was lesbians at one point. You could fucking bank on introducing a lesbian into your story a few years ago, they everyone did it, and then it became saturated and people moved on to the next thing. The way I do stuff doesn’t allow me to jump on those bandwagons, and I actually don’t like doing that anyway. I couldn’t help it with Brooksie. The time was right for my story and that was just the way it had to be, but I did think long and hard about what the backlash might be if people thought I was just following the trend. I feel like I’ve done a good job of staying true to her character and have made Jess a fully realized character too. They aren’t defined by any one trait in themselves. In my opinion Jaques handled Claire as well as could be expected given his style and what have you. The thing is he tried and more people came to his page to see what was up. I didn’t and here I am. I’ll let you decided who the fool is in this scenario. Let’s look at his patreon. 4,500 some odd patrons and an income just shy of 10000 dollars. Let’s look at Willis’s too just for shits and giggles since he also courts the SJW stuff. Just shy of 2000 patron and a little over 5K in support. According to these numbers, daily posting, fairly strong art, and courting relevant social issues is the way to go. Of the various creators out there you would be hard pressed to find one more dedicated and fast as Willis, and although he can be flakey Jaques knows his audience and comes ready to play almost without fail. If you don’t like a little social justicing in your media that’s fine, but of the three of us two are knocking that shit out of the park and one is scraping by.
I’m not going to change my storytelling to court the outrage audience, but I’m also not going to fault people who do and are successful at it. I actually respect Willis and Jaques in many ways. Honestly, I wish I had it in me to do what they do, but I don’t. I was raised in a house where we were taught to look at both sides of conflict in a dispassionate way. It’s why I can’t condemn someone who voted for Trump any more than I can someone who is out protesting his election. I’m capable of stepping back and looking at both sides and it makes it hard for me to paint either as a clear antagonist when I try to tell a story. I sympathize. I mean look at Reggie. I set him up to be a villainous character and then humanized him. He’s still the guy who called Carol fat and has an inflated opinion of himself, but he’s not a monster. He’s just trying to find his way in the world and doesn’t always do so elegantly. No character is perfect. They all do dumb things, get angry when the fault is theirs, and any number of other irrational things. Just like Jaques did when he tried to influence the voting on his social media platform. I’m sure he was genuinely angry and afraid. A lot of people were and still are, but I don’t think they should be judged harshly because they aren’t sure how to deal with the emotions they are feeling. Throwing Social Justice Warrior around as a pejorative is very fashionable now. It’s a label of otherness people use to dehumanize someone a lot of the time. I just don’t see what’s so bad about wanting to help, or make things more fair for everyone.
Anyway I don’t really have a point to go along with all of this other than to say it’s all very complex and humans are generally annoyed by complexity.