2308 Impostairs

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Twitter @betweenfailures
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Since my hobbies aren’t part of my comic in any meaningful way my desire to talk about them on social media falls flat. People follow me for this & that’s about it. In theory they might want to see me talk about movie trivia, or something, since there’s a lot of media references, but I tend not to because I feel like the internet at large has that covered to a degree that makes anything I have to say irrelevant. So there’s a disconnect between myself & the point of my social media, which is to promote “my brand”. Really though, the site feeds the social media & not the other way around. People don’t find the comic from twitter, they find my twitter from the comic, or facebook, or whatever. You get attached to the comic & then go to the patreon, hopefully, which I now casually mention seamlessly in the blog posts, like a master salesperson. (XD) Social media rarely helps you find new audience members anymore. At some point, I’m not sure exactly when, every social media platform switched from being useful to feeding only itself.

Do you remember when people used to get discovered on facebook & their shops would have an explosion of sales? It used to be a regular occurrence. When was the last time you remember reading a story about that? I think the last time I can recall was at least 7 years ago. On top of that the things that make my work interesting or compelling are not the same things that make me interesting. The comic is kind of a distillation of the most personable traits I possess, whereas on social media I’m the complete broken, emotionally unstable mess, who pushes people violently away from himself. Trying to resolve that disconnect may be a fool’s errand. I don’t have whatever it is that other creators in my field have that make them successful on social media. My personality basically means that I play every aspect of life on hard mode. If I chose that at the start of the game I made a terrible mistake.

At the same time I see people be assholes openly & get all kinds of support, which I also don’t understand. There’s some kind of magic sweet spot that I can never seem to find. Maybe you need more talent for it to work, or something else. Whatever it is I don’t have it, or I just can’t crack the code. I can’t network very well because other creators almost always infuriate me. It’s sort of a running joke on the discord how I’ve had negative interactions with almost every other well known webcomic creator. Even ones I like for the most part.

a while back I tweeted some advice a guy gave me, in passing, a long time ago. I tagged him in the tweet so it wasn’t like I was trying to take credit, but I also didn’t want people to think we were buddies. So I was like “X guy isn’t my friend or anything, but…” & he was like “We aren’t friends? :(” But really we aren’t. I’ve spoken to him MAYBE 3 times in 15 years. Never in person. Like, that’s not “friends”. That’s acquaintances, or collogues, or peers, or something lower on the scale than friend. But now he thinks I don’t like him because I didn’t want to misrepresent our relationship. I didn’t want to name drop someone like I’m hot shit. I was trying to be the ethical guy & it didn’t work. My interactions with other people tend to have these minor disasters, especially online. so I can’t network, or anything.

I dunno. I’m always the odd one out in every situation. I don’t agree, or I see both sides, or some defect that screws things up, so I have to just be out here alone all the time. You’d think I’d be better adjusted to it by now.


On the plus side, making it through life anyways is worth a good damn Platinum trophy.

As an unexpectedly great man once said:

“So you think I’m a loser? Just because I have a stinking job that I hate, a family that doesn’t respect me, a whole city that curses the day I was born? Well, that may mean loser to you, but let me tell you something. Every morning when I wake up, I know it’s not going to get any better until I go back to sleep again. So I get up, have my watered-down Tang and still-frozen Pop Tart, get in my car with no upholstery, no gas, and six more payments to fight traffic just for the privilege of putting cheap shoes on the cloven hooves of people like you. I’ll never play football like I thought I would. I’ll never know the touch of a beautiful woman. And I’ll never again know the joy of driving without a bag on my head. But I’m not a loser. ‘Cause, despite it all, me and every other guy who’ll never be what he wanted to be are still out there being what we don’t want to be forty hours a week for life. And the fact that I haven’t put a gun in my mouth, you pudding of a woman, makes me a winner.”

Agreed. Something that media and culture would have us beleive is that we must have a brand and if we have any kind of public presence then our brand must be a part of that. Bullshit. If you want to just put together a little something between failures and let it shine on it’s own, then that’s your perogative and is admirable for what it is. We’ve got so fixated on cancelling people’s contributions because *gasp* they’re people and are flawed and make mistakes. If you don’t want to be exposed to that hypocritical judgement then power to you. On the other hand if you want your brand out there and mixed up with your projects, that’s also fine, more power to you. It has long predated (modern) social media. Walt Disney, Salvadore Dali, Picasso, Bowie, Warhol, Kahlo, Madonna, Yankovic were(are) all brands as part of their production and that’s fine too. But we are not oblived to either live our brand publicly, nor to shrowd and shut it away. Either way you want to go, you’ve got my vote Jackie. Your writing is engaging in both the comic and the blog.

Reggie unable to comprehend that his dad is a naturally nice guy. Then again, didn’t we get a glimpse of Reggie’s aunt a long time ago and she pretty much had the same stuck up personality Reggie has? Methinks half the family are pricks while the other half are like Garret and Reggie’s sister (I can never remember her name off the top of my head).

Is that some of Jo’s personality rubbing off on Carol there in the first pannel? I swear Jo is big on the “likewise, I’m sure”, especially with that kinda lackadaisical-seeming delivery.

Other than that, I gotta say these last few strips have been some of the funniest ever to me for some reason. I love Reggie still being unable to accept the reality of this actually being his father. I can hear the disbelieving tone in his voice and it just cracks me up. It’s the second time this joke’s been made and the second time it’s made me laugh.

Wait, make that three times now that I’ve gone back and read it again. I love it!

Yeah, most people popular on social media specifically are generally just some sort of self-absorbed, condescending jerkwad preaching to their very large, shared choir, competing to get more of those heads nodding when they speak. Well, unless they are e-thots. I love old school message boards, but social media is pretty toxic. It sort of has to be; you can’t have good conversations or something in tweets, especially not with 10,000 other people bombarding you with their “clever witticisms” at the same time. And while it used to be fashionable to reference Gabriel’s Greater Internet Dickwad Theory (that is, anonymity + audience + a reasonable person = total dickwad), the fact is that anonymity keeps people’s egos in check. I’ve been on one message board for nearly 20 years, same account. It shows how long I’ve been a member. Does anyone care? No! No one is going to give me extra consideration because I’m a “veteran poster” or some nonsense. But with social media, where anonymity is lacking, there are far more personal attacks, and feeling personally attacked for no reason, and people emotionally leaping to the defense of others, and folks trying to psychoanalyze each other or dig through your history for dirty laundry, and of course, the creation of little cults of personality. I miss the old days of the internet where everyone was anonymous; you were judged on what you said, and that’s it–no one cared about your personal life or virtues or associations, and no one believed you anyway.

Sounds like a good relationship building and clear thinking service, provided to people who are not yet at the point of appreciating it. That’s fair. Many people get offended too fast and for the wrong reasons, too. That’s not a helpful quality to be reinforced. Rather spot on commentary might help along the way, especially when the position is maintained and stands up to questioning – except if the comic is to be a self-help space devoid of the hardships of reality, – in which case a choice must be made on how to engage. There are virtues like intellectual courage (thinking through and saying the hard thing), which have a subtle influence but all the more strong for those who do notice them. So, in this case, I’m not sure what’d be broken the self – or the yardstick. The social conventions, for sure; that’s what they are there for, to be defied in the quest for deeper truths.

I mean

I’m sorry, but

if everyone you meet is a jerk…

…it’s not them who have the problem. :(

Or it could just be the simple truth that most people are jerks with fragile egos. I can’t tell you how many more people got offended at me when I pulled myself out of my self-loathing phase in life and started loving myself and being confident in my opinions and actions. Suddenly, a lot of the same people I was friends with couldn’t stand me, and I realized pretty quickly that most people never come out of that phase. True confidence is such a rarity that it’s seen as arrogance, and they desperately want to drag you down to their level because it reinforces their illusion that they don’t have to change.

And, of course, when that doesn’t work the swearing and insults start. After a while, it becomes predictable and you start enjoying the exchanges because what else are you going to do? You’re going to run into these types anyway, and they’re always going to speak out because they feel threatened by your presence, so you might as well have fun with it instead of treating it as something to be dreaded.

Nah, not really. Because you’re not running into everybody. It’s entirely possible you’re merely running into all the jerks. Statistically, you only meet the barest fraction of humanity. All the awesome people could be one county over, or one state over, and you’d never know.

It’s entirely possible that Twitter is toxic. It’s the general impression I’ve gotten from pretty much everyone that mentions Twitter, whether they think they should be on Twitter or not.

I don’t think you give yourself enough credit, or focus on the fact that in spite of the many daily challenges and annoyances you have made this work for a very very long time. You not only survive but in some small measure thrive in your own space. Try to look from above, I see a successful artist and story teller who keeps more people coming here every day than he will ever know.

Everyone has a pile of krap to wrestle with everyday, doesn’t mean your pile doesn’t suck… but yeah, being human is pretty gross.

hang in there!

I emailed you at the address you use to post comments. Thanks for the gift in case that’s not an actual account you use.

Like my dating history. And yet people keep telling me to put myself out there. Since I haven’t been able to learn what not to do, or who not to be with, seems the best answer is to just retreat from the activity. However, I am very aware that I’m not going fix the problem by not practicing. Also, you might actually be surrounded by jerks (jerk families tend to attract and breed jerks, so those who are not can have trouble escaping). aka the Spaceballs possibility:

“How many assholes are on this ship?”
Entire Bridge Crew – “Yo!”
“I knew it! I am surrounded by assholes.”
/lowers visor/
“Keep firing, assholes!”

It occurs to me that, in the case of the tweet, you could have said something more along the lines of, “We don’t know each other that well.” It gets the point across without implying animosity. But at the same time, if you’ve spoken to the guy that little over so much time it seems like he overreacted.

I tried chat rooms on a local BBS, back in the day. I found the interactions to be shallow, inane, and a waste of time and energy. Then the Internet came along, followed by social media. I couldn’t see the value of putting inanity on steroids, so have completely eschewed its use. I also am not self-employed.

It would seem to me that the best solution is to lower your expectations from social media and begin to think of it as merely a marketing tool. Put on your best salesman’s face and “give ’em what they want.” Then, when it’s over, you can revert to who you really are and give yourself what you need.

My inability to “do sales” like that is a main reason I’m not self-employed.

yeah, I have to agree with you. 3 convos over 15 years does not a friend make. for that matter, even if we were friends once, and still get along great the moment we fell out of touch and didn’t keep contact regularly is the moment that the friendship dynamic changes

people grow distant all the time, should never feel offended if someone stops considering an old friend to be a current friend

I have acquaintances who are good friends of family members, who I get along well with, and have come to visit, but it seems presumptuous to call them “my” friends. Not entirely sure how that works. I read somewhere that a friend is someone who’ll help you move. A best friend is someone who’ll help you move a body. Wouldn’t you like to be my friend?(they’re piling up)

Instabook and Twittube is all about instant personalities and gratification these days. There are still some jewels on there but if people don’t like you in under 30 seconds they feel your next personality should be free…. honestly the comic page is probably your best location. Given how much companies regulate their sites now it might be the safest choice too. We’ve come full circle again where independent sites are where you find the best stuff.

Having read this web comic for, lo, these many years, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every installment. Watching the first characters personalities develop over time, then, as new characters are introduced, their development, has been a real roller coaster ride. The plots are consistently interesting, the dialogue is always sparkling and the art consistently superb. I’m not sucking up, Jackie, it’s just how I feel about “Between Failures”.

Don’t get me started on Fakebook, Twinker and YouBoob. Jeez, Louise. What a crap fest of bitter egomaniacs, attention whores, emo freaks, opinionated nitwits, racists, sexists, homophobes, militants, anarchists and troublemakers. They used to be fun, now they’re just damnnably annoying.

I have recently started an Instagram account for my graphic design work. So far it’s followed by a few of my classmates, one of my teachers, my aunt and 2 of my friends.

My personal Instagram account claims to have over a 100 followers but they’re mostly cosplayers and dog accounts who followed only followed me so I’d get the notification and maybe follow them back. Just the 3 actual people I know like and comment on my posts.

If you ever figure out how to get discovered on social media let me know.

To me, a ‘friend’ is someone I’d take a bullet for. I have very, very few friends.
I have a lot of people I like, people that like me, but I won’t call them friends. Friendly, not friends.

“We’re not friends but…” -> a stoic “source cited” ?
… interwebz bring out the reactionary that might be different face to face

Internet friends are different than real life friends. If you are on good terms and have eachother’s current contact information, you may as well be friends.

“Likewise, I’m sure.” “Likewise, I’m sure.” “Likewise, I’m sure.”

Who says that?
“Likewise” is one response. They said they’re please to meet you, you’re replying that you’re also pleased.
“I’m sure.” Is kind of a smartass response. They said they’re pleased to meet you, you acknowledge that of course they should be pleased to meet you (for you are awesome!)

Combining the two makes no sense; I’m not from Kansas or anything, but I’ve never heard this oxymoronic reply anywhere but this comic.

It’s weird, I started out not wanting to read the blogs, but I always end up doing that anyway because I want ALL the lore and sometimes Jackie will talk about the comic, and then sometimes I get…nothing. I lose, good day sir.
I agree with Michael here, if you’ve talked with someone and are on good enough terms to talk all friendly again with them after years of silence, I think that’s on the level of casual friends, or acquaintances at the very least. I don’t have many internet friends, but I can confidently say I’m at least casual friends with them.

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