nobody care about me

Full text because ‘Keep reading’ doesn’t work on mobile. :]

I’ve been looking at my recent work lately (early 2016 onwards). Many people love it, and some people playfully mock it, and some really hate it and even think it does harm, while others message me saying it helped them through hard times.

The truth is, at some point I “science’d out” what makes a webcomic popular, and then did the thing. It took a bit of practice, but it’s not magic: Simplicity, relatability, and a 4-6 panel format. Boom. Organizations take you seriously now, and people love you now.

But, the thing about trying to be relatable, is you’re essentially trying to be a reflection of as many people as possible. You want people to see themselves in you, as if you are a mirror. You’re NOT a mirror though, you’re just another person on the other side of the glass, trying to make the same expressions and do the same poses. Your own personality and creative voice get lost in the process.

Here are interests that defined me as a cartoonist, that nobody knows or cares about at this point:

- Asian Horror and Korean Noir

- Used Experience/ User Interface Design

- Philosophy, esp. Buddhism

- Rap

- Indie Games, esp. narrative ones, and retro games

These things used to show up regularly in my comics, but they don’t anymore. Even the slightest step outside of VERY common knowledge/understanding gets so very, very severely punished that I cringe at the thought of it. Punished in terms of comic “reach” I mean, which is just means popularity.

At the same time, I have this dangling carrot of a thought in front of me: with enough finesse, maybe I can make comics that are both interesting and successful. Maybe it’s just a lack of skill that’s holding me back from persuading an audience to follow me into weird/”not common interest/knowledge” territory, and I just need to get better. Or, alternatively, maybe I can make these comics that get me a massive audience, and THEN see how many of them stick around for the weird stuff. Or do both at the same time, even though I’d just be lying to myself if I pretended that there’s ever enough time for that.

Been trying to find some way lately, out of this box that I’m in.

Anyway, totally non-aggro messages really poke me right in the heart, so I feel the need to be genuine with you all. If you’re going to send me messages, you should definitely be mean and insulting. That was my emotional defense mechanisms are up and I don’t have to actually think about it. Thank you for reading my work. :]

~Shen

anyway, can you guys believe that earlier this afternoon, while Jonas was just in the middle of telling Isak about going skateboarding with the guys and did Isak feel like coming with, Even walked up to them until he was right behind Isak, put his chin on top of Isak’s head, his hands in the pockets of Isak’s coat and then joined the conversation ever so coolly and casually. and like, Jonas is expecting Isak to panic about this public display of affection a little bit still, studies Isak’s face carefully as he waits for him to quickly scan the hallway in that fearful way of his but Isak doesn’t, grins up at Even instead, before turning his gaze back to Jonas and telling him yeah, sure, and if maybe Even can come too. Jonas nods a quick of course, catches the easy grin Even throws his way and watches him kiss the top of Isak’s head before stepping back as two girls enter the hallway, and he gets it then. gets that Isak doesn’t worry about checking hallways anymore because he knows Even’s already done that and made his decision accordingly, gets that Isak has shown Even his limits, his boundaries, knowing they would be respected then and always, gets that Even understands Isak now, too, the way he did, the way he does again, that they can be a team now, two boys all in for one boy, and isn’t that the most comforting thought for a best friend to have?

The Fic Writer’s Beatitudes

Blessed are the readers, for theirs is the archive.

Blessed are the betas: for they help us write the stories we see in our hearts.
Blessed are they that kudo, for they reassure us that someone likes what we’ve done.
Blessed are the rebloggers and reccers, for they help the readers find our work.
Blessed are they which leave comments on a WIP that say something other than “write more please”: for they comfort us when we feel taken for granted.
Blessed are the commenters; for their words bring us joy.
Blessed are the loyal fans, for they keep the fandom alive.
Blessed are the fan artists, for they bring our worlds to life before our eyes.
Blessed are they which read an entire long fic and comment each chapter, for the string of comment notifications fills the writer’s heart with delight.
Blessed are ye, who rec our fics in public and tag us, for seeing that we made somebody squee is the light in our days.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in fandom.