I can't believe it's been six years since I started writing webcomic reviews.

I got into this hobby in 2012 during my post-graduation creative funk. After writing and editing nonstop for years while I worked on getting my English degree, I felt frustrated and directionless.

Reviewing webcomics didn't seem like “real” writing at the time. It was just a way for me to put my thoughts out there and, maybe, provide webcomic creators with helpful feedback.

It ended up being more fun than I could've imagined.

6 Years Later

I work in the publishing industry now, and I look at The Webcomic Police as my journey from amateur to professional.

And while writing all of these reviews over the years has been a lot of fun, I'm ready to move on and focus on my career.

So, I'm done being a critic.

I'm still going to keep the website online and respond to readers' comments, but my days writing webcomic reviews are over.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of webcomics I meant to review that I wasn't able to. But all I can do at this point is write this one, final bit of advice for everyone.

Practice and Hard Work

Peer review is essential for any creative person. But there's another kind of review that goes beyond that. I'll call it self-review.

By that, I mean being realistic about your experience level and goals.

I've noticed that for many of the best webcomics I've reviewed, when I went to check out the creator's background, I saw that they'd been making comics for five years, 10 years or even longer.

I expect that it really does take that much practice and hard work to be a great webcartoonist, at least in most cases.

The problem is that when a webcartoonist is just starting out, a lot of the time they aren't realistic at all. Despite only being at a beginner level, they expect ― even believe that they deserve ― the recognition and success that the experienced creators have.

That's when the frustration and burnout starts to set in. And the vast majority of webcomics end up being abandoned after only a short period of time.

Your Full Creative Potential

There's no shortcut to being great at making comics. It takes commitment, hard work, patience and time. Lots and lots of time.

Realistically, most webcartoonists are casual hobbyists who don't have the dedication or interest to reach their full creative potential. And that's OK. If your goal is to have a fun creative outlet, a webcomic can be that even if it has a small audience and isn't particularly good or noteworthy.

If your goal, instead, is to make a great webcomic, and maybe even earn a significant amount of money from it, then, realistically, you're looking at a long time frame. You're making a commitment to improve over the course of a number of years.

The only way to get there is to put in the time and work. And if you can't or won't, then you should be satisfied with a beginner or intermediate skill level.

Final Thoughts

I think some people took my reviews the wrong way because they were applying their own mentality to them.

For many people, the only way they could see themselves publicly criticizing someone's work is if they were angry. So they assumed I must have been angry, or that I held a grudge against a particular webcartoonist.

However, I take pride in my professionalism and objectivity. It would have gone against my personal standards to critique someone's webcomic in a way that wasn't calm, emotionally detached and as unbiased as possible.

So, whether or not you think my reviews are of a high quality, I hope you can accept that I never had any malicious intent or ill will toward anyone.

No comments :

Post a Comment