We have been experiencing technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience. Please allow me to use this opportunity to get us all on the same page. I’ve had a lot of time to think, away from the Internet. We all know how suffocating it can become.
In three days I will be forty-six years old. “I” is the second word in the title of this website, and that of the comic strip which inspired it, which I began writing at twenty-six years of age. It is a foregone conclusion that I will use this site to talk about myself and my experiences. In four years I will be fifty.
I have maintained websites on the Internet since 1999. Nearly everything I do involves the world wide web in some fashion. If I don’t have a functioning computer and an Internet connection, I feel like I don’t exist.
Because I don’t.
I don’t utilize the web for entertainment, other than playing music or videos in the background while I’m working. In the 1990s, I felt like I was wasting my life sending comic proposals to publishers and syndicates, so I began printing them myself. This cannot be done without a computer, so I figured out how to use one. I don’t want to just be “the artist”; I want the satisfaction that comes from putting the entire enchilada together myself. This means that when you see one of my books, you see me doing the work of ten people. This also means I couldn’t care less about interpersonal squabbles within the mainstream comics industry. The only reason those “comics professionals” have the jobs they do is because their company refuses to give them too much power. Split everyone up into writers, editors, pencillers, inkers, letterers and colorists. Keep everyone boondoggled in workplace nonsense, so they can never rise above their assigned station.
That’s Marvel. That’s DC. That’s bullshit.
Here’s where I have the impulse to preface with a caveat, explaining that I don’t mean to insult all the great and respected professionals in the comics industry with my comments. Well, how about fuck that impulse. Fuck all the great and respected comics professionals. I mean, how many have turned out to be frauds, anyway?
You think I never feel insulted?
I have bared my soul in comics and writing for twenty years and more. I have given everyone the opportunity to insult and reject me. To dismiss me, on a personal level. If you’ve never done the same, consider keeping your opinions to yourself. Consider the possibility that you only have opinions because you want to be acknowledged without earning it.
You saw that I was getting attention, and you wanted some too.
Well, do a trick then. Do something. Put your own ass on the line. Put your stupid head on the chopping block.
You want to be my friend? Then don’t hold our friendship for ransom. Don’t say we’d get along, if only I’d change _____ about myself. And it’s always me; never you. Because I put myself out there to be judged. You just showed up, acted like you liked me, and then proclaimed that we must be separate. I’m too angry, too negative, too pessimistic.
I go on being exactly who I was in the first place.
Remember: I told you the things about myself you use against me. Do you see why I don’t care? Why should I? If you reject me or my work over a difference of opinion, you prove yourself ignorant of what I alone accomplished. I made my own movie because I didn’t want to dilute my ideas or capitulate to someone else’s desires. I did the work of a hundred people, maybe more. I don’t know, probably more like fifty. I mean, I still don’t know what a key grip is or does.
Why should I care if someone puts down my stuff? They don’t know what they’re talking about.
People with no talent or skills are the ones who tear down the accomplishments of others most harshly. Is that you? If not, why wouldn’t you acknowledge the struggle and hard work involved in those accomplishments?
Because you’re just playing games.
There’s nothing wrong with taking issue with me, or my work. It’s part of the deal. What’s wrong is when you treat what I am like a malleable thing you can affect. When you push me with personal attacks, to try to force me into your idea of a vulnerable position. Maybe that works on some Marvel inker who’s terrified of being called names. I don’t give a fuck. If I’m well aware that I’m neither racist nor sexist, you can scream your throat out calling me one with no impact, whatsoever.
Quick quiz: name one entertainer whose talent increased after someone pretended to be a fan, and ridiculed them with false invective.
Trick question. There isn’t one. Any entertainer worth a shit knows better than to play those games. The ones that do always cry, take their ball and go home.
One more question. Remember when comic book artist Rob Liefeld was the Internet’s favorite whipping boy?
What was the effect of the above video, he got twice as rich? I mean, that awful Deadpool movie, that didn’t make any money, right?
Yeah, it only grossed over a billion dollars. And got a sequel, with Josh Brolin as fucking Cable. Ol’ Rob was obviously crushed to death after being told he couldn’t draw feet. (Which he now can, and does.) All those people making fun of his big-titted Captain America clearly cowed him into submission. I dislike the guy’s “Chromium Age” work as much as the next cunty blogger, but let’s be realistic. He’s probably purchasing his third house at this point.
Point. I don’t remember what mine was.
I’m aware that nineteen years of lethal Internet exposure has rendered me awful, abrasive and weird. My politics are no shittier than yours. There isn’t enough time left to continue being stupid. If you can’t hate with humor, don’t hate at all. I tell you this as someone who has gone almost completely insane from sharing his life on the Internet for two decades. If I’d ever been sane in the first place, that would matter.
My computer of the past four years went tits-up and only through the donations of kind individuals was I able to get things up and running again. During this experience I was reminded of my near-symbiotic attachment to computers and the Internet. It probably qualifies as addiction. I have to fart my thoughts out onto the web on a semi-constant basis, or I start to go really dark. I feel abandoned. Invalidated.
Like I don’t exist.
But what does, really?
*Wait- how exactly would I profit from this, even if it was a probable conceit? On second thought, I most likely will leave the strip in both issues. Pretend it’s a “recurring” dream.**
**I’m not gonna do it again. The strip isn’t that funny.