The Blog

Simpsons Did It

Someone pointed this out to me this morning.

Link to my comic

Link to the New Yorker comic

Of course, my gut reaction is to cry foul. The comic I drew went viral and made the rounds of the internet last month with no attribution tied to it -- if you search "Canadian Standoff" on Google Images" you'll see it everywhere, but no link back to my website. I can just imagine an established professional cartoonist seeing it on their Facebook feed, thinking it is just random internet drawing, and deciding to do their own take on it. Conspiracy! Blasphemy! Plagiarism, rah rah!

On the other hand, after thinking through it clearly, I want to give the artist the benefit of the doubt. A classic case of "Simpsons Did It". Canadian politeness is a very common topic that is made fun of, plus I imagine the joke of a "Canadian Standoff" is definitely not new. Also, I have been in this situation before, but that time I was the one being accused for copying a comic. And it sucks. Because the only explanation I can give for the similarities/coincidence is that "we thought of the exact same joke, but the other guy did it first".

What do you think?

 

 

State of the Webcomic Address 2012

It's been three weeks since we've started back up so it's time for an explanation.

When I was fifteen, I decided that what I wanted to be when I grew up was a dude who made webcomics.

Flash forward seven years to October 2010. I'd just graduated from college with a certificate in web design, and Cheer Up, Emo Kid is booming. Over 3k unique visits per day, hundreds of likes and comments per strip, up to a million pageviews a month, people demanding books and shirts and other merchandise and junk. Everything seemed to be going perfectly well.

And yet, for some inconceivable reason, I was unhappy with it.

I didn't like anything about it. I didn't like the stories I was writing, the dialogue that was being spoken, the art style. But I couldn't figure out why or what I could do to fix it. And then, suddenly, I got a job, and spending upwards of 10 hours (yeah yeah, slow drawer) making something I was unhappy with suddenly didn't seem as feasible anymore. So I put it on hiatus while I figured out what I wanted to do with it.

In hindsight, I should have put up some kind of notice saying the strip was on hiatus. This has happened more that once. I guess I always thought to myself, "oh, I'll try to update it next week so there's no need for a BRB sign". But that next week never came. Well, it did, like four times ... over the course of the entire year of 2011. Which is terrible. And I'm sorry, I fucked up. I really suck at communicating with people. One of my friends mentioned to me the other day, "for a web designer, you really suck at actually BEING on the web."

This time will be different. (Just like all the other times, huh?) I saved up money over the last two years and finally got one of those high-falutin Cintiq tablets, so not only is it super-fast to draw strips now but they look much better, too (IMO). I also took a comic book production class instructed by the legendary Steve Rolston, which corrected a million different things in my creative process that I was doing wrong. So that's awesome.

Last of all, I think that my mindset over the last few years has changed considerably as well. I've looked back at some of my older strips hundreds of different times to try to figure out how I can improve, and some of them I literally can't look at anymore without cringing. I mean, sure, I can use the excuse that I drew those strips "during a dark time in my life, it was an emotional outlet, if you can make fun of one thing you can make fun of everything blah blah blah" but there's a comic about slapping Rihanna for fuck's sake, I guess 20-year-old me thought that was funny at some point but 24-year-old-me disagrees. So there's that.

All in all, making this crap is what I've always wanted to do and I finally have the means and know-how to do it right. Hence the "Reboot". I hope you enjoy it.