This isn't the first time I've received an email along these lines, but this one was specific and thorough enough to share, and it sheds light into why I don't get upset when people talk about me on the internet. Reality stands for itself.
Shared with permission:
Hi, my name is (name withheld). I was reading Bad Webcomics Wiki, which is
generally entertaining in pointing out blatant flaws in comics, when I
happened upon the review of your comic, Original Life. I read the
entire reviews, as well as your entire comic, and I must say that I DO
NOT understand what they are complaining about!
Their criticism amounts to "asdf they don't have the same views as
me!!!! no fair!!!!" and insults about art style from your very early
comics, which I must say has improved greatly since the first comic.
In the later half of the article, the criticism devolves completely
into personal attacks and accusations of pedophilia (wat?).
I usually enjoy Bad Webcomics Wiki, but I must say that the article on
your comic was entirely uncalled for. I am just writing to let you
know that not everyone will mindlessly hate any comic posted on that
site, and that your comic has gained a new reader, regardless of
P.S. In case this surprises you, I am not a very political person, and
I do not consider myself a furry. I just enjoy the comic, even though
the wiki article implies your only fans are pedophile animal rapists
with a penchant for Ayn Rand. Some people will get worked up about
<3 (name withheld)
After saying thank you and stating essentially what I said at the top of this journal post, they added in a following email:
My realization about the review of your comic on Bad Webcomics Wiki
has actually caused me to look back at the other reviews there more
objectively. I am beginning to see that many (but not all!) of the
comics on that wiki were being unfairly criticized in a similar manner
to yours, which really sucks, turning away many prospective readers
without even giving them a chance to read for themselves. So, thanks
for having a comic that stood up so well against it's critics as to
help me realize this! :D
I do understand the entertainment value of sites that make fun of other things. They can be a great bit of frivolous humor to fill a bit of time and make us laugh at the efforts of others. Unfortunately, by their nature, they do become depositories for grudges, speculation, and the accenting of faults. This is done sometimes to simply fuel the pleasure of sharing a mutual dislike for someone. Most of all, it's important to realize these things and never let such things factor into your desire to create and have fun.
If what someone's saying is untrue, your repudiation is your material. Such things say more about the people leveling the accusations and bitching over the internet, than they do about you. Simply put.
My latest little pony-themed comics have brought up some more questions about whether I'll ever do Rule 34s on these things. Well, no. I haven't fully analyzed the reason why I have an aversion to Rule 34 things in general. The more I know about a particular cartoon, either from the past or from a present following, the more of an "eh" reaction I have to fan-made adult images I run across. What I feel when I see it isn't dissimilar to seeing a celebrity's face photoshopped onto a nude body. No matter how well done it may be, there's a level of "I just know too well how fake this is" involved. This may seem surprising, since the jests that I draw are sometimes of an "after 9pm" subject. But these are just purely playing on embellishments of character, rather than a desire to elaborate on a cartoon character's personal sexual motions (or their genitals). I suppose as close as I've come was the human version of Zecora, which, while a nude, wasn't very explicit or sexual. It didn't show much beyond her bare rear end and a painted over breast. The intent was to be savage, not prurient.
I know it's one of the downsides of being known for drawing adult comics: whatever you launch into on the side, people expect it to eventually go in that direction. With my own creations, there are characters I create with the full intention of having them be sexually themed. Even characters in my free, non-adult webcomics will sometimes find themselves depicted in the adult comics. There's a whole different feeling involved when you have full control over a character and everything you write and draw, sexual or not, is canon to them. I like working with my own stuff so much, I can't imagine trying to fit my adult expressions onto mainstream creations.
I'm also fully aware that people who partake of comics and pictures do so from different levels of discernment, and many (not all) of those who look to me for adult work aren't interested in any deeper aspect of characterization, and just simply have a fascination with sex. I'm not knocking this. We all approach reading and partaking with different standpoints, preconceptions, and mental exercise. It's one of the reasons I draw comics instead of just pinups. The comics can create an elaborate context and give characters some life, which in turns makes the one-shot pinups all the more interesting. Whenever someone expresses an interest in having me draw Rule 34 ponies, I can't imagine they're really interested in an author's funny or serious take on little shreds of character here and there, so much as they are interested in just seeing the characters' naked bodies interacting. I have free reign to make my adult comics a combination of sultry, explicit, and meaningful as I want (or not). People may not take away from it everything I put into it, but so be it. That's perfectly fine. So many others will just say "it's porn, what else is there to it?" and that's cool. I don't mind. People can be on that level and I have no problem with it. But I think those who are really interested in the Rule 34 are specifically on that level. I'm not knocking it, I just don't enjoy dragging other people's creations into it, and there's also another part of me that thinks it could be construed as disrespectful.
I'm not saying I'm the Victor Hugo of furry porn. I'm not trying to insult anyone who may like something or not. But, despite some of the things I've put in the descriptions of my pony-themed images, I keep getting the same queries and insinuations about taking things "a step further". One person on FA even went as far as to confidently bet that I wouldn't be able to go a month without drawing pony porn. I was called "prideful" for looking forward to winning that bet. I suppose since I have a whole array of characters and worlds I can use of my own creation, it's staved off any desire to dabble in someone else's for explicit material. Not only is there a discomfort with doing Rule 34 material, there really is no temptation at all.
I may write about and draw characters who relish "delicious sins", but I don't believe in them myself. Some people live their whole lives believing it's perfectly fine to have your surging desires and temptations live in conflict with your mind, and can't conceive of this not existing in someone else. I don't hold back drawing what I want, and I never draw anything I don't.
2011 is almost up and I'm going to go over the projects I know I'll want to work on, or begin working on, in the coming year. I figured I better cover them here before I forget! And also give people a glimpsy glimpse into what I have on my table at the moment. Not to say things won't be added as they blossom forth and catch my imagination unexpectedly.
Bad Love - Still in progress. I've been unable to abridge the stories I planned to include in this project, so I'm going to just end up releasing each one as separate projects, the first of which being about Sissy and Troy, within the context of her therapy. The project will be finished and released in early to mid January.
Friends with Benefits - Commission comic project that I've nestled into my production schedule. I tried doing it at the same time I do my current project, but it was just taking up too much time. If I work too late in the day, my drawing often suffers and becomes inconsistent, so I've put it into my ordinary working hours and will be doing it right after the completion of "Bad Love".
Selfless Love - This was the other story that was going to be a part of "Bad Love". It's about Pablo explaining his obsession with Mary Ann to his sister, Lupe, a much underdeveloped character. In fact, she did appear once very briefly, but I've disavowed that appearance as her, and am in the process of remaking her into a much more interesting person. This isn't really about Lupe at all, and she doesn't even get naked in this story. The majority of the visuals will involve Mary Ann with the painted horse I've been drawing lately, who I've yet to give a name. Of all the one-off bits I have planned for next year, I'm looking forward to this one the most.
After this part, the order in which I do the following projects is not set in the stone.
Samantha Struts (working title) - Samantha underwent a little metamorphosis in my mind and I have a comic I wish to do with her, and the details of it have changed accordingly. Going from a mindless sex maniac to a discriminating sadistic sex maniac has called for some plot tweaks which I think will make her a more interesting adult character.
Parole (working title) - There's not much I want to reveal about this one right now, other than to say it will make heads explode and I can't wait to feel the wave of wailing and gnashing of teeth wash over me like a tsunami of awesome. And y'all thought she was dead.
Goat's Goatly Goatery (working title) - A little more detail about Erzile's assistant and familiar, Goat, played out in a story that's still germinating in my mind. He actually has a pretty interesting origins story I want to touch on, as well. Erzile and Goat's presence in the Lumpkinville universe is the only place where I give the explicitly supernatural permission to reside in my stories.
Genwyn Must Die - A group of women conspire to murder a red panda who keeps dressing up like a girl and enticing their husbands to cheat on them. In the end, they all learn a valuable lesson about satisfying the sexual needs of the men in their life. With their anuses. Haha, just kidding. I'll never draw this.
Cottonwine - I want to spend a good bit of time running up to the first Cottonwine project. Part of my goal for 2012 is to get a lot of the other stuff out of the way so I can turn out a lot of Cottonwine material in a row, afterwards, stretching on into 2013 and beyond. As it is, now, I have a lot of stuff written and will be cementing it later. It will cover more about what happened between the humans and the wolves at the end of Red Riding Hood, while introducing the larger universe, and yes, even a theme. It's shaping up to be quite the project and, of course, the sexually charged bits will be turned into elaborate catalog projects. After a few other things, I plan to dedicate the majority of my sketching time to doing background drawings and prelims running up to the release of the first story. I'm really looking forward to this one.