ADDANAC CITY comics and news

March 1, 2009

ADDANAC CITY~ Getting Reviewed

Filed under: Idle thoughts — George @ 2:54 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For most webcomickers, getting reviewed is exciting. Somebody outside of your little, insulated world has taken notice of your humble creation and has decided to broadcast their opinion of it throughout all of the internet world! You are so filled with glee that you can barely contain yourself.

That is, if you’re getting a favorable review.

I’ve been creating ADDANAC CITY off and on, in one form or another, since 1992. The strip started in my local paper, then expanded to a comic book line that lasted for seven issues and sparked a line of t-shirts and other product tie-ins. However, ADDANAC CITY has only been on the internet since August 2008.

When I first began AC it was strictly a regional sensation. My readership extended from Virginia(my home state) to North Carolina and Maryland. I had a few readers from places like New York and Florida, but that was only because someone from VA informed them of ADDANAC CITY’s existence and sent them a copy or so of the comic books (most likely an autographed edition. I try to stay accessible to my faithful readers. I’m not a snobbish celebrity. Yet.) πŸ™‚

Anyway, I yearned to expand the lil’ world of ADDANAC CITY and share it with the rest of the world. The interent seemed like the perfect avenue to do so. The sad part is, I’m not that internet-savvy. I don’t know html from a .php. All I know how to do is make cute little drawings and place them where I want them to be. I don’t have an art staff nor someone to erase my many pencil lines (yes, I still draw on paper. Remember paper?). I also do not have a web-support staff. Everything you see on my official ADDANAC CITY website has been laid out by yours truly. I know my archive section is somewhat difficult to navigate, but it can be done. That’s the only way I know how to do it at this stage. Rest assured, I’ll find a way to make my lil’ slice of web-heaven resemble everyone else’s but, for now, it is what it is. I hope that all of you who check out Hank and his gang of misfits don’t hold it against me too badly. I will improve it one day when I devise a suitable solution.

Now back to getting reviewed….

Since I’ve only been doing this internet thing for about six months, I was so hyped to hear that I was getting reviewed. Now somebody will spread the word that Addanac City is da bomb!!!! Yay!!!

I’ve gotten a couple of positive reviews (some more positive than others). Delos from Art Patient.com reviewed AC in November and had some constructive criticism for me. Overall, I think he appreciated what I was trying to achieve. To read his review of Addanac City, click here

Another review AC received came from Web Comic Herald. You can read what he had to say here

My most recent review came from Julie at Online Comics. The review was short, but I was pleased to be noticed. Catch Julie’s review here

Everything seemed to be going lovely for this cartoonist. I was finally getting recognized for my endeavors. I was on a roll here, folks. Yeah, I had to email most of these reviewers to even make them aware of Addanac City’s existence, but drawing the strip is only half the battle. Garnering reader support is the hardest part. Webcomic artists can easily spend more time promoting their comics than actually creating them. The key is not to let your creativity suffer in pursuit of readership. You can advertise all you want, but if what you’re pushin’ is crap, then you’re still floating up that infamous fecal creek. I really try to balance good comics with good promotion.

So, lest I really digress, I contacted one reviewer to give her a heads-up about my comic. Admittedly, I had forgotten that I had already written her and proceeded to send her another email that was practically identical to the previous one. Her response was that AC would be slated to get reviewed on her next upcoming posting. My heart was fluttering with excitement! “I’m gonna get another fan!” I screamed inside of my head. Yippee!

At least, that’s what I thought. When I clicked on her review, this is what I read
Check it out, then come back here.

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted like my gast has never been flabbered before….

I paced my tiny drawing area, spouting terms that would have career sailors looking for a book of colorful expletives. After an hour (or so), I calmed down and tried to analyze the review diplomatically. Then I started cussin’ again.

The next day, I wrote the reviewer back (I didn’t flame. There’s no need for that. I requested what I got.) I simply thanked her for taking time out of her hectic schedule to give ADDANAC CITY a looksee. The day after THAT, I realized what she was basically trying to say and I went back to my site and began to make changes that would benefit me in the long run. If she felt the way she did, then perhaps others felt the same. I don’t want to alienate my readers nor distress them. So…I made a few changes. I haven’t heard whether people like them or not, but I kinda do. I hope the site looks better now.

Reviews are a two-edged sword. They’re magnificent when they’re positive, but they hurt like heck when they’re not. That’s par for the course, though, people. No matter what you do or how many hours you invest in crafting something, there’s always a chance(no matter how slight) that somebody somewhere will not like it. That shouldn’t cause you to give up. Criticism is necessary. Nothing is perfect no matter how much we wish it to be so. All we can do is listen to the opinion of others and take it for what is: an opinion. I don’t like every album or movie that comes out, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Somebody may like it. Hopefully, my opinion won’t turn them against it.

With that being said, I hope to get more reviews for my ADDANAC CITY comic. Reviews can make potential readers discover AC when they may otherwise not have done so. I want to share my creation with everyone. Some of you will hate it, and some of you will be indifferent to it. But, some of you will absolutely love it! And those are the folks whom I toil day in and day out, jotting down ideas and inking narrow lines, and learning html. I do it because I love ADDANAC CITY. I’m not getting rich off this. I’m doing it for the “love of the game”. I hope you’ll continue to ride along with me.
Whew! I’m glad I got all of this off my chest! Thanks for letting me share. My name is George, and I’m an alcoholic a cartoonist.

And for your patient reading, here’s a free ADDANAC CITY comic strip for ya. Enjoy!

AC 97

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7 Comments »

  1. As another who struggles with web design and presentation, I feel your pain. I go with the attitude that all my stuff sucks so anyone that likes something is a bonus. I compare your stuff to mine and I marvel at your line and coloring work. (which I think would be a good blog entry for your drawing process…you said you draw on paper, do you ink that way too or on the computer). If someone doesn’t like a particular gag, that is OK. I remember loving the Far Side but only liking 3 out of 5 of the weekly strips.

    Go to the Dailycartoonist.com website sometime and see how those cartoonists rag on their professional peers and it should make you feel better.

    As far as looking like an old sunday comic…I still love the sunday comics so KEEP IT UP! I read comics from the brain of a 12 year old (others will tell you I act like one too) so the humor is spot on for me.

    Comment by bearmancartoons — March 1, 2009 @ 8:27 am

  2. That’s a great response to a more negative review than you were hoping for. Not many artists respond well to any sort of criticism at all. To see you break through that initial phase and work harder is inspiring to me.

    And you’re cartooning for the right reasons, so keep it up.

    Comment by Delos — March 1, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  3. Bearman: I will definitely post something about my drawing techniques in the near future. Ever since I was a kid, I loved comic strips. I wasn’t a fan of the huge epic tales and continuity served little use for me because I only encountered the funnies occasionally. So gag-a-day strips were perfect for me. That’s what I try to do with AC: Give people that one big laff for their day.

    Delos: Thanks for checking up on me! I have to develop a thick skin regarding other peoples’ opinions. I want to make my strip the best that it can be. In order to do so, I must be willing to accept advice and then heed it. Reviewers like yourself help make us creators aware of things that we tend to ignore or consider unimportant. Sometimes we need our eyes opened even if it takes a sharp blade. πŸ™‚

    Comment by George — March 1, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  4. I have to laugh. Same day you post this, I get the following comment:

    “i dont like your pics fool” Everyone is a critic.

    Comment by bearmancartoons — March 1, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  5. Ahhh, let the haters hate, Bearman. It’s like an old wise man named Jay-Z once said, “You can love me or hate me, either or….I’m a’ stay winnin’.”

    Comment by George — March 1, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  6. *chuckle* I’m still incredibly impressed at the positive manner in which you’ve responded to my criticism, George.

    Ah… if only more people who asked for feedback were as mature as you about this. I agree with Delos, while your comic didn’t particularly impress me (I’m sorry, I really did try), your attitude and determination does!

    If it makes you feel any better, I did hesitate before posting that review because I too had to go through this something similar to this many years ago. It hurt a lot, and trust me when I say I do know how you felt after my review (which was why I said it was one of the hardest postcards I’d ever done). In fact… I, too spent some time cursing at my critic, just like you did at me (this post really made me chuckle hard from the nostalgia).

    But also trust me when I say that once I recovered my bruised ego, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it taught me how to self-criticize and improve. So… I truly hope it does the same for you.

    BTW, totally random question: Why do you choose to colour some of the text in your speech balloons? Is it an emphasis thing?

    Comment by Phalanx — March 2, 2009 @ 8:19 am

  7. Phalanx: Yeah, I’m in this for the long haul. It would be too easy to just scoop up my toys and run. I’m gonna keep creating Addanac City until my numbers dwindle to the point where I’m the only one reading it (maybe my Grandma will continue). Anyone who’s ever made it and stayed there will tell you that they were rejected quite a few times. That’s where all of these successful independent comic and record companies come from: The rejects. And what’s the most independent arena in the land? The internet.

    So, the way I have to look at it is that “there’s no such thing as bad press”. Even if they’re trouncing you, you’re still being mentioned. And a lot of people wanna go see the site that’s so terrible that it sparked its own category on a review site. πŸ™‚

    We may disagree on the validity of Addanac City’s worthiness, but I’m glad that we can shake hands and respect one another’s viewpoint.

    And to answer your question…

    Indeed, I started coloring some of the bold text in my strips as a form of emphasis. I wanted certain words to stand out. Then I began to notice that the other bold words didn’t seem so bold anymore because the vibrant colors I chose overwhelmed them. I then decided to just color all of the bold words to even things out. I’ve heard from folks that they consider the word balloons to be a part of the “artiness” of AC. Go figure. πŸ™‚

    Comment by George — March 2, 2009 @ 11:56 am


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