Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mike Choi

On dealing with criticism:
But in public,

1. Do not dismiss the criticism. At least show an attempt to at least see where they might be coming from.
2. Do not become combative or antagonistic. Sarcasm counts.
3. Do not use past works to justify the current work.
4. Do not just say that you're doing your best. Everyone is doing their best.

If you do any of these, prepare for a shitstorm, especially if you do any of these on a message board where you're trying to defend your shit.

Actually if you ARE on a message board trying to defend your shit,

5. Get the fuck out.


  1. Did you post #5 because it's an impossible battle to argue with someone otherwise about their opinion on said work, or was it because that the creator has no place to defend his/her work on a message board?

    I've just seen plenty plenty examples of creators opening up a dialogue with posters on Newsarama, and more often than not it has positive effects than bad ones. Even if a poster still doesn't like what a writer is doing to that fan's character, they can at least at some point respect where the man is coming from.

  2. Then again, you could always answer criticism with, "Iron my shirt."

  3. I posted #5 because it was a funny way of pointing out that message boards are not places to expect sane conversation. A quick, bitter laugh at the end of some sage advice that lets people keep in mind that things can get a little crazy even if you have the best intentions by conjuring the specter of a comic-book debate on an online message board as an example of the most out of control type of conversation on the Internet.

    Now Dane, I've seen you commenting on my blog and Kalinara's blog, and I have to know, why do you ask such stupid questions all the time? Do you lack a sense of humor, lack a sense of subtlety, or are you just trying to bug us?

  4. Ragnell, Sometimes I think one of the biggest problems with comcis is that everyone is TOO accessible.

    The comics industry has traded in an audience for an entourage. And the funny thing is that every creator with an army of yes men always say how they "can call them on your bullshit" or "help them keep it real." And then it's immediatley followed up with the time honored disclaimer "to a certain point"

    The fans already have a way to call creators on your bullshit. They can stop buying your comics. But they have pretty much bought into the whole "backstage pass" atmosphere.

  5. Ragnell, I think that's a little unfair. I've posted in your blog a total of what? Three times? And the only other question I remember asking you is to clarify the context in one of your posts. I'm sorry if you think the questions I ask you and Kal are stupid, but I'd rather ask stupid questions than remain ignorant and come off half-cocked. Also, being a moderator on a discussion board has taught me to be look twice for sarcasm, especially in blogs. Regardless, I have no shame in what I asked earlier about a creator defending his/her work in message boards. I know of the dickery that goes on in comic message boards, but past experiences have shown me that creators can have good discussions with the public on forums, so I brought it up as an opposing viewpoint.

    The reason I comment on your and Kal's blogs is because I find what you're writing about very important. I'm always learning something new about the feminist viewpoint in comics and media, and as someone who has a goal to make comics more mainstream to the public, I highly value what you have to say. To be truthful, you two are the reason I signed up to Blogger in the first place. I remember registering so I could discuss a David Sim post Kal made on whether people should read Sim's work knowing his views on women. I disagreed with Kal's viewpoint, but respected it enough to place my thoughts in a real discussion. I read Kal's blog many months before that as well.

    I'm sorry I've made you feel like I'm trolling you, but that wasn't my intention at all. I've tried to remain very respectful on your blogs while keeping an open, fascinated mind to your viewpoints, but you are still putting your thoughts out on a public forum, and people will ask you to clarify or back up your statements sometimes. If it's too much trouble, then you could always ignore them. As a blogger, that option is always available to you.

  6. Explaining where I'm coming from means I have no sense of humor? That's shooting rather abruptly, Ragnell.

  7. Well, since you asked, I'll clarify. I first suspected you had no sense of humor because you missed an obvious joke and consistently do so. But it was a truly obvious joke, and an inflammatory way of phrasing that you missed the joke, so I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and ask if you were being a dick. In your response to that you admitted you aren't sure about humor but the question you first asked implied that you didn't even THINK that it could have been a joke.

    Dude, I'm fine with a good-humored request for clarification. But when you ask for clarification you loaded your questions with horrible implications, placing the person on defense. And this isn't the first time I've seen you do it. It's manipulative and pretentious. I think you have no sense of humor because not only do you not get jokes, not only do you jump to the absolute worst thought about a person without even allowing that it may be a joke, but because you take yourself way too fucking seriously. You may not be a regular around here, but I've seen you at Kali's and I know the shit you pull. I've seen you divert, dissolve, and derail a lot of conversations over there. I don't buy the clueless act, even if she does.

    If you think I'm being unfair in my assessment of you, by all means go to your own blog, write it and we'll end this thread with a link to your "Ragnell is a big meanie" post. You'll feel better, I'll feel better, and anyone who dislikes m can commiserate with you while I can talk to people I like talking to over here rather than spend my time bristling at your condescending attitude.

    Everybody wins. :)

  8. I don't think you're mean. I do think you're jumping to conclusions about someone you barely know, but that's the problem of the internet sometimes. My first post on this topic wasn't meant to be condescending at all. There was no intentions attached to it other than clarifying the context. Perhaps the latter half of the question was worded too strongly. Is that what you mean?

    I haven't been reading your blog as much as Kal's, so I when I asked you questions, it was try to see where you were coming from. I'm more aware of your tone now, and that's fine.

    I come to these blogs for discussion on comics and the topics they generate. I'm not here to derail or mess with anyone's message. I post on more than just you and Kal's blogs, you know. Like too many of these comment box back-and-forths, I feel like an inch has been misunderstood and we've gone a mile with it. Let's stop this.

    You're not a meanie and I'm not condescending. I don't want to make a blog post over this because those posts never add anything of value to discussion. Once again, I like your blog, and I don't want there to be bad blood between us.

    Are we cool?

  9. On second thought, never mind. In time, you'll know what kind of person I am. Me telling you won't change your mind.