Forum > General discussion > Bad advice from non comic people
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"Bad advice from non comic people", 10th Sep 2020, 4:21 PM #1
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I'm sure we've all been here where someone either learns you make comics, or they actually see you working on one and then they give the weirdest or dumbest advice.
This thread is all about sharing that advice. Here's a few I've gotten.

"Your comic would look better if you made it an anime."
"Your comic should be about this tumblr idea that's been spread around for a year."
"You know, it would be faster if you just did the ink and not the pencil."
"There's this thing on Facebook for making comics. Its so much easier."
10th Sep 2020, 4:28 PM #2
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"Your idea is too different from the norm. No one is going to like it."
"Don't make your religion, political views or morals obvious through your writing. It's not the place for personal opinion." (Yes, someone said that to me once.)
"Never be open about your religion in your comic. Ever. You'll make enemies."
"No adult will read a comic that has no fanservice in it." (Ouch. What does that say about adults if this is true? Thankfully, it isn't.)
"Why do you use GIMP? You should go with this art program instead."
"You won't get far writing a comic like this (Jekyll and Hyde) while being a woman. You should write stuff that people expect of you."
"You should make your main character a woman since you're one."
"Dude, no one reads comics where the mains are straight anymore." (I find this one offensive to anyone of any orientation.)

I suspect a large majority of this advice was given either by teenagers who didn't know any better or by trolls, but still, this was dumb advice.
10th Sep 2020, 4:43 PM #3
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"your arts horrible and you should quit to practice."
"only one page a week? that's weird and you should post more." (this and the two below are from one particular site where the norm is people posting page batches of 10+ at a time)
"you only get out 10 pages every 3 months? maybe you're not cut out for making comics."
"it takes you that long to make pages? drop the art quality so their faster!"
"ugh! the pace is so slow! i am leaving if its going to keep like this!"

"you should make a superhero comic and definitely make it a women because you're one. :D" (i got this soooooo much i think its lead to me becoming bitter about superhero comics. it was as if it were the only comic genre in exsistance for people.
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10th Sep 2020, 4:45 PM #4
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I can relate to the last one. A fictional character is not an extension of you. They don't have to match your gender or anything. It makes me so annoyed when people find out I'm a woman and they ask me why I write the way I do. Because I just do? This is just how my imagination works? I didn't know being a woman means you have to imagine a certain way.
10th Sep 2020, 4:48 PM #5
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yeah, this is why pen names became so popular. if your a girl, you "Can't write a boys topic" like horror, action, etc. and vice versa with boys "cant write girly." such as romance novels.
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10th Sep 2020, 4:52 PM #6
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"You should make it more like (insert popular show / comic / film that has no resemblance to anything I've ever written.)"

"You should have (vampires / zombies / etc.) in it."

Generally every bit of bad advice I've gotten follows this pattern; "Chase whatever is popular and imitate it." I point out to them that this is exactly why the comics industry was a creative wasteland for so many years. But hey, who listens to me, anyway?
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10th Sep 2020, 4:55 PM #7
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Reddog, I really feel you on the speed thing.
I pump out about 30 pages in 3 months, and this is on top of a full time job and people call me slow.

"I'll read your comic when it's complete... Your comic is too long."
"Editor notes are so annoying."

I make a paper back issue comic that is kind of available in print form, so the editor notes usually reference to something in a separate book which doesn't happen very often.
They're the little yellow boxes.

10th Sep 2020, 4:57 PM #8
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reddog f.13:yeah, this is why pen names became so popular. if your a girl, you "Can't write a boys topic" like horror, action, etc. and vice versa with boys "cant write girly." such as romance novels.


I know! And I feel particularly disturbed when WOMEN/GIRLS tell me I shouldn't write like this. Do you know I looked online for a group of a webcomic collective made for women writers and the only ones I could find would write about romance or pornographic content? Even when they had superhero or fantasy themes. The main focus was to either be overly mushy, overly dirty or both. And for the record, I love romance and I am a romantic myself, but when groups founded by women are all that homogeneous in their content, it worries me. And at the risk of sounding bold, some of the pornographic stories featured fetishes that were not only disturbing, but also charted into illegal for good reason territory. Yuck.

There used to be one that was more to my liking called Tomgeeks, but it's gone now. This whole thing of women writers only being overly sweet or closeted perverts is getting out of hand. We're just normal people like everyone else and women themselves need to expect and accept that especially because these are the same women who complain about a lack of progressive female writing and writers in the said industry. If you want things to change, you have to support change. Push forward the women writers who do more than just romance and playboy.
10th Sep 2020, 5:08 PM #9
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I have a feeling that the reason those groups are always about romance or smut might be because they were set up so women who like that stuff could join a collective themed around romantic or sexy stuff without a bunch of men showing up and being creepy. I don't really think there's so much of a need for groups of more genres to be women only, especially because most art/comics groups I've come across or joined tend towards having more to mostly women members anyway. I may be off base, but this is the impression I get. I don't think you need to be worried content by female creators is too homogenised, cause it's not, there's definitely lots of different stuff out there!

Edit: That being said, I have seen a decent number of varied genre women only anthologies advertised on twitter, so that may be a sign groups are out there. Or at least informal communities.

I haven't had a whole lot of this advice myself, but people have sometimes suggested I have my plot go off in all these exciting new directions without realising everything's planned out already for cohesion, pacing and foreshadowing reasons.

OH right, speed yeah. Years ago I did a different comic and posted a one panel splash page, because I'd worked hard recently and wanted a break. It still took me 6 hours. A lovely commenter complained about only getting one panel, and expressed disbelief it took 6 hours.
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10th Sep 2020, 5:10 PM #10
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Squirreltastic-Blue:Reddog, I really feel you on the speed thing.
I pump out about 30 pages in 3 months, and this is on top of a full time job and people call me slow.

"I'll read your comic when it's complete... Your comic is too long."
"Editor notes are so annoying."

I make a paper back issue comic that is kind of available in print form, so the editor notes usually reference to something in a separate book which doesn't happen very often.
They're the little yellow boxes.



i got a buffer ready till march, but my readers never see that. and i hold back because i have patreons paying for ahead pages. i dont want to pick up the pace untill the series is ready instead of losing my whole buffer i originally took 8 months off to build. at least when the series is ready i'll majorly pick it up becuase i no longer have that running out worry.
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10th Sep 2020, 6:13 PM #11
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For some reason all my life I've gotten "Oh, you should draw children's books!"

Now, you might be thinking "Roux, they're saying that because your style is cutesy and colorful and simplistic."

NO.

People have been saying this to me since I was like 12 and drawing straight up pre-teen "how to draw manga" manga. It starts to feel like they can't think of any practical application for illustration besides kid's books, and also think I can't think of any practical applications either.

The fact that I am now considering creating some children's books is irrelevant.

The fact that webcomics are wildly impractical is also irrelevant.
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10th Sep 2020, 6:14 PM #12
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reddog f.13:it was as if it were the only comic genre in exsistance for people.

yeah, I love superheroes (well, in the old-school sense anyway, before they got tainted by agendas and crass marketing) and I still find this absurd. what happened to all those other genres, like sci-fi, westerns, comedy, kid comics, and so on? well, they still exist, but for some reason, many people think most print comics are tryhard Marvel/DC/Image titles.

anyway here's my contribution to this thread


"You should hide your webcomic behind a paywall"

uh, no thanks. it's technically how print comics work, but if I'm doing it online, it's precisely because I want to skip the boring paperwork and freely share my stories. doesn't mean getting some pocket money is eternally off-limits, but it's not a priority, and I'd rather have it happen in subtler ways.

"Never, EVER write about self-inserts, or name a character after yourself, or anything that would make you even remotely important in your own story"

okay so this isn't a single person, or even direct advice, but rather something I've seen countless times waaaay back when I was randomly searching for storytelling tips. it's probably good advice for fanfiction, and a pretentious author constantly breaking the 4th wall gets old fast, but aside from that?

what if you like having a bit of yourself in every important character, or feel comfortable writing stuff based on funny moments in your life, or even want to illustrate your dreams? why should we always bend over backwards to make sure average joes don't feel overshadowed by *gasp* someone else's characters / left out when the protagonist isn't an anonymous everyman stand-in?

I'll tell you what, so far, nobody complained about the (occasional) adventures of Matt Comics. mary sues are old news, and most of the time, the term is misused.
10th Sep 2020, 6:37 PM #13
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"You should just make a movie like Disney! Make it yourself and rake in all the dough for yourself!!!"

From a well intentioned family friend. I tried to explain why a project like that takes a huge team of people, but they wouldn't listen. I guess at least they had faith in my abilities?
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10th Sep 2020, 6:59 PM #14
loved birds way before they were the word
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A couple prospective clients have ghosted me because they wanted a cartoon-style illustration, but asked me to animate it at the last minute, after we'd figured out what they wanted me to draw. I had to tell them that animation is way out my depth, but illustration is my specialty. They never replied. I'm surprised at how many people think that cartooning and animation are one and the same, and if you can draw cartoons you automatically know how to "make them move."
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10th Sep 2020, 7:07 PM #15
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I'm surprised at how many people think that cartooning and animation are one and the same, and if you can draw cartoons you automatically know how to "make them move."


What, it's only ~24x more work. Hardly worth mentioning!
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10th Sep 2020, 7:10 PM #16
loved birds way before they were the word
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ccznen:What, it's only ~24x more work. Hardly worth mentioning!


"Whaddaya mean, you don't know how to do that and there's entire Bachelor's degree tracks that teach people how to animate? Isn't there some cartoon button you can push to make it move?"
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10th Sep 2020, 7:22 PM #17
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"this needs to be a show on adult swim"

me: hey @sethgreen, can i haz show??

*crickets chirping*
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10th Sep 2020, 7:27 PM #18
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"You should try to print and sell this" or any variation of "why are you putting so much time into something if you're not trying to make money off of it".

I get that a lot of people do patreons or prints or what have you, but not everyone does and I don't want to mix money with my hobbies : (
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10th Sep 2020, 7:33 PM #19
loved birds way before they were the word
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forgot about these:

-someone told me that my panel gutters should be white instead of black because "that's what real comics look like."
-why are they all cow people, that's weird.
-you should make it take place in (current year) instead of 199X
-I don't see how this works in a gallery setting (said to me in critique more than once during undergrad. fine arts classes are fun as hell, amirite boys)
-oh, you draw??? can you draw ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? wait whaddaya mean it costs money
-you should get this published by DC or Marvel
-wait if you're a comic artist why don't you want to work for DC or Marvel
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10th Sep 2020, 8:02 PM #20
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I've gotten so much bad advice/comments over the years like:

-You shouldn't use reference images or the circle tool. That's cheating! You're not a true artist if you do that.
-PokΓ©mon is boring, can't your story be about something else?
-Do you take requests? I don't want to pay you.
-Why are the characters gijinkas? Regular PokΓ©mon are much cuter and more appealing.
-That character is supposed to be X PokΓ©mon? Why is its design different from the normal design? I hate it when people deviate from the official designs. You should fix that. It'll make your content more appealing.

And then back when I used to use a trackpad to draw since I couldn't afford a tablet, I got a fair amount of:
-You should turn you pen pressure on. (after explaining I use a trackpad) Buy a tablet then. They're only like $20 surely you can afford it.
-Your trackpad art is bad. Why can't you draw on a tablet like a normal person?
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Forum > General discussion > Bad advice from non comic people
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