Why Captain Koala sucked.

The industry has always had a hard time and people have blamed everything for it, but maybe it’s time to look at ourselves and see if we are in fact the problem.  I decided to take a good long hard look at my own comic book and decide what was wrong with it, I wont’ be looking at any other comics because a lot of people have a problem with criticism.

Captain Koala was written in 1992 and was told by a few close friends & family that it was ‘okay for what it is’.  Let’s play a game – spot the four errors!

  • First error was asking friends, this achieves nothing because they usually don’t wish to hurt your feelings and also they have no experience in critique.  Another point – do they themselves read?
  • Second error was ‘okay for what it is’.  What is it?  I know a friend who won’t read a comic because ‘it’s not my thing’.  Wrong, people don’t read comics because they don’t like the content of what they ‘assume’ they will read.  That same person reads the ‘Buffy’ comic because she is a fan of the show!  I am currently in discussions with a professional editor who doesn’t wish to edit the comic because ‘it is far out of the field of my expertise’, he is a crime writer/editor and he doesn’t read comics so he won’t read mine.
  • Third error is the simple word of ‘okay’.  A burnt out bomb of a car that still runs is ‘okay’ if you only wish to get from point A to point B.  You must aim high or you are only going to get stuck in the muck of ‘average Australian comic’.
  • Fourth error (and the biggest for me) was to ask my family.  My mum wanted to encourage me to ‘get out there and follow your dreams’, so she gave me a good review to give me confidence to start.  My brother and I have always thought alike so he always liked it (still does).

 So I published it.  And then came the rude awakening of bad reviews that blasted my comic, did I deserve them?  Looking back on the first five issues that were published in 1992 I do agree with them.  One review said ‘Porno movie scripts outshine the alleged dialogue of Captain Koala…’, OUCH!!

 So what am going to do about it?  Rent as many porno movies as I can to study their script writing (study those that are better  J).  Seriously though, I have opened up the comic for professional criticism and I will be listening with what they have to say.  I have also purchased several books on how to write properly.

Am I the only one in the industry who needs to look at their own comic and say that it sucks and could be improved?  Definitely not.  I now have one advantage over other comics though, because I have had some very harsh reviews I have had my ego smashed and can now accept constructive criticism without getting offended.

 If you have read the comic before then I ask you to re-read it when the graphic novel comes out, it will be a lot better I promise.

A short history of Captain Koala (March, 2008)

‘Captain Koala’ was a cartoon character I came up with in 1993, since then I have put out 9 issues of the comic and there is another 15 scripts that are ready to be pencilled.
I won’t be getting those pencilled unless someone comes up to me and asks to do it because they need the experience (it happens every 2 years, that’s why the artwork is different for each issue).

The comic started because I wanted to get into the industry, I always wanted to be a writer and I thought I could do comedy.
So I wrote 5 scripts, the trouble started when nobody would edit them but my mother told me to follow my dreams and get them printed. They stank 🙁
I got a lot of negative press in the Australian comic industry which stalled the comic at issue 5 – one of the longest runs ever by an Australian comic!! I stopped the comic because of the feedback but then something really weird happened – when I announced that there would be no more a lot of people came out of the woodwork and said it was the funniest comic this country had ever produced!!

So now what? I was only making enough money to cover my costs so it was only a hobby, but when you get asked by several people to make another issue – it’s fairly flattering.

So a year later I put another issue out – and because my writing had improved I felt it was a lot better. My fans loved it, the press hated it but now it upset me, there opinion had never upset me before, so why now? … because they admitted they hadn’t read it ….

The comic stalled again but my fans called out for more.
So 2 years later (1998) issue 7 came out – and my writing had improved again – and the critics still didn’t read it.
One reviewer wrote “… this comic is up to issue 7, if you can believe that … “. Why not? Guess what pal, comics don’t’ last 7 issues if they are as bad as you make out. On a forum board I challenged this reviewer to name the main bad persons race (it was something you wouldn’t forget if you read it) – he had no idea as he admitted that he had not read it.

2 years later (2000) issue 8 came out, and I never read the reviews. Heck, if they won’t read my comic why should I read their reviews?

After that issue life got in the way, I do a lot of other things now and don’t have the time to do another issue- but as I said before, there is another 15 issues scripted (my writing has really improved so they are very funny).
If someone wants to draw them then they are welcome, but for the mean time I’ll stick with other things.