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.