My latest column is up over at Comixpedia. It deals mainly with typical mystery tricks, and just for kicks I inserted some webcomic personalities and mascots in the comic. I may be a limited artist in some aspects, but I do flatter myself that I can ape art styles somewhat.
However, I have to say the recent theme, Mystery comics, gave me a bit of a twinge, because even more so than fantasy or sci-fi, Mystery has always been my favourite genre. I like stories that make readers think. I like the mystique of the unsolved. Most of all I like the concept of someone being able to see further than anyone else just because he/she observes and reasons accordingly.
So why does this give me a twinge? Well, one shortcoming of being in the Comixpedia staff is that I always feel I shouldn't ask or suggest that my own mystery comic, The Jaded be reviewed because it wouldn't be good journalism. There's no point writing/drawing a webzine if everyone who wrote for it just used it as a platform to talk about their own works. It'd be patting yourself on the back. Even worse, it just wouldn't have been fair, me misusing my influence that way.
And so, as a sucker who is very much at the mercy of her conscience, I held my tongue. And now that Mystery month is over, and despite the twinges, I'm very glad I resisted the temptation.
Ironically when I first started doing The Jaded a couple of years ago, to me, there was nothing I wanted so much, or considered a greater honour than having a Comixpedia review of the said comic. I suppose it sounds silly, and it's probably a sign of progress that I no longer feel so badly about it and even dare to admit it as I am doing now. It's not that I think a Comixpedia review is any less of an honour. It's not that I care any less for my comic. (Granted, it's on hiatus now, but that's because I'm too busy and I care too much for it to churn out a half-assed job. I'd rather put it on hold and do it properly when I have time.)
It's just because I want them to do it of their own accord, with no prompting from me. I want people to review my comic because they see something in it, not because they want me to write about theirs or link to them and it's a way of catching my attention. I want to be sure the comic is reviewed on its own merit. so only then I can be sure that it was picked because it's a comic of quality [x] about topic [y], and not because author [z] makes it.
I want all this because I know that more than anything else, it'd be a true test of whether it is good. And yes... I know that at this, many people will jump up and down and protest and declare that a review isn't proof that a comic is good.
On its own that point stands true.
But to me, if someone takes the time to analyse and write about something you created for the sake of the thing itself that you created, with no strings attached, no favours expected, and without knowing you...
No matter what anyone else says, in my not-so-humble opinion, that is the greatest compliment of all.
I rarely write and inform the comics featured on Webcomic Finds that they have been reviewed. I only do it for those cases where there's something on the site itself that leads me to believe that they are looking for feedback and would appreciate it greatly.
Why? Simply because that how I would want it myself.