A Webcomic Artist’s Prayer
I’m releasing the first few pages of Polterguys on Saturday and have promptly started having nervous thoughts invade my head. Rather than give in to a downward spiraling cycle of self-doubt and anxiety, I came up with the following bit
stoleninspired by an excerpt from Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants, A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child (because yes, this book is somewhat similar to an actual child.*)
First Lord, bring not the haters and the trolls to the comic. Deprive them of their primal urges to inform the artist how much she sucks and provide them with more distractions to their possibly troubled lives. May criticism be polite, constructive and not heated debates over the term “manga.”
May the comic bring joy to many readers but not too much, for it is the popular characters and stories that adoring fans will write kink meme’s for and the tumblr tag will be nothing but porn. Let there be creative fanart made by beautiful and kind people, and fanfics too. But grant the artist strength not to read said fics to avoid sticky legal situations.
Guide the artist, protect her as she works on the rest of the pages to completion. Make sure her fingers don’t swell again, does not get food poisoned, does not get hit by a bus as she crosses the street to the gym and does not pull a muscle doing the one yoga class once a week. May she have the strength to continue 14 hour workdays and no weekends for 10 more weeks pursuing her passion and may no wise ass tell her she is wrong for doing so.
Lead the comic away from the badwebcomic forums and but not all the way to internet obscurity. Find a happy place where it can be enjoyed enough to be cool but not too successful, the Kickstarter backers will assume the artist is already made of money. May readers understand that just because it is provided for free of charge does not mean it is less valuable than a book already on the shelf.
May it reach the eyes of young readers and their moms so they will tell their friends that live outside the internet. May it show them comics are not just for boys and superheroes and may they grow up knowing that chicks dig good comics, too. Inspire them to write or draw more sensibly-dressed female characters in less embarrassing poses so even more little girls can dress up like comic book characters without an accidental ‘slut’ factor.
And once the webcomic becomes a book, Lord, be my fly on the wall as a new reader discovers the joy of sequential art for the first time with her flashlight under her blanket fort. Let her start doodling her own adventures and beginning her own artistic journey. Let her think, “I can totally do this too!” and let the artist not be intimidated by much younger, much smarter future competition. Let the artist and the young padawan meet at a con someday and enjoy a conversation over overpriced exhibit food.