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Is the heart coming from the octopus or Immelmann? The world may never know for sure.

Creator's Comments: For you comic purists the lettering in the last panel was done with a brush!  Oh, shit!

It's weird when you outgrow a mentor.  I had someone helping me a lot with my work in comics.  I would go to him asking him about advice on how to make a good web comic and also what the rules of the craft were.  Of course I wanted to know them and how they worked and why they worked and how to break them effectively.  I guess I overtaxed my welcome for information or I caught him on a bad day but he got tired of explaining shit to me.  He told me "Don't worry about all the rules nobody's going to point out whenever you violate a rule and say 'rule breaker! rule breaker!'"  It seemed clear that he didn't quite understand my motives for figuring out the rules and what they do.  I wanted to know the conventions to facilitate the reading of the comic and increase the accuracy of the reading.  Also when rules are broken then they create effects; they create certain feelings within the reader.  Sometimes these are fitting for what you are doing.

For example purposely shitty perspective might help emphasize a character's disorientation.

So could out of place word bubbles.

It was more than just avoiding faux pas through ignorance.  Although looking back on my older pages, I did commit quite a few.  I hadn't done too many strips since my friend David introduced me to Scott McCloud.

Anyway I felt like I was bothering him too much and quit talking to him nearly as much as I used to.  On top of that I was starting to out grow him because he started giving me a lot of noticeably shitty advice (God help his future students).  There's something strange that happens when you distance yourself from someone you look up to.  Sometimes you grow.  I started taking classes on literary theory since then.  I've also revisited Scott McCloud's theories again.  I feel I have a good grasp of comic theory now.  I'm far from an expert yet.  However, looking at my old mentor's comics it was really disappointing.  His comics were all surface.  He would go for months without updating without any real good reason.  He was just playing video games for the most part.  I think if I had his skills then the crushing insecurities that make it so hard for me to draw would be gone and I would probably be able to update so much more often.

But the worst part was just how really basic, straight forward, and lacking his comic is.  It is just too superficial.  The one time there was any real heart moving parts, he apologized and said "Sorry, I won't make the strip sad anymore."

Right now the current arc is just lacking in any real tension.

I know it's a faux pas to talk about your own work (and I'm trying to stop) but I know some of you might go "Well, didn't you undercut the tension of this arc by having Lupin laugh off his situation?"  Yes, I did.  So then what does that tell you?  What is this doing?  It has a purpose (I think a pretty obvious one).

What I'm criticizing him for is an absence of tension, not undercut tension.

I would have done a normal parody like I do in the past when something like this irks me this much, but I do owe too much to this person and he would take it hard.  Also I've noticed when I criticize a comic out in the open then I just get boycotted and attacked by all of its fans.  Plus I burn any bridges for link exchanges. 

Copyright 2009