This week’s page was drawn by graphic designer and consummate pro Peter Hon, who was one of the first people to sign on to this collaboration. Peter’s amazingly free and energetic style comes through in this scene like I’d never have believed if I hadn’t seen it myself, and I can’t tell you what a huge thrill it was to see this when it showed up in my inbox. Peter, of course, also draws his own occasional comic Malden, a madcap and often (for lack of a better word) psychedelic take on his own life experiences. His artwork is simply stunning, and I am a huge fan, so it was really great that he was so willing to do this page for 6-Commando in his own unique style. Peter, I owe you one for this!
For me, this week was a tough one, spent in the studio making revisions to some technical drawings that took a LOT more effort than it seemed like they would, at first. In comics, I began to tackle another never-before-seen bit of footage that bridges one of my more awkward transitions in Chapter 1. Progress was a bit slow, but I have confidence it’s going to work out right in the end.
And finally, I originally had a full rundown of the Comic Panda debacle which broke this weekend. But then I had a website error (damn you, ComicPress!) and my whole thing got erased. So rather than try to piece it back together, I’ll give you the short version. Basically, a website called Comic Panda contacted a bunch of webcomic artists (myself included, I think – I seem to remember being contacted by them about a month and a half ago, and just deleting the email as spam). They asked to use their content on their own websiteand naturally, almost all of them said no, or, like me, ignored them altogether. Then they used people’s content anyway, without permission. Fortunately, 6-Commando was not one of the ones they ripped off, but many others were blatantly misused and uploaded by obviously false users, who the site staff later tried to defend by calling them “curator types,” whatever the hell THAT means. So when this came up for discussion over at the Fantasy Comic Portal forums, it all kind of hit the fan, and one of the users, neekaneeks (co-creator of the comic Gran Grimoire) contacted the aggrieved parties, who in turn demanded that Comic Panda cease and desist. After still more defensiveness, qualification, and hedgey responses, they finally did so.
I have vacillated between giving Comic Panda the benefit of the doubt and thinking that they should be utterly shunned by the webcomic community and their website bombed out of existence, and I come down somewhere in between at the moment. My relative obscurity seems to have saved me from a huge headache, but that doesn’t make it okay, and the high self-opinion these guys have, their unwillingness to admit that they did wrong, and their foot-dragging in correcting what they did, really rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want my comic turned into “bite-sized, snackable online content,” and I resent the idea that they think they have some mandate to “visually re-create existing stories, making the content more fun to consume” (their words, I shit you not). I also found their loosely-written and creepily interpretable Terms of Service to be really upsetting. So as far as I’m concerned they can just blow it out their shorts. Maybe one day they’ll turn themselves into something worthwhile, but it will take a lot of convincing to get me to come anywhere near their crap anytime in the foreseeable future. And if you guys ever DO see 6-Commando get ripped off, please let me know – I take a very dim view of that kind of crap.
So then, until next week, all the best, folks!