Trying to post more often, but don't always have a topic. So I'm going with an old trick I used when I did a weekly newspaper column, the many topic.
The Internet is full of them. I fully expected a lot of criticism just by the nature of putting my material out there. It comes with the territory. And I am very guilty of tearing some things down all on my own. But one thing this experience of creating new characters and stories has pretty much cured me of, is criticism.
The sure enormity and pettiness you see on just about every site from those who just can't comment unless it's a complaint or criticism, has made me realize the poor choice criticism actually is. I have invested a lot of work and emotion into creating this series. It has made me realize that even material I don't like or feel isn't quite good, the very fact that someone produced it should be enough of a positive for me. Who am I to tear someone down because I don't like it? They put as much, if not more, into creating their project as I did. It's really easy to tear something down you yourself have never attempted. The very act of putting it all on the line, should really exempt your from criticism, even from yourself (which I really am the most guilty of).
Sure there's constructive criticism. But there's very little of that going on nowadays. So maybe we should all look a little deeper instead of following our first instinct to down it.
Many years ago, I realized where I fell in the comics spectrum of art, exaggerated. I just naturally gravitated towards it. I felt it accomplished the purpose of comics to reflect reality but a little skewed. Now I know today's mainstream pretty much depends on the realistic movement. Like it just came out of a tv or movie, the characters look like they breath. And there are some wonderfully talented artists that do that work. If I worked from reference, I could probably mimic that style also. But what's the fun of that? I like my work to look a little off. My characters looking a little unreal. It's preference but also how my drawing hand reacts to the paper, and I go with it. I can't imagine MAN IN THE MASK to look any different than it does.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.