Title: 1217

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004

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The haps.

June 16, 2004
1:42 PM

Sooooo…. I’m feeling much better today. The problems I had were resolved, and that’s what really matters. However, a good part of what set me off was due to something I suppose I hadn’t made very clear, so I’m going to take a bit of time this morning to rant about it.

It’s no secret that I’m kind of lax about updating the site with rants and whatnot. Hell, look at the Today’s Thing. It’s been another 4 months. I’ll talk more about the reasons behind this below, but for now let’s move on. So, i think it was perhaps nearly a year ago, perhaps less, I got to thinking that it would be really nice if I could get help with putting more content on the mainpage on a more regular basis. I pretty much at this point realized that my rant space was basically my blog, anyway. So, I asked Liz if she would be interested in perhaps writing on Real Life. I told her to treat it like a blog… just write her thoughts on things. That way, there’s something for people to read even if I’m not around to write it.

Many people don’t know it, but Liz is the backbone that keeps Real Life going these days. In the past year or so, I’ve tried to make Real Life from being just a hobby into something that could potentially pay my bills. It’s not there just yet, but we’ve made huge strides in that direction, and frankly, it wouldn’t be possible if Liz wasn’t running the backend of things for me. For me, running the ins and outs of a business is fairly counterproductive to creative cartooning. If I had to handle taking care of contracts with advertisers, keeping the books, and doing all the piddly stuff, I’d be so exhausted and stressed-out that the comic would turn to crap. For an example of this, see the comics of about a year ago or so. I was so busy trying to do everything myself, i think the writing went downhill for a while. The point of all this is, Liz is the glue that keeps this site together, and I can think of nobody more deserving and qualified of being a writer on the mainpage. There have been a few occasions where she’s been worried about overstepping her bounds, and I tell her to get back in there and write. It’s her right. So when people give her crap about the stuff she writes, or complain that she’s trying to take over Real Life, you can understand that it’s not only incredibly frustrating, but to me, incredibly misdirected.

Part of the problem stems, I think, from the fact that for some time now I’ve posted everything with a slight degree of timidness. If I miss a strip, I profusely apologize. If I put up a strip that offends a ton of people, I post about it in the rant, saying I was misguided. That’s done with. Real Life has been founded, and has continued for nearly 5 years, on one tenet: Do what you enjoy doing, and everyone else be damned. Note, I did not start Real Life to “entertain the masses”. Building an audience was never my main concern. My main concern was that I did Real Life because I enjoyed it. When I started here, I was adamant that readers would come and read the comic if they liked it. If not, oh well. I’ve never advertised myself elsewhere. This being said, some people have developed a sense of entitlement about the content I choose to put on my page. They feel that perhaps they should have say as to what I do and do not put on my website. What it boils down to is that Real Life, despite the fact that it has managed to gather a fairly large amount of daily readers, is and always has been my personal website. I run it, I make the decisions. I am King. Try as you might, you have no say over what goes on here. It comes down to a simple decision – does it bother you enough to stop reading, or not? Because frankly, I’m not going to change things around here to suit the readers. That’s not what I do. Every time I get a hate letter (and it’s about once a month. I look forward to them. I crack my knuckles and grin when one arrives) I make it clear to them that I would prefer that they never read my comic again. I am beholden to no one.

Now, I said I’d touch on why I don’t post as much as I would like to. The trouble with me posting or doing site work is that the time I have to do it usually falls between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, monday through friday. I have a lot of free time, sure, but I’m at work. And frankly, that Greg is not a happy Greg. That Greg is an angry Greg. A vengeful Greg. A Greg that, frankly, shouldn’t be posting things to the mainpage. I’ve tried it, and whenever I do, I tend to be unusually negative and self-degrading. I’m not really like that, and it’s not even because I have a bad job. I have an awesome job. Not an ENJOYABLE job, but a good job to have. When I sit down and try to write, though, I tend to get interrupted very frequently. I’m sure anyone you know who tries to write personal essays, for lack of a better term, will tell you the same thing. So I get frustrated. I can’t tell you how often something gets me up at arms, and I just start going off about how I’m gonna post and stick it to ’em, and blah de blah blah, and I have to have cooler heads than mine talk me down out of it. So instead of ranting, I just do nothing. I know, it sucks. But I feel that not posting anything is better than publicly tearing people a new one. I’d love to tell you “that’s going to change TODAY!” but I’m not entirely sure it will. I’ll post when I can, but I’ll start with just trying to keep up my comic schedule. Focus is a good thing. If I can make a comic that I find enjoyable, that’s all I can ask for.

I can promise you one thing, however. From now on in, I do nothing apologetically. If I make a rant, it will be with the full authority I have as owner and webmaster of this website. When Liz makes a rant, she will do it with gusto, and not fear offending whoever feels the need to be offended. If I make a comic about something, and it turns out to be unpopular, tough noogies! I found it funny! That’s my sense of humor! (strikes a pose) Part of the problem with being right here, accessible to everyone is that you get the good and the bad feedback unfiltered… it goes right to you, and directly into your fragile little brain. Every little negative comment eats at you, whether you want it to or not. Well, again, that ends now. I appreciate positive feedback, but if you don’t like me, or like what I do, that really doesn’t bother me. I’m not here to please everyone. I am an island. I am a rock. I am the eggman. And I have a comic to do. 🙂