My comics are up and running again. It was a little scary, committing myself to this thing, but reactions have been positive across the board. If people aren’t happy about it, they’ve been kind enough to keep it to themselves.
Actually, as I remarked to Lori last night, over all the comics I’ve ever posted, negative feedback has been vanishingly rare. I know my work is pretty inoffensive to begin with, but I have to acknowledge that it’s a mark of privilege for me to exist online and post my work while dealing with zero trolls or haters. (This is not an invitation to start, by the way). Women, minorities, and LGBT folks share that they’re often criticized simply for ‘being’ in online spaces, and that hasn’t been my experience.
I have a bunch of ideas in my Google Doc for future comics, but I realized most of them are about my daughter / interactions with her. I don’t necessarily want every comic to be about her, because I know I get sick of people who won’t stop talking about their kids, so I want to save them and just sprinkle them in every so often. One reader mentioned bringing back the mailbag, which sounds good as well. Always enjoyed the challenge of responding to folks’ questions in a fun way.
The downside to this new venture is that I’ve reactivated my Facebook account in order to retake control of the Interesting Times page there. Facebook was always a good source of traffic and engagement, so I can’t ignore it. But, you have to have an active account in order to manage a page. In the gap, after ending the initial run of comics, I promoted Lori to page manager and emailed her the rare things I wanted to share so I could deactivate my account. But now that things are happening on a regular basis, I didn’t want to give her the workload of reposting every new comic and being go-between for messages and comments; that wouldn’t be very nice.
I didn’t actually delete my account, just deactivated it, and it was surprising to me at first that reactivation only requires logging back in. No big messages or text boxes about “your account has been dormant for X amount of time”, just right back to the bottomless news feed. Then, after a moment’s consideration, it wasn’t surprising at all, because it makes sense that FB would put up the very minimum amount of barriers to entry to keep folks engaged and scrolling forever. Guh, it bothers me just to think about.
For the time being I am doing my level best to avoid the news feed altogether when I’ve gone there to do Page stuff. I let my eyes sort of glance past it while looking for the link to my Page, in the way you might have to go past really objectionable or scary video covers to get to the family section at the video store.
Ohh, that analogy dates me. Uh, it’s like how when you fire up Netflix Kids and Jim Carrey’s horrible Grinch face is giant on the screen until you scroll down to the content you actually want, and all you can do is hope that hideous thing didn’t burrow into your daughter’s subconscious in that moment.
I was happy being away from FB and I’m not happy to be back. But it’s what I deem a necessary evil so that more people can enjoy my work, so here we are. One solution I’ve considered, and may yet implement, is to literally unfriend everybody so that my news feed is completely empty.
Thing I Saw: Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley as performed by the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company. Lori and I went last weekend as a night out in the big city, and it was excellent. Funnier than I expected, nice and sweet for the holidays, and the set was gorgeous. Click this and then click “Photos” and you’ll see what I mean.
Thing I Learned: A Charlie Brown Christmas, a staple of my holiday season, was commissioned by Coca-Cola and had pretty significant advertising throughout. When it was revised for re-broadcasting, the ads were cut out, and a significant number of tweaks were made to the rest of the special. This video details them pretty exhaustively.
I’m Grateful For: Supportive readers!