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Every Satchel Of My Planktonic Body Is Filled With A Jelly

Most of the artists who use our contact form to entice us to read or review their comic also include something else. They apologize for marketing their strip – and usually in the contradictory form of “sorry for the shameless self-promotion”. If you’re apologizing, you’re not shameless, sorry!

TK Longmire sent us just such a missive yesterday – and guess what? It worked. This is the lesson for the day. If you want to make money off your comic, then you need regular readers. In order to get any readers at all, you must market your strip!

TK’s comic, Tasty Human Meat starts out being about a guy and his robot roommate. Despite this fairly pedestrian setup, it gets quirky fairly quick.

And then he switches to a series called Alternate Universe Comix, which takes place after a nuclear holocaust turned everyone into sealife.

TK has given us an entire world, with melancholy, schadenfreude, office life, teen bravado, communists, and everything else.

Under the sea? Yeah. That’s where I’d like to be. Thanks for a good comic, TK.

I disagree; the “sorry” move isn’t indicative of shame. The token apology is something of a ceremonial measure, and often not intended to reflect shame so much as a modicum of modesty.

Whether that modesty is geniune varies, of course, from case to case.

To a certain extent, the apology may cover the creator’s sense that there exists unspoken protocol for asking people to read their strip.

Unhealthy shame (and I do believe that there is a healthy form of it) should probably be inferred by passive-aggressive tone throughout, rather than the ceremonial passphrase of the prospective initiate.

That first line should read “…isn’t *necessarily* indicative of shame.”

Being modest is still not being shameless.

Shameless is going to the grocery store without your pants, and complaining that it’s cold in the ice cream section. But that it’s a good cold.

British or American sense of pants? The latter is arguably also immodesty. (Some instances of the former would be as well, of course.)

I’m not convinced that that works as an example. Extreme actions can just as easily be coping mechanisms for profound personal shame. Often, this involves misguidedly using bravado and excessive openness as a substitute for genuine self-confidence. This can be observed in high schools, at universities, within fringe special-interest groups…

I don’t think it’s wise to use “shameless” interchangeably with “lacking in self-restraint” or “being willing to draw attention to oneself without apology.” I recognize that the common parlance accomodates this, but I don’t think it’s a valuable use of the word.

Furthermore, as with any of the arts, this field is very top-heavy with emotionally maladjusted people. Many of them are young and/or still learning the difference between assertiveness and plain old HEY LOOKIT ME. Inasmuch as the sharing of one’s work is to some extent a request for validation, I think it’s essential to encouragement healthy and constructive tactics for aggressive self-promotion. Any of us could come up with a half-dozen toxic examples of same; if the term “shameless” can just as easily apply to them, then perhaps something more pinpointed is appropriate for others.

This is the thing: we need to be careful about our language when making exhortations to that new blood.

British or American sense of pants?

TK is a Canadian.

This is the thing: we need to be careful about our language when making exhortations to that new blood.
Or we need to allow them to learn that hot things burn when touched with bare fingers.

And believe me, if they try and plug their comic on, say the Penny Arcade forums… they’ll get burned.

But all I’m really talking about is the contradiction in their language. I’m not exhorting them to promote themselves shamelessly. I’m exhorting them to market themselves at least a little bit – and to be aware that they may be contradicting themselves if they use “shameless self-promotion” and “sorry” in the same sentance.

Man, I apologize for derailing this fascinating debate, but I would like to shamelessly proclaim my interest in this comic! I’m sorry, but I make no apology for saying that it is good!

I’m really glad to see TK getting some attention! I first encountered him when used some artwork of his for a Whispered Apologies strip, and I’ve been hooked on Alt Universe every since.

TK is a Canadian.

I… asked you what you meant when you said pants, Mr. Lowrey.

I agree that we generally don’t really think of the real meaning of “shameless” when we accuse ourselves of “shameless self-promotion.” I myself am from Iowa and we never do anything shamelessly. Self-promotion, in particular, is especially shameful. But in the world of webcomics, it’s necessary. If you don’t promote yourself, no one is going to do it for you. Maybe we can accept a very liberal definition of “shameless” that means “with some shame, but not enough shame not to do it.” Like a definition of “vegetarian” that involves eating fish.

And speaking of fish, excellent recommendation in Alternate Universe Comics. I’m digging it.

I… asked you what you meant when you said pants, Mr. Lowrey.

All of my pants say “Made in China”. Does that help?

Thanks for the kind words! I definitely wasn’t expecting a write-up, much less one so soon. Hooray for the interwebs!

Re being sorry: I am not used to marketing myself, preferring to just draw the comic and let people read it if they feel like. Telling people to read my comic always makes me feel hokey and strange, especially if I don’t know the site or forum or whatever. I hate it when people spam me to read their comic, so why would I do it to anyone else? (Except for now, of course.)(Heh.)

Don’t worry. I always feel bad trying to tell people to read my comic too. Even when trying to act truly shameless, I feel a twang of guilt. But that doesn’t stop me. They’ll never take me alive!

Paul… when did you start making a comic?

Is it any good?

I have got to agree. Tasty Human Meat is an excellent comic. It is being added to bookmarks as we speak. Except not. Because I added it a while ago.

Sorry for the shameless self-promotion Jeff, but I would have to say that it is the most middle-of-the-road, adequate, mild, and entirely sufficient comic fare you will ever read.

But is it self-sufficient? If you wake up in the morning, is a fresh comic waiting for you with a nice cup of coffee and some bagels?

The comic knows that I do not drink coffee, and in accordance with that personal preference, does not bring it to me. We have a good relationship.

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