The webcomics blog about webcomics

Making Things

After yesterday’s Big Think on Kickstarter, I decided to let somebody else do the big thinkin’ today. Fortunately, that somebody is the very capable Jesse Thorn, who I believe — misadventures with Gabe & Tycho aside — embodies the webcomics ideal pretty well. Sure, his medium is radio rather than pixels, but it’s a give-it-away, charge-for-stuff calling, he uses TopatoCo for his merch, has interviewed webcomickers¹ for his radio and blogio audiences, and answers stuff sent to his public email address.

And, like webcomickers, Thorn is sharing his secrets. A print version of a speech/presentation/manifesto² that he’s been delivering to audiences around the world started making the rounds yesterday via; entitled Make Your Thing: 12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success, Thorn lays out examples of creators that embody elements of the path he followed to his present position of being as successful as one could hope for without being beholden to somebody else.

There’s a lot of very smart ideas in MYT, and that’s before you consider that he’s one sharp-dressed mutherscratcher who may well be responsible for young adult males getting the idea into their collective heads that a decent wardrobe is an asset in their lives. Even if you create nothing more meaningful than hack webcomics pseudojournalism³, read through what Thorn’s got to say. It’s damn good stuff.

  • Hey, you know where Things are getting Made tonight? The East Village, where Kate Beaton and Michael Kupperman continue their regular series of entertainments, Crimestopper’s Club. As with previous entries in the comedy & comics show, Beaton and Kupperman have invited some of their buddies along to amuse you, and this month’s iteration includes Aaron “The Latin Art-Throb” Diaz and Chris “Doctor” Hastings.

    I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk with Hastings briefly over the weekend (while we were on a pizza-retrieval mission; very exciting stuff, featuring a near-fatal encounter with one of Brooklyn’s oversized and potentially-rabid urban raccoons), and while he was still finishing up his material for tonight, I am convinced it will be most chuckle-worthy. I didn’t have a chance to talk to Diaz, but if takes requests, just get him started on the topic of Ian McKellen as Magneto; trust me on this one.

  • Sometimes Making Your Thing involves re-evaluating your Thing’s message. For a peek inside that aspect of the creative process, I commend to you Jeph Jacques’s thoughts on how today’s QC was originally going to go, and why he changed it. I know that a lot of people might think that Jacques was too afraid of a reader backlash that might never have developed, or that by framing in argument in terms of concern over how readers might be offended, that he was caving into reader entitlement.

    I prefer to look at it as, although you can’t control the interpretation of your work, you’d be stupid not to admit to yourself that others might not follow your intent to your interpretation. Having consideration for those points of view isn’t just courteous, it can make you consider your work in ways that you might not otherwise, and make your work stronger as a result. For what it’s worth, I think his original idea would have been fine, but the revised strip is better. Well done, sir.

¹ David Malki ! has also been involved in the Gathering of the Thornalos known as MaxFunCon.

² Not his first manifesto, either.

³ And quite frankly, it would be tough for you to create something less meaningful than that.

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