Saturday, September 25, 2010

Remarks Because Remarks Should Be Made

D’you know what’s super hard? Making an Internet persona.

Now by this I don’t mean dragging-and-dropping cute little facial features onto an MMORPG character or somesuch, fun as that always is. I mean, how to act and create a personality for myself in this template. I should probably be myself, but what is myself? Does “myself” automatically mean that I have to be an aggrandizing meanie-butt to counteract a life full of politesse, or that I have to use more swear words than I do normally? Or would refraining from that make me too boring? I suppose I’ll do what I always do and ramble until something happens. That’s always given me some sympathetic smiles in situations before.

S’pose I should introduce myself. My name over there is CarthagoDelenda, and I like that name. My real name is Mary, but CarthagoDelenda sounds super cooler. This is the part of any introduction where any accomplished adult would list their credentials – that is, why they are qualified for you to laugh at and taunt. But while many ages are the most awkward ages ever, no age is more awkward than seventeen, where you can’t do a damn thing but more likely than not end up doing a damn thing anyway right under everyone’s noses. So with that in mind, I'm an amateur author and doodler, and plan to study English or somesuch at whatever college the black hole of the application process gets me into.

I’m a veteran of internet fandoms, but there’s no genre I’ve consistently loved more than webcomics. I’ve adored them since I was nine, when I discovered a site whose name I can’t remember…ugh, I know it was affiliated with AOL and was ostensibly for kids’ comics drawn by kids (though that quickly deteriorated…if anyone could remember what it was called and kindly not kill me for the idiocies young miss STARgirl inflicted upon you during my time there, please tell me). It seemed super cool to me that anyone with talent could put themselves out there to be seen and make a following. I tried and failed several times, but I love reading them and seeing a story unfold over a period of time. (And for free. 83) So, I’m going to use this space for rambles, raves, and reviews. Mostly commentary, but rambles and raves may also follow.

Just a few things to note:

1. In doing this, I’m using my own discretion and also keeping in mind what I saw in a Linkara video (an individual who, by the way, is far more qualified than I am at everything, among other things wearing a hat and being male) about webcomics – they are peoples’ hobbies, things that have love poured into them, and so I’m not going to really try not to tear anyone a new asshole because that kind of hurts a wee tad. They aren’t thumbs-up thumbs-down reviews so much as they are an experience of reading something and reacting to it. I just use the word because it’s shorter. I will also take another leaf out of his book (but last one, I promise) by never, ever, ever, ever reading Sonichu.

2. I’ve got a list of my favorites that I’ll visit, but visitors are free to suggest anything so long as it isn’t Sonichu or explicit pornography. I’ll do archives in big chunks (and I mean big, some of them are real long runners) and then maybe a daily dump of updates once I get through an archive and can start following more recent updates. I’ll add it to the list and get to it EVENTUALLY.

3. I understand that webcomics come in many storytelling formats – sequential stories, gag-a-days, and gag-a-days that inevitably metamorphose into sequential stories. I will treat the comics as such – that is, I won’t review Cyanide and Happiness like I’d review Gunnerkrigg Court. Usually gag-a-days will be done by number, while linear stories will be done in a narrative. Depends on what I feel like doing that day.

4. Some archives I have read before, some I have not, and some I have only read a couple hundred strips or so. In order to denote a change in experience I’ll use these indicators – 

[SEEN IT] Means I have read the material sometime before writing the review.

[OOH WHATDIS] Means I am reading the material for the first time.

[AND THE PLOT THICKENS] Means I am crossing over from read to unread material.

[STANDALONES] Usually to me a webcomic is an archive of strips with the same common theme, but if I find a group of especially sexy standalone comics (fan or non) I’ll clump em together.

Daily updates won’t really start until I’ve read through a few archives, but they’ll usually have names like “Updates Insert Date Here.”

5. I’ll be linking what I want read along with the commentary, but I won’t be hotlinking any images because that’s stealing pageviews (and advertising profits!) from webcomic managers. If I want to crop out part of an image for decoration, so be it, but that's as far as I'm going.

6. As much as I’d like to group my reviews by number, there are some webcomics that just don’t roll like that – their strips are not numbered. Usually these strips are dated, though, so I’ll do six-month chunks – that is, from January 1 to June 30 (which happens to be my birthday) and then from July 1 to December 31.

7. I will try to keep a Monday-Wednesday-Friday update schedule, and also keep a good backlog of updates so that I won't get caught in a bind come some night out of nowhere. If I can't keep that...I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

8. Finally, if you are a webcomic author/artist that I’ve reviewed and you want the review the hell off the Internet, tell me and I will remove it. I do want to be polite to people and even though reviews are not the place for that I want to try. D8

Anyway, I now wish myself luck and hope I was not being too pretentious. Love you all, and thanks for visitng! 

- Carthago

Edit: Realized [YAWN] might make people think the review is boring. I need to hone my sense of humor, clearly.

1 comment:

  1. In any medium where the author's presence is visible, they are to varying extents characters within their own medium.

    So, when trying to figure out your voice, remember that you want your audience to see you as a sympathetic character. This may be you-you, with some polishing applied to the gems that make you glitter distinctly, or it may be persona-you, such as MadScientist!Carth, ValleyGirl!Carth, or NostalgiaCritic!Carth. Depends on how you intend to balance reviewing the comics with keeping the reviews fun to read. Obviously there are many solutions across the scale, there.