Hayes vs. Simpson

Hayes vs. Simpson

Postby Tom Mazanec on Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:03 pm

It is too bad to see my two favorite web cartoonists have at each other. Yes, their politics tinges or tints their strips. Yes, I defy you to find find two cartoonist with more different politics...Hayes probably thinks Rush Limbaumgh is a tree hugging hippy while Simpson probably thinks Al Gore is the General Jack D. Ripper character from the movie Dr. Strangelove. Yes, I both agree and disagree with each (though I am probably closer to Ralph). But I am an existance proof that one can love both TotQ and O&M. It is just...sad...that it had to come to this.
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Postby Shyal_malkes on Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:33 pm

I too like O&M and ToTQ, though the whole IDT was a little too over the top for my taste.

the way I figure is that if hard onions starts continuing for too long Ralph'll likely make it into a fourth webcomic altogether.

and I don't mind Ralph venting a little every now and again, it's gotta be frustrating to be someone who expresses himself a lot and has morals he refuses to back down from and see someone else spouting opposing ideas.

wars, weather verbal or physical, or even just cyber; are never pretty.
I still say the doctor did it....
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Postby StrangeWulf13 on Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:34 pm

Frankly, Simpson just had the bad fortune to be the latest in a long line of idiots Ralph was angry with. So that's who he chose to start the "war" with.

I personally want to see just where this goes...
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Postby The JAM on Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:40 pm

Is there something going on in the Live Journal? I've seen O&M and the "Define Cynical" forum and there's no flame war there.
I also like O&M. I don't care much for his political statements, but the "normal" strips are generally funny.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:39 pm

See LJ for Nov 15, JAM.
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Postby Sun tzu on Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:32 am

There's also a thrad on DCS's forum dedicated to Ralph's attacks, but DCS hasn't created or posted in it.
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Postby Skull on Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:34 am

Of the two, Simpson is clearly the brighter; he at least keeps the politcal comics seperate from the general-interest comic.

I don't read I Drew This because I don't agree with his politics, and strongly so. I think his political comics are inane and simplistic... the same as I feel of Mr. Hayes' political and religious strips.

However, Simpson is at least intelligent enough to, as my father the once-drill-sargeant says, not to shit in his mess kit. Ozy & Millie gets, I'm told, something like 200,000 page views a day, and is Simpson's primary income. He would be exceedingly stupid to contaminate that with his political views, because I'm sure he realizes, unlike Mr. Hayes, that the majority of his readers likely do not share some or all of those views.

That fact can be seen right here on this board: Even in this self-selected group of sycophants, there are those expressing a dislike of the Onions strips. There's no reason at all one can't extrapolate that out to the readership at large, except those readers won't complain, they'll just stop reading.

Alienating half of one's readers (or, more to the point, half of one's potential readers) is not a smart business move if one wishes to make a living off of what one writes. Hooking a new reader is the key to increasing readership, and handing a Jack Chick tract to a reader expecting a wizards & magic fantasy strip is pretty much completely the wrong thing to do.

About two months ago, Mr. Hayes posted a plea/complaint about low sales and dwinding incomes... Yet since then, fully half of what he's posted has been filler unrelated to any of the three established strips. That, to me, is complaining about not getting a raise while while only showing up for work half the time.

Ozy & Millie is one of Keen/Genesis' top strips (again) simply because Simpson treats it like a job. It's daily, or damn near. It's updated on a regular schedule, consistent in it's humor and content, and it's all-reader friendly (not just "all-Conservative-reader" or "all-Liberal-reader" friendly.) Simpson has some strong or even extremist views, as Mr. Hayes does, but he's smart enough to keep the moneymaking strip seperate from the political strip.

I stopped reading all three of Hayes' strips because the update schedule was extremely sporadic, and half of the updates there were, were filler unrelated to the comic I came in to read. I may be alone in leaving, but I suspect I am not.

I'll not begrudge Mr. Hayes' right to express his beliefs, views or politics (nor Mr. Simpsons' right to do the same) but complaining about low sales while simultaneously actively driving away readers strikes me as extremely poor business sense.

There are a dozen webcomics out there whose creators make a comfortable living off their works. There is no reason Mr. Hayes cannot do the same... with a little work. I'll point out a few tips to ponder: None of the profitable ones are only weekly; none use much, if any, filler; none are political or religious in nature, and all are updated on a regular, consistent schedule.

After having written all this, I suspect that Mr. Hayes will likely delete this outright and ban me from posting here, as he's apparently done to more than a few others. That's fine with me, I've said my piece (es) and having had the misfortune of reading some of his Livejournal entries, and after reading some of the other echo-chamber posts in here, it very probably fell upon deaf ears anyway.

But on the off chance someone listens: Mr. Hayes, from a purely business standpoint, you can have a profitable webcomic, or you can have a bully pulpit. Considering how difficult it is to do just the former, I sincerely doubt it's possible to have both.

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Postby RHJunior on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:18 am

Why am I doing Hard Onions?

Because I felt a growing, consistent need to express my beliefs, ideology, identity--- <I>and do it someplace UP FRONT where all those who know me, or think they know me, could see it.</i> I want no false impressions.

How many times have you found a favorite artist, writer, musician, comedian, actor, etc. only to discover, in an ugly October Surprise, that the artist you'd been supporting with your trade for years held beliefs or practices you found unimaginably repugnant? It's an incredibly nasty feeling to realize your consumer dollars had been financing their lifestyle and agenda, isn't it? Made you feel mad and betrayed, didn't it? Felt a little bit deceived, didn't you?

I've had far too many people suddenly out of the blue send me emails that went "yada yada yada never reading your comic AGAIN!"
It gets OLD.
I want who I am up front. I have no interest in accumulating readers based on a false impression of who I am.

Why am I ranting and raving at DC Simpson?
Because I got blessed tired of fighting against left wing propagandists in ABSTRACT.

Because I am infuriated that I can't seem to go ANYWHERE, online or IRL, without some arrogant mass-promoted Rall-Tard being shoved in my face.

Because the smug self-assurance of the Self Anointed <I>flies all over me.</i>

Because I can't walk past someone hoist up on their own pedestal without giving the base a good hard kick. Twice.

Because upon reflecting upon the "careers" of Al Franken, Micheal Moore, Ted Rall, and Babs "the Blab" Streisand my first reaction on seeing one of their little podlings is <I>"kill it before it spreads."

Because he is propagating BLATANT LIES and UNDILUTED STUPIDITY, and GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

Is he the ONLY webcartoonist fomenting horsepucky out there? No, nor is he the only one I'm going to CRITICIZE for it. But he's the first in line because he was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The only thing "personal" about this is that I intend to criticize him, PERSONALLY, every time he says something stupid.
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Postby Shyal_malkes on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:37 am

and I feel insulted being refered to as a sycophant. the reasons for me joining hte forum are easily listed

1) it's filled with people who are fans of something I am a fan of and therefore we automatically have something in common

2) when I first started I was anti-social and in major need of social interaction, I still do in fact but the situation is improving (and not just online either)

the reasons I stayed are more

1) I still need socializing

2) I feel the need to make it up to those I feel I have unintentionally offended while I was here

3) I like the jokes (even the puns) even if I can't make many myself

4) the people here are still generally nice and the only times I've felt bad being online like this was when I was getting a little ribbing that I probably had coming or when I deliberately put myself into harms way and which I DEFINATELY had coming.


you may note that 'sucking up to Ralph' is not on the list, and I'll let you try and figure out why. heavens know I've probably annoyed him at the very least

oh, and before you even start siting the fanfiction (yes I'm still working on the next chapter) bear in mind that as anxious as I was to have Ralph post a reply to each chapter I was just as anxious to have as many people as possible, I keep going with the fanfiction because

1) it is fun

2) I want to finish the story and get it through the whole plot

3) there are a few topics in the story and opinions (mostly scientific or humerous) that I would like to get out

4) I still want to improve my writing and to do that I need to write some more

5) noone, not even Ralph, has yet told me that it outright stinks and that I should stop so I know I must be doing something correct.

but I repeat that I am offended being refered to as a sycophant
I still say the doctor did it....
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Postby Detrius on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:41 am

RHJunior wrote:Because he is propagating BLATANT LIES and UNDILUTED STUPIDITY, and GETTING AWAY WITH IT.


Post some links instead of expecting us to rely solely on your word then?
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:15 am

I have sponsored for a week K&K and purchased the online version of the role-playing game. If I found out that Holbrook was a rabid pro-choicer (I don't know one way or the other, he seems to needle both political parties, depending on who is in power) would I feel betrayed, used, and mad? No, because I was supporting the strip, not the cartoonist's pro-choice stance. I would feel sad, and sorry for him, but he does not promote abortion in his strip (that I can recall) so I feel free to support it. In addition, you may note that this strip has been updated DAILY for something like a DECADE, while the cartoonist has a paper strip. Cartoons in the newspaper have appeared every day for up to half a century or more. I was considering making a contribution when HO started (it's been about a year since my last one). I am afraid I agree with Skull on this one. Don't complain if your donations drop off after this, Ralph. You made your bed, now sleep in it. I'll just wait for the 2007 SuperCD.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:47 am

I am not a syncophant either. I come to the forum, the only one I do for a comic, because I can get SOME daily dose of TotQ. Of my other five favorites, two update three times a week on a set schedule, one currently updates five times a week, and one updates religiously every day.
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Postby Sun tzu on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:33 am

Re: The "sycophants" remark. I can't speak for Skull, but, while I do think his remark was out of line, it does seem to me that on average, there's a much higher percentage on this forum of people whose political views are close to those of Mr Hayes than the percentage you will find on the rest of the Internet, or even real life.
At least that's my impression.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:47 am

Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't. But that is what I read the LiveJournal for. I support TotQ, not HO. My precious money went to a certain number of Questor strips that has not continued lately (I donated so Ralph had more time to write them, so I "purchased" the strips). Maybe more people lean towards Ralph because his views are subtly reflected in his strips, so such people are more likely to read them and thus end up on the forum. But HO is not subtle, and it is replacing "day slots" that once went to Tales. That is why I am upset by them. I was disappointed when a "card" was shown (except my own, of course), but I knew Ralph was getting paid for them. He is not being paid for a strip that trumpets his views and will almost certainly change no one else's.
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Postby Skull on Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:28 pm

That's all fine and dandy, Mr. Hayes. Good on you for holding onto your beliefs. But you either missed or ignored my point entirely.

When you said:
How many times have you found a favorite artist, writer, musician, comedian, actor, etc. only to discover, in an ugly October Surprise, that the artist you'd been supporting with your trade for years held beliefs or practices you found unimaginably repugnant?


... I would have to say, "Yes, at least once, just now."

You're not catching the fact that there's a large number of people out there, that find your views "unimaginably", or at least annoyingly, repugnant. I know you refuse to admit that, but your locked-and-any-dissention-deleted Livejournal says otherwise.

The proof is right here on this board; you have two or three board regulars that either lightly or strongly disagree with at least some of your points. And again, that's fine, there's no reason at all you can't hold whatever views you wish.

But, from a business standpoint, let me repeat that, from a Business standpoint, Mr. Hayes, throwing those beliefs on the front page, in place of the regular comic strip, is an extremely poor way to market your comic strip.

As I said, it's very possible to make a living, even a comfortable living, doing a webcomic. Jon from Goats is rumored to make $100K a year, off ads, shirts and toys. The Penny Arcade guys earn almost two million a year. Howard from Schlock Mercenary supports a family of four, including house and car payments, with his comic. Pete at Sluggy Freelance, Kurtz at PvP Online and Tim at CAD all make a considerable income off their strip.

But, as I pointed out in my previous post, none of them do a sort-of-weekly strip, none of them use any filler, none of them post political rants in place of the comic, and they all update on a regular, consistent basis. In other words, they treat the strip as a job.

You, Mr. Hayes, don't. You treat it as a lackadasical hobby and then wonder why you don't get paid.

You treat it as your social club, as your own personal bully pulpit, as the first thing that gets dropped when you have other things to attend to.

Those would all be perfectly fine if you weren't trying to make a living off the strip. If it was just a hobby for you, I'd have no problem. I could accept all those things, and read what I could, when I could.

But, you have publicly stated you make your living off the strip(s), publicly complained of low sales, and finally had to move back in with your parents because of your lack of income... from the strips.

Do I have any of that wrong, Mr. Hayes?

I have no doubt you can make a decent living off your strips. But to do so, you will have to make some changes, and stick to them. I'm not saying that as my opinion, I'm saying that as one who has been in online business for a while, and as a long time webcomic fancier.

One, the strip comes first. Not "the first thing you drop when time gets short", the comic comes first. We, the readers, are your customers, and not serving customers is a damn fine way to go out of business.

Two, update on a regular schedule. You haven't had a regular schedule in a year, and readers are going to lose interest if they don't know when, or even if, the strip updates. Pick a schedule, advertise that schedule on the front page, and stick to it.

Three, skip the filler. The majority of your readers don't care about somebody's birthday or somebody elses' anniversary, and statistically speaking at least half of them won't care for your religious or political views. Increasing readership means bringing in any reader who likes the strip, regardless of political affiliation. Liberal athiests can like Quentyn just as easily as deep-south Baptists.

Four, clean up your archives. It's a huge mess in there, and new readers who start back at the beginning are subjected to all-too-common filler, complaints, and outdated pleas for money. On a serialized story like Questor, a brand-new reader should be able to click back to Page One, and read through to Today smoothly and without interruption. T%hat makes it easier for them to get "into" the story, and thus easier for the story to "hook" them and keep them coming back.

If you keep jarring them out of that smooth read with ads, rants or moneybegging (all now months or even years out of date) you lose that suspension-of-disbelief so necessary to enjoy a good book or movie.

Take all the filler, secondary comics, and other non-story strips out, and put them elsewhere; a gallery, another site, another folder, whereever. Just make the strip's main archive full of nothing but that strip. Hook the reader on the strip, and let them look at the other fluff and filler later, on their own.

And five, leave the politics out of it. You can't afford to alienate fifty percent of your potential readership. The smarmy "I'm right, you're wrong" arguments between the characters and the beaver fellow in Nip & Tuck are annoying (and I'm largely conservative myself) but they're rare enough to not interfere too much with the storyline. The parts in Questor where Qentyn might state, simply, briefly and non-confrontationally, his beliefs, or when the priest fellow demonstrates his faith (which is far different from ramming it down anyones' throats) were far better done, and more tolerable for those who don't hold those beliefs.

You have a Livejournal already full of similar-thinkers and sycophants, I suggest keeping the politics and overt religion in there. That's plenty public enough, but seperate enough from the strip that it won't or shouldn't bother those who dare to think differently.

If it were me, as a suggestion, I'd move Questor, clearly your most popular strip as shown by donation trends, to at least twice-weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meaning it's up Monday night at Midnight, and up again Wednesday at Midnight. Regularly, like clockwork.

Move Goblin and Tuck to once-weekly. Since they pretty much are already once-weekly, but make them a regular once weekly. Say, Goblin on Saturday and Tuck on Sunday, or vice-versa. Again, update the same time, same day, every time.

Then stick to it, come the proverbial hell or metaphorical high water. If you had a day job, you'd need to be there at 9:00am whether or not you "felt" like it- the comic is precisely the same thing. You need to be there at midnight, whether or not you "feel" like it.

If you're going to make it your day job, then damn well act like it.

~fin.
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Postby The JAM on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:13 pm

[...unWARP!!!]

Good evening.


Not often I agree with a lot of people here, Ralphie. When you go to a pizza parlor, you very much expect to be sold a pizza, not a hamburger or a hot dog. Of course, you have every right to leave that parlor and go somewhere to get a hamburger or a hot dog if you want one, but you'd be very annoyed if the parlor suddenly tried to sell you a hamburger when you didn't want it.

Tell you what. You ALREADY have a sub-page where you have ALL your secondary artwork, which you call "Gallery".

Yes, people, it's there.

Try this: move ALL of the commissioned greeting cards, your requests for donations, and, yes, the Onions strips too, to that gallery.

The moment you add more cards or have something else to say on HO, just post a link on the main pages that say "Gallery/HO/Greeting Card updated! Go to the Gallery page to see!" and you don't have to change whatever strip is up front.

I'm sure that HO will get as much feedback here when you update it, be it on the Gallery or the Main Page.

If you're painfully unlearned in HTML, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ASK FOR HELP! I think mostly anyone here with MORE knowledge of HTML will be more than happy to help you.

I don't want to imagine the fallout you'd have if you posted your LJ strips here. I've read some of your journal, Ralph, and I admire your passion for the truth and your patriotism. You're a firey man, Ralph, but greeting readers with a flamethrower doesn't sound like a good idea for business. Why don't you add a link to your LJ on the main pages of your strips? Then people will know who's the man behind the great artwork and see the fire that drives you.

Or do you have another source of income?


¡Zacatepóngolas!

Until next time, remember:

I

AM

THE

J.A.M. (a.k.a. Numbuh i: "Just because I'm imaginary doesn't mean I don't exist")

Good evening.

[WARP!!!]
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Postby Dapple on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:42 pm

Simpson just wants news to stuff in her Liberal political fodder cannon.

But even if I agree with RH's point of view in most, but not all respects, I think you should rethink a few things. He may seem a bit angry (and perhaps rightly so) but I think he genuenly feels for( example our service men) some of whome are reaching or are past the breaking point with the current chaos in Baghdad, and with an enemy using such cowerdly tactics as kidnapping civilians. The testicleless bastards need to be taken down a notch or two.

I am tired of this mess, not of having our men over there dieing although that is always hard to come to terms with that, but with the conveluded hate mongoring, factional lust for power with no regard for the sanctitiy of life, and the overall twofaced politics of the middle east.

Just one reason the U.S. backs Isrial is the fact that they are honest. They do exactly what they say they are going to do, as militiant Islamics have learned the hard way.
Last edited by Dapple on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MikeVanPelt on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:45 pm

I think Skull and Jam make good points -- A regular update schedule would be a Good Thing. Hard Onions might best be a feature on Livejournal, with (YES! I had to go to wikipedia to find the livejournal!) a prominent link here to the livejournal, with maybe an occasional short blurb about significant additions on LJ.

I'm not sure how the greeting cards work. If they're emailed to the recipient, and put up here for general edification, maybe the gallery would be a good place for them. Of course, that won't work if the recipient is a fan of your comics who is expected to be surprised with the card when they come to your page.

C. S. Lewis had some very wise things to say about the approach he used in his fiction. A marvelous story with a Christian worldview (TotQ is certainly this!) can "baptize the reader's imagination" before they're willing to listen to a more direct sermon. But as Lewis said, you're often trying to slip this "past watchful dragons"... it doesn't pay to make it too obvious that you're in the dragon-slaying business, not right off.

I think the balance of your point of view in the stories in your three main comics is great. The Christianity in TotQ and UtLT/Goblin Hollow, and the political point of view in all three, flow naturally from who the characters are. The more direct, in-your-face material likely drives off (and apparently has driven off) some people who most need to be reached.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:44 pm

The link to the LJ is on the TotQ page, at the bottom as "News" and a bear cub reading a newspaper.
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Postby The JAM on Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:14 pm

I can't believe I missed that all this time. I thought that kid with the newspaper was referring to the link on his left. Still, Ralph, you need to update your front pages. The Ocarina links are still there even though that storyline ended a while back. You can still have them show up on the appropiate page, and again, if you don't know how, ask someone who does.
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