Big Timing- Passive aggressively pointing out that you are more important than the person you are interacting with.
They say, if someone else’s behavior drives you nuts it’s because it is either just like you behave, or the exact opposite.
Self serving and self aggrandizing acts annoy the sh*t out of me. I have a big ego and puff my chest out a lot, but I never cross into these things unless it is tongue in cheek. The difference between shameless self promotion and these things, is the frankness of it. Coming right out and saying “I am the greatest” is bold faced and conspicuous. That’s what I do and I can deal with other people doing it, because it’s earnest and not underhanded. Self -serving and self aggrandizing acts are more…passive aggressive, underhanded, slimy. They annoy me.
I have gotten out of the habit of getting into flame wars on the internet. Once you start to reach a certain level of success, beating up on people online is sort of unbecoming and just makes you look like a juvenile bully…let me rephrase that…it exposes me for the juvenile bully that I am. Something really has to be egregious for me to bother.
I’m making an exception here, because it’s egregious and I’ve earned a little beating up on someone who has it coming, for letting so much go by the wayside. ( that’s a euphemism for falling off the wagon, I really wish I was above this type of thing…maybe one day I will be. I had been doing so well too, just ignoring things and now this…and entire blog based on some goofs post on my FB page. This is equivalent to someone in AA spending his whole check at the liquor store after earning his 6 month chip)
“I told you not to bite, I didn’t tell you not to hiss”
To appease my Ill nature I am posting the exchange and pointing out all the d-baggery.
here’s the initial exchange…
Since I’m not a total a-hole, I’ll say this- Frances, if you are reading this, and you enjoy what you do and want to keep enjoying it. Stop reading now. I do not have a middle gear, I don’t hit at half speed. Assume I said mean things about you (which I will) assume I was an a-hole ( which I will be) and go about your day. This is a teachable moment for others, there is no upside for you, at all, in reading the particulars. This will damage your view of what you do. Heed my advice on this.
Let’s start with why this is egregious. This is my page. I didn’t go onto his page asking for advice. I didn’t ask anyone for advice, I just wanted to vent…to other pros. I know what it’s like to have a normal job and see someone in the creative industry bitching…it makes you think “oh boo hoo, you don’t like your job…try mine”. Know this, I probably have tried yours, or one like it. I’ve been a short order cook, a mechanic, a janitor, concrete repair, customer service, worked in retail and had a dozen other crappy jobs. Being an Illustrator doesn’t seem like a crappy job, but a lot of times it is. It’s long hours, alone, staring at a piece of paper. When you break it down to what you are actually doing, that’s what it is- alone staring at a piece of paper …often times, it sucks. Add deadlines and it sucks worse, because you are competing with every creative entity on earth..as fast as you can.
It is extremely stressful, and you have no guy in the cubicle next to you to complain to, to vent to. And like any job…bitching to people who don’t have the same job…just isn’t the same.
That’s all I was doing here…venting about my job, as the stress was building up to the largest Comic Book Convention in the U.S. , for the handful of people who would be able to relate.
That’s ALLLLLL I was doing. More or less minding my own business, making a post to a specific group of people. Not bitching about anyone, not causing any trouble…
At no point did I ask for advice, I made it pretty clear I just wanted to vent…
Yet up jumps this d-bag with some cockamamee half time speech full of tough love or some sh*t, at 3am of my 14 hour work day, one of a month of 14 hour work days. This goof pukes out some –dig a little deeper– nonsense. Giving me advice, as though this is my first time. How about you dig a little deeper, until you reach hell so your mother can crawl back out, I’m sure everyone down there is tired of getting the clap. Yeah, let me dig a little deeper, I’ll just tell my eyes they aren’t burning and tell my hand it doesn’t feel like someone hit it with a hammer, and tell the clock to move slower. That’s what I need to do…no, actually what I needed to do was open the release valve on the stress and vent, and maybe get a response like everyone else gets when they bitch to a co-worker, something like “yeah, tell me about it. I hate this place, I’m one more memo away from setting my desk on fire and walking out”.
So he missed the point, and had the gall to give some sh*tbag advice that is basically universal sh*tbag advice that accomplishes nothing besides self aggrandizing the person who gives it via- look at what a tough guy I am about it all. I am giving YOU advice because YOU need a boost from ME. Let ME tell you how YOU need to overcome this. I am going to tell YOU how to stop being weak. On the scale of 1 to 10 on self servingness, it’s about a 5 or 6. I could usually just roll my eyes at this under the assumption ” eh, the guys just trying to help and got carried away, no harm, no foul”.
But it got worse. “I’m a pro dogg. I’ve been doing this longer than your comic has been around”. That right there was were I stopped giving the benefit of the doubt and things turned from him being a well meaning but heavy handed well wisher to some d-bag looking to make a pissing contest out of it.
He established the premise that he is one “pro” talking to another “pro”. Imagine some guy where you work talking to you like this. How would that sit with you? Go ahead, read it again, this time you are me, and he is some guy at your work with a much less difficult job who hasn’t been there as long.
I said not to post unless you are also a “pro” in “the same field”. He draws a web comic about CATS. IF…he has managed to somehow differentiate his web comic about cats from the 500,000 other web comics about cats, to the point he is paying his bills with it, good for him, but he and I are both “pros” in the same industry about as much as Frank Zappa and the Spice Girls were in the same industry.
Funny thing about my disposition, I don’t look down on people or even honestly view anyone as beneath me career wise, even if they are clearly not competing at the same level, I just honestly don’t. You do your thing, I do my thing, there are thousand variables you can’t control all along you career path, and none of us are saving any lives here, right? Until someone who is clearly not competing at the same level acts as though we are equal…then the devil on my shoulder goes “wait just a f*cking minute”. It’s poor character on my part, it is. It’s probably even some weird narcissistic ploy, I dunno, I haven’t figured it out yet. But right now I don’t care, he started it.
He goes on a bit in the thread …and also in the deluge of FB messaging I got from him (People do this all the time. they start sh*t publicly and then want to back peddle and make nice in private…in his case-15 messages, none of which I responded to.)
…about how I shouldn’t be annoyed with my fans. WHERE..I ask you, did I bitch about my fans? not just in this post…ANYWHERE? …EVER? I bitch and complain a lot of things, but never about my fans. They are about the only thing I still like about this job. I may bitch about a specific fan, like this guy (although I would guess by this point he no longer considers himself a fan) but I can’t even recall ever lumping them altogether in a complaint. The only times I can think of when I address my fans as a whole is when I’m apologizing for something being late.
I rarely even refer to them as “fans” because it is self-serving. I refer to them as “readers”, allowing for the notion that they may simply enjoy my work but not to a “fanatical” degree. So what the f*ck is this guy going on about? A psychiatrist would surely declare this “projection”. Meaning he is projecting his own dread of dealing with his fans of his cat web comic, onto me.
***Stop reading Frances***
Well, if his fans of his cat comic get over zealous, who could blame them? A comic strip…about cats! I had to sit down and try to get my head around it! Cats! Cats that talk?! Holy crap! You put out a premise like that and you have to expect people to go nuts with awe! I wonder what diabolical muse gifted him with that notion!
I had an idea once for a comic about A cat. He was going to be orange and talk to his owner and think like a person, but it turns out that Jim Davis beat me to it with a strip called Garfield…in 1978. BUT this guy’s…has TWO cats!!!! TWO! That’s like….double, if you really think about it. A mere 38 years after Garfield, this guy gets a bolt of inspiration and DOUBLED the concept! There’s a quote ” if I saw further, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants”, meaning we all build on what came before us, but not this guy…TWO CATS. Not just one, like Garfield in 1978…or Heathcliff in 1973.
It’s a whole different concept you understand, it’s not a 40 year old gag…this one has TWO CATS. If you recently in some acid trip educed vision, that mere mortals could only imagine with the use of narcotics, came up with the idea of a comic strip about a cat, brutha, you might as well flush it because this guy’s already broken ground on a web comic with TWO CATS! So, don’t bring that weak game around here. We are talking pushing the limits of the internet itself with TWO…. DIFFERENT …CATS…In the same strip! They even look different, if you squint…and pretend they look different.
Not only that, this guy… he points out in a self aggrandizing attempt at “big timing” me, has been doing his two-cat web comic longer that Arsenic lullaby has even been around! Talk about visionary, talk about being ahead of your time… I mean…this is like those weird ancient jars they found that could produce a small charge of electricity centuries before Benjamin Franklin!
How is it possible he has been doing his strip longer than mine has “even been around”, when Arsenic Lullaby predated ANY web comic? When Arsenic Lullaby began in 1998, before there where web comics? I don’t know but this guy says he did, and thus knows more than me.
The “archives” on his site go back to 2004, which is about the time everyone who could hold a sharpie starting doing web comics about either Cats, or their romantic relationship going wrong. By my math that means he in fact did not start doing his strip before Arsenic Lullaby “was even around”, and that Arsenic Lullaby was being published and distributed internationally for 6 years before his first online scribble of a cat being “funny”…but I dunno, maybe my calculator is broken, or I don’t understand how calendars work.
The point is, I am a johnny come lately, bright eyed and naive, while he’s been pushing the boulder up the mountain expanding minds and stretching the limits of the medium of comics, taking full advantage of the freedom of self publishing on the internet with TWO MUTHAF*CKING CATS IN ONE STRIP! I just about sh*t my pants when I saw there were two of ’em! Jim Davis couldn’t have pulled that off, I’ll tell you that right now. That’s why he made Garfield a cat and Odie a dog. The world wouldn’t have been ready for it. Two cats, doing cat things but communicating like people…Ho-lee sh*t!
This f*cking guy…comes to my page, with a some self aggrandizing speech/advice that I didn’t ask for. Advice on how to deal with “fans” whom I didn’t bring up, tries to big time me about who’s been doing what longer, under the insane premise that Arsenic Lullaby and a web comic about CATS are somehow in the same universe. Blathers on as though I am in need of his advice, that he has insight on the industry that I don’t and dispenses it in a condescending tone like I am some 20 year old upstart who doesn’t understand what it takes. I’m just supposed to be the bigger person? NO. Hell no.
Allow me to translate the passive aggressive, self aggrandizing, self complimenting, attempts at “big timing” . It’s a whole read between the lines for the middle finger thing that some creative types use that people with regular jobs don’t have to deal with…as much.
***keep in mind I understand I am basically being a bully here, if it were not for him coming onto my page with this nonsense, which adds to the absurdity of this goof’s air ball attempts at “big timing”.***
***ALSO, keep in mind, this is not a fan looking to give me a boost in my hour of need. In his mind, he is a pro, giving advice to another pro. I’m driving that point home for a reason, so that you view this as though it was you being lectured about your job.
–suck it up buttercup, I’ll stop by your booth and give you a tissue.—That…in case you might be unaware, is not a good way to start talking to someone. See, you wanna make note of the tone of the conversation up to the point you decide to enter. If it is already going on like the locker room in Yankees stadium, then by all means enter with something like this. If the tone up to the point you are about to insert something is -the original poster admitting to being stressed out and at his wits end, you should probably refrain from this type stuff. y’know, just a bit of advice in case you have absolutely no people skills, class, couth, self respect, or spend so much time with your cats, desperately trying to learn how to make a drawing of a cat that doesn’t look like a five year old’s drawing of a squirrel, that you forgot how to behave among humans.
–I’ve been doing this longer than your comic has been around. -that one is pretty obviously condescending…and incorrect. But let’s take his larger point that he’s been doing this for 12 years. If I spent twelve years drawing a web comic about cats, I’d hang myself in the bathroom. I’m serious. There are times I’m sick of drawing Arsenic Lullaby and every issue is different. Twelve years of cat “jokes”? You couldn’t pay enough to to that for twelve years. I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’d just go get some other job. Why would I bother? The guy who makes burritos at Taco Bell serves a higher purpose than this d-bag.
I can’t even fathom ” year twelve, day 156…time to get up and draw two cats. It’s tedious but at least I’m contributing to the industry because there aren’t any other cat comics…oh wait, there are 500,000 other cat comics, and cat memes, and cat videos….(opens mouth inserts revolver)”. I bet there are less cooks who know the difference between medium and medium well done steak than there are makers of web comics about cats, and this guy thinks him doing this so long is good. 12 years making webcomics and he hasn’t yet graduated from cat jokes…and he holds that as a badge of honor…Yikes.
You people out there doing web comics about cats…pay attention here. I’ve seen a lot of web comics about cats, and some of them I look at and think “Well, if you want a web comic about cats, this one’s pretty well done…I’ll give the maker that much. It’s got a nice style, I don’t have a cat so I don’t know nothing about them, but I bet that’s funny if you do have one.” If you are good enough to make a decent cat comic, you can probably really knock it out of the park with a subject that’s not so contrived. That’s for the other people who do cat comics…not this guy. His comic is terrible. the very notion that his web comic about cats might be lumped in with yours is possibly the best reason to move onto a different subject.
So try something grander, because, if you just stay with the webcomic about cats, best case scenario could be you end up like this guy…f*cking 12 years of drawing two cats with word balloons until you’ve so lost your grip on reality that you find yourself on the internet at 3am trying to equate your web comic about cats/giving advice to a guy who illustrates an internationally published book known for the most cutting edge bizarre premises and blackest black comedy there is, who is known to have very little patience and publicly humiliate people in a mean and juvenile way if they get under his skin. Then you end up in a blog for all to see, where he eviscerates your life’s work.
I am the first to tell you that “creative” is a relative term…but there might be less f*cking zero’s and one’s in the binary code that makes up the internet than images of CATS on it. It is the lowest of low hanging fruit.
This would be akin to some 38 year old stripper, who just got done taking a shot on the face in a porno, explaining to Kate Blanchet how to prepare for her role in Queen Elizabeth. Actually it is worse than that, because at least the 38 year old in the porno is doing something you didn’t see much of 40 years ago. …I’ve heard…don’t look at me like that, we’re getting off the point.
It is 2016, no one’s should be making a comic about cats ON PURPOSE or as an END GOAL. You know when you should make a comic about cats? When you have 17 editors scrutinizing your concept and every word you write out of fear of losing some licensing agreement, losing advertisers, harming circulation, or angering stockholders…and it is 1978. If you are on the internet with free reign to do whatever you want the LAST THING YOU SHOULD BOTHER WITH IS A COMIC ABOUT CATS. It is a COMPLETE WASTE OF THE FREEDOM YOU HAVE. You can do better than that. I said “you”, not him.
–The price of success is determination and pure f*cking grit. -He knows what it takes to succeed/has succeeded, thus has these qualities.
He draws a web comic about CATS. yeah…I bet he has had to take fire from all sides about the content he puts out.
A lot has been said about my body of work. Some people like it and think I’m pushing back the boundaries of political correctness, some people think I’m an evil a-hole. What they agree on is that it is ingenious, innovative, cutting edge, and surgically created. I’ve had printers refuse to print it, stores leery about displaying it, reviewers leery about admitting they like it, fans leery about spreading the word…lest they be tainted by their praise. It has run into muck and mire, not just because of it perceived abrasiveness, but also because a lot of people, who are looking for IP to graduate into the mainstream pop culture, worry it is just too weird and out there. It’s a hell of a lot easier now than when I started, thanks to society continuing to crumble, but it still isn’t something many people think is easily palatable to the mainstream. …THIS guy with a WEBCOMIC about CATS…is going to tell me a about determination and grit?….ARE YOU SH*TTING ME?!
In what insane, delusion world does he live in where the obstacles and challenges I deal with, are in any way shape or form even remotely similar to him making an online cat comic…to the point I would benefit from his wisdom?
By the way, “Determination and grit” is what gets you to charge up a mountain into enemy gunfire, this asshole is using it to describe how he overcomes whatever half assed obstacles are in the way as he sits in front of a drawing pad scribbling a cat doing something cute.
…not just any “grit” …”pure f*cking grit”. Stop and picture this…a dork sitting at a desk declares “this is going to take determination and pure f*cking gritt”, then leans over and draws a cat. BWHAHAHAHAHA! What a pompous buffoon. It doesn’t take “pure f*cking grit” to draw a cat, or anything else for that matter. No…wait…if it’s 1945 and you are drawing rough schematics of the Japanese tunnel system on Okinawa, with your own blood onto your helmet so the next guy down the tunnel knows which way to go…THAT would fit the parameters of requiring “pure f*cking grit”…a drawing of a cat, you could probably just get by with “pure grit” or even just “grit” or…you could just draw a cat and shut the f*ck up, because as long as the lights stay on, I think you’ll be okay.
“pure f*cking grit”…can you believe numbskull? You ain’t working for Charlie Hebdo, Frances, dial it down a little.
–If I can do it you can too – He understands the workload I have and has the same workload but he HIMSELF is pressing on WITHOUT complaining.
I could draw this c*cksuckers webcomic with my left hand, I am not kidding or exaggerating , I could. If it takes him more than 15 minutes to do an entire strip it could only be because there is a 80mph wind blowing across his desk in the opposite direction he is trying to draw. Two poorly drawn cats with no backgrounds and word balloons typed in Comic sans font. Give me a f*cking break.
*wait a minute, I ain’t posting his work…I made a concerted effort to not mention him/his web comic about cats this far. Just picture a crudely drawn sharpie sketch of a cat with no backgrounds.
Did I say Frank Zappa and the Spice Girls? I take that back. This is like Beethoven working on his 3rd symphony, wondering how it will be misconstrued as pro or against Napoleon, getting advice from some guy who beats out tunes on an upside down bucket in the subway.
–Don’t go in that direction. Money is necessary but it’s not the only thing, not by a long shot. -he has watched my kind come and go making this mistake, He must explain to me what my motivation should be, since he’s in a position above me somehow and able to bestow advice to an upstart who may not see the job for all it is yet.
Oh, how fortunate for me, that this wise and weathered elder statesman happened to see me veer off course and guide me back to the path of righteousness. I never said money was the only thing, I didn’t even bring up money at all, he did. I said a pro would never respond to another pro with pap like that, and it wasn’t even meant as a dig on whether or not he is a pro ( I hadn’t bothered to look at that point) I suppose you could take it that way but it was meant as a dig at the comment itself. I have never once, not one single time ( since this guy) heard a pro say something like that to another pro. Never. That’s akin to “sounds like someone’s got a case of the mondays”. I take that back, I did hear it once about five years ago, and the guy saying it was drunk. I remember the instance because just before he said it I thought to myself “I think he’s getting drunk”…then he said that and I thought “oh yeah..he’s drunk”.
You want MY advice on what direction people should go? Whatever direction they feel like, and they should be honest about it. I figured out long long long ago that people would much rather hear about the highs and lows and trials and tribulations and stresses and worries and triumphs than some candy coated pap about “gee wizz, this is all rainbows and sunshine and living the dream is always great!”. That is f*cking boring and disingenuous and people see right through it or think you are a simpleton.
-because everytime a fans stops by your booth and gushes and flails and maybe even gets annoying…that’s someone who loves your work. Even if they don’t buy anything, you have already reached out and touched their lives” – This comment is all about him, and the gushing of fans he knows so well.
He mentioned/awkwardly forced into the thread a few times about how he has fans, and how they react to his work, but I didn’t screen capture the tail end of the thread and he has since deleted it. I remember specifically where someone, who actually wanted to help, posted reminding me to stay hydrated and make sure I eat (this is the kind of advice you need when dealing with a deadline actually, It’s easy to just focus on work and forget to eat.) His unsolicited response to that advice was that his fans bring him food. Yeash.
–You’ve made it this far, keep making it. -Implying I’ve made progress but still have a ways to go.
…by gum keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…
I’m internationally published, translated into two languages, with award nomination here and in Europe, I’ve been in Mad magazine more times than Wally Wood, I’ve had one cartoon appear on Comedy central, and have another one on the way. I could stop right now and be content that I have accomplished what I set out to do. The only reason I’m still doing this is because I’m good at it and am not dead yet, so he can shove that right up his ass.
That’s what we do. -Who’s we muther f*cker? You talking to your cat? “We” have nothing in common, apart from both using word balloons. You make a web comic about cats and I…I’m really trying hard here to not rattle off my resume (again), because it’s low liveiant, but honestly…am I supposed to ignore the white elephant in the room which is the disparity between my body of work and this goof? who came to me with this condescending BS? Uninvited? Not as a fan hoping to jumpstart me, but as a fellow “pro”.
What exactly is the “it” that he thinks “we” are both doing? If I had completely given up and surrendered…creatively and otherwise at every turn, and obstacle, and roadblock THEN we would both be doing the same thing…a webcomic about cats.
In closing, right now, somewhere out there…is a four year old who has decided he is bored with drawing pictures of his cat and has decided to draw something else…maybe one day this guy’ll catch up to that four year old in creative ambition, until THEN…When I want advice from you Mr.two cats, I’ll beat myself in the head with a hammer, which would be more fun than seeing another f*cking web comic about CATS.
I really wish I was above writing all that stuff I just wrote, but I wasn’t.
On a side note – I had posted “That was probably meaner that it needed to be..I’m tired”. His response “no offense taken. I get angry as well”. I never said I was “angry” I said I was “tired” and that I was “probably meaner than I needed to be”, upon reflection I should have been meaner, because he responded to my back peddling with trying to big time me. I wasn’t angry, I just thought he was a douche bag. I notice this more and more, if you stand up for yourself, people interpret it as anger. I think it has something to do with the whole “safe zone” mentality. I don’t have to be angry to refuse to absorb your bullsh*t.
Sigh…- Days on FB without an incident 1
“I was gentle as I was able, and that’s the last we’ll ever speak of it.”
Al Sweregen-Deadwood-season 3
When Douglas is not complaining, he and his work can be found at www.arseniclullabies.com