A full-color comic like the ones in the Sunday paper, but created by and for video-game weirdoes like me. My hacked-up hand-me-down PC was not a “tiny god,” but I was just as pissed that Mac users—MAC USERS!—would have exclusive dibs on the initial public demo of Quake III.
If that part is mostly over, I’m glad. I’m happy for that portion to fall into the atmosphere and burn away. Notoriety is only useful insofar as it enables something else - by itself, it just warps the mind.
In the early aughts, the webcomicking scene went through an intense series of life-cycle changes, with accompanying molts growing pains: From wannabes and wild-eyed innovators
, to literary criticism
and meta commentary
, to ad-network collapses and broad corporate ownership
in just a few years. Like other content-creation scenes I’ve been in or around, it felt important for the people doing the best, most visible work to be the most visible
. Standard-Bearers for our Important Art.
Krahulik and Holkins—two smart, weird guys who just made a thing that resonated with lots of similarly smart, weird people–haven’t always worn that visibility well
. And it took them a while to realize that once turning everything they didn’t like about gaming into a punchline got them all the way to the top, their jokes were all suddenly punching down.
I’ve often Tweeted and blogged about the parallels between webcomics and sportswriting; how the newspapery Powers That Be barely had time to look down their noses at us digital whippersnappers before we put them all out of a job.
And now, on the backside, many broke and/or broken indie creators wish we’d had the editorial mentorship, collegial camaraderie, and literal trade unionization that our elders gatekept from us.
Like many creatives right now, I feel trapped in every career stage at once. I’m a mid-career freelancer
with a regular Disney gig
, great clips—and hey, this newsletter with hundreds of subscribers! I’m a total rando newb on Twitch
. I’m a washed-up has-been, five years removed from a five-year run as a “National NFL Lead Writer
.” I’m an aspiring author with an unpublished novel and stacks of rejection letters—and
, a traditionally published author with a verified Goodreads page
and three actual books out on shelves of school libraries like the ones I so often slacked off in.
This week, I found out that when you Google me one of those thingies pops up: