Thursday, September 19, 2013

Artists Unite!

I must confess to being somewhat of a comic book geek.  For some years now, a monthly subscription of “Judge Dredd Megazine” has been delivered to my home alongside its sister periodical, the weekly “2000 A.D.”.  I pour over every story, review, interview, and even reader opinions.

In issue number 338 I discovered a disturbingly damaging letter from a reader.  This fellow called the interviews cheap filler and essentially a waste of his time.  He is clearly no artist (or perhaps a bitterly blocked one); those stories are gold to someone like me!  And I know how much hurt can come from unconstructive criticism.

The editors followed his opinion with a note stating that such thinking “does the writers a disservice.”  What a serious understatement.  While appreciating the diplomatic approach, I simply had to write in to the magazine.  The artists deserved proper defense, even if only the email monitor were to read mine.

My email stated my joy in those personal accounts, “especially when shared with humility, praise for the artist's forebears, and encouragement toward aspiring artists.”  I also praised the Megazine’s publication of fan fiction pieces, submissions which were also rudely disparaged.

Before telling the editors to keep up the good work, I couldn’t resist a dig at all the complainers who malign comics they dislike for whatever reason.  “Having favorites is one thing, but I feel these publications would do a disservice by not exploring different styles and disparagers would do well to keep that in mind.”  Apparently, parents no longer teach children that if they have nothing nice to say they should say nothing at all.

Time passed and I thought no further about the matter.  Yesterday a package showed up.  Inside I found a lovely comics reissue from “2000 A.D.” publications.  Neither my partner, who knew nothing of my action, nor I ordered had ordered anything.  Another reach into the envelope disclosed explanation for the mysterious surprise.  My rebuttal letter got printed in issue 340’s Dreddlines section!

The beautiful graphic novel you see pictured below was my prize.  As for the title given my letter, “First Dibs on the Nibbles”, I confessed to sometimes saving favorite stories for last like a little girl nibbling off the bread crust.

It made my day to be rewarded for speaking out against negativity.  I hope you’ll take any reasonable opportunity to do the same.


  1. I'm really pleased that you did that, Darla. I agree with you, it's common to see negative or ineffective criticism levied against creatives of all kinds with impunity, as though the artist is supposed to just "let it roll off." In actuality, it's a chance for the critic to vent their spleen on an innocent bystander. I'm glad you stood up for the magazine and told them your positive experiences. On behalf of writers and artists everywhere, thank you!

  2. It felt great to stand up to that rude nonsense. And getting a gift for my efforts was really cool. Thanks for the support.


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