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I've been playing a bit of Nier: Automata and I fucking love the aesthetics of its world. The outfits, the beautiful desolation and the spine tingling music, and of course, this means that I am now falling into a bottomless pit of despair and depression.
This is the same thing that happened when I watched Spirited Away. I've only been able to watch that movie once. After I finished watching it, I felt physically ill. It was so beautiful that I fell into a desperate... uh... desperation. It was all so overwhelming. Here I was, with self taught (shitty) drawing skills and very little knowledge of real art and art theory. How could I ever create anything that could compare to it?
Now Nier: Automata has done it again for me. I feel so impotent. I do my very best and work my hardest at making comics and drawings, but my best is pretty mediocre. The story of my life in general really.

So what are my options? Do I just lie down and give up?
No. I'm a stubborn son of a bitch and anyone who knows me in person would attest to that. I refuse to fall into depression (again). Well, anti-depressants help (a lot!) and they have given me good clarity of mind, but they don't take you all the way there. No, you have to make an effort. 
One thing that I realised by talking to other artists and people who have worked in some pretty awesome projects (like Lucas Art games and printed comic books) is that you don't just fire your gun once and hit the target (an analogy for my American readers). No, when it comes to creativity, you got to use an Uzi in full auto. You spray bullets all over the place till one hits the target.
You have to broaden your skills and keep evolving, trying out new things and keeping yourself mobile.

Right now, I have fuck all free time to practice drawing as much as I'd like to, but I am fortunate (well, kind of) to be a bottom of the barrel shit-kicker in the comic world. I can give myself the luxury to experiment and try new things as I have no one to answer to. I can indulge in meaningful trial and error.
I don't feel like I'm in an enviable position but it could be worse. I'm not exactly awe inspiring or inspirational, but if I keep learning and growing, maybe my very best won't be so crappy then.
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
Hey guys! Check out how much I've improved in 10 years!!

Improvement! by Carlos-the-G
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
Okay, so I've been doing two years of MPS (My Pet Succubus) and I think it's time for a reality check.
Somehow I've managed to stay on scheduled despite the introduction of My Pet Human, my Patreon exclusive comic.
So basically I'm doing two series per week. Yes, I'm fucking exhausted.

So far MPS has been pretty successful at Tapastic. A bit over 10,000 subs and still growing (albeit slowly).
Readership seems to be dropping. From an initial 10,000-15,000 views on update day, the series is now pulling about 7,000-8,000 views.
This could be because most readers have now seen all the backdated comics and only reading the new pages.
Also, the rate of new subs is dropping. From a previous 100 per update day to only about 10-20.

I have also started posting MPS at Line Webtoons, The Duck Webcomics and ComicFury.
Reception at Webtoons have been positive, about 1,400 subs since September 2016. Not exactly taking the Webtoons by storm but not bad either.

Reception at Duck Webcomics and ComicFury have been a tad less enthusiastic.
Although one of the editor of The Duck was kind enough to place MPS in the featured section, interest waned rapidly.
Since December 2016, only 76 subs with about 300 views on update day.

ComicFury has also been rather cold. With only 66 subs since December and only about 300-400 views on update day.

Not sure where to go with this now. I don't think I can put any more effort as I'm stretch out enough as it is.
Perhaps I need to find something to jazz it up a bit but with manageable amounts of time and effort.
*Scratches head*
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
If there's one thing that makes me cringe is the word "community", specially "webcomic community".
What is a webcomic community?
Well, ideally is a group of webcomic creators getting to together to share knowledge, help one another and to cooperate in projects.
Unfortunately, more often than not, it's just a forum where people pick a comic, or a whole genre, to hate on and desperately attempt to promote their own comic by using the flimsiest excuse to put up a link to it, and what's worse, I feel that this is the inevitable end result of most webcomic communities.

You see, the problem with webcomics is that they are ART-LITE©. I know that webcomic creators would like to see themselves as artistic heroes who shine magical rainbows out of their arses, but comics are by nature commercial. They are a product. (well, most art are products, but comics are in the traditional commercial form)
Well, as far as I know, the purpose of a product is to be consumed.  Since webcomics are free (most of the time), its currency is not money but views and subscriptions. 
It is easy to gauge the success of a comic, and if you're using a webcomic host like Tapastic or Line Webtoons, those metrics are quite visible.
Like everything in life, not everyone can be a winner, so for every comic that is successful and finds an audience, there are hundreds of others that dwell in obscurity.
Comics are also a very personal creations. So to a creator, a 'failed' comic is also a blow to the ego. Nobody likes a bruised ego.

Quite often I hear webcomic creators complain that "boy love" or "slice of life" comics are lazy and they don't deserve popularity, as if readers have been tricked into reading an inferior comic... oh those dastardly BL and slice of life comic creators!
This kind of thinking is quite prevalent in the webcomic community, the idea that you're doing more work than everyone else and you're not being rewarded for it.
And to a point, it's true (the bit about not being rewarded, not about doing more work than everyone else). You work your arse off and 99% of the time you get nothing back. Unfortunately, that's how life works. There's no cosmic force keeping tally of your hard work and arranging proportional rewards for you to enjoy and share with friends.
Unfortunately, quite often, webcomic communities become toxic. Bitter and resentful creators would pick on what they see as undeserving comics (usually popular ones) that don't meet their high 'artistc' standards and post hateful rants, naming and shaming or/and organise trolling against it.

I've been fortunate to have met some great people at Tapastic, but the community there are now showing signs of toxification. A shame really, but not unexpected.
So yeah, I've learned over the years no to pay much attention and just get on with doing the comic.
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
Thanks to all of you who expressed interest in joining the group.
The successful applicants have been notified.
New openings may open at a future date.

Hey guys, I need 3 more people to join My Pet Succubus test group.
This is a group I formed where I test concepts and ideas before I put the in comic form.

As a member, you 'duties' are:
*Comment on concepts and ideas based on comedic value, timing and continuity and panel flow in a timely manner.

Important things to keep in mind:
*Do not leak future comics, scripts or concepts. This will leas to immediate termination... yes, I'll hunt you down and kill you.... metaphorically.... I'll just kick you out of the group.
*I do not require new ideas. It's awkward and as a rule of thumb, I do not use other people's idea. The last thing I want is to have arguments with people wanting part credit and/or a share of any monetary gain I receive from the comic. You can, however, suggest panel and script changes.
*The group has already a few people in it, and your favourite idea may not make the final cut. Don't get offended by it.
*The concepts are sent by email and your email address is not visible to others. This protects your privacy and stops members from influencing each other.
*I have the final say in stuff.
*You can leave the group at any time. No need to tell me why, just let me know so I can take you off the list.
*Life does get in the way. Do not feel pressured to provide input every time. However, if I don't hear from you for over a month or two, I might take you off the list. If you want to get back in, just email me back.

So what are the benefits of being part of the test group?
*You get early, early access to comics (usually 3/4 weeks ahead)
*You also get free access to My Pet Human, my Patreon exclusive adult's only comic.
*Any other Patreon incentive that I may come up with.

Right, now that I got that out of the way, just send me a note expressing your interest.
Successful applicants will be notified. Please do not be offended if you're no chosen.
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Drinking: Something alcoholic
Guys, those of you who speak Russian, can you give me the equivalent of "WHAT THE...?!" or another expression of great surprise in Russian and written in Cyrillic?
I need it for an upcoming page.

  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Drinking: Something alcoholic
Before I start, I want to make it clear that I am not baiting for compliments. So please guys, it's okay, I just want to get some stuff out and although I appreciate it, I do not need compliments to make me feel better.

I've always had this weird love/hate relationship with drawing. I enjoyed the process of creating but at the same time I'm eternally frustrated at my own limitations. This frustration has grown over the years, over 20 to be exact, and there's no sign of getting better.
Let me start from the beginning. I've never had talent for art. In fact, I was the only person that I know of to have actually failed art at school. I didn't even think it was possible.
For some reason or other, I liked the idea of making a comic. I started to draw and I was shocked. I couldn't understand how drawing something could be so stupidly difficult.
You see, I was the kind of kid who would normally pick stuff pretty easily if I was interested enough. By age 13 I taught myself enough programming to make my own games so how difficult could drawing be?
I had this confidence that only the young and stupid had. I told myself that surely it was just a matter of persistence. So I stuck with it, for over twenty years, never really satisfied and forever shocked at how difficult the whole thing is.

A couple of years ago I went to a work function where this guy talked about all kinds of corporate self help bullshit. It was a load of bollocks. However, there was one thing that stuck with me and made me think. This guy said (I'm paraphrasing here) "Most people know what their strengths and weaknesses are. The biggest mistake you can make is to use your time and energy focusing on improving your weaknesses when you should have been playing your strengths."
It hit me like semi-trailer loaded with bricks. It was like a veil had been lifted before me and I could see my the trainwreck I've made of my life.
Okay, maybe 'trainwreck' is a bit overdramatic. I have a good job that's not overly demanding and pays me enough to live fairly comfortably, but it does explain my frustration. I know I'm okay at drawing, but I've never been great no matter how much effort I put into it. Drawing was an obsession because of the challenge, not because it was something I was meant to do. I've spent my entire life fighting my lack of talent because I hate the idea of not being good at something I'm interested in.
This is the reason why I refuse to call myself an artist. I'm a webcomic creator. Artists do... I dunno... ART!
I, on the other hand, draw just to show I can do it. It's a brick wall I'm headbutting to see what gives in first, the wall or my head.
This also explains my inability to stick to the one project. Sometimes my brains is overwhelmed with frustration that it just gives up, only to resume its regular programming few months later.

So now I sit back, drink in hand wondering what my life would've been if I had really played on my strengths and done something I was actually talented at. Who knows, I might've been able to make a real difference in the world (probably not but one can dream). Alas, it's too late to do anything about it now. I got bills to pay, mouths to feed and a mortgage to drown in.
Oh well, at least I've found that alcohol mixed with anti-depressants works a treat, specially when you keep the alcohol topped up.
  • Listening to: Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Drinking: Something alcoholic
Happy new year everyone!
My second unboxing video!

  • Listening to: Daft Punk
Merry Christmas and a safe, restful holiday season! 
  • Listening to: Daft Punk
Check out my brand new Cintiq!
Totally legit!!
I'll sell you one for $800! Bargain!

Untitled by Carlos-the-G
  • Listening to: Daft Punk
What wonders do I unbox in this video!!  *Mystery*

  • Listening to: Daft Punk
There's always one out there, isn't it? The bloke moaning about the obsolescence of some physical medium like cassette tapes or magazines, and I get it!
I remember as a kid buying my first manga comic, it was called Caravan Kidd by Johji Manabe, and the anticipation of opening the plastic protective cover, pulling the comic out, reading it and then slowly examining the art with my fingers as if trying to trace the lines of the artwork. But the truth is, it's mostly nostalgia talking. It didn't feel magical at the time. I was pretty happy with my magazine but there was no magic. I only remember it that way because now I'm old and miserable.
Even so, is it less magical now for a kid turn on their phone or tablet in anticipation of a new webcomic page or song from their favourite artist? I don't know, is it?

It appears that whenever 'artists' or creators gather, there's always someone bringing up physical media. I even saw a documentary about music and how digital media is destroying the art of music making because there's no physical media and it's too easy to simply skip songs you don't like and... WHOA! Hold your horse there, Texas ranger! I think I found the root of the problem.... maybe.

I think I understand now what's behind some artists' fascination with physical media. The perceived value of a piece of work increases when it's delivered via a physical medium. What exactly do I mean by that?
Well, when you buy a physical item, you're entering a commitment to experience the physical item you have bought.
You bought a comic?
You'll read most of it.
You bought a CD?
You'll listen to most of it.
Not only have you bought the content, but you have also bought a physical item that has that content stored in it.
With digital media, you get no physical storage or packaging, no, the content is judged by the quality content alone, and what makes it more difficult is that there's tons of content everywhere! Everyone and their cat are making content these days!

You see before digital distribution there was a filter. If you wanted your music on a record, you needed to impress studio producers and record company executives. You wanted your comic published? Good luck! The difficulty of getting your stuff out there limited the number of players on the field. Digital distribution did not only break that fence, it stomped it and the pissed on it for good measure.
But is it a good thing?
Well, it is a double edged sword. While skilled and highly creative people are being recognised by their own merits, the other side of the coin is that content has lost some of its value. Once upon a time you would need to pay top dollar for someone to do good art for you. These days you could probably do better by throwing fifty bucks to a kid with a Deviant Art account.

There are reasons why people don't bother much with physical media (apart from hipsters), it's because the general public found something more convenient.
The landscape has changed and there's very little choice other than to adapt... or invent a time machine. Time machines are cool.
  • Listening to: Daft Punk
Looks like the bit I was dreading is finally here, that point where my comic stops bringing in the readers. Not a surprise as it's around the year and a half mark that I start running out of material and I simply do not have the time to think about jokes or plots. I do my best to work with what I have but unfortunately my best isn't always great... or good.
I really enjoy making My Pet Succubus but it's also a lot of work that demands a lot of time and sacrifice. Thankfully I still have a lot of supporters in the form or readers and patrons which make this project worthwhile. I'm also a lot more disciplined this time around compared to my previous project, so it seems I'm better equipped to deal with the year and a half slump. In other words, I'll just get on with it.
  • Listening to: Hillbilly Moon Explosion
So lately I've been thinking about the reason why I'm making comics, and to be honest, I had no fucking idea.
When I first started drawing, I did it on a whim. Sure, there was a bit of 'Gee, aren't I clever with a comic of my own and stuff?', but there no planning or a particular reason. One day I simply felt like doing it.
Unfortunately, a whim can only take you so far before you start asking yourself "What the hell am I doing?!".
Now, let me say that I am no artist. I don't have the ability to convey concepts or messages in a subtle or symbolic fashion. No, my tools are the blunt instruments of the comic world. Words and pictures. You don't hint a message. You slap the reader in the face with it.
Making comics is not a convenient thing for me. I'm not a gentleman of leisure that can afford long, languid hours to dedicate myself to the craft of comic making. No, I go to work, I got a house and family to look after, people depend on me and making comics is a constant battle for spare time and sometimes, materials. Fuck, I don't even use fancy paper. I generally just use the back of discarded documents from work. So again I ask myself, why do I do it?
Well, there's the ego part. When I see my comic has nearly ten thousand subs, it does make me feel pretty good. But that's not all. You can only wank over mild, relative success for so long.
There are a lot of things I want to say, but they don't make it to my comic very often. You see, EVERYBODY has something to say. You, me, the lady with the limp that lives down the road, everybody.
Problem is that people want to say stuff but they don't want to hear it unless it falls in line with their own thinking. 

I tried giving up comics a few times but I can only last so long before I find myself on a new project. So what gives?
Well, after much deliberation I think I might have figured it out. I want to give joy.
The world is a very fucked up place with many, many problems. I don't have answers, but maybe I can make the burden of existence a bit less miserable?
To quote Metro Last Light, "For thinking on exalted matters dulls the pain of an empty stomach.", except instead of exalted matters, I draw tits and make vulgar jokes.
I find myself constantly wanting to share the joy I feel, but I am unable to. How can I convey the joy I feel when while at work I hear Morrissey sing "I was looking for a job, and then I found a job. And heaven knows I'm miserable now" or the magic of watching the rain fall while listening to 'The Look Of Love" played by The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. I can't. And even if I could somehow convey what I feel, no one will ever feel what I felt as every moment is unique and never to be repeated again.
So I found the most natural (for me, at least) and simplest way I could give some joy. I did a comic in the hope that it makes people laugh, or at the very least smile.

So no, I'm no artist. I'm not trying to create masterpieces. I have no message and no idea what I'm doing. I'm just trying to make laugh.
  • Listening to: Murder By Death

My Pet Succubus is now also available on Line Webtoons!
Let’s see how this goes….…

Webtoon Thumb by Carlos-the-G

My Pet Succubus is now also available on Line Webtoons!
Let’s see how this goes….…

I think we can all agree that we live in world of science. All our modern conveniences are the direct result of some chaps in lab coats dedicating themselves to unraveling the secrets of nature.
Every time we pick up a phone, play a game on a console or computer or get some antibiotics, we are feeling the effects of science.
So, with that in mind, I wonder why is it that we are still drawn toward superstition?

I've been listening to a bunch of podcasts dedicated to 'true' ghost stories and I'm simply amazed at the leaps in logic and lack of critical thinking.
People see a strange shadow or something moving on it's own which cannot be explained, and out of that we get spirits of the dead moving through energy portals and manipulation electronic waves to communicate with the living. A bit of a stretch if you ask me.

Now, let me make it clear that I do not think that people that believe or claim to have seen ghosts are stupid or lying (not all of them, anyway). I'm quite sure that people have seen what they claim. I myself have seen a few strange things in my life for which I have no explanation. 
I remember when I was 7 or 8 years old, I saw a solid shadow of a person with yellow eyes in my bedroom. Keep in mind that this happened over a decade before the term 'shadow people' became a thing.
So, did I see a ghost then? Can't say. Since there are no formal, peer reviewed studies on the subject, all I I know is that I saw a shadow in my room at nigh and that's that. Did I dream it or was it really there? I don't know.

Science works with facts, and those facts can sometime be far stranger and more amazing than any superstition.
The incredible strangeness of quantum physics, the fact that we all made of star stuff, black holes, quasars, amazing physical transformations driven by evolution and all the mind bending things which are far stranger than any superstition, and best of all, they are proven facts!

So now I ask myself, why do people still gravitate toward superstition instead of science?
I think it's because, despite lifting the veil on the incredibly strange and amazing workings of nature, science simply describes the boring and mundane little world where we live, procreate and die with little or no ceremony.

Superstition promises things beyond our reality, a place of eternity where our love ones still exist after death, a place where magic can cheat nature and good and evil is clearly defined with no messy grey areas.
Yes, the lure of superstition is strong, but there are dangers in believing that which has no proof. There a million of people swindled out of their money by sly 'psychics' who prey on those who just want to believe, others commit atrocities in the name of a god that promises an enticing afterlife if they are willing to kill themselves in its name and so many refuse life saving treatment for their children because it goes against their religion.

I think it's time for people to stop wanting to believe and instead they concentrate wanting to know.

F323629f1d699ee7 by Carlos-the-G

You can now use Paypal to support creators with adult content on Patreon!
I know some of you have contacted me in regards to this matter, so if anyone wants to jump on board and get early access to My Pet Succubus and exclusive adult content, now is the time!
So I'm away from home today and I'm using the missus' mobile to access the Internet. 
Let me just say that I would have more fun sticking my dick in a blender than browsing mobile "friendly" sites. 

Deviantart's mobile version is like sticking a ripe pineapple up your urethra.