While at the Armageddon Expo, I wandered over to the Local Act Comics (LAC) booth & said a brief hello to Mike Nason while he was sketching behind the table. Nice guy, and shares a similar interest to me in talking about comicbook craft & philiosphy. I made a brief mention about a recent forum thread in which Mike’s criticism was seen as ‘mean spirited’ – to which he replied that he should just learn to end online comments with a ‘smiley-face’ avatar to let people know he’s a nice guy.
I thought that was funny. And apt.
When someone puts up work on forums to be ‘shown’, then it stands to reason that there may be a minority of people ( Like Myself, Mike, or whoever) who may want to leave feedback on that work that isn’t simply ‘praise’. One need not denigrate the person (or work) to offer constructive feedback on it, but neither should they pander to (the all too common) ass-kissing display. Particularly if they have taken the time to look closely at someone’s work and write down a thought-out response. If the response is an honest opinion (rather than a direct insult to the work or person), then I’d suggest these ‘fragile’ posters refrain from publishing any work to the public what-so-ever.
PS: To the above mentioned forum posting (to their credit), the poster wasn't offended, and took it in their stride - though a stampede of 'knights-in-shining-armor' posted to defend the person for no other reason (it would seem) - other than to mention that we should offer criticism in super-nice rhetoric. Because otherwise it "comes across as..." or "seems like..." (or some other emotional description) we're being mean.