My webcomic got featured in Top Webcomics, so I started getting a few more readers and, consequently, more mail about the story than usual. Reading the mail, I have noticed several themes and things people tend to like about the comic.
- They tend to like the characters.
- They normally point out that it’s different from every other webcomic they read.
- And they like the realness and sincerity and inventiveness of my plot.
Some of them mention they like the art, too, but mostly almost everyone who writes me says something about having experienced a personal connection with the characters or relating to their situation.
One thing I think I do well is write convincingly about things I’ve never been through. I was discussing this with a person who contacted me about the comic recently, and after I told her I’ve never had a baby or gone to another dimension like the characters in the story have, she reacted with surprise, saying, “WHAT? I thought *sure* from this story that you were a mother!” (Paraphrased.) That’s awesome. I guess we’ll never know how convincingly I write about traveling to other dimensions. I don’t think there are any people out there who can say whether I’m doing it right or wrong. Heh.
Someone recently wrote me up in the recommended comics section of a site, listing me as one of the “lesser-known” comics and saying the following: “Sometimes I don’t think Negative One realizes it’s a webcomic, but it’s still excellent.” (Hah, that’s true. I don’t do mine like anyone else, and I have far more text than most people would put in a comic.) It goes on: “As far as stories go, I’d say it’s one of the best I’ve read, period.” (Wow, that’s nice!) And then the person who linked me put this as a teaser: “What would you do if your baby could fly? If you knew that one day you’d leave your home, family, and memories behind? If you woke up in a strange land where no one spoke your language?” Erm, I guess you get to FIND OUT what people do in these situations, ’cause my comic is about that stuff.
More cool things people have said about the comic:
“Great comic. I spent hours reading it.”
“I somehow found your negative one comic, which I really like . . . and that got me reading your Ivy books.”
“I *love* your webcomic! . . . I really enjoy how deeply you get into the minds of the characters (and their stream of consciousness personal narratives), and how deeply they think events/consequences through and wrestle with them emotionally. This is precisely the dimension I find so painfully lacking in most science fiction/fantasy I read, and it is precisely the dimension I care about in stories.”
A long one:
“The reason I like your comics so much is because the people it depicts. Most ‘characters’ are nothing but caricatures, the people you show seem alive and real, and can be identified with. I almost wept (and I am a guy, btw) when Adele left for earth, because I truely felt the emotions and sadness. I have NEVER experienced that before with a story. When Meri Lin was confronted with the amazingness of her daughter, I was astonished to find that I believe every reaction and thought she had. You manage however to do more then just create believe people, you manage to create believable GOOD people. Normally the so called ‘good character’ is a horrible caricature, they have no heart, soul, or emotion. And the so called ‘evil’ or ‘normal’ people suck too. But here you make people who are… I shouldn’t say good, but seem like genuinely NICE people. I have never seen any such characters in fiction, it strikes me as the hardest type of persona to create.”
Wowie zowie! This person followed the letter up by asking if I had anything published and how/where he could buy them.
“. . . The story is just so beautifully written that it swept me along in its current and kept me going. I was so mad when I had to stop in the middle of the archives to go to bed, because I had work in only four hours!”
“Your worldbuilding is phenomenal, and reading it gives me this sense of the whole story being sweeping and grand and magnificent inside your mind — which makes sense, given what you said about it in your FAQ! Is this your huge, masterpiece story, like the Middle Earth stuff was for J. R. R. Tolkein? Or is it simply one of many that you’re working on and enjoy? Or somewhere in between?” . . . “It’s odd that I like your story as much as I do. It’s not the kind of story that would normally interest me. But you tell it so well that it’s impossible to resist, which is a huge compliment to your art, writing, storytelling, worldbuilding, plotting, and whatever else you might want to consider as part of your process.”
“The depth of your characters and the uniqueness of each of their voices is far above what most writers can pull off, and I think your drawings show a lot of personality.”
“I like how there’s a lot of text, letting the story progress relatively quickly. Also, I generally enjoy the world-building – getting to know about customs of your cultures, and the physical laws of your multiverse. The characters seem well fleshed out, so far, and I look forward to reading about their further adventures.”
“Sublime art and storytelling; I particularly like how you’ve melded the stories of two very different women together in a harmonious balance, and I can’t wait to see what happens from here.”
There’s been more of course, but I just thought I would share how it makes me happy when people tell me that they’re enjoying the efforts I put in every week, and that the story is touching people and drawing them in. I write for myself, but I also love sharing with others and KNOWING that what I did touched them.