Monday, November 23, 2009


Man, this is hard...
From the very start, I swore I would avoid reading stuff online about Spandex, but I looked at a few things today... And however many wonderful messages I've had from people, the nasty stuff really sticks. Nasty stuff by people who haven't even read Spandex yet.
I'm so bored of this 'first gay superteam' stuff now. People keep throwing gay comic team book titles at me - but all I'm seeing are gay duos (that's just not a team), very adult stuff (not my aim with this), and Rich Johnston just showed me Prism High - but isn't that a high school thing? I feel that some people are just being picky.
My point of view is that when I read Previews each month, I haven't seen a gay superteam comic - and I've been looking at it for months, years. Of course, there are indie comics out there that have covered all sorts of subjects, but my brain isn't an indie comic encyclopedia. There are 1000s of comics out there, what do the cynical people want me to do, leaf thru every comic shop's indie section before I dare release Spandex?
I just can't understand how some people can react so negatively to a comic they haven't read.
And I was looking at this today, and it started off so nicely, but at the end it turns out that the guy is offended by Spandex (just from looking at the Metro piece).
I read through some of the comments beneath it, and thank god, some people GET IT (that I'm playing with cliches to have fun with them, not make fun of them), but it's so frustrating that some people don't. Comments about the art, and how I can't draw sequential art - how can you tell that from one panel showing a team shot, which is all that's shown in the Metro? Did I ever claim I was an amazing artist? I wish I was. Did I expect Spandex to create such a media storm? Of course I didn't - I expected to get about 50 readers. Did I expect any of this? No I didn't.
There's a comment about my reference to transvestite Liberty as 'he/she' and that that's not right and that I don't understand. But isn't that person categorising transvestites, dictating how they should be - isn't everyone different? How do people know what I am trying to achieve with Liberty? Am I supposed to be making her a character formed from the opinions of other people, a representative, or can I go ahead with the character I've forged with a great deal of care, love and attention? I just wish some of the negative people would think about what they are saying.
And of course I allow myself to get riled and say negative stuff about Rich Johnston on a web-page aargh!
I've had enough - no more comment-reading for me, I'm just not going to get involved in never-ending narguments, and I shouldn't have got involved in the first place.
I just wish the negative people could see what I'm trying to see what I'm doing with Spandex - to explore the lives of gay people and show them in a natural manner (apart from the powers of course!). It's as simple as that. I had no idea that this would open such a massive can of worms - in many ways - and maybe I was naive. All I'll say is that Spandex is a labour of love for me, it comes from a very caring place, and I feel that I'm being made - by a vocal minority - to apologise for that.


Rich Johnston said...

Has anyone had a problem with you printing Spandex?

Most issues I've seen people bring up have been against journalists rather than yourself.

And it was Pride High that won a PRISM Award. Hell, you may very well be eligible yourself now...

Rich Johnston said...

Your press release said "first gay superhero" and then later "first gay superteam". So yea, that's where that criticism started.

"what do the cynical people want me to do, leaf thru every comic shop's indie section before I dare release Spandex?"

Not at all. No one I can see has any problem with you releasing Spandex. In fact mostly quite the opposite.

But some believe you were belittling and dismissing the work of others by not doing a quick google before submitting a press release to the world.

And here's the thing - you sought the publicity out. Did you think, whatever you put out there, that everyone would respond positively to it?

Yet when I run a broadly positive piece, with criticism of some of the names as coming over as crass puns, it's suddenly a scathing and sarcastic piece, when it was anything but.

And indeed most negative comment in that regard has been towards the papers and websites for reporting blindly. Basically they couldn't do a quick google either.

"And of course I allow myself to get riled and say negative stuff about Rich Johnston"

Negative stuff is always fine. But you've actually lied about what I've written so yes, I had to pick you up on that.

Oh and it was Pride High that won a Prism award.

But odds are you'll be up for a Prism award youself next year. May I congratulate you in advance?

Mart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mart said...

Fair points Rich, although I haven't lied about your column - I expressed how it came across to me. I'm going to remove the references to you in my write-up. If I could remove my angry comment on that website I would, but I don't seem able to, sadly.
I think re seeking the publicity out - I had nooo idea all this was going to happen, I thought it would get maybe about the same attention as The O Men did (ie, a tiny bit, but not that much). If I could turn back the clock and change the way certain things have panned out, I'd change quite a lot!
I'm sorry if people feel I have belittled their work on similar comics - some people have been contacting me directly to mention their own gay comics, and I've been plugging these titles to journalists in interviews.

Rol said...

Ignore 'em, Martin.

I know that's easy to say - I have the biggest inferiority complex and even the slightest bit of criticism makes me want to give up writing and go live in a cave.

On the other hand, take a look at all the slagging most professional comics creators take online. And the more popular they are, the more the trolls like to hate them. Imagine how thick-skinned Brian Bendis must have to be!

But one thing's for sure, Mart - there's no such thing as bad publicity. So take advantage of it and use every opportunity that comes your way. Lightning doesn't land in a bottle all that often.

Mart said...

Thanks so much Rol. That's very sweet of you. I wasn't looking for sympathy etc, just venting, but it's nice to get someone else's opinion.

A very good friend also has said to me:
Just remember what you are doing is targeted to a niche market so you can't please everyone. It sucks but it only makes you better and stronger.... they aren't doing the work, they are just talking about it...
Martin do what makes you happy, and that's all that matters.... who cares about people who do not impact your life?
surround yourself with positive people.
this is the sign of success...when people start talking shit about you.

And that's it guys, from now on I concentrate on making Spandex better and better. I have a lot of confidence in the project and I hope people out there continue to enjoy it too.

Dave Candlish said...

Yup, what Rol said. You've just got to roll with it. As any creative would tell you, it's the bad reviews that stick in your head, but it's a fair bet that the good word has far outweighed the bad for Spandex (It should have, I've read it).
Take a deep breath, crack on with book 2, and watch how many folk come back for a second helping when it's ready!

Mart said...

Thank you Dave!
Issue two should be a cracker. I will just have to be careful I don't offend any Ninjas.