Wednesday, 21 November 2012

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY...



What's the point in flogging a dead horse?  Or even a dying DANDY?
Well, it's not until we admit our mistakes that we can ever hope to learn
from them.  Case in point:  some of the content in this week's issue of the
terminally-ill comic from the stable of D.C. THOMSON.  Firstly, 'though,
disregard all those claims that The Dandy is going to a 'better place';  that
it's not dying, merely 'evolving'.  Pants!  That's what we tell children (and
sometimes ourselves) when someone dies.  "Granny's not dead, she's only
gone to Heaven."  No, ol' Granny's definitely dead - at least from our
earthly perspective.  The Dandy is also dead (or will be in three issues) -
whether or not it's going to a better place yet remains to be seen.

The above cover is taken from the 1967 (released in '66) Dandy
Annual, and it's a cracker.  Definitely what I'd place in 'THE GOOD'
category.  Recently, I was advised that, over on another blog, someone
was dismissing me as a 'nostalgist' (which is true, but hardly something
which invalidates my opinion).  THE BEANO is well-drawn, they stated,
but not funny;  whereas The Dandy IS funny, but perhaps not quite so well-
drawn.  They'd rather have funny and not so well-drawn than the other way
around.  However, to my way of thinking, it needn't be a case of 'either-or' -
why can't we have both?  (Incidentally, I don't necessarily agree with this
person's assessment that The Beano is less funny than its sister
publication.  Not when it's got CALAMITY JAMES.)

We all recognise that there are various reasons for the decline
of many once-popular publications over the years, but The Dandy
suffered disproportionately because, after its 2010 relaunch, it was so
unattractive that it deterred readers from buying it.  What's more, half of its
former readers abandoned it once they'd seen what it had become.  What's
the point of a comic being funny (presuming for the moment that it is) if it's
so-badly and amateurishly drawn that it drives people away in droves?
QUASIMODO might well have turned out to be the life and soul of the
party if the crowd had only taken time to get to know him, but who
wants to be laughing while simultaneously vomiting into a bucket?
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at 'THE BAD'...


First of all, the logo is basic, unimaginative, and has too much black
space.  Much more could've been done with it. One of the drawbacks of
the 'new' Dandy is that the overall design was down to one man, resulting
in a lack of variety throughout the comic.  Not necessarily a problem if the
designer is a genius at his craft, but the logos are hardly prime examples
of what can be achieved in the art of calligraphy, being rather roughly-
rendered as well as uninspiring.

The strip itself is an exercise in how not to draw a comic strip.
Empty backgrounds, flat-looking characters, not enough variety in
perspective (in fact, no actual perspective) - the result is nothing more
than a series of talking heads not saying anything particularly amusing.
As I've said before, this looks like the work of a fourteen year old with
a hint of promise that requires developing, not the work of an adult 'pro-
fessional' artist who gets paid for it.  When I last made this observation,
I received an email telling me that I was wrong!  "More like the
work of a four year old!", claimed the correspondent.
        
Let's now take a look at 'THE UGLY'...


Another poor logo with severe limitations in execution (an apt
word - "It's dead, Jim!").  Crammed panels with flat figures seem-
ingly growing out of the ground, static positioning and no real sense
of movement.  Add to that the fact that the drawings appear to be fight-
ing for space with the dialogue and captions, and you have a recipe for
an underwhelming example of so-called 'sequential' art.  (And don't start
me on just how ugly the lettering is in both this strip and the one which
precedes it.)  Having said that, however, I've seen far worse from this
artist.  I think his style would be more suited to greetings cards -
sequential art doesn't seem to be his strong point. 

Now let's take a look at how it should be done (artwise, that is -
the story is nothing great).  In the strip below, there's a sense of space
in the layouts, and the panel borders don't seem to be constricting the
content within.  The figures have 'depth', appearing 'rounded' (almost
3D, as opposed to the paper-flat scribbles above), and there's a sense of
movement, plus a natural progression from one panel to another.  What's
more, the lettering fonts are clear and easy to read, and don't overpower
or obscure the art.  Note that I'm not saying all strips should be drawn
in the same style employed by CHARLES GRIGG, but observance
of his storytelling principles is something that quite a few current
Dandy artists would benefit from paying heed to.

(Also, bear in mind that this is essentially a black and white page
with some spot-colour, as opposed to the full-colour pages above.  If
the previous examples were in black and white, they'd be even more
one-dimensional than they are.)  


Okay, that's my two cents worth.  Hopefully, any response will be
something other than the same old tired insults and vitriol which usually
follow.  Got an opinion?  Agree or disagree?  Let rip in the comments
section, but try and keep it clean, eh?

******

LEE JAMES TURNOCK has posted his reflections on this topic
over on his own blog.  And extremely well-written reflections they are
too.  Jump over and take a look by clicking here.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

You want the bad and the ugly ? Look in a mirror .

Kid said...

No point - I cast no reflection.

Andy Fanton said...

Hi Kid,

Against my better judgement (and cries of people telling me to do otherwise) I thought I'd just chime in here seeing as how you seem to have a distinct disliking of my work.

Obviously, criticism is always valid (and expected, no-one can hope to please everyone all of the time), and so I've heard your points and respected them.

The weird thing is, this is almost an identical version of a post you made a couple of weeks ago, where again you highlighted one of my pages and slowly pulled it apart with a snide comment ('This is the standard of artwork I'd expect to see in a fanzine
produced by a fourteen year old') The rest of the critiques are pretty much exactly the same, which coupled with the fact that you singled out my stuff in the comments of an earlier post makes me wonder where this all goes from criticism to some kind of prolonged vendetta.

I remember receiving an email from you when I started out where you seemed perfectly polite and nice, and we shared a few anecdotes about Portsmouth (where you once lived), which makes me wonder if these posts are designed to offer advice to a relatively new cartoonist, and if so why not email again and share some civil exchange of ideas with me as you did then?

Or are these posts designed to make sure no-one else in the industry hires me, or to crush my spirit and make me quit for good? Because in both cases I fear you'll be sorely disappointed.

Perhaps you do just like repeating the same thing again and again, which is fair enough, it's your blog. It just seems a little odd when you've already made your point (repeatedly), and when there's so much more in this big, wide world to write about.

Anyway, sorry you don't like my work. Luckily, I think there is stuff out there that'll be more to your liking, and there's still people who like mine. There's room for all of us.

All the best,

Andy.

Anonymous said...

Kid,

I read your comments and they were broken down well.

Of course the art isn't to everyones liking but you can't argue with sales. As I have said before I supported the Dandy's relaunch, avidly buying it every week until I had the 'Emperors new clothes' moment.

Forget about the distribution problems which we all know about. As I have said before, if it was good people would have bought it.

Jones Johnson

Anonymous said...

If your always going to be complaining about the Dandy, then why buy it in the first place if you don't like it?! In my opinion the Dandy is the best it's been in years with some of the best artists with a modern style that suits the comic!

Kid said...

The mistake you make, Andy, is to presume that there is anything personal in my remarks. I don't know you, so why would you think I was pursuing a 'prolonged vendetta'?

I'm quite prepared to believe you are a fine, decent, upstanding fellow who wears lovely trousers; it is not YOU I am criticizing, it is your ART. What you see as a 'snide' remark was not, I believe, completely without a redeeming quality. Your art - at least, what I see in The Dandy, is really of the type that I would expect to see from a 14 year old. Note, however, that I said a 14 year old with a 'hint of promise'. I just don't think you're ready for the big time at the moment, but whether or not anyone else within the industry wants to employ you simply doesn't rest within the province of my interest. I certainly wouldn't seek to persuade anyone either one way or the other. (Unless I was footing the bill.)

As for my email to you many months back, I was not familiar with your work then, and was merely responding to the fact that you lived in the same area that I once did. I have very fond memories of Southsea and hope to visit it again at some point in the future.

As for crushing your spirit, I rather hope the reverse is true. If anything, I rather hope you'll get mad as hell and do your best to prove me wrong. On the evidence of your work in The Dandy, you're simply not trying hard enough, and any comment of mine which makes you aspire to do better is actually doing you a favour, truth be told (as I see it, naturally).

But it's not as one-sided as you seek to suggest: despite your current comments being the very model of politeness and restraint, you once, along with various other individuals, indulged in some quite insulting and disparaging remarks about me on various blogs and twitter accounts, if I remember correctly. That, however, is not what prompts my present observations about The Dandy.

When The Dandy was relaunched, certain individuals tried to portray themselves as the comic's saviours, and took less than kindly to anyone who was smart enough to see why their efforts were doomed to failure. Scorn, derision and vitriolic insults were heaped upon myself and others for merely telling it like it was, and even now it continues in places, despite events proving us right.

And as for 'repeating' my observations, I feel that as long as the failings I comment upon are repeated, week after week, then I am likewise entitled to reiterate my comments about them.

I am a customer who is merely exercising my right to comment on why my purchase is not fit for purpose. And besides, I have to fill this blog with something. Why not something in which I am interested and have years of experience?

Pax vobiscum.

Kid said...

Jones, thanks for the support. Someone else once thanked me for 'saying what everyone else was thinking'. It annoys me that certain detractors seek to suggest that ours is the minority opinion, despite the reverse being true.

******

In answer to Anonymous #2's question as to why I buy The Dandy - the triumph of hope over experience perhaps? Actually, I'm just buying the last few issues. A little bit of history is disappearing forever (in print form at least) and I want a few souvenirs.

As for your opinion, you're perfectly entitled to it. You're still wrong 'though - or hadn't you noticed the comic is being cancelled?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
I don't want to get into a slanging match with you, but if you think the Dandy (in your opinion) is the best it's been in years with some of the best artists with a modern style that suits the comic. It's obvious your opinion doesn't count for much because it isn't selling.

Jones Johnson

Anonymous said...

Kid, who the hell are you to tell an established artist he's not trying hard enough? What makes you more qualified than the editors who have employed him?

You deny that you have a vendetta against him, then you follow it up by proving you have one by claiming Andy slagged you off elsewhere, - it just makes you look petty and foolish.

You say that as a consumer you have the right to pass criticism on comics, but The Dandy is aimed at CHILDREN not people your age. This is a very important point I notice you always dismiss. I could complain that modern children's toys don't have play value for me, but they're not pitched at me so I'd look ruddy stupid complaining wouldn't I? That's how your two-year critiques of The Dandy come across I'm afraid, - like someone who missed the point that he should have outgrown those kiddie comics long LONG ago.

Andy Fanton said...

Well, I've already explained why I felt like it was a personal vendetta, because three times over the course of a month you've singled out my work for criticism - the exact same criticism, almost as if you're enraged that I hadn't read your comments, gone back in time and amended my submitted pages to suit your liking. I've never claimed to be the saviour of The Dandy or the Next Big Thing, I'm all too aware that I'm still in the early stages of this all, but I'm learning all the time and working to improve. Only a dunderhead would ever sit back and go, 'that's it, I'm now perfect'. But the fact that you then pick up the next issue and are incensed that I suddenly haven't transformed into the artist you wish to me to be seems a little...strange and naive, really. Why complain about the exact same thing? You may as well leap to your keyboard and decry the fact that it gets dark at night every single day.

I can't recall being particularly vitriolic towards you - I remember a heated exchange on the Down the Tubes forum once, but I think we kept it from descending into a viscous slanging match. But having said that, the tone of some of the 'merely telling it like it was' from certain quarters was certainly not respectful or measured, eventually even spilling out into ludicrous 'hate pages' on the internet. I even got one for my crime of daring to draw in my style, replete with pictures culled from my personal Facebook. Chilling, and not exactly the mark of civil debate, if you ask me.

Like I said, I'm all for criticism, and you are of course quite free to post whatever you wish on your blog. I just don't understand the constant repetition of the same points about the same people's work week after week, rolling around again with crushing inevitability, but offering nothing new on the subject.

It doesn't make me mad and eager to prove you wrong, alas. I don't believe I've been put on this earth to make Kid Robson happy. Instead, I'll carry on working hard (which I do, despite your rather patronising claim to the contrary) and learning and improving my craft as I do so because, y'know, that's what people do in life.

I love comics too, to which my groaning comic boxes will attest. And if there's one thing I've learnt from my years as a fan is that it's a hugely flexible medium offering forth a variety of styles and talents. It's a sad day when we point blank refuse to accept the legitimacy of some simply because they're not to our tastes. If we stopped new blood coming through and getting a chance to hone their style through actively working, then we'd have lost out on a number of greats over the decades, and in an ever-dwindling market those opportunities are fewer and far between, so we should really applaud it when those chances are offered today, because it's only that sort of thinking that will help comics continue onward into the future.

Cheers,

Andy.

Kid said...

Who the hell do I NEED to be to express my opinion about something on my own blog? And what makes me LESS qualified than the editors who have employed him? You're telling me that everyone in a job deserves to be there?

And your logic is seriously faulty. I clearly stated my reasons for regarding Andy's art as I do. I pointed out the fact that he was involved in such behaviour merely to provide balance in Andy's PR exercise in promoting himself as the 'innocent party'. In actual fact, My opinion of his art would have been exactly the same had he never 'slagged' me off. Or are you seriously proposing you know my motivations better than I do? You're the one who comes across as petty and foolish - if not pretty damn stupid, in fact.

As for The Dandy being aimed at children - the contributors themselves deny they're aiming it exclusively at infants. They say they write and draw what amuses THEM - and for ANYONE ELSE who finds it funny. And that's my very point and always HAS been. The Dandy (and The Beano) should be for everyone - in the same way that the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons can be enjoyed by ALL ages.

Seems it's YOU who missed the point, buddy. Feel free to drop in again - but wait 'til you have something sensible to say, eh?

Kid said...

I hope you're giving me full credit, Andy, for allowing you every opportunity to present your very personal perception as to why I've 'singled you out', as you put it. Are you hoping to subliminally influence people into believing that your interpretation of my motivation for critiquing your art is the correct one? I think they're smarter than that - as am I.

You haven't been 'singled out', as you well know; another also came in for the same kind of observations I made about your work. The pages were chosen solely on merit (or lack of it, to be precise) because they were the best (worst) examples of everything that's wrong with The Dandy.

As you will no doubt also be well aware (unless you are totally naive yourself), the demands of writing regularly for a blog necessitate a little repetition (or reiteration) from time to time, and in addressing the topics one's audience is interested in. I'm afraid that people's interest doesn't wan in quite the way you seem to think it does, as attested to by the number of hits this post has attracted.

As for 'complain(ing) about the exact same thing', I may as well make the same observation about you. Why make the same mistakes week after week if you're aware of them? To do so is to insult the readers and deny yourself the sense of accomplishment that comes from improving. I'm bound to say that I don't understand why, if you're working so hard to improve as you claim, I can see no sign of it.

Also, as you well know, I was not responsible for any 'hate campaign' on the internet against anyone, nor did I participate in such a thing. As for the 'mark of civil debate', when you've been told that "cancer is too good for you" and that "you've only ever f****d your mum" (as I was), then you'll have something to complain about.

Neither was I suggesting that you improve to make ME happy, only that IF my comments 'inspired' you to do so, you'd be the one who benefits. I make my observations about some pages of art only because they elicit a certain reaction from me; whether or not the artists pay heed to me is not what drives me.

As for your last paragraph, I'd say it's only applicable where the artist displays a natural aptitude in the medium he has chosen to express himself. Where your point falls down is in the fact that even 'greats' like Baxendale and Reid (to name but two) were far better in their first stumbling efforts than quite a few artists currently working in comics (and elsewhere) today. Simply put, there are some who are but shouldn't be - and they wouldn't be if not for the appalling decline in what constitutes an acceptable standard.

Andy Fanton said...

Kid, I'm not trying to influence anything, I'm merely presenting what I feel based on what I've seen here over the past few weeks. It's hard to not feel like you're being targeted (alongside another, yes) when you, er, are the target in a couple of posts and some comments. I'm sure had the internet existed back when you were working and someone took to their blog to bemoan your lettering in subsequent issues, you too would begin to question what was going on there.

If The Dandy is as bad as you suggest (which it isn't) then it seems odd that you can only find the same two pages in two different issues out of the cumulative 72 pages of material you'd have at your disposal for review, don't you think? Instead you write practically the same post, highlighting the same work, and are somewhat surprised when someone sees a pattern emerging.

The odd bit of reiteration in a blog is one thing, but the fact this is your zillionth post on the subject, and the second to be virtually a copy of the last, goes beyond that. Is it laziness? A lack of writing ability? A narrow focus? I know it's not any of those things, but isn't it nice to make assumptions about someone's work ethic and competence? You certainly seem to think so.

As for those comments...no, they're not very nice but neither are they mine, so not sure of the relevance of that. In fact, I'm not sure why you even brought that all up in the first place. There I was talking about your current 'fascination' with my work, when you suddenly decided to excavate past grievances to prove that this wasn't all 'one-sided'? WHAT wasn't one-sided? I'm talking about these posts NOW, perhaps you are protesting too much there, I fear.

Let me know when you're ready to talk about the now.

Andy.

Kid said...

That may well be your perception, Andy, but here's why you're wrong. In most of my previous posts about The Dandy, you've never been mentioned by name, nor have your strips been identified. Recently, I named the strips in a remark in my comments section, and that was followed by last week's post which you refer to. Why?

I picked up the previous two issues (not counting the one featured in this post) and was absolutely bloody appalled by the standard of various strips. The two I featured were the worst offenders, which was why I chose them. Yours wasn't picked because it was yours, but because I truly believe that it is awful. That's why I did the post.

Anybody reading it, however, may have thought the faults I described were perhaps one-offs, and not representative of the usual standard. When I did THIS post, I believe I went into a little more detail and was more specific in where I regarded these strips as deficient. In doing so, I think I illustrated that the previous two examples were not an unrepresentative departure from the norm. Obviously, if the same strips are chosen and similar faults are discussed, there is bound to be general feeling of 'sameness' about the post, but while there is an element of that, I think there is more also.

Believe me, if there were worse looking strips in this week's comic by other artists, I would've focussed on them. And you're right - The Dandy isn't as bad as I suggest - it's WORSE. (It isn't quite as bad is it was after the relaunch 'though.)

And there's a simple (and obvious) reason why I referred to events which happened a while back. Anyone visiting this post unaware of the history involved might well have gotten a mistaken impression from simply reading my post and your response. I thought it best to reveal the context in which these matters are currently being discussed so they could better understand the history of events. I think your comments alone gave a somewhat false impression in that regard, although perhaps not deliberately so.

And I AM talking about the NOW. Some strips in The Dandy are just bloody awful, and unfortunately yours is one of them. I'm not taking a dig, but the best courtesy I can pay you is to be honest. For example, when Sir turns his head, his parting and kiss curl jump over to whichever side we're looking at. It's surely not beyond you to establish which side it's on and stick to it? To me, your seeming inability to do so suggests certain limitations about your style. It's when you tackle the small things that you'll make great strides.

Andy Fanton said...

No, Kid, you didn't go into any more detail, you've said pretty much exactly the same thing in both posts.

I get you don't like my work, I really do. And I respect your right to that opinion and even concur that I'm still on an upward learning curve. But yours IS only one opinion among many, no more valid than those who DO enjoy my work, no matter how hard you try to claim otherwise. But there's the rub, the respect is only one-way, and until you can possibly entertain the notion that other people can be just as entitled to their thoughts as you, conversations with you will forever go in these never-ending circles, so for that reason I shall now bow out.

All the best,

Andy.

PS: The hair curl thing was deliberate, a little tip of the cap to the 80s cartoons I watched as a kid where for some reason hairstyles remained the same no matter where the characters looked. Yeah, it might well have just amused me, but I'm allowed to do so from time to time.

George Shiers said...

As ususal I both agree and disagree with your post.

I'm not a fan of digital publishing myself, as it just doesn't feel as good as the real deal, but yes, The Dandy is evolving, but maybe not for the best. (After all, not every single adaptation is a good one.) Just because it's no longer been printed, doesn't mean it's "dead". Plus, it will still be having brand new artwork.

Also, you claim that there is no background detail, but that Charlie Grigg strip you've shown doesn't have much (but have you seen the stuff he did for the summer specials - amazing)!

Kid said...

Even if it were true (which I don't believe it is) that I was merely repeating myself, it is quite legitimate to do so. Most people reading the recent post probably hadn't read the previous one. What you have to remember is that every post is someone's first.

I believe The Dandy would have had a better chance (if it had one at all) of surviving if the relaunch had taken a different course. The Beano sells, so they should have made it more like The Beano - simple as that. Would it have worked? Who knows, but the odds would've been improved.

And I'm perfectly prepared to accept that people are entitled to their opinion, but them having that opinion doesn't make it right. There's only about two or three artists in The Dandy that are even near the same level as Baxendale. To argue otherwise is simply folly. When discussing the merits between eating an apple and orange, each side is entitled to their point of view. When discussing whether bathing in good, clean, hot water is preferable to rolling in dog turd, there's only one side which makes any sense.

Not everything is of comparable merit, especially in art, and it's the ill-judged opinion that a monkey's scribble is just as valid an artistic expression as the Sistine Chapel that has resulted in the decline of excellence in art. (In my famously humble opinion, of course.)

Kid said...

Ah, but George, there's a difference between 'not much' and 'none at all'. Charlie's had as much background detail as was required. And one glance at the page tells you what's happening, unlike the two other examples I featured. But The Dandy IS dead, as far as print form goes. It 'surviving' as a ghost on the internet doesn't interest me, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the question about why Dandy isn't selling is simple. It's because many newsagents don't seem to stock it anymore and we have Internet and video games to blame for the decline if the Dandy and comics in general.

Anonymous said...

Kid your egotistical arrogance is fascinating. You begin with a post dripping with vitriol, insulting the talents of two artists, then ask that replies not contain insults and vitriol. It's almost as though you think you can behave as you like without any repercussions. 'Kid' by name, kid by nature is what comes across.

Time and time again, like a typical bully, you focus on the artists you consider to be the weakest of the set and relentlessly post your critiques about any flaws you perceive. When Andy politely tries to defend himself you continue to attack defiantly, as if someone questioning your remarks is an insult in itself. Is this how you behave in real conversations or do you have a special obnoxious personality you use for the internet?

When Andy brings up the fact that someone else set up a hate site against him you distance yourself from that site, - but you fail to mention that you've allowed the guy who set up that site to post his bile on your blog numerous times and that you post your snide comments on his other blog. Even worse, you've even gone out of your way to call him "a jolly good judge of character" instead of kicking the nasty individual into the ether where he belongs. Entirely up to you of course, but those that lie down with dogs catch fleas.

You excuse your repeated attacks on Dandy artists by saying that "every post is someone's first". But blogs don't go out of print like newspapers and magazines. If people search for your comments about The Dandy they'll find the same tired old opinion repeated time and time again over the last two years. The comments you made against Andy's work a week or two ago are still out there. Regurgitating them again and again makes you look obsessive and vindictive.

Amusingly you end by mocking The Dandy "surviving as a ghost on the internet", with the irony escaping you of your own predicament.

The good news is that because you won't be subscribing to any digital edition of Dandy the www will be spared any further heckling from you once the print version ends. Hurrah!

Kid said...

And the reason why many newsagents don't seem to stock it anymore is also simple. They found they were wasting their time - it didn't sell when they did. And the reason for that is again simple - it was crap.

Anonymous said...

That image of Korky has always weirded me out. The foreshortening on the arms has gone seriously wrong-even with Korky's bizarre proportions taken into account, they're too short.

Kid, I believe you should widen the net and critique some of the other strips in The Dandy. Your point of view doesn't come across well when you single out the same two artists in repeated posts. In fact, it comes across as confirmation bias.

Kid said...

You're right, the foreshortening does seem off. That said, however, it's still a damn sight better than the other two, new, pages I featured. As is the Korky strip.

And my only bias in the context of this discussion is bad art - regardless of who draws it. I have previously (and occasionally) said more positive things about some of the work by the second artist I referred to. Funny how that gets overlooked.

You can rest assured that if any other strips in The Dandy annoyed me as much as the two I featured, they'd likewise be discussed. It may yet happen.

Kid said...

I think you'll find that I didn't actually ASK for no insults (I even published one) - or vitriol. I merely expressed a HOPE that the responses would be a little more than that and asked that they be clean. So you're wrong on your very first point. That's okay 'though, 'cos you have plenty of other attempts at manipulating the facts, which I'll deal with one by one.

As for 'egotistical arrogance', that's not how I'd describe recognising poor quality artwork and describing it for what it is. If I go to a restaurant and get served up an inferior meal, I expect to be able to call them to account. I apply that attitude to other areas also - including comics.

Let's see now, what other skewed interpretation are you giving out with? No, I don't focus on artists I consider to be 'the weakest of the set' (in the way that you mean), I call bad art what it is - bad art. If Nigel Parkinson produced bad art week after week, then he'd be the focus of my attention too.

As for continuing to 'attack defiantly when Andy politely tries to defend himself' - are you for real? Do you really hope to slip that one past people's perceptions? I allowed Andy the right of reply and then addressed his points. Can't say fairer than that. The fact that my responses to him aren't dripping with sycophantic toadying more to your liking is something you'll have to live with I'm afraid. Get used to it.

And now we get to the crux of the matter: your obvious dislike of 'Mr. Straightman'. In HIS absence, you try to hold me accountable for what you perceive are his crimes. Careful, that approach works two ways. I might just as well hold Andy accountable for the remarks of others whose company he is found amongst.

As for the rest of your exercise in fantasy, Mr. Straightman has never posted anything like the kind of content on that other site you refer to on this blog. Likewise, I have never directly referred to Andy on his. Indeed, my so-called 'snide comments' are of the same nature that I post on my own. And as you well know, my describing MS as a 'jolly good judge of character' was a self-mocking remark in direct response to a glowing review he gave me. As I'm unaware of his attitude in all areas of his life, it's not necessarily meant to apply in every instance. Don't let the facts prevent you from trying to distort the truth 'though. (Oh, that's right - you didn't.)

As for blogs not going out of print, you deliberately ignore the fact that not everyone is inclined to trawl through the archives. I bought a comic and was so appalled by some of its content that I thought it worth addressing the subject again and reiterating - and expanding - my thoughts on the matter. One of the criticisms often levelled at me is "If you don't like it, why buy it?" Likewise, you're telling me that anyone is obliged or compelled to visit this blog and read my opinions?

Actually, the so-called irony you refer to didn't escape me - but neither does it exist. You see, my day to day (or even week to week) survival is not confined to the internet, unlike the new, non-print version of The Dandy.

The good news is that because I won't be subscribing to the digital edition of The Dandy, I'll (hopefully) be spared any further obsessive, vindictive and disingenuous drivel from the likes of you. "Hip, hip..."

All the anonymous people, where dooooo they all come from? (H'mm. Needs work.)

Anonymous said...

If the irony didn't exist it wouldn't have occurred to you to dismiss it.

You say you're not obsessed with knocking Andy and Jamie,s work but then you say you reiterate those comments for the benefit of new readers. Sounds like someone on a crusade to me, making sure no one misses The Word of the Lord, or Word of the Kid in this instance.

Kid said...

You'll note I said 'so-called' irony - obviously I had anticipated the likelihood that someone would try and make that tenuous point. (Yes, I really am that clever.)

Nope, sounds more like someone looking for something to write about on his blog to me. (Perhaps you'd missed it, but this is a blog about comics.) I think I know me better than you do, so I win. (Again.)

Anonymous said...

Then stick to writing about comics. Why not, for one week, praise the parts of The Dandy you DO like instead of continually savaging the few pages you don't? You have 36 pages to choose from. Could you manage that without any snide comments? I don't think you could could you? That's the problem with nostalgists, always complaining that things aren't what they were like in ye good old days.

Anonymous said...

Kid you talk a lot

Anonymous said...

Kid you talk a lot

Kid said...

H'mm. Seems I'm not the only person who repeats himself.

Kid said...

And that's the trouble with thickos, always missing what's right in front of them. I think you'll find that, on both posts referred to, I did actually also mention or feature pages that I liked. This post has two of them. You can't get any more balanced than that.

Anonymous said...

The words 'balanced' and 'Kid Robson' should never appear on the same page. :-D

Anonymous said...

Kid, you make some good points (Fanton's work consistently lacks strong perspective, although he does occasionally fudge a brave attempt at it - Smart's work is very chaotic, sometimes to the point of being cluttered) but I fear you miss THE overall point, which has been alluded to time and time again in defense of The Dandy.

That is, tastes change. And so do aesthetic sensibilities, and trends, and so forth. The Dandy obviously isn't to your liking, but the 'quality' of the comic is entirely subjective. Sales figures aside (I'm not going to argue with those right now), it's telling that within the pages of The Dandy, when children's drawings are sent in, they're more-often-than-not one of Fanton's characters. He may not be a strong draftsman, but he's certainly got an eye for appeal and what young children like -- that his work looks like a young artist's is arguably a strength and part of that appeal.

Which leads me onto your own critiques -- a little balance would be nice, and since you keep on attacking the art of the same artists, you come across as spiteful and bitter. Surely there are some things these guys do that you do like?

I love Smart's energetic lines, his poses (which work well despite his oddly-proportioned characters. One could argue 'in spite of') and his general sense of humour. Fanton has appeal nailed (as I mentioned) and a good use of colour that does the job without overpowering or being obnoxious. Both artists have strengths as well as the weaknesses, I think it would do your writing well if you took these into account for more balanced critique.

And less, you know, hate.

moonmando said...

Lord Robson! Hmm,well maybe someday. lol
Really enjoying the discourse going on between the various parties here.Your critical analysis is superb and i only hope the commentators take away from this that which was intended by you.

Kid said...

Moonmando, I dunno. Personally. I kinda like 'King Robson'.

******

Anon, I'm perfectly balanced - I have a hump AND a pot-belly.

******

Other Anon, I don't believe I have missed that point, I just don't think it's much of one. (And I've certainly addressed it before.) Tastes change based on what is provided. If you give people burgers, that's what they'll develop a taste for; however, some venison would be better for them.

As for Andy's art being popular with kids, I think we need to remember that, if so, it's only popular amongst a minority of those who actually read The Dandy, and there isn't enough of them to keep the comic going. Traditionally, the proportion of readers who actually write in to a comic are miniscule, so it's no great indication I'm afraid. Also, if the fact that it's 'popular' is due to it being perceived as a standard kids can emulate, then that's to damn it with faint praise in my opinion.

What are their strengths? I don't think they have any when it comes to sequential art. Both might be better suited to greetings cards or single gag cartoons. Smart has, on occasion, produced not bad single illustrations for covers, but his strips give me a headache.

And there's no 'hate' emanating from me - certainly not directed at individuals. Their artwork, yes - themselves, no.

And kindly address me as 'Your Highness' from now on.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Kid, many people often call you "that 'king Robson" when they've read your blog. :-D

Kid said...

Just so long as they do so in reverential tones. As Oscar said: "The only thing worse than being talked about..." (I'll let you finish it yourself.)

Andy Fanton said...

I just wanted to pop back in briefly as Kid's last comment has also irked me a tad, and I like the right to reply (and am grateful to get it).

The thing that so irked me this time is your dismissive tone when confronted with the possibility that ANYONE could possibly like my work. "It's no great indication, I'm afraid".

This is, to my mind, an incredibly mealy-mouthed attitude to take, and sort of ties in with what I was saying before about your inability to accept other people's opinions.

The fact is, there are countless times when kids have sent in their fan art of my characters to The Dandy, and I've also received lots of lovely emails and messages from youngsters, happy parents, and even adults who just like a laugh, all of which seem far from insignificant to me. If I'm able to make ANYONE happy with what I do, then that is not to be so easily dismissed just because it doesn't fit into your world view. It's what I set out to do when embarking upon this career, to hopefully elicit the same response in children to my comics as those that had inspired me as a youngster. And I am doing precisely that, it would seem, which makes me very pleased, and would suggest that I'm far from the total failure you like to portray so continuously.

I don't like the way you dismiss all that just so you can carry on your assertion/crusade that you know best and everyone else be damned.

I'm happy trying to bring a bit of fun and laughter to the readers, because after all that is what humour comics should entail. Just because it's not done to your taste does not negate any of that.

Cheers,

Andy.

(Also thanks to some of your commentators for their kind words and more even-handed critiques.)

Kid said...

Andy, I rather fear that you see only what you want to see. Someone ELSE suggested that perhaps the reason your art is popular with some kids might be because it looks like it was drawn by a youngster. Essentially, he was agreeing with me. I pointed out that if he's saying that your art is popular for that reason, then to do so was to damn it with faint praise.

And you're fast losing your credibility with me. You've already tried to slyly suggest that I might be trying to dissuade comic editors from employing you - now you're trying to hint (again) that I'm on a crusade. What? Two pages of your art on a couple of posts out of over 700? Gimme a break.

And let me tell you, I've drawn some sh*te in my time (as well as good stuff), and had it praised to the rafters by those who have no power of discernment as to what constitutes good art. Just because someone might like something is no serious indication of whether it's actually good or not, so you shouldn't get your head turned by a few Dandy readers. Remember, the comic's so popular it's being cancelled.

And you keep saying that I'm incapable of 'accepting' other people's opinions. That seems to suggest that you have an inability to accept that I'm entitled to disagree with them, which kind of puts you in the same boat.

I wouldn't be satisfied with 'others' liking my art. I'd only be happy when I knew it was as good as was possible for anyone to do. You said you respected my observations on your art, but your constant defence of its impoverished nature seems to suggest a great complacency to me.

I'm also slightly puzzled as to why you would even care what I think. If you didn't like my art (or lettering), I wouldn't care jack-squat. (Although I'd obviously think you were barking.)

Andy Fanton said...

Well, I'm going to have to go because your reply so widely missed the point of what I was trying to say that it almost beggars belief and proves debate is futile with you when you keep just crowbarring words that were never said into your responses to make a different point..

I was referring to this comment of yours regarding reader response: 'As for Andy's art being popular with kids, I think we need to remember that, if so, it's only popular amongst a minority of those who actually read The Dandy, and there isn't enough of them to keep the comic going. Traditionally, the proportion of readers who actually write in to a comic are miniscule [sic], so it's no great indication I'm afraid.' I found THAT mealy mouthed, not the other poster's comment about my style perhaps appealing to youngsters because of the way it's drawn.

And the crusade I mentioned was your crusade against people's differing viewpoints, as I thought I rather made clear by using these words: '... so you can carry on your assertion/crusade that you know best and everyone else be damned.'

As I said at the start, it's not your opinion that brought me here per say, I just felt that I had the right to reply as you had the right to sit there there slagging my work off again.

Also, I maintain I'm still learning my craft as I have said countless times so far, my umbrage with you is your incorrect assertion that I'm completely incompetent, when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary (all of which you dismiss to support your claim). I do take readers' views into account, funnily enough - it's who I'm drawing and writing for, at the end of the day. Imagine that! Why, even you're a reader, so if I am now to dismiss all reader feedback perhaps I should dismiss yours too? Maybe I shall.

All the best,

Andy.

Kid said...

Andy, the first paragraph of your above response is a perfect description of itself, but congratulations on qualifying as a first class pedant. Also, I think you'll find that 'miniscule' is actually spelt that way, so why the '(sic)'?

Anyway, you're splitting hairs. You'd previously suggested I was conducting a 'vendetta' against you, so your use of the word 'crusade' is just another example of that - despite your unconvincing protestations to the contrary. The 'main' subject is my CRITICISM of your art and your claim that I brook no dissention on the matter. Therefore, my opinion and my defence of it are inextricably linked, despite your attempts to separate them and attack them individually. You can't extract the subject from the context, nor divide one aspect of the same discussion from another. The paragraph you quote was a development of the same theme touched on earlier, and not unrelated as you seek (and fail) to suggest.

You may still be learning your craft, as you say, but you're doing so at the expense of depriving more seasoned professionals of work they'd do a better job on. I'd much rather see more pages by Nigel Parkinson, Steve Bright, or reprints of Charles Grigg than I would of either yours or Jamie Smart's unconvincing efforts.

Your don't really qualify as a proper sequential artist, being more of a 'doodler' who strings rudimentary pictures of talking heads together. Almost every panel looks the same, and one week's strip hardly looks different from another's. Look at the sparsity of detail throughout your Secret Agent Sir strip and please indicate where you've improved since you first started.

You've more or less admitted that you're using the 'tickled ears' effect as a litmus test as to whether your art is any good or not, but if you're using that as your standard then you need to find a more exacting one. People heaping idle and insincere praise upon you is no indication as to whether you cut the mustard.

However, you're also right in saying that people not liking your art is no proof of it being bad; but consider who I'm comparing you against - Baxendale, Nixon, Watkins, Parkinson, Harrison, Grigg, Bave, Hansen, Nadal (and I could go on and on) - and then measure yourself against them. If you're seriously telling me (or yourself) that you're within even a mile of the same league as them, then you're in desperate need of a dozen boxes of reality pills.

Don't worry 'though. Should you ever metamorphose from a catapillar into a butterfly, I'll be amongst the first to let you know.

Regards.

Andy Fanton said...

Kid, it's entirely possible to debate more than one point, a fact you seem yet to grasp.

Anyway, you're turning ever more histrionic and becoming even ruder, so I shall depart before you explode with rage or something. Plus, I've got work to do (I get paid to draw cartoons).

I'll go back to entertaining and amusing kids with some harmless, fun comics, and you stay here spitting bile and invective. If The Dandy is to become a 'ghost' when it hits the internet, I can only imagine what that currently makes you and your little corner of the web.

Take care,

Andy.

Andy Fanton said...

PS: If you can find proof that a) I've taken work from any of the artists you mentioned or b) that I said I was in the same league as any of the artists you mention, please bring it forth. If you can't, then kindly do not try to argue points that were never made. It makes you look a touch absurd.

Anonymous said...

Having read this exchange it appears the one needing the 'reality pills' is you Kid.


I appreciate that Fanton's work isn't to your tastes but when he tells you that it's popular with children, and you dismiss that as 'idle and insincere praise'.... that's crazy talk.


All through this Andy Fanton has been gracious and patient while your comments veer into spite and nastiness. "You don't really qualify as a proper sequential artist, being more of a 'doodler' who strings rudimentary pictures of talking heads together." being just one example of how insulting you've been.


This kinda thing happen every time someone questions your critiques or stands up for themselves. You actually seem INCAPABLE of accepting that your views might be flawed. It's very very strange to see. I'm wondering if there's something wrong with you or if you're on strong medication? That's how it's coming across now.


Take care of yourself.

Kid said...

What YOU seem unable to grasp, Andy, is that I never said it WASN'T possible to debate more than one point at a time. I was pointing out that your attempts to suggest I had 'widely missed the point of what (you) were trying to say' and the method by which you tried to do so were disinenguous ones. Sorry if it was over your head, although I doubt if such is really the case. It seems that performing intellectual somersaults when you get pinned down on a point just comes naturally to you. You really are one serious 'ducker and diver'. To no avail I'm afraid, as your back-pedals are all too obvious.

'Histrionic'? There you go again, trying to furtively plant your own little view of things in the readers' minds. Yes, it's probably better if you get back to drawing cartoons (for which you get paid - wow) for a comic that is being cancelled because not enough people in the whole of Britain actually like what you do. Must give you a real sense of accomplishment that you helped drive off half the readership, eh? Well done.

Funny thing is (and I'm sure that genuine followers of our little discussion will have taken note), I've mainly focussed on the art and not the man, whereas it is you who has now descended into 'spitting bile and invective' (another attempt at auto-suggestion, eh?) and making personal comments not related to the actual topic.

And there you go again. Just can't help it, can you? I never said that you had taken work from any specific artists - only ones who were more seasoned professionals than you (and let's face it, that's a wide number of candidates). The names I did mention were only those whose work I would prefer to see rather than yours. Honest, it really is there in black and white. And you accuse me of obtuseness?

Again, I never actually said that you HAD claimed you were in the same league as the artists I listed. Go back and read it again. The clue is in the word 'IF'. What followed was a hypothetical scenario to underpin the fact that, in my opinion, you most assuredly are not in that league. But why do I bother explaining as if you're actually unaware I was using a turn of phrase to make a point? You're certainly a bit of a word gymnast, that's for sure. Which is what makes YOU look MORE than a touch absurd.

And now it seems you're bringing in your mum as back-up. Or didn't you have the guts to put your own name to the last sly dig? Let's be kind and assume it's someone with their own axe to grind, who's exploiting the opportunity to get some kicks in at me under your shadow. Definitely sounds like a weirdo 'though, who's not quite in touch with reality.

Nevertheless, as far as being on 'strong medication' goes, if a normal person had his artwork 'slagged off' on some obscure corner of the internet, they wouldn't give a toss. Yet here you are, back time after time, and seriously coming across as an emotional, highly-strung soul who isn't robust enough to withstand criticism from someone you don't even know.

What are you going to do for your next trick? Track down all those former readers who abandoned The Dandy because they didn't like your work (and that of others) and send them a strong email? You know, after seeing how obsessive you can be over the comments of a total stranger, it really wouldn't surprise me.

Keep taking the tablets.

Toodle-pip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a mil for proving my poinyt by getting even nastier Kid. You say not enough people like Andy's cartoons? It's a higher number than those who like YOUR stiff, dead eyed unfunny drawings thats for sure. And that's what REALLY bugs you yes? That an artist whose work you despise is far more popular than you. Goodnight.

Kid said...

Could that be a whiff of sea air I detect? H'mm.

I really shouldn't be arguing with an obvious idiot, but you HAVE no point. I doubt there's even one to your existence.

However, one three panel cartoon I did for a local business almost 20 years ago had a far bigger audience than a stack of recent Dandys. What's more, I got paid more for it than Dandy artists earn per page nowadays. Also, the only thing I despise is mediocrity, and unfortunately you seem to fall within that category.

You do realise that your rabid and aggressive support of Andy does him no favours, yes? (H'mm, lights out, nobody home.)

Andy Fanton said...

Well: " I never said that you had taken work from any specific artists".

Yet: "You may still be learning your craft, as you say, but you're doing so at the expense of depriving more seasoned professionals of work they'd do a better job on. I'd much rather see more pages by Nigel Parkinson, Steve Bright, or reprints of Charles Grigg than I would of either yours or Jamie Smart's unconvincing efforts."

Also: " I never actually said that you HAD claimed you were in the same league as the artists I listed."

Yet: "If you're seriously telling me (or yourself) that you're within even a mile of the same league as them, then you're in desperate need of a dozen boxes of reality pills."

See, that's why it's hard discussing things with you, because you say one thing and then backtrack the next even though it's there in print. And if they ARE just hypothetical points, then what's the purpose of them? We're not discussing imagined scenarios here, just one thing - your need to slag off my work in two postings (and some comments) in such a short span of time all of a sudden. All I wanted was a right to reply, as I believe in standing up for oneself, but from the off you've been rather paranoid and a mite hysterical, firstly trying to make out this is all somehow linked to some past we have (!) to your repeated cries that I'm trying to 'influence' your readers or 'lay subtle thoughts' into their minds. Bizarre.

And I felt you were becoming even ruder and more aggressive as the exchanges went on (from claiming I 'don't really qualify as a proper sequential artist, being more of a 'doodler' who strings rudimentary pictures of talking heads together', to the aforementioned paranoid accusations, to suggesting I need to take 'reality pills' and so forth...I've tried to be civil throughout, and just repeat the point thusly: I get you don't like my work, but to label me an outright failure is disingenuous and rude, and quite contrary to other evidence I can muster. Yet rather take a moment to think that I, or any of these other people, could in any way have a valid point is swept aside by your incessant rage and bile. But the fact remains: you are actually incorrect, because I HAVE succeeded in a number of ways, and have not failed entirely as you purport. That's simply a fact, backed up with evidence (imagine that!), whereas yours is opinion masquerading as fact.

So, ultimately, I've realised it's pointless to proceed, and while I might have been a bit curt in my parting words, it only reflected the lack of grace the host deemed to bestow upon me.

Take care Kid. The modern world may be confusing and awful to you, and I see you cling to the past a lot in your posts, but really life can still be pretty good if you stop scowling at it through a monitor.

- Andy.

PS: No, I'm not one of the anonymous commentators, either (more paranoia!) I've put my name to my comments, and am no more anonymous than you are one of the posters on the hate pages with a predilection for linking to this blog and your artwork.

Kid said...

Andy, I find it hard to believe that anyone can be so obtuse, so I can't help but consider the possibility that you're deliberately distorting what I wrote, which, if so, marks you out as a seriously devious individual. All because I don't like your art? Okay, I'll indulge your nonsense, the better to illustrate how absurd you're being.

Let's look at what I actually said, and your distortions of it, shall we?

1) "You may still be learning your craft, as you say, but you're doing so at the expense of depriving more seasoned professionals of work they'd do a better job on."

2) "I never said that you had taken work from any specific artists".

See? No specific names of any seasoned professionals in #1). Now, see that full stop after the first sentence? That's an important factor, yet you insist on trying to interpret the above two quotes as contradictory, using the quote below as justification.

3) "I'd much rather see more pages by Nigel Parkinson, Steve Bright, or reprints of Charles Grigg than I would of either yours or Jamie Smart's unconvincing efforts."

4) "The names I did mention were only those whose work I would prefer to see rather than yours. Honest, it really is there in black and white."

And there you are again, wilfully ignoring my perfectly reasonable and honest explanation of what I was doing, and attributing a 'backtracking' action that exists only in your mind. Are you really unable to see the distinction? Let me try and make it as simple as possible. (Although I thought I had.)

The names I mentioned (one of whom is retired and whose work would only be available in the form of reprints) are - AS CLEARLY STATED - artists whose work I would RATHER SEE than yours. There was no SPECIFIC intention to suggest that ANY OF THOSE PARTICULAR ARTISTS (one of whom is 95 and retired, remember) were ACTUAL ARTISTS you had deprived of work. That's YOUR INFERENCE, not what I was ACTUALLY SAYING. As one of the artists is retired, how could you be depriving him of work? Do you see how your assertion doesn't bear even the mildest scrutiny? I'll say it again as you seem rather hard-of-thinking - The artists named are artists whose work I'd RATHER SEE, not NAMED EXAMPLES of those deprived of work by a less accomplished artist being given pages to do.

Is that clear enough for you? Or are you still going to persist in misinterpreting my words?

I've run out of space, I'll continue in the next comment.

Kid said...

I really shouldn't be catering to your obtuseness (if that's what it really is), but I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt in the matter. Let's look at your next 'misunderstanding'.

5) "If you're seriously telling me (or yourself) that you're within even a mile of the same league as them, then you're in desperate need of a dozen boxes of reality pills."

6) "Again, I never actually said that you HAD claimed you were in the same league as the artists I listed. Go back and read it again. The clue is in the word 'IF'. What followed was a hypothetical scenario to underpin the fact that, in my opinion, you most assuredly are not in that league."

It seems to me that #6) explains #5), but yet again you seem incapable of seeing it. You had just spent several posts defending your presence in The Dandy. In order to make the point that the quality of your art isn't as good as that of others, I said that IF - which is not a DEFINITE STATEMENT, but the CONSIDERATION OF A POSSIBILITY - you think you were in the same league, you were deluding yourself. The POINT was NOT HYPOTHETICAL, but the means of making it was - in the same way as an analogy - or even a parable - serves the same purpose. But yet again you seize the wrong end of the stick. One is compelled to wonder if it's the result of being overly pedantic or overly obtuse. Or are you merely exercising your imagined debating skills?

As for the rest of your ridiculous fantasies - or malicious suggestions - ('paranoid', 'hysterical', 'bizarre', 'incessant rage and bile', etc.) I won't dignify them with a reply. It's all-too obvious what your purpose is and it does you no credit.

Even allowing for the possibility that you initially TRIED to be civil, the fact is you FAILED, what with your distortion (wilfull or otherwise) of my words, to say nothing of your insistence on seeing only that which you want to.

Case in point: You claim I have labelled you an 'outright failure'. Okay, let's take a leaf out of your book. Show me where I said that. I never called you a failure at any point. You may be very successful for all I know (or actually care), with more money than God, but what I ACTUALLY said was that you're not a very good artist. I even gave a SPECIFIC, DETAILED ANALYSIS of WHY you're not, which seems pretty good evidence to me. Tracy Emin is a hugely successful artist, but the fact remains that she's sh*te! (Unmade beds and tents with lovers' names - art? Gimme a break.) Wouldn't surprise me if you were her #1 fan.

As for the rest of your patronising and condescending whittering, I'm fast losing interest, but I'll conclude by reminding you that, regardless of how many people may like your art (and tell you so), it really doesn't qualify as EVIDENCE that you're actually any good. And that IS a fact!

All the best.

Kid said...

Another thing: Earlier, you were trying to suggest I was conducting a 'prolonged vendetta' against you. This absurd notion was based on two blog posts (out of 700) and one reference in my comments section - yet, incredibly, you attempt to insinuate 'paranoia' on my part. Pot calling kettle?

Your comments, although superficially polite, display a determination to distort what I'm actually saying, inviting a response which you then use as justification to ascribe motivations of your own invention to what prompts my critique of your art.

Here's a sample of your more way-out suggestions, both actual and possible.

1) I'm 'targeting' you.

2) I'm trying to ensure that no one hires you.

3) I'm trying to crush your spirit.

4) I've claimed you are an 'outright failure'.

Wow! Rein it in there, fella.

You spoke at one point of 'patterns emerging'. One of the patterns I detect in those who obsessively return to my blog again and again to disagree with me, is that they persistently seek to undermine the validity of my opinion by means of the following sly and subtle suggestions: I'm paranoid, disturbed, irrational, on medication, out of touch with modern trends, etc., etc.

I think the fact that these personal (and unfounded) attacks are largely from 'prima donna professionals' who are unable to deal with even the slightest criticism of their talents (real or imagined) speaks volumes.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that they're so used to fawning, sycophantic praise and flattery, that they come to believe their own 'press'. When someone like myself punctures the pomposity of their pretensions, they don't know how to deal with it and resort to casting doubt on the rationality of anyone who dares to point out that the 'Emperor' is, in fact, 'naked'.

All through this 'debate' I have reacted with good humour; not once have I been 'aggressive', or resorted to 'incessant rage and bile', and I believe that the majority of my comments have been reasonably gracious.

I can quite see why someone might see my honest (and informed) critique of their art as being 'rude', but that's never been my intention. Calling a spade a spade (or a doodler a doodler) is merely to express the truth as I see it. Any mature professional would simply laugh it off, not return again and again to argue the case as to why he's actually good. (Which amounts to no more than 'because people tell me I am and enjoy my work'.) In the real world, popularity is no proof of capability and anyone who thinks otherwise is bound to be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else read Kid's three part reply there and think Andy might have hit the nail on the head with his comments? Wow...

Anonymous said...

Kid, you obviously don't know it but your attitude HAS been rude and aggressive from the outset. Imagine if Andy and Jamie were guests at a Glasgow convention or mart you attended. Would you have walked up to them and said the things about their work that you've posted in your review above? Really? Is that how you conduct yourself in life? No? So why do you think it's acceptable on a blog?

You're working from the assumption that comic pros are "so used to fawning, sycophantic praise and flattery, that they come to believe their own 'press'" and that it's your mission to "puncture the pomposity of their pretensions". Sorry Kid but that assumption is WRONG for most artists, definitely in Fanton and Smart's case. Most comic artists are far from pompous. Just the opposite, they're often humble, insecure people trying their best for the very best reasons (to entertain).

So it's no wonder that when you come along sticking the boot in that they react and the discussion never finds a resolution. As long as you continue to mis-read people you'll never understand their p.o.v.

The staggering thing about your comments above are that you never relent. Not once. You could have saved a lot of hassle by simply saying "Sorry Andy. It wasn't my intention to hurt your feelings. Just my opinion. Good luck." - but no, you become even more aggressive and rude, as though you find the very notion of someone defying you to be an insult.

There's one person in this whole debate who needs his "pomposity punctured" Kid, and I'm afraid it's you, not the artists or their supporters. Not that I expect my comment to make the slightest difference to your world-view sadly.

Kid said...

I find it extremely telling that out of 53 comments, only 2 people (other than myself and Andy) have had the guts to put a name to them. That's why I have a hard time taking anonymous snipers seriously. Look at the one above for example. (We'll ignore the feeble squeak from the delinquent which preceded it for the moment.)

I certainly dispute the fact that my attitude has been rude and aggressive - because I know the attitude I had when I made my comments, and it doesn't tally with the one you seek to suggest I had. I've found that whenever someone opines on some controversial topic, dissenters always resort to accusations of 'rudeness and aggression' (and a lot more besides) in order to try and diminish the argument of those with whom they disagree.

As for your fanciful Glasgow convention example, it doesn't hold water for the following reasons. Critics, when they go to the theatre, do not regale the actors with their thoughts on the play and performances from the auditorium in the middle of proceedings; they go home and type them up for publication in the newspaper the next day. To suggest, as you have, that I dance around the immature and delicate sensitivities of poor, misunderstood artists who only want to be loved by not saying anything which might hurt their feelings is ridiculous.

And I do understand Andy's point of view, I really do. Like some of the rather sad individuals we see on the X-Factor who believe that they're the next best thing, he clearly has a need to have his 'talents' recognised and acknowledged. That's why he's spent a great deal of time and effort, coming back to this post time after time, to convince me I'm wrong and that his artistic genius has provided joy and laughter to countless (actually, we know the numbers) children and adults for ever such a long time now. How could such a nasty person as me ever take issue with him? BAD KId.

Only one problem 'though: he ain't very good at what he does. Should he worry what people (me included) think of him? Not a bit of it. Instead, however, he launches himself into a prolonged 'back and forth' with me in an attempt to wear me down and make me admit that there just might be some merit to his art after all. His energies would've been better spent in trying to improve, if you ask me.

Crap is crap, and I make no apologies for saying so. I'm fed up of the modern, mealy-mouthed protestations that there is value in just about anything, and that a turd on a plate is just as valid an artistic expression as a painting by Constable or Rembrandt.

As for being relentless, yeah sure, I am - in the face of unrelenting attempts by Andy to persuade me I'm wrong, accompanied by distortions, sly suggestions, and a refusal to even wonder, just for a moment, as to whether there may be any validity in my observations.

As for finding 'the very notion of somebody defying (me) to be an insult', I think that rather applies to Andy and some of his supporters. How very dare I not like his artwork? That someone can't seem to tolerate the slightest bit of criticism on some obscure corner of the internet, and feels the need to argue the toss with a complete stranger, simply because he finds the very notion that someone not liking his art to be an insult - well, that's where the real pomposity lies.

Well, I've allowed you all to vent your skewed perceptions to a wider audience and try and portray me as some unbalanced ogre who bites the head off innocent virgins - all for not being able to see the suit of 'invisible artist clothes' that Andy feels entitled to adorn himself with. Feel much better now, do we? Good. We can't be allowed to go around offending delicate sensibilities with the truth now, can we?

I now return you to cloud-cuckoo land.

Anonymous said...

I actually feel sorry for you Kid. You obviously believe what you say but the fact is you simply mis-read people, time and time again.

Evidently you can't help that but the strange thing is that even when people try to clarify the situation you still won't accept it.

You're obviously a very intelligent man but there's something skewed about your perceptions of people. You're more to be pitied than blamed I guess as such a view must make you quite unhappy at times. It does explain why you find comfort in nostalgia though. Keep well.

Kid said...

You may feel as sorry for me as you wish, it won't bother me none.

But thanks for providing yet another classic example of just what I was talking about.

You masquerade under the guise of politeness and civility, while 'surreptitiously' dropping your little depth-charges of facetious put-downs and thinly-veiled insults. Par for the course I'm afraid, and this comments section is littered with such examples. Rather than loading my remarks with 'booby-traps', I prefer to take a more direct approach and just say what needs to be said. That's what some people can't stand, it seems - the neglected qualities of honesty and frankness without all the pussy-footing around favoured by other more cowardly souls.

The real problem is that I read people only too well, resulting in them seeking comfort in the delusion of self-denial. That's when they resort to hurling their bricks from behind the non-accountable cover of the anonymous option. If I wanted to indulge in the same facetiousness as you, I'd say I felt sorry for you - but to be honest, I don't give a toss.

I'm far too busy enjoying myself and laughing at the pathetic pretensions that pervade responses to posts such as this. Unhappy? Who could be unhappy when there are folks such as you around to provide such fine amusement?

Oh, my sides hurt.

Brian said...

You say that Andy's energies would've been better spent in trying to improve, if you ask me

thats the problem no one ASKED you.


According to Comics uk the Dandy editor is now the Beano editor I suppose you'll be complaining about that next.

Kid said...

'Brian', eh? You might as well have used the anonymous option.

I think you'll find this is MY blog. Consequently, I don't need to be asked. But, IF you HAD asked me, that's what I'd have said.

As for The Beano, should the new editor reduce it to the level of The Dandy, you can rest assured I'll have something to say about it. Hopefully, common sense will prevail.

However, that's some system DCT operates; reward failure with 'promotion' to a better publication than the one you just ruined? Jammy b*gger, eh?

Anonymous said...

Kid look at the times of your posts. You've been at it over 24 hours. Get some sleep and perhaps you'll be less paranoid.

A mug of horlicks might help. Sweet dreams.

Kid said...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

Had a perfectly fine sleep, thanks - fresh as a daisy.

(Don't give up the day job.)

Anonymous said...

Between 10.58pm on 21st Nov and 4.29am today you only had a gap of a few mintes to a few hours between each comment you posted. Asuming you had a break for eating and having a crap it doesn't leave you much time for sleep. Or for any real life responsibilities or fun come to think of it. Pity.

Kid said...

Hark at the loser who spends his time calculating how much time I've got for a sleep and a dump! Nothing better do, eh? A few hours is more than enough time for a sleep. You obviously pamper yourself too much.

(Where do these people come from?)

Anonymous said...

I asumed you took time for a dump but you prolly didn't being an anal retentive. lol


Back to comics. Your asumption is that Dandy lost readers because of Andy and Jamie's strips **but** the evidence is that kids **like** their work **so** it must have been other strips that put them off **if** that was was made the sales fall.

Mr Straightman said...

Damn, some people out there are so thin-skinned they're virtually transparent...

Anonymous. said...

Kid, your comments may seem "honest and frank" to you but they things you said about Andy Fanton are plain rude and insulting to most rational people. Too bad you'll never understand social graces. :-(

Kid said...

Anal retentive? "Always hang onto your ass!", my pappy used to say.

Back to comics. Not just Andy and Jamie, but they're the worst offenders. And how do you come to your conclusion? The kids that like their work are obviously amongst the remaining readers - not the 7 thousand-plus who abandoned ship.

******

Mr. Straightman, I think we can now see why the comic became so juvenile in the last couple of years - we're dealing with 'children' here.

******

Above anon, even if it were true (which it's not), who taught you that it's okay to point out other people's shortcomings? Stones and glass houses anyone?

Anonymous said...

Ay, we know you don't give a sh*t Kid, as the times of your postings proved! :-D

Anonymous. said...

On Mr.Straighman's blog (under his real name of LEE JAMES TURNOCK) he claims he didn't set up the hate page against Andy Fanton. BULL! He used his alias of Johnny Vespa to do it. It has since been removed for reasons of abuse.

This is the sort of guy Kid Robson thinks is a 'Jolly Good Judge of Character' folks. Both Turnock and Robson are bitter failed comic artists with chips the size of an asteroid on their shoulders. Yes indeed.

Kid said...

Someone seems perversely interested in my personal ablutions. A special kind of 'doctor' can help you with that.

******

Should Mr. Turnock think, as I do, that you're a bit of an @rseh*le, I would certainly concede that he is indeed a jolly good judge of character.

Also, you can only fail at what you try to achieve. Never having actively pursued a career in professional comics as an artist (although I've done a fair wee bit in my time), I can hardly be said to have failed, now can I?

There's your 'supporters' for you Andy - you must be so proud.

Greg Thompson said...

These anon comments are a disgrace. Kid made some valid points about someone's art and all he's had are sarcastic comments filled with insults and bile. The artist should have defended his art without trying to smear Kid with personal attacks on his character. He's lost all sympathy with me from now on. I don't see any aggression in Kid's remarks, only witty and humorous responses to nasty, vindictive trolls. It's time you all grew up.

Kid said...

Very astute of you, Greg. I can honestly say that I've written every response in good-humour, with no aggression or malice intended.

However, when some people feel threatened by an opinion they don't share (or insulted that someone has the 'temerity' to hold one different to their own), they try and invalidate it by demonising the person who has expressed said opinion.

Hence insidious insinuations about what motivates the person with whom they disagree, and sly suggestions designed to influence others' perceptions as to the kind of individual their designated opponent must be.

Note the following picture that certain persons have tried to paint of me. That I'm...

Enraged, incensed, histrionic, paranoid, hysterical, aggressive, full of incessant rage and bile - and, ironically, unable to accept other people's opinions. (Think on that last one for a moment.)

Merely to write such things is to implant that impression in the minds of anyone reading them; that's why I call such behaviour insidious. It's designed to portray me in the kind of light that the person who wrote them wants you to see me, the better to dismiss my views.

Consider also the irony. I am accused of being unable to accept other people's opinions - by those (despite their claims to the contrary) who are palpably incapable of accepting mine.

I have published every single comment submitted to this post, good, bad, or indifferent. I seriously doubt that there is another blog on the interenet which would do likewise. And don't be fooled by the 25-odd anonymous comments that seem to indicate my opinion is uninformed; most of them come from only a handful of people at the very most.

As I said, I have, in the main, framed my responses in an amiable frame of mind and with my tongue not too far removed from my cheek, but this seems to have escaped my detractors, who insist on seeing only what they wish to.

Although sometimes coated with a veneer of politeness, dig beneath the surface and you will see the comments of my 'opponents' for what they are: the obsessive, facetious, sarcastic, spiteful and vindictive bellowings of those who simply can't tolerate anyone disagreeing with them.

A very funny business indeed.

Anonymous said...

A couple of the anon comments, such as the very first, were inapproriate and rude to you Kid but over all you are not the victim here. Some of those observations were bang on so trying to turn the situation around to portray your self as hard done to is misleading. Don't dish it out if you cant take it.

Kid said...

Interesting that your comments went to my Spam file, which I normally delete automatically. However, I publish your remarks merely to illustrate the truth of my earlier observations. And I'm certainly not trying to portray myself as any kind of 'victim'. I do not see myself as a victim, but the fact is - there are NO victims here. This post was purely about the deficiencies in a couple of inferior pages of art - until people like yourself sought to turn it into something personal.

Neither do I see myself as 'hard done to' - that's yet another example of you misrepresenting the situation. The fact is, if I couldn't 'take it' (as you suggest with your tendency to resort to the language of the playground), I wouldn't be publishing remarks like yours, now would I?

I'm afraid that, despite the determined efforts of a few obsessed individuals like yourself to impose your own view of the matter onto the facts, the reality of the situation is very much against you.

Mr Straightman said...

"Johnny" Vespa? Dear oh dear.
I think one of the talentless rough copyists who are currently running around in ever decreasing circles trying to defend a once-great comic as it coughs its last following a spectacularly ill-advised reworking could do with a few reading lessons.