Yes, my blog name is a pun twist on Poul Anderson’s The Trouble With Twisters.
With that out of the way…
Yesterday saw another instance where former DC Comic Artist Ethan Van Sciver spent the entirety of his day attacking me.
I announced the hiring of comic artist George Alexopoulos in the morning to do my next comic cover, and apparently Ethan has some beef with this artist because it caused him to go ballistic.
He spent more than a dozen tweets deriding Flying Sparks as “low quality”, which is ironic because he spent hours on his livestream telling people to buy it and how great it was before he decided to make a political wedge issue out of me personally.
Naturally, hundreds of his followers engage, acting like I did something to him by taking exception to his relentless attacks on him. They don’t pay attention, don’t see what was actually going on, don’t see that this is a jealous man who’s upset because readers respond so well to my writing — when he knows his writing is not up to par professionally.
It’s been like this a lot with comic professional artists. They have this disdain for writers because they feel like they spend more hours on a book than we do (which is true), but they also know we get a lot of credit because without what we do, there isn’t a story, you have a glorified sketch book like Cyberfrog Bloodhoney.
I’ve tried to talk to Ethan many times, but he plays for likes on Twitter. And the trouble with twitter is the likes encourage this behavior. People come to see the bloodsports, and so when he attacks my book, his audience gets riled up. He’s incentivized by the like system to do it, gets dopamine hits and continues to do so because it feels good.
It’s a short-sighted thing, though. It looks bad for someone with such a large platform to be targeting and attacking indie creators like myself who are productive, come out with books people enjoy, and don’t engage in the nonsense. Over time, it peels people from his base a few at a time, and it will dwindle, not grow because of it.
You can’t get people to see long-term business strategy though, especially folk who have no business experience to begin with. It’s all about the short term — and nothing is more short term than likes.
It’s sad to watch a grown man play for likes from a bunch of low-status anonymous males. Something I’d never do.
But I can’t let it slow me down. I’ve got a lot of books to produce. Starting with The Steam Knight, which is available for Pre-Order now, out Monday. Read now.