One Punch Reviews #44: So… You’re A Cartoonist?

Have you every run into a bitter person who will talk your ear off about all their problems whether or not you actually want to listen? Will that person rant and rant and rant, and at some point say that they’re speaking their minds, and if no one speak up, then who will? But really, everything they’re complaining about is trivial? And that person is really just goddamn annoying?

Put it in webcomic form, and you get Andrew Dobson’s So … You’re a Cartoonist? This comic, by the way, was introduced me by a message board thread devoted to making fun of Ctrl+Alt+Del, who were bowled over by its horribleness despite being amongst the most jaded webcomic readers on the internet.

It’s the sort of comic where Mr. Dobson draws a handsome, reasonable Star Trek cosplayer and contrasts him with football fans, who are all drooling, homophobic retards. Which, as a fan of both Star Trek and football, I find irritating as hell. But you gotta understand… he’s only speaking his mind! If you stereotype nerds, he’s going to stereotype jocks! How edgy is that?

You know what else he doesn’t get? Final Fantasy! Seinfeld! People who get upset over how much he likes Other M! Ladies and gentlemen, this is what modern day nerds will look like an a few decades when they look like grumpy old men. Makes you sorta respect your elders for their whole “I used to walk uphill to school in cold, freezing weather” thing, which sounds hardcore in retrospect.

Then again, Dobson seems like the sort of grouch who’s only happy when he’s mad. Pretty much most of this comic is him complaining about people approaching him at conventions, people not buying his book, robble robble robble. Now, I understand that complaining about a webcomic for being whiny may sound a little hypocritical, since here I am writing a negative review about a webcomic. But, Good Lord, I’d like to think that I haven’t sunk so low to the point where I’ve drawn a comic about a real life flame war you had over whether or not Ocarina of Time was the greatest Zelda game or not.

I repeat… a comic about a flame war over The Legend of Zelda.

When Dobson gets into his earlier life, it becomes incredibly apparent that he’s the sort of guy who just will not let anything go. Did someone kick over his brilliant sand drawing when he was a kid? He’s still mad about that. Seriously, he’s totally going to unfriend you on Facebook because of it. Seriously, at some point, you want to take the guy aside and say, “Dude… get over yourself.”

Of course, Dobson is also the sort of guy who excuses his confessionals with an “If you do nothing, nothing will happen!” Which… really makes him just as bad as all the childhood bullies and manga lovers he complains about non-stop. Hilariously, there’s a strip where our hero thinks that if he stops being angry, he won’t be funny … which mistakenly assumes that the comic was ever funny in the first place.

Incidentally, are you wondering if I wrote this review to one day make it into Andrew Dobson’s comic? Get real. But I have a feeling it’s coming. Some things, it seems, just get his goat.

Rating: 1 star (out of 5).

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on March 24, 2011, in 1 Star, comedy webcomic, manga style webcomic, One Punch Reviews, slice-of-life webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 93 Comments.

  1. Honestly, I think he’s creating this strip as just a way of venting about the frustrations of cartooning. It’s a cartoonist’s cartoon. I think it’s at its strongest when the strip is poking fun at its creator simultaneously, when it shows moments of self-awareness, acknowledges: “Yes, the cartoonist is hypocritical and elitist sometimes.” Speaking as a cartoonist, I think we’ve all got a little bit of So You’re a Cartoonist inside of us, and if the guy wants to actually let that out on the internet…well, maybe minus ten for tact, but at least he’s honest, right?

    I dunno. I enjoyed my archive trawl, but it’s good to hear a differing opinion and maybe take note of some things that slipped my attention.

    • The thing that annoyed me most was about how petty most of the complaints seem, and how a lot of them are framed as being refreshing insights. It’s true that he also seems to be aware of this… but honestly, I think most obnoxious people are that way too. Being self-aware doesn’t forgive that.

    • It’s not a cartoonist’s cartoon, not even slightly. The title gives it away: it’s a wannabe cartoonist’s cartoon.

  2. THANK YOU. I couldn’t have worded this better myself. There’s a place for rants like his, and it is Livejournal (preferably locked). It’s not like he can’t have an opinion, and some of the things he writes about are a perspective into the comic-making lifestyle that perhaps readers aren’t aware of. But most of his strips just come off as rants about anyone who doesn’t think exactly like him. I find it extremely hypocritical and off-putting.

    The sad part is that I think he has another comic that is actually a comic, and not an endless complaint about how people are different and bad…. and his attitude in SYAC makes me 100% disinclined to read any of it.

    • I think that different people react differently to text and images. Over the last nine years I’ve read webcomic creators complaining on Live Journal or other blog sites about how people in cons and on the Internet treat them and their work . Each time I read that kind of lament I had the impression that they were thin skinned emotional types who should avoid cons and anyplace with Webcomic criticism on the Internet. If you can’t stand the heat, keep away from the kitchen. I had little sympathy for them.

      On the other hand, when I read “So you’re a cartoonist?” (I discovered it last week) it brought a smile to my face and I felt a lot of sympathy towards that guy. He was being mistreated and somehow he managed to put a fun spin to it. It also made me think that other Web caroonists were probably being mistreated too. Here they are, giving us some great comics for free and people dump on them!

      So, the cartoon version of the same kind of complaints reached me in a different way that the text-only version had, and made me more sensitive to the plight of all Web cartoonists in general.

      • Sorry– I just want to clarify. You think that a person voicing a complaint on a personal forum is less annoying than someone doing the same thing on a much larger public scale, and directed at his readers (and ostensibly, his customers)? And that he deserves sympathy for it?

        I know a boatload of webcomic artists (most of them make a living from their work) who keep their opinions to themselves or on very private forums, simply because they understand how extremely unprofessional it is to complain about potential customers. If you are a true cartoonist, that means sucking it up and learning to deal with the occasional loudmouth, stalker, table-side hover-er, etc. It’s an unavoidable part of putting your work out in the public eye. Making a whiny comic about normal things, like people looking and not buying, makes you sound like an oversensitive baby who needs coddling.

        Glad you got something out of it though. And I hope it makes you appreciate the artists who go through this regularly and focus on the highs instead of fixating on the lows and making a scene.

        • I find that over the last nine years the three dozen or so webcomic artists (yes, you’re included in that three dozen) that I “follow” have been on the whole very polite and restrained in their blogs, tweets and other public writings. I appreciate the fact that they do not throw mud at their readers, or at each other.

          The important thing here is that through the “magic” of art I did not feel that the creator of “So you’re a cartoonist?” was throwing mud at me.

          There is a lot of subjective feeling on my part here. I found several of the “So you’re a cartoonist?” autobiographical comics very funny, most entertaining, and I found that none of them were “whiny” . I am aware that others might not see it that way. After all this is art and art can be open to different interpretations. Our host once published a long review of an action-adventure SF webcomic (about ancient earth mythology and the influence of aliens in it) which I had found to be utterly worthless in all possible ways. To my great surprise he had found some redeeming qualities in it and given it three points! The surprise was great because I “agree” with him very strongly 95% of the time. Well, that’s art. Some readers/viewers can see some things that some readers/viewers do not. Some readers/viewers can be nauseated by a certain stylistic approach to science fiction (that aliens in ancient earth thing) that others find “normal”, and so on…

          I wonder if it is because of the presence of visual art that I find this exaggerated cartoon version of the experiences of the “typical” webcomic artist to be more palatable and in some cases very enjoyable, while the simple text versions left me cold. Am I relatively insensitive to literature? Less sensitive to the written word? Even in its most humble form, the lowly tweet, any small Web text can be a form of literature. Yet I do not feel as entertained or deeply touched by it, in an immediate way. Again, this is a personal thing. But am I alone in this?

          • Your kind reaction about this artist is very comprehensible. I bet it would be different if you knew a little bit more about Andrew Dobson / Tom Preston. If you dig a little bit around, you’ll find a trail of drama everywhere he goes. I’ve followed this guy’s history for several years now and, believe me, what you’ve read on El Santo’s review is just a tiny glimpse of the huge drama whore that is Mr Preston. The drama is still going strong as i’m typing this ;).

            In other words, yes, he is throwing mud at you.

            Andrew Dobson is one of the best examples out there on how-not-to-be-a-professional-artist.
            Seriously.

            Best regards,
            Ced the Bear.

            PS : if you’re interested, i can send you some links about the story of our friend Dobby. If you’re really want to understand what’s goin’on with him, you’ll love it. But, be warned, it’s not a pleasant ride.

  3. You done did it, El Santo. You have litterally found THE WHITEST WHITE PERSON COMIC IN THE ENTIRE CAUCASIANVERSE.

  4. El Santo, it is entirely possible that you may end up in his comic for giving his strip a low rating.

  5. I actually saw him post his strips on deviantart. They seem to be getting quite bit of attention. It doesn’t mean that they’re good, just saying that it attracts some traffic.

  6. more like ALL things get his goat. After awhile it gets kind of fun to watch the angry bearded man shout angrily… like some kind of small yapping dog, with a beard.

  7. Here’s my problem with the author. In the comic, he depicts himself as a dogged nice guy who’s friendly toward everyone who meets him, but each and every comic is either about complaining about trivial matters or lashing out against anyone who dares criticize him by straw manning (misrepresenting other peoples’ opinions), leading me to believe deep down under that nice guy exterior is a bitter old man who deeply resents many people and flat out refuses to learn more about what he doesn’t understand. Also, that facebook thing…isn’t he in is twenties or thirties now? Hasn’t he realized the possibility that other people have *gasp* matured and want to make amends!? What’s ironic about that strip is it shows how he himself has or is unable to move on from childhood trauma while his classmates have.

    Also, I have a feeling you’re going to end up on a future strip. He just seems like that sort of person.

    • To the comic about facebook – I must say, I have been insulted and bullied by people at school. And one of them suddenly found me on the Internet two or three years ago. I have never ever talked to this person because all he did was destroy my stuff, batter me and insult me. And then he came on this Internetsite like “Hey, be my friend on my list” … no. I don’t accept those people as friends either. This is not about trauma, but I only accept people on “friends” lists that I like. I don’t want to know what happened to this person, no matter if he became a nice guy or not. He had several years of school to make an impression. And that’s all.

      • On the other hand, you’re also not making a comic about it and then proudly displaying it to the internet.

        • Yeah but if it wasn’t there, we wouldn’t be relating to it and having this conversation would we? I enjoyed it. Despite the critical review. Yeah there’s hypocrisy, etc etc. Lots of work does outside of Dobson. Nothing new here.

      • Yeah, I didn’t really see what the big deal was about that one. I wouldn’t blame anybody for not wanting to accept a friend request from a childhood tormentor. It would be different if the person came up to him irl and seemed to be changed and decent, and he just blew them off. But with a friend request out-of-the-blue on facebook, it doesn’t have as much significance. Although it seems like he holds a grudge, since it DID come across as a significant thing to him in the strip (the extensive imagery, the fact that he made a comic about it…).

    • yah, this is a pretty humorless protagonist for a humor comic to have.

      guy can cartoon, though, nice expressions and character design.

      • He cannot tell a joke to save his life, and about the art, well, it’s just a barely decent rip-off of Rumiko Takahashi’s characters (Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku).

    • “Hasn’t he realized the possibility that other people have *gasp* matured and want to make amends!?”

      Unless they were friends from a falling out, no such thing.

  8. Hmm, I didn’t think the comic was amazing, but I think you were a bit harsh on him. The Facebook strip for example, wasn’t so much about him bitching about some guy he doesn’t like, but rather him pointing out the ridiculousness of having your old (I don’t want to say enemies because it sounds so melodramatic) add you on facebook. A solid joke in my opinion, even if the delivery wasn’t fantastic.

    One thing I can’t get past, however, is that smile he makes when he comes out on top of a situation. Ugh.

  9. Seriously, he’s totally going to unfriend you on Facebook because of it.

    I see this as a valid response to anyone who annoys you.

    • Wilbur Orbison

      If it’s a one time event where someone who simply “annoys” you, unfriending is like getting a big hammer to hit a fly. It gives him/her a legitimate reason to be angry at you, and it could have ramifications for your social life.

      If the person is repeatedly annoying despite you giving warnings and/or commits severe privacy breaches, unfriending is okay.

  10. Eh… doesn’t seem that bad to me, though yes, it does get weary after a while, and the guy does seem pretty self-centered. I think the most important problem may be that you don’t like the guy and can’t identify with what he’s complaining about.

    His comic is autobiographical and yes, it’s the equivalent of ascerbic LiveJournal blog entries. So what? Isn’t Dilbert also basically entirely about complaining about the way people act?

    Not that this is anywhere CLOSE in quality to Dilbert, but the basic premise doesn’t seem that different to me. The main difference is that this guy is more concerned with stating his opinion than being funny.

    On the plus side, it’s clearly and attractively drawn, and easy to understand. That’s probably why it gets so much attention.

    You know, the site template is exactly the same as that of the wonderful comic “Scandinavia and the World”. I wonder what the connection is.
    http://satwcomic.com/

  11. Webcomics that do nothing but attempt to justify one’s own stance against the opinion and action of “other people” are bitter and pretentious little excuses for comics. How many times has this been done? Sounds to me like he’s got some moving on to do. A lot of the same shit annoys me from time to time, but the reality of it is… do I try to rally a bunch of “followers” into conforming to my view, or do I just let it go and let retards be retards? It would be amusing if the “humor” of these situations wasn’t coming off as a bitter quip in reply to actual happenings… none of it is “ironic”, none of it holding clever response punchlines, or even remotely constructed in a way that would give people who experience similar situations a chuckle out of how this guy handles mundane situations on the internet.

  12. Surely, the random comments you get on the internet (not all, of course) are far more valuable than feedback from friends and family – people who have a personal investment in your happiness, not your art – otherwise you end up being one of those people on American Idol who says “But mummy says I’m the BEST. Sniff.”

  13. As someone else who was also picked on in school, I can’t say I’d friend any of my worst bullies either. But it wasn’t the non-friending part that made me roll my eyes. It was the sheer ANGER and DRAMA of the strip. All the wounds, still so fresh!

    I’m no longer angry at those bullies, even if I’d rather they remain part of my past. Thoughts of my childhood mistreatment don’t linger in the form of dramatically-lighted, PTSD flashbacks.

    That’s the recurring theme in this comic:”nerd rage”, and Brian Posehn talks spot-on about it here: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?title=brian-posehn-nerd-rage&videoId=75737

  14. Ummm….what exactly are you trying to accomplish here, by ranting to us about the cartoonist who ranted in his comic? The way I see it, he was just airing the frustrations he felt when dealing with the many issues and experiences that we, as artists had faced one way or another. So what if he is gushing about, for instance, the people who requested him to draw something from cute to downright creepy? Kevin Bolk of “I’m My Own Mascot” fame on Deviant Art did basically the same thing. And no doubt you would likewise gripe about the very same issues and such, too. 9_9
    But Dobson is not being bitter, despite what you think. He did say at one point he is trying not to be so ranty in the comics, and it shows. If you want him to talk about cartooning techniques and such, TELL him! Tell him directly what you would like to see him discuss do’s and dont’s in drawing comics. He is a bit of a rookie… it will help him to do better, rather than if you simply rant about it and accomplished nothing.
    Or, just let him be, and chalk him off as yet another cranky cartoonist tryiing to find his way around. *shrug*

    • “Ummm….what exactly are you trying to accomplish here, by ranting to us about the cartoonist who ranted in his comic? ”

      Presumably, reviewing the comic, which is the purpose of this site.

    • How dare you do exactly what someone else is doing in a way that is both more thought-out and less futile!

      Really, the thing that got me was less the ranting, and more the hypocrisy of it all. He makes fun of people for getting angry at him because of the stupid shit that he likes, and then gets angry at people because of the stupid shit that they like.

    • Wilbur Orbison

      Jane and Broto: El Santo is the reviewer. He has the right to pick apart a comic which is complaining about trivial things. Because El Santo is a comic reviewer, it is NOT trivial and annoying for him to complain about a comic about a complainer.

      Also, El Santo’s complaining may not be of things as trivial as in SYAC.

  15. Could you possibly give my webcomic a review? It would really help.

  16. Could you possibly review my webcomic? Thanks!

  17. Half the Internet seems to have leapt onto this guy at once.

    It’s sort of understandable. He’s so obnoxious that it’s almost hypnotic.

  18. The strawman arguments can get quite tiresome, perhaps if there was more self-parody and a more balanced point of view it could improve. At least he dosen’t go the Encyclopedia Dramatica route, especially when it comes to otakus.
    mmm. maybe one star is to harsh!

  19. I have to say this is one of the least self aware comics I’ve ever seen. The guy obviously can’t take criticism whatsoever. I ended up trawling through the archive, trying to find a comic I had seen on 4chan starring this guy which promoted macs. I can’t find it in the archive, I wonder if it was official or not. Needless to say it had the same sort of tone of the others, everything the author says an incredibly fresh and perfect representation of truth and all other opinions are poor, misinformed, plebeians.

    Actually that mac comic was the first I had seen of this comic.

    I assumed it was a troll.

  20. Utilizing the strawman argument is probably the most dangerous thing you could do. If it backfire, it makes you look like an even bigger dick. Unfortunately, Dobson can’t seem to take a hint. Maybe he could make strips about other things for once besides his problem with the Internet community?

  21. I just love that “if you do nothing, nothing will happen” strip because as soon as he says it, he just stays on his ass and types what is most likely an angry Internet rant about whatever he was whining about in the last few panels. WAY TO FIGHT THE POWER, MAN.

    • Christopher Lau

      Yeah – Sometimes “nothing” is better than “complete humiliation” and “horrid negative consequences”

  22. Yeah, I read his Mac vs PC strip and that was all I had to see. It started off as though it was going to be a simple “Guys stop arguing about something so trivial” but then it just became another “Macs are better because they just WORK” thing. He also used the asinine comparison of PCs being like fast food and Macs being like a gourmet meal, which fails to work on so many levels.

    Although I’ve known of Dobson for quite some time, but he went by a different name in the past and drew art for a different type of clientelle then… and he was a prima donna who loved to complain back then too. Of course he made a big deal about jacking in drawing the stuff he was then because he thought it would hurt his professional career. This being the internet though, his original work is never going to go away no matter how hard he tries to forget about it…

  23. A couple things – thanks for reviewing this. I can’t stand the presentation of his “views.” Still, that’s not nearly as bad as how he berates and insults his “fans.” Like, in one comic you can see his legs, so a few of his followers were cracking jokes about it – you know, just having a good time. And he gets all hissy and edits the description to insult the the people (i.e., his own fans) that were simply having a good time reading the comic.

  24. The worst part about this comic, is every joke feels like I’ve read it already on message boards. Except he’s decide that all of those message board complaints would make a pretty good webcomic.

    It also seems that things he doesn’t “get”, should more appropriately be titled “Things I don’t enjoy”. I got a pretty good idea of the type of person he is just by reading his comic though.

    He’s pretty much what I envision when I read posts by obnoxious fanboys over on Ain’t It Cool News.

  25. I can see how a strip that does little else but complain about how awful other people are can quickly get tiresome, but I thought that one example, the “reality-vs-online feedback” strip, was pretty funny, in a droll sort of way. Taken on its own, at least. Because nearly every cartoonist has experienced this.

  26. Being an embittered shit myself, I can understand his peeves, even if I don’t agree with all of them. I’ve more than a few of my own, after all. However, the idea that said peeves would make good entertainment is a bit harder to justify.
    Also, this seems like the sort of comic that’s going to go unbelievably stale with time. Regardless of who you are, sooner or later you’ll run out of things that really irritate you, and then what? Either throw in the towel(doubt it), or just keep going with progressively smaller and pettier complaints.
    It all sounds like a recipe for failure to me.

  27. Cartoonists aren’t allowed to rant, they use their skills to mock, satire and parody, i understand the frustration of competing against weeaboos, artsy-fartsy illustrators and graphically mediocre webcomics. It has to be done like MAD magazine used to do it, tear them apart and have a jolly good time doing it.

    • Wilbur Orbison

      Yes. A strong person calculates his parodies and delivers a crushing blow AND has fun at the same time.

      A weak person rants and rants without any consideration and enjoyment, which causes the audience to be bored.

  28. Originally, I wasn’t going to respond to this. However, today one of my firneds mentioned this comic, and specifically the ways in which it is bad. I found that to be an adequate measure of this comic’s terribleness.

    I must say that it’s most interesting that, for all that the author seems to hate manga and animé, he also claims he was one of the first to really like. Also, he blames it for screwing up his art.

    Now, I’m not the most pro-manga person, but that seems kinda weird to me.

  29. my main response to this sort of writing/comics is that there are bigger problems going on in the world so whats the big wup? (AKA: I really don’t give a shit motherf****) Perhaps its because no one reads my comic so I am not very involved in the comics and webcomics culture, but there’s just something that feels weird to me about writing comics a bout writing comics, isn’t there something that interests you more that you can write about? do a little travelling! volunteer work! bake some cookies!

    • although other than the subject matter not relating to my personal interests, i don’t think it is a ‘bad’ comic per se, I think it is good at what it does. From what I read it doesn’t seem to be creating melodrama, it has a ‘slice of life’ feel and at least a slight sense of fun.

  30. I think this is the first negative review that generated a long comments thread which wasn’t full of angry fanboys defending the comic…

  31. So…while I usually agree with you, or mostly agree with you….this one leaves me scratching my head.

    It’s a vent comic, yes. And most of the strips you link to are even funny. Original and insightful, no, but amusing just the same.

    Why about a little honesty draws so much ire? I’d bet you’d REALLY hate The Devil’s Panties.

    I’d call this strip amusing, harmless, and nothing special. 2.5-3 out of five. At least he actually drew it. You really did write this review to get yourself in a comic, didn’t you? ;)

    • As far as I’m concerned, it has to do with the vitriol he reserves for the people he considers to be wrong, as well as the overall pettyness of his points. A couple of times he points out how he likes a video game no-one else likes. Who cares?

      In a nutshell, he’s whining about making a living doing what he loves. And when it’s not that, he’s complaining about how he was a misunderstood artist as a child. Or how his roommates at college were assholes (while he was the obvious square; those guys probably still tell stories about how the dude preferred to sleep on the damn stairs instead of sitting in the common room with them). College can be a lot worse than that. I just finished a course that killed my already feeble social life, made me physically ill and left me wondering where the last three months went.

      You get the feeling he’s never happy with anything. And yeah, maybe that’s not all there is to him. Probably not. But he chose to make SYAC a stand-alone product, and that’s how it’s judged. And he also chose to make himself the focal point of every comic, so that’s how he is judged.

  32. Whoa i think you’re being a little to hard on the guy D: Honestly, all of his comics were pretty funny too me, and talked about the real things he’s been through and portrayed them in a funny way. I really don’t think he’s a mean spirited guy either D:

    • I actually agree a lot with some of his points and find some episodies quite funny, my complaint is that for a strip a about cartoonist it´s not cartoony enough, if dumped the un-ethnic mangaface template, myspace type whines and went more for a meat-amd potatoes aproach it would be a great webcomic.

  33. Wow. I read the webcomic before when it shows up on the front pages of Deviantart, but I never viewed it in the way described in this interview. It really puts the cartoonist in a whole new light, and not a favorable one. He’s probably pretty snobby in person.

  34. I find his one long rant about “anime style” (whatever that means) crippling him for life rather amusing. Sure, there’s tons of kiddies who just emulate it without even trying to be original, or understanding any fundamentals of art … but there’s tons of others who ape stuff like American comic books, Disney, and nearly everything else out there. Hell, some of the most unoriginal people I’ve met were skilled people (as in technical proficiency) in art classes who didn’t ever do anything remotely cartoony.

    • He forgets that some anime does use Westernized designs like Hokuto No Ken, and Disney-ish like One Piece. Still, he rapes the anime style in his current drawings too. The only improvement he made is by melding anime with B^Uckley.

      • Exactly. His entire rant also makes the assumption that there’s some monolithic “manga style” … and the “anime” elements to his style just come off as some uninspired Rumiko Takahashi knockoff, like someone who only ever read/watched manga/anime in the 80′s and 90′s and still sticks with the style because it’s either all he knows, or what he thinks the kids are into these days.

        Plus, Fist of the North Star contains too much awesome for Tom Preston to handle.

  35. Link to his EncyclopediaDramatica article:

    http://forum.encyclopediadramatica.ch/Tom_Preston

    the edits are actually funnier than the original comics he drew

  36. The problem some people have with him isn’t just the comic, but the attitude.
    http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/images/d/d9/Butthurt_tom.png
    Basically, it’s the “NO U” syndrome. From what I’ve heard, he turned down advice from his art teachers back in the day because it’s “his style”.

    One good thing I can say is that he’s been sort of toning down the whining in the comics recently. Also a little disclaimer at the comments on dA. Guess he’s noticed the hatedom he’s collected online.

    • Well uh, that, and he treats fans like poop. And his education and qualification doesn’t reflect his art, and he refuses to learn. “Fuck drawing with decent tools, all I need is a ballpen and copy paper durrhurrr. Anyone else using better tools are elitist jerks.”

      This guy’s head is so far up in his own ass that he’s a human-shaped donut (which is not a cartoonist).

      • Touch Of Whimsy

        Honestly, I don’t mind an artist using pencil and copy paper. You should be comfortable with your supplies, otherwise your art isn’t going anywhere.

        That being said though, it fails for him because he has completely stagnated. A little personal story: when I first started drawing, experimentation was key. Trying out new mediums, new techniques, new tools, new everything taught me what was right and what was wrong. It taught me the base for everything. Even once you fall into a comfortable medium, brand of supply, anything (Copic markers in my case), you don’t just stop there. You keep toying around, keep thinking of what you can do, keep thinking “well, I’ve never tried this before…” Try drawing on the opposite side of the paper. Try textures. New mediums can teach you a ton about old ones. True, there’s less safety in it, since your experimentation could utterly fail, but you learn from it and do better the next time. Thanks to this, I’ve improved at a breakneck speed (and still going :) )

        This guy, on the other hand, is just constantly playing safe and monotonous, and that is hurting him. Why not try a brush pen? Why not try tablet painting? Why not try markers or watercolor every once in a while? How about playing around with your digital program? He doesn’t, and for that reason he’s going to keep walking in a rut. And really, that’s no way to art. What would the point of art be if there’s no step higher, no improvement? There can’t really be a personal satisfaction in the art if you can’t improve. And if there’s no personal satisfaction in the art, it’s always going to be hollow and false.

        (pardon the rantiness. Needed to get my opinion out)

  37. I like it!
    Well drawn and expressing his point of view!
    5 Stars!
    Rock On Brother!

  38. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate for a while and make a note that while you have valid points, I think you got the context of the comics mixed up.
    For starters, the Facebook one was simply about not wanting to be friends with douchebags who mistreated you. I don’t know how many people experienced it but I have and letting go of the grudge isn’t worth it if you know they never changed.
    Secondly, the manga lovers link wasn’t a good example. The comic was more about “Holy shit, he could do that?”. A better example would be this one right here: http://tompreston.deviantart.com/gallery/26560919#/d18a83n
    What other message do you get in that comic other than:” I don’t like your fandom because it’s popular, you should like mine instead”.

    Overall, yes. He has a serious issue with his ego and hypocrisy.

  39. I agreed seeing that picture and comment tells me he prejudiced against anime and manga is he doesn’t like them that is fine that is his preferred and option that Disney is better personally I don’t like Disney but I don’t bash with a stick

  40. Call me an elitist, but I prefer web comics that don’t (or at least rarely) display the creator as the main character. Negative self-gratification can come about which may then lead to an inflated ego. And an inflated ego can lead to elitism. And elitism can lead to arguing on the internet. And arguing on the internet results in, well, a waste of time.

    Actually, is there such thing as “negative” self-gratification?

  41. About this comic: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/File:Hidecomment.jpg

    Grown-up people should NOT take pleasure in blocking comments like that, or at least they should not openly do so. I guess it’s okay to feel like that when you are 13. But in your 30s one should think “Okay, it may feel satisfying, but I shouldn’t dwell on it and I shouldn’t draw attention to it.”

    Andrew Dobson’s failure to do this means that I do not have respect for him.

  42. Here is more proof that Andrew Dobson is not acting reasonable to his critics, even though he says he is:
    * http://images.encyclopediadramatica.ch/3/3d/TomPrestonCriticism.jpg
    Do you see that? This is a real, genuine critique. He still blocks it.

  43. What a whiny load of dick. Never liked his “art”, never will.

  44. Apparently he’s doing political cartoons. Even those go under the same formula as his comics i.e. Democrats (Dobson’s party) good, Republicans bad. On second thought, maybe he should go into that field.

  45. Okay for all the people that are saying that it’s bad that he’s being over dramatic, raging too much, etc. You all do realize that it is a web comic? A web comic doesn’t have to be so god damn similar to life, can’t it just be over dramatized things? Don’t you think you are all looking at this webcomic with the same view as the person that made this site to look at webcomics? Why can’t some of you open your eyes and realize that if it really isn’t something you prefer not to put it down?(ie. I don’t like football, I honestly hate it but I’m not going to say it’s bad for everyone, it’s just not my personal taste. I like the idea behind football and the style of strategy but overall just isn’t my cup of tea.) Why can’t people be more constructive with how they post their opinions. This review was insightful in its idea to show how Tom Preston’s narrative can be a tad repetitive with it’s so called “nerd rage” or what ever word you want to insert into that. Don’t you think you could have not fallen to ad hominem on this one?

  46. I’ve always loved reading webcomics and their reviews (I’ve just found your page and am raiding your archives, so sorry if I’m being like…a necromancer here,) and occasionally I’d see Preston’s comics on the Deviantart. I’ve read a few but I never understood what made them so bad or why this guy was so disliked. Then, I read your review, saw your viewpoint, and checked out some of his stuff remembering what you brought up, and I have to say, you were absolutely right. This man is revolting. All he does is whine about trivial things, and some things aren’t even about cartooning.

    He recently wrote a humorless strip about he was mildly inconvenienced by the shootings in Colorado because he couldn’t bring up the Dark Knight movie without having to address the violence. It’s been less than a week! People are still in the ER, suffering from losing their family and loved ones. I remember reading about how one woman was pregnant, she is now paralyzed and lost her six year old daughter in the firing, but he’s comparing this to…Jar Jar Binks? JAR JAR BINKS? EMO PETER? ZELDA CDi’s? Why would he even think this was funny? Why would he think this is okay? There were eight hundred different ways of saying that people can’t talk about the good without bringing up the bad, eight hundred different references he could have made, and he choses a shooting to prove his point. Then he “apologizes” on his page for people not “understanding” his point even after he wrote a blurb in his comments. It hurts to think that someone could be so insensitive…

    But I never would’ve realized this had it not been for your review. So thank you for publishing your insight, as it’s really bettered my understanding of comics in general.

  47. Oh no, he’s a TGWTG fan. (Malachite and Insano are being cosplayed in the comic above)

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