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I don’t take it too personally because, honestly, Brian is putting happiness on a pedestal that I never really expected it to be on. I do the best that I can with the time and resources that I have, and I’m a lot prouder with each issue (dude would probably vomit all over issue #1) but it’s certainly not a “professional” or sleek publication, and I think its imperfection adds to its charm (plus i totally do make tons of mistakes, because holy shit, i’m only one person, and I’ve only been doing this for a little over a year).
Here are some further comments:
1. I’ve never actually seen or read the Top Shelf/Meathaus anthos but apparently it’s kinda a backhanded compliment that Happiness is being compared to them. (shrugs)
2. My idea of an anthology has been one that is more of a sampler, inspired by very short story comic collections like “Short Order” and “Action Girl.” However, I understand the desire for longer, better-developed narratives. Will sit on this one.
3. It was really unnecessary to single out a few artists simply under the judgment that “their work is unappealing”. That’s just a matter of taste, man.
4. Side note, I think Conor Stechshulte, Mike Taylor, and Max Clotfelter’s comics were super great, even though they weren’t super long.
5. I totally agree about Lincoln’s use of “misspelled” colloquial dialogue with his characters; it’s something I should have asked him to edit but didn’t because I thought the story itself was pretty harmless and actually quite endearing. I do realize though that if I’m going to be making public statements about trying not to perpetuate/support oppressive culture, then I need to be a bit more on my toes editorially (the “letter from the editor” was essentially an explanation as to how #3 has changed from #1, in case anyone else is rolling their eyes at me)
6. Regarding complaints about image quality and shading, etc, I am actually fairly paranoid about these things, as my day job entails staring at pixel quality and dimensions all day. Unfortunately I just don’t have the money to drop on nicer quality printing (re: not offset litho on newsprint), as it took me several months just to save up for what #3 became. Also I have to straight up disagree about Brian’s opinion on zip-a-tone esque shading. I personally can’t get enough of the stuff.
7. I love the underground comics community because its so free, creative, and supportive, and not obsessed with perfection but is instead rather awkward if not a bit weird. I put together Happiness because I want to support the community and exhibit new artists, and well, just have fun!
It’s cool that so many people do seem to enjoy this thing I put together and distribute, and it makes me want to continue putting out more issues. Still, I am learning a lot with the production of each issue, and hope that they continue to get better over time.