C07P30 – Hadn’t noticed – MOKO Press presents: LeyLines, a Fantasy Adventure Comic by Robin Childs Skip to content
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C07P30 – Hadn’t noticed

C07P30 – Hadn’t noticed published on 20 Comments on C07P30 – Hadn’t noticed

At last, some context for the cover.

I’ve been reading The Tipping Point, which talks about how epidemics of ideas and behaviors spread. What I found particularly interesting is the idea that some ideas/products are Contagious and/or Sticky. A Contagious concept is one that spreads rapidly through a population — such as a meme. People both react to it and want to share it as soon as they see it. A Sticky idea, on the other hand, is one that stays with people, that they keep with them, think about, and make a connection with.

I was thinking about how these concepts applied to my own work. I’ve always felt that LeyLines has good Stickiness. The people that find it, if it’s to their tastes, REALLY like it. You guys have always been a phenomenal source of support. As I am fond of saying, “LeyLians are mighty indeed!”

However, I do wonder if my work fails in the “Contagious” regard. I’m honestly not sure. I sometimes feel like this is the best darned story that hardly anybody has heard of. Based on the site statistics, there’s probably about 300 people world-wide that read, and that number hasn’t gone up much in the last year. At the same time, based on the survey results, many readers found LeyLines through a friend. So which conclusion is right?

Sometimes it’s very discouraging. I always try to push myself, to get a little bit better, so that my stories are more effective at communicating and connecting with readers. At the same time, doubt often creeps in and whispers that I’ll never be good enough to do this as a career. I will always have to split my time between storytelling and the day job, a fate that sounds akin to being able to fly, but having one foot chained to the ground.

I’ve never been a person that had faith in anything. Over the past two years, when I finally allowed myself to fully commit to the idea of pursuing storytelling as a career, I’ve had to learn faith. To accept the idea that I CAN become good enough, that given enough persistence and growth I WILL learn to create work that touches many people. Stories that are both meaningful AND accessible. And to believe that, given time, the small company I’ve started will grow such that I can support myself, and transition to creating stories not just all the time, but for the rest of my life.

Thank you to everyone that’s shared LeyLines with others. Any time I get an email or tweet from a reader saying someone had shared it with them, it helps renew the belief that my goals are possible. That this is not an impossible dream, but a reality within reach. That, more than anything, is an affirmation of faith.

What do you have faith in?

20 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

I personally have faith in you Robin! I’ve been reading your work since shades of grey and love seeing how your art and storytelling has been progressing with leaps and bounds. If not Leylines,some other project of yours will hit a large audience. I have full faith that you are much too talented to have your work shrouded in obscurity.

Dude, I still remember your first comic that I read. You have a very good job at creating things that STICK with people. I can’t forget anything you’ve written.
You make relatable characters in situations, aside from the assaination and whatnot, that are relatable.
As for the contagious part…. Most stuff gets contagious from wide viewing.More that see it show others… and they show others… and before you know it it’s like the flu, everywhere.
I’ll stop rambling. Keep your head up and making this story. I’m sure it’ll spread with a lil help. ;3

I think self doubt is inherent in a creative person’s nature…we are always our own worst critics, we always doubt our purpose.

The thing about contagion…it’s red hot when it’s there…and then it dies out. Meme’s come and go, as do most fads. Stickiness, as you call it, would be much more preferable I think.

Sure we all want tons of readers…but like acquaintances and friends, you want the readers who stay, not the ones who are there just because everyone else is doing it…

Chin up! You’re doing great!

🙁 B’awww. I’m sorry, Kali.

I think your webcomic might not necessarily be “internet sticky,” but that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a quick read, like a meme or a Penny Arcade joke. I couldn’t just show someone a page and be, like, “Here, this is why this is awesome,” because even the splash pages require context. But that’s not a bad thing at all.

It really benefits from physicality, because then it’s easier to see the structure and how well this is crafted. I handed one of my friends a copy of the first book, and she devoured it in one sitting (admittedly, she’s introverted and focuses intensely on anything, but still). But it *does* stick with you.

It reminds me a lot of Gunnerkrigg Court: it needs a reread every once in a while, but that’s a good thing, because it makes you think, and it’s always a pleasant experience.

I’ve struggled with self-doubt all my life. Age and experience have slowly pushed it back, but it’s still a major factor.

Interesting idea: contagious versus sticky. I’ll have to try that book.

On a personal level, your work reminds me a bit of my experience with Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Thomas Covenant” series. Those books were completely opaque to me the first time I read them: the writing seemed both dense and flavorless. I practically threw them down in disgust. Yet a few years later I devoured them, and still love them. To this day I couldn’t say what the difference was that allowed that to happen.

Your writing also took a bit of time to resonate with me. It wasn’t immediately accessible. But now that a connection is made, I’m hooked.

Out of curiosity, do you know when it began to resonate with you? Might help me write better stories in the future, if I could hit that note sooner!

I would say that low site ratings aren’t at all a reflection of your work, but rather a reflection of preconcieved notions. I tell people that I read web comics, and they automatically tell me I’m immature, comics are dumb, so forth and so on without even thinking it through. Doesn’t matter what the comic is about, how cool it is, how talented the artist and/or author are, if it is a wc, it is dumb. On the other hand, the few I have managed to force feed a comic or two, were automatically addicted, so… Once again, low stats have nothing to do with how cool you are, and all to do with how stupi… err… stubborn… non-readers are.

My opinion. Just sayin.

I don’t understand where that preconception comes from! There’s so much variety of work on the web, strips and long-form alike. It used to be much narrower a decade ago but…times have changed. Webcomics are a lot different now than they were then, and they just keep changing. Well, maybe eventually perceptions will change with them!

What do I have faith in?

I have faith in death. Once I’m dead I fully expect to spend an eternity not existing. No afterlife, no reincarnation. Objectively speaking this is more boring than life, but unlike life, I won’t be around to experience it. So subjectively it would not be boring at all. Which is more than I can say for my current existence.

And that is also why I read webcomics, among other things. Thanks for making my existence less boring! 🙂

I’ve actually had a long-held suspicion that I would die young…which has always filled me with a strong desire to do as many things as possible, before death catches up with me. Regardless of what lies (or does not lie) beyond, making comics will not be a part of that…so I better wring every story out of me that I can while I can still hold a pen.

I realize this is extremely late to comment and you may not even need reassurance anymore, but you can think about it this way. I don’t know how many readers you have now, but every single one of them has read this far because they are genuinely interested. I don’t know anyone who reads 270-ish pages of something they don’t like unless it’s homework. The longer your webcomic is, the more a reader has to like it to stay with the story. When I’m trying to give something a chance the trial period normally ends within the first 15-20 pages. (I was hooked on page 5 when I realized how in depth your world was.) I don’t read comics or books to be nice to the author, I because I think it’s worth it. I share comics because I believe my friends will like it, too (I fully intend on sharing this). Instead of thinking you have 300 readers, perhaps you can realize you have inspired 300 people to take part in this world you gave to the internet.

Considering the mood I’m in today, your comment couldn’t have been more timely. The feeling of despairing “What am I doing with my life?” is one that comes in cycles. Probably linked to my chronic depression. And I am pretty deep in that feeling today. And so, here I check my comment notifications, and find this excellent perspective. You’re right. When you present things that way, as a relationship where we are all taking part in something, instead of just producing/consuming, the whole world shifts focus. It feels like a much better place. A more hopeful place. And a less lonely place. Thank you so much for sharing this perspective with me today. It really helped.

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