Webcomics Worth Wreading review of HijiNKS ENSUE.
This is a really well written and thoughtful review of my comic. I often cringe when I see reviews of my work pop up online, because I KNOW I am going to read them and I KNOW I am not going to like everything I read. Reviews of my work are often complimentary, but tend to zero in on the one or two aspects of my work that I am either insecure about or ashamed of. Even if those aspects are wading in a sea of compliments, I always get the feeling of “I was kind of hoping no one had noticed THAT,” or “maybe everyone forgot about THAT.” This review by Robynne Blume caused no such cringing on my part.
This isn’t to say it was sycophantic or brown nosing. Flaws are mentioned, but the author seems to have a genuine appreciation of the comic and the evolution it’s undertaken over the last 7 years. I’m happy to say, and she seems to agree, that most of the stuff I am not proud of (violence instead of punchlines, insensitive language, overly specific pop culture references that require you be ingesting the exact same media that I am exactly WHEN I am, lack of character depth, etc) are in the past.
She details the various incarnations of HijiNKS ENSUE (the early pop culture years, the Lofi’s, the photo comics, the convention photo comics, and the current semi-autobio version) in a way that should give the uninitiated an easy to follow roadmap of a body of work that might otherwise seem unfocused or, at times, flailing (another one of those things I hoped people didn’t notice or remember). She points out that the archive system can be confusing to new readers and I agree. I separated the various types of comics into categories last year in an effort to give focus to the new stuff while not abandoning the old, but the usability of the actual menus and layout has always been confusing at best. The good news is I am redesigning the site and fixing this problem is one of the main things I am addressing.
There are times (lots of times) that I feel like planning and ending for HijiNKS ENSUE and moving on to a different project. My audience splintered after I changed the comic’s format and I fear it will never fully recover. I tell myself that it’s not that no one “gets” what I’m trying to do (It’s not THAT ambitious or deep and I am not THAT deluded), it’s just that no one really cares. Of course, I know these fears are mostly overreactions (with some truth), and that some people do enjoy my work. It’s just really nice to see that someone, ANYONE really, honestly, truly GETS it.
Thank you, Robynne for your thoughtful words, and for a much needed boost in confidence.