Come One, Come All

Posted by Ben at 2011-08-21 05:19:21 UTC

So, info time. As I said before Dubious Company has an art table over at Kumoricon. I, TagalongDT, will be there to meet, greet and sell various wares. Tria, sadly, will still be in Japan, but that’s okay, we’ll just have to have twice as much fun to make it for it. Please come on by and buy something, or just chat, I like meeting new people.

More importantly, Jake (from Modest Medusa) and I have a panel. The panel is called called Dubious Medusa, and it’s running that Sunday (the 11th) from 5:30-6:30, and it’s going to be awesome. We’ll be talking about our webcomics (obviously) offering advice for those who want to start their own webcomic and generally being entertaining. We’re even talking about giving away prizes to people who show up dressed as characters from the our comics (There had better be more Dubious Company Cosplayers than Modest Medusa cosplayers). Oh, and we’ll be giving away chocodiles. Assuming I don’t eat them all first.

On that note, while we have more than enough material planned (seriously we typically spend 3 to 4 hours a day discussing webcomics and anime and such with each other) we thought you guys might like to have some input on the panel. So is there anything you’d like to hear Jake and I talk about during the Dubious Medusa panel? Go ahead and give suggests, ask questions and voice opinions, the more input the better. Even if you aren’t planning on attending (obviously because the convention is too far away) we’d still like to hear from you. So drop us a line, or post a comment here and we’ll make this panel more fun than a rum party. Oh yeah, because of suggestions in the comments I’m going to leave this rant at the top of the rant pile longer than usual (so like, 4or 5 years given how often I rant).

Here’s hoping to hear from you all.


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If You Want to be Heard

Posted by Ben at 2011-08-13 21:44:47 UTC

Awhile back Tria mentioned something on Facebook that really struck me. I don’t remember the exact quote (and yes I’m lazy enough that I’m not going to look it up), but it was something to the effect of, “It’s a shame that people assume just because someone’s an asshole that means they’re wrong.” And strictly speaking, that’s true. The biggest jerk in the world is allowed to have good ideas and know fact from fiction. Separating a message’s content from the attitude of the messenger is an amazingly hard skill to master, but overall people who can learn the skill are better off for it.

But there’s a flip side to the argument. While it’s true that people need to learn to weigh the merit of ideas independent of the speaker, people should bear in mind, if you want your idea heard: try not being a douche. All social interactions, at their core, are two way streets. One person talks, and the other person listens. But the thing is, just because someone is talking doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to them. One of the speaker’s main jobs is to get people to listen to their message. Last I checked belittling and insulting people is probably not the best way to get them to come around to your point of view. It is a great way to piss them off and make them hostile toward you, so if that’s your intent, by all means go ahead and be an asshole.

However, most of the time people start a discussion someone is trying change someone else’s mind, explain a point of view, or just show a better way to do things. In that case (most cases) being a jerk is not helpful to your cause. In fact hiding behind The Truth and letting it be your shield so you can be an insensitive clod can actually work against your cause. The Truth (of whatever topic you’re trying to present) is useless if no one is willing to hear it. In some simple cases (2+2=4) what’s true and what’s not quickly becomes apparent. But no one every discusses those do they? In more complex issues it’s easy to get muddled and mixed up and you can go years, even lifetimes before the truth of the matter comes out (like: Is there a God?). Often subjects don’t have a particular truth behind them, and you’re just trying explain your viewpoint to someone. This rant is a great example. It’s not specifically wrong to be an asshole when talking to people, the Asshole Police aren’t going to put you in jail, there’s no Asshole Law of physics that says you physically can’t be an asshole when talking to people. But I’m trying to point out that, it can be counter-productive.

No one likes to be told they’re wrong, it takes a lot of willpower to overcome what could be decades of learning when new information comes to light. Being belittled at the same time, even implicitly (through tone of voice, facial expressions or body movement) just makes it that much harder to change your mind. So the simple solution is to not belittle people when you’re are trying to change their mind. Help them out, let them know you don’t think any worse of them for their view points, they were probably just feed misinformation and don’t know any better (or at the very least try to pretend you don’t think any worse of them). If you make it clear that you’re on their side, then they’ll be more willing to at least try to see your point of view.

As I said earlier: Any social interaction is a two way street. Both sides have to be willing to deal with one another. People would be better if they learned to listen to the content of an argument separate from how abrasive it’s presentation is, but at the same time people also have to realize that they’ll get a much better response if they don’t make their arguments abrasive in the first place. Being correct doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean you can ignore what they’re saying. If we could just stop and listen to each other once in awhile, I think everyone would be a little better off.


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News Everyone!

Posted by Ben at 2011-07-31 00:35:04 UTC

A lot of stuff’s been happening these past couple of weeks, and it’s all a random mishmash of horribly organized events (because Phred knows that I can’t have life events occur in nice, easily organized clumps). Since my attempts at telling you all the cool stuff that’s occurred in a reasonable fashion has been thwarted by life, I’m just going to start from the beginning (I tried starting in the middle once, it was really confusing and no one could talk to me for a week. Literally, I was incapable of hearing things for a full week).

First off, user Alto was kind enough to donate some more fanart. You can find the awesome pictures of Sal and Raque in the fanart section (as usual), and if anyone else has been struck by inspiration feel free to email either Tria or I (as usual). Side note: I know Enigma sent us a horribly, creepy laugh (I have fun playing that in the house late at night), but we are sadly incapable of hosting that right now (we’ve got Greg working on it). We’ll figure out something soon (DBC’s version of soon anyway).

Second, some old friends of mine have put together the start of a neat little Youtube series called Opensource. The basic concept is that two friends find a file on their buddy’s computer that’s a running dialogue of his subconscious thoughts, updated in real time. It’s only the first episode, but it’s pretty good (in my slightly dishonest opinion). The two glaring problems I can cite are: the sound quality is pretty bad at times (Casio and Brent need to SPEAK UP) but they know the issue and are working on it for the next episode. And they didn’t consult me enough when scripting the whole thing. But I only think that because I’m an arrogant jackass. Do check out the short, and let them know I sent you (because then they will owe me favors, sweet, delicious favors).

Finally, some better news (better than good, because there is only good news in the post)! Jake (over at Modest Medusa) and I have gotten a panel up at Kumoricon! Tentatively, we’ll be talking about our personal experiences in the webcomic industry (such that it is) but we’re both pretty open about the direction the panel goes. Regardless, I hope at least a few of you can make out to the convention. DBC also has an art table there, but sadly, we are missing a Tria, so it will just be TagalongDT and whatever arty type stuff she feels like sending me (I suppose I could write silly lines for people who request them). They’ve only okayed the panel, I’m not sure when we’ll actually be presenting but you can be sure I’ll keep you folks updated.

Whew, a whole post with only good news…I’m scared.


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