To: Sheridan, Tom
From: Brodavich, Kyle
I’m writing this with no small amount of egg on my face. It appears that you and the rest of the management team have become aware of some statements I made online that reflect poorly on our company.
Right off the bat, I’d like to say that I’m very, very sorry that I reviewed our workplace as “hell on Earth” on Foursquare. I should realize that while social media allows us to communicate with our friends more easily, a great deal of what we say is available to the world at large and that means that clients, coworkers and prospective hires are likely to see our statements without context. They wouldn’t know that our air conditioning was on the fritz at exactly the same time that the Donelson lawsuit went down, so they might view my commentary as more than a bit of spur-of-the-moment venting that should have stayed under my breath.
It was highly unprofessional and you can rest assured that it won’t happen again.
I’d also like to personally apologize for calling you and the rest of the executive staff “a clique of raging fucktard douchebags with delusions of Hitlerian grandeur” on Twitter, which was then automatically posted to my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. It was an unforgivable slip of the tongue born out of my frustration with our current deadlines and how project management seems to be slipping across the board. It’s a holistic issue that impacts every aspect of the company and I should have taken steps to address it before allowing my feelings to take over.
I should not have taken it out on you, Devin, Gary or Stephanie. You have all proven to be consistently good managers and executives, capable of guiding and inspiring our team even when beset with issues such as our continuing timeline slippage. I vented my feelings at you when you are not the problem – I am.
Finally, I should be much more careful about what photos I post to my Flickr account and the company’s pool and how they are tagged. There is no reason at all that Sally in account services should be tagged with “fat,” “chubby,” “BBW,” or “Blubbo the She-Whale.” It was hurtful and I have taken steps to remove any personal insults from the many iPhone photos taken and uploaded directly from the summer picnic.
However, that thing about the Irish office? No way am I taking that shit back. Those potato-humping, bog-dwelling, indecipherable mick fucks know what they fucking did.
Smashing Magazine has an interesting article on how to make the best possible Twitter background for your profile. I went for something as minimal as possible with my own, but some of the examples featured really impressed me.
OK, here’s the last part of my look at webcomics that were sent to me by their creators over Twitter. Thanks to everybody that participated and I’ll likely ask people to shoot me some URLs again sometime next month for the second round. If you’ve not caught up, here’s part one and here’s part two.
Strange Candy by E.Snodgrass, A. Brownlow, K. Olympia, and J.Baird
A fantasy humor manga with no shortage of in-jokes and cultural references for those in the know. From someone on the outside looking in, it’s like a glitter-covered tax form: confusing and shiny. It has been going on for eight years, however, so there must be something going for it.
Strip For Me: Complex by Douglas Noble
Smart, apocalyptic science fiction with a rough-hewn look to the art that builds the mood very nicely. This one’s in its infancy but looks to have a lot of potential.
Supertrue!!! by Max Huffman
Max Huffman’s journal comics are a scream. He needs to do more. Someone get him on that.
Tech-Diff by Donna McGarry and David Shirley
This purports to be “A comic following the life and trials of Crag Smashface, his long suffering room mate Mel and his idol the world’s greatest super hero Emo Man.” In reality, it seems that there’s no real characters, no story, just “jokes” that frequently require an intimate knowledge of whatever the creators are into at any given time.
The Black Cherry Bombshells by John Zito & Anthony Trovarello
I’ve never quite clicked with this popular Zuda strip about post-apocalyptic Las Vegas and the titular girl gang. The storytelling seems very choppy to me, depending more on the next high concept than anything else and while the art has improved dramatically, it rarely manages to pull off the action sequences this series thrives on.
The Elves of Lleu Garnock by Irene Pitcairn
A longform, derivative fantasy comic. If the title appeals to you, then you’ve got nothing to lose by taking a look. I will say that the art gets cleaner and stronger over the run, reminding me a bit of both Linda Medley and Colleen Doran.
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats by Adam Koford
An unstoppable juggernaut of meme-meets-classic-cartooning that I very much enjoy. It’s amazing how he’s built two characters that speak almost exclusively in sampled soundbites. I discussed Koford’s new book previously.
The Mighty Jambo by George Beedham
A superhero-slacker comic that, frankly, starts off pretty dire but improves massively once it becomes about the punching and shooting. Beedham’s art improves along with the story with his storytelling becoming stronger as the strip continues, but I will say that his adherence to comic book art makes for occasionally odd webcomic moments, such as the frequent double-page spreads that require the reader to click to view them in another window.
The Night Owls by Peter Timony and Robert Timony
Oh, this is a heck of a thing that the Timonys are doing. A retro strip that moves along at a fair clip, with each individual page containing at least one and sometimes multiple plot beats. It looks downright gorgeous too.
The Suckerboys by Jim Thorpe
A very nicely-drawn strip that doesn’t really do anything new, as it features two slackers with nerdy inclinations, but chugs right along anyway. Thorpe’s art is a high point: his facial expressions are dead on and his characters’ body language serves as a nice primer to other creators.
Things Change by Derik Badman
I’m sort of shocked I’ve never come across this one before. A thematically-dense comic that circles around the idea of metamorphoses with art that’s greatly accentuated by Badman’s use of two-tone color schemes on the majority of pieces. The beginning seems a bit “and now it’s time for the author to masturbate about how great he is,” but after that it’s a very engaging, very human piece of work.
Willow’s Grove by Karl Kleese
Cute animals get kidnapped by aliens and try to find their way back to Earth. The art seems a bit stiff to me, but there were enough chuckles to keep me going through the entire archive so far.
Xeno’s Arrow by Greg Beettam and Stephen Geigen-Milller
There’s something very 1980s-black-and-white-indie about this science fiction comic, and I mean that in a good way. The dialogue’s feels a bit contrived, the setting (a group of aliens escape a massive intergalactic zoo) a bit too familiar, and the art hits a lot of the same notes that Keith Giffen did after he discovered MuÃ±oz’s work, but it all comes together just so to make a comic that’s comfortable and interesting. Funny, how that works out.
A lot of people are touting social media and how it’s changed how fans interact with brands, claiming that it allows for transparency and a level of engagement that goes above and beyond websites and blogs.Â Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable wrote a great blog entry about the best Twitter brands and the people behind them. While it’s interesting to see how companies and their customers interact publicly, it’s also important to note how professional these exchanges are.
And when you think of professionalism, Marvel Comics immediately springs to mind. Let’s look at the following exchange between a fan of the publishing concern and the company’s official Twitter account.
To review: a fan mentions that they read ten Marvel comics this weekend, and got rid of 20 weeks’ worth of DC’s weekly Trinity, written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Mark Bagley. They are told, by a Marvel representative, that they’re amazed that someone could/would read 20 issues of this comic. (The original Marvel tweet has since been deleted, but someone smarter than me screencapped it and sent it my way.)
Kurt Busiek is currently writing a sequel to his Marvels series for the publisher. Marvels was a crown jewel in the publisher’s line through the 90s and continues to sell well for them because it’s actually very good. Mark Bagley was a mainstay of the Spider-Man titles through the 90s and drew over 100 consecutive issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, a title that helped the company’s publishing division ride the success of the cinematic version of the character to financial solvency.
In other words, to get a cheap shot at their perceived “competition,” a Marvel representative threw two of their most respected creators under the bus. This “competition,” by the way, has been blown vastly out of proportion over the years mostly by Marvel and its fans. While I can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek tone they’ve embraced (“Not Brand Ecch” and “Distinguished Competition” being two of my favorite bits they’ve used,) there’s a distinct difference between winking at the readers and outright badmouthing of another publisher’s product. Despite the inflamed passions of fans on both ends of the spectrum, it’s not like either DC or Marvel’s comic book divisions are making cars – they’re putting out $3-$4 doses of serial entertainment. The closest thing to comics and how they’re purchased is America’s movie habit and while Fox and Paramount certainly compete for weekend dollars across America, you never see either studio trashing the other for the quality of product. (Most likely because they know that neither of them has a leg to stand on in that department.)
There’s room for more than one major company putting out comic books. That sort of dismissive, we’ll-finance-anyone used-car-salesman bullshit cheapens Marvel in multiple ways and while there’s plenty to say about DC’s inability to grasp Twitter and the like, I think it’d be better to not have said anything at all than indulge in cheap snark at the expense of your brand’s respectability.