Just one comics review. It’s one people are talking about a lot in some corner of the Internet. And probably not for reasons its author intended.
Zen Pencils #146
By Whatever That Zen Pencils Guy’s Name Is
Self-Published Web Comic (which I refuse to link to)
(If you feel the need to get the whole comic, you can probably find it even if some mouthbreather hasn’t already retweeted it, shared it on Facebook, or Fed it through the Buzz and labelled it “important”)
What’s funny about Zen Pencils overall, and this installment of Zen Pencils in particular, is how insecure this guy is. When you’re inserting Hayao Miyazaki–supposedly this guy’s artistic hero*–into the role of all-perfect champion of goodness (a.k.a. “your webcomic”), depicting a quote from Theodore Roosevelt disparaging critics being painted onto a giant mech meant to go out killing
anyone the least bit critical of your work “haters and trolls,” it’s evident you’re having issues relating to people and don’t understand art, criticism, or their importance in relation to each other or the wider culture**. When you follow up your shallow, disgustingly narcissistic temper tantrum with a blurb telling your readers “you probably don’t know who Hayao Miyazaki is” [he made Godzilla, right? lol] despite opening with “A lot of you guessed [that was] Hayao Miyazaki,” you’re then being a condescending piece of shit.
But, whatever: I feel bad for Zen Pencils dude. I really do. He had the simple goal of repackaging other people’s writing and speeches (often with absolutely no understanding of the people writing or speaking them, like when he did a comic about an Ayn Rand quote despite not knowing who she was) into banal, mediocre clickbait so he can sell ad space or screen prints or whatever consumerist bullshit he’s got in the works, peddling someone else’s hard work and suffering (like, say, Malala Yousafzai) into pseudo-feel-good messages of “quit your job, fuck over people who love and care for you, and go cosplay as some Game of Thrones character or something” to be easily swallowed by other shallow, condescending, disgustingly narcissistic dipshits who will then pay out of pocket for more of that…and some people had the nerve to come along and point out his comics were a little insipid and he shouldn’t be plagiarizing quotes from Bill Watterson (amongst others) for his own personal gain? How fucking dare they!?
*I say “supposedly,” as anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is notoriously critical of the industry, having made waves amongst anime enthusiasts a scant few weeks ago by saying (and I paraphrase) most anime is garbage nowadays because it’s made by anime fans (or “otaku”). Zen Pencils guy also has him constructing a giant, anime-style mech despite Miyazaki never having made any movies about mechs (and generally described as a pacifist). Now, I would hate to imply Zen Pencils guy has, at best, only a slight comprehension of Miyazaki as an artist and thought “Hmm, this guy made a few movies I like, and he’s well-respected, so if I just use his image as the mouthpiece for my anti-critics comic, then everyone will recognize my genius!” I would also hate to imply Zen Pencils guy is simply lazy and arrogant. So, I just wrote those things, making them explicit.
**I would also like to point out how disturbing it is successful webcomic hacks like Zen Pencils guy love to bash the concept of criticism. Leonard Pierce wrote elegantly on similar phenomena when it was the PVP guy defending Marvel Studios’ The Avengers from people who suggested donating money to charity to help former comic creators living in poverty was a good idea. The comfortable certainly don’t like being reminded of the proles.