Not too long ago, Rob Liefeld had a long blog post about how to deal with the ups and downs of the business. When you think about it, he’s the perfect person to write that piece — his ups have been high and his downs have been low. And despite his very name being one of those push-butten codewords for bad art among many comics observers, Liefeld hasn’t let that stop him. He does more public appearances than ever and every time we see him, he appears to be having a good time. Say what you will about his art, in that way Liefeld has exhibited a professionalism that a lot of people could learn from. And one of the message of his piece is that you just can’t listen to the haters:
Very recently, a longtime friend and comic book author called me in a panic. He had enjoyed a nice run of success but his recent projects had been critically lambasted. He was tasting the fanboy wrath and was clearly coming undone. “Rob, how do you cope with it?? Does it affect other areas of your life??” What? This guy had lost his mind. I distinctly remember having to work extra hard to calm him down while I watched the baseball playoffs. He chewed my ear off for an hour. ” They can;t find a single positive review or quote to put on the trade collection” he whined. I stopped it all cold with offered up some blunt talk. ” Your books are top sellers. They chart great and you are moving tons of product. I don’t get your worries here. Welcome to success” And I meant it, I went on to cite many directors and movie stars including Michael Bay and Tom Cruise that the public supposedly loathed but somehow always managed to chart and connect with the masses. Same with pop stars and all other variety of artists. ” Stop worrying. I wish I had your problems” I commented. “This will pass and your next project will be even better.” That’s how I honestly feel and I stand by that sentiment always. Get up, get back at it. That’s how its done. You have to have thick skin in this business. Period. It’s not for the weak or faint of heart. Fan is short for fanatic and we are all very passionate about our favorite characters and story lines.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather Michael Bay was stopped before he kills brain cells again. But there’s a lot of good practical advice here, as well.