RE: DM of the Rings

By Shamus Posted Saturday Dec 9, 2006

Filed under: Personal 15 comments

I made some comments expressing my envy of Rich Burlew, and Wonderduck responded with this comment:

He doesn't have a choice, that's how he is. He's one of those people that thinks that anything he creates is crap-on-a-stick and he's embarrassed to inflict it on people… Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo is another one of ‘em.

Okay, I have seen Fred do this and it does indeed annoy me. In fact, his self-loathing is one of the things that drove me away from MegaTokyo desipte my love for the artwork. I didn’t even realize I was doing this same sort of thing until Wonderduck pointed it out.

Part of the problem is that I really don’t laugh at my own jokes. (You can’t. By the time you re-word and re-arrange a joke a couple of dozen times the humor is gone. By the time I’m done with a joke I’m sick of it. I doubt most people laugh at their own material.) This leads to a lot of self-doubt and second-guessing. If I made one that was spectacularly un-funny, how would I know?

Okay, so here is my promise: No more of this navel-gazing crap. I’m grateful for my readers. It doesn’t matter if there are a thousand of you or just my mom, I’m glad you like the strip. So from now on I promise not to do any more of this Cloud Strife “Everyone believes in me but I still suck” self-loathing and angst.

Cool? Cool.


The Ferret has posted a generous and thoughtful review of DM of the Rings. I just want to tip my hat in return for the link and the praise.

The only thing I want to add is that The Ferret says that the strip is made from screencaps found on the web. Just to be clear, I own all three movies and rip the images myself. The over-compression and JPG damage is the result of my tightwad attempts to save precious bandwidth, not a result of being careless with the images. I have unspoiled higher-resolution originals that I plan to release someday.

And finally:

I’m going through the comments in old posts and making a FAQ for the strip. If you have any questions relating to DM of the Rings, ask away.



From The Archives:

15 thoughts on “RE: DM of the Rings

  1. Pete Zaitcev says:

    There was a great MacHall strip mocking Piro’s self-loathing. But with their archive system, it’s impossible to find now.

  2. Heather says:

    Oh good. I was hoping that would end soon. :) I abhore self-loathing. ;)

  3. Alex says:

    The secret to laughing at your own jokes is read them after you’ve written so many other jokes that you can’t remember them. I read stuff that I wrote two years ago and the leaps of logical faith that I took – leaps that only made sense to the me at the time because I was writing in a universe where puns could replace the actual reasons for things – were simply amazing.

    Stuff that I hated at the time of writing turned out, in hindsight, to not be quite the trainwreck I had thought. Basically, come back to your work with eyes unclouded by hate (and memory overwritten by new memories) and you’ll appreciate it anew.

  4. *** Dave says:

    I’ll echo Alex’s wise words. It sounds frightfully egotistical to say it (which is another great fear I have), but I really like some of my stuff that I come back to after a long hiatus. (Of course, other bits of it I loathe, but whatcha gonna do?)

    For the record, I think DMotR rocks. And I’m not your mother saying this. (Though if I were, I’d deny it, wouldn’t I?)

  5. Don Alsafi says:

    I found your stuff via the Ferret link. Love it, btw. Keep ’em coming.

  6. Alex says:

    Dave: the best thing is that Shamus’ mother does read and comment. He’s got an awesome techno family.

  7. Heather says:

    I wouldn’t call his mother “techno” though I agree she is awesome and his wife (me) and the rest of us are pretty techno awesome. :)

  8. David V.S. says:

    > No more of this navel-gazing crap…

    Just a matter of personal opinion: small children, of the age when belly buttons are a source of fascination, should be taught to use the word “omphaloskepsis”.

  9. Pete Zaitcev says:

    Oh. My. God. I did not notice “sad girls in snow” when I’ve read it for the first time. Thank you, Shamus…

  10. Justin says:

    Don’t worry…the Internet being what it is, someone will probably feel no qualms about telling you when you’ve lain an egg.

    For my money, you haven’t yet.

  11. Ermel says:

    Alternatively, instead of laughing at your own jokes after you’ve forgotten them, you could always refrain from reworking them until they don’t seem funny to you anymore. Admittedly, that’s easier to do in prose than in a web comic. This is usually the road I take, with the quite real risk that my stuff does suck. ;-)

    But it’s good to see that you’ve apparently decided to trust your audience when they say that DMotR is great. And JFTR, let me again add my own view about this: DMotR is great.

  12. Wonderduck says:

    “…the Internet being what it is, someone will probably feel no qualms about telling you when you've lain an egg. For my money, you haven't yet.”

    Ditto. I love DMotR, and I don’t want to suggest otherwise. I’ve gotten around Gallagher’s self-loathing by usually not reading his comments and just enjoying the art. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to do that all the time.

    Same goes for here, but your comments are at least as important as the ‘cartoon.’ So… *shrug*

    Sorry if I was rude.

  13. Shamus says:

    Sorry if I was rude.

    Bah. No harm done.

  14. I went back and reread the whole thing from the beginning and laughed hysterically. You do good work. Thanks!

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