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April 15
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I just got back from a trip and I’ve had a lot of things on my mind that I wanted to talk about but couldn’t due to an absence of keyboards (sorry iPhone, your keyboard and hilarious auto-correcting makes long-winded journals too difficult to do on the road). So this journal might be a little... scatterbrained? I’m not sure, but I will try to separate things into groups if I can, otherwise here we go!

‘MERICA!
I live in America and a lot of times I come under fire for my political beliefs not because they’re really controversial, but because they conflict with another countries political history. So I wanted to just reiterate that I am an American. I talk about American problems. You can frame pretty much every sentence I write with the addition of “...in America.” While I try to keep a level head about world politics I am not, and should not, be used as a credible source of information regarding politics or even history of other countries.

When I talk about the comic book industry, for example, I am referring to the American comic book industry which primarily consists of Marvel and DC with a smattering of indi-publishing and import companies. When I talk about LGBT rights, it’s in relation to American politics, which is (as I have so often found) far behind a LOT of countries out there who have already given rights to LGBT people. When I speak about racism or white privilege it is ENTIRELY centered on America’s role in slavery and the long-lasting impacts that has had HERE.

I would NEVER be arrogant enough to assume that I knew anything about those types of topics about other countries and if you get angry at me because of any of these topics, please stop and reconsider your argument if you live in another country.

Chances are, my beliefs and views don’t apply there.

How much is TOO much personal info?
This is a conundrum I’ve felt ever since SYAC started becoming popular. On the one hand, I want to update everyone on what’s going on in my life and keep y’all informed about key things because, well, it helps to connect with my fans!

But on the other hand, I jealously guard my privacy, especially due to how many hate blogs like to try and personally attack me. They take journal snippets from decades ago to use as arguments about what I’m doing now, mine them for personal information I may have accidentally let slip, send me e-mails, posts, come up to me at conventions, take photos of me when I’m not looking, etc etc etc.

I’m often accused of “putting myself out there” on the internet, therefor I shouldn’t be upset when people use that info against me, even if it was posted at a time when I never knew I’d have so many followers and fans. It’s even weirder when people yell at me for posting my own opinions or beliefs or rants... IN MY JOURNAL. Like, where else am I suppose to talk about this stuff, right? I do my best to not give out too much personal information anymore, but at the same time I do still feel the need to inform y’all if things come up that hinder my work or delay projects or whatever. But often times I can’t talk about that stuff because it’s... well... personal.

As of this writing, there’s something really big that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a long time now, but I am unsure if I really should. It’s primarily about my illness and my 6-7 month hiatus I took last year, and it directly relates to why I struggle so much to produce content on a regular basis. But it’s also incredibly personal and I don’t know if I should talk about it. I know my fans would really appreciate being in the know, but it would also mean letting my haters know and they’d clearly find ways to use it against me which could be... to be frank... disastrous.

There are also instances where I comment on stuff in the geek/nerd/gaming sphere and then get criticized for not being as energetic or as sympathetic as I should be to whatever the news article is. Case in point, when I commented on the new Smash Bros reveal Nintendo announced a few days ago, I got a number of people who were upset that I mentioned how unethused I was about Smash Bros in general. I mean... you guys realized I am not a journalist, right? I am not bound by this requirement to keep everything i say “fair and unbiased.” People ask for my opinions about stuff because they want to hear what I specifically have to say, not so that I can just chime in an echo-box and repeat what everyone else already has said. I feel like I should be allowed to express my opinion (good or bad) about any topic that generally relates or interests me.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this... I guess I just wanted you all's advice or opinion on how personal should an “internet celebrity” (which I guess I technically am for better or for worse?) be with their fans? How much is too much?

Recommendations
Like I said, this journal is a bit scattershot. I was away on a trip and I just have recommendations for y’all if you’re interested.

Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and the Game that changed everything.
I got this as part of the “Story Bundle” located here: storybundle.com/
It’s like the humble bundle, but it’s ebook related instead. This bundle is all about video games and the money from your purchase (you can pay as little as $3 I believe, though if you pay $12 or more you get the “bonus” books which I will be talking about) goes towards charity. Strongly recommend getting it if just for the Minecraft book alone since it’s a fantastic deal to get so many books for so little. The Minecraft book is around $15-$20 individually as an e-book and here you get it PLUS other video game related books too for half that!

Anyway...

This was a very good book. It follows Notch as he works through his jobs before he created Minecraft, how it was conceived, what his social and work life was like before the big change, etc etc etc. It’s extremely in depth and well researched but it never feels like a text book. It’s actually quite an amazing behind the scenes look of Minecraft. I know that doesn’t sound all that thrilling, but it is a VERY good book.

The Final Hours of Portal 2
Another bonus book part of the Story Bundle mentioned above, this one goes into detail about the crunch time strain of trying to finish Portal 2 on time. It details all the chaos, the fear, the pressure, the dedication to the craft, and all that jazz. It’s pretty quick and not nearly as gripping as the Minecraft story, but it’s still quite a good read and gives some insight on why certain decisions were made.

Noah
This movie was... WEIRD... to say the least. But it was a GOOD weird. This film has had a lot of controversy surrounding it, and it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s a brutal retelling of Noah’s Ark from the bible, with some of the more fanciful crazy Bible stuff front and center, a retelling of the creation of the universe that looks like it came from a Discovery Channel documentary, and an unexpected 3rd act twist that shades the whole story and characters in a veil of morally ambiguous grey. Since so many people are familiar with the sunday school highly sanitized version, it’s no wonder this movie is hard to pin down.

But take it from me, an atheist no less, it was a DAMN GOOD movie. There are parts that don’t quite work, and even some which are a unintentionally silly, but overall the stuff it does well more than makes up for it’s short comings. Strongly recommend seeing it, even if you’re not into Christianity or religion or whatever.
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Atop the 4th Wall
  • Reading: All-New Marvel NOW! Point One
  • Watching: Lego Movie
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
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:iconkimyona123:
kimyona123 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting to hear your opinion on Noah because now I'll really consider watching it. (Since I am familiar with 'good weird' movies, but perceived the movie as: "The trailer somehow reminds me of 2012.")

On the topic of too personal (sorry that it turned out so long):
To me, your case kind of reminds me of (rather few) politicians in my country using facebook, twitter etc. to keep close contact to fans/followers and keep them up to date on events, some of them also posting more personal stuff, such as holiday pictures, which is probably on the one hand good to show they're human, but on the other hand can lead to discussions on budgeting, if one for example always takes holidays as soon as possible in expensive countries, but tells the people that the government has to save money, which is why new and higher taxes will be introduced etc etc (this second part is just an example as to make my point clear, though I can remember that something like this already happened in my country).
This would definitely lead to discussions of and attacks on the private life of said politicians, even though they might have always strictly saved their money just for the holidays because they prioritised it over a new car or anything similar. In reality, it (sadly) doesn't matter, since the wide mass does not know about this and any kind of explanation and justification (even if its the truth) will be perceived by most as shallow or even as a complete lie (Of course it can also be the case that they are indeed lying and be corrupt or anything else, as mentioned, it's just an example).

Therefore you only have the options to either not post anything on your private life (or little, such as you are doing now), or post really personal stuff and become a target (as it was already the case). I would really wish that you wouldn't need to choose between the two, since everyone should be allowed to disclose as much information on him/herself as he/she wants to, but life does not always work that way (which is really, really sad).

I can understand that you somehow have the urge to let us fans know more about you, but I have to say, I'd rather tell personal stuff either completely anonymously on the internet or face to face in personal interaction (because then you can really judge whom you're talking to and can decide what to really say and disclose on yourself :D).
Hope my opinion somehow helped.
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:icondragonzephyr:
DragonZephyr Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
I think that you should share whatever amount of personal info that makes you comfortable.
Sadly, there will always be haters and the crazy people that send death threats and the like and there isn't really anything anyone can do about them.
I recommend that you just continue to give your honest opinion about topics and try your best to ignore them.
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:iconpassin:
Passin Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
Meh, you are free to say as much or as little as you like about your personal life. And yeah, I get it that you're in America. That's why I don't criticise
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:iconginger-bean:
Ginger-Bean Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
Hmmm, well ... I think if you want to share personal information with your fans, you should. I mean, obviously not personal information that reveals your living address or anything! But, you know, the things you are going through. I really like it when people share their lives with their fans/community, it is nice. :) But you know what? People are always going to find something to use against you. Even if you just wrote a journal saying "I like pie," there'd be a horde of haters calling you racist or something. It's your choice, but I think even the most amazing, successful and influential people will have dummies picking at them, no matter what! So do what you feel comfortable with, and know that those of us you really like you and enjoy your work and opinions will really appreciate it. =]
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:iconultimateifrit:
UltimateIfrit Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If it is something you feel you really must share, screw the haters. Share what must be shared. If it is your opinions, or as you say, an illness that impacts you, or a computer malfunction, etc. Go ahead. Keep your fanbase informed instead of leaving them wondering what could be going on.

If it is something along the lines of you smelled something strange coming from the bathroom, or you dusted your living room, I think our lives could go on without knowing that. :D


On another note: Portal 2: The Final Hours is also available for purchase on steam as well. I may not like to read novels, or even books in general (They just don't really grab my attention the way other media does), I am glad you gave it a good recommendation. I love to do my research on what goes into video game design. As hard and stressful as it can get, that is one of the few things in reading that grabs my attention. (Even though most of the time I prefer it in video form, I'll take what I can get.)

I'll have to give a look into the minecraft one though. I haven't heard of that one until now. :)
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:iconwitchbeatrice:
WitchBeatrice Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
Well personally I don't think it's saying too much to explain an illness that affects how often your art gets done. I guess people could use that against you but it's the internet, there are worse things than random people making fun of you, even if it does suck when it happens.

I don't see anything wrong with explaining behavior or whatnot by stating you have an illness, I often tell my friends that I have borderline personality so that if I act inappropriately and such they can know why I am and tell me to cut it out.

A lot of people talk about illnesses and such online, it's a great way to find others with similar problems as well as just a good way to vent. Sure people might use it against you but that kind of stuff is always going to happen.
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:icondesertpriestess:
desertpriestess Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
You wouldn't be the only artist to get rude and downright awful comments about your opinions on games and so forth. Several of my favorite artists which I watch, have gone offline because of negative nancy's. 
Honestly, its easy to say 'ignore them' but in reality it's really hard. You want people to like you to some extent, so when the bashing comes out because of whatever reason, its trying to not let it needle you. 

Perhaps all the haters are affected lately by the moon?
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:iconjeditoby:
jeditoby Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
I'm going to start framing all of my nonreligious commentary with "...in America." That's an awesome idea!

If, as you say, this illness weighs heavily and will continue to impact your work from now on and thus is relevant to interpreting your work and words in the future = necessary to make public. Everything else is none of my business, unless you want to share it.

Noah...I might catch this up on DVD sometime, but I read the Bible, so I kinda already know the story. The manufactured hubbub about the lack of "God" because "Creator" isn't good enough for some self-righteous dolts? Meh.
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