So I guess you can consider this comic the companion piece to Wednesday’s comic where I suggested Sam Worthington was some kind of synthespian or artificial actor. I guess I don’t know what to say about it except that I can’t turn down a joke where someone is peeing their pants. I’m talking to my therapist about it.

I thought that I would see Clash of the Titans late Saturday evening. But it looks like I might be going this afternoon, instead. My father-in-law offered to watch Pearl for the afternoon while I go get an oil change for my car. I was kind of taken aback. I’m thankful for a little break, but I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do after the oil change. But when I saw a commercial last night advertising the Thursday midnight screenings of Clash of the Titans, I knew where to go.

This has been my first week home with Pearl since my contract job ended and it has been very rewarding. We have an opportunity to bond a little more now and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Having steady employment is great, but they’re not kidding when they say you don’t get this time back.

That said, taking care of a four-month-old can be time-consuming. Even when she’s napping, I’m taking care of the house so Cami doesn’t have to worry about it when she gets home. Laundry, dishes, dusting – all that. It’s only fair. As such, I feel like I’m not connected to things like I used to.

It was no big deal to take a 5 minute break at work every couple of hours and check things out online. Now I don’t have time to do that, so I feel like I’m floating a little bit.

But, like anything else, it’s about settling into a new routine. I guess I just wanted to share that this first week at home with Pearl has been a success.

Changing gears, I wanted to share something with you guys that kind of threw me for a loop.

First, I need you to take a look at this image. It’s a mockup for a new convention banner that I’m going to take as part of my booth setup to C2E2. I’ve been making the rounds, trying to gather feedback on it and figure out ways to make it more eye-catching. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a few posts related to this.

The second thing you need to know is that I am a paying member at – Brad Guigar’s site that provides support and feedback to webcomic artists trying to improve their work.

The last thing you need to know is that the general reaction to the banner is that it’s nice, but that the tag line does not reflect the characters. In other words, I’m setting up the expectations that my lead characters are “difficult,” but I show them being pleasant and non confrontational.

My reaction to this criticism can basically be summed up by the statement that I really like the tag line, but I don’t want people to think my characters are jerks.

Brad leveled me with some feedback over at that must be pretty close to the truth, because I’m sharing it with you here right now.

“What you’ve got there is a derivation of the Mary Sue complex,” writes Brad. “You realize at a basic level that all of these characters are really you on a psychological level. The sooner you allow ‘yourself’ to be disliked for the sake of your humor, the sooner you can write better stuff.”

I’m under no impression that Brad follows what I do with any regularity. But his powers of observation uncovered a truth about me as an artist that I hear over and over again – My Need To Be Liked.

I think anyone that has read this blog for a while knows that I will sometimes apologize for a joke the minute after telling it. A lot of people scratch their heads and ask me “Why do you do that?” In the past, I’ve always said it was because I don’t want to accidentally offend people. But fundamentally, I think it’s because I have a need to be liked.

I don’t know that this was as much of a problem when I first started out. Probably because there weren’t any expectations. Less people were looking at the comic, so there was less of a chance that I was offending anyone.

But in the last few years I feel like I’ve suffered accusations that don’t represent me as a person that have probably changed the tone of my work. I don’t have a problem saying what’s on my mind, but I’m not the kind of person who seeks to offend. So, as a result, I’m starting to wonder I’ve been concentrating less on my work and concentrating more on trying to prove I’m not a bad guy.

I don’t know. I’m still working some of this out in my own head. But one of the advantages to the internet is that I can pose these scenarios to you guys and get an outsider’s perspective.

One of my failings as an individual is that I have absolutely no idea about how others perceive me. I try to lead a good life, I try to avoid hurting people and somehow this combination has lead me into a corner where I am not really letting me be myself through my work.

Maybe that’s the reason I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a journal comic for so long.

Anyway, now that I’ve dumped that in your lap, I’m curious as to what you think. Is Brad onto something? If you’ve been reading the comic for more than a few years, have you detected a shift that has been otherwise invisible to me?

I appreciate your feedback!

↓ Transcript
I'm actor Sam Worthington. I'm here to address rumors that I am some kind of CGI character and not a real person.

These rumors are preposterous.

Could a CGI character cry on command like THIS?

Whoever coded this emotion subroutine mixed up "crying" and "peeing your pants."