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Feburary 3, 2003:
The Work Formerly known as Radical Dreamers
Okay, this is going to take a bit of explaining. where to start... hmmm... Well first of all, we're changing the name of this web manga. why? Well, the short answer is because we're tired of living in the shadow of Squaresoft.
The long answer is that I've had it with people who insist that this work is related to or is a rip-off of Crono Cross. The one mail that really pushed me over the edge was from someone who admitted that they haven't played the game yet, but still insisted that this was a big rip-off of it. Now I have no problems when people say that the dialog is bad or that the plot seems contrived, because I can learn what my weaknesses are and get better. But what am I supposed to say to comments that are essentially "you suck". I know that this story is not going to appeal to everyone. It isn't even remotely trying to please everyone all the time. If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to read it. If you find a plot hole, that's one thing, but if you just don't like the way a character is turning out, or how the story is going, then go create your own story. But I guess some people just take some sort of pleasure in just ripping other people's work apart.
I'm so pissed that I actually pondered for a second why I continued to pour hours upon hours working on this. Creative works are a funny thing. They're sorta like a window into the creator's soul. At least that's how I feel whenever people experience my creative works. So I wondered, was I wasting my time working on this just so people can take sadistic pleasure in tearing it apart? It's like leaving myself open for random people to come and punch me in the stomach. Why continue? It was a really long second, but I realized that I wasn't being rational or fair. We've gotten enough positive comments that even someone as dense as I can realize that there are people who are enjoying this. Also, it would be really unfair (not to mention somewhat evil) if we were to just stop.
So, once my senses came back, the best thing to do seemed to be to change the title. We don't really know what we're going to change it to, but we'll hopefully come up with something soon. Okay, I guess I'm feeling better now. I promise that I'm not going to make a habit of whining. I don't want to start sounding like Piro from Megatokyo :P ... and, to all the people who have sent positive feedback, thanks. It means more than you probably realize.
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Laura: February 3, 2003:
So basically what Joe said. We are planning on changing the title of Radical Dreamers. It wasn't so much one particular person that prompted the decision, but I think the aformentioned e-mail got some dialog going on an issue that had been in the back of our minds for a while now. As long as we continue to keep the name Radical Dreamers, we will continue to be linked to a video game (or song) that we really have nothing to do with. I think in the beginning, neither of us realized how prominent the title was in the minds of video gamers though we certainly expected people to question the name of the comic. But now, the comic is up and rolling and to keep the name could possibly make things complicated in the long run. Not to mention, I think I always felt a little guilty when I saw all the hits on our page that resulted from searches on "radical dreamers". While it may have earned us some readers, I can't help but feel we've mislead people. But most importantly, Joe and I have put a lot of work and our own time into this project. We care about it a great deal and I think it deserves a name of it's very own. I want to change the web design anyway and the name change will coincide nicely with that, so I like to think that this comic is going to be getting a brand new face. Not that the art or story will change, but the presentation will be taken to the next level.
However, there is one thing that did bother me. There have been some allegations that we have (ahem) borrowed extensively from a particular series of video games. That hurts. I am a professional artist. I have had my dealing with people who "borrow" ideas and art, especially during my time as a student in art school. It hurts a lot when you work very hard to succeed, especially since art is such a personal thing, only to have someone else get the same praise as you for someting they didn't work for. I once had someone tell me that a drawing I did was a copy of someone else's painting. This was a drawing that had been part of my senior thesis in school, something that I worked with my teachers, other professional artists, in developing. It wasn't a copy but the end result was unintentionally very similar. What I am trying to say is that I would never copy someone else's work because I absolutely disdain the act of stealing ideas and claiming them as my own. But also, it is my opinion that it is very difficult to come up with an idea that is truly original. Like my mom said, it's like trying to come up with an original Christmas card. Joe and I aren't pretending that our comic is the most original thing in town. Part of the fun in creating the story for us is drawing upon the creative things that we love and that have inspired us. It's enough for what we want to do. But the story is built upon our own ideas that we talk about and work on.
Whew! Having said all that, I realized with a little bit of horror the other day that maybe Tia looks a bit too much like Kid. (graaaah!) Fortunately I don't believe in fictional universes where everybody wears the same clothing all the time so the next time we see her, she'll probably be dressed up a bit differently. Anyway, I guessed I've aired out all my issues. I'm not complaining (well I am but not in a whiny malcontent way). Ninety-nine percent of the feedback we've received has been positive and constructive, but certain things do tend to get me riled. But next week, everything will be happy and beautiful again!
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