|www.bannagalactic.com (WE'RE OPEN!)|
Hi all! I thought I’d share this fun video biography of ...me(?) and the bannagalactic site. A lot of effort went into the video itself. I just wish the same level of effort went into the research.
It’s actually hard to tell if this was done as a joke (due to the level of inaccuracies and misleadings), but just in case it was meant to be serious, I think it’s only fair to rebut the falsehoods. I’m going to go point-by-point, what’s true, what’s not, and help fill in some of the missing info. I recommend watching it first (while it’s still up), and meet me back here for the breakdown.
Here we go!
1. The title (?). We’re off to a great start. The click-bait is strong with this one. No one is falling, btw, and I prefer the term expansion artist
2. The opener is good, and yes, it is hard for an artist to make a living under their own umbrella. Yes, sex sells, and the shots of all the ladies is a nice hook for the video itself. Yes, some form of money-generating mechanism is a must for the solo artist, and yes, we should strive to give what is promised. I’m a bit conflicted about the phrase “but more importantly you should treat your supporters with respect and admiration” (1:01). This is a little misleading in terms of the relationship between artist and supporter. I agree with respecting the supporters, and I do go out of my way to make sure people know how to get a hold of me if there’s a problem. I even hold a weekly skype/now discord chat where members are free to join and bring their issues directly to me. And of course email info is provided. The “admiration” thing is a little forced and unrealistic. I can’t control who supports the work, nor do I have the ability to know each of them personally at the time of their support. So if a hate-mongering Nazi throws money my way, I’m not just going to out-right respect them. Confusing statement.
3. (1:31) My reputation diminished. Is that a factual claim? Or just an opinion? I’d need to see some actual metrics if it’s the former. You can say my viewership diminished, considering not everyone followed my work once I launched bannagalactic, but that’s obviously due to a subscription requirement.
4. The origin segment is pretty accurate, but like the author said “simplified”. The initial launch of the site consisted of a LOT of back-and-forth with the early members to adjust the functions of the site, set up the polls, etc. Most of what the site became today is member-created.
5. The BannaGalactic comic. Is there an expansion in every page? No. Is there expansion in every chapter? Yes. All expect for one: chapter 7. It’s not the main focus of the story, but it is a reoccurring theme throughout. I can’t guarantee everyone will love the story, but it is my story, and something I still enjoy working on today. Really didn’t expect everyone to like it lol, but it does deliver in terms of having an expansion presence. Listening to the breakdown discredits the amount it actually happens.
6. (6:35) The reason I use similar poses...QUANTITY of work. Guys, I have created over 1000 pin-ups over the last 6 years. That’s JUST the pin-ups. How many ways can you draw and clothe a spherical figure before similarities occur. If anyone can point to an expansion artist who has never used similar shapes PLEASE tell me. To add to that, there are a set of popular shapes that people like seeing. For example, if I draw a character for member A, and member B likes the pose-shape and requests it for his/her character request, then I’m going to use the same pose. I can promise that every pin-up image has a penciled-ink original. Re-drawing a lot of these similar poses also allowed me to perfect them, tightening up loose details here and there.
Blueberry week: lasted 5 days, 5 characters. And after that, people pointed out where I went wrong. It was my FIRST go at blueberry and I guess I screwed the pooch. My intent was not to insult anyone. Next time will be different. I’ve had 19 or so other theme weeks that got a lot of positive responses.
7. (7:20) Creative ambition is a weird term in general. I put the same level of attention to detail with every project I start. Even back when I was just posting on dA, the art was more or less “mechanical”, meaning the implementation of skills learned over the years. That’s all it is (for me anyways). I can’t really do more or “try” more than I have learned. The only ambitious projects I can account for are the comics, since there’s an extra level of planning and choreography required. Some pin-up characters just don’t have a lot of details, so they don’t “pop” as much as other characters in more ornate outfits. On top of all that, if a character’s boobs and belly are taking 80% of the image space, how much detail is supposed to be included?
8. (8:00) The “ditching” of fan-written scripts had more to do with back-end production planning reasons. There was too much work to do throughout the week to keep up with the 5-day posting schedule, and the demands for some of the scripts were over-reaching. For the sake of keeping full-time work hours, I had to take the reigns of the fan comic script. This is something we made members aware of at the time.
9. (8:36) Fan comics did not abruptly end. That’s really misleading. There was a standing page-limit, and once the fan comic reached that limit, the comic ended. Members were well aware of this limit, and made their voices heard by page 6 if they wanted it to continue or not. If they were voted back, then the comic would pick-up where they left off. Complete falsehood.
10. (8:54) “For some reason, Jed stopped making fan comics altogether...” The reason being a hypertension attack, where I couldn’t breathe right for half a day. This was due to the workload of the website, which was slowly eating away at me over time. It finally came to a head one morning and I woke up half-paralyzed, unable to take full breaths. Sufficed to say I took some time off work to recover. Members were updated about my situation by my wife, and many sent well-wishes. I ALWAYS find a way to let people know ahead of time if there’s going to be a hiatus so they can cancel their subs for the time (if they choose). I’ve been a one-man art factory, and even I need some down time. And yes, sometimes shit just happens and I can’t avoid it.
However the fan comics did not stop, they were simplified down to what can be described as sequences. This technically did not make them any less a comic format as the samples depicted.
As of TODAY, I am happy to report that the Fan Comic is back up to it’s original format, complete with a running story and multiple characters.
11. (11:42) Under-aged characters. The “controversy” continues… Again, this segment represents an over-simplified version of how the years-long discussion went. It’s out-dated, and over-blown in terms of how it’s impacted the site. Anytime the phrase “his fans were this,...” or “his fans were that...” is mentioned, it’s pretty much 1-2% of the over-all membership base. No where near a majority opinion or reaction.
12. (10:30) “5-month hiatus...” Not 5 months. ONE month. And it happened twice. The first time was to recover from aforementioned hypertension attack. The second was to allow myself time to make some extra money on the side to keep the site going. After 6 years, my prices haven’t changed. In the meantime, rent fees have nearly doubled and family expenses have gone up since our first child was born last summer. $6.50 a month was a bargain back then. Today it’s practically nothing. Just doing what I can to keep the machine going. Oh, and I do take vacations around thanksgiving and christmas time. I’ll even take a week off here and there to clear my head and spend time with the family. This segment is wholly inaccurate.
13. (10:56) A few members probably left, but it’s hard to know exactly why. This narrative (which is wrought with falsities) is definitely painting a picture of DROVES of unsatisfied members leaving, which is far from true. Our membership numbers merely didn’t grow enough along with real-world inflation prices, which resulted in me having to find alternate sources of money while keeping the site active. We have the same number of members we had 2 years ago. There was no exodus. If there was, I’d like to see the evidence for it. This video has been in pure speculation mode for a while now.
14. (11:13) And I did track down what I could, and reported the images I could. Tumblr, some of the earlier inflate-chans, pixiv, etc. I’m not a human search engine. I relied on a lot of members too who navigated these sites to let me know where art was being posted. BBW-chan does not reply to DMCAs, so they adamantly refused to take down my artwork. Using them as an example without understanding their posting rules comes off as manipulative towards my efforts to remove my work from alternate sites.
15. The state of the site today... Oh boy, THE DRAMATIC MUSIC! I think I know where this is going LOL. Spoiler: the system lasted 2 weeks, and was immediately reverted back to it's original form, only THIS time with no more water-markings! I’m going to wait until the part 2 is posted so I can fully rebut that as well.
At the very very least, it was entertaining! 2/5 stars!