TheMutant wrote:C'mon, guys. Do we really need to start posting the 'George R. R. Martin is not your bitch' article around? Because I'm sure it has been already somewhere.
Okay, even though this time I was full of hot air because of my own misconceptions and Rob was completely in the right (well, other than that .gif, but he already apologized for that), I'd like to explain to the people who don't "get it" exactly how someone can get so worked up over a simple webcomic in the first place.
A webcomic is a completely different medium from a book. George R. R. Martin doesn't directly talk to us about publishing deadlines - he talks to the people who produce his books, and those people are the filter for how often a book comes out and how much it's expected to contain. George R. R. Martin doesn't sell his own merchandising, he does it through third party companies. When he appears at a con or gives a speech to fans, the tone is 90+% "professional" - he doesn't really take the time to know his fans personally.
Webcomic authors are different. They sell their own stuff, they discuss their scheduling plans with their readers directly, they "hang out" with their readers in a more social context on the forums and, at least in Rob's case, they kick back and party with their fan/friends as well. In short, they develop MUCH more personal relationships with their readership.
Add to that their stories, which, rather than being disseminated in block form, /trickle/ out through the webcomic medium. If George R. R. Martin's next book is a delicious box of cookies that you go out and buy, then Erfworld is kicking back on your friend's couch and being passed one cookie at a time.
If you've finished all the cookies at home and the store doesn't have another box to sell you because they're out, that can be a little disappointing. But if your friend says "Hey, come over and I'll pass you some cookies" and then when you get there he doesn't have a cookie to give you, that can be frustrating on quite a few levels. The most significant one being that he /said/ he'd have cookies, which means he lied to you. Your friend, who invited you over to his couch to eat cookies, /lied/ about having cookies (to those who contributed money, he lied about buying cookies that you chipped in so he could go to the store and get). So yeah, you can just go home and eat some other cookie, and yeah, it's not like your friend had to offer you cookies in the first place, but the fact is he /did/ offer to have a cookie there for you and then it wasn't there. And you were hungry, so you're cranky about it, but more importantly, your friend lied to you. AGAIN. And he's done it repeatedly throughout your friendship. So eventually you go a little nuts and feel the need to tell him he's being a bad friend, and he should have cookies when he says he's going to. Not because your friendship is based on the cookies - although in this case if you follow the analogy I guess it sort of is - but because you want to be able to take your friend at his word.
(To apply the analogy to this last situation, though, my gripe was basically "You said you'd keep extra cookies in the pantry so we wouldn't run out again, see, it's says in our IMs right h... oh wait. No it doesn't. Okay, my bad, I thought you were stocking up on cookie dough but you were actually still getting over your cold before going out to the store again." It was never about how long it takes him to make cookies, which is why at first I didn't understand why he posted this workflow thread at all - didn't even seem relevant to my gripe. But in responding to him, I found the disconnect, because, since he /didn't/ promise to keep the pantry stocked with cookies, he thought I was mad because I couldn't deal with the possibility that we /might/ run out of cookies in the future. God, what a boophole I must have looked like from that perspective.)
So no, Rob's not my bitch. Rob's my friend who promises to give me cookies sometimes. And he doesn't have to - tomorrow he could decide he doesn't like making cookies anymore, and while I could certainly be disappointed because I love his brand of cookie, I have no right to be made because he never had an obligation to give me cookies in the first place. But sometimes he says he'll give me a cookie and then he doesn't have one, and I get mad because he said he'd have one for me. Sometimes a little extra mad because I chipped in for the cookie dough. And sometimes I think he said he'd have one for me and it turns out I was just having a case of selective hearing because I really love his cookies, and that's when I get to look like an ass and realize I was being a bad friend for not listening well enough, but then, I didn't listen well enough because I was still a little sore over last time when he really did say he'd have a cookie. It's not a relationship with the faceless George R. R. Oreo and when he's gonna stock the supermarket shelves, it's my personal friend who invites me over for cookies.
See the difference? (I hope so because this whole rant has made me very hungry for cookies.)