One of the great things about the internet is that it’s open for anyone to express themselves; whether that be through videos, blogs, music, and even comics on the web (like my comic).

A criticism that I hear is that, without an editorial process, the content that you can see is amateurish trash (like my comic). Professional content is leagues better than anything that you can find on the internet because the editors are the gatekeepers of quality assurance. I respect editors because it’s always good to have another perspective and an experienced perspective is better than none. However not everybody has access to an editor and sometimes an editor can be a real $%&^!

Being a cartoonist is a huge part of my identity and it has been for a long time. I’m lucky that when I started drawing I showed enough aptitude that others encouraged me to draw even more. And luckily enough, the more I drew, the better I would become (because practice helps).

I have witnessed, on a few occasions, an editor or two exercising their mandate and refusing to publish a cartoonist’s strip. It could have been for any reason but I guess the easiest explanation is that it wasn’t “good enough.” The result is that the cartoonist gets discouraged and moves on to do something else. And a little part of me dies inside.

Because I identify myself as a cartoonist, when I see a cartoonist quit, I feel like someone is ceasing to be who they are and prevented from realizing their potential. They may not be “good enough” for the professional standard… but for the level that they are at, they’re pretty good and can get better.

The Gatekeeper then becomes the villain to me. He didn’t mentor or encourage the cartoonist to improve, he only slammed the gate shut. And why shouldn’t he? His job is to assure quality, not help people develop. I suppose that’s reality.

It could also be that not everyone is supposed to realize their potential as cartoonists. Some people have to be discouraged and move on to realize their potential as investment bankers or wedding planners. Cartoonist may be my identity but not everyone’s. Their path is different and the discouragement they received in their formative years helped them become who they are now.

I’m just happy I was encouraged to be who I am.