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First drugs, now abortions?! 
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Post First drugs, now abortions?!
Alright, if anyone wants to know why I made the decisions I did, this is the full explanation.

First of all, if you've read the about page, you know that I came up with the idea for the comic in 2007. I had a brainstorming session and came up with most of the major concepts for the strip and ideas for plots. This included the catnip story arc, which wouldn't necessarily last too long. At the time I considered what would be appropriate content for the comic, and so I decided to make the catnip more like hand-rolled cigarettes than joints.

I uh, seem to have lost that aspect of it when I made monday's comic. Even though I didn't draw the nip as a joint, everything else (stash, dealer, Max's withdrawal symptoms) pointed this towards being much more serious than I really intended.

"Oh well," I said last night as I finished the comic, because I was tired and stressed because school starts again today, "I'll put it up, and hopefully it's passable."

Well, even though some people like it, and that's fine, it was very directly pointed out that if I were to continue this, this would be a step toward a mature comic. But this is supposed to be a stupid cartoon comic, not a serious mature comic. In my mind the idea of the arc didn't look as dire or as serious as it did to me this morning.

So, I had a decision to make. Either run with the rest of the arc for the next two weeks even though I've completely lost interest in it, or kill the arc before it has a chance to go anywhere and I will be more careful in the future about what I put up.

Either way? I am going to incur the wrath of a small percentage of my fanbase. So I opted to fall on the side of keeping my comic within the boundaries I wanted it in in the first place.

It was a bad judgment call on my part. Would I have kept the arc going even if it had a positive reaction? I am not sure. I had two jokes in particular I had planned for this arc that I wanted to do so I might have pushed ahead anyway. But let's keep it to cartoon violence and off-screen smooshies, cause this comic is supposed to be fun.

You may use this thread to harass and flame me if you want.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:04 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
:D after reading the comic I just figured that you drew it up and thought 'ehh' so no harm no foul in my eyes

Also I like the characters too much to leave XD.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:07 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
*Harrass harass, flame flame* Okay enough of that.

I support whatever you decide to do with this arc, that seems to be throw it out the window, I really like the idea of keeping this to a 'stupid' fun comic as you put it, it's great to have some real-world referances and to bring in some of the problems of the real world, and I think with the first few strips in the arc you did a great job on keeping it toony and fun, especially with grape passing out, I just think that showing them DOING the drug was where it turned potent.

It's good to hear from you on this and I support wherever you want to take the comic. I look forward to a new start next week, Take a break and get back on the train with school. Ours just started today as well, in fact I just got back to class from lunch ;)

jD

P.S. Love the name of the thread :P

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:10 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
FerretWithASpork wrote:
P.S. Love the name of the thread :P


I would have made it the filler comic's title text if I could figure out how to do that with Comicpress

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:12 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Yeah i haven't a clue XD I've never used comic-press. My roommate and I are looking into making a comic soon though so I'll probably be playing around with it on my webserver soon.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:15 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
while its your right to do what you will with your comic, and i support you in the every facet of it,i must say that if you'd simply kept it like how actual cats use catnip i don't think there'd be any repercussions. IMHO at least.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:21 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Completely agree. It would be more comedic to see Max having withdraws and then Grape gives him some, and he just rolls around in it.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:24 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
now THAT would be lawl worthy... besides.. has anyone every actually TRIED to smoke catnip? I HAVE! (it was a dare) its HORRID! and smells worse than weed! catnip tea on the other hand..... getting off track here....

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:27 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
LOL... You've TRIED IT?!?!?! That's just TOTALLY random... And they make TEA out of catnip???
...
...
...
Does it have any side-effects? :D :D :D

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:28 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
no its just kinda tart... but its ok actually...

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:29 pm
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Post did someone say drugs?...
Honestly rick, it never occurred to me that there would be a catnip ARC. I thought the woozy grape was actually a decent way to end a silly bit of a micro-continuity. You could have gotten away with not even saying anything, and I don't think people would have noticed that you stopped yourself from writing a particular story. Though I have to say... some of the first ARCs are probably much more questionable (boundary pushing) than an arc about "catnip" abuse. From my perspective, the comic seems to be an interesting commentary of adult issues in kids clothing (intolerance, for one), so I wouldn't have bat an eye either way and I don't think anyone that mattered would have taken it the wrong way or declared you Cerberus. Cuz hey, it's you! You could easily make a catnip ARC and keep it PG, or atleast on the same level as the rest of the comic.

Oh, and humans can smoke catnip. Done the right way, it produces a slight mellowing effect. The effect is amplified when cannabis is added. I don't suggest it though, it's a waste of money.


Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:56 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Ehn, think most of my thoughts on this are already defined fine in the other thread, though most of my rantings were on why it happened rather then what should have been done about it. Anyway If a comic doesn't meet your own standards you're free to step back from it. Even if the population was over-joyed with the comic, if it didn't suit your vision it isn't right.

No complaints from me on this.

I've.. heard of a few cat-nip based foods, and drinks over the years. Certainly not common though haha, and I can't remember the specifics. But ehn, no reason for humans not to it.. it's not like it messes with our heads.


Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:00 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I'm with the whole mindset of, "it's your comic, do what you want with it." You'll have fans no matter which direction you go, so it's just a matter of deciding for yourself how you want to take it.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:29 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I'm also on the "it's your comic, do what you want with it". I'm here to hear your story and I'll ride that train for as long as you're willing to tell it, and it's obvious that I'm not alone on this. There's always gonna be people who are disappointed with the changes and bumpy roads in the storyline of your comic so you might as well tell the best dern story you've got, because your loyal fans will be with you for the long-run.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:20 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I think you made a good call, Rick.

Better safe then sorry. (<---Also a Left 4 Dead referance in disguise)

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:34 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Tomfox and CalaverX11 wrote:
"it's your comic, do what you want with it"


Hear Hear!

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:58 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
While I pesonally wasn't upset by the comic, I could understand why some other people were a little upset by it. Heck, I'll admit that I was a little skeptical of this whole thing myself.

There's nothing wrong with putting a bit of black/dark humour in your comic, just as long as it's not overboard obviously.

I know it's "your comic and you can do whatever you want with it" and I wholely respect that, but if I'm allowed to put some constructive critisism on this, I personally thought it went slightly overboard in the comic you put up today. The previous comic was funny since it was a slight reference to getting high or drunk (dark humour I guess) and I thought it was the end of that, but then you sortof unnecisariliy extended the joke into a bit weird terrirtory that didn't fit with the whole theme of Housepets!.

This kindof reminds me of that VG cats comic, Aeiris goes back in time to "abort" Leo. It shows the whole coathanger, but it doesn't extend to comic by showing the whole proccess or anything.

Again, I fully support that Housepets! is your comic, "it's your comic and you can do whatever you want with it". You don't have to take any of my critisisms into account, ignore it if you want, but I just wanted to post my thoughts on this whole "fiasco".

Jeez, looking back over this post makes me feel really formal. I must be used to the other forums I go to :D

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:07 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Totally worth it.


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Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:03 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
... Hello. I'd like to Apologise if i may have seemed very... hostile in my previouse comment on the comic that involved the smoking thing.. I know for sure that if anything your entitled to your writer's choice and path... And that because of this my comment means that it is just there to help you not force you down a path.. I hope you forgive me if you took offense to it.. I hope that you have a really good week. And to your life's work: I Hope it is more fruitful then ever before!

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:15 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I barely remember what I said that night (it was 1 AM, I had to get up by 8 AM), I DO know I said "I lost MOST of my respect for Grape," but I suppose that's because I'm some sort of an anti-smoking person (probably just about as much as a P.E.T.A person who loves McDonald's >.>). I just don't know why I reacted the way, though, I did to THIS comic... I'm fine with people smoking in real life, AND in movies (I'm of the agreement that, if there's smoking, the movie shouldn't HAVE to be R rated... that's a little stupid).

Maybe it's because I don't like getting my "Real life" mixe... know what, I'll just drop it, this horse is dead, and the stick that's being passed around is just broken, and I don't feel like going in with just my fists...

ALSO I wouldn't have particularly PULLED the comic myself, just put up the filler notice that it wouldn't be continued. I would have left it as a little reminder that it was somewhat out of bounds (plus, years down the line, new people will be going through the archives and wondering "Huh? what comic? That last one [the last one being the one where Grape has a secret]? It wasn't bad, it was funny!)


Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:13 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Actually I'm going to phase out the filler comics and just put all that in an extras section. Or perhaps only reprint them in books!

. . . eheh

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:22 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
This is very much your comic Rick; so far be it of me to call you out for censoring it if it crosses the threshold of PG, or if it wanders into "mature" territory - and certainly far be it of me to call you out if you find what you are doing disinteresting or a chore rather than fun.

rickgriffin wrote:
When people commented on it, it was a litmus test to see how I really feel about it. Because when people said that the drug use was inappropriate, it allowed me to step back and think, "Yes, this was most certainly a bad direction to go." When other people complain that they really want this comic to be more mature and how dare you change your mind, it allowed me to step back and think, "You know, I really don't care about that."


... but that is got to be the single most pathetic excuse I have ever heard for doing anything, ever. You, in essence, said in that, "I better see what everyone else thinks about this, so I can decide what I think about it," If you are in fact dropping the arc for your own reasons, then no shade of red or blue would, could or should have any effect on your actions. So then, do not think me rude if I wonder , whether you have really asked yourself is this the right course of action - Or if you let someone else answer that for you.
The entire aspect that is alluring about art is it's capacity to share with others the views, perceptions, and understandings of its author. Visual media is the most vivid example of this because you are literally showing others how you see something. But the key part of that is how YOU see something; not the crowd, not the mass, not even a cluster of friends and fans. While it is true, that everyone will never like one thing, and there will always be those who do not approve of something; no one is forcing them to enjoy, or even tolerate it. Escape is but a click away!

Art is anything if not controversial, but the merits of each piece can be debated in themselves, so long as there is a piece to debate! Shifting your own willingness to make art the way art is intended to be; thought-provoking, unique and above all, interesting - is a far more shameful thing than any heap of outrage or insult could inspire to be.

A greater crime you have committed in this case is to yourself! Imagine, if you might, a chef finds he wants to whip up a fantastic chocolate desert; but upon serving it one person takes a look at it and says, "That might make me fat," so he scraps it from the menu. It robs anyone else of the ability to sample and savor that sweet delight because of someone -else-'s opinion. It certainly denies the chef any very well deserved compliments or critique. And, as such, the chef himself casts aside very useful critism and analysis. He not only forgoes the delight of sharing his vision, but sheds the capacity for he as a chef to grow and learn better ways to season, spice and serve his dishes.

While I don't expect you to suddenly change your mind and go ahead with the arc; I do hope that you consider what you lose by not continuing with it. I hope that in future endeavors, you consider what you want to show may not be what everyone wants to see - but that is exactly why they come to look at it. Take pride in your work, even if you are assailed by dissenting opinions - for you have encouraged your viewers to observe with a critical eye and think with a critical mind. And that; is a far greater pleasure than any amount of hollow praise can afford you.

~Tesc.


Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:20 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
The only thing about it that bothered me was the gooey eyeball thing... :shock:

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:23 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Whatever we have to say is speculative at best. It's not like I can reach across the pacific and clip him around the head if I don't like what I see. On with the show!

...and Grape's expression in the 'removed' comic makes me sad by osmosis. Good work?


Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:50 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Tescon Whitepaw wrote:
... but that is got to be the single most pathetic excuse I have ever heard for doing anything, ever. You, in essence, said in that, "I better see what everyone else thinks about this, so I can decide what I think about it," If you are in fact dropping the arc for your own reasons, then no shade of red or blue would, could or should have any effect on your actions. So then, do not think me rude if I wonder , whether you have really asked yourself is this the right course of action - Or if you let someone else answer that for you.


There's a problem with going forward with any dumb thing that falls out of my head, and that is that the person closest to a piece of work is blind to it. Any artist should know this, that's why there exists the concept of feedback in the first place.

I was listening to what was being said, not just tallying dissenting/approving opinions and making a call from that.

Even so, there have been several times in the past in other storylines where people expressed reactions I was disgusted with, but this was the first time that I also felt like this was a poor move to make. The problem is that I made the decisions after the comic went up, so how could it not influence me at least a little, if it reinforces the poor feelings I had over the comic when I went to bed?

I have lost nothing from dropping this arc except perhaps some readers who are overly uptight about my decision-making process, and a week of comics. If you think there's something else missing, some grand dilemma that I've uncovered or a social evil that I will enlighten to thousands of people, you're sadly mistaken. Because this is a stupid cartoon comic.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:56 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I actually registered here to apologise, I made a very irritated rant when I first saw you pulled the comic without knowing your reasons, at the time it did seem as if you were just doing it because of the negative feedback. Having read your explanations I understand your reasoning a lot better and... eh, we're all allowed to change our minds and I can hardly complain about that. I'm just concerned now that people not reading the forums will jump to the 'he got some negative crit and changed things' conclusion I did tp begin with; maybe linking to this topic wouldn't be a bad idea as you explain yourself far better here than you do in the comments currently on the front page.


Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:52 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
That's a good idea, I'll do that.

And thank you.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:55 am
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Hey, Rick! I just joined this forum because of the problem you had with your last comic. Your comic is truly one of the most awesome things I have ever read on the web. The way you make great facial expressions of the characters and good jokes that make you feel better after a hard day at work. And I wish for you to keep up with the good work. Now, about the latest comic: "Making A Withdrawal" did not bother me in any way, it was weird to me that you decided all of a sudden to make Grape a junkie of some sort. If you pointed it out a few comics before about her "cat nipping" problem, then we wouldn't be surprised with what we saw. And I was very interested to see the progress of the story... The same day in the evening, I decided to read it again, when in fact you have completely got rid off the comic like it never existed. I respect your decision from giving up of your story arc. But, I think that you should include the "banned" comic on your website in some new section of (for exp.) deleted comics, alternate drawings, endings and etc. Because what you made is history that should be at least documented somewhere, and not pretend like it never existed by deleting it. People make mistakes, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. If you watched Disney's Fantasia http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032455/, in the Pastoral Symphony segment, the part where the black centaurettes appeared, they would be just zoomed out of the picture so that they wouldn't be noticed because of all the racial issues at that time when the film was made. All that I'm saying is that mistakes can happen and that they shouldn't be completely erased from our memories. It's not everyday day you see some mature elements in the comic. Keep up with the good work, and be back better that than ever with a new story arc! ;)


Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:46 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Tescon Whitepaw wrote:
... but that is got to be the single most pathetic excuse I have ever heard for doing anything, ever. You, in essence, said in that, "I better see what everyone else thinks about this, so I can decide what I think about it,"


Yeah...see...that's called "being an artist."

When someone creates something they're unsure of at first, they need feedback to make the decision as to whether or not to continue a trend. It's his comic, it's his art, it's his writing, and it's ultimately his decision. He wasn't sure of how to proceed with the story from that point, so he decided to see how the readers reacted. Granted, he could've found another way to get feedback before publishing the comic, but again...it's his website, he'll do it how he wants. I'm not going to fault him for that. I'm not going to fault him for getting "mature." I'm not going to fault him for deciding against getting "mature" based on some people's reactions. I am a little disappointed because I would've liked to have seen where that arc could go. Frankly, there are a lot of ways catnip could be introduced without being a blatant reference to any other type of drug, and it could still be funny and mostly-PG. I've seen more "mature" crap on Animaniacs and Spongebob. But that's just my opinion, and it's not my website.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:55 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
davidkecojevic wrote:
I respect your decision from giving up of your story arc. But, I think that you should include the "banned" comic on your website in some new section of (for exp.) deleted comics, alternate drawings, endings and etc.


I will likely put it up at some point if/when I split off the About page and make a Bonus page.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:58 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
This is my first time posting here (and because of this i don't even know if you'll read it!) but i had to say something about the arc.

Having never owned cats myself, i always viewed catnip as a like energy drink for cats. Made them hyperactive. So i saw this arc as almost making fun of drugs because in my experience everyone gives catnip to their cats! So i'm kinda sad to see it go, but at the same time i understand people view art especially (in any way shape or form) in their own experiences and some people will no doubt, see it differently and not in such a good 'ha ha' light.

Of course also with the timing of the 'woozie grape' i thought it fit well with people getting drunk/high off their rocker on new years. But again almost in a clean way cuse i didn't think theres any harm in catnip....?


Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:41 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I still dont see why we are lingering on this topic.

There will be more lulz to come the following week. Its over and done with.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:51 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
alyafenume wrote:
i always viewed catnip as a like energy drink for cats. Made them hyperactive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepeta - It's a hormonal reaction to pheromones, basically. It affects cats differently based on their genetics. Certain types of cats are more prone to excitement while others feel more relaxed/drunk.
Oblivion wrote:
I still dont see why we are lingering on this topic.

Because people still have something to say on the matter. Rick will close it when he feels like it.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:11 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
CalaverX11 wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepeta - It's a hormonal reaction to pheromones, basically. It affects cats differently based on their genetics. Certain types of cats are more prone to excitement while others feel more relaxed/drunk.


I believe something like 15% of all cats are immune to it's effects or something like that... Two out of my Four cats don't react at all.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:54 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Uh.
Okay, I missed it on monday.
But even reading the comments on it gave me chills - and I don't mean because of the bluntness or flaming or whatever.
I just know I'm not missing on much.
But that's more my own personal phobias than anything.

Wahahaha this is where you lose like fifty percent of your readers.
Not really but boy.
You sure got some angry ones on that, dinnya?
Wow. And here I only saw the forum comments.

And we're lingering on this because I haven't commented on it yet, and no discussion is complete unless I comment, right? ~<3

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:19 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
I find it funny how the forums suddenly gained a few extra members after this strip, in fact the most members on at once is like 9 or something a few days ago.

Well I guess that's one way to get more readers, more drama :P

Oblivion wrote:
I still dont see why we are lingering on this topic.

There will be more lulz to come the following week. Its over and done with.


I personally like the discussion, it get's people opinions on the subject at hand. But I see what you're saying, this stuff has run it's course.

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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Jumplion wrote:
Well I guess that's one way to get more readers, more drama :P


Actually, I just didn't realize there even was a forum until this happened. But hey, free forum, who's complaining?

Obligatory Rick should do what he wants.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:50 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Jumplion wrote:
I find it funny how the forums suddenly gained a few extra members after this strip, in fact the most members on at once is like 9 or something a few days ago.

Well I guess that's one way to get more readers, more drama :P

Oblivion wrote:
I still dont see why we are lingering on this topic.

There will be more lulz to come the following week. Its over and done with.


I personally like the discussion, it get's people opinions on the subject at hand. But I see what you're saying, this stuff has run it's course.

I think its doing more damage then good at the moment. Maybe this is one of those things that its appropriate to use the expression:

"One day we'll look back on this and laugh."

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:17 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
Possibly next week.

*cough*

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:28 pm
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Post Re: First drugs, now abortions?!
having come to the forums specifically to see your explaination in more detail, i gotta say that now i'm even more convinced you made the right choice.

i did not know about the comic that was pulled, but reading the description of it? deffinitly a good idea to pull it. this comic is very lighthearted and smile-worthy, even when dealing with slightly upsetting issues like being alienated by friends or whatnot. it brings a smile to my face to read it, and an arc dealing with withdrawl symptoms and drug abuse? would have been a bit too heavy a bit too early on.

that said, don't let the annoyed comments bring you down. as a webcomic artist since 2003 i can tell you that the people who are first in line to scream about how much they hate something are only the bottom of the barrel as far as readers go. most readers are quiet, shy, and polite. and as a result, obviously they don't scream. they just want their comic, want to read it and enjoy it, and want to do so in peace. listening to the most vocal minority is a good way to lose those quiet diligent readers.

also because your comic is of a 'furry' nature (by some standards...i personally don't feel it is, as my personal deffintion of 'furry' is 'it'd make no difference if the characters were human or animals, but they're animals anyway' and if the pets were human it would sort of ruin the whole joke) you've got more than the usual in terms of loud pushy morons ready to complain no matter what you do.

so hey. your choice, and i think you made the right one.

my personal stance on drugs etc differs from yours, but i still agree whole heartedly that housepets was not where allusions to drug use, dealers or withdrawl belong.

i shall be awaiting the comic to come next week, and i am quite sure that the majority as well as the more intelligent of your fans will be doing the same.

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Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:48 pm
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