Thursday, July 9, 2015

Maybe It Should Be Made Clear...

The following  is a complete, recent review of my book, 57 Pages: A Short of Thought-Motivating Cartoons

Glad it was short, because it may be the worst thing I've ever read

I was provided with a free copy of this book so I could give an honest review.
This will be brutally honest. I apologize in advance to the author, who I'm sure put a lot of time, effort and care into this book. But the rules of the review require me to be honest - this collection may be the worst thing I've ever read.
The cartoons were all drawn from 3 or 4 similar motifs. I understood VERY few of the author's points. When I did understand them, they were trite or pointless. The cartoons did not enhance the written words at all. There was zero humor. There were numerous grammatical errors. 
In fact, I have no idea why it was even called "57 Pages"! Yes, there were 57 "chapters", some of which had 1 cartoon, some of which had several, but within the chapters there was no continuity between the cartoons, either aesthetically, topically, or otherwise. Nothing made sense at all. If I hadn't committed to read for the review, I wouldn't have finished this book. And that's despite the fact that it was a very short read.-from Amazon/ Book Critic, Elliot Cholom, June 19, 2015

An example of a cartoon that "made no sense"?

Instead of me feeling offended of Mr. Cholom's criticism of my book, 57 Pages: A Collection of Thought-Motivating Cartoons. His words and those of the other book critics were taken to heart, given consideration by me. Although it seems true, Mr. Cholom exaggerated on one of his numerous, unexplained complaints in his short and 'brutal' review. One of the first cartoons in the book (also seen in the book's preview) features a young girl visiting Santa Claus at a shopping mall on Christmas Eve. Instead of asking Santa for new toys the little girl requested that hungry and homeless children to be relieved of the plight. How is the cartoon "trite or pointless"?
For a fact, there are millions of homeless and malnourished children struggling to survive on Christmas Eve in the nations that celebrate the traditional holiday. Sadly many of them remain in impoverished conditions year round from one Christmas season to the next. It has been claimed (yet not entirely confirmed) that by the seconds on each hour in global statistics children die of hunger and other, relative perils of poverty. It would be very unfair to suggest that Mr. Cholom is insensitive and ignorant. He may indeed be sincerely concerned about those infants' plight, but like many of us are unable to relieve them of their sufferings. However, there is little doubt many others understood the cartoon more clearly than he did.

In another cartoon, a dog relates to us about protecting his owner in the daytime and the evenings. The relative artwork in the cartoon reveals the dog nearby his owner in the darkness of the snowy, winter night. The critic did not expound how the artwork failed to enhance the written words. The style and approach to cartooning can vary among the individual artists. However, cartoons are not required to be like a fine art painting or be richly detailed. These are officially unreal, non-photographic, visual representations.

"I did not ask for your help. I can figure this out on my own!"

Mr. Cholom stated in his full review of spending time trying to understand the cartoons. And we may be attempting to get a fair grasp of what he is trying to argue. In another cartoon, a man jumps for joy when his father's creative works are being recognized. The humorous drawing reveals that the father been dead for such a long time that his son is now an aged man. Isn't it true many persons-artists especially (like Henry Darger and Franz Kafka) are finally acknowledged 'after a lifetime' or more?
As said before this critic's sayings were given the benefit of the doubt. In this consideration, I spent hours doing something not wished for by me as an author. Because this effort might remove some of the self-discovery the readers might appreciate in 57 Pages. In the book under each cartoon, I noted and offered some explanation. This new feature of explanations will be for every cartoon. Besides some of the gag lines were edited, revised-made simpler to understand. Unfortunately, I do not have yet the resources and tools to revise all the cartoons.
Mr. Cholom did not need to apologize to me for being honest, especially if his job "rules" requires it. What are those rules, do these include same-like, honorable principles being maintained by competent, book reviewers? It appears the book critic, and I have different viewpoints of what is honesty, objectivity, fairness and yes, the understanding of continuity and else more. There is another matter. If a food critic started getting very sick sampling a cuisine at a restaurant. Would he force himself to finish the entire meal to exercise fairness to the restaurant and fulfill his duty as a food critic? His editor would likely prefer him to be well enough to write the review for the next edition tomorrow. Does that sound reasonable to you?
One of those 'rules' I did not ask for or insisted is for any reviewer to force him or herself to read my book. You may ask your local reviewer. If they encounter a book, film or theater play that is affecting them negatively and they are unable to finish it. Critics likely have the option to stop 'right there' and convey in his or her review that the book was so awful I was unable to finish it. So "I will give you my evaluation up to page 41", or page 27 or 83. Or "I needed to walk out of this movie because there is too much profanity" or otherwise.
My book is not very funny, but it was not prepared to torture either. Not every editorial cartoon cause spontaneous laughter. Mines are social commentary, not- political. It is unfortunate that some from the critic group repeat that phase of reading torture after each other in their reviews regarding my book. If the reviewers are being placed in such mental pain or intellectual anguish. What was said by them might be another misrepresentation or an exaggeration to discourage any interest in my book. Why possible? Is it because they disliked the messages or themes in the cartoon more than of the grammar errors?
You do not have to do this for me. If you are viewing or reading something, even my book that is affecting you wrongly-please then consider turning away from it immediately. It is truthful to assume that the main chef and her staff would not be happy if the food critic became ill after consuming their signature dish and insisted he finish it for them. Of course, they would not want him pass out or vomit at their establishment. They have prepared the meal to be part of a favorable experience at the restaurant. Please do not harm yourself needlessly on my behalf or for anyone else, this is senseless in any intellectual activity.

Here is an example below of having my added explanations to each cartoon in my book. There may short notes or leading questions, other cartoons may have references and longer descriptions:

Author's Note:  Ingrain or ingraining have a definition of installing or inputting into something or someone. The mother said she and her husband were teaching their children, incorporating values and virtues in them. The art of parenting is a constant, fine-tuning attention upon the hearts and minds of developing youths, rendering them into responsible individuals with hard work and sacrifices in the discipline of love.

There are positive cartoons in 57 Pages including those of friendship, support and trust and self-esteem. True you will not get a belly full of laughs from the humorous drawings and the gag lines. However from the basic descriptions noted here could you imagine that the cartoons were intended to cause readers unnecessary displeasure and disheartenment? I like the cartoon of the marooned, young woman awaiting rescue while trying to ignore a threatening creature. She is a fictional individual in a fictional situation. It might not make sense, but I wish to meet such a determined person who was more concerned about her survival than breaking a fingernail.

Within this month, you may soon see an example of a cartoon being partly explained by me on the book's product pages on Amazon and Nook Press. There is an example above if you can see it on your internet browsers. If you wish to purchase 57 Pages without the explanations, you may have an opportunity to do so. Also, Nook Press and Amazon may allow you to update your copy of 57 Pages shortly after the release of the revised edition. Mr. Cholom gave particular attention to the title of my book, this subject will be covered on an upcoming posting on this site, thank you for visiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment