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Goodbye, LJ Idol!
cap, captain miss america
I know a lot of you are probably shocked that I decided to drop out of the LJ Idol competition, so I decided that I owe everyone an explanation.

I would like to thank everyone who did vote for me and who had picked me as a favorite to win, as well as everyone who just enjoyed my entries over the past eight million years since the competition started. I had a lot of fun making them, and I will tell everyone that I got what I wanted out of participating. I dropped out because I decided it was the right thing to do, and I think it was a positive choice for myself and for my fellow participants.

So why did I leave?

1) I'm not that competitive.

I didn't enter LJ Idol to win. I entered it to make friends and to have fun prompts to use to help challenge myself to make comics.

I know a lot of people say they didn't enter to win, but I really mean that. The best way I can show that is by not taking the pleasure of winning away from someone who really wants to.

We're getting down to the part of the competition where winning is important. And I know there are some people who did enter with the hope of winning. I'm just not one of them. I'm really flattered that so many people love my stuff, but I think that there are a number of other people involved in Idol who will get a lot more out of winning than I will. I mean, I don't even like the idea of putting a banner in my userinfo or having my name in the sidebar of the community! Silly, I know, but it would be a waste for me to win.

So, yeah, it's not why I signed up, and it doesn't really interest me to win. Is it lovely to think many people would choose me as a favorite? Yep! But I've gotten enough praise and good thoughts and positive feedback from participating already. Somebody else should win.

2) It's more interesting this way.

Most weeks, I'm in one of the top three spots in the poll. Many weeks, I am in first place. It's really nice and all, but I think the competition will be more fun if things get shaken up a little bit. This is a good way to do that. Being at the top of the poll for so many weeks, especially weeks when I didn't ask my friendslist for help, is lovely and in some ways is more gratifying to me than winning a single poll.

3) I entered to have fun.

And the pace, duration, and quantity of content required for the competition is less fun for me at this point. I would rather spend my time NOT wondering how the heck I will get two or three or four entries done in a week. I like things like going to barbecues and making ice cream and...oh shit, okay, everything I like involves food.

4) This game wasn't really designed for comics.

I'm not saying comics haven't been welcome in the game. I think they have been very welcomed-- everyone has been so supportive of my comics, it's incredible, especially when it comes from people who aren't comic fans. But it wasn't designed for comics, and the closer we got to the end, the clearer it became that the amount of work required was going to be too much for me to balance with the rest of my life. Sure, I could do it, but I would rather choose to have my time to spend the way I wish. I discussed my peculiar position in the contest at length with Gary and I decided that while I didn't expect him to completely change the game around for just one player when drawing comics was something I chose to do voluntarily, and it would make it a heck of a lot easier on him to know he didn't have to worry that anything he was doing was hurting one player more than the others. It was a great experiment and I think that it is pretty good proof that someone with significantly more free time (and, say, no friends, family, or dishes to wash) could win LJ Idol by exclusively drawing comics.

5) I get to do something nice for someone else this way.

Gary tells me that if I drop out during the poll, someone else gets to stay in. That is kind of awesome. The way I see it, I would hate to get to a point where I *can't* finish the required entries for the week and *have* to drop out, and took a spot that could have gone to someone else at that point. So rather than playing till I just couldn't play anymore, I decided it would be better to bow out with a little foresight and make sure I'm not taking someone else's spot.

I should also explain that Gary made me make a list, in order, of who would be saved, before the polls close. This made it really hard because I had to rank everyone. And I created a little ranking system that might not be perfect but made it easier for me. So I didn't know when I made the list who would be saved and who wouldn't. I apologize to alexpgp for not saving you this week; you have seriously been one of my favorite writers in the competition and I love your stories to death. The two people who were facing elimination were literally ONE SPOT away from each other on the list I sent Gary; that is how close it was.

It's funny, because today, the polls were very close. And it made me feel very at peace with the whole thing, knowing that no matter what, I would be leaving. And yes, I knew I was leaving before I posted asking for votes. I just felt like I should act like it was any other week right until the end. I also wanted to make sure this was a surprise!

I want to make one more statement before closing this out: I may or may not participate in the Home Game depending on whether my own projects fit the topics. However, if anyone is interested in working on a short comic with me (the length of the Idol ones) or would like me to draw anything for subsequent Idol entries (like, one picture), feel free to ask. Depending on timing, I'd be happy to play with all of you!


I've always thought that if I needed to drop out, I'd do so during the poll so as to save someone else if I could at all swing it. I think the way that you've done this is lovely. I also think you've completely and utterly proven that comics could most definitely win Idol because there's no doubt that you had a great shot at the title. Instead, this way, we get to enjoy your comics again next time round if you decide to play.

I'd also like to say thank you again for sending over a copy of your wordless entry for my son. It really meant a lot to both of us and it's the behind the scenes nice things that people don't see that speak volumes.

Thank you! I checked with Gary about it before I dropped because I felt pretty torn about dropping out when there were other people who would probably love my spot, so I was thrilled when he said I could do it this way.

I probably won't play again, just because this was such a huge time commitment and while it's been a great learning experience, I want to work on more serious projects of my own.

And sleeping.

And you're very welcome. I'm really glad he enjoyed it so much!

You are amazing, Tea, simply amazing, and I am incredibly glad to have gotten the honor of seeing your comics, reading your damn fine prose, and getting to know you.

Aw, thank you, Sean! I think you're pretty amazing, too. There will be lots more comics and I am looking forward to continuing to read your stories!

I don't know how to tell you how much I've enjoyed your entries this season, and how much I've seen your presence, and your genre, change Idol and open up new possibilities to current and future contestants.

I really, really hate to see you drop out, since I was one of the people pegging you as a winner months ago. (After kittymichaels, of course.) But I respect the reasoning, appreciate the explanation, and hope that I'll get to keep reading about you and your food - not to mention your comics - on the friends list.

You will be sorely missed in Idol.

There will still be lots of food and comics!

Thank you so much for the kind words. I think I *am* a winner, personally, because I got exactly what I wanted out of this experience!

I support you 100%, though I did have $250 riding on you winning the whole thing.

Of course, I bet against Kitty, so my own fault. I wonder what he's going to buy?

I suspect it begins with a C and ends with a "hicken."

Which would be apropos considering he won it off me.

I would have loved to have continued playing, but Gary would have had to have Idol "weeks" that stretched a month if there was going to be enough time for me to finish multiple entries!



not 'cause I'm like super smart but because you are kind and clever and you knew you woulda probably won or come very close to winning if you stayed in.


And also, I would LOOOVE to work with you again if you ever need (or want, or even vaguely desire!) a Cat-type thing.

Edited at 2010-06-30 01:53 am (UTC)

I would very much vaguely desire a Cat-type thing!

How did you guess?!?! You are the smartest Cat ever. I don't think anyone else guessed.

You're a very good person and I feel you've accomplished the goals you set for yourself when you started. And this, though in the scope of reality such a small thing, is really beautiful and profound and sweet.

I did! I'm very proud of myself. I said that I didn't want to drop out, but then I saw ways that dropping could be a positive thing and what I could reap from it would be more positive than forcing myself to stay in because I had decided I would several months ago.

Thanks so much for taking such a keen interest in Idol. It's been great to see.

(Deleted comment)
I am delighted to have met you, too, Mandi, and that's exactly how I feel. I've made so many wonderful friends and met so many diverse and interesting people and that's what LJ is supposed to be about.

You are awesome. And you were my favorite and still are.

Also, I have a ton of respect for you. Like, seriously, a ton. Because you have class. And you would rather be kind to others than arrogantly/stupidly selfish. And because what you say in public maps directly to what you actually do.

Let's get married tomorrow.

Re: Goodbye, LJ Idol!

I'll come to NY if I can be your flower girl!

I just wanted to drop by and give the biggest tip of my hat to a very polished lady for one very classy move.

(And perish the thought of apologizing to anyone, least of all to me! The game unfolds the way it should, and I for one have no complaints.)


Aw, thank you so much!

I did feel bad, though, it was very strange that the two of you were literally right next to each other on my list. But I totally dug both of your stories this week, especially the dragon one. I felt like your dragon needed to get together with my princess from my earlier story! Your stuff is really phenomenal and I'm in good company going out this week.

I don't have words.

I really don't.

So I'll confess that I'm crying a little bit (I'm fucking crying a little bit, goddammit!) and I will say "Thank you."

I just...

A whole bunch of weeks ago I told you you were a Quality Human. Back then I didn't know just how much quality there was. I would have left it at "Goddamn, you really are a quality human" if it were anyone else, so given fact it's for me you'll just have to accept that I'm fucking crying a little bit and that will have to be the added emphasis.

Thank you.


I... thanks.


Does it make you feel better if I tell you this comment made me grin?

You're very welcome! I'm really glad I got to do it!


You are amazing. And a little crafty. I will have to keep an eye on you. ;)

I'm totally out of the loop on this whole idol thing, but...


Wow. Tea. Every time I think that I couldn't possibly admire or respect you more than I do, you just blow me out of the water again. You are amazing and classy as hell.

I think when it comes time for me to take my own stock of what I've gotten out of this season of LJ Idol, you are going to be right on top of that list. Meeting a terrific new friend practically in my own backyard (except for the not having a backyard bit) -- it doesn't get much better than that.

It won't be the same without you in the game. I've been expecting for a long time now that you would be the one who came out on top in the end, but I guess you've found your own way to do that now. Well played, lady.

I do feel like I came out on top! This was a great way to go, much more fun that having to angst about polls! And it was the right time to go, too!

I am thrilled I met you, too. I am so excited to have you nearby! New friends are the best.

Leaving on a sacrifice is sometimes the funnest way to go.

I DID wonder how that second surprise entry impacted you this last week. That had to be difficult to get done.

I think you could have won overall but I agree with the "need time for other things"

I'm glad we're friends because I can still see your work sometimes (I hope:)

It was very kind of you to give someone else your place..

It was really hard. The amount of waking, non-working time between when the topic went up and when it was due was less time than I had spent on an entry since Week 28. Like, if I had spent every waking moment working on an entry, it was still less time than I had spent on the other ones. So I emailed Gary about it and expressed my frustration over it. I was really upset! Gary and I talked through it at length and discussed some of the problems I was having. And I decided the best move was to drop.

And I'm really happy I got to give someone my spot. It was neat to watch the poll because I didn't know who would get it, I just knew who was most likely to get it.

And yes! You will see all my work that I post here!