I really can't believe the response to my last post. It has appeared all over the place. I thought a couple of dozen people would read it and take it to heart, and I pretty much knew who those people were. I figured they could ask me to clear up any points in person!
For the most part it has been taken in the spirit it was intended, though it's dispiriting to see it re-posted elsewhere without my proviso that there is always room for hobbyism and art for art's sake. People can do what the dickens they like! I spend my whole life telling people to draw for the joy of it.
I think I made one point badly. When I say "don't read comics", I mean "don't read comics to learn how to construct a story". And even then I'm being harsh, but I know a number of people who never crack open a prose book and it drives me up the wall. Being able to sit down and concentrate on reading something for an hour or two is extremely useful and good for your brainium in the modern media age.