"The nastiness directed towards Zen Pencils does not constitute good criticism, but the comics as a whole could stand to realize that there is more to the process of creating than empty eulogies. In raising art to a pedestal-beyond-pedestals, Zen Pencils does not enshrine art, but merely the idea of art, an empty rhetorical figure used metonymically to refer vaguely and uncritically to everything good and pure in the world. This emptying out of art, so to speak, is not a new phenomenon; defending art for art’s sake, as if art exists independent of the world from which it arises and must be bulwarked against that very world, is a common and noxious idea that gains ground whenever one speaks of art as a goal in and of itself. It is easy to appreciate art, to worship the very idea of it and identify it as the sentinel against which all the evils of the world are kept at bay, but this is tantamount to a betrayal of art itself. Art does not preserve the world, nor does it transcend it; art creates the world, and to criticize is to define and create art itself. We make art not to transcend the world, but to critique it, and make it a better place. And when we can fully recognize and appreciate this, then maybe Aung Than’s dream will be realized, and art will truly triumph over #hate it all its forms."