Every artist, on some level, loves fanfare. Who doesn't? But most artists resist criticism. I've been guilty of it in the past myself. But for the most part, after I suck up my pride, I use it.
Any time you put your work out there [ in a comic book or on the web or in a gallery ], you're up for criticism. Sometimes the critiques aren't necessarily valid. They're coming from fans or, in a lot of cases, keyboard warriors that just want to be negative for the sake of being negative. But in almost all cases, there's something to be learned by criticism.
My wife is a perfect example. She's not an artist, which is my usual go to excuse when debating the merits of those that might offer critiques of my work that I disagree with. My wife, can't draw. But she knows when a nose is off. Or if the lighting looks "weird". Or if an arm doesn't look right. Or if a drawing is just sorta dead. She has a good eye. Maybe she can't articulate it in a way that offers me a solution but she does a good job of letting me know if a drawing of mine is on the money or could use some change. The criticism is never fun to hear. Never. But the moment I get over myself and take a fresh look at what was critiqued - I find the change is always a drastic improvement on the work itself.
That's not to say that any drawing that gets critiqued becomes perfect - but you will start adjusting your focus to that specific problem. It helps. Fresh eyes always help.
So what if you're trail blazing? You're Picaso? You're trying to do things artistically that no one has ever done before? How can criticism be constructive then? Well, it's always constructive in one sense or another. Even the casual fan can pick up on aesthetics. People instinctively relate to attractive things. Granted some find morbid or ugly attractive. But morbid can be attractive. Everything can be if it's approached well. My point is, people, more often than not, can spot what's appealing. They can appreciate quality. So if you're trying something new and inventive and it's awesome - people are gonna go wow! But if you're trying what you think is new and awesome and you're not getting the reaction you want - you may need to make some adjustments. Maybe minor or maybe major. But you won't know if you don't seek out solid advice and criticism.
In my case, I'm lucky enough to have a very critical but incredibly talented set of friends. My biggest critic is
Dave Johnson. A lot of times I'm terrified to send art his way. He doesn't pull punches. But his critiques are genuine and he wants me to be the best I can be.
Find someone or a group of someones that you can get some solid feedback from. Otherwise, you'll find improvement to be a very slow ride. And that ride could come to a full stop. Everyone has seen what happens to colleagues [ or celebrities ] that rise to the top of any field, art, music or other entertainment and stop listening to criticism and only allow "Yes-men" to sound off their praises. They lose touch. They lose their fire. They lose the edge that got them noticed in the first place. They stop growing.
Give yourself every opportunity to succeed. Suck up your pride and ask for feedback. It may hurt now but once those wounds heal up - you'll be stronger than ever.