This was already posted on DA, but I thought some people here might like to weigh in on it.
The image of Jo in her tiny bikini led to a strange interaction with what I guess you’d call a fan. Believe it or not I got permission to post this message as long as I didn’t reveal the source. Honestly I would have done it either way because it’s not like anyone would have known who sent it, but the person in question was more or less asking his question in earnest. It was as follows, though edited to read more clearly:
You have Carol to draw already who has big boobs why waste your time with the one who is the smallest? You like Carol the most right?
Now I made my peace with this gentleman, if he can be so called, but the complete bluntness made me sort of overthink the whole thing. This line of thought may not make a lot of sense because I don’t always think in a linear way. Just get through as best you can and feel free to make any points you like in the comments.
People are weird about not getting what they want. Some people get really belligerent when their exact desires aren’t met. Sometimes they are really specific about what the problem is too. You see it on the internet a lot, especially with art, or comics. Someone will get it in their head that you misled them in some way and then rail against you for a while. Or be mad that some strange particularity was present or absent.
I can certainly understand getting that myself because a lot of my advertising is almost belligerently misleading. I’ve always maintained that everyone is a pervert in their own way, so if you lead them someplace you may be able to appeal to the regular person that resides inside them too. My comic is very much the kind of thing I like; a lot of talking about random stuff, but I’m no angel, it’s going to be sexy from time to time because that’s part of life. A great part, and I’m often torn about what level of sexiness I should take things to.
It’s not as simple as saying “I have the freedom of speech, you can’t censor my incredibly realistic depiction of life!” (I know my subject matter isn’t that’s just a satirical example.) My host has rules about stuff. Rules that I don’t want to break because it’s not always easy to find permissive hosting services. I mean the language alone is enough to get my comic an R rating, if such ratings were typically applied to webcomics. That being the case I could, under that definition, show some naked boob from time to time. My host operates with an American mindset though, so I could show someone being brutally murdered while the assailant spewed a stream of obscenity and few would care, but if a naked tit showed up all hell would break loose.
I think that’s backwards. Tits are nice, murder is most foul. I think the wrong think is being vilified. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a breast and though “That breast looks shifty, I hope it doesn’t murder me.” I’m always hopeful. (Maybe it will settle near me, so I can pet it. XD)
Anyway, I felt like I was being judged in a weird way. Like he was more or less saying that I wasn’t being true to myself because I obviously like big boobs most of all. Which is not true. I like the entire range of available boobs. Availaboobs if you will…
I understand that anything a person puts up for public display is going to lead to people making judgments about them, and that’s fine. For whatever reason I’m really conscious about it sometimes. At the end of the day what my personal preferences are aren’t going to matter much to most people. Very few think that deeply, but when someone calls attention to it I start mulling it over.
Part of why I have a cast of very physically different characters is because I like a wide range of features. And that applies to the males too. Mike particularly because I tend to design males with very angular faces and almost every line on him is curved. The contrast is entertaining. I help keep me from getting sick of drawing the same people almost every day.
Of course the variety leads to problems sometimes because Ed & Jo come up the shoulders of most of the cast, so I have to frame things differently because of that and my anatomy is weak at best. Having the smallest and tallest characters express feelings for each other seemed like a fun idea before I started drawing stuff. Now I’m like “if they ever had sex how would it work…?” And the thing is it’s not like having one member of a pair be significantly taller than the other is weird. It’s just not depicted very often. For very much the same reason in movies as with any visual media, I expect. It’s hard to frame a scene when the players are drastically different in height. Most women are nearly a foot shorter than me. Nina’s height comes specifically from one of the few I ever met that was taller. It was such a novelty I knew I had to save it and use it someplace later on.
As long as we’re on the subject of differences in sizes, I want to know if anyone has noticed something or if it’s just me imagining things. It seems to me that the bigger a girl’s boobs are the more pornographic her images are likely to be seen as. I’m not sure where the cutoff point is, but images of Carol get comments about her chest whereas Nina and Jo only get comments about being generally hot. I realize that Carol’s stand alone images emphasize the fact that she is busty, but is that all there is to it? I think not. I think there’s something both culturally and genetically inside us. (except for one comment that seemed disappointed that Jo wasn’t as endowed as they thought she should be. That was a new one for me.)
Maybe I should have put this someplace else in this journal… Ah well, stream of consciousness and all that.
There’s often a conflict inside us about what we are physically attracted to and what we are mentally attracted to. Unfortunately the two things can’t always coincide. I am lucky in that my physical tastes are always overridden by my mental ones. I’m also lucky in that my physical tastes are varied. I am unlucky in that it is VERY rare that I meet someone who is a good match for me mentally.
It’s hard to answer people when they ask me who I would pick as a mate from my cast. Partly because I put a certain amount of myself into every character, so it’s narcissistic, and partly because I would be compatible with all the girls to one degree or another. I am glad that I will never be burdened with such a choice in reality. If I find any woman with which I could share common tolerance it would border on the miraculous.
Sex appeal is a very nebulous thing. It different for every observer. For some reason humans want there to be standards for everything; for things to be categorized. Sometimes it’s practical to be that way, but there are some things where it gets muddled. Media presents us with an ideal. No specific organization creates it, but somehow enough like minded people get together and present this ideal as the version of something that is the most appealing to the most people. For this illustration let’s restrict it to the human form. Monetarily it is the human form that will allow a group to sell the most of something to the largest number of people. So the “ideal” form is an average, in every sense of the term. They don’t stand out in a particular way, but are generally pleasing. It’s okay to deviate from that ideal, but you have to accept that if you do you enter a minority. The further you move from the average the less acceptance you’ll find for what you’re presenting. We change the perception of the ideal incrementally by championing that which deviates from it.
People who champion the different are often ostracized, but presenting the world with something that appeals not to the masses is no bad thing. Just prepare yourself for the ones who will hate you for it and embrace those who praise you for it.