This is an email from a reader that I thought had some interesting stuff in it, worth sharing with the general audience. I redacted the name out of courtesy. My responses are in bold.
So idk if you want to hear from people on things. And if not, I apologize for using the email intended for patreon sketch whatever things as a means of chatting with you. I try to respect the purposes of things. And stuff. It’s the same one I use for everything anyway so no worries.
I read 2033 (One Step Beyond) today, and in the blog post you say this.
“Body positivity is one of those things that has too many layers of context. I get praised for having so many curvaceous ladies until some people find out I actually find it attractive. It’s only progressive if you don’t want to also have sex with them, kids. I don’t make the rules, I just live in perpetual fear of being singled out and destroyed because of them. ”
And I related to it a lot, because I’m a fellow appreciator of larger women. And sometimes it puts me in weird places in conversations online where people who use “it’s unhealthy” as a justification for fat-shaming, and people who use “it’s unhealthy” as a way of reasoning with and trying to support/encourage people to live their best lives overlap so invisibly. It’s a weird Venn.
I’ve noticed and greatly appreciated the range of bodies you have in your comic. Always made it feel more real to me. And I always assumed that it was because those were the body types you were drawn to, because if I were to draw something for myself and then release it to the world, I’d probably do it much the same – draw people I’m attracted to, in one way or another, damn the politics unless the politics were the point.
I get really bored drawing the same kinds of people over and over too, so there’s layers of reasons why I do what I do here. Mostly they are self serving, but you can frame some stuff as being altruistic, or whatever, for back pats. It annoys me when I perceive other creators framing their fetishes as “body positivity” or whatever buzz word. If you like big tits just own it. The people who were going to hate you for it were never going to like you regardless. Making money from a handful of perverts is way better than making no money from, but getting praised by people who don’t actually like your work.
Your last sentence really hit hard though. Probably because I was primed for it tonight. Lindsay Ellis, a media critic youtuber, did a talk at XOXO 2019 that I just found this evening. I should mention that I don’t know what XOXO is or that there was one until the video popped into my suggestions. In it, she conveys an experience from last year where a twitter joke was taken out of context, spread as a legitimate opinion, and led to a massive hate campaign against her. I can’t decide if I recommend you watch it, or if I recommend you don’t. Cuz even for me it was damn depressing.
I had already seen it. I don’t always agree with Lindsay, but generally I like her content. She shouldn’t be targeted for this kind of harassment. That said, I really dislike a lot of her friends. She tends to be a little more middle of the road. Enough so I can find her tolerable. In any case the mob mentality that is running rampant right now isn’t new. It’s just an old cycle magnified by technology. We are going to have to fight it by being aware of it in ourselves as much as in others. The video is worth watching no matter where you fall politically, although it is cringey at some points & she’s clearly having a hard time talking about the experiences.
More and more, it seems that if you occupy any public space, you can’t win.
So I guess I’ll say, I appreciate that you’re still occupying it, even in your own small way. (as Fry once said “existing is all I do!”) Which sounds patronizing and I hope it reads as supportive because that’s how it’s intended. I’ve always felt like we have a lot in common, I guess, and I admire the work you do with the comic and such. I hope that fear doesn’t hold you back too much, but I understand if it does, and I don’t think anyone who would criticize you for that understands just how terrifyingly psychotic the internet really can be.
If anyone is ever skeptical, feel free to point them to that video. Should clear that shit up real quick.
Anyway. All the best, as always.
This may sound insane, but my nihilistic attitude is kind of my life safety valve. Whenever things get tough, or people are going after me, I like to think about how we’re all going to be dead before long & the option is always available. It’s basically “this too shall pass” to a degree twisted by my abnormal psychology. It allows me to be like “If things don’t get better tomorrow there’s alwaysdeath” then I go ahead and try one more day. Maybe that’s crazy, but it works for me. I’m not trying to say it will work for anyone else. I’ve lived with such extreme anxiety for so long now that I’m pretty badly broken, and yet all the band aids I’ve slapped on my mental health have managed to keep my cuts from getting infected. Every day I wonder if I’m going to make a joke that gets me “cancelled” because my sense of humor is not popular right now. Social media is basically my only connection to other people though, so I’m trapped in a cycle of hating it, but also needing it. Not only for my business, but for my sanity. If I didn’t have the internet I wouldn’t talk to anyone but my father for MONTHS at a time sometimes. Humans are not supposed to function that way. Interaction that most people take for granted are things I haven’t experienced in vast stretches of time. Isolation is not good for social creatures, but the internet is like a drug that can simulate it & allow someone like me to at least make a living.
Anyway, if you make a living online the sword of Damocles is always right there, in the form of a mob just looking for a target. Because it feels good to destroy someone. Especially if you can do it with righteous fury. You just have to hope the odds will be ever in your favor…