765 Little Big Girl.

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.

26 Comments

That’s an interesting reaction from that particular… gentleman. I’ve found in my internet experience that the fans of smaller breasts are easily as vehement as those of the larger variety. Personally I would draw some of them smaller than I do if I had the talent, and I applaud you for being able to pull it off with the Jo pic. Diversity is wonderful and essential, and it’s sad to me that my female characters are all C-cup or above for now.

From a purely thought-exercise standpoint, you wouldn’t think it difficult to draw small-chested women… relatively speaking… but even I found there is something oddly awkward about getting it right. Never quite sure why.

Wow. Impressive size there sir (on your essay :)
I find it odd that you get different demands at all, or questions like the one you did. It seems to simple to me. Everyone’s different, they like different things. You, the artist, are nice to provide extra sketches (in varying degrees of clothed/unclothed), so yay. You’re also nice enough to provide variety, so double yay for you, many peoples different tastes will be satisfied. If i don’t find something in particular attractive…meh. that should be none of your concern (unless you go looking for new ideas something to sketch and ask for suggestions).

I dunno. I find it strange that you need to defend yourself. (Not that its not interesting to you describe it, of course it is. just a shame it had to be in response to something).

Meanwhile, thankyou for the awesomenewss of availaboobs. +1 internets for you just for saying that.

Man, son that is one hell of a blog.

You know how I feel about the height thing. It may add difficulty in framing that causes most media outlets to ignore it but screw it, it’s fun. Neil Flynn (Janitor on Scrubs) is 6’5 and on his new show The Middle, his ‘wife’ is 5’3 ish. About the same for the couple in 4 Christmases. Yes. I google tall actors for refs of them with shorter women.

I’m afraid to draw a tall woman with a short man because I don’t want to attract people who will demand more which segues well into the next point. (The same reason I don’t draw lesbians.)

Those “You’re not drawing things to please me” guys are annoying. You want something dude? Pay me. Otherwise I’m going to draw what I want for funzies.

I’m kind of intrigued by the idea of someone asking a very obviously troll-ish question and actually having a discussion with you about it. That’s some commitment. Or they’re a complete douche. Either way, I weigh in slightly above Jo on the boob scale so my opinion in this matter will be greatly slanted. :)

I’m actually pleased to see that your drawing skills are diverse :) . I also was happy to see things you just don’t see very often in…anything actually (Nina and Ed).

As for your host with the American mindset, where the heck are you?

I do have a few questions. Are we going to see the other book store employee’s? I remember seeing pictures of them in the beginning of your comic. Will we see ‘Gothic Snape’ again? umm… The female author who Thomas is upset about (his ex right?) and Reggie’s Aunt, she’s gotta be frightening.

I don’t expect it to happen soon (I love the depth you put into this :D ) I’m just wondering if it’ll happen.

Wow, I actually read all that, there’s something about your writing, as well as your comic, that’s magnetic. That aside, I thought this post, albeit impressive, was unneeded. You are the artist and we are the viewers, like someone said, unless you ask us for our specific opinion what’s to be drawn has to only come from you mind and feelings alone, be put out there like bait, and hope it hooks something, which it has, a lot, there’s a lot of posts I see, including myself at point of, “I just found this comic and caught up all at once it’s so awesome.” because it is awesome and the extra tid-bits you supply us are just icing on the cake. That “fan” had no right to question you. Especially on that topic. Yes, I thought the picture was sexy. Yes, I understand the woman depicted is imaginary, which is why my first thoughts aren’t bewbs boobz boobiez need moah booooobs!!
And while we are on it, I like Carol the most, because she’s the kind of girl I would like. If you were to describe me, it’d be easy to say I’m attracted to women. Lot’s of people like this or that to me, if she has the right, ahem, parts it doesn’t matter what she looks like, as long as her personality is on point, and (risking sounding dirty) if my blood decides to rush through my body and gather in once place like a bunch of tweens at a Justin Beaber concert. But Carol appeals to me most of all, Idky, she just does and the boobs are just one of the things I like about her character and I’m sure other people share the same feelings about Nina, or Jo.
So, in short, keep doing what you are doing. Never doubt yourself and your art. You are indeed one of the better of us and what’s one “fan” against many. That “gentleman” is obviously a loser. Real fans like the art not what we think we are entitled to.

I often find that my attraction is indeed quite different from the norm (I’m generally more attracted to cute than sexy and the face is often more important than the body), but I’m also someone who doesn’t really need things to be focused on sex. Just as I don’t understand why some people think you can’t have an opposite gendered friend as just a friend, I also don’t understand why people look for sex in every single picture they see on the internet; there are far more ways to make a good and enjoyable picture.

Aww! Jo is so cute! and is exactly like one of my friends at this point. She is fun and innocent (sort of) at the same time down to earth. I love it! thats great characterization!

Honestly, for me, I applaud your variety in the characters. I’ve found everyone in the cast to show themselves off in an impressive way, except for the new guy at the store, but he’s quite new, and that’s probably why… he just seems to be a dick.

People are strange, myself included, so don’t worry yourself over the oddities.

Also, I’d like to say that, while I’ve always known your writings are amazing, I didn’t really how much so until I felt bad when Thomas smashed John with harsh words… you’re doin’ it right~

Anyone who’s ever come up with some characters should know that each is interesting in their own way and the character designer should be, to some extent, in love with each and every one of them. I think one of the big goals of storytelling is to communicate that to the readers/viewers/players so that they, too, can feel similar levels of affection for the characters.

Even considering something really big like hetero- or homosexuality, there aren’t clear lines for preference in any one person. When you hear guys say “I’d go gay for X Actor,” a lot of times it really isn’t a joke. And some of us aren’t really attracted to either sex. Any other attribute of sexual appeal works the same way. Tall or short? Maybe you don’t like either and prefer average height. Maybe you don’t care.

When it comes to characters, people are going to have favorites: the ones they’re most in love with, basically. It transcends physical attraction alone. Some people aren’t going to get it, and they’re just going to like one character and ignore the rest. But a lot of fans are going to go beyond their favorite characters and enjoy the full range of the cast. And to some extent they’ll fall in love with you, too, as the creator (hopefully not in the creepy way). These are your strongest fans, and the ones who are the most rewarding to have.

Dear Sir–

Please cancel my subscription. I saw something in your newspaper with which I did not agree 100% and/or which was not exactly to my personal and highly discriminating taste…

Crave–

There’s only one boob in play here — the 40-year-old with bad skin, poor social skills and no life who dwells in Mom’s basement because the one time he did move out (for three months) the old lady took over his bedroom for her needlework hobbies.

The nerve of some (*expletive deleted*) people! “Please choose the child you love best and leave the rest to perish of exposure on an ice floe. Oops, sorry, not that child…”

Now, I suppose in a real life situation, this induhvidual could create his (I presumptuously presume they are male) own web comic, except they haven’t the talent to create a stick-figure drama. Yeah, I drew (and eventually wrote) a more-or-less continuing comic thirty years ago — it was all about security guards; I don’t think it would be very popular on the web, today — but even if I hadn’t, I would never have the stones to take another artist to task for not producing exactly what I wanted.

I wonder if the clown earned your record-length rant, but he deserves all our scorn. Thanks for sharing your righteous rage, your passion, your comics and its characters (the petite and the over-the-(um)-top).

–Perfesser

The physical characteristics we prefer in women or men, as the case may be, are just… well, preferences… except that some people take their preferences to greater extremes and they can be annoying if not outright mentally ill. Once upon a time you asked us to say which were our favorite characters and why. I didn’t want choose between Jo & Nina and I still don’t, but I don’t dislike Carol, nor any of several of the guys, though there’s no sexual component to the latter. I like them because 1) both resemble my preferred physical types (note the plural) and 2) they’re interesting. OK! OK! I know that they’re fictional comic constructs, but you know it, too, and I’m certain you know what I mean. Still and all, I know that I could end being like Thomas and flipping out over a Carol-type woman because it happened to me. My wife wasn’t my preferred physical type, but she was still attractive, interesting & fun… like Carol. Ha! Funny how that turned out.

From reading this post I get the feeling that we have a very similar thought process. I find myself agreeing with the majority of your opinions that you’ve put forth. I especially agree that characters often have some aspects of their author as a part of their personalities. I often find my self re-reading almost everything I post on the internet (as I’m sure I will with this very comment) just to check and see if anything could be misconstrued as offensive unintentionally.

Supposedly, somewhere in our genetic makeup we are “coded” to find certain physical traits attractive because we subconsciously pick up on what is apparently better for the propagation of the species. Personally I agree with what that one guy, The One Guy, said on the topic of attractiveness. I also believe that personality is interwoven with most of the terms people use to describe someone they find attractive, such as cute, sexy, and beautiful. To me, those words convey more than just a physical appearance.

There are some very interesting points in some of these comments. I see that some of the previous comments insult the person who instigated this discussion, and while I don’t agree with him, I think that insulting him is unnecessary. People are entitled to their opinions (as long as they’re based on facts) and responding to impoliteness with more of the same doesn’t get anyone anywhere nice. At any rate, making something, what ever it may be, that appeals to yourself, will appeal to like minded people and everyone else can go find something they enjoy. After all, the last time I checked, the internet was pretty darn big.

That’s really interesting to me. Just the other day, I was watching a lip-sync music video made by some friends of mine (search Awesome on Its Own on youtube, if you’re interested). There were many different kinds of body types in that video, but a commenter essentially said (with many more grammar mistakes), “Bah, all these women are super fat and ugly. I’d only fuck the hot girl at the beginning of the video.” While a few of the girls were curvy/plus-sized, there were plenty of girls that anyone would consider skinny. My point is, sometimes men’s (and women’s, to be fair) perspective of sexiness gets distorted on the internet.

As a straight woman, I think confidence is sexy, which is why all the women in your comic have sexiness. I don’t know if all men (or boys, as it were) on the internet feel that way.

Oddly enough, “Little Big Girl” is the name of a City of Heroes character of mine.

Crave,

When you aired (published? Whatever), that Picture of Jo in her bikini, I remember my guy-training kicking in. Just about every straight guy has trained himself to estimate the size of the boob that in in the top in front of him. The right (or wrong, depending on perspective) sort of top can vastly impact this making a girl seem larger or smaller, illustrating the phrase “dressmaker’s lie”.

I remember thinking, “gee I thought Brookie had a bit more going than that” based on my guy-training. She wears loose clothes which tend to de-emphasize and yet she had a definite curve there. This way overstates the mount of time I spent on the pic. I looked at it, reflexive analysis took place. I noted what appeared to be a discrepancy, decided it was your chaarcter and I moved on.

I’m generally a fan of busty girls (though a girl who knows how to exploit her body shape can get me going no matter the shape), so I tend to sexualize Carol or Nina more than Jo. Except for the casual stuff guys do to every girl they come across, I really didn’t want to think of Jo sexually, which was wonderfully tweaked during the talk in the car.

Oh and Katie? For any guy out of his teens, confidence *is* sexy. It’s only those first few hormone-soaked years where a boy can only see the physical.

I’ll be honest I didn’t read the entire blog. But I will say your comic is great and we all love what you do. So kick that guy in the shins.

I know what you mean about drawing characters of drastically different heights being problematic. I did that in a comic I drew two years ago and getting both their faces in the frame was a a real pain. But I’m glad it hasn’t discouraged you so far because I like the sheer variety of body-types and stuff you have in this comic.

It’s funny how one little comment can send you off on what it is to be human. Reminds me of when I was in elementary school and running into “bullying” for the first time (dunno what you’d call bullying, but in this case I just mean name calling that doesn’t stop). I was angry, of course, but mostly I was just confused. Everyone I had encountered so far had been neutral and then nice, or just went away if we didn’t have anything in common. I remember going over and over the “bully” thing in my head, because I didn’t make any sense. I had been in situations where people were angry at eachother, and you could look at both sides and see something in each. To my knowledge (at the time) I must have done something wrong to the kid for him to make fun of me – but I hadn’t. Nothing happened between us before hand. He was my first evidence of a douche.

Now, of course, I don’t know if I’m fully trying to compare this to the guy that made your comment; if the comment was copied in full, then it seems like he was just working off of his own knowledge of the world. Some people are just being dicks, but it sounded like there was no malice behind it; just wondering why things were different from what he had observed. ‘Course that doesn’t mean your response up there was unfounded. Like I had said; sometimes people say things that make you go back to that ‘ol human study. What do we think? Why do we think that way? What prompts such thoughts? Etc etc.

Anyway, on the final topic of sex appeal: I don’t fully understand where it comes from…nature or nurture. One thing is for certain, though; when it comes to that, people seem to keep that opinion close and assume it’s the general opinion. So many men are stuck on the fact that big boobs = good. So much so that they’ve tricked many women into thinking that ALL MEN think this. So when it comes to focusing on all things sexy, it confuses the everyday Dick and Jane when it doesn’t involve large breasts ‘n stick limbs. That’s what the majority likes, right?

…I honestly don’t think so. I think it’s a trick. Sure, you’re gona run into a lot of people who believe those things, but if you broke down thier barriers and REALLY got them to talk about what they like…I think it would be much more varied. Perhaps that’s not true, though. Perhaps it’s just my misguided faith in humanity against all odds. Who knows. I know I certainly don’t have any reasons to have such faith…but oh well.

Thanks.. just thanks!
I’m having a pain of a time trying to figure out my interests, in dating, in physical attraction, in personality. I grew up being constantly told by every (borderline literally) girl I met in school that I’m a creepy looking, fat, weirdo. I’ve come to accept that, and that girls don’t like me. I swore off love when I was young and stupid.. or wise.. but as I got older and the “teen” got ahold of me, I started thinking and changing that notion. And now, EVERY SINGLE FRIEND of mine has a happy partner, and I’m alone… and honestly… bitter. I don’t hate my friends for having a happy relationship, I don’t hate them for feeling loved… I hate the notion of love itself. I hold their HAPPINESS in contempt. I don’t like that. All my friends regard me as “the jolly, always-happy, always trying to make you smile guy”. But as time wears on and I have to sit and drum my fingers while my friends flirt with their lovers, I feel more and more like a fifth wheel! Hell, my friends noticed this and gang-pressed me into going onto this dating site to help me find a girl who would be crazy enough to date me!! So far, I hold very little hope.

However.

What you just said above felt GREAT! It is EXACTLY what I feel like I’m going through.. well.. at least in my mind, ourdo. But everything that was said up there sounds like my thought processes and “morals” if you will about all of this. That really made my day.

Thanks.
~David ‘.^~*

I had to chime in regarding the perception of images of large-busted women as somehow more “pornographic” than smaller busts. I’ve noticed this too in our society and I just don’t get it. As a woman, I’ve seen two women in the same shirt (albeit different sizes): one will “fill it out” more than another and the larger woman is somehow seen as slutty or trampy due to cleavage while the smaller woman isn’t judged for showing relatively the exact same amount of skin!

I can theorize that it might be the culmination of years and years of using breasts to sell us things…perhaps over time, as larger breasts have been objectified in advertising so much, women who are naturally busty suffer the consequences, i.e., people assume they are “selling” in general? Of course, I think maybe the human race has always judged a book by its cover to some extent.

I read the whole train of thought and it’s quite interesting. Something more people should take to heart, it would help us keep things in perspective. But I’m gonna say it till I’m dead: I WANT JO. MOVIE TRIVIA AND ALL…..

Davidicus, if you truly hate the notion of love and hold your friend’s happiness in contempt, you’re working with a harsh handicap. I’ve got no magic bullet for you, but I know I was like you. I was the odd man out. Even my friends thought so, but they must have seen something in me or I wouldn’t have had any friends. I recommend you make or find an opening for love. Mine snuck up and caught me unaware. Ultimately, we were married and until she lost her life to cancer, we were the couple that other people wanted to be. It was weird to have someone say, “I wish I was you!”, but it happened.

Different people are different.

I can’t speak for everyone. I can speak for me, and to a lesser extent, people I’ve encountered.

Personally, my normal view of what is attractive is part nature, part nurture. My natural ideal bust size is, I think, somewhere between Nina and Carol, probably closer to the former. From influence from the people around me saying what was hot and me not rejecting it outright, my fantasy bust size increased and increased until I met the woman of my dreams, at which point it snapped back to match her exactly so hard I actually noticed it even with it happening while I was experiencing the shock of having met the woman of my dreams. Since I last saw the woman of my dreams over two decades ago, my fantasy ideal has varied more, but within a smaller range than before. It’s not gone down below a B cup, but usually doesn’t venture up quite as large as Carol. Much of that upper limit is thanks to the availability of images on the Internet, as it’s one thing to imagine how it could look and feel, and quite another to actually see it and realize how much it would probably hurt. For me, women in pain, regardless of whether the pain is real or just in my mind, are never sexy.

I do not have the impression that the thought that busty women are more pornographic is in any way genetic. I mean, genes are complicated, but I’ve known families whose parents were both of that mindset and yet all their kids and grandkids were not, and I’ve known families where the parents were not of that mindset, but all their children were. I’ve also seen people change their mindset on that by being exposed to people who thought that way or rejected it.

To me, it seems like linking bust size to pornography is just a trait of misogyny. Not everyone who possesses one misogynistic trait has others, and not everyone who possesses most of them will have all of them. But more often than not, it feels like the people who feel that busty women are pornographic while wearing similar attire to less busty women who are not pornographic have more other misogynistic traits than the people who don’t. It’s also easier to convince the ones who are overall less misogynistic but believe that that they are wrong about that than it is to convince those who are very misogynistic.

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