Tag Archives: men

Tell Yourself

bjc tell yourself_edited-2

I think we’d all jump off a bridge if Amber dared us to. Am I right?

This comic seems a little graphically threadbare to me, compared to the previous ones, and I think it’s because “Tell Yourself” just doesn’t have as much definitive imagery as some of the other stories in Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. “Playhouse,” yesterday, for example, has the peonies and the playhouse and the alcohol and everyone’s hair and the rabbits and the fruit stickers and the Tasmanian devil tattoo. The central visual feature in “Tell Yourself has got to be Mary’s clothes, and frankly, I also find the idea of a barely-adolescent girl wearing low rise jeans and a crop top with a pair of cupcakes over her cupcakes slightly discomfiting. I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on her “darling new breasts.”

My mother would have done anything to persuade me to dress in a more feminine fashion when I was in 8th grade, but she never in a million years would have let me out of the house in that outfit, even when I was in high school. She would have been highly critical if she saw me dressed that way when I was in college. But I see little kids dressed like that all the time. The supply seems equal to the demand.

After the outfit, the only big visual symbol is the rocking chair, because I couldn’t figure out how to work in the gum-cracking or the terrible baby perfume. For the first time in this project, I was really at a loss for how to illustrate the final panel. I settled on the potatoes; it locates the narrator in this role she has created for herself: being a mother comes first, even though Mary’s already gone. But she did change her shirt. And I’ve left mom with the knife. She’s not wholly defenseless.

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Playhouse

bjc playhouse_edited-5.png

All things considered, the results are pretty pleasing.

This being one of my favorite stories in the book, I wanted to really do it justice. Unfortunately, today was the day that all my equipment decides to rebel: both the computer and the Wacon tablet failed over and over again, in a variety of new and enraging ways. I must have unplugged and replugged the tablet a hundred times, and closed and opened Photoshop fifty times, and rebooted the box twenty-five times. Hundreds of times I had to go back because the tablet either did something I didn’t tell it to do, or didn’t do something I did tell it to do, or just didn’t do anything at all because the power cable is frayed and sometimes disconnects. It was the perfect storm of resistentialism. At least I’ve learned my lesson about saving everything all the time. If only I didn’t require so much technological assistance.

At this point, I’m leaning strongly toward using my savings to invest in entirely new machinery.

Despite all that, the comic seems right. Not sure if there will be a comic tomorrow. Gotta work out these gremlins before I spend another 8 hours cussing at a hunk of metal and plastic.

Special thanks to the Bear, who didn’t mind me freaking out on him and invading his home for tech support just before midnight.

ETA: I went back and fixed the 2 typos pointed out to me oh so gently and lovingly by the trolls at Reddit. I also gave Pinky some eyelashes in panel 6.

Indifferential Equations

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Him: We blinked at the same time! It’s definitely a signal that I should kiss her. Her: I wonder how many giant nuclear powered robots I would need to take over North America.

Three things: First, a few people indicated in a Facebook thread that they would enjoy being depicted in a QvD comic, so here’s the first one. You may recognize Laura from that one time she modeled my merchandise. Actually, she’s been featured in this blog twice, but the first time she was wearing a welding mask over her face, because she’s that kind of person, so you probably wouldn’t recognize her from that.

Second, I was thinking about gender, because that is something I think about. All. The. Time. Specifically, I was thinking about the interaction between heteronormative men and every kind of woman, and the Rabbit’s running commentary about the men who force her to interact with them on the Bart and the Oakland/San Francisco ferry, and about some of these dudes on Reddit who seem to willfully not to get it. So let me lay it out slowly: the odds that a woman with whom you briefly exchanged glances on public transit is very excited to meet you are low. Extremely low. This situation that I’ve drawn is a no-brainer. Note the woman’s posture: she is turned away from you AND leaning away from you AND she has her legs crossed away from you AND she has her arm protectively around her leg AND she clutching her purse on her lap AND she’s reading a book. She is doing this because she wants to reduce the number of times in a given day random strangers hit on her.

Your interest in her is not special;  more interesting men than you express interest in her. All. The. Time. She is overtly demonstrating her lack of interest in you, and her desire to maintain her perimeter. There is a 100% chance that if you try to talk to a woman with this posture, you are annoying her. There is a 50% chance that she finds you actually threatening. I don’t care that you’re a “nice guy.” If you can’t understand this, you’re not a nice guy. Like I tell my stepkids, just wanting something doesn’t mean you get it. No matter what you think, she is not playing hard to get or sending you magical brain signals about how much she wants you. This human being is interested in reading her book without being disturbed for her entire commute.

Which leads me to the third thing, which is that although Laura does some modeling work and often looks like a model when she’s dressed up, Laura is not a model. Laura’s profession is actually metallurgist. She has a degree, I think, in materials engineering. This is the thing that drives me crazy about men who address random strangers with the idea that if a girl is attractive to you, she must be interested in you: they almost never approach you with the idea that you might be smarter than them, and if they do, they usually don’t have any way to use that knowledge except as a compliment. So if random sweatsuit wearing subway guy plunks down next to lovely bookworm girl and asks about her book, he’s going to be way out of his league if she actually starts discussing differential equations.

I should point out that I know nothing about differential equations, having barely passed my requisite math classes in high school. I copied this one from the internet because I liked its shape and its name: it’s the Anger Equation, and I carry a lot of anger. But I don’t enjoy talking with human beings in general, so I rarely start conversations with strangers in public and will not likely be embarrassed because someone wants to talk about differential equations.

I should also point out that this comic must have been in some way inspired by the classic Gary Larson strip, Same planet, different worlds.

Also, I hope Laura has a good sense of humor about me putting her head on someone else’s body to make a point about not objectifying attractive women. At least I’m not a random stranger.

 

 

Every Time I Tell a Joke

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Man, I wish I knew the ending to that joke.

He likes to pretend I’m not funny. But whenever I tell a good joke, he immediately calls his brother to repeat it, and then every single time we go out with anyone for the next 3 weeks, he tells it again. That’s what love is. Putting up with that.

Yesterday’s comic got a pretty good reception, tons of upvotes across various platforms, which, of course, led to a bunch of misogynistic online criticism from anonymous cretins. It’s sort of disheartening to know that they exist. Do they hide their sexism under a cloak of kindness when they move in public and only air their shame from behind the safety of the keyboard, or do they spew that acid wherever they go?

Gender-based criticism never really affected me that much, since I have never actually felt like a girl. Genderqueer dragons are immune to that nonsense. But attacking the characters in my comic is another thing! I am overwhelmed with outrage. Philistines! You know nothing. Anyway, if you think you can cut me down with words…that’s like trying to burn Superman with the light of the sun.

The Other Side

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The playing field is actually pretty equal when you consider that real men are a lot more dangerous to women than bots are to real men. 

It seemed only fair, after 3 days of online dating for women comics, to show the flip side. Here’s what online dating looks like for heterosexual dudes. As far as I can tell, anyway. It’s rough out there for people looking for love. It seems difficult to believe that anyone could be desperate enough to fall for any of this, but people do, all the time. I personally witnessed a guy falling for it to the tune of about $7000 despite his roommate and I providing plenty of evidence over the space of several weeks that he was being taken and begging him to be rational. He was living on hope, I guess.

Look, the human reproductive strategy is ridiculous from start to finish. Finding love and companionship is not for the faint of heart.

Something Fishy

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Seriously, what is that supposed to be? A nudibranch? A sea cucumber?

Sometimes people ping me to talk about their problems–OK, pretty often people ping me to talk about their problems–and I couldn’t really say where the advice that moves from my brain to my finger to the keyboard comes from. But the bit about the pickled herring was an actual sequence of words that I typed in response to a discussion of inappropriate men making inappropriate overtures through dating sites.

Let’s face it: dating is gross.

Another friend mentioned “ghosting,” which is obviously a lousy way to dump someone, but in the case of inappropriate men making inappropriate overtures, I think no response is the most powerful one. If he’s gross, you don’t have to exist for him.

Only once in my odyssey in dating did a guy ghost on me. Very frustrating and confusing. But I got the last laugh, because a year later, he sent me this email recalling how much fun we’d had together and asking me to spend a month at a beach house in New Jersey with him. The simple solution seemed à propos. Now you know how it feels when someone disappears, sucker.

Not sure I can find the humor in it, though. Maybe tomorrow.

Bottom Feeders

It's an online relationship? Come on! You know he's probably catfishing you.

It’s an online relationship? Come on! You know he’s probably catfishing you.

The main thing about catfish is that they’re one of the most sustainable sources of seafood, and they’re extra delicious due to their high fat content. They’re not kosher, so I never tried them until well into adulthood, but they’re definitely the favorite dinner fish in my family. The reason I possess 2 Beanie-baby style catfish dolls is that the catfish lobby produces them to spread the word about catfish being a responsible choice for your gustatory delight, and organizers kept giving them to us at a sustainable seafood event. People get grossed out by bottom feeders, but farmed catfish mostly eat vegetarian pellets, not whatever disgusting gunk falls to the bottom of the tank, which, apparently makes them even tastier than wild catfish.

I really wanted to do a 3D comics with these dolls but other than that I have no idea where this came from, except that I was trying to avoid using any of the puns in the old Dr. Demento classic “Wet Dream” by Kip Addotta, even though I probably haven’t even heard that song in well over a decade. Maybe it would have been funnier if the first fish told the second fish she was being shellfish, or she didn’t hook up with the dude because she had a haddock. This is possible more weird-funny than haha-funny, but that’s cool too.