Tag Archives: privacy

Etiquette 2015

What I'm saying here is that technology has really transformed every aspect of our lives.

What I’m saying here is that technology has really transformed every aspect of our lives.

Some relationships are just closer than others. Or maybe some people are more forgiving. I have a couple friends who fall into the third category. All this constant communication technology is a huge imposition on my life, and if people want to v-chat me, they have to do it on my terms.

We’re talking really good friends.

This is easily the grossest comic I’ve ever written. Or am every likely to write. But the fact of the matter is, 20 years ago the idea of bringing a computer into the bathroom was unthinkable, and using the telephone in there was really reserved for teenagers with really long cords and no other privacy options, or for people staying in fancy business hotels. Now it seems totally normal. For some people, not bringing their smart phone into the bathroom would feel weird. Friday night I was at a party in a really loud bar, and I got overwhelmed, and went and played Words with Friends in the bathroom, and that was a totally unremarkable thing to do. No one looked twice.

At any rate, this comic should discourage people who don’t know me well from v-chatting me.

Dragon Comics 109

Seriously, Dragon isn't ever even wearing pants.

Seriously, Dragon isn’t ever even wearing any pants to begin with.

Two things: first of all, it’s problematic when discourse surrounding gender focuses on genitals, because obviously, there is no other situation wherein reasonable people consider it polite to speculate about the appearance of a stranger’s pubic region; and second, it’s dangerous when gender dictates activities, areas of expression, and appearance, because limiting behavior means limiting freedom.

Dragon is more genderqueer than I am, but some of the worst reflections of my childhood come to me when I see kids shoved this way or that, told not to be who they are. My whole life I’ve bristled at the suggestion that my lack of a Y chromosome should mean that I’m meant to be demure, modest, or deferential. I have none of those qualities, and whenever I see a Buzzfeed list with a title like “69 Things All 80s/90s Girls Remember,” I never remember any of those things, despite being, ostensibly, a “girl” in the 80s and 90s. Between the ages of 5 and 15, the suggestion that I put on a dress for any reason would inspire a screaming match between my mother and me. People were constantly telling me to do things I couldn’t do, like lower my voice and act like a lady.

It’s taken a long time to come to a place of comfort with my gender expression and acceptance of my physical body, but I don’t forget how hard it was to get here, and my journey was much easier than others’.

So, however you feel about people being transgendered in any way, try to separate your feelings about it from the feelings of the person living it. Other people should get to do what they like with their bodies. The way you feel about their face, or their hair, or their pubic region has no bearing on their autonomy to live in a way that’s comfortable to them. You don’t get to tell other people how to be themselves.

And seriously, stop judging people’s genitals. Just stop.

Make Mine Mandala

img054When I write that I am a private kind of person, I don’t mean it in the way that most people use the expression. I actually prefer to live my life in the open; shame and modesty are sort of foreign concepts to me, and it’s only my regard for others that prevents me from expressing myself in certain ways in public. I’m perfectly comfortable talking about subjects that are considered personal, things that make some folks blush just to imagine.

In the past, I was more open, because I didn’t care who got offended. In the present, while my stepkids are still small at least, it seems prudent to keep certain things under wraps. In the future, I expect there will be fewer restraints, because there will be fewer reasons to self-censor. On that glorious day, my blog may become much, much more popular.

Some people are horrified at the idea of sharing their lives on Facebook. Personally, as an artist, I think Facebook is an excellent tool. Here we are, struggling to express ourselves through art, trying to show the world some part of the interior. Facebook is perfect for artists. My life is my art, and Facebook lets me organize it most beautifully.

What I am private about, though, are feelings. I can tell you what I’ve done all day long (and I’ve done a lot of things, many of which are experiences most people have not have), but, unless we’re very close, I’m not likely to tell you about anything but the most positive feelings. Self doubt, depression, and anger just aren’t on the table.

Drawing the Dragon Comics has offered me a level of distance from emotions. Thoughts that I wouldn’t admit to my best friend except in the most dire state of despair can come out of the dragon’s mouth, because, after all, the dragon is simply a cartoon character. Dragon can say anything. Catharsis appears to be an unexpected side effect of drawing comics.

There’s not much to say about this mandala. I like the colors and the way the points curve as they taper. Can’t remember what was going on when I drew it but it exhibits a good sense of symmetry and precision.

Tomorrow comic should be good, too. Today was the first time I just drew a panel and felt as if I knew what I was doing. I didn’t have to think about how to draw the characters’ bodies, or to Google images on which to base their postures. I just drew them.

Here’s a tidbit…I’m a little nervous now, because up until this point, there’s always been some ideas in my mind as to where the comic was going, and with tomorrow’s comic, I’m completely caught up on the arcs that have been planned for all these weeks. Next week, Dragon and company will have to start doing something new.

OK, maybe I have one or two ideas.