Firstly, happy PAX Prime, whomever’s there! I decided not to go this year. Between money issues and just not feeling it this year.
I wanted to talk about a complicated topic in this blog post. I might touch on this topic again later, as I get a better idea myself of how to explain it. So this might be a bit rambly as I try to put my thoughts into words.
Why are my two main characters men, while I’m a strong, modern woman? Or at least a modern woman?
I guess, fundamentally, it’s because I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to anyone, and I want to write about sexy men doing heroic things. I have not and will never say that the characters could not have been women, or that the story would have been bad if they were. I will never say that women are in any way less heroic than men.
However, as a heterosexual myself, I want to read about cool male characters saving the day and being cool. I’m not saying that women can’t do these things, but I enjoy reading about men doing it, ’cause there’s a part of me that’s a romantic, and that likes the classics.
I’ve recently read this amazing article: http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2013/05/we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative-by-kameron-hurley/
And if you think yourself anything of a writer you should read it. It definitely will change some things about Seraphim. No, I’m not going to make more female characters just because of it, nor will Gilad or Clou suddenly become women, but it helped me understand that at any time of history, women who could fight found ways to.
There are strong female characters in my story (I just try to write them the same as I’d write anyone; person first, gender second). I hope you will like them. Vessa is a good example. She’s very motherly, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t detract from her strength. I find a lot of people complaining about a female character doing female things, but that’s a topic for another post. Vessa and Nav are both strong women, but (I hope) I can convey that a woman doesn’t need to stop being a woman in order to be strong. She can be as silly and as girly as she wants.
Now, as for the main characters; I honestly did consider changing one of the main characters into a woman, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that would be wrong. Not only would I have done it just to prove a point to nobody who matters, it would have fundamentally changed the story. Gilad as a woman would have suddenly become this tom boy with a massive chip on her shoulder. Gilad already has that, but if he was female suddenly that chip becomes HUGE. She wouldn’t just be trying to prove herself, she’d be trying to prove herself because she’s a woman. I didn’t want that in my story. It’s not about that.
Clou would have been a terrible woman! Even as a guy he’s a sappy, romantic fool. Imagine him as he is now, but as a woman. People would complain that she was a weak woman! That I don’t know how to portray strong women. Heh, poor Clou. He’s too weak to be a woman! Hahah… (Don’t worry, Clou does grow, just give it time).
I enjoy looking at men, and I enjoy finding sexy characters to ship. Why should I deny myself drawing what I enjoy looking at and writing what I enjoy reading about, just because of other people’s judgment? I have friend who suggested that I should add more sex-appeal to my comic to make it more popular along the lines of Menage a 3 or Grrl Power (The latter being a bad example of strong women, despite the name, because it’s more of a man’s ideal woman, than a good female rolemodel), but again, Grrl Power last I checked was on the top 5 of the TopWebComics list, and I’m in the 1700’s, so what do I know?
In the end it’s my story, so I will do as I please and write the webcomic I would like to read. And it’s not like anyone reads any of this or my comic, for that matter. anyway. So I’m free to do as I please pretty much forever.
If you’ve read thus far, thank you. I hope this ramble at least entertained you. I don’t claim the above to be an infallible explanation of anything, but I thought I’d share. Won’t you tell me what you think?