A Good Name - pt 5
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woohooligan Feb 7, 2016
woohooligan NEW! I need your help! Check out my goals for 2016!
I worry a lot. Growing up with undiagnosed autism means I've struggled a lot to make friends and to keep them. So when a really sensitive and controversial subject like this comes up in my comics, I get really scared that people will misinterpret what I'm saying. I worry that some people might take Amity making bad choices as me endorsing those choices, simply because she's the story's heroine. Or conversely I worry that others might be angry with me for suggesting that (despite the historical definition), rape is not the exclusive province of men, possibly thinking that I'm some kind of bitter men's rights activist (not that there aren't some issues that disproportionately affect men). And I worry especially that people will read this page and decide it's too heavy and lump me in with Cerebus. In response to the latter, I promise Woohooligan will never be heavier than it is at this moment. To the former, I can only think that my real worry is that I might find myself in Amity's situation, having developed a reputation that might cause problems from people on both sides of a very polarizing divide.

I could simply avoid the subject all-together. Heck, when I started publishing Woohooligan, I could have stuck to slice-of-life jokes about needing coffee in the morning, old people not understanding technology, or how kids "say the darnedest things", but to be honest, how could I expect anyone else to want to read it if I'm not publishing the kind of stories I want to read? I don't want to read stories about boring people with no real problems and I don't want to read stories about insufferable MarySues who laugh off every challenge with a snarky quip. I want to read stories about people who face real challenges and who come through them stronger, wiser, and with a few scars to show for it. I also hope that none of my characters could ever be seen as "morally perfect." I'd much rather that all of my characters at least occasionally fail to find the moral higher ground, much like life.

So that's what drives me to push ahead, despite my fears, publishing a page like this that could get me in a lot of hot water. I felt like this page, as controversial as it might be, is really necessary to the story. I do take a bit of comfort in knowing that I see a lot of other very successful comedians handling delicate subjects like this on TV and elsewhere. All year Larry Wilmore used the Nightly Show to shame Bill Cosby for his rapes. While I have no plans to turn Woohooligan into a clearinghouse of stories with heavy-handed morals, I would be honored to be considered in the company of Larry and John Stewart, two comics I admire quite a lot for their ability to make great comedy on very polarizing subjects, without compromising their principles.

Having said all that, what do you think? I'm genuinely curious. Do you agree with Steve that Amity did to Lucifer what Cosby did to those women? If so, why? Is Amity right that women don't (or can't) rape? If so, why do you feel this is the case? I may disagree, but I won't shout you down or try to make you feel bad for your opinion, I'm genuinely curious. I will let you know in advance that my comments are moderated, so they won't be published immediately. This is primarily to prevent spam. As long as your response is civil, you can expect it will be published. :)

Or am I overreacting? Is this conversation not nearly as controversial as I thought?

I promise, the next page will be lighter! :D

Stay awesome, Hooligans!



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