Monday, February 8, 2010

Today in Webcomics

I read webcomics. In fact, I read quite a few, and I even have a specific order that I read them in every morning. That last sentence may or may not be an exaggeration. It also may or may not be an exaggeration to say I get a wee bit anxious whenever a comic that is usually posted punctually is not posted punctually. Like, OHMYGOD, WHAT HAPPENED? OBVIOUSLY MY BELOVED COMIC HAS COME TO A HORRIBLE AND UNEXPECTED END. MY WEBCOMIC ROUTINE IS RUINED!!!!!!! I may or may not have some minor OCD.

Anyways, I was going through my normal routine on Friday and was surprised when I got to one of my favorites, Questionable Content. Yeah yeah, I know, I'm just a tad sensitive to all things poly, but is Jeph really making the argument here that people can't be in committed polyamorous relationships? And is that a whiff of poly relationships being immature compared to monogamous relationships that I sniff as well? Say it ain't so, Jeph! (It's alright if I call you Jeph, right?) And it wasn't just that I felt polyamory was being a misrepresented that got to me, but that Tai is one of only a small handful of openly poly characters in the webcomic universe as I know it. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Tai is the only poly character in QC. I'm not sure how he's supposed to be read, but I always viewed Sven as more of an asshole that sleeps around than a poly guy who happens to be an asshole.)

So yeah, I was a little disappointed and confused when it came to Friday's strip. However, my attention span being what it is, I quickly forgot all about it until I opened up QC again this morning and was surprised again, this time pleasantly. Not with the comic itself, with the blog post below it. It seems I wasn't the only one who had some issues with Friday's comic, but unlike me, these other people decided to email Jeph about it. He explains that he wasn't trying to harsh on poly relationships in anyway, and says:

One of the challenges of working in this medium is that intent and interpretation are two very different things. I thought it was obvious that I was writing about a specific situation, and not denigrating polyamory in any way, but some people felt otherwise. That means I didn't do a good enough job! The vast majority of you guys either had no problem with the strip or actively told me that it was fine! But that doesn't mean that the minority who were bothered by it don't deserve to have their concerns addressed, which is what I'm attempting to do.

This isn't the first time that Jeph Jacques has recognized something that has hurt his readers*, even if it was unintentional, and taken steps to correct it. It's one of the reasons I keep on coming back to QC. You know, besides the fun artwork and great story lines. And since I try to let people know when they've hurt me significantly, I also like to share it when people do something kind of awesomely right. So thanks, Jeph Jacques, for taking the concerns of your audience seriously.

There's another webcomic that made me happy this morning, for a different but related reason: Punch an' Pie, specifically the 3rd and 4th panels. I've been having issues with a friend of mine who can't seem to understand that my choices are my own, and not an attack on the decisions that she herself makes. This comic was just thing I needed this morning.

* The other time I specifically remember was when all that Proposition 8 crap was going down and the Prop 8 supporters got a lot of ads posted in places that didn't necessarily support Prop 8 in any way. Jeph may not have been the only webcomic artist who had those ads posted on hir site but had them taken down as soon as they came hir attention, but he's the only one I'm aware of who made a public statement on hir blog explaining what happened and apologizing for any offense caused, even though it wasn't his fault in the least.