Random thoughts - Staying anonymous
February 3rd, 2018, 12:21 pm
Here's my alterego, AnarchisTonsil. I am doing a couple of projects under this name, although it's too early to show them. She is a great introduction to this random thought of mine, which is about staying anonymous (yes, I look like her).

A couple of years ago or so, I decided it was time I'd do comics for real. So, I took a couple of art classes, worked hard on them, came up with a small script (it was the very beginning of The Green-Eyed Sniper and it looked rather different from the final version), and everything got started.

I had to show my comic to a bunch of people. My class and my teacher, first and foremost. And then anyone who showed up at the art exhibit we did at the end of the course. Finally, I reached out to friends and colleagues with more of my comics. The whole thing was a dreadful experience that promptly plunged me into full anonymity.

My class and my teacher - that was great. I just took in all of the criticism and worked as much as I could to turn it into better art (writing was fine). Awesome experience, I was very grateful for it, even if it costed me an arm and a leg.

At the art exhibit, things started taking a very odd shape. I stood by my comic (printed on very large paper) for a couple of hours and interacted with anyone who would stop by, asking a question or smirking or popping their eyes out. It wasn't unpleasant, just awkward. It was as if the attendants were used to reading cute mangas without realizing it's mostly porn. They didn't seem to know what to make out of my comic. Women kicking bad guys' asses? Yes! But they are not doing it while wobbling their boobs around, why aren't they limping on high heels, and where's their makeup??? What about their proportions, why are they off in the wrong way? Shouldn't they all look like barbie dolls? Then why are their legs a little too short here and there, why don't they have tiny little waists, instead (hint: because I was still learning the basics of proportions)? Their standards and expectations were different from mine, but absolutely in line with 96% of readers. Things went down the drain when a bunch of hookers walked into the venue, followed by horny guys drooling all over the floor. That was my cue to leave.

Thinking that was just a one-time odd experience, I tried showing my comics to people I knew. Friends, first, or at least, people I thought they were friends. I have an unreleased practice comic that will stay as such (it was badly drawn and done in 10 minutes), but it basically showed an animal being abused. At the end, the animal fights back and tears its abuser to pieces. This was the easy, clear part to grasp. The comic as a whole is rather weird and I thought that I would get a reaction out of it being so strange. Bracing for that, I showed it to someone I used to call a friend. Too bad she pulled it out in front of a group of perfect strangers, passing it around and commenting that if she didn't know I loved animals, she would have thought I had severe issues, because that comic was disturbing. The entire group read my comic through these lenses, the whole dinner went sour for everybody and, for the first time, I experienced being threatened by a bunch of gays and lesbians. My own people, can you believe that? You should have seen their eyes and their clenched fists.

Final installment: why not trying people close to me, but not so close as friends? I showed Love Kills at Coffee Break to a colleague of mine, with whom I shared an equal passion for sci-fi, horror and the like. I thought that would be a safe bet! But he got all worked up over the baby scene and started raising his voice about how awful that was, even if I kept telling him that the baby was perfectly fine, and it was a damn fictional baby, anyway!... That didn't do anything, because my colleague wouldn't stop yelling, adding that there is such a thing as women being violent to their husbands, too! Didn't I know that?

That taught me a lot. I am staying, and forever will be, anonymous. (But I will answer comments!)