I hope the scowl on Alexander’s face comes across. It’s truly the punchline for this part of the story.
Please go back and re-read from when it started here and let me know if the “joke” works…
He had it coming. I bet he won’t be telling Dan about THAT one.
Perhaps, but he can never escape the sword.
Actually, I don’t think he did. Nastajia obviously has the same view on kissing as a romantic act as he does, they’ve been apart for quite a long time before he finally returned and started these adventures (kid vs adult not last time he went to sleep) and she had ample time to tell him, “Oh by the way, mermaids give us water breathing by kissing or what LOOKS like kissing.” I’ll grant that throwing a punch instead of declaring outrage is not very diplomatic towards the people helping him but on the other hand that IS the nature of the man who defeated Nicodemus. Should have seen that coming.
Very comical regardless. Only thing funnier would be if it turns out potions are available from mermaids to breathe underwater and he just forgot them or wanted to kiss a hot elf.
Yeah, but earlier in the story, he got transformed into a mermaid by kissing. He should have remembered that, and realized what was going on.
No. He was unconscious……
It makes sense that Dastan has a clownfish-pattern tail. XD
The look on Alex’s face: PRICELESS
Tee hee, been loving these last few pages!
Love it, love it, LOVE IT! You deserved it, Alex, you really did.
I may be reading into this a little much, but I find the homophobic undertones don’t sit well with me. I don’t want to make a big deal about it, I doubt there’s any homophobic intent. It just illustrated a point about how sexuality is portrayed in media.
Note: not condeming, just saying.
I do think that Alex is being portrayed as a bit homophobic and sexist, to boot. He has a number of other bad habits as regards his diet and study habits, as well. However, I think that his behavior is actually being portrayed as unacceptable. I think this scene really confirms that not only is Nastaja not willing to indulge his request from the previous scene, but she clearly thinks he deserves some comeuppance for his attitude. Frankly, the inclusion of homophobic characters is simply addressing reality. It’s how these characters’ attitudes are treated by the rest of the cast that really defines how homosexuality or homophobia are being portrayed in the comic, and the latter is what you should be concerned about. I, for one, don’t think homophobia is being condoned here.
I agree with Gaidig here. Yes, Alex is being homophobic, but the other characters are not, and that’s important. If he get’s away with it, that’s a different issue.
And, of course, he didn’t get away with it. Hence his scowl.
Not wanting to kiss men is not necessarily indicative of homophobia… merely of being quite thoroughly heterosexual (and not a mainland European)… or possibly severe OCD / equivalent.
It is pretty much standard if one has a completely exclusive sexuality / affection range that one wouldn’t want to engage in seemingly intimate acts outside of that range.
Well written Gaidig
Is it homophobic to not want a kiss from someone, and to be upset when they do it anyway?
Especially when he could have kissed a female instead?
Well, the thing is, this was the only way he was going to be able to breathe under water. He wouldn’t have have had any problem kissing one of the mermaids. He just didn’t want to kiss a dude any more than any straight guy (who wasn’t raised in a “kissing” family) probably would. If he’s going to be king of Dreamland, he’s going to have to get used to that…if there’s an emergency and he has to go to the merpeople, he may not always have a bevvy of merladies to pick from. He has to move past it being a kiss to it being a necessary function.
But to be upset/offended/surprised that Alex would be less than happy about being forced to kiss another guy is a bit much. To say he deserved it also being unfair. I noticed the reaction to Nastasjia kissing the mermaid wasn’t outrage or insult. And after Alex knew what was going on, I noticed that Dastan didn’t try again, even though Alex would likely have been accepting of the event for the reasons involved.
I also noticed that Alex’s outburst was considered childish by the same people that think he’s getting what he deserves without thought to the fact that someone kissing your S.O. does not sit well with the average person. How was Alex supposed to know what was going on? If anything, the blame falls to Nastasjia and the Merpeople for leaving Alex ignorant instead of kindly informing him ahead of time what was going on. So how does Alex deserve such an underhanded and unwelcome result borne out of involuntary ignorance?
You took the words right out of my mouth! So…. Scott? Got any answers?
And in that time, he should prioritize the safety of the kingdom over his own comfort, but here, he had a choice.
I really, really can’t help but wonder what it would be like if Alex was a gay man being forced to kiss a woman, with dudes nearby. I’m pretty sure the people here who are calling him homophobic now would most likely be screaming bloody murder, because it is somehow less wrong to override a straight man’s preference than a gay person’s, or even a straight woman.
Alex had the reaction I think anyone would have when a person of the same sex tries to kiss you on the mouth. Nothing to do with being homophobe. I know that if someone tried this on me they would have to pick up a few teeth from the ground as a result.
That said, I really loved that series of pages and Alex’s face is sooo eloquent at the moment. LOL!
Don’t forget, this is a whole ‘nuther culture–even another species. If Alex is expecting to be King of Dreamland, and do a halfway good job of it, he really has to learn and accept different cultures and how they express these things. Including the difference between a magic kiss, and an affectionate kiss.
I don’t think it’s homophobia. I think it’s that we’ve already established Alex as being a heterosexual oriented man, due to his attraction to Nastajia. He’s also a bit big-headed, as demonstrated throughout the comic, LOL. So here comes someone whom he does NOT want to kiss, and does it to him anyways – he’s not a happy camper. XD
…and I LOVE the punch line (no pun intended) since it shows him pouting and with a tail. I can only imagine the kind of stink-face he gave them all after it was over with. hahaha!
I don’t think the scene was homophobic necessarily. As was stated more eloquently before me, it isn’t homophobic to be squeamish about receiving a full-mouth kiss from a member of the same sex. I do wonder, though, why it was deemed acceptable to actually illustrate Nastajia receiving a kiss from another woman, while Alex’s same-sex kiss happened more implicitly.
Nastajia is really aware that the merfolk’s kiss is not sexual or romantic in nature. It’s therefore not a big deal for her to kiss any of them, male or female, as long as it’s done and over with. Alexander, on the other hand, although he now knows that intellectually, still attaches a lot of emotional weight to it.
Really, it’s like performing CPR by mouth-to-mouth. Go ask a bunch of young men like Alex if they needed CPR, would they prefer it to be done by a male or female medic. You probably wouldn’t have many of them answering that it wouldn’t matter as long as they’re resuscitated.
Comedic timing demanded that the kiss between Alex and Dastan not be shown. The lingering build-up to a fate too horrible for Alex to face, that moment of panic when Alex realizes that there’s no way of avoiding it and yet still desperately seeking to do so, then the skip ahead to the after shot is a classic comedic formula which is time-tested and proven. Actually showing the kiss would have spoiled the joke. Leaving the kissing scene itself up to the reader’s imagination makes it so much more hilarious than anything Scott could have done with actually showing the scene.
Thank you, Boon.
While I have been condemned from both sides on this over the last week (these pages condone lesbianism/Alex seems homophobic) I would like to reiterate that my intent was purely comical and non sexual.
I could have made dastan a fishy looking woman (unatractive) and gotten the same reaction. But I thought that showing same-sex kissing would be equally funny…yet socially relevant.
The punch line was always Alex being forced to kiss someone he didn’t want to.
Making the decision to have it be dastan was risky to say the least.
I can’t tell you how many people (including family members) who have contacted me upset about this.
Homosexuality is still a very polarizing subject for a lot of people. And while I am neither promoting homosexuality nor portraying sexuality of any form (straight, gay, bi) people will be offended regardless if they so choose.
I just want to restate again that this IS an all ages comic and while I do write for my boys who are now 8…I also want my boys to enjoy it at 18 and 28 and so on.
I will throw “deeper” subjects into the story. But never at the expense of the story’s innocence and fun.
At least that’s my intent.
Honestly, the things you’ve said about this storyline have upset me more than the storyline itself. I felt uncomfortable with your explanation of the kiss between two women last week–the very fact that you felt it needed a long explanation, the way you said you used two women to show that “it wasn’t sexual”, which just implies that a kiss between two women can’t be sexual, and your emphasis on how you want to keep this comic for “all ages” and “family friendly” as if something about homosexuals is not family friendly and should not ever be seen by kids (when the story has included plenty of heterosexual kisses). I let it go though because I figured I was reading too much into it and that it wasn’t intentional and I didn’t want to cause a scene.
Here again, though, you’re emphasizing that you want to keep it all ages (Will it harm your eight-year-old to read a story with homosexuality in it?), and you never defend against the story having homophobic undertones. Rather you say that you’re being attacked from both sides, and then specify that you’re not “promoting homosexuality”.
I suppose you’re trying to guard yourself from people who are anti-gay and going to criticize you for including homosexuality in your all-ages story (even though I believe you when you say that’s not what you intended), but I think that your explanations are making you come across as anti-gay yourself and it’s making me very uncomfortable.
Saying that the kiss between Nastajia and the merwoman showed how the mer-people’s kiss wasn’t sexual isn’t implying that two women kissing can’t be sexual. It was showing that the nature of that kiss wasn’t sexual. Also, by calling something “all ages” and “family friendly”, Scott is addressing how sexuality (of any kind) is not intended to be a part of his story. It’s not saying that one kind of sexuality is more appropriate for children.
I think that a lot of people are reading far more socio-political content into both this story and the author’s commentary on his choices than is really necessary or actually going on here. This is a kids comic for crying out loud! Nit-picking over whether or not homosexuality (or homophobia) is being portrayed in a way that promotes or denegrates it is right along the lines of calling Disney racist because they always portray chihuahuas with hispanic accents (nevermind the origin of the breed).
I think we all need to just take a deep breath and remember that Scott is not the kind of author who would intentionally upset or offend any group of people, and then we should keep that in mind as we read his work. Any offense perceived should be delegated to the “I may be reading more into this than is intended/actually there” category and then passed over. 🙂
But sexuality is portrayed in the comic. Heterosexuality is portrayed. Alexander and Nastajia have kissed, as well as Daniel and Nicole. No explanations were required for their kisses. By feeling the need to explain away two same sex people kissing but not two opposite sex people kissing, the claim being made, intentional or not, is that heterosexuality is normal and perfectly fine for children to see but homosexuality is not.
I actually don’t have any issue with the pages. I can see people’s concerns, but characters will react how characters will react and that isn’t necesssarily meant to have a larger moral. I just feel uncomfortable with what Scott has said in his explanations.
My take is that he’s feeling the need to do all this explaining because various people are essentially asking for explanation (I won’t say “demanding”.)
Personally, I think that while Alex is being somewhat homophobic here, it’s certainly not _promoting_ homophobia. Rather the opposite; it can and should be no big deal, but dude isn’t coping well.
>It can and should be no big deal, but dude isn’t coping well.
Who says it should be no big deal? If a gay dude was in a similar situation with a woman, would it be “no big deal”? Sexual erasure is bad no matter who does it or who it’s done to.
It’s just reality that homosexuality is a polarizing issue in our society. It will take time for that to change (it is changing).
>I felt uncomfortable with your explanation of the kiss between two women last week–the very fact that you felt it needed a long explanation, the way you said you used two women to show that “it wasn’t sexual”, which just implies that a kiss between two women can’t be sexual,
No, that’s what you ,i>inferred. He was referring to this specific situation, which has specific characters, and a specific, in-universe cultural context.
>and your emphasis on how you want to keep this comic for “all ages” and “family friendly” as if something about homosexuals is not family friendly and should not ever be seen by kids (when the story has included plenty of heterosexual kisses).
I don’t think it’s because a gay kiss is necessarily more sexual or less family-friendly, it’s just that Nat personally apparently doesn’t attach any romantic meaning to it. Both the character and the creator were saying it wasn’t sexual for the characters.
>I let it go though because I figured I was reading too much into it and that it wasn’t intentional and I didn’t want to cause a scene.
That’s rather passive-aggressive.
>Here again, though, you’re emphasizing that you want to keep it all ages (Will it harm your eight-year-old to read a story with homosexuality in it?), and you never defend against the story having homophobic undertones.
What is interpreted as homophobic undertones. Assuming your interpretation to be automatically valid is rather self-centered. I’m personally more concerned by the fact that many readers are saying Alex’s sexual preferences should be subordinate to the local mores, for the greater good. In other words, sexual erasure, which would likely be much less well-received if Alex was gay, or Alexandria. If this were an emergency, I’d probably agree, but there are women right there, and this is clearly making Alex–their future king–intensely uncomfortable.
>Rather you say that you’re being attacked from both sides, and then specify that you’re not “promoting homosexuality”.
Which does not necessarily mean that he is disparaging it either. Depiction of something should generally be assumed, first and foremost, to be just that. Not necessarily an endorsement or a warning.
>I suppose you’re trying to guard yourself from people who are anti-gay and going to criticize you for including homosexuality in your all-ages story (even though I believe you when you say that’s not what you intended), but I think that your explanations are making you come across as anti-gay yourself and it’s making me very uncomfortable.
Come across to who? You? I’m trying to be polite here, but is there some sort of multitude I’m not aware of, marching with signs and placards?
I’m not concerned with the whether or not it’s homophobic or not. What would concern me is the message that it would be okay for someone to forceably kiss you – not something I would want my kids think was okay.
I get the comical part.
“What would concern me is the message that it would be okay for someone to forceably kiss you”
If it’s not a romantic or sexual kiss but something that *needs* to be done for you to survive? Yeah; it’d be okay. Again, the real world equivalent is CPR administered mouth-to-mouth. Of course in such situation the receiver of the “kiss” can only object after the deed is successfully done; otherwise they wouldn’t need resuscitation.
There are cultures where guys hold hands because they are friends. In my eyes, this is more of a culture shock issue than a homophobic/lesbian issue. Alex may have been a bit homophobic, but I’m thinking it’s fair to say he hasn’t really been exposed to a lot of world cultures. Some people do some really strange stuff when held to the western cultural world view.
Also, yes. It was funny. I chuckled. I could tell Dastan was being excessively warm just to bust Alex’s chops.
I think you are reading into it. He doesn’t like men so naturally he would not want to be kissed by one. It is being homophobic it is him reacting correctly. I wouldn’t want a girl to kiss me because I am a girl and do not like girls.
you don’t need to be homophobic to not want to be kissed by someone by the same sex.
I think the fact that this is a kids comic is what makes the potentially homophobic undertones worse for me. Would a little boy reading this come to the conclusion that kissing another boy is bad by reading this? There is tons of media elsewhere that sends homophobic messages to kids (how many times in kids movies is a man kissing another man gross or a form of punishment? I can name a few Disney instances), and I wonder if this re-enforces it through Alex’s reaction or subverts it through Nastajia’s?
Well, it’s clearly not a problem for Dastan…or for anyone except Alex for that matter.
Well that was more hot button than I expected.
I could have been more articulate in what I was trying to say.
I am glad that it evoked that much discussion and I want to be very clear that I wasn’t intending to be critical or judgemental.
I simply noticed that undertones and wondered if there was a larger issue at work here which lead me to wonder about the portrayal of homosexuality in media. Alex doesn’t want to kiss the merguy? That’s fine, nobody should have to kiss someone they don’t have to. My concern is that as a piece of modern media, does this reinforce the stereotype that men should show no affection to one another.
Ultimately, this piece was just a catalyst for my thought. I don’t really have an issue with it. I’m just encouraging some critical thinking about the media we consume.
Scott, you’re the nicest webcomic author on the net and I’d hate for you to get the impression I don’t think highly of your work. And for anyone offended by my raising or handling of the issue I’m sorry.
Yes, the scowl came through… that’s the first thing I noticed, in fact.
I like the way Nastajia’s cape is reflecting the sunlight.
I also noticed, now that I looked at it again, the accentuated smile on Dastan’s face, in the first panel. He seems quite pleased with his “payback”…
Haha, after all the comments about the kiss, it happened “off-screen”.
I retract my earlier dragon comments, but I do believe this isn’t the last we will see of Dastan.
Hehehe.. Alex shouldn’t complain too much. A kiss as payback for getting decked, well there is justice there. Besides, behind Alex is a purple-haired mermaid who looks decidedly infatuated with him.. not too bad…
Hahahahahahhaaaaaaa… Dastan you cheeky sonuva… 😛
Well played though Scott, and yes the scowl came through brilliantly, in fact, it was literally the ‘highlight’ of this page. And again, well played sir. That sword will sure have some interesting stories to tell the next King. ^_^
Nicely done. The ‘not happy’ face is excellent 🙂
I love the purple-tailed one at the back, she’s all ‘hehe wait til I get home and tell the girls.’
And this is where after years of reading I have to part ways.. I should have stopped when he killed the dragon and before the cheap gay jokes crept into the children’s comic. It’s very disappointing.
Sorry to see you go, Richard.
Thank you for reading this far.
Richard, it’s not about “GAY” … see my reply to EM below
Hard luck, No fan service today 😀
Hehe. good show indeed Dastan.
Following some of the discussion here, you should remember that our world and Dreamland are two entirely different worlds and Alex’s behaviour is more because of “culture shock” since he’s not familiar with a lot of aspects of Dreamland that Nastajia is having grown up there. If the situation would have been reversed Nastajia might have similar responses in our world to things she’s not familiar with or viewed differently from Dreamland….
Maybe if Alex had been forwarned and given time to let the idea sink in he might have responded differently.
A bug report:
When I tried to reply to your first comment here, Scott, I was ejected to the home page.
And no, I wasn’t even thinking of saying that it’s all right to be male and act your sex. That’s too obviously a capital offence in your country these days. What was I going to… Curse you, Alzheimer!
Disappointing; sums it up in a single word.
Throwing Alex’s not so surprising youthful immaturity in our faces.
Using Alex’s caring (dare we call it love?) to demonstrate Nastajia’s blatant willingness to embarrass and manipulate her Sovereign in front of a collection of his subjects.
Dastan’s total disrespect for the crown to participate in the manipulation.
Providing great object lessons for those of us who read this with our children. You’ve clearly demonstrated how selfishly manipulative teen/young women can be while also demonstrating how willing teen/young men can place themselves in these positions.
Nancy’s summation of, “Nastajia isn’t very nice to Alex some times, but then she is pretty so I guess she doesn’t have to be,” led to a protracted breakfast conversation. I was one of ‘those girls’ in school without really knowing it, and don’t wish my daughter to be.
Pfft. XD Go Dastan. That was hilarious.
About all this discussion- I think it’s harmless. The fact that it’s entirely a cultural thing- as well as Alex still being Alex- just makes it funny and cute.
Great work, Scott. This is my favourite comic- has been for a couple of years. Thanks for the great times. ^_^
I’m wondering if the fish-tail of Alex is non armored as a result of the changing spell…
Haha yes, the scowl came through. *Alex sulks* Also… WELL PLAYED! =D
I’m not sure if it’s funny or just sad how the whole “politically correct” thing just sucks all the fun out of everything. let me first say that I did think the first kiss with Nastajia and the mermaid was more provocative than I believe Scott intended, but that aside, I believe a lot of you are blowing this way out of proportion!
take a look at the 1959 film “Some like it Hot” a light-hearted film that deals with this very topic (especially the closing joke). it’s a fun film, but the way our society has become, there is always someone getting butt-hurt (oh sorry, what that not politically correct?— “getting there feeling hurt” Better?) over anything and everything.
if you go back and read it like a book, THE WAY THIS IS INTENDED, to me it falls into that same category of some like it hot, just a funny joke, nothing more!
deleted a big rant about extremist on both sides
Scott, keep up the good work!
With you on this, Joey.
Does anybody else here remember ‘Some like it hot’, I wonder? Or is remembering a copyright infringement, too?
Yep, Alex definitively looks pi**ed … IMO he deserved it for not been cool. He should know Nat better than assuming she would kiss everyone.
Maybe has learned a bit of self control now – w/o the smack on Dastan he might have earned the kiss from a mermaid 😉 .
Hahaha! Well, Alex certainly deserved that. 🙂
Sorry you’re getting heat from some readers over this. 🙁
Perfect. Absolutely perfect! You rock, Scott!!! 🙂
I’ve been in Philly for thanksgiving. And we’re hopping on a plane home in a couple hours. But I wanted to thank you all for being respectful to me…and each other while commenting on this subject.
I hope to speak to you all further when I get home.
It wasn’t that Alex deserved what he got, it’s that he needs to learn that he’s not in his own world and that in this instance all of his preconceived notions about sexuality are not elements of the culture here.
He’s the king and needs to get over this one and learn from it.
Though I’m sure Dastan had a little fun with it knowing the effect that it would have on Alex.
Seriously, Nastajia is borderline manipulative on this, and could come to bite her in the rear end in the long run. I see her point, in that, Alex, as king, needs to learn about other cultures and “open up” so to speak, but she really crossed the line on this one.
Where’s the manipulation? They have to visit the merpeople… this is the only way to do it… plus she actually went ahead and kissed a girl instead since Alex got all bent out of shape about Dastan + Nastajia.
Sure, she’s amused that Dastan ended up kissing Alex because of his reaction, but so what?
This is not the only way to do it. He could’ve waded out a few feet farther and kissed a woman. Sure, he might not be comfortable with kissing someone other than Natasha, but at least it’s someone with a compatible gender.
Yes, it works.
I’m sorry. I had to.
AND THEN I FAILED AT POSTING LINKS ENTIRELY
But yes, seriousface time:
I actually really take issue with the fact the implication here is that “Homosexual kiss = punishment.”
I get that this was supposed to be a cute gag and all, and it WAS really funny watching Alex squirm here, but there aren’t any other examples of homosexuality in this comic, and it kind of bugs me that the only time it comes up is to be used as a joke. I love to see at least some passing mention of THE GAY~ again, but in a more positive light next time.
this wasn’t about “GAY”… it was about putting Alex in an uncomfortable position.
for example let’s say they were eating and Destan offered him food he could not stand like say chopped liver (no offense to all you chopped liver fans out there) he would have to eat it graciously putting him in an uncomfortable position.
nothing about gay, there are many cultures where same sex kiss NON-Sexual, but there are people who are not used to it and are uncomfortable, not that they are homophobic, just uncomfortable.
Oh, yeah, I definitely realize that! I’m just saying my issue is that the ONLY instance of any same-sex kissing in this comic is used to make someone feel uncomfortable and is clearly a punishment for Alex acting like a tool. xD
What I’m saying is that I’d love for homosexual themes to come up again, but in a completely harmless way. Like, a character is just gay and no one cares that they are; it’s just a THING and not an issue to anyone.
Nastajia kissed a mermaid to get her tail, and it didn’t make anyone uncomfortable. It just illustrated to Alex that he over-reacted when he punched Dastan for trying to kiss her. Besides, as Scott pointed out, Alex’s reaction to being kissed would have been the same if Dastan had been a really ugly merwoman. He’s just having his superficiality rubbed in his face here.
Yes, I can see how those two are exactly the same thing.
Saw the scowl right away, Scott! Personally, I think it worked for the intent you had for it and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
For the record, I agree with Michelle and Mutarou, and Boon in that I don’t think the offence caused was in any way intentional. Nevertheless, it was caused. So while I make no allegations of malice aforethought, I do hope that a bit more thought is- actually, Em said it better than I ever could. Being a joke ain’t pleasent.
Just because someone is uncomfortable with the idea of someone of the same sex kissing them doesn’t mean that person is homophobic. If Alex was comfortable with the idea, many would be complaining that it’s pro-gay, encouraging kids to BE gay. By this same logic, one could argue that he’s discouraging kids who may be uncertain about their sexuality by implying “heterosexuality is the only way to be” because we’ve seen Alex and Nastajia and Dan and Nicole kiss.
This is a no-win situation no matter what Scott does. He’s not trying to tie in some social or political message into his story, he’s simply TELLING a story. I applaud him tremendously for having the courage to do this.
It works 😉
In response to your request the joke itself didn’t really play for me even upon rereading, (though when I did notice Alexander’s face I got it a little more.) a note on that is that as finals approach at school and I am dealing with back pains my sense of humor has been a bit off but I thought I would provide the feedback you were asking for.
On the notes above. I think that some people may find it necessary to write/create art that is entirely meant to portray idealized notions of the examples people need. I also think that things that promote obviously harmful behavior should be downplayed. I also think that some authors or artists are just trying to make a good story/work of art and not trying to send a message with everything they do. I may not have gotten the joke in this one but I was not mad about anything that was portrayed.
Hah, the joke came through for me. I have had little problem with any of the behavior of the characters in these last few pages, except Nastajia, I would have thought she’d have the foresight and intelligence to prewarn Alex about this foreign custom so as to avoid any misunderstanding (and punching). Also I thought she should have responded better to Alex’s initial questioning of her motions to kiss the merman. I mean, girl, your boyfriend/love interest is stammering surprise over you moving in to kiss some other guy, he doesn’t understand. Move back and explain it to him. I thought Alex responded the way I would figure (and hope) any guy would respond to another guy kissing their girl. And he responded the way I would have expected over the guy kissing him. But I’m also not surprised to read so much hullabaloo over all this in the comments…
I’ll point out that I don’t think it’s fair to label this situation or anyone (Alex, Scott, any readers) as homophobic over Alex scowling about a guy kissing him. I mean it’s been well established that Alex is straight. He prefers kisses and attention from females and would be expected to balk at the idea of a guy kiss. I’m straight and I certainly wouldn’t want a girl kissing me. But I’d also balk at an uninvited kiss from a guy. I think the problem Alex has is mostly about an uninvited/unwanted kiss. It simply being an unwanted kiss from someone of the same gender doesn’t equal homophobic. If the situation were reversed and the story had a character who had been established as being gay, then he showed aversion to being kissed by a female, I don’t think anyone would accuse that guy of being heterophobic.
I completely Agree!
You know what’s brilliant about your comment? You reminded me of a music video where a young gay kid is FORCED to kiss a girl, and they managed to portray it as deeply unpleasant for him (not easy when you consider all the stereotypes that go against that notion). It’s ironic, painfully ironic, but in a sense, condemning Alex for being homophobic just because he doesn’t want to be kissed by another male is JUST as bad as condemning a gay boy for not wanting to kiss a girl just because he’s gay.
Ultimately it goes to show that prejudice isn’t a one way street, and ultimately being attracted to one gender and only one gender, regardless of whether it’s your own or the opposite, involves the same reactions and feelings with regards to that which you are NOT attracted to.
A straight man does NOT want to see other men nekkid, the end, just as many gay men I’m sure would take no pleasure in seeing a woman in the buff. Doesn’t make them prejudiced against anyone, it doesn’t mean all gay men hate women or that all lesbian women hate men, it’s a perfectly natural and logical display of preference, nothing more and nothing less.
And for those criticizing Scott for feeling the need to explain these pages so much, that’s life, literally. It would be lovely, and I do mean LOVELY, if we lived in a world where people were open (and indeed, honest) enough about sexuality that such things needed no explanation, but no dice, even sexuality itself is a polarizing subject in our society.
Perhaps one day we’ll get over ourselves, our inhibitions and demons. We’ll stop demonizing the human body in it’s natural form, and our natural preferences in that regard (that is, those preferences that FEEL natural as opposed to what society arbitrarily decides is such). Stop with the frankly scary concept that ‘robust violence’ is A-Okay whilst nudity of any form is a ‘sin’ and shall not be seen by the ‘innocent’ (even though everyone that washes regularly see’s themselves nekkid at least once a day, rendering that concept pretty redundant).
We’ll stop, frankly, being our own worst enemy. And when that happens, such a scene in such a story will be no big thing, and no-one will feel the need to project their own (hugely involved) prejudices upon it.
But until that time, it’s only right that Scott explains himself if he feels the need. After all, had Scott NOT explained anything I’m quite sure he’d have gotten just as much ‘heat’ if not more.
And again, brilliant comment safyrejet. 🙂
I’m just going to come out and say it I’m a man i do not agree with same sex partnerships or marriage or what ever and this did not come across as homophobia. The fact that some people here have to take this there is a testament to there immaturity. yes 2 guys kissed (Implied). Yes Alex doesn’t like guys. and because of that you automatically assume he is a homophobe. If some guy kissed me i would probably punch him, that does not mean I do not have tolerance I just don’t accept it. I don’t hate gays or lesbians ect. and once again as Scott mentioned this is a cultural thing not a sexual.
Good point about it being more cultural than anything else, it is interesting that some choose to project their own sexual ideology onto it.
For all that though, still damn funny, Alex’s expression makes me smile every time. And if he wakes up to Dan listening to ‘It Started with a Kiss…’ there will be hell TO PAY! O_O
Hindsight is 20/20, right?
First off, I re-read the sequence and have one fix to recommend when these are collected… After the punch, Staj “yells” Alex’s name twice; once on the bottom of the punch page and once at the top of the following page… it read wrong to me.
Now, as for the joke, I don’t think it came across as homophobic at all. As others have pointed out, there is a difference between something being uncomfortable for your personal experience and something totally wigging you out no matter who it’s happening to/with.
What I think might have worked better from the “cultural” point of view, and maybe eliminated a lot of “distress,” would be if Dastan and Staj had still kissed and then Dastan had kissed Alex.
Anyway, for the people who get worked up because “there is sexuality” because Staj & Alex or Dan & Nichole have kissed, that’s like saying all the Disney princess movies had sexuality because the princess always kisses her prince. The way I see it, Dreamland, being the world where children go when they dream, is kind of like a Disney princess movie… you only ever see people kiss, and kids come from somewhere offscreen.
Also, by saying these kisses in the past few pages have shown homosexuality is missing the point entirely… It’s a greeting and an imparting of power. Compare it to hugging… Hugging between a couple in love can be sexual or passionate, but does that mean all hugging represents such? Men hug each other all over the world (although some men shiver at even the quick clap on the back hug) and do you view that as sexual contact?
Anyway, Scott, keep up the great work! Looking forward to seeing the home of the merpeople…
Yes, but most cultures do not incorporate kissing on the lips as a greeting, which is often considered more passionate and intimate than a simple hug. A guy can hug his girlfriend and then hug one of his male friends and have both be a symbol of affection, just with different intensities of passion. Lip contact does not leave as much room for interpretation. Not to mention that even between partners, hugging tends to be considerably less passionate than kissing. Just because THEY use this as a greeting doesn’t excuse the fact that the readers of this comic live in the real world where this situation would raise eyebrows. Having things occur in Dreamland does not mean people cannot and will not attach their own societal biases to what they are seeing. This is always the danger in taking this kind of a risk and the respective authors should realize that they are opening themselves for criticism. Heterosexuality is the norm in society and does not have a sexual emphasis much in the way homosexuality does. Parents won’t raise a stink over the Disney Princess kissing her Prince because their children probably see them kiss each other and there’s no sexual connotation to that. But, as I said, homosexuality and sex are intrinsically linked in most people’s opinions, so portraying two females or two males kissing almost certainly provides some sort a sexual undertone. The children may not perceive anything sexual in this, but their parents will and if they condemn it, they’re setting the example to their children that homosexuality is wrong. If the parent says nothing, then the joke probably goes way over a child’s head. I just personally don’t agree with your argument, though I appreciate what you’re saying. If the world was ideal, there would be no problem with a cultural non-sexual kiss between two (wo)men. Unfortunately, the world is not ideal and the introduction of homosexuality in such a way will ultimately lead to some sort of a sexual undertone, regardless of whether it was intended or not. Because this is a children’s comic, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to even touch the subject and I don’t think it was necessary.
I dunno, the fact that Alex described the mermaids as hot makes this whole situation inherently sexual. Dastan adding on that it’s pleasurable only reinforces this. Realistically, this should not have been incorporated into an all ages comic because this situation and the way Alex reacted to it is not at all innocent. It’s how an immature STRAIGHT college age guy would react to getting kissed by another guy, I get it. But I see all these comments saying this is the natural reaction to getting a kiss from the same sex but go no further than that, as if this is an accepted blanket statement. The fact that most of the comments do not specify that they’re talking about a straight person just implies the perception that heterosexuality is ultimately more normal/accepted/the default. I’m sure none of it is intentional; I wouldn’t want to accuse anyone of anything. But surely, none of us can deny that the inclusion of now two heterosexual couples in this comic is perfectly “normal” and statistically speaking, this is true, not to mention that most non-heterosexuals are so used to this reality that it doesn’t bother them. The problem really is the inclusion of homosexuality (even if it wasn’t “meant to be sexual”), especially as the punch line to some sort of a joke, is incredibly suspect, but more importantly, sorely obvious. If this were not supposed to be a kid friendly comic, I don’t know that there would be as much of an issue. But it is an all ages comic so why even introduce homosexual undertones in a potentially sexual situation, especially in a time when people are so hung up over what gay people do behind closed doors. If the focus of homosexuality for most people was the loving relationship two people of the same sex had, then fine, whatever. But it’s not, most straight people only care about the sex part of it. Ergo it is very difficult to have any homosexual suggestions and have people think of it as non-sexual. Hence, I personally find this whole scene blatant, unnecessary and yes, potentially offensive to gays. I mean, it’s already happened so… Too late. No use complaining about the pages but… I am kind of turned off from Dreamland after this. I know it’s such a small part of the comic, but as someone who isn’t straight, I’m made especially uncomfortable by all of this.
Also, I can’t agree with the people who are saying “if it was switched” or “if Dastan was a homely mermaid” because
1) if the Dastan character was, say, an ugly female and that was the reason Alex resisted, it would imply superficiality and while that is indeed part of Alex’s character, the incredibly subtle resolution of the situation may not be as clear to a child.
And 2) If we did switch the situation around, the people who use this argument would only prove my point further in regards to how offensive this can be. If Dastan was undesirable because she was unattractive compared to the other mermaids, that strongly implies that ugliness is wrong and since there are no other especially unattractive characters in the comic (except for some of the bad guys) there is no way to cancel out the message this is sending. If one of the main characters was atrocious, then the treatment of this random side character differently would not be as dramatic. But as everyone has been saying, the inclusion of blatant heterosexuality is standard and typically speaking, so is the fact that *most* cartoon characters are fairly idealistic. Unattractiveness is often not featured unless said unattractiveness is the major personality trait/flaw of the character (think the Hunchback of Notre Dame.) Similarly, most of the time gay characters have nothing going for them except the fact that they are gay- it’s their all encompassing attribute. Treating that *one* gay character who is defined by their orientation in a negative way only emphasizes societal marginalization of homosexuals. It reinforces the idea that it’s perfectly acceptable to treat gays poorly, just as Dastan being an unattractive female would convey that it is perfectly acceptable to be repulsed by ugliness. And since the past few generations have really dug in the idea not to judge a book by its cover, I’d be surprised if the alternate situation did not make more people even more upset.
Ah, but Dastan didn’t say that it was pleasurable… he said it was pleasant. You’re not the first person to make this mistake in the comments… And while one could argue that it is semantics, “pleasant” and “pleasurable” do not necessarily mean the same thing. When something is pleasant, it’s a milder form, maybe a little tiny spark of warmth in the heart… like a compliment from a stranger, or a hug from your favorite aunt or grandmother, or maybe the laughter of children playing. When something is pleasurable, it’s a stronger form, usually with a big spark and warmth in organs that may or may not include the heart. Again, maybe semantics, but a world of difference in this case, I think. A quick kiss from a platonic friend is pleasant, while a quick kiss from your heart’s desire is pleasurable.
So many points to make, where to start. I think the first thing to mention is that your claim that you were ‘peticularly bother by it because you are gay’ is more complicated than the straightforward right to be offended you mark it as. That you are gay is not what makes it offend you, there has been at least one other comment from another homosexual poster made recently that they thought it was hilarious. My best friend is an autistic gay furry, and he thought the strip was epic. –Being gay by itself is not the cause for offence–, using the community as leverage for your argument is flawed from the inception.
Kid friendly comics should not have to shy away from homosexuality just because there’s kids involved, and neither should they have to focus on it to placate those who think the one potential referrence wasn’t to their style. Being ‘potentially offensive’ to a group could be said about anything in the comic! If any references or any activities are made in any panel, it is grounds that someone might be offended. There are people who’ve complained over just about every known topic, no matter how innocent it is- from sports to skipping. Homosexuality IS a part of our world today. One person associating gays with ‘what they do behind closed doors’ is a leap made by the individual, and not one made by the comic. Furthermore, most of us have straight friends that we wouldn’t want to picture ‘behind closed doors’. Again, an argument that has nothing to do with orientation.
In regards to the dismissal of how innocent this is, your argument starts with “A child may not understand the subtlety of it”, the argument was not made to a child, it was made to the forum at large. Most of us are capable of understanding it. As for the superficiality of it, there are very, very few people who are completely “Not superficial”. There’s differing degrees of it, but even something as simple as preferring a ‘type of person’ in any regards is a form of being ‘superficial’. It’s there for most of us to some extent, it isn’t what makes most of us who we are, and some people could use less of it. As for ugliness or homosexuality being a defining trait, it would do you good to look up a literary term “Stock character”. In MOST stories, there is not a great amount of character depth to characters outside the core group. There just isn’t the time to develop them like you can with the main set, so instead they are usually defined by a couple of main traits that don’t exist in the majority. It isn’t wrong to be homosexual any more than it is wrong to be of ethnic descent, but neither are they your ‘everyday person’. And this ‘gay character’ isn’t being treated bad- Alex just didn’t want to kiss him, and he’s used to getting what he wants. Everyone else was calling him out for being a brat on the issue- condoning acceptance.
Honestly though, the biggest irony of this great debate of “There’s one gay character” and all that- Dastan is *not* gay, and there is no real arguments to make on the matter. Yes, he stuck it to Alex by kissing him when he was being a brat, and if that was all he did in the comic it would perhaps lend itself to that. But Dastan was *certainly* not any less enthusiastic about the potential to kiss Nastajia, and neither of them were sexual in nature. It could maybe be argued that he is bisexual, but without the whole ‘scandelous’ nature of supposedly being eager to kiss Alex, it takes a lot of the momentum out of the argument.
awww…missed out on the actual kiss scene.
love alex’s face in the first panel. XD he’ll think twice to sucker punch a mermaid again.
Alex’s expression is PERFECT.
I JUST got back from our trip to Philly for Thanksgiving.
I can’t tell you how much I love seeing all of your comments.
And I can’t thank you all enough for how RESPECTFUL you have all been to one another.
I would suspect that in another forum or another comic…this could have gotten ugly.
Thank you so very much.
I don’t know if here is the best place to answer every question. But as you can see…there are a lot of varying reactions to these pages.
So…being that this is a webcomic…and I love interacting with you all…I hope to “explain” my thoughts and intentions to you.
I am NOT trying to “talk my way out of it” or anything like that.
I am proud of these pages. Both from a comical point of view as well as a social point of view.
I DO have a few things I’d like to discuss more. If that’s okay.
1) My intention was to show that girl/girl kissing and boy/boy kissing is really “no big deal”. At least in Dreamland.
The fact that Alex doesn’t get it is both important to his “normal guy” status as well as how a lot of people would react.
2) Some of you have been upset that Alex’s reaction is negative to being kissed by a guy. Of COURSE it is. He’s a straight man.
I’ve seen plenty of gay women and men make the same face (or worse) when thrust into identical situations.
It’s natural and in NO way “homophobic”.
3) There is NO sexuality in my storytelling. A Kiss…even a romantic kiss…has NOTHING to do with sex.
Please understand I am SUPER-OVER-HYPER-protective of what my boys read and watch…and they’re 8 years old.
I do NOT want to talk to them about sex for another 10 years (I know…I’m dreaming).
But I want them innocent for as long as possible.
But I felt (and I hope I wasn’t wrong) that showing platonic kissing from the same sex would be a POSITIVE image from a gay point of view. Even if it was only successfully done 50% of the time (nastajia 1….Alex 0)
4) While I am sorry to see some of my readers go (some leaving for this sequence being “Too Gay” and some leaving for this sequence being “homophobic”)….I am thankful that the majority of you have stayed. Regardless of your personal beliefs.
I am NOT trying to promote my personal beliefs on anyone through my books.
I have no intention of getting my politics or religion or anything into Dreamland.
I want it to remain as innocent as possible. But, (and here’s the tricky part) I want there to be layers for my kids to uncover when they get older.
I want there to be deeper meanings. And whether I succeed or fail…I won’t know for many years. But I do appreciate you all for being there while I try.
Thank you again!
Now I better get to sleep. Been a long day of traveling.
I am glad you wrote this post as I was really curious to know what your intentions with this scene were. I must admit that even though this isn’t supposed to be important, the intentions and personality of the author sometimes make or break the enjoyment I can have when reading a webcomic or a book. This is sad, but true. I have been reading The Dreamland Chronicles for a few years now, and I always check in at least once a day to see if there’s an update or read the comments. I really enjoy doing so, and every time I’m curious to see what’s going to happen next in the story.
That being said, I have to say that I was a little worried after reading the last few pages. Not because I had perceived the scene as offensive, but rather because I was unsure what your intentions with it were and because I thought a lof of people would get it wrong, no matter what the explanation was going to be for it. After reading the comments, I was not really surprised to see that there were going to be mentions of the possible homosexuality reference and a discussion of the possible intent of it. My feelings started to get mixed, as I felt that you might have had the wrong intentions (from my point of view, because there are no real right or wrong intentions, it’s all about opinions) when writing this scene and I was already feeling torn between liking the comic for what it is – a fun and enjoyable story about a fantasy world, wrong intentions, growing up and taking responsability – and disliking it because of the possibility that the author disliked and/or judged me for something I never wanted to be. But then I decided it was kind of immature of me to think that. And now I have read your comment and I feel stupid for ever thinking this. I completely understand your point of view and intentions with this scene (and the whole comic) and I want to congratulate you on your comic once again and on the nice and respectful community that seems to have gathered itself around it.
One little point though, I have to agree that the word “hot” alex uses may be some kind of a reference to sexuality in this case. Normally I wouldn’t care about this, but as you said there wasn’t supposed to be a sexuality reference here, I would suggest you might change it to “cute” or just leave it out. Hot just seems so overly related to sexual attractiveness to me.
P.S. I want to apologize if I made any weird sentences. English is not my mother tongue.
You are most welcome!
I think you, as both author and mediator/contributor to the comments, have the greatest influence on how we treat one another. So our gentility reflects well on you also.
Either way I still am looking forward to future pages and waiting to see where the story goes. The tail on Staj is amazing by the way. 😀
Agreed on both counts.
I think you might be confusing Nastajia’s cape with her tail. 🙂 I thought the same thing at first.
Man, what a generous spirit you show in handling all feedback, positive and negative; way better than I could do! For what it’s worth, I’m gay myself, and I just find these pages funny. Count me as another dedicated reader now. 🙂
I think it all works and if you were to take the out the “hot” reference preceeding “mermaids,” it removes any innuendo of sexuality. Love the sequence – hilarious.
What I found disturbing was the avoidance of showing the actual kiss. Yes, the comic gives no one a reason to doubt the fact that Dastan had indeed kissed Alexander, but why is it that the kiss was not drawn, much like the kiss between the two women?
Our culture seems to be pretty comfortable with showing two women kissing, but when two men kiss, that provokes dislike and resentment.
It would be beneficial to younger generations to grow up without these double standards, and live with an open mind and acceptance to different types of relationships.
I actually agree with you on many levels, but in your own words, it’s the way our modern culture is. Things are changing for the better, bit by bit, but frankly, many parents themselves don’t want their children ‘being confused’ by two men making out, so your ‘double standards’ argument kind of fails, as you can’t blame media (or comics) for something the children will learn from the example set by their parents anyway (and in fact, a standard that is enforced upon the media BY those parents).
It’s a vicious cycle, it is, and I too would like children to be able to grow up without the double standards imposed by society, both subtle and obvious. But that’s something that has to start with the parents, first and foremost. When those same parents (who would normally enforce such hypocrisy) STOP with the double standards, then we can all move forward. Until then though, I think Scott handled it with great skill. You WANT the world to be ready to show such a thing without furor, I get it, and I would like that too, but the world isn’t ready, not by a long shot.
The comedic timing requires that the kiss not be seen. This page is the punchline to not seeing the kiss. It simply wouldn’t have been as funny if we saw the kiss and then cut to this page. The scowl on Alex’s face and his tail say it all: Nastajia didn’t step in to save him, he didn’t back off, and Dastan kissed him. The timing is excellent this way. 🙂
One hundred and FIRST!
It’s 100 times more annoying!
First off, I want to say that I have enjoyed reading this comic for many years and really love and appreciate all the time and effort you put into each page, Scott. Also, as a non-heterosexual reader, I’d like to point out that I do not take offense to these recent pages and actually found them quite amusing. However, there are some things I’d like to address.
1. While you may not intend to include any form of sexuality into your comic, “sexuality” in and of itself does not necessarily IMPLY or involve -sex-. Sexuality is the awareness of gender differences and the ability to have and experience erotic feelings and behaviors, regardless of one’s sexual orientation. A character having romantic feelings for another character (whether heterosexual or otherwise) IS incorporating sexuality. I understand you plan to exclude -passion-, lust, sexual desire, etc. from your comic, but to state that it is completely lacking sexuality is false (bad word choice). Sexuality can also be an overarching term that includes not only sexual activity and behavior, but also sexual orientation and gender identity. On that note, sexuality should be embraced as a positive thing on many levels. For a child to be able to self identify as a boy who wants to spend time with girls, is establishing both gender and orientation. To express themselves within their own interpretation of their gender-identity is a wonderful aspect of sexuality. To say you are excluding sexuality to like removing attraction and gender from the equation entirely. If gender was irrelevant and no one was having any romantic feelings for anyone else, then yes… it would be lacking sexuality. But your comic has both. Please note I have no problem with your inclusion of both, I’m merely arguing a case of semantics. Sometimes, a singular word can make all the difference in meaning and the message that comes across.
2. I found the first kiss between the two women to be completely platonic and actually rather adorable on Alex’s end. I felt like in that situation, Nastajia was probably rolling her eyes and trying to cater to Alex to help educate him on the customs of the merpeople. I also found it interesting how he reacted considering this is NOT the first time he’s visited the merpeople. I think many people forget he has ALREADY been told of their customs, because he was kissed by a merwoman before and afterward, they explained why. The fact that he doesn’t remember is typical of his character, but to blame Nastajia for not enlightening him ahead of time, I find a little much. To her knowledge, he should already know what is going on and she’s probably so use to it, she didn’t even think about his potential reaction until after the fact. Alex’s response to the first kiss was typical too. Knowing Nastajia is a straight woman who kissed another woman probably helped Alex understand, but he still probably found the action itself to be sexual, which is typical behavior. And his response to the second kiss would also be typical, if a little close-minded, behavior. As a lesbian woman, I would -not- be adverse to kissing a man in this context. However, I would be adverse to an unwanted, uninvited kiss from any strange individual. Alex needs to learn to distinguish the difference between romantic and platonic affection if he is going to be king. However, to force him to do so before he was ready, I think does not send a very good message. I don’t think he should be able to pick and choose between who invites him, but if you were going for a message, it might have been better to have them tell alex it would be Dastan who was going to kiss him and they could wait for him to be ready, or they could go on ahead with just Nastajia and come back for him later/tell him what happened. I think the message might have been stronger if it was Alex who was forced to make the distinction and put himself in an uncomfortable position out of duty and responsibility, rather than to be boxed in. However, that’s just my take on it. As a comic, which is primarily intended to tell a story, but also to be -comical-, I find the kiss as is to also be amusing. In fact, I was ok with everything so far up until THIS page. For some reason, Nastajia’s reaction did NOT sit well with me. I didn’t really see everything as a joke until today. I did see the kiss as sort of childish-immature payback to the punch and found it funny enough, but the homosexual-flavor to a joke Nastajia also finds amusing for some reason made me feel a little off. I can’t put my finger on it, but before that, she was sort of excluded from the picture for me… more of an innocent bystander and this page made her seem more like a willing participant. It makes her come across as a bit more manipulative, maybe in a little heartless.
3. I think that considering most people are heterosexual, they fail to realize that including heterosexual relationships and actions such as kisses, while the social norm and completely socially acceptable, still sends a message to children. And I think that the failure to include any homosexual undertones other than under platonic instances my also send a misguided image. As children, we look for representatives in the world around us to guide our own behavior. And if the only examples you have for a specific type of behavior (in this cause, same-sex kissing) is between platonic or unwilling individuals sets a sort of standard that opposite-sex kisses are romantic and same-sex kisses are not, whether intended or not. While I think kisses themselves should NOT be sexual between the merpeople and our leads, perhaps if one was same-sex and the other was opposite-sex, it might make the message better. Or, an alternative is to have a supporting lead or background character that has some OTHER role, happens to also experience same-sex romance. For instance (and I know this would not happen, but just to give an example), if Kiwi (who has an established character and role) were to kiss another female romantically as with Nicole/Dan and Alex/Nastajia. Characters that have purposes and the fact that they are homosexual is only secondary or a side characteristic. Those are really the type of characters most childrens’ stories need if you seek to set the message that homosexuality is normal or at least not negative. However, this also shows one’s own personal views and while equivalent to two heterosexual characters kissing, would have a more strong reaction by viewers because we already have a preset notion over what IS and is NOT publicly acceptable or normal. But for me, personally, I think we need more people who are willing to BE more bold and challenge those norms so that our children my grow up to not have those biases. And yes, this might not be the story that will happen in, but to have same-sex kisses appear at all without a representative that shows they can also be loving and romantic without being super sexual or directly sex-related (such as a goodbye or hello kiss) may only help to keep the standard that only heterosexual relationships are “family-friendly”, when really (as far as I am concerned) all forms of loving relationships should be family-friendly.
Of course, I know there are those that don’t agree with me and any non-heterosexual topics will always lead to intense debates, I thought I should at least let my standpoint be known. I apologize for the length and I appreciate the time you take to interact with and address your fan-base. Thank you for a wonderful comic. I will still be reading to learn what happens next ^-^.
(Also, thank you to the other responders who have been very respectful about the entire topic as well. Whether or not someone agrees with me, it is still nice to know they will both listen to as well as honor and respect my point of view).
Thank you Petzi!
Very well written. And very educational!
I really appreciate you taking the time to write this.
(and yes…I’m STILL reading these. Thank you all!)
You know what? Would it fix the whole situation to see Dastan greet another merman by kissing him? Then would everyone be happy and quit quibbling about issues that they’re making up? I am sick of people making something out of nothing.
woow… the amount of discussion here is crazy!
I instantly read it as just a customs thing :)! I used to work for a bunch of Brazillians and one day I’m just cleaning the counter and this strange woman (who was friends with the family) walked up and kissed me on my cheeks. I was completely startled, but I just greeted her back in my own way, and chortled about it later. I wasn’t directly communicating with the family at the time, and it was pretty obvious I was just another worker, but I think she got caught up in the moment and forgot she was on vacation.
Things like this page are dually important to me because not only does it stress understanding other cultures, and tolerating strange practices, but it forces the main character to despite ALL of his cultural upbringing. This is a very apt and relevant lesson that shouldn’t be mixed up with a homophobic/heterophobic undertone. My boyfriend of 5 years grew up in veerrrry north eastern Russia and only learned English a couple years before I met him. Quite honestly the only time we ever get into fights are just because of cultural/linguistic differences and misunderstandings. While you won’t necessarily have to LIVE with someone of a different culture (like I do), there’s a fair chance you’ll wind up communicating and interacting with them. 🙂 I like that this presents that issue.
Also, just in case someone reads this wrong and believes that I’m against homosexuality being protruded in comics, I vehemently support gay rights, and lived with the most amazing transgendered woman for a time. But living in a large city, I can assure you that the amount of racist comments I hear are just as bad as any homophobic ones. They’re both relevant issues.
I think the whole thing came across fine.
wow, it’s just a web comic people(one of the best ones I have ever read), but still just a web comic, there are a lot more racy ones out there that display overt or unvert? sexuality on both sides, I think those of u that are making to big of a deal out of it are standing on a soap box on a street corner in some one elses neihborhood. Scott has an awsome story to tell,…..let him tell it!
I believe “covert” was the word you were looking for …
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