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After reading about the flaming that Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) got for drawing a bubbly blond gamer girl, I started to think about genders perceptions in our culture.

I don’t know if it’s possible to create a character that’s completely devoid of tropes, stereotypes, gender assumptions, cultural influences and the like. I remember a story about how Scott Adams (Dilbert) tried to make a non stereotypical female character and in the end was accused of making fun of lesbians.

I think the best way to combat stereotypes isn’t to try and eliminate them entirely but just to spend more time with a character. The longer you spend with a character, even a stereotypical one, the more developed and deep they can be. Take a look at The Simpsons for example: Nearly every character on there was a stereotype of some sort. But then after 20+ seasons you get to know them more and realize they’re deeper and more complex fun characters.

22nd April 2012

1 year ago #8976889      

thank you for mentioning a person's most influential work when mentioning them.

3 years ago #8321116      

I think it is VERY VERY hard. Especially females. But Yay for Oatmeal!

3 years ago #8308510      

actually the general pubilc should look more like a woman because well THERE ARE WAY TO MANY OF THEM!!!!!!

3 years ago #8307727      

I so wish I could see what the final result was :D

3 years ago #8307683      

Perhaps you ought to use that pencil to stab the guy floating over your shoulder while you work.

3 years ago #8307499      

YES THAT'S SO sexual intercourseING TRUE!!!!

3 years ago #8307318      

For anyone curious, scott adams non sterotypical woman was named antina.

3 years ago #8306602      

I don't think it's so much about creating non stereotypical characters as not getting offended by them. I AM a chubby blond gamer girl and I LOVE the Oatmeal! The things he writes are funny and I know they aren't directed at me personally (most of the things he writes are semi true anyway haha)

3 years ago #8306330      

The Oatmeal gets flamed for everything. If The Oatmeal doesn't get flamed for posting something, the Internet explodes. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

My point is that you shouldn't hold yourself to that. Gamer girls come in all shapes, sizes, and types. Example: I'm an overweight brown-haired bookish gamer girl with glasses. My best friend is an eccentric redhead gamer girl who likes wearing feathers in her hair. Another friend is a blonde-with-glasses gamer girl with the softest pair of boobs I've ever napped on.

... I might've taken this point a bit too far.

3 years ago #8306091      

I think that this comic mirrors how paranoid you are about public opinion. Your work and especially artist's comments (plus dA journals) show that you always worry that someone somewhere may find any aspect of your comic offensive. Which is a valid problem, but considering how big your fanbase is, probably most of them won't care about details. Some choices are purely aesthetic and/or arbitrary and those judge them are small, if loud, group of nitpickers.
Nonetheless, this IS a real problem for a writer and I totally relate to that. For example, I can't choose which of characters from my still-in-development comic should be left-handed while avoiding the stigma of leftys being evil or genial. With all of them being either morally ambiguous or extraordinary in some way, I still can't make the decision.

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