I like reading web comics, I don’t read as many as I used to since quite a few of my faves have stopped updating or had to give up the comic for personal reasons, like Alien Vs Predator, Home on the Strange, Ornery Boy, Better Life and a few more, some are still going strong like
And I enjoy them all, Eben and Snooch are two of my favourite felines of all time, since I have a Snooch of my own, oddly enough his name is Bucky, named after another cat in another one of my favourite comics, Get Fuzzy, if Bucky had been a girl he probably would have been called Solange after another cat in another one of my favourite comics, 9 Chickweed Lane, I also enjoy reading Zits, Frazz , For Better Or For Worse and Zits, about everyone’s favourite teenager.
However my all time favourite web comic ever is Questionable Content. Written by the amazing and talented Jeph Jacques, I have always enjoyed QC and I have enjoyed watching how Jeph (I hope he doesn’t mind me talking about him like I know him) has changed and improved as an artist over the years.
Comics are not like books, and I don’t just mean in content and form, I mean in how they let you interact and use your imagination, in a comic the author/artists pretty much knows what he/she wants his/her character to look like, more or less, over the course of a long running comic the skills might get better and the characterisations might improve, but the author/artist knows in his/her head HOW the character is supposed to look, and to a lesser extent act and behave, because that’s always open to change.
In a book usually the author gives you a broad outline or description of a character and you fill in the other bits from your imagination, one of my favourite series of all time is The Belgariad and The Malloreon, in that Belgarion is described as a tall, sandy haired young man, with a slightly serious expression, fairly broad, yes?
In my minds eye Belgarion looks exactly like a grown up Henry Thomas (from ET fame), Polgara who is supposed to be the most beautiful woman in the world looks to me like Angelina Jolie, because to me, she is the most beautiful woman in the world, Belgarath will always be Ian McKellen, Durnik is Charley Boorman, Barak is a young Brian Blessed, mixed with John Rhys Davies, Silk is now and forever Steven Buscemi, I see Hettar as a young Johnny Depp.
This is why there is always so much angst when they cast a movie of a popular book, because inevitably the people they cast look NOTHING like the characters we have imagined in our minds, and some people cannot get over that.
As a side note, anyone who doesn’t think that Brain Blessed would make an AWESOME Arch-Chancellor Ridcully has rocks in their head.
But back to Questionable Content, one day last week Jeph posted this episode
of Questionable Content, and then received an email containing this which Jeph posted on his tumblr
I have read the post several times over several days and I still do NOT get what the writer of the email was on about, was Marigold drawn too fat, or not fat enough, or was the fact that she was drawn at all in a bikini a bad thing, one thing I have noticed is that in most comics, web and paper the range in body shapes is pretty minimal, whereas in QC we have a whole shit tonne (that’s an accurate scientific measurement right there) of different female body shapes.
The writer of the email, which I shall assume is a female, goes on to make several rather astounding statements and analogies, along with quite a few fat-shaming epithets of her own, making a mockery of her indignation, and then rounds it all off by saying she was being sarcastic, and then accused Jeph of insulting all women.
Sorry, I was not insulted in the slightest, in fact it was nice seeing a less than stick figure in a bikini that wasn’t endowed with a wasp waist and Pammy Anderson boobs, and looking like she might topple forward at any moment.
Marigold looked exactly how I thought she would look in a bikini, nothing more and nothing less, in fact I was more concerned how she would handle the 2nd hand embarrassment from Marten because he never knows how to do a compliment properly.
And there I go talking like Marigold is a real person, who would be worried about her squishyness, and her embarrassment at being in a bikini.
To get to the end of a very convoluted point, how Marigold looks is how Jeph draws her, how he sees her, not how other people think she should look, was Marigold too fat, or not fat enough, it doesn’t bloody matter, what matters is that she is Jeph’s creation and he’s the ONLY one who knows what she looks like.
You can imagine her any bloody way you like, thinner, fatter, with green hair and freckles, but in the world of QC, that is what she looks like, in a t-shirt or in a bikini..
In closing, I hope you feel better soon Jeph and just know that thousands of us think you are amazing and that QC is bloody brilliant.
A Fan 😎