Debate and Discussion

Comics with 'risky' subject matter-- A No-No to you?
Skullbie at 11:02AM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Todays comic audience seems pretty lax.
But how do you personally feel about comics with risky subject matter?
I'm not talking Graphic scenes, just using it for the plot–

'Risky' subject matter examples:
Incest
Rape
Alcoholism
Atheism
racism
Homosexuality(edit for steely gaze)
Pedophilia
Self-mutilation
Graphic Gore(yech)
ETC.



Would any of those make you stop reading the comic if they were mentioned/put into the plot? Or do you have others to mention that are a No-No to you? (The plot isn't always the dark type to add these)


Me personally:
As long as it's not the center core of the story, i have no problems with most risky comic. The only thing i'd refuse to view is pedophilia, self-mutilation, and graphic gore. I simply can't relate to things like that, comics are better without constant gore(unless that's your audience) It's basically like adding big breasts at times to keep readers coming.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
usedbooks at 11:24AM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Depends. It can be interesting when a story tackles a tough subject (such as rape, alcohol/drugs, racism) in a realistic fashion. All conflict is at least a little unpleasant, but that's where the story is, and seeing how characters deal with tough things can really define them.

If it's done for shock value, presented more as a fetish, not necessary to the story, or especially graphic, no thank you. Tackling an issue is one thing; making it a side show attraction is something else.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
Steely Gaze at 11:24AM, Feb. 17, 2008
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So long as it fits into the plot, any of those risky subject matter examples you used would work for me. I'm really easy-going abut most things so long as we get a good plot to go along with it. So no, so long as it's done properly none of these really offends me enough to stop reading a comic.

I would like to point out that, in my opinion, you missed one large risky subject: homosexuality. And I'm not just referring to all the fangirl stuff or whatnot; I mean comics that bring in homosexuality as a plot point to tell a story and not just because. There still a lot of people who won't even read anything with a hint of homosexuality in it.

Your own comic, Skullbie, doesn't really count since it's yuri right from the get-go. :)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:57PM
phantasmagraph at 12:07PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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I do prefer stories that aren't afraid to delve into more controversial subjects, but it's how it's presented that matters the most to me. I don't think i could sit comfortably through a story of rape just for the pure exploitation of it. I certainly like to play with the more “risky” subjects in my own stories, but i think as an artist i have a responsibility to attempt to say something meaningful about whatever content i'm depicting. If you don't like what i have to say or if something i depict offends you then you don't have to read my comic.

It also helps to keep in mind that what might offend one person maybe totally commonplace to another and that some people will be offended by the the silliest most mundane things.

I don't personally consider things like atheism or homosexuality “risky” As i'm (mostly) an atheist and many of my friends are homosexual or bisexual.

Although i do confess that i'm a gore-aholic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Puff_Of_Smoke at 12:18PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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The only one of those I have a problem with is Racism, and pedophilia… I just don't think they're really needed in a story of any sort.
I
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:55PM
crazyninny at 12:39PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Depends on what the story is going to be about. Other wise, hell yeah! Go for it people! WWWOOOOTTT!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:49AM
D0m at 12:55PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Depends on what it does to the story.

I actually am considering having a Nazi in my comic to prove that textbook evil people also get a fair chance at reliving in the Nexxus. I don't know if anyone would object to that, but I think they'll get the idea.

Nadya- a tale about what happens to SOME of us when we die.

Currently: Nadya is awake and asking more relevant questions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
Peipei at 1:15PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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It depends on how the artist portrays the subject matter. If it is being truthful/realistic and not at all making fun or joking about the issue, then it wouldn't offend me, it would actually get me thinking more about how our world views and deals with these things :3 And I think that it would be best if the ‘risky’ subject matter tied to the story in some way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
korosu at 2:55PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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I dunno, I guess it's all in how the artist handles these subjects in his or her comic. If they're, like, glorifying them, then I consider it a no-no. If they're being used purely for the story, however, I might be able to let it slide. These are all things that go on in real life, after all, so I wouldn't want to nix them completely. Again, it's all in how the artist is using these subjects. I hope that made sense…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
angry_black_guy at 3:08PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Puff_Of_Smoke
The only one of those I have a problem with is Racism, and pedophilia… I just don't think they're really needed in a story of any sort.

What if your main character is a racist pedophile?

These are natural thoughts that people have. I'll be the first person on this website to admit that I look girls younger than me in a lustful fashion. I don't have sex with them, but I refuse to change the way I am or how I think. People are so afraid to admit their deepest, darkest secrets that they shun them in any form. I read a lot of indie comics where the author brings these demons to light and it's thrilling to see a normal human breaking the mold society has cast on us.

There's this one comic about a man who's really into bestiality. It's gross, yes, but I applaud him for bringing it out into the open and making a successful story about it. There's another comic about the writers autistic father who has sex with him. Creepy, yes, but more realistic than any other comic on the market because these things happen.

I read comics as an escape and also as a form of self expression. My goal one day is to write a graphic novel epic about people who live out their deepest fantasies so things like pedophilia and homosexuality are completely normal. I doubt I'll ever finish it and I doubt many would read it but I'm not going to ignore that dream.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Skullbie at 3:27PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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angry_black_guy
My goal one day is to write a graphic novel epic about people who live out their deepest fantasies so things like pedophilia and homosexuality are completely normal.
Dear God no. I'll curse this world forever if having sex with a child is normal. I'll admit i can can see how people would think loving your own gender is weird- But it is consensual between two adults. ‘Love’ with a child is not consensual, and is psychologically damaging to them.
That is not a natural thought and is far more than a ‘mold’ from society-it's sickness of the mind.


…I had to get that out. I'm not attacking you, I'm attacking pedophilia and the people that think it's ‘natural’ and ‘going to be accepted’ someday. DO NOT WANT.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
mlai at 3:43PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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@ ABG:
Hopefully you haven't yet, but DO NOT WATCH The Spiderwick Chronicles. Totally charmless movie. I guessed it going in and my premonition was correct. I should've snuck err I mean gone into Juno instead.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
angry_black_guy at 3:53PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Skullbie
Dear God no. I'll curse this world forever if having sex with a child is normal. I'll admit i can can see how people would think loving your own gender is weird- But it is consensual between two adults. ‘Love’ with a child is not consensual, and is psychologically damaging to them.
That is not a natural thought and is far more than a ‘mold’ from society-it's sickness of the mind.


…I had to get that out. I'm not attacking you, I'm attacking pedophilia and the people that think it's ‘natural’ and ‘going to be accepted’ someday. DO NOT WANT.


Love is something that man invented anyways. Every story about a distopian future usually involves run down buildings and rampant corporations… what about a future where the darkest desires of man are brought to light and normal? I think it would make a pretty compelling story. It'd make most people feel uncomfortable but that's the general idea.

Besides… don't you draw a yuri comic? I'm surprised you of all people would bring up a topic about “risky” subject matter.

EDIT: I will say that I appreciate Japanese culture for allowing “risky” material like fetish manga to be published and purchased on the streets. I will also say that I hate fetish manga because it follows some of the lamest cliches in the book. Why the Japanese must depict every homosexual man as an incredibly gorgeous feminine nancy boy is completely beyond me.

Hopefully you haven't yet, but DO NOT WATCH The Spiderwick Chronicles.

I had no intentions of watching it… except to see Sarah Bolger in… uhm… action.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Skullbie at 4:34PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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angry_black_guy
Besides… don't you draw a yuri comic? I'm surprised you of all people would bring up a topic about “risky” subject matter.

Why the Japanese must depict every homosexual man as an incredibly gorgeous feminine nancy boy is completely beyond me.
Lol blame me for being around SJ and 4chan to long, but I can't even consider gayness risky anymore. :( Maybe that's what you're going through, you've been on forums where pedophilia it is ‘accepted’ to long and now your think no one is offended by it.

lol I know! It's like they draw a woman out…then add flat chest and ‘appendage’. And there you go, instant fanbase and all taboos to a woman are gone! :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
mlai at 4:42PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Japanese fetish manga isn't excuseable, because it's the prime example of using risky/taboo subject matter as candy-coated sell, rather than exploring any complexities of said matter. They sell pedophilia by making it ‘okay,’ either by saying the 10-y/o is 18-y/o through sci-fi/fantasy contrivances, or by saying that it's just the ‘art style.’

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
angry_black_guy at 6:25PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Lol blame me for being around SJ and 4chan to long, but I can't even consider gayness risky anymore. Maybe that's what you're going through, you've been on forums where pedophilia it is ‘accepted’ to long and now your think no one is offended by it.

It's society in general. Kids seem to be maturing faster and the media is pushing “mature” looks for young kids. Prepubescent boys are now concerned with their physical appearance (I've seen kids pumping iron at the gym… AT THE GYM) and young girls are more vain than ever. I live in Washington state which is notorious for jail bait. I go to the mall on the weekends and I'm accosted by 13 year olds in tight jeans and short skirts thrusting their hips about. My penis still works; it's only natural I get aroused when surrounded by SKIN regardless of the age.

We're moving towards a society where nothing is sacred. I don't believe in people suppressing their emotions (which only leads to mental problems) but I fear there WILL BE a day where everything is accepted.

This reminds me of a good graphic novel called “I Killed Adolf Hitler” by Jason. In it, contracted hitmen are legal and if you have to be careful because the person you pissed off in the streets could end up hiring someone to kill you at any time. It's actually a funny animal comic about a hitman going back in time to kill Hitler but the message it speaks about society is pretty powerful.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Skullbie at 6:55PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Yeah, o-kaaaay, let's give others a chance to post now.:)
This isn't the ‘i think pedophilia is natural and okay and i wont end up in jail for CP on my hardrive’ thread lol.
End/discussion~

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
Warpedwenger at 7:00PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Yeah ABG go to f'n Nambla's website why dontcha. My opinion is nothing is sacred when it comes to art.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:47PM
JillyFoo at 7:44PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Having the risky stuff in there is like… opening a can of worms.

Incest
Rape
racism
Pedophilia



I don't like comics where I can feel one of these things coming.


One thing too: Pedophilia is the worst. I don't care if they call it “shota” it's still sick. I can't read yaoi comics with that in there.

It will be embarrassing in your future too. I've been going to career meetings lately. They told us if you have that kind of stuff on your computer(even trafficking it at your home computer) you'll get fired. Especially in Education.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
angry_black_guy at 8:22PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Warpedwenger
Yeah ABG go to f'n Nambla's website why dontcha. My opinion is nothing is sacred when it comes to art.

Way to take my post way out of context bub.

Sorry for being human. I thought this topic was a discussion on “risky” subject matter not “one sentence replies I THINK THIS SHIT IS GROSS (hmmm playboy)” topic. This is the exact same shit I was talking about in my first post. Everyone is willing to discuss “risky” subject matter but whenever it boils down to something SERIOUS people start showing their true colors. Face it, discussing your inner, most personal thoughts is difficult. You were raised to keep everything that makes you “abnormal” hidden so you can fit into the cast mold that society has created for you. People like that live hollow, meaningless lives and lie to themselves every time they close their eyes to go to sleep. Whatever, this topic isn't going anywhere as is.

Skullbie, I'll let you get back to your lesbian comic. Nothing risky or wrong with that.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Warpedwenger at 8:50PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Whatever your talking about pedophilia like its just another life choice. We all saw what you wrote. If that's not what you meant then say so.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:47PM
angry_black_guy at 9:00PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Warpedwenger
Whatever your talking about pedophilia like its just another life choice. We all saw what you wrote. If that's not what you meant then say so.

IT IS A LIFE CHOICE. You think it, you choose to do it, thus it is a life choice. Does it make it right? That's all in the eye of the beholder but that's not the point I'm getting at. The whole point of this topic was to talk about whether or not material that society deems as “wrong” should exist within comics and I voiced my opinion on it. My whole post about “pedophilia” as you put it (in which, I reiterate, I'm not a pedophile because I don't have sex with kids) was simply pointing out how people are afraid to admit to their own weaknesses.

Don't tell me that you never fantasised about another man or even an animal. Don't tell me that you never thought about viciously murdering someone when you're pissed off. Don't tell me you never thought about doing something so horrible that it can't even be typed onto this web page. I thought this was a discussion of how taboo material is censored from the public but I see this is nothing more than “yup yup i agree nothing too risky plz!!!”


last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Doplegager at 9:05PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Sounds like talking about risky subjects has… ehrm… touched a few sensitive nerves. Could've seen that one coming a mile away. But I'd second Skullbie's “end discusssion”, in that the OP was asking for personal reflection; there are better places and threads for debate. Let's stick to reflection.

For my personal reflection:
I'm game for almost any risky subject matter. The only one that consistently gets a big response out of me is pedophilia. On a philosophical level, I have a personal issue with anything I see as abuse of power (even if said abuse is a matter of social and/or psychological leverage). On a deeper level, though, I have a very strong paternal instinct that kicks in. I can force myself back into objectivity, but it really gets to me on a lizard-brain level.

I'll read the subject matter, but it has to have some quality that makes it worth the emotional sacrifice.

Most of my own work touches on darker stuff. I have to use a very light touch, because it's being printed in a college newspaper, but my current storyline hinges, at least in part, around the rape of the main character's mother and the mother's subsequent suicide. I had to spend several days asking myself if it was worth it. In this case, I think it is.

I think it's important to be able to look at the dark side, but I also think it needs to be done with a tremendous amount of respect. It's like having a gun; you can get away without respecting the thing's power if it's not loaded, but risky subject matters are almost always loaded. If you're stupid about where you aim, people will get hurt in ways you never realized.

(editted for clarity)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Skullbie at 9:08PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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angry_black_guy
Don't tell me that you never fantasised about another man or even an animal. Don't tell me that you never thought about viciously murdering someone when you're pissed off. Don't tell me you never thought about doing something so horrible that it can't even be typed onto this web page.

Leave this thread please. You are under the opinion that everyone is as sick in the head as your ideals and on top of that you are being quite rude. No AGB, I have not thought about fucking an animal or a child. Neither has Warpy, and a majority here has not.
angry_black_guy
I thought this was a discussion of how taboo material is censored from the public but I see this is nothing more than “yup yup i agree nothing too risky plz!!!”
This is a thread for OPINIONS. Meaning yours Is not the ONLY one that matters.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
angry_black_guy at 9:40PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Leave this thread please. You are under the opinion that everyone is as sick in the head as your ideals and on top of that you are being quite rude. No AGB, I have not thought about fucking an animal or a child. Neither has Warpy, and a majority here has not.

So being natural is sick? I'll have you know that homosexuality goes against humanities basic instinct to reproduce but have I said “you are sick for writing about gay sex?” Your only lying to yourself. Psychologists like Freud would call you a liar. It's a scientific fact that a heterosexual male can be turned on by the thought of another male. Does that make him twisted?

I'll respect your wishes and not post in this topic because I'm really not a jerk or a mean spirited guy. I've already generated the response I was looking for. People are stare at their inner beast face to face. I like psychology. I'm fascinated by how man's mind works. I didn't want to create any hostility in this topic, I just wanted you to see the wealth of writing material that's available when you open your mind and realize that humans have so many different layers of depth in them. Understanding human depth is the difference between an average writer and a great writer. Just look at anything by Alan Moore; he deals with topics like homosexuality, rape, insanity, and hubris on a constant basis.

I will thank you for this topic as you've motivated me to start working on my comic. I will pour my heart and soul into it and give you credit where it's due.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
mlai at 10:14PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Exploration of the darkness in the human psyche is nothing new in literature. Do we think Thomas Harris is a serial killer who eats human flesh, because of his best-selling novels? No. Do we think he's sick in the head and should be ostracized for writing such things? No.

So why does a comics author risk such finger-pointing and alienation? Because even us, the comics artists, still have this underlying perception that comics are for kids. So violence and sex are out, and homosexuality and pedophilia are even more taboo, because it can “corrupt their mindsss.”

However, ABG, you tempted fate when you started using yourself as an example in an internet forum, basically slapping a big red label on yourself. Also, while homosexuality is considered aberrant by many, pedophilia is on another level altogether, sharing its space with rape and extreme child abuse.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
usedbooks at 10:23PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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Skullbie
Incest
Rape
Alcoholism
Atheism
racism
Homosexuality(edit for steely gaze)
Pedophilia
Self-mutilation
Graphic Gore(yech)
ETC.
Hey, I just realized that this looks like a line-up of South Park episodes. XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
Ziffy88 at 10:42PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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It depends what you're doing I don't watch a movie like Hostel because it doesn't interest me. But you can put any of the naughties in and if it's written well then most people won't mind.
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:02PM
Skullbie at 10:59PM, Feb. 17, 2008
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usedbooks
Hey, I just realized that this looks like a line-up of South Park episodes. XD
I lol'd XD
Probly a good example too, so funny and offensive yet so popular. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
DAJB at 1:05AM, Feb. 18, 2008
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Go read Maus.

The fact that a comic can successfully deal with the horrors of the holocaust is surely proof enough that no subject need be taboo provided it's handled correctly.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM

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