As with anything on the Internet, I suspect there will be someone out there that will be, for lack of a better word, butthurt about my little endeavor here. So I figure I’ll explain myself here, and also to people who don’t understand what it is I mean when I make reference to Comic Con Pervs,…
Webcomics and Feminism: Another Problem I Hate Running Into
Another problem I hate running into:
A good comic, with clever art, and amusing writing.
…and then I run into the rape jokes.
This problem is even tougher, because the Penny Arcade guys were called on their rape jokes by upset readers of both genders, and their response was to scoff and titter, acting like their readers were all upset over nothing, and then to make a condescending fauxpology about having made the rape jokes in the first place.
So do I keep reading despite the rape jokes?
Do I quit reading?
Do I call out the comic creator on the rape joke and hope for the sensitive chagrin response, or do I not call them out because I can expect thePenny Arcade response to be considered the cool response? I don’t like the idea that rape jokes are “edgy” and that anyone offended by them is just being oversensitive.
Clever comic with amusing art and story — and racial stereotyping.
Keep reading because of the former, or give up because of the latter, or draw the creator’s attention to the latter, and hope for sensitive chagrin instead of self-righteous indignance over their art and their right to portray people as they want even if it’s racially insensitive.
I’m not avoiding naming the comic in question here to be passive-aggressive. I’m not trying to be offensive. I’m just describing my experience and wondering what to do about it, since as a person of color, this is the kind of thing that is problematic for me.
If you go into a store and buy a Hallmark card, $1.79 is reasonable.
But if you’re paying an artist, $50 is reasonable. Why?
You don’t walk into a supermarket and pick up a steak, expecting the potatoes and veggies to come along with it free, right?
When you pay for a steak, you also pay for the wrapper it’s in, the butcher who killed the cow, and the method used to get the steak from the slaughterhouse to the supermarket or butcher.
You don’t walk into a store and buy a suit and expect them to throw in the tie, pocket square, socks and shoes, right? Even if the shirt or tie comes free, you are paying for the fine cotton or silk, you’re paying for the wool, the transportation it took to get it to the store, the hanger it’s on, and possibly even the name on the label.
So when you work one-on-one with the artist, you are not just paying for the final product. You are paying for the work that went into the product and the ingredients it took to produce the product.
1. You are paying for the paper the artist draws on. Paper may literally grow on trees, but an artist still has to buy it in order to have a medium to draw on. Or if your work is being done digitally? It may not cost the artist anything because they already own their tablet or Cintiq — but it costs them electricity to run their tools to create the artwork.
2. You are paying for the pencil the rough draft(s) are drawn on before it’s placed on your card. While an artist may not necessarily need a rough draft, there often more than one try needed before the design requested comes together in such a way your artist believes will please their client. And if, as the client, you’re not pleased with the rough draft(s), that’s more pencil and paper being used up to create second drafts.
3. You are paying for the ink your artist uses. While technically we could use blood, it’s neither legal nor sanitary.
4. You’re paying for the colors your artist uses: paint, ink, watercolor, markers, what have you. Even a wash with shades of grey requires work and effort.
5. You are paying for any lettering your artist is doing. Calligraphy pens or lettering from a program, both still required the artist to get those tools — possibly just for your project.
6. You are paying for the privilege of final sayso.
7. Most importantly, you are paying for your artist putting his/her time and talent to work for your project.
That is why you will get the stink eye when you ask an artist for free work. Because you’re pretty much telling them their time, effort, and the money spent on the tools of their trade is worthless.