This might sound a little weird, but...

Discuss specific genres here. If your post fits into one of the subforums, post it there.

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Amoreena » May 3rd, 2014, 4:43 am

I'm not really sure whether or not she counts since she's not exactly the 'main' character, but Franny from Maya Kern's 'Monster Pop!' is a chubby character and she is really cute. A lot of Maya's illustrations on her blog also feature plus-sized characters and she is also the creator of this comic that has been floating around the Internet recently.
Image
User avatar
Amoreena
 
Posts: 10
Joined: November 21st, 2013, 2:48 am

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Elvenboyslut » July 8th, 2014, 5:59 pm

Being overweight isn't a "flaw" really. Low self esteem due to being overweight or something like that would be.

I've seen one comic on here about an overweight black woman that goes to korea. I really enjoyed it. http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=107318
User avatar
Elvenboyslut
 
Posts: 6
Joined: May 7th, 2006, 3:35 am

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Disturbed Goth » November 15th, 2014, 9:44 pm

I once saw a comic on Tumblr, I can't remember the name of it, but it was a short one. Anyway, the main character was fat and she professed her love for a boy but he rudely turned her down because of her fatness.

She got really depressed and became anorexic.

Spoiler! :
Then she got skinny and told him she loved him and he didn't recognise her and he thought she was pretty and they made out and she ate him. Not sexually, she literally tore his face and neck off.
Image
User avatar
Disturbed Goth
 
Posts: 207
Joined: July 5th, 2012, 4:57 pm

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby jazzremix » November 16th, 2014, 10:26 am

Elvenboyslut wrote:Being overweight isn't a "flaw" really.


I agree with this. Being overweight is not a flaw. Usually flaw relates to the characters personality and as the story goes, depending on the flaw, you expect the character to over come it. If it's something that they have to learn live with and can't change, then it's a handicap, for instance, a character who's blind.

In a story, everything needs to make sense, which is different from life, so any characters needs to have a reason to be. If you want your protag to be overweight then why is that important? Would it add to the story somehow? Anything that is out of the norm ends up drawing too much attention and it's hard not to end up in stereotypes. I think that's why writers don't go that way most of the time.
User avatar
jazzremix
 
Posts: 16
Joined: September 8th, 2014, 10:28 am
Location: Japan

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Oly-RRR » November 16th, 2014, 6:31 pm

jazzremix wrote:In a story, everything needs to make sense, which is different from life, so any characters needs to have a reason to be. If you want your protag to be overweight then why is that important? Would it add to the story somehow? Anything that is out of the norm ends up drawing too much attention and it's hard not to end up in stereotypes. I think that's why writers don't go that way most of the time.

See, this is the problem with our media. Being overweight (or physically disabled or mentally ill) is not "different from life", it's how life is for a lot of people. You don't have to explain why something is "out of norm", there is no norm. Look around. Look at your family, friends, neighbours and people in the street. Research. Don't write someone the way you wouldn't want to be written. Look at real people, try to look at things from their position and then you won't end up writing stereotypes.

There is more serial killers than overweight/old/impaired people on telly and in comics, it's ridiculous. :roll:
Image
My problem would rock your world. - Sam Tyler
User avatar
Oly-RRR
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: August 20th, 2012, 6:36 pm
Location: here for the music

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby jazzremix » November 17th, 2014, 8:54 pm

Oly-RRR wrote:
jazzremix wrote:In a story, everything needs to make sense, which is different from life, so any characters needs to have a reason to be. If you want your protag to be overweight then why is that important? Would it add to the story somehow? Anything that is out of the norm ends up drawing too much attention and it's hard not to end up in stereotypes. I think that's why writers don't go that way most of the time.

See, this is the problem with our media. Being overweight (or physically disabled or mentally ill) is not "different from life", it's how life is for a lot of people. You don't have to explain why something is "out of norm", there is no norm. Look around. Look at your family, friends, neighbours and people in the street. Research. Don't write someone the way you wouldn't want to be written. Look at real people, try to look at things from their position and then you won't end up writing stereotypes.

There is more serial killers than overweight/old/impaired people on telly and in comics, it's ridiculous. :roll:


I don't think it's ridiculous, being s serial killer is the topic of the story (in the majority of cases), so only if you are writing about someone who is overweight and being overweight is a topic then there is no point with them being overweight. If a character is overweight but nothing is ever mentioned about it, it will also be weird. You want characters to be realistic, but story telling is not about reality. I'm sure there are a lot more serial killers than protagonists of other races (other than white) as well and being of a certain race is a reality for many people, and it's not something that can be changed, like it is with being overweight. Same goes for old people or people with disabilities of any kind. The issue with having a character out of the 'norm' (and I say norm very openly because what is norm in one country is not in another) is that 1st, people are uneasy because they could end up in stereotype and ruin the story, 2nd if it's not a characteristic that is apart of the story then there is no point.

You see overweight characters just as often as you say gay characters in a non-gay story setting. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be, but the i understand why there isn't.

Believe me, i'm all pro a gay overweight indian serial killer, I just don't think many people can do it right.
User avatar
jazzremix
 
Posts: 16
Joined: September 8th, 2014, 10:28 am
Location: Japan

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby mitchellbravo » November 18th, 2014, 7:05 am

jazzremix wrote:
Oly-RRR wrote:
jazzremix wrote:In a story, everything needs to make sense, which is different from life, so any characters needs to have a reason to be. If you want your protag to be overweight then why is that important? Would it add to the story somehow? Anything that is out of the norm ends up drawing too much attention and it's hard not to end up in stereotypes. I think that's why writers don't go that way most of the time.

See, this is the problem with our media. Being overweight (or physically disabled or mentally ill) is not "different from life", it's how life is for a lot of people. You don't have to explain why something is "out of norm", there is no norm. Look around. Look at your family, friends, neighbours and people in the street. Research. Don't write someone the way you wouldn't want to be written. Look at real people, try to look at things from their position and then you won't end up writing stereotypes.

There is more serial killers than overweight/old/impaired people on telly and in comics, it's ridiculous. :roll:


I don't think it's ridiculous, being s serial killer is the topic of the story (in the majority of cases), so only if you are writing about someone who is overweight and being overweight is a topic then there is no point with them being overweight. If a character is overweight but nothing is ever mentioned about it, it will also be weird. You want characters to be realistic, but story telling is not about reality. I'm sure there are a lot more serial killers than protagonists of other races (other than white) as well and being of a certain race is a reality for many people, and it's not something that can be changed, like it is with being overweight. Same goes for old people or people with disabilities of any kind. The issue with having a character out of the 'norm' (and I say norm very openly because what is norm in one country is not in another) is that 1st, people are uneasy because they could end up in stereotype and ruin the story, 2nd if it's not a characteristic that is apart of the story then there is no point.

You see overweight characters just as often as you say gay characters in a non-gay story setting. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be, but the i understand why there isn't.

Believe me, i'm all pro a gay overweight indian serial killer, I just don't think many people can do it right.

I think it's ridiculous because it essentially tells whole groups of people "Sorry, we can write about zombies and cute serial killers and space travel and steampunk alternate history, but fat people? That's just not cool to write about." I think it says more about the prejudices of the writer than anything else.

As for it being a "topic" in the story, I see no reason why it couldn't be. What unique challenges would a fat serial killer face? The story doesn't have to revolve 100% totally around the character being fat, but the physical difference can provide an ELEMENT to the story.

I would love to see more nuanced stories about people of different shapes, sizes, and abilities. And I know you say this:
Believe me, i'm all pro a gay overweight indian serial killer, I just don't think many people can do it right.

But surely you understand why the arguments you've made here in this thread are representative of the arguments others make that discourage people from going forth and just writing those stories.

People will eventually get used to different types of people being used in books and stories. It wasn't that long ago that people were discouraged from writing about girls and women, because gosh, only girls and women would read that. You still see this issue in movies, but in self-published media like webcomics, female protagonists are as easy to find as male protagonists. I've started to see a shift in this regard with gays and transgendered people as well (though in many cases unfortunately the portrayals may be misguided or fetishistic, but it's a step on the road to acceptance), and though for some reason there still seems to be a racial divide (either only showing white characters, or, as you said that things must be "made a topic" in order to be relevant to the story, characters who are explicitly "raceless" ) I think that seeing these portrayals in self-published media is a good thing and reflects on changing attitudes in society as a whole.

Lol- be the change you want to see in the world, as it were. If you claim to support stories about more diverse groups (or stories where people belong to more than one minority- omg what a bizarre and alien concept :lol: ) then it looks more sincere if you support people and creators seeking to read or create those stories, instead of saying "Gosh I'd like a story like that too but we must kowtow to what the majority of readers want, and it must fit this, that, and this stereotype, because they don't want realism*."

Alternatively- Repeated exposure tends to breed acceptance after a while. If your neighbor gets one of those little lawn decorations of a young horse-riding boy holding a lantern, you might think it's strange. But as other people throughout the neighborhood see it and think it's charming and get their own for their own yards, it becomes part of the new "norm." Even if it's just in that neighborhood, it'll get to where you won't bat an eyelash next time you see one- except maybe to chuckle and say "Ah, look, somone else has the little lantern kid too."


*Clearly plenty of people do want realism, by the way, as slice-of-life fiction is a popular genre. I'm willing to put up with people badly writing overweight people or whatever minority they choose to misrepresent if it means maybe someone is going to learn from it later and be able to write a BETTER story. Lord knows I've seen enough bad yaoi comics that it got me thinking "I could write a better gay relationship than that," and although I've never done it, I wonder how many other people have been inspired by seeing a bad comic to try and make a good one on the same topic. Alternately there's many of us who have an interest in a certain topic and our first forays at representing it are woefully misguided, then we feel embarassed, head back to the ol' research room, read up on it a bunch, and come back to hit up that topic again with new competence. No one is doomed to be a bad writer forever unless they choose to be, and topics shouldn't be avoided just because some people might not write them well. You don't know until you try it, and you can't get better until you do it.
oly: we draw stories about imaginary people
Image
Do not feet infants to honey under one year of age.
me: Posh, Baby, Sporty, and Scary Ham
robybang: Together they're Spiced Ham
User avatar
mitchellbravo
 
Posts: 6496
Joined: October 11th, 2010, 1:31 pm
Location: too tired

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby jazzremix » November 18th, 2014, 9:43 pm

Oh wow, ok, I'm dyslexic so your wall of text is rather intimidating and is packed with information that I don't see how relevant it is to what is being said and the topic. But I'll try to answer and clarify things without going on a tangent.

I didn't mean to discourage anyone and I don't think I said anything that would. I simply stated that I do understand why there aren't that many overweight people in comics, and that is because it's not easy to depict anything that stands out from what is generally consider 'the norm' for a group or a genre. Many people don't want to offend but if you just add a character or a characteristic to a character that will not enhance the story then it's a bad move, as far as creative writing goes, and you might end up doing just that. As much as life makes no sense (say you are blind but never becomes a superhero with super hearing sense), stories, no matter how realistic/slice-of-life they are (and i'm not talking about the absurd genre here), have to in the end connect the dots. Having all that in the back of the mind, might discourage writers from trying to have a out of 'the norm' character in fear of doing it wrong. I understand that, and that's what I was trying to convey.

As for everything else that was a bit off topic, hmm... I don't think it's right to throw women, other races, disabilities, old age and genetics in a discussion about overweight characters because the latter is the only, in most cases, avoidable. So, I think i did that too, but it's not really right.

Also, and this is a personal opinion, as a queer mixed-race sightly overweight immigrant woman with a learning disability, I rather have no representation than being misrepresented, be it in novels or comics, because it can do more harm than good if wrongly written. It spreads misinformation, creates prejudice and strengthens stereotypes.
User avatar
jazzremix
 
Posts: 16
Joined: September 8th, 2014, 10:28 am
Location: Japan

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby mitchellbravo » November 19th, 2014, 7:03 am

Sorry about the wall of text.

jazzremix wrote:Oh wow, ok, I'm dyslexic so your wall of text is rather intimidating and is packed with information that I don't see how relevant it is to what is being said and the topic. But I'll try to answer and clarify things without going on a tangent.
Sorry. I thought it was mostly relevant.

I didn't mean to discourage anyone and I don't think I said anything that would. I simply stated that I do understand why there aren't that many overweight people in comics, and that is because it's not easy to depict anything that stands out from what is generally consider 'the norm' for a group or a genre. Many people don't want to offend but if you just add a character or a characteristic to a character that will not enhance the story then it's a bad move, as far as creative writing goes, and you might end up doing just that. As much as life makes no sense (say you are blind but never becomes a superhero with super hearing sense), stories, no matter how realistic/slice-of-life they are (and i'm not talking about the absurd genre here), have to in the end connect the dots. Having all that in the back of the mind, might discourage writers from trying to have a out of 'the norm' character in fear of doing it wrong. I understand that, and that's what I was trying to convey.
We will have to agree to disagree. I feel that any aspect of a person's life does affect them and therefore does become a part of the story inherently. Do bad writers mishandle this? Of course. So I suppose those rules are important for people who are just starting to write. Good, capable writers can weave these things into a story without it seeming ham-handed OR out of place/random.

As for everything else that was a bit off topic, hmm... I don't think it's right to throw women, other races, disabilities, old age and genetics in a discussion about overweight characters because the latter is the only, in most cases, avoidable. So, I think i did that too, but it's not really right.
Rrrright, but you can avoid wearing glasses by getting contacts, and we have comics all the time where people stand out because they have crazy punk-colored dyed hair or wear unusual clothes... :)

Also, and this is a personal opinion, as a queer mixed-race sightly overweight immigrant woman with a learning disability, I rather have no representation than being misrepresented, be it in novels or comics, because it can do more harm than good if wrongly written. It spreads misinformation, creates prejudice and strengthens stereotypes.

Fair enough. I never see someone with amblyopia unless its a. a man and b. meant for comic relief, and I can understand wondering whether a given writer is going to be able to handle it or is going to butcher it. I just disagree that throwing out a blanket statement of "don't write about this because you will do a bad job of it" is really going to solve the problem. People will eventually learn, and people can eventually overcome their prejudices.
oly: we draw stories about imaginary people
Image
Do not feet infants to honey under one year of age.
me: Posh, Baby, Sporty, and Scary Ham
robybang: Together they're Spiced Ham
User avatar
mitchellbravo
 
Posts: 6496
Joined: October 11th, 2010, 1:31 pm
Location: too tired

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Oly-RRR » November 19th, 2014, 9:48 am

I see that we just have different "personal opinions" on this so it comes down to us having agree to disagree but since (as I recall) I was the one who brought up minorities I would like to point out why I did it. Mostly because you seem to be awfully sure about what is right and what is wrong in writing and it's this kind of thinking that still lets mainstream media get away with everything it gets away with. Many people (myself included) are really tired of seeing it getting away with it so seeing other people supporting something that doesn't really need any further encouragement can be frustrating.

jazzremix wrote:if you just add a character or a characteristic to a character that will not enhance the story then it's a bad move, as far as creative writing goes, and you might end up doing just that.

Well, no. In my humble opinion. Any trait can go unexplained. But the beautiful thing about writing is that there are multiple ways to do it, and multiple books to choose to read. I have a feeling we'd choose very different books so you know what, you don't even have to read further if it causes too much strain. :)

jazzremix wrote:As much as life makes no sense (say you are blind but never becomes a superhero with super hearing sense), stories, no matter how realistic/slice-of-life they are (and i'm not talking about the absurd genre here), have to in the end connect the dots.

There is a difference between being illogical and not explaining some trait. And actually, real life does make some sense - it's superheroes who don't make any sense.

jazzremix wrote:Having all that in the back of the mind, might discourage writers from trying to have a out of 'the norm' character in fear of doing it wrong. I understand that, and that's what I was trying to convey.

I am not surprised you understand that - you seem to think all blind people have super hearing... :roll: However, no one spontaneously combusted because of you saying that and no one is forcing you to write anything you don't want to write, so I think we can leave it at that. :) It's just that just because something is understandable doesn't mean it's justifiable. If all people let the fear of failure stop them from trying we'd never start walking upright and if all writers thought that we would still all be writing about straight white men hunting and occasionally killing each other over women with no speaking parts.
Image
My problem would rock your world. - Sam Tyler
User avatar
Oly-RRR
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: August 20th, 2012, 6:36 pm
Location: here for the music

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Guest » November 20th, 2014, 3:07 pm

Heck of a debate here.
Mitchell and Oly I agree with.

Mitchell, did you mention (I was skimming the posts) that Cal in Loud Era could fit the bill? You have all sorts of different size people in your comic, I think it's pretty awesome: http://loudera.smackjeeves.com/comics/2 ... er-again/#"

Another comic I follow on SJ that has a main character who fit's the "overweight" designation is Ball & Chain: http://ballandchain.smackjeeves.com/com ... 4-page-23/

EDIT: Faye Whitaker, a main character in "Questionable Content": http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2838

And finally, back in the day, Jaime Hernandez made his zaftig character Maggie Chascarillo the centerpiece of his stories in "Love and Rockets." You should read those fer shur if you haven't yet.
Guest
 

Re: This might sound a little weird, but...

Postby Ianissimo » April 8th, 2015, 7:42 pm

I love this topic! I'm not overweight myself, but I know a lot of people who are. We ALL do. Frankly, I'm tired of people projecting their neurotic fantasies on fiction I'm supposed to enjoy. I'm tired of the main characters ALWAYS, webcomics or otherwise, being young and hot (unless it's played for laughs, which is at least as bad). Is it so terrible to want realistic, believable characters, even if they're on a spaceship or fighting oni with katanas? Overweight characters are grossly underrepresented in fiction; having an unhealthy body is not something to glamorize, but weight issues are something that is normal and okay. Since a lot of us are comic authors here, maybe we should try to effect the change in our own work!
Image
Ianissimo
 
Posts: 10
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 10:10 am

Previous

Return to Genre-Specific Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest