“Taboos are for wussies!
“Taboos are for wussies!
Someone asked me on facebook whether I feel I could use comedy for every subject, or if some things were taboo. After some reflection, I realized this question is worth a post of its own. Thanks Esther :-)
What is a taboo?! I could have asked that question back too, because taboos are individual and connect with our own values and boundaries. It’s a very intrigueing question. And I realized that indeed there are boundaries which I hold on to. In short my taboos are sex and death!
Tits of Steel and A*ses of Marble- Comicbook title-page made in 2005
Sex: I have an issue with nudity (oh I see raised eyebrows and “really?”)… well yes, I make jokes about sex and there is an amount of cleavage and the occasional butt-cheek, but I do have an issue with nudity, as I do respect my characters privacy and my readers sensibilities. I would not depict sex in a comic that could be considered pornographic and I don’t think I could make fun of child abuse as I think this is the most horrible thing ever.
Death: Again, I made jokes about our society’s tendency to be in denial about death. But then I doubt I could make jokes about actual tragedies, accidents and deaths. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t let a character die (in a funny way, maybe?), but that’s fictional for me. Although I remember when I wanted to kill off Simon a friend reminded me “I don’t know, life imitates art,…” and so I didn’t kill him. So I am careful with that too.
I also realize that if people make fun of those taboos, I do feel offended. So taboos for me are very much linked with what we feel is offensive. And as someone once asked me “Do you reflect on what people might think when they read your comics?”. I do actually. In the end I try to make comedy for a purpose. So even when I am consciously offensive, I am offending the system and the structures we created collectively (so it’s a shared offense). But my aim is not to offend any reader. when I scratch on topics that could be considered taboos (homosexuality, racial stereotypes, gender stereotypes), it is from a systemic perspective. I try to reflect what I observe in our society.
Which ultimately leads me to my question: Is there anything you, my fellow readers, find “crossing a line” in my comics? It would be interesting to explore that. As I always believe, if we find something that offends us personally, it holds valuable information about ourselves. And THAT is the interesting bit.
Please, feel free to comment and tell me your views!
“You know… I was recently thinking if there’s a day that is worse than a monday… my first reaction was no, but then, after some reflection I realized it would be horrible if there was a day when all shops are closed… but thankfully, we can do global online shopping ANY time… phew… that was close”
“I was thinking about how our world developed through millions of years of evolution. How our systems went from empires to kingdoms to dictatorships to comunistic dictatorships to democracies to greedy bastards.
Well… you say capitalistic individualists … I say greedy bastards.
Where’s the difference…?”
What if you would wake up and the world would be dominated by apes… ehm… MEN (sorry!)
FIND OUT ON SUNDAY!
“It really is NOT survival of the fittest anymore in this world, is it? Or how would you explain why a day like Monday survived?!”