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Dancing with the past…

August 27th, 2013

The first page… can you spot Sarah, Claire and… oh wait Isobel had a completely different hairdo…

As announced earlier this month, I am working on restoring one of my older comic stories so I can put it on the web for my readers. It is one of my favorites, because I remember I put a lot of thought and work into it and it is up to now my most consistent comic story. It’s also very harsh, politically incorrect and sexist… Or what else would you call a comic story titled “Tits of Steel and Arses of Marble” (TOSAOM in short)

So at times I am having serious doubts if this work is relevant today, or to put it differently, if it reflects my current work. And while I think in some way it is not relevant, because I made it at the age of about 28, and I have changed just like my work did. I have matured (although often I think I’m just “playing” grown-up rather than being it). And my view of the world is different today than it was then. But then I think it still holds some good points.

As I said, I was “restoring” or “renovating” that comic page by page. And so I felt like dancing with my own past self. I remembered my thoughts, my mindsets and my moods at the time of drawing that particular piece of work. And while I don’t hold some of those moods or mindsets anymore the comic was an expression of who I was. And it was fun, reflective and sometimes painful to reconnect with who I used to be…

And while I was dancing with my own self, I realized that a lot of what I am doing now, was already present in my old work. I admit, it wasn’t subtle or maybe even intelligent, but some of what I try to convey with Working Beauty was already there. The harsh social commentary, the constant “battle” of the sexes and the testing of boundaries!

It’s also sexist! Not misogynistic!… Now funny thing is, I always have to look up what the opposite misogyny is, because I keep forgetting. And it’s actually misandry! The hatred of men… As a younger woman I felt I had to be misandrist. And while I thought at the time that it was because some men have disappointed me romantically (well who doesn’t make THAT experience) I now believe it was part of a bigger picture. I think I was often angry at how sexist the world is towards women, and how often I perceived it as unfair. And the only way for me to express that resentment was to try and balance it out with sexism that goes the other way.

Now, I know I would deal with this issue differently today, I still think this work is a good reminder of how women can be easily seen as the weaker sex and how “fun” it is to actually reverse the order of things… even if it is to some extent a bit … for the lack of a better word: immature.

With that teaser I let you look at two more of the “before” and “after” pictures of TOSAOM and hope you will read it once I am ready to put it out there… I am still trying to figure out how I put it online. Would you like to read it in a blog format in a Working Beauty subsection? (eg. every day a new page, so you can stretch the enjoyment into a 2 month period :-)), or should I create a special microsite for my old works and start of with TOSAOM (also blog format maybe?)… or just have the full comic as a say PDF?… let me know please….


  • jeremiah

    First off these pages look great! before and after! If i were to clean up my old work I wouldn’t be able to resist redoing most of them.
    For the conversation tho i often wonder how much of these issues spring from us. I want to be perfectly clear women do get the short end of the stick. I think this is changing, but SLOWLY. We’ve all been ready for real equality since the nineties(imo) but we’re not in charge yet XD But while I have seen incidences even where i work now that I felt were wrong, or would have played out differently if the person were a man, its common for girls were i work to say, “No one wanted to hear what i had to say because im a woman.” where as my direct manager’s biggest issue is that no one will listen to him. So maybe in some cases we use these constructs to justify our feelings toward what happened(or didn’t) Again this isnt the rule. But im always curious what someone else would say to that.
    Anyway reality is very subjective so there really can’t be a consensus in a meaningful way.
    And I think that is reflected in your current work. It is about the friction between men and women, but the men aren’t the “bad-guys” or antagonist, just different. I never feel preached to, or demonized for my gender reading your comic. Don’t be hard on your past self either! You had to be her, to become you!

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