My random thoughts on the state of things..

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partoftheproblem
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:50 pm

My random thoughts on the state of things..

Post by partoftheproblem » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:00 pm

I've been a reader of the comic since the beginning. I'll admit the comic at the start was saturated with problematic content and as many isms as clowns in a tiny car.

Being black it almost made me quit reading at times. But for some reason, I couldn't help but continue. I think that's because within the vulgarity of the world he built

tat still found ways to show us the humanity in each and every character. literally god is so insecure he uses hand puppets to goad the characters into paying him the tiniest bit of attention..

More than that we saw the main characters grow. Not separately but together and often because of each other in-spite of their numerous flaws. we saw slick go from being a mindless hornball to a person that recognized how his actions have consequences and was slowly but surely changing for the better. learning to see the humanity in others, women specifically.

We saw Nique go from an oversexualized object for slicks affection into a woman that recognized her value as a person went beyond what she could provide sexually.

Criminy was a quiet side character that slowly blossomed, etc.


With each year we got to see how these characters lived in a world that was full of sin or opportunities for them to miss the mark. We got to see them wrestle with real problems.

Dive deep into issues of racism, sexism, pornography, insecurity, drugs, religion, etc. It was a conversation.

After the introduction of radical feminist themes.. which I had no issue with.. nearly all of that disappeared. It's great that Nique is in a healthy relationship but what do we know about her and her partner now? what are they struggling with, what are they learning. Now it's like every character is a one dimensional caricature of various stereotypes.

All of that humanity/growth has been done away with in the quest to find some humanity.. Now.. all of the women in the comic are the same. Absolutely innocent by virtue of being women. Incapable of any wrong doing and simply fighting to find peace in a male dominated world.


Male characters are defined by their worst parts. They are charicatures of the worst things we've ever been told about men.

And in order to exist in this new world they have to be infantilized with a capacity for rational thought equal to spongebob.

Everything is so one dimensional for the sake of pushing a very specific narrative (radical white feminism). It's not my comic so they have every right to do what they want with it but.. who do we really KNOW anymore?

I'm black so I can tell you even with all of the things I have to deal with.. being black is not my only struggle and that struggle is not the greater part of my identity.

It doesn't make me innocent just because. It doesn't consume my every waking moment. To say and act like it does.. even in service of trying to be more humane.. only strips me of my humanity. We're all human. No one is perfect. This world isn't perfect but placing everything squarely at someone's feet then refusing to actually talk about it.. doesn't do anything. The comic is kind of calling things out (pornography and sex work for example) through a one sided lens. It feels a bit empty. There's no work. There's no human analysis. There's no goal. "you have a penis? you are a problem" "you do sexwork? you're a poor slave drone brainwashed by the patriarchy (because women don't purchase sex services either?)"

Old sinfest was great because it didn't simply accept everything in the world as truth. The characters always asked why in some form or fashion. And they grew because of that.. this iteration of sinfest is okay.. but honestly lacks any actual spirit.. that's not a pun.. because lil buddha and god have long been missing.

GothHick
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Re: My random thoughts on the state of things..

Post by GothHick » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:06 am

partoftheproblem wrote:With each year we got to see how these characters lived in a world that was full of sin or opportunities for them to miss the mark. We got to see them wrestle with real problems.

Dive deep into issues of racism, sexism, pornography, insecurity, drugs, religion, etc. It was a conversation.

After the introduction of radical feminist themes.. which I had no issue with.. nearly all of that disappeared. It's great that Nique is in a healthy relationship but what do we know about her and her partner now? what are they struggling with, what are they learning. Now it's like every character is a one dimensional caricature of various stereotypes.
I had to post because I llike the way you wrote about this. I've been reading for a comperably long time and have relished the changes in artistic style. You described the shift in the narrative quite nicely and I'd had trouble putting my finger on it myself.

There's something about nascent characters which leave them as blank slates where you can see them doing something but not necessarily believe that's the totality of their character. It might just have been the visual style but when the strip started I never read Slick as being wholly misogynistic any more than Calvin ( of Calvin and Hobbes ) seemed to be a narcissistic sociopath. I figured Calvin was a kid and we caught him in moments of bad behavior and extended the same level of doubt to Slick. He was an everyman character who had flaws but there was no reason to believe he was entirely composed of them.

The idea of tolerating flaws in ourselves and others was interesting to me. Not celebrating them ( as I gather the old forum did ) but how do we compromise? Is it ok to do so? Do characters exist beyond their flaws?

That's not the comic any more - might never have been, tbh, that could have been an inaccurate takeaway on my part. I do feel it's now a bit of a by-the-numbers guided tour of radical feminism. Broadly speaking I'm down with the politics and on top of that absolutely sympathize with a creator who after [x] amount of years wants to share a message through their medium. Heck, I'm ok with changing narrative style for no other reason than to alleviate creative boredom and applaud change-for-change's-sake as readily as shifts in artistic style.

I do think the narrative shift has lessened the comic a bit, though. Mr. Ishida is doing some really interesting things insofar as he's presenting complex ideas through visual metaphors but it's come at the cost of his cast which he developed over time.

I kind of wish he'd pivot to the religious characters to get their take on radical feminism. Would be fascinating to see him develop their stances with depth and nuance. And oh please not just evangelical preacher guy, but lil' Buddha, the taoist dragon, puppety-god. Still, the serious subject matter is a poor place for whimsy and without that maybe it's harder to integrate the old metaphors of religion with the new ones.

Am I going to stop reading? Oh no, of course not. I want to see how he continues to develop. I do hope the story continues to flex, though.

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Z6IIAB
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Post by Z6IIAB » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:08 pm

"radical white feminism"

please.

you are a troll.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

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