FindChaos: The Official Blog of A. Stiffler

Professional illustrator, comic artist, graphic designer and avid birder. Stuff I draw and other nonsense.
Recent Tweets @FindChaos
alexquintas:

What day is it? Aw yis. TMI Tuesday. Ask me some shiz! (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ENTERTAIN ME WITH QUESTIONS AND FUN SCENARIOS! OH GOD PLEASE!) (Or don’t. that’s cool too.)

Do it, do it, do it!

alexquintas:

What day is it? Aw yis. TMI Tuesday. Ask me some shiz! (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ENTERTAIN ME WITH QUESTIONS AND FUN SCENARIOS! OH GOD PLEASE!) (Or don’t. that’s cool too.)

Do it, do it, do it!

alexquintas:

alexquintas:

New TMO! www.themostordinary.com/ www.alexquintas.tumblr.com/tagged/art 

Morning reblog.

Whoohoo! Though, not whoohoo for Keil, you got a long way to go, son.

findchaos:

ChaosLife: Dangerous Distraction

No hints from me!

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Hello, daytime friendos!

ChaosLife: Dangerous Distraction

No hints from me!

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shingworks:

magnoliapearl:

Dear Aaron Diaz,

Over the past few days we’ve already exchanged some words about this. I reblogged Mary’s comic lampooning your comic (and others like it), expressing my approval of its message. I also subtweeted your work fairly obviously. We are friendly acquaintances and my behavior was inappropriate and rude. I apologized to you via email for being passive-aggressive and thoughtless, and you graciously accepted my apology. I admit: what I did was hurtful, and the wrong way to go about it. With that in mind, I want to try to address the problems I have with your work in a direct, honest, and hopefully respectful way. No passive-aggression, no rudeness, no vague-tweeting. 

Aaron, I have a real problem with the way you write and draw female characters. It is sexually objectifying and sexist.

I do not have a problem with artists writing and drawing objectified female characters. I do have a problem with characters I consider sexist, but ultimately it’s something I can ignore. There’s a place for everything, and an artist has the right to create whatever they want to create, for whatever ends they choose. What I have a problem with is that your comic is not presented as a science fiction comic with a dash of sexy thrills, but rather as a feminist narrative in support of powerful independent women. You’ve made it clear on many occasions that you don’t consider your work to be objectifying or sexist. I have a problem with cheesecake-style art being presented as something feminist, empowering, enlightened- something made “for women”, when it’s clearly made for men.

You’re allowed to make art with male gaze. But please call a spade a spade.

I think you are a nice person who does good things. I think you’re a good artist and a good writer. But I consider writing and drawing women to be one of your weaknesses, and it’s hard to imagine that you don’t know that. If you do, I haven’t heard you say so.

I know Mary’s comic stung. I’m not going to deny there was meanness there, although I saw it more as humorously exaggerated satire than a personal attack.  I understand that it sucks to see your work roasted in such a way. But the criticism it made of your work resonated with a lot of people. They can’t all be idiots, crazy people, or “SJWs”, or people with a personal grudge against you. To paraphrase a saying, “If lots of people are telling you it’s raining, get an umbrella.” Aaron, many people have this problem with your work. The problem exists. And since you seem to be very much invested in feminism and positive, non-sexualized portrayals of women in media, you need to take a long hard look at your own output. You need to get an umbrella.

I don’t think I’ve seen a single page of Dresden Codak that doesn’t feature a woman posed in a male-gazey way, with loving focus on her ass or cleavage, or wearing a sexual costume, or in some situation that puts her in a compromising position (like the most recent page in which Kimiko’s clothing is burned off of her body, which has happened at least twice in the series’ run.) I have a very hard time believing that these details are accidental. Not to mention the pinups you posted a few days ago. Instead of saying something like, “Here’s some sexy drawings of Kimiko I did” you said they were about “agency” and “celebration of the female form”. It’s hard not to see language like that as dishonest and sort of insulting.

The following images are a few examples of what I’m referring to. I tried to only find examples from the current arc in the comic, or from merchandise you currently sell. I understand that there is a larger context to these images, but the fact that you continually write situations in which these presentations of women would be contextually appropriate is part of the problem. For the sake of fairness, there is ONE female character in Dresden Codak who is not presented sexually, but to me, that doesn’t do much to make up for the rest of it, especially since she is the only female character with a speaking role in the history of the comic who is not presented this way.

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Aaron, you can do whatever you want with your own comic. However, if you really do care about female characters in media, or care to know why so many people seem to be angry with you about it, I would do one of two things. If you don’t want your comic to present its female characters in a borderline-erotic light, then stop doing that. If you don’t mind that, then by all means continue, but please just admit that you like drawing t&a and that it’s not particularly empowering, or feminist, or a celebration of personal agency. As a woman, I resent being told that men’s eye candy is actually meant to uplift me and that I should celebrate it.

I’m not trying to attack you or slander you. I’m certainly not doing this to stir up drama. I think you are a good person. And I think that you make a good comic. It’s obvious that a lot of people really love it and support it, and will continue to love and support it no matter what. There’s a lot you are doing right. But your work is not perfect, and I want to talk about it directly, honestly, and respectfully.

Thank you for listening.

-Magnolia Porter

This is an important subject to me, despite not being directly involved, so I feel that I should add to this.

When you have an audience, the things that you say and do matter. Diaz’s work has unsettled me for years. I have learned to avoid it because his unspoken message seems to be that, no matter how strong or smart a woman is, and no matter how far in the future you go, showing her tits and panties in every page should be a high priority. It makes me angry. I have heard the same reaction to his work from a lot of people. And in all my years of drawing The Meek, I have almost never had that reaction from a reader about the nudity of my own characters. It is possible to show non-sexualized nudity, and it is ALSO okay to show sexualized nudity. But, speaking as one human to another, it is harmful to pretend that consistently sexualizing a woman’s body in non-sexual situations is empowering her simply because you demand that it should be that way.

I believe strongly that everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has the ability to learn from them. I also think people are deserving of complete forgiveness if they make an effort to understand and change their harmful views. Diaz is an unquestionably talented artist and, from the times we’ve spoken, is a super nice guy, so I’m really hoping to see a positive resolution to all of this.

If you’re trying to advocate for a marginalized group, listen to them. Additionally, if you’re not a part of that group, you most certainly do not know better than them how to elevate and alleviate their struggles, so don’t ignore their criticisms or, for god’s sake, call one of them a “passive-aggressive shit” for saying you might not be such a great (self-proclaimed) advocate, after all.

I’ve seen some responses to this letter demanding to know if depicting women in sexualized ways is inherently anti-feminist, and I can assure everyone: it’s not. The problem here is that even in the most non-sexual situations, Diaz portrays his women characters in overtly sexual ways and shown through sexual angles. Pretty much 99% of his women characters could be taken out of context from their Dresden Codak pages and fit in perfectly with an erotica magazine.

So, no, you’re not anti-feminist for depicting a sexy woman, but you might have a problem of objectification if you only depict women being stereotypically boobs-out-ass-front-and-center sexy. It’s all about moderation and reasonable context, two things that Diaz has yet to demonstrate.

It’s been a good couple of days since this mess started, and Diaz’s utter refusal to acknowledge the issue (apart from a few snarky tweets about Tumblr being a “lynch mob,” since deleted), let alone apologize for being utterly rude and reactionary to indirect criticism is incredibly disappointing. It just goes to show how much we need real feminism: a prominent man in the comics industry can publicly attack a woman’s work and experience no negative effects to his work or his reputation as a “feminist.

Praise womankind’s savior.

whowasntthere:

Doing base colors, especially in B&W, is really very tedious, long-hours work — but the fact that my spouse does such elegant lineart makes it all bearable. From our upcoming story in the Beyond Anthology.

Why, yes, this will be a very visibly queer story!

With action, ‘cause we can’t help ourselves.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
How long does it take you to find all those gifs?
findchaos findchaos Said:

Oh, only a second or so.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
So do you have to pay to read the Smut Peddler comics?
findchaos findchaos Said:

Yes and no.

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Right now, Smut Peddler is only being released to its Kickstarter backers (one of the perks for pre-ordering), and later it will be for sale in PDF-form for anyone to buy, with physical copies likely being limited to appearing for purchase at conventions. Since I’m not the person in charge, I don’t have much more solid information than that at this time, I’m sorry. Rest assured, we’ll broadcast when and where Smut Peddler is available to buy as soon as it happens!*

In the meantime, I’m afraid you’ll just have to ask very nicely of someone who bought it to see theirs!

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*And at some point way, way down the road, K and I can release our story as a standalone PDF for a small fee or as a reward to our Patreon patrons, as per our contract with the publisher. We really want to make our comics available to everyone in every way possible, but we can’t undermine our partners and colleagues! That’s just a dick move.

Got my Smut Peddler pdf today! Had to tell you both that I LOVED your comic! Can't wait to get the physical copy =D
findchaos findchaos Said:

Thank you so much and I’m thrilled you enjoyed it! Maybe I’m geeking out a little, but I was kind of stoked to see our story landed a slot right beside Trudy Cooper's story. The comics world is a neat place.

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