Last week I criticized Broodhollow for ignoring the realities of American racism in the 1930s. This week I’m going to praise Rock and Riot for ignoring the realities of American racism in the 1950s. What gives??
I’ve never been a fan of Kris Straub’s work, to be totally honest. I always found his jokes not so funny, his characters, not so interesting, his plots, not so original. As a cartoonist, he seemed kind of mediocre. Perhaps my opinion was colored by the fact that my first exposure to him was the dreadful, clown-protagonisted Checkerboard Nightmare, back when it was still updating. But those were dark times, and all webcomics were bad back then, so it hardly seems fair to hold that against him. Even if he does strike me as an insufferable nerd-bro.
When I first started Yes Homo, I had vague ideas about keeping it kid-friendly, the sort of thing a guidance counsellor or gay aunt could recommend to a kid. That’s pretty obviously out the window at this point, given that a quick look at my reading list turns up nine links marked “nsfw”, some of which are literally pornography. I’ll defend my inclusion of these to anyone, though, because works of an explicitly sexual nature need good queer and trans representation too. I do still want to keep Yes Homo work-safe though, so you won’t find any nudity under the cut.
There are some stories that are ingrained in the queer psyche, ones we’re all familiar with, if not from our own lives, then the lives of our friends or partners. They’re not usually happy stories, but they are important to tell, and to hear. I like queer genre fiction that’s pure escapism, sure, but including something of these real life tropes can create a potent power fantasy that’s even more satisfying. I’m talking about things like “being stuck in an isolated hick town and wanting to get out” or “seeing your abusive ex who turned all your friends against you” or “your caravan getting attacked by a dragon on your quest to become a cool outlaw”. What? Is that one just me?