The second part of Red Riding Hood was released, and I already know how the third and final installment will go. It was very interesting and somewhat bemusing to receive a new wave of criticism revolving around what everyone wanted or expected to happen to Pablo. It's funny to note I haven't received a single disappointed email or comment, from any woman or any man, about the fate of Red Riding Hood! But there's something about Pablo that had a lot of people worked up to a high froth. Perhaps some people identified with him a little bit and took what happened to him a bit personally? I can't tell. But the criticisms revolved around the fact that I was depicting a submissive male and it was being taken as an insult to all submissive males, coupled with the criticism that I never depict submissive males (though when I do, it's taken as an insult). There were those who were expecting him to have intercourse with female wolves and even impregnate a few of them. And there were those who wanted him to be the subject of gay rape, and took great insult at the fact that this probably won't happen until he's been turned into a feminized shemale, something that's well on its way by the end of the second comic. A lot of this comes with the expressed disappointment, sometimes visceral anger, that I don't draw comics with gay unions as the central focus in general.
I suppose I owe an explanation about why I do what I do. I couldn't have Pablo enjoy an ordinary sexual union with female wolves of the tribe. It would be incongruent to the rest of the story's main underlying vein: the wolves having a savage kind of allure and prowess that makes them hard to resist. It would strip away the reasoning behind Red's conversion if her boyfriend had an equivalent prowess. So I simply couldn't do that. The most perplexing criticism was the boldness asserted by, I presume, gay men in the fandom suffering from the tremendously frustrating LACK of homosexual themed work (ahem), turning to me, a straight man, to fill the void. If you'll pardon the expression "fill the void". Many of them were anticipating Pablo would receive the same treatment that his girlfriend would. There's not really been much precedent for that in my comics, so I'm not sure why they expected it from me, but it was something I had to field. When I was younger I was more experimental in my work and drew the occasional gay-themed piece. As time went on, I found straight sex was far more arousing, fulfilling, and pleasant to behold for me, so I fell into that groove. My ability to draw men as sexual beings is derived from my ability to recognize their attractiveness, despite an overwhelming, hard-wired, biological preference for women. Believe me, it's like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it. The degree to which I would be attracted to a man, today, is the degree to which he affects the look and mannerisms of a woman. So, I took the course with Pablo that I did, and it upset some gay men, apparently. I'm sorry, but I will tend to lean heavily toward heterosexual themes, and sometimes that kinky "gray" area, just because of my own preferences. There's no insult intended.
Moving on, I'm currently leaning toward another Persia and Flounce story involving a third party character who's even more of a sissy. It's an idea I've had rattling around in my mind for some time. Now that their child (who I've yet to draw.. or even name.. or think about at all) is old enough to be going to school, they should have plenty more fooling around time worthy of depicting. I wanted to dredge up a little more of Flounce's past and imply a little more about his "before Persia" life. It'll also be a good practice in drawing Bonk-worthy girly-boyish males, which I suppose relates to the prior discussion. Next year I want to dive back into the Haukaiu story and wrap up the two final chapters of his little adventure. I will be doing it in the comic form I've been doing Red Riding Hood in, since it's far more visually pleasing than writing it like a story book with individual illustrations. Or I may come up with a unique format, since it's a bit more text-reliant than Red Riding Hood. As in, the plot matters way more. Speaking of characters associated with the color red, a new character will be appearing for the first time in comics, next year. "Red" the otter will be appearing in a plotline, as one of Fisk's work associates, perhaps even with nefarious intentions!
I also need to do a new cover image for the front page of my website. The current one's been up too long. Maybe I'll get some time in for that this week. A lot of my time this week will be devoted to getting my Original Life buffer back up to comfortable levels. I ate into it a bit while getting Red Riding Hood completed.