Dress-up time with these two!
Drew some of my favorite villagers
The shopkeep was killed seconds later
Here’s the opposite story, though. With apologies because I don’t have the book in front of me, so I may get some details wrong, but I read this “Irena’s Children“ by Tilar J. Mazzeo.
Irena lived in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation, and dedicated her life to rescuing Jewish children from the Ghetto, and her story is complicated in a lot of ways but - well, this story isn’t actually about Irena, per se.
It’s about a bus driver.
It’s about a day when she’s traveling across town by bus with a very young Jewish child, and partway to their destination the child looks up and asks a question - in Yiddish. and the whole bus goes quiet, because everyone knows what that means. And Irena thinks, okay, we’re going to die here today.
And she’s running through her options - all of them bad - and suddenly the bus stops, and the bus driver announces that there’s been a mechanical failure and the bus needs to return to the depot immediately. Everyone off, please.
And she stands and goes to get off the bus and the driver says - not you two. Sit down. So she sits down as everyone else leaves, because, well, what else is she going to do? the options are all still bad, at this point.
and when the bus is empty the bus driver says,
“Where do you need to go?”
And then he drives them as close to their destination as he can, and lets them off, and drives away. And Irena lives, and the kid lives, and they never cross paths again.
So a janitor got three people killed, and a bus driver saved two lives - not to mention all the other lives indirectly saved because Irena was able to continue her work.
I think about that almost every day now, to be honest.
We can’t all be Irena. I couldn’t be Irena. She was in a unique place with very specific skills and connections that let her do what she did. I am just one mentally ill librarian. I can’t be her. But - I can be the bus driver. Or I could be the janitor. Because it doesn’t matter what your job is. It doesn’t matter who you are. In a world like this, every single one of us has the opportunity to do massive harm or massive good. We can save lives or end them.
And that’s scary. but it’s also very comforting? at least for me. Because at the end of the day it means this: no matter of how small and helpless and unimportant you feel, you’re never powerless in the face of great evil.
You can choose to be the bus driver.
I don’t usually repost things like this, but sentientcitizen’s message is a powerful one.
Hi everyone, not an art update but a friend update. My friend Alfred Coleman, who you may know better as PaperboxHouse, (who you may know better as the “Eggman Announcement” guy) is in serious trouble.
In the past month I’ve taken him to the ER three times. He’s been suffering from serious stomach pain and anxiety, and he hasn’t been able to keep down a full meal in almost a month. He’s suffering from malnutrition, and he hasn’t been able to take care of himself. Yesterday morning I picked him up from endoscopy surgery, and the hospital discharged him when he was obviously still unwell. He was too weak to walk, and couldn’t even get back in his apartment. I took him to a different hospital to hopefully receive better treatment.
While in the emergency room, I was able to set up a ko-fi page for him to help pay for any medical expenses. This new hospital has already been treating him much better so far, and he finally is being monitored overnight instead of being dismissed like he has been in the past. My only worry is that he would be unable to afford his new treatment, and that’s where you guys come in.
Through some miracle, we’ve already been able to raise over $47,000. That is insane. But it only proves how much he is well-loved, and what he means to the artist’s community. Alfred is one of my dearest, oldest friends, and if you could help with this cause, whether it’s through donation, or just sharing this post, it would mean the world to me. I’ve been keeping updates on the situation on the ko-fi page, with more minute to minute updates on my twitter. Thank you all for your support.
“What was that? Oh yuck! Well, I hear that’s lucky, like finding a four-leaf clover. Although I think I’d prefer the clover.”
@1010meha @sunflowerscythe and @pepperlilly wanted me to explain a bit further, but lemme start by saying that I’ve been having these convos with my friends for a while now on our blogs, so explaining is something I’ve gotten kinda used to at this point, but I am in no ways an expert, I can only speak to my own experiences, I also kinda have a bit of burnout from answering so many asks about this so hopefully this will be the last I have to think about it too hard jaja
also here’s some other links that might help get the brain juices flowing:
asian rep in TAZ | blue taako | lucas miller | lucas miller pt 2 | taz racism tag
(the taz racism tag is new so it doesn’t have all my older posts yet but hopefully I’ll be adding onto this in the future)
Okay so usually I save this part to the end but let’s start with this point first since it helps set up the rest of this discussion. Carey is white. This might not be that big of a deal but as an artist I can assure you our lives and experiences very much affect the way we see and illustrate the world. So a white artist will always have to work harder and do more research when it comes to having good rep. That’s not a bad thing ofc! Research away! But this also means there will be underlying issues when it comes to her work, because again she is white, so even if it’s a mistake, it WILL happen. Now there is a very easy solution to this, hire nonwhite artists!!! Or at least have nonwhite creatives on your team! The GN team has always been pretty much white, and I have never seen a nonwhite person on the book team at panels or interviews so I think it’s safe to assume, that the lead team at least is 100% white. Now, what if we still wanted Carey’s artstyle? Easy! She can be the lead artist while there are other artists on the team OR she can be the only artist BUT we have a nonwhite character designer who helps and assists when it comes to character design decisions. OR they can also have a sensitivity group who reads the comics before hand, etc, etc.
If the McElroys REALLY want to push their message of wanting to create a diverse narrative, then their creative team NEEDs to also represent that.
I’m gonna try and keep these points short and simple since the links above go into a bit more depth, but I tend to ramble so I apologize if things get a little longer fjfjf
1) Our hero’s are essentially 2 white male leads and a racially ambiguous man, this makes things complicating when Carey makes any of the antagonists nonwhite… (and before u ask YES taako is white in his GN design, his blue skin does not change this)
2) Her designs often feel ambiguous when it comes to race, except for Lucretia and angus who I feel have pretty cool designs and are really cool and interesting characters whom I love, but with other characters it can become unclear especially when I’ve noticed she tends to kinda stick with the same 3 nose types, and has some difficulties portraying various hair textures, at this point it would be nice to have some outside confirmation about what races some of the characters are, cause i think it’s cool to know and also shows that there was careful thought put into the design, like is Sloane Desi, Peruvian, Mex-Indigenous etc.? I would love to know!!!
3) We should not shy away from these convos, it may make some uncomfortable, but there’s no reason these discussions should be, I mean it’s already uncomfortable having to deal with casual microaggressions, addressing them will only make fandom spaces more chill and fun for everybody!
4) Having gray or morally ambiguous characters of color is not a bad thing at all, and is often a sign of GOOD writing, i love a good flawed character! BUT, again when your protags are 2/3 white, and a majority of your antags are nonwhite well…. now we may have an issue. There are a few characters who especially make me feel very weird about them NOT being white, Lucas, who aside from performing highly unethical experiments on living creatures, used bugbears as servants (slaves? brainwashing? it’s a lot to get into) after having done these experiments on them, he also falls into the “annoying nerd trope” and if he is meant to be Desi, well that’s even MORE inappropriate. Not to mention the gross amount of white fans thirsting over him after his design was revealed despite never caring about him until now. (evil sexy brown man trope anyone?) Why is the rich gross capitalist, Artemis, also brown? I don’t get that one either, and also Johann, although I DO personally love his design, worry that he will end up getting no character depth (despite being such a cool dude in the podcast) in the comics and will just be killed off… it feels… so bad
5) A lot of these concerns seem very obvious to me and my friends, but then again, we are nonwhite so it only took us a second to realize oh shit wait, this sucks actually. I mean the SECOND Lucas’s design was revealed I started making posts about it. Again, this is WHY the TAZ GN team NEEDs nonwhite creatives on the team if they plan on creating such a wonderfully diverse world. Even if it’s a fantasy world, “free of racism” the real world and the people making this book are not.
6) At the end of the day the McElroys are pretty good when it comes to addressing issues of inclusivity and good rep, but they’ve always had an easier time when it comes to lgbt+ issues compared to racism. I’m not sure how to properly go about bringing this up to their team or anything like that, (i refuse to use twitter it is very scary) and I’ve only been in publishing for 2 years and have been in the fandom for even less time, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But I do think that it’s nice to at least have these convos in fandom so people can become aware of these issues and think a bit more critically about the media they consume.
I love TAZ very much, and that’s exactly why I am critical of it. <3
It’s just so upsetting to talk about an issue in a predominantly white fandom and have it be drowned out or often times purposely ignored, and then only become a “popular hot take” once white people start talking about it… like I was trying so hard to get people to talk about the racist decisions Carey makes with her character design choices but I always fear coming off as confrontational or mean but like!! Even when I’m nice about it white people in the fandom get scared and unfollow me or ignore what me and others have to say… anyways again I’m just glad people are discussing this finally but I wish we were having this convo sooner when we first brought it up…
thanks for readin’