Why i created a Gamergate comic
This is an article to make clarifications on certain points some people have told me (or I have seen) regarding my webcomic Gamergate life; some Gators are amazed and confused by the sudden change in art and jokes quality, some SJW accuse it of being a big strawman, I’ll explain why is this, and since I’m on it, my vision of gamergate itself. This may be a long run but I hope it’s worth your time and makes clear why GG life is like that and why i created it.
If you don’t know me, I am known as Kukuruyo, I’m the author of several webcomics, one of them being dedicated to the Gamergate controversy. You will have to excuse my English, I’m spanish and I don’t have any formal English education besides the basics, so I will fuck up a lot.
When this entire gamergate thing began, I felt it was an amazingly good hit of fresh air and hope into something I was beginning to consider already lost, and I’m not talking about gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I totally identify as a gamer, and that’s to say much, since I don’t like labels. I think that when you use a label you accept anything that comes with it, and you will slowly change more and more into the stereotype of what that label pursues, as a part of an attempt to find and defend your identity. So I’m pro equality for everyone, but I don’t identify as anything specific; for example I’m against any kind of sexism, I’m against male chauvinism, and also against feminism (or at least 3rd wave feminism), but I don’t identify as an MRA, I don’t even identify as an anti-feminist, I’m just pro equality, sometimes I say I’m an “egalitarian” if I have no time to explain, but even that is uncommon. I’m against racism, of any kind, be against black, hispanics or whites, I’m against homophobia or transphobia, but also against those who discriminate for being straight or “cis gender”, and I don’t identify as any kind of label regarding that sentiments.
But gamer? Oh, that’s a label I’m proud of. I don’t find anything about being a gamer I could be ashamed for; gamers are the most open minded people you can find, because gaming itself makes you to be open. Even if you were a racist before, when you play online you end up working together with people of every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., and that cooperation can bring down many walls. Have you seen American History X? How a neo-Nazi Edward Norton becomes friend with black people because he’s made to work with one at jail? That’s what I’m talking about. Can we be badmouthed and even raggers at times? Hell yeah, but none of it comes because of gender, race or sexual orientation, it comes from game performance, gaming is a meritocracy where your real life status doesn’t count, just your own personal qualities, and that’s the fucking best description of equality you will ever find.
But there’s another thing that dragged me into gamergate, something people didn’t began to realize until later but I did since the first moment: Gamergate is also about artistic freedom. That is a theme that had me very worried for some time, I’m an artist that works mostly on attractive women and adult themes, all my comics are full of sexy women, I do a lot of erotic art, etc., and because of that I have found many backlash and bad looks in my life, and I have seen that to increase over the years, not just on me, but everywhere. Every year you can see cases of controversies around comic covers or gamer artistic designs; the cover for Teen titans is sexist because Wonder girl is sexy! The variant cover for Spiderwoman is sexist because she is in a sexy pose! The designs for Divinity Original Sin are sexist because they use traditional fantasy armors! This tabletop game is promoting rape and should be banned! And of course Anita Sarkeesian’s videos and a thousand more examples that made me think of a very grim future for us artists. And then Gamergate came.
Gamergate promotes the freedom of developers and artists to do their works as they want, without fear of being banned or being fired because of it, it defends artist that are attacked because of their designs, it is against the censorship and blacklisting of the media over artistic design, it is against the underscoring of a game because the main character is sexy, and that for me is golden.
So when gamergate came out I wanted to help, I totally wanted to help, but there were several problems. One of them should be obvious by now: my English; I lack enough knowledge of English to maintain a “live” conversation without fucking up a lot, this text will probably be more or less correct because I’m using a grammar corrector and I have revised it, but that is more complicated to do on a “real time” discussion, especially on twitter, so any attempt by me on that regard could do more harm than good. The second problem is that I suck at social media; the only social media I know how to use is Facebook, I’m totally unable to explain myself in the two lines that twitter allows (and didn’t even used twitter back then), and I don’t dwell in sites like reddit or 4/8chan, I’m simply not accustomed to their format. I also lack the time to maintain many lengthy debates.
So what was left for me was Art. I wanted to use my art as something that historically art has done very well: morale booster. Art is something gamergate has in a huge quantity; this is just a logical conclusion based on what I said earlier, since gamergate is in favor of artistic freedom, and SJWs are against it, it’s only logical for any artist to rally under gamergate, or at least not to do it under the SJWs. Looking at all the art gamergate have works as a morale booster that tells you how many people is actually working, spending time, effort and skill, into gamergate, and makes you want to do your best too, or at least that’s how I see it.
So I wanted to create something with my art. At first my idea was to do some illustrations, maybe a Vivian drawing, maybe a drawing with many of the gamergate most vocal or relevant members (I even tried to contact some GG youtubers for this, with no success), I wasn’t really sure of what to do, I only knew I wanted to do something, but nothing came to my mind. And then the antis created Lilian. Everyone was laughing at her because, well, she’s just a recolor of Vivian, and it made clear the lack of artist on the other side, they were enough butthurt as to create a nemesis mascot but didn’t have an artist to do it, so their efforts were weak and even the SJW didn’t paid much attention to her. But I saw her with other eyes; looking at her the idea raced to my mind, this is one of the stereotypes that surround artists that are actually true, we can be totally clueless on what to do for many time, even depressed, and then some small detail ignites a spark of frenetic ideas and energy, when the inspiration comes to us we simply HAVE to work on it.
So Gamergate life was born as a 3 panel comic about Vivian James and her cousin Lilian woods, with the intention of raising morale. That’s the reason why there’s almost no jokes on the first strips, it wasn’t intended as a “fun” comic, it wasn’t intended to convert any anti, it was intended to show our vision on the conflict and raise morale, it was (and still is) a product FOR gamergaters, in which they could see themselves identified and say “that’s right, lets fucking win this!” so it was a little “preachy to the choir”.
The art was also very simple, the reason for this is that at the time, I was only in one GG Facebook group, I didn’t use twitter nor went to reddit or chan, I didn’t even had my own website finished, my “morale boosting” was only going to be for about the thousand people on that group and my usual comic fans that lurked in my deviantart. I was (and I am) working in many projects and so I didn’t dedicated time to do a decent art job, every strip was done in about 30 minutes and that quality is what you get in that time. But then I joined two more Facebook groups, I finished my website, I began to use my twitter and to post the strips there, and suddenly many people followed it, I went from 0 to more than 1k followers in a short time; it isn’t an impressive number, but for what the comic was intended, it was. People posted the comic on reddit and 8chan, my website had huge spikes on traffic compared with my usual one, my deviantart sometimes was flooded by SJW arguing with me, even my website got attacked several times and had to increase security (it still gets attacked almost every time I post a new strip). Essentially, the comic became popular, when I thought it was gonna be just a small unnoticed drop on the ocean of gamergate and something to dedicate only a small fraction of time.
It was clear then that I should dedicate more time and effort to it, so at some point I began to do the art for the strips in a quality more close to my usual webcomics. I also began to introduce humor, real neutral humor this time. This is a kind of humor I am known for, “background” humor; I use two levels of “reality”, in one level you have what is really happening, the conversation between the characters or the real action, and then you have small doses of background humor that are set in another “level” and are not necessarily really happening. That includes pun commentary between the characters or small activities with secondary characters, like the little dragon nargacuga getting laid or Dante with a lot of succubus being defeated by the obviously more attractive pigeon. Nowadays the strips are done in a way that can be funny even for SJWs, and in fact I have seen some of them commenting that they found the comics funny, regardless of the ideological differences. There are strips like the SVU one that doesn’t even contain anything pro or anti gg.
The second thing I want to address is the “strawman” thing. There is strawman? Yes and no, I will explain. SJWs claim that what my comics say is that every SJW out there is like Lilian. No, that’s not it. Lilian recognizes when she’s wrong :D.
Just kidding. Now seriously, Lilian doesn’t represent “every SJW out there”, she is a vessel to contain the person or attitude that I speak about in every strip. If a strip is dedicated to something Brianna Wu said, then Lilian represents Brianna Wu, the same with Anita, Ian Miles, Arthur Chu, or any other relevant SJW out there. The comments that come from the mouth of Lilian are all real comments said by SJW, I’m not lying in any way, and I’m not saying every SJW says them. I know the vast majority of SJW are not neo Nazis, but Ian Miles is; the vast majority of antis are not against a charity event to help a raped gamergater, but Arthur chu is; this people are ones of the most relevant of the SJW side, because they have a lot of followers defending what they say, who presumably share their ideas, so when they say something outrageous, it becomes news, and it can appear on my comic, being impersonated by Lilian.
But when a SJW arrives to my comic, it’s probably only natural that he/she thinks I’m going to make a strawman and say that every one of them is like that, so in his mind, what Lilian says represents all of them and actually becomes a strawman. But fear not, I’m not saying that. There’s a lot on info on the comment of every one of my strips about whom or what I’m referring to in the strip. This is another thing I began to do when I took the comic seriously, I add a lot of links, articles, videos, etc., speaking about the strips theme, and so you can actually see who Lilian is supposed to be almost each time. That’s why I would suggest that you click to see the strip in my website instead of just looking a proxy on twitter, gamerghazi, funnyjunk or whatever, most of my strips require a context to understand, and not everyone have that context, gamergate is a big thing and you cannot be aware of everything that happens on it, I know I am not.
Maybe I will have to make a strip in the future trying to shortly explain anything of this, at least the “I know you are not like that” thing, but that’s a complicated thing to do on a 3 panel comic, so I hope this will serve as an explanation. I will keep doing this comic for as long as I have time or is any relevant to tell, and I hope that when a time came that I will not have anything to tell, is because things have changed for good.
If you haven’t read Gamergate life, you can find it here (all my comics are also in Spanish)
I have also a League of legends based webcomic
And a Monster hunter/ monster girls inspired webcomic
If you like any of my comics and want to see more pages of them you may consider to help me becoming a patron
This is my twitter: https://twitter.com/kukuruyo
This is my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KuKuruYo
And I think that’s all my shilling.