Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Breaking down barriers.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my story, namely from a "what will people think?" perspective.

I have known for some years now that my main characters are really just reflections of me. Whose aren't? I come from an apparently pretty abnormal background of well-concealed emotional abuse, mental illness, and the struggle of separating sexual identity from personal worth. Then, the ensuing rebellion and looking to the other extremes to find something better. This is some heavy stuff, and it comes out. How will it be interpreted? I hope some background information can save me from looking like a very, very strange person. Or at least explain why that person is very, very strange.

Melodrama is a tone I'd like to avoid in my storytelling, but I guess I've felt pretty melodramatic at times.

See, my father was a fanatical atheist Darwinist. Growing up, I heard a lot of talk about who was and wasn't fit to survive, who "deserved to" or "should" breed, and explicit rules about who I could and couldn't date (women, as well as men of color, being on the "you can never come home" list - and I better have white grandkids, or else). He pointed out every biracial child on television, made it pretty clear that women were subservient, and freaked out about recessive genes - namely blonde hair and blue eyes - being lost in the gene pool because they were marks of superiority. There were also a number of conspiracy theories and firm words about my not supporting mass genocide of an entire region (that I was actually secretly researching and finding artistic inspiration from). I experienced a lot of anxiety, repression, guilt, depression, anger, and fear as a result.

So I think it's no surprise that one way I cope with and challenge all this extreme thinking in my fantasy macroculture. Homosexuality is pretty widely accepted, women are more free with their bodies, bloodlines are considered secondary to the forces of reincarnation, mutations happen fairly frequently, and there's tons of interbreeding between the races. We start off with folklore of peoples of specific colors and, due to the melting pot, everyone gets mixed up and we see a lot of different skin tones, eye colors, etc. I intentionally took a lot of different features from races here on earth and mixed-and-matched them. I can't ignore the way I intrinsically notice racial features and genetic lineage, but I can at least channel it into a world where the interpretations are not so hateful and negative.

And when racism, genocide, homophobia, etc. does happen, you'll see it through the eyes of characters that are struggling to find their way through it all. The conflict is going to be intense and with pretty steep consequences. My childhood was definitely that!

A biracial couple from a tribal region. Because of this match, the child will likely be sterile, but neither of them cares. The spirit lives forever. That's the world I "live" in when I draw.

No comments:

Post a Comment