In this guest post, Cartoonist Teresa Dowlatshahi reflects on the perils of incorporating erotic subject matter in her daily GoComics strip, Frog Applause.
FROG APPLAUSE FUN WITH JOHNNY BIG-GUN
I was invited to talk about the gender divide in the comics, and what it's like to be an XX cartoonist in an XY comics world. No thanks, Lucas. I'd rather be wedged under a log in Barkeater Lake and left there to ripen. Instead, I'll talk about the changes I've made to my own comic strip, in part, because of my low testosterone levels.
"Frog Applause" is not a strip about sex (or anything else, really), but more than once it's been referred to as "Sex Applause" because of occasional erotic content. I stopped doing erotic cartoons several weeks ago because of the stalkerly (my word) reaction from certain readers, publicly (on GoComics) and privately (via email).
Perhaps I'm generalizing, but it seems that when a male cartoonist does an erotic gag, the focus is on the cartoon... but when a female cartoonist does a similar gag, the focus switches to the cartoonist. At least this has been MY experience.
Perhaps I should just be grateful that I haven't been receiving deranged missives from Johnny Submachine-Gun or Johnny Glynn-Gun. Yet.
Boys are cartoonists.... girls are not!