Justis23
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A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 10, '17, 1:39pm

Hey Best Friends!

WARNING I'm sorry if this is too heavy and triggers some people, that is not my intention. My intention is to have an open and honest dialogue about your opinion of Sexual Assault in comics specifically, but other forms of media as well.

That being said, how do you feel about it? What are examples of it being used appropriately and inappropriately? I ask because I am currently writing my first comic and the protagonist experiences being raped. I don't want to give away much else about the story right now, but her experience and what comes of it play into the world that I've built and it's a major part of her character development. Also, I don't think this is a topic (in my opinion) that is explored in comics (or other forms of media) often enough and it's a major problem in our society.

Again, I apologize if this is too sensitive of a topic for some, but please feel free to share your feelings because it will really help me express this part of the protagonist's story in, hopefully, a respectful and appropriate way. I respect this community's openness and knowledge of comics so I thought that this would be the right place to have this conversation - correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks KFBFs,
- Justis (justis_saladbar in Twitch chat)

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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 10, '17, 11:48pm

I don't like how it's handled in television. It's often used as a shock element (e.g. Downton Abbey comes to mind) and leads to a broken female character.
I don't like how graphical it is sometimes (Game of Thrones). It feels like it's there just as wanking material for freaks.
It's often misrepresented. I've seen stats (sorry I can't link to it at the moment) that shows that most rapes are done by people you know, and not back alley ones. Two of the people I know were raped by their partners. The other one I don't know who it was. I wouldn't be surprised if it was someone she knew.

I personally find rape as a character motivation and development element distasteful, so I don't think I can help you very much, sorry.

It's cool that you're looking for opinions and tips though. Maybe try asking (respectfully) in a group with more women than this forum (not a rape group for the love of god lol just a group with more women than this).. I don't have the stats, but it feels like there's more men here than women.
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Justis23
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A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 11, '17, 8:00am

Yeah, I've posted it in the Reddit group as well. I've gotten some great responses so far! Most people have pointed out how problematic of a topic it can be to write about if you don't have extensive knowledge or first-hand experience. I realize that now and have been work shopping some alternative ideas. Thanks for the reply. I figured the only way to really know if this was the right way to tell this story was to do research and get opinions on the subject.

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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 11, '17, 9:21am

I think if you have a story to tell, while it can be problematic you should go with it if you do have a story to be told.


I mean I know people research stuff but it's not like Cow Boy movies are realistic, most co boys were not white yet look at the movies, hell many didn't even wear "cow boy hats"

I think what sucks is now we are sooo sensitive that it's hard to just put an idea out there without being called racist or sexist.

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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 12, '17, 12:16pm

The only story in comics that I read where the main character was raped was Berserk (well it's a manga). You go through the story of the main character being very antisocial with a distaste for human contact. Which makes him very off putting until you find out his back story in the gold arc and that's due to him finally opening up to someone.

Though sadly the manga seems to be never ending so I can't really recommend it per say... though those first 10 years are a solid read.
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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 12, '17, 12:49pm

Deathtone wrote:The only story in comics that I read where the main character was raped was Berserk (well it's a manga). You go through the story of the main character being very antisocial with a distaste for human contact. Which makes him very off putting until you find out his back story in the gold arc and that's due to him finally opening up to someone.


It really did complete Guts character, because as you already said it explained his distaste and disinterest in others.

Off Topic
Deathtone wrote:Though sadly the manga seems to be never ending so I can't really recommend it per say... though those first 10 years are a solid read.

Are we not like really close in hitting the 30th year mark for the manga at this point?
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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 13, '17, 5:16am

Remember DC's Identity Crisis? I think this was the first time I read a story about sexual assault in comics.

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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 13, '17, 11:59am

Manetti wrote:Remember DC's Identity Crisis? I think this was the first time I read a story about sexual assault in comics.

It was also one of the worse examples of it, actually.
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A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 13, '17, 12:31pm

Justis23 wrote:Hey Best Friends!

WARNING I'm sorry if this is too heavy and triggers some people, that is not my intention. My intention is to have an open and honest dialogue about your opinion of Sexual Assault in comics specifically, but other forms of media as well.

That being said, how do you feel about it? What are examples of it being used appropriately and inappropriately? I ask because I am currently writing my first comic and the protagonist experiences being raped. I don't want to give away much else about the story right now, but her experience and what comes of it play into the world that I've built and it's a major part of her character development. Also, I don't think this is a topic (in my opinion) that is explored in comics (or other forms of media) often enough and it's a major problem in our society.

Again, I apologize if this is too sensitive of a topic for some, but please feel free to share your feelings because it will really help me express this part of the protagonist's story in, hopefully, a respectful and appropriate way. I respect this community's openness and knowledge of comics so I thought that this would be the right place to have this conversation - correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks KFBFs,
- Justis (justis_saladbar in Twitch chat)


I think writing is suppose to be thought provoking. A great example is Paul Dini who from getting traumatized due to a brutal life threatening mugging ended up writing Dark Knight: A True Batman Story.

If there is a purpose for this as a building block of a long term character trait then it might have purpose. Though if it appears as just a troupe I would suggest leaving it out.

Though you are the writer and I encourage you to write, all fiction is better then a world without fiction. It helps us deal and divide what is true and real from was is obviously not and that can't be a bad thing.

Best of luck!!
Write on!!!
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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 14, '17, 5:23am

BetoJR wrote:
Manetti wrote:Remember DC's Identity Crisis? I think this was the first time I read a story about sexual assault in comics.

It was also one of the worse examples of it, actually.


I went back and read it today. It really didn't need to be there and it was just used as an edgy misdirection.

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Re: A Convo About Sexual Assault in Comics

Aug 14, '17, 1:27pm

Sexual assault as a plot device is a very touchy subject. It can be used to great effect, but it needs to be handled respectfully and with a genuine purpose. Sadly, that is rarely the case from what I've seen, in comics in particular.
BetoJR wrote:
Manetti wrote:Remember DC's Identity Crisis? I think this was the first time I read a story about sexual assault in comics.

It was also one of the worse examples of it, actually.

This is one of those examples.

The Killing Joke is one of the more controversial examples. Marvel is no better, with some of the shady stuff in Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne's relationship, for example.
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