Video games are great. Over the years the medium has flourished into a bountiful crop of entertainment; if you’re looking for a specific story or method of gameplay, it’s sure to be out there somewhere. As the game catalog continues to expand, however, sometimes it gets a little difficult, or appears incredibly daunting, to find that specific something you’re looking for. This is especially true when searching for queer representation through the swathes of games that would just rather not explore this aspect of their audience. Today’s web crush hopes to make this search a little easier on those wanting a little more LGBTQ+ representation in their gaming experience.
With a hellish election season finally wrapped up here in the United States, I can’t help but think back to all of the disgustingly sexist things that have happened. It made me think for the billionth time that we need better sexeducation in this country. Particularly, we need better sex and gender education, and everyone regardless of gender needs to learn about feminism. Well, sadly, we all know that isn’t happening in our current education system, which is why I am so grateful for those people on YouTube who try to educate others. Today Ispecifically want to talk about Carlin Ross and Betty Dodson, two amazing feminists and sex educators whose goal is to help de-stigmatize women’s bodies, help women learn about their bodies, promote a healthy sex-positive attitude, and promote women’s rights.
Warning for explicit discussion of sex and general NSFW-ness after the jump.
Today’s web crush is a little different from our usual ones. We typically talk about awesome things we just happen to stumble across on the internet, but today’s is a little closer to home. Two of our LGG&F writers, Lady Saika and BrothaDom, recently decided to start a podcast togethercalled Character Reveal. Character Reveal is a fun, conversational podcast in which Saika and Dom sit down with creators who work in anything from cosplay to video games to TV series. Over the course of their first six months, they’ve even interviewed other LGG&F writers, like our own Pantydragon and SquidInkSamurai. So for today, I thought I’d turn the tables on them and interview them instead.
This week’s Web Crush is one of those “I can’t believe it took me this long to write about this!” type of deals, since I’ve been reading and rereading and sighing over this webcomic for months now—but let me back up a little and actually introduce it. Today I want to tell you about a sweet little thing called Check, Please!by Ngozi Ukazu. It has cute art, soft bros, young men falling in love and having a healthy relationship, and for those of you who are into that sort of thing—ice hockey.
Though I tend to stay away from actually playing them, I have a soft spot in my heart for horror games. Whereas controlling the games myself makes me too anxious to enjoy the experience, watching at the digital side of various Let’s Players allows me the freedom to appreciate these games at my own pace. During one such viewing, I felt like I was doing more than sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for an inevitable screamer—I became enthralled by the game’s atmosphere. The game was ANATOMY, and by the end of the unsettling romp I knew that I had to look up the game’s creator, Kitty Horrorshow. What I found did not leave me disappointed.
My first introduction to VirusComix.com was via a friend who sent me a one-shot issue of Subnormality. It was a densely packed comic where a space marine is retelling the sci-fi horror he had just experienced to a prostitute at a large commercial chain brothel on Christmas Eve. The story is simultaneously a parable about human resource consumption and territorial expansion and an examination of the little details that make up the human emotional experience through the lens of a brothel conversation. Needless to say, I was hooked.
When I got to the strip that told the story of an atomic cowgirl named Shango and her nuclear physicist mule dealing with gender stereotypes in the Old West… well, whatever’s a step up from hooked, I was that.
The one-shots by creator Winston Rowntree remain fantastic and, as the years go on, they start to become more issues than strips, eventually telling multiple simultaneous narratives happening in the same place to different people. As the individual one-shot comics got longer and more wordy over the years, they started to introduce recurring characters and themes. The current issue is a massive narrative about the lives of several people in a city. We see, for example, the experience of the writer and her friend and the experience of the people moving furniture outside the window or the experience of the band backstage after the concert they’re at. The way the details of these peoples’ lives are presented, often requiring the reader to track multiple independent narratives happening simultaneously in the same place, is an amazing experience. It almost feels fractal in nature; the minute details of how individuals relate to each other forms a sort of meta narrative about humanity itself.
Once upon a time, a friend recced me a webcomic called Namesake. Now, I really like stories that have some kind of “stranger in a strange land” shenanigans, and Namesake, a story about a girl from our world who ends up in the classic literature story The Wizard of Oz, seemed like it would be right up my alley. But I’d already seen enough stories with this same premise—so manyshoujo anime have episodes where the female protag ends up in Alice of Wonderland, for example—that I thought Namesake would almost definitely be boring or clichéd. So it took me an extremely long time to actually start reading this webcomic. Once I did, though, I found out that Namesake has way more of a plot than its premise would imply—and it’s definitely right up my alley.