Sunday, April 8, 2012

TBT Books @ Wizard World

Those who know me know I'm a comic artist and those who know me fairly well know that I like going to conventions, those who know me REALLY well know that the first convention I ever attended was Paradise Comicon in 2007 (otherwise known as Wizard World Toronto now) and I was selling the first comic book I ever published called "Dork Girl" there. So now you know me REALLY well I suppose. Anyways, I thought it'd be fitting to go there and launch the publication of my first set of Tom Boy Tara Books...I know! It's about frickin' time! I've been doing it since 2008 and it's now 2012 but I've finally organized myself and put together a set of 4 books each 60 pages long, including 50 comics each and some extra art towards the back. It was fun, yet tiring to do, and I had no life for a while, as I have a day job that's full time so every weekend I had was spent planting myself in a seat and agonizingly putting together a manga-sized book with my comics using a template and fixing them up to make them print-worthy. Seeing as it's an Indy comic I thought it was fitting to use the site Ka-Blam and have an online store for them on Indy Planet to make the independent comic experience more complete. Finally! I'm going to a Comic BOOK Convention to show off my TBT merch AND I finally have books to show! I know, it's a webcomic first, but now that I have books, people at these conventions can actually see what I'm talking about when I try to tell them about my stuff. Oh GLORIOUS DAY! Finally! But wait...I have not yet received my copies of comics to sell, and the Comicon is only a week away...perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here. Maybe I won't be able to show off my wonderful comics I've been toiling over for months and months only to prepare for this one 2-day show! If that is the case and I AM indeed bookless at the convention, I have a back-up plan. Everyone can still go to my webcomic as usual and if they want to they can purchase the comics on there as they are displayed in my Products section of my site, OR once I receive the comics I plan on putting them in random stores in the Toronto region (details on that to come) which I planned on doing if I had left-over books anyways. Hopefully I get the books on time, as I would love to have them for the con, but if not at least this way I won't be too bummed out. So far though the year of 2012 has been busy but extremely fun! Hope you all come out to see me at Wizard World!

What Is Tom Boy Tara About?

I get asked this question quite frequently and it’s extremely hard for me to explain. My fall-back answer is often, “It’s about a tomboy named Tara…go read it yourself and find out!” or even sometimes, “It’s about the perspective of a tomboy who is now grown up and still remains child-like” which may not be entirely true, it’s just a simple explanation to get people intrigued enough to go check it out. Upon much reflection after creating over 200 comics it is still very hard for me to explain my work. I just do it.

After a lot of thinking about it though I feel it’s possibly even my perception of how our society’s gender roles have become almost a grey area and it’s only the beginning of the confusion we are feeling about who we are as a whole. Even though, I know how to spell the word “tomboy” I split the word up in the title to not only be cute, but to make the word “boy” in tomboy stand out. This part should be obvious as to why and hopefully there be no need to explain myself there.

I’ve even had people approach me and ask why the comic is not just about Tara, meaning, Tobey is just as involved and there have been numerous comics only about Tobey and his problems as well. Agreed, the tomboy part of the title is merely a staple to show gender confusion and how it’s slowly being accepted. Tomboys are not fully accepted by society yet, as there are very few media outlets that glorify them. If anything, the tomboys are the side-kick characters, although more and more these day’s people are beginning to realize that girls are very powerful in mind, body and soul. The worst of it is, every day I see many sensitive men in our world and a lot of them so sensitive that they feel the need to hide their sensitivity because they’re afraid to look or act different than the way a stereotypical man is supposed to be, when in actuality (I feel anyways) those men who have the “balls” to be who they are and openly sensitive are the manliest men of all, and those who lie and cheat and run away from their problems to me aren’t men at all, but merely cowards.

In Western society at least there are still a lot of prejudice and hate, but I’ve noticed a lot more acceptance too of people who are trying to be who they are. I hold those people who are who they are with highest regard and respect. Sometimes being who you are isn’t always going to make you look perfect, you may even look down-right flawed, but you’re real, which in this society (full of make-overs and plastic surgery) is a rarity that needs to be treasured.

Though, it’s not a bad thing to be girly, I know the character Deena is definitely not idolized in a lot of ways, at least not in the beginning of the comic. The main trait of a stereotypical girl is her beauty and her caring-sensitivity, which I have highlighted with Deena’s character. To make her look flawed I gave her a naivety and in some situations an absolute ignorance. She is sweet and will give you chances though for a long time until you really make her mad, which is seldom. She will stand up for what she believes is right and has an almost innocence to her which sort of makes her look like a Saint next to Tara sometimes.

All girls just like all men, are unique in more ways than one, whether it’s in looks, personality, their goals in life, etc. We need to except and recognize that our differences make us amazing beings. Instead of shunning those who are different, we need to embrace it. Our society that seems to be reaching a state of evolution still is archaic in a sense, but it is getting there slowly. There will always be those who will never understand why we want to be who we are, but we need those challenging people in life unfortunately to realize how blessed we are to find another person who understands our individuality.