Sunday, April 8, 2012

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.

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