Tuesday, August 26, 2008


One of the most amusing things I see critics saying about various stories is that they are more "realistic". Worse, they say that is a good thing.

I disagree.

What they are referring to is that the comic is grittier than the average, with more sex, drama, and uglier characters. The world isn't all that pleasant, as violence is more common, women are raped, and young men are forced to humiliate themselves to get ahead, and racism and homophobia are part of everyone's make-up. The people aren't centerfolds, tend to ignore basic manners, and generally have some sort of sex or drug vice, usually both. The society isn't much better, as it tears down the heroic, elevates the evil, and tromps on the morally neutral.

It's not a great place to raise kids, and few do; the kids are usually orphans, latch-key, or selling themselves on the street, either as whores, hustlers, or drug-runners. And when they grow up, they usually find themselves in a private hell of dead-end job, loveless marriages, and barely keeping their heads above water. Eventually, they are either forced to become virtually homeless, retired without respect, or killed for no real reason.

I just don't find such a world all that realistic. Don't get me wrong; I don't think that the world is full of rainbows and lollipops; I don't think that good things happens to good people and bad ones are punished. I know that bad things happen randomly, and that even the safest places have their dark places. There is no question that real life has its warts and police records.

However...Even though anyone who has seen my yaoi scripts, or even looked at the Hinami Neon script knows that I can do dark as well as the next, that doesn't mean I don't get bored of it. "Dark and gritty" isn't necessary realistic; not everyone gets laid every Friday night, and there's a limit to even Murphy's Law. I want a world in which even the quarterback fumbles at love, the cheerleader has to cry on the nerd's shoulder without laying the kid, and a group of boys can sing along with disco with none of them being gay.

In short, a world of Norman Rockwell paintings would be boring, but so is a world where no one can succeed without that success being marred. When you write, it's easy to explore the shadows and go away from the light, but every so often you need to explore the place between the two...it can probably be the scariest place for a writer to go.

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