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Swimsuit Issue 2011

The Chorde Family: Beach Etiquette

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Hooray, violent babies! Speaking of which, allow me to go on a ramble.

I find it funny that, of all the changes in the last five years of the comic, the inclusion of two child characters is the one I get the most complaints about. And I don't mean, "Aw, man, I wish there weren't children in the comic." We're talking rage-filled emails of, "What the fuck is wrong with you - get those fucking crotch droppings out of the comic or I'll never read again!" As you can imagine, I'm just heartbroken to lose that sort of reader. Really. I weep at night while cutting myself and listening to emo music at the mere thought.

Part of the problem is many people who are childfree decided obviously I was as well, and so was my comic. Early in the comic's life I would get emails from people who were so thankful that there was a comic and/or cartoonist that shared their childfree values. For a while I corrected them - I wasn't childfree, I'd just chosen not to have kids. This wasn't because of some deep disdain for children (at least, no more disdain than I felt for humanity on the whole) or any strong belief against the idea of procreating. Simply put, I'd chosen not to be a father because I knew I'd be a bad one.

When Rory first appeared in S*P, there was a bit of outrage and some of it skewed to the batshit insane. Oh, that bitch Donna was just trying to trap Davan and ruin his life because that's what "breeder" women do! By the way, this view was shared more often by female readers than male which kinda shocked me. There was also a lot of, "You better not make that kid Davan's or I'll quit the comic!" I'd never intended for Rory to be Davan's son but I will admit this almost made me reconsider.

When PamJee came into the comic, I assumed it wouldn't be as bad. After all, she's adopted. Aubrey and Jason didn't procreate. They just provided a home to a child needing one. How could that be bad? This only proves I have learned absolutely nothing about people because Jesus Christ the hate that sprang up. "I can't believe Aubrey would do that. I respected her once but this is TOO FAR!" Yeah, providing a caring home to someone who needs it, wow. Someone should shoot her in the face if, y'know, she wasn't a fictional comic character.

I do know there are a lot of people who self-identify as childfree who don't really care either way about the kid characters and some who even really like them, so it's probably another case of the vocal minority. But you'd think of all the awful, mean-spirited things and people that have shown up in my comic, someone's breaking point wouldn't be, "Oh shit! A character with soft spots in her skull and about eight growth spurts to go?! FUCK THIS!"

By the way, the people who inspired Aubrey and Jason don't have a child. They're not even married. They've met and hung out but that's as far as it goes. But they both seem pretty happy about their imaginary daughter and the fact that her existence actually upsets people? Well that's just the cherry on the almost-paternal cake.
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