At this point I should probably point out the swimsuit issues are not canon. Just throwin' it out there.
When I first toyed with adding Bian into the comic, I knew I'd get complaints. She is connected to the cast but just how won't be revealed for... a good while (I'd originally put a time frame here,
but I realized that could screw me later so YOINK!) . I should point
out I did answer a few common concerns about her
at the end of her introduction storyline but the most common response I get to that is, "I don't read anything but
the comic" or "I know you're lying - you're going to wreck Davan and Vanessa I just know it." Although, to be honest, paranoia about Davan and Vanessa's continuing happiness was leading to random
bursts of reader insanity
before Bian entered the strip. Still, I stand by it - the
only clue I'll give is that Bian will not be romantically linked to any character who'd appeared in S*P before she did.
I'll be honest, I can understand the frustration around her. She just sorta popped up out of nowhere with no explanation. That's frustrating. Most people just seem confused but roll with it. A
few people (very few, thankfully) have played the "we're your readers you OWE us an explanation" card (which I counter with the "I don't even owe you a comic so go try that bullshit on someone else"
card. I have a lot
of those cards). But the complaint that shocked me the most - and I want to emphasize this is not
a common complaint but I've received it more than once - is
about Bian's ethnicity. For a couple of readers, the fact she's half black was really upsetting. For another reader, the fact she's half-white was very upsetting. One reader was "concerned" that I
might be giving the comic over to "urban influences." My response to that was, "The comic's always taken place in cities." I knew what he meant and was struggling to say ("No, I mean... y'know,
people." "Yeah, I've been pretty urban myself - since I was about five." "NO.") but it was kind of hilarious watching someone trying so hard not to sound racist and... well, failing
But y'know what's weird? When Kim first appeared
I got a very blunt complaint about her that made no bones about the fact that this reader didn't
want a black character around. But Sanderson? Cab? Nothin'. Hettie? Nope. No one cared. The only other "that character's not white" complaint I got was about Gaspar and that was only
when he showed up in Something*Positive.
A friend once asked me if I ever got any complaints about the comic that weren't insane. My only reply was, "Probably."