One thing I am honestly thinking of doing is to do at least a small part of my duties in both of our official languages

Update, Jan.14th — It’s been brought to my attention that this comic, especially panel 2, reads as aggressive and mean. That wasn’t on purpose! I’m honored to be a part of my friends’ special day, and have no intention of doing any of the things I’ve drawn in the comic. I really don’t have extreme views (beyond what you may think about Christianity) and nothing whatsoever against Americans or their country. Please read on for further commentary.

When I’ve portrayed myself as being an idiot, a jerk, or having extreme or offensive opinions, I’ve always done so with the assumption that people will “just know” that’s not who I try to be. The contrast between what I draw myself doing/saying and who I actually am is partly where the humour of these comics is intended to come from. I guess I’ve always thought people will get that extra context either from reading a lot of my site or knowing me personally, and it never worried me that anyone reading might not be from either camp. In my mind the reach and influence of Interesting Times is still very small.

So, when the complaint was raised about this comic, I didn’t see the issue. Since then I’ve talked it over with some other folks who encouraged me to look at it as someone who has never met me or read a line of my work. And in that sense I can see how things look bad. There’s not a wink, a grin, or a “just kidding” to be found in the actual comic and I can’t expect that readers will tack it on for me.

I don’t want to take the comic down, but I do want to talk about issues as they arise. And I’ll try and be more mindful of all this in the future. Of course, if you have comments on any of this, please share them!

5 thoughts on “International

  1. I didn’t read anything offensive into your comic…but then, I know you….I like humour….and I catch on slow sometimes… it could be, ‘all of the above’!

  2. Forgot to add, I’m pleased that you acknowledged those who may have taken it the wrong way, just to ‘clear the air’. It’s always better to clarify your intent so that you aren’t misunderstood by those who don’t know you or your sense of humour. That’s my ‘sermon in a second’….for what it’s worth!

  3. Not only did you make people laugh, you have explained yourself to all your readers and the untold millions of Japanese who also read your comic. Well done !

  4. If your cartoon character is said to have anti-American views (even if you don’t in real life) is not actually a problem. You are free to do whatever you want.

    So I think your explanation is correct, but it seems completely unnecessary. If someone has a problem with it, that’s their own personal problem.

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