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On UnCONventional and Politics
Posted Mar 11, 2011 - 10:29:16

FlagWhen I set my comic UnCONventional in a random town in Wisconsin, I did so because I was from Wisconsin and that's what I knew. When I was choosing a profession for one of my main characters (Phil), I chose to make him a teacher - because I've known quite a few teachers over the years, and figured I could write him realistically. And while sure, Phil's profession has only been mentioned in the "expanded" materials, it's all canon.

What I wasn't expecting when I made these choices though, was for Wisconsin's state politics to go batshit insane.

Now, those of you who know me know that I am very much a Liberal and a proponent of Unions. I don't want this to turn into a debate on the subject - so just understand that I'm merely listing my political views with that statement. More importantly though, the fictional character Phil, as a teacher in Wisconsin getting (to put it mildly) screwed by his state government, would hold these same beliefs.

Herein lies the rub though: As I've stated on multiple occasions, UnCONventional (as a comic) shouldn't get political. I want it to remain at least generally accessible.

This leads me to the question of how to I accurately portray an issue which is surely more important to Phil than the Anime Convention he works for in his spare time.

Thankfully, when the protests started, Phil was off screen. But I knew I had to come back to him, as I wanted to take Phil and Max to The Durango before Phil's character arc dragged him into Fatherhood.

The compromise I've taken is just moving his politics to the "expanded" parts of the storyline. For those unaware, there are a number of "in universe" things on the web for UnCONventional - including the Bork Con website and social network profiles for the main four members of the cast. The social networking profiles (Facebook, Twitter) aren't always the most active things in the world, but it give a place where a character like Phil could voice his frustrations.

So those of you who might ask "why isn't Phil talking about this major issue in the comic," know that he is - just not in the moments we're depicting in the regular strip.

I hope that makes sense.
- Traegorn

Post a Comment
But how do you explain his friends retweeting everything he says and his friends voicing the same opinion?
Because they happen to agree.

My point is that Max not talking about it (regardless of his politics) isn't weird, but Phil not talking about it (as it effects his life deeply) would be.

Trae Dorn
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