Website Realignment: What the Heck are these Transgender Cartoons Doing in my Life?, Part 1

I began cartooning as a consequence of the rage and frustration I felt that existed on the interwebz back in 2006. Half a decade is like a Star Trek light year in the world of the blogz. At that time there seemed to be so much transphobia that I couldn’t generate enough words as an antidote to all manner of people who, I believed at the time, would have preferred my mother abort me rather than I be alive.

My rage gave a lilt to my step. Perhaps I even glowed incandescent with it.

At this point I remember reading Hugh McLeod’s cartoons and forwarding them on to someone else. She wrote back and said, “Ho hum. You could do better because you are funnier.” I was shocked. I hadn’t intended to be a cartoonist.  (In fact I couldn’t and still can’t draw realistically well, at all.) But something about her words and my rage combined to create the concoction that became my very first cartoon. Hardly legible, it spoke to a particular sentiment by those feminists (who-wanted-me-dead-or-so-I-thought) that having a so-called female body in no way detracted from my male privilege. That cartoon lead to another and another and another. Suddenly I drew “transgender cartoons.”

Hypocrisy seemed to provide a groundswell of creative, cartoon output for me. I continued creating cartoons for number of years, then in 2010 I hit a wall. My output sputtered. Today I’ve all but walked away from cartooning as a practice. I wrote here about my fears: That I won’t be able to cartoon again, that I won’t/can’t access the place from which I created these cartoons, some of which, I must say, are quite magnificent. As I write these words I realize that I hit a wall in part because I no longer trusted my own style and voice. I felt that my style wasn’t good enough, that I needed to take art classes because I wasn’t a real cartoonist (whatever that is). [to be continued]

cover for Moxie, Vol. 1 by Jay SennettMy essay collection, Moxie, Vol. 1, will be released January 15, 2018. Preorder your copy today at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Apple Books.