So yesterday was pretty productive, all things considered. I finished a page of Red Hood Rider, and managed to scan both pages plus also the magical girls I talked about way back in November which I created during the power outage. (Which means, as far as blog-readers are concerned, talked about ~1 week ago. Even though the blog was written over a month ago.)
I then spent the rest of the night on ComicFury, where I did some rather important things. For a start...I'm getting Red Hood Rider ready for release. I feel really, REALLY good about my January 2016 estimate, in spite of me making less than one page a day and me still needing to tackle the whole digitization issues I'm sure to run into. Mostly, though, I just caught up on what I had missed while on vacation, which is understandably a lot.
CF might be a smallish forum, relatively speaking, but they still post frequently enough that I'll have a page per two days, meaning three pages of threads to read. I, unfortunately, had to strategically tackle them. There were about two dozen threads that looked like I should at least check them out, but do you know why I stayed up only to 6:15? Because my mom was getting up, FOR THE DAY, and she kicked me off of the computer, with warning, meaning I had enough time to strategically tackle which threads to read, but not enough time to read every thread, sadly.
I wish I could give CF so much more than I do, really. For instance...I have about two dozen tabs for comics that I should have read but haven't. I additionally have about a dozen more in a notepad file of the same type. I simply haven't set aside the time to read them all and comment on them all, even though I should have.
I couldn't do it yesterday because I ran out of time, but I'm thinking of doing it today. It'll take a lot of time, but as far as I'm concerned...reading awesome comics and giving feedback (commenting, posting about them, doing advertising for them, etc.) is time well-spent.
Of course, there's also other things on CF that I want to do. Namely, there was a recent thread about saluting users. See, as far as CF residents go, I'm one of the oldest. Obviously, I'm not THE oldest resident there. But as far as internet years go, registering back in December of 2009 makes me the internet equivalent of a grandma on CF. There's probably less than five active Furians who predate me joindate-wise. Including the admin. What this means is...I have a LOT of people to be thankful towards. A lot a lot. A LOT. Like...there's so many people I need to be thankful towards.
My memory isn't great. I have a bit of the Fog of Ages effect going on when it comes to the internet. Sure, basically every thread is there, sure, every PM is there, sure, a good 75% of the comics are there (okay, probably closer to 60%--a surprisingly large number of Furians when leaving the site, taking a break, deciding to scrap the comic, or whathaveyou, will delete the comic, much to my disappointment), but while this is all true and I could track these things down by going through them...I have the third-highest post count of anyone on ComicFury. The only people higher than me are the admin (who's been around since the beginning of the site, so duh) and one of the moderators, my friend, who when he was young to the forum was a notorious spammer. (So while he joined later than I did, he was active more consistently and persistently.)
Anyway, my point is...with over 8,000 posts to sort through...and a very large number of pages of PMs to sort through...and a list of over 900 comics I'm subscribed to...yeah. There's a lot I have to be thankful for. CF is one of the kindest, nicest places I've ever been on. It has the feeling of family, like no other.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not the only place I feel attachment to. For instance...the place I play mafia on, I actually have disclosed more of my vulnerabilities than I have on CF. It's two different sides of me. CF has my more motherly, fond, friendly, wise, ever-loving self who remembers many acts of kindness and tries to encourage them in the younger generation. My mafia-self is the young little girl in the corner, huddled up, scared and afraid, vulnerable and very much human, with her emotions, be it rage or sadness or laughter or whathaveyou. So the place I play mafia on is very important to me. When I was away from CF, I was on the place I play mafia on twice as much for that reason, because I needed their support. But while that community is certainly CLOSE, and while it's certainly friendly...
...Well...it's just not quite the same type of bond that I feel on ComicFury. Because CF actually really, really does feel like FAMILY to me. All the ups and downs of families, in fact: occasional drama makes for some particularly nasty fights where some family members, sadly, decide to distance themselves, but for the MOST part...it's a loving, supporting community, where people welcome you with open arms, offering friendly tips, helpful advice, wanting to assist you in any way they can, encouraging you, basically, being everything family SHOULD be, to the point where I'm dead serious, CF is more a family to me than my actual family is.
Again, my family's not as bad as it could be, all things considered, but having the most bigoted father possible (I talked most extensively about this early in my blog--go check out the October/November 2014 archives for more about it) and his toxicity towards basically everything outside his own beliefs seep into other family members means that were I ever to reveal to them the truth (still closeted here), they would most likely disown me and cut me off from the love and support they have previously offered me. So while they currently have that love and support for me, it means nothing if it's based off of a lie.
Whereas with ComicFury...they were the first ones I told the truth. In fact, they were the ones who helped me figure out I was a transwoman. It started back in Fall of 2013, when a thread was made about the subject. At first, I read it from the perspective of someone who had no reason to think anything--I was born male, and most of the transwomen that were coming out in that thread (and later, threads) were saying they knew from an early age, so it didn't immediately set off flags. But then...it got me thinking. Slowly but surely, I began to examine my life, because of those threads, and suspect. So I posted about how I was feeling, awkwardly, because I felt guilty. I felt like I didn't fit in. I didn't want to feel silly. I didn't want to offend anyone. I was terrified it was just me questioning things, that I'd have to take it all back and say, "Actually, I'm definitely a guy."
But instead of rejecting me...instead of them laughing...instead of them doubting me...they ACCEPTED me. They helped me. They offered their support and advice. And that guided me. When I first began to read Rain, I slowly began to become more firm in my doubts about who I was, at first thinking I might be genderfluid/genderqueer like Ky(lie), but after the accident in January of 2014, that changed. I was immediately, IMMEDIATELY supported by my CF friends, and in a group that I had been invited to, I continued having talks with transwomen of CF. Then, eventually, I put the pieces together, and it was them I talked to first. They welcomed me when I realized I was a girl, fully and completely. It was with their support that I was able to, eventually, come out and say it publicly. (Interestingly, my coming out post was, for the longest time, the post I had with the most likes. Until my post returning from over a year absent blew that out of the water. Until I posted a picture of me which has blown THAT out of the water. Because said picture has nearly 30 likes last time I checked. I didn't even KNOW a post could get that many likes!)
And after that warm reception, after CF accepted me, I was able to come to the place where I play mafia a day or two later or so, and work up the courage to do the same there. (There, there wasn't a thread for trans individuals at the time. We HAD trans individuals on the site, in particular, one very prominent transwoman, but we didn't have a thread about them. So, unlike on CF, I didn't have a thread I could come out on. I had to start a new thread, and I was absolutely TERRIFIED. Unlike CF, where there's that familial bond, the place where I play mafia does suffer from trolls...and people reacting negatively to things they think are trolling as a result, even if they aren't. And I was going in, mortified, because I was about to share this really, really important thing...which people could have laughed or joked about. Fortunately, my sincerity was evident and they knew I wasn't joking, so they accepted me.)
Interestingly enough, it was my coming out on there that SPARKED the creation of a thread for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. And the number of trans people has simply poured in since then, of all shapes and kinds. Heck, most of them are new enough that they probably don't even know that back when I came out, I didn't have a nice, convenient, safe, thread for it.
But I digress. My point is, basically, that CF was the first place to accept me for who I truly am. They see the me that I aspire to be. On the site I play mafia on, there are plenty of people who roll their eyes at me. They make a lot of comments which, while they serve to keep my ego in check (and, yes, I do need that because my bipolar disorder means I suffer from delusions of grandeur as much as I would rather not), very often sting. I'll make my feelings known, about when I'm hurting, and that invites people making some justified comments about me being a big baby. So I get hurt, I get bashed, there's very much a lot of people who hold no respect for me, and while I don't hide my distaste for it, I accept it because part of me feels like I don't deserve that respect anyway, that I often fail miserably to uphold even simple basics that should be expected of me, that I'm a constant let-down.
...Getting a bit distracted again, but to sum it up: on that mafia site, there are PLENTY of people I am friends with. People outside the group of friends call it a cult of personality surrounding me. These people get a good glimpse at me, and accept it, like on CF, and I stay mainly because of people like that, who are there to give hugs and <3s whenever they're needed.
But while those people are plentiful, equally as plentiful are the people on the opposite end of the spectrum, who absolutely abhor everything that I am on there. (And it's people like them that inspire me to use alts. Interestingly enough, the people I consider friends can quickly figure out my alts because they KNOW me. The people who don't care for me, though, don't figure it out because they hold an impression of me off of my name, and my alternate account where I don't hold the name but am still me doesn't draw their ire. Most of the time, anyway.)
This is not really a bad thing...but it's something that I wish I didn't need to have in my life.
...Yet...on CF? There isn't any kind of person like that. While there are plenty of people who don't know/interact with me, every mention of my name is basically positive. There aren't trolls on ComicFury. There aren't haters. There aren't people who attack you. Those people exist on the mafia site, in various different forms, and even people I consider friends on there are not immune to attacking things they think are trolls but which I have good reason to believe are serious, making me want to go up to them and be, "What the hell?!?", but for which I lack the courage so I let slip.
On ComicFury, that attitude is, entirely, absent. (Except in the rare occasional drama fight.) All the love and support is there, but none of the hatred. So that's why I'm so thankful to them.
I have an endless list of people I should be thankful to on the mafia site, too, because in spite of the negatives, there's FAR more positives that VASTLY outweigh the bad. But while toxicity is an inherent element on that site (it, fortunately, seems to mostly be fairly low, but it's always present), CF is a family that holds virtually none by comparison.
Maybe that's because it's much smaller. I don't know. But it's there. That love. That support. That openness, without any hidden doubt. The people might snark, but they do so with love and kindness. There may be arguments, often over miscommunications, and because they're artists (who tend to be emotionally sensitive), these can get blown out of proportion. But mostly, people try to respect beliefs they disagree on, hold intelligent discussion, and raise good points. (It's a shame that, often, people who actually hold similar beliefs can sometimes see themselves as enemies, though, because of bad wording causing misunderstandings to arise. Such is the problem with language, though. It's imperfect.)
...Wow, that's a long ramble. I was coming in here not intending to even TALK about this stuff. I wanted to talk about what I did, didn't do, and what I have on my mind, which I haven't. I suppose I'll make a second blog post today with that stuff, though, because...well, this blog post seems like it's important enough to stand alone. My creative stuff feels like it'd just be tainting it.