STH COMMENTARY: ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
Recently on Exiern, I starting pulling the threads together on a story line that my predecessor Drowemos started early in the strip’s development. Tiffany (Typhon-Knee’s) sexuality and preference was frequently hinted at, toyed with, teased, and skirted around. At this point, it’s now clear, and I’m ready to discuss it in more detail.
From the beginning, my interpretation of Tiffany’s actions was of a repressed homosexual in denial. I never liked the idea of Faden’s “curse” changing Tiffany in any fundamentally mental or emotional way. This is labeled as a “cop out” by some. To be honest, I felt the “cop out” was to alter her mind along with her body. To me, that makes the change too neat; too clean. The curse then becomes a clean break from what Tiffany was and what she now is.
The thrust of this “Wild North” storyline is to pressure Tiffany into accepting what changed and what didn’t, forcing her to confront her past so that she can move forward with her life. It doesn’t entirely resolve the issues she has with her identity (in fact, I could argue the disconnect between her and her body is worse than it was), but it’s the first of many steps Tiffany will make in coming to terms with her place between two cultures, two ways of life, and where her life goes from here. The events that led to her exile had haunted her, and the guilt is still building. This is just the beginning of her resolution.
Does that mean there weren’t other valid interpretations? No; of course there was. There’s no doubt many more complex and interesting roads that could have been taken. But to me, her sexuality and/or her gender identity is not the twist in this tale. That she wasn’t “normal” in some fashion was rather obvious. This “reveal” is the context for the real “twist” that’s coming next week. Remember those recollections into the death of Raviner-Behr and the boy’s exile? This reveal is what pushes Tiffany to finally set the record straight on what she saw that fateful day.
The reveal is for the sake of the story; the story is not for the sake of the reveal.
I do apologize if this element of the story disappoints some of you. I apologize if the part of the story that most engaged you was not the primary motivation for the story I am trying to tell. I can only hope that you do find that story to at least dampen that disappointment.
Thank you for listening; and thank you all for reading.
As 2013 rolls to a close I am excited to announce that a new collected Exiern trade is underway! We’ve been trying to get this off the ground for a while, and the expectation is to finally have it ready for purchase in some form come the start of 2014.
As someone who started out a reader of Exiern I’ve been very lucky in how I’ve been able to show my support and love for the story. So I thought it was important to offer an opportunity for others to do so. I would very much like to include in the Exiern collection a “Readers Foreword” – a selection of commentary and thoughts submitted by the other people who have been responsible for Exiern’s continued existence: the readers.
Anyone who wants to submit a paragraph or so for consideration to be included in the Readers Foreword (which could also be selected for use as one of those cover blurbs!) can use the form below. Please remember, concise entries with print-ready grammar and spelling are most likely to be used!
We will accept submissions for as long as we can through December (consider December 15th a soft deadline).