Something (Semi) Special
Updated: Dec 28, 2018
Imagine if someone wanted to write an autobiography about you, but the only reference they had was a half of a wikipedia page and a few 'heard-it-down-the-grapevine' rumors, one could imagine that the autobiography wouldn't be a good representation of you even if they wanted to write something well rounded. To me, that's what seemed to happen popular media for a long time, to me, it felt like a lot of ethnic characters were being written to fit this typecast based on that half filled out wikipedia page and few rumors and for a long time I shrugged and thought nothing of it. I drew the characters that were already being drawn with loose wavy hair and big blue eyes, because that's what was taught to me, and while those characters were beautiful in their own right, they weren't the people I saw when I looked up from my sketch books. One day I decided it was time for that to change and I started writing a little series called (SEMI) Super
The people I saw when I looked at the world were all different cultures, could speak different languages, ate different foods, but we all still laughed at the same dumb memes and played the same video games. I realized that not everyone has had that same experience growing up, but all the same I wanted to create a world where that experience was common where the characters could all look different, have different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but the overall story focused on the things that brought them together. At the end of the day, I didn't want a story filled with characters were they had the potential to be deep, but the only thing played up on them was their accent, or their food being 'weird' or anything like that, I wanted characters where their culture was a part of them not their sole defining feature.
Now of course some might wonder why that even matters if the story was good, and for sure a good story is important, I do my best to write an engaging story, but I've also known the kid who got picked on for not trying to fit into the same box a lot of people around told them that they had to fit into just because they looked a certain way. Imagine what it's like to be told you can only be one or two things because you look a certain way, and then you see someone who looks like you being something more than that, breaking the mold and taking those pieces to make something totally different. Don't get me wrong, it's never been my goal to write role models, my characters are often messy, imperfect, make mistakes, do bad things with good intentions, but that's all part of the deep complexity of being human that get's left out when you're trying to stuff a personality into a cookie cutter based on something superficial.
At the end of the day, I just wanted a very human story, with very human characters (that aren't necessarily human but that's a story for another day), that people could relate to. It's a great time now to be a creator, to have the opportunity to tell your story to whoever will listen, to give the world another thing to connect us all. We truly are usually more alike than we take the time to see at times; we all have wants, dreams, we all laugh, and cry we just have to take the time to see it. (Semi) Super is the manifestation of my desire for people to see the things that connect them while still loving their individuality and I can't wait to see more creators embracing that idea.
If you liked the article, please feel free to check out the comic, on Line Webtoon!