Quiet Voice

Cat Caddy | Quiet Voice

This happens to me all the time.

Also, today is my birthday!

Cat Caddy | Birthday

I’m 26, if you’re curious. I always like to know how old people are.

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Phrases I Hate: Feel-good

“Oxytocin, the feel-good chemical.”

“This is an emotional, feel-good movie.”

Feel-good. As in, “Golly, this sure makes me feel good.” There’s something inherently stupid about using a phrase like “feel-good.” It’s simplistic and describes, in childish language, exactly what the chemical/movie/product should be doing: making you feel good, like a lollypop at the doctor’s office.

It feels good! It’s feel-good! Get it?

Yeah, we get it.

It also tries to force a particular emotion on you: when something is labeled “feel-good,” doesn’t that suggest how you ought to regard it? You mean I can’t just go to a movie and make my own decision about how I feel afterward? It’s usually a warning of the type of sappy sentiment I’d rather forgo, which at the very least is effective in helping me avoid your little rainbow movie. In regards to the brain chemicals generated by your film, am I really so dumb that you need to tell me its function as though I were three? “Point to where it hurts!” Come on.

Seriously. It’s just dumb sounding. I feel dumber saying it! I think the real gem here is the fact that “feel-good” isn’t just a trite phrase but an entire genre! How did this stupid little platitude get elevated to describing a whole genre? I don’t want to fault people for seeking out entertainment with an overall positive tone that gives them a more positive outlook at the end of it, but when it’s referred to as “feel-good”? What, is this movie for toddlers?

APE 2010

Cat Caddy | The time I met Evan Dahm and Julia Wertz

Click to enlarge; it’s pretty big!

Phew! I started this one a few months ago and am finally finished, yay! I cannot count the hours I have spent on it.

A little background: This was at the Alternate Press Expo in 2010, a place where many people whose work I admire from the internet happened to be, and it was my first time to a comic convention like this.

Rook is the cat that Evan was (and still is?) living with at the time. When in doubt, talk about cats I guess? Sorry I got cold feet there, Evan!

Julia Wertz from Museum of Mistakes (formerly Fart Party) remains one of my favorite comic creators. I’m happy to have bought one of her books in person!

I really didn’t think I’d be the type to get star-struck, haha. I met so many cool people there that I couldn’t possibly include in this comic, but thanks to everyone whose work has inspired me along the way!

“Only in a Woman’s World”

So I was eating a bag of chips the other day (the “Baked” kind for health-conscious people, right?) when a small corner of the packaging caught my eye. It bragged about the virtues of the particular variety of chips I was eating and offered a website link to what seemed to be a gathering for like-minded folk: Only in a Woman’s World. What the hell do snacking products have to do with women? I thought. What the fuck is this shit?

So I went to the provided link. Embarrassing as it was to be on record searching for such an inane website (since how could such a thing be anything other than what it sounds like: one-dimensional advertising for a presumed one-dimensional target audience?), I checked it out because I had to know for sure. What I got was a redirect to the company’s main page. That seemed curious. I still wanted to know what the hell it was about!

Well, it turns out that it is not one-dimensional advertising at all. It’s an entire multi-media presentation! The second assumption, however, is entirely correct: it assumed the target audience was about as deep and varied as cardboard. To be fair, I only watched one 2-minute Youtube cartoon. That was all I could stand.

But why the hell was it still being advertised on the bag as some group for women to gather and discuss being a woman when the website now no longer existed? I dug a little deeper and pulled up some analysis on the matter, both from those who thought the advertising campaign was as inane as I did and from the company itself.

Women feel guilty about snacking, the Corporate file on the campaign said. We want to make them feel like we understand what it’s like to be a woman, with a woman’s many concerns about health and looking her best, and we want her to know there’s something in the snack aisle for her and her friends to enjoy!

When I saw the title of this project, Only in a Woman’s World, I knew there was no way it would apply to me. I am not at all the target demographic for these advertising campaigns intending to reign in image-conscious women. I like chips, I eat them, whatever. I’m not into purses or trying to fit into little bikinis. So of course the whole thing came off as a big insult to me. God, do they really think women are that narrow, stupid, and easily defined? Fuck you.

But you know what? According to their report, the advertising campaign worked! It seemed to speak to women and led them back to the snack section. Furthermore, they worked alongside a team of women to try to define what would speak to them best. Apparently “Ahmigod I am like, so fat!” and “Cute guys wah wah!!” are what speak to women? Yeah, I don’t want to know.

Now, I feel like I’ve spent most of my internet life bitching about what pop culture and marketers think it means to “be a woman” and even I am starting to lose a little steam in my level of ire over it. I’ve come to accept the fact that I fall outside the defined norm of what it means to be a woman in our society and how stereotypical, borderline sexist marketing isn’t intended to reach me anyway. But every once in a while something comes along to stimulate all those old feelings of supreme annoyance, and this is one of those things.

So what in the fuck, Frito-Lay? Women are air-headed idiots who spend all their time whining about cankles and hair dressers while stuffing their faces with your various snack foods? Women are in the kitchen baking and celebrating over your innovative woman-friendly products with “muffled applause from oven mitts”? Really? And what the fuck is with the link on the packaging sending people over to a now defunct website (that redirects to the main corporate site)? You guys aren’t even running the damn thing anymore!

This is the same limited line of thinking that motivates my area’s local grocery store chain to market exclusively for “mom-friendly” shopping, as if women and mothers in particular are the only ones who shop at grocery stores. Seriously. This isn’t the 1950s anymore, you guys. Let’s think outside the box a little!

Hair Raising Hell, An Excerpt

Cat Caddy | Hair Raising Hell, An Excerpt

*All likenesses in this depiction are fictitious, both to protect the anonymity of those involved and because I have no idea what these people look like!

This is an entirely true story told at Hair Raising Hell, which you should totally go read. It’s about the adventures of being trapped in a number of retail and customer service jobs, and I think everyone can get behind that!

Admittedly, this comic is probably a lot funnier if you also read the post it’s from: The Hunger Lames.

Thanks for letting me bum your story and make a comic out of it! 😀

Introverts

Cat Caddy | Introverts asdsdfhgfh

Inspired in part by TheYoungPlum’s recent post, The Coffee Card System. I really do want to talk to you all, even if I’m hell of awkward about it!

This comic was drawn/conceived of in the following places:

Seattle Coffee Works, Seattle, WA
Cherry Street Coffee House, Seattle, WA
Café Cesura, Bellevue, WA
The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters, Salem, OR
Evo’s Java House, Ashland, OR

All of which I tried on my recent trip through Oregon and Washington, and all of which I’d recommend!