Maxy the Agoraphobic Bat

To My Beloved Royalty...

This was drawn several months after the last. The model for our fox is a bit different. Hope it's not too jarring.

So, here's an interesting fact:

My "Maxy The Agoraphobic Bat" strips get the most hits.
And not just a few more. A LOT. Overwhelmingly.
Am I getting the Furry Bump? Are people hungrier for Disneyesque strips about mental illness than I reckoned for?

I'm not sure what's going on with it. Obviously, I'm pleased that people are interested in my work.

Any ideas what makes it a hit?

Other business: I have several more weeks of a class that's very demanding. I may need to reduce to one original strip a week and one 'filler' strip. I only have one more Maxy strip made to fall back on. I MIGHT want to post the pages for a story board I did for my storytelling workshop. But, so you know. It may go to new strip on Mondays and filler on Fridays through April.

OH! And click "Fan Art" above the strip for the super cute new piece!

And that's about it!

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Rainey
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Guest post by "Rainey"
It's a hit because Maxy is so cute! <3

And she does give off that old school Disney vibe. ^^

Submitted February 26, 2015 at 4:02PM



Chergel
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Guest post by "Chergel"
Old School Disney? Oh dear. Any second now Micky Mouse is going to run onscreen and beat the crud out of Maxi and the fox in an attempt to make their screams sync with the tune of "Turkey In The Straw".

Submitted February 26, 2015 at 4:41PM



Nestor Notabilis
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Guest post by "Nestor Notabilis"
I don't know. Personally I prefer Sarah by a long shot and I don't understand why other people wouldn't either. May be Maxy comes up more easily on search engines (I've had mega trouble finding Sarah before using google and ended up bookmarking the pages-). May be people look at the summaries and assume a comic about a trans kid won't interest them.

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 12:55AM




Being Useful
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Guest post by "Being Useful"
If I had to wager, I'd guess the number of agoraphobics outpaces the number of trans* by a wide margin... a ratio of 6:1, if I've got my statistics right.

Additionally, Maxy does get the furry thing, yes, but also the understanding thing.

Few people can understand or identify with gender dysphoria. Pretty much everyone can understand and identify with fear and negative thoughts.

A quick comparison:
Number of people who're going to reblog or share "everyone hates me" strip here on facebook or tumblr includes armies of people with depression and loneliness, as they can understand and relate, or have friends that this reminds them of.

Number of people who're going to reblog or share the latest princess strip, where Sarah finds a new crown? Pretty much no one. It's a girl spotting a tiara. Big deal.

Sarah doesn't have a lot of internal strife going on. She's mainly a victim of awkward circumstances. She doesn't really "change", she's just subjected to external issues, some good, some bad. If you take out the backstory, she's basically an Archie comic. There's no real struggle. No conflict, nobody to root for.

Maxy, on the other hand, is pure internal strife wrapped in a cute, relatable package. In today's episode, chilling at her window is a real struggle. We have conflict, we have a team to root for, and an enemy common to all living people--self doubt.

If you wanted to show children one strip to read, end to end, to help them think better about the world, which would you show them?

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 6:47AM



Tyler
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Guest post by "Tyler"
Hm. Perhaps Sarah has a bit of a "niche audience", which is a shame because every cis person I've shown this comic to adores it. Her story is more universal and accessible than "the story of a young transgender girl" may sound to cis people. While Maxy doesn't have that barrier. She's not canonically trans or cis so more people may be able to see themselves in her. Just a thought. Though that doesn't really account for the view gap? If people are following in hopes of Maxy they should visit on days when it's Sarah just to check, right?

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 7:51AM



Maxicoon
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Guest post by "Maxicoon"
I'd say Maxy has a wider net audience compared to Sarah. She's kind of a blank slate which anyone can project onto.

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 12:40PM



Pinkbatmax
 

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Quote from Being Useful:
Guest post by "Being Useful"
Sarah doesn't have a lot of internal strife going on. She's mainly a victim of awkward circumstances. She doesn't really "change", she's just subjected to external issues, some good, some bad. If you take out the backstory, she's basically an Archie comic. There's no real struggle. No conflict, nobody to root for.?

.

Really?
Because I'm almost always getting told I'm telegraphing the next awful event, to the point where I decided I had to take it easy for a while after Penny sent her to the emergency room so that readers could relax a bit. Perhaps it's been too long since something like that happened, since I put all my cards on the table?

This doesn't jibe at ALL with the email I get, with the dread people feel for what's gonna happen next, for the worry they always have for the character.

I don't see Archie comics about abusive families, hate leading to assault, bullying.... I don't even see rifts between friends lasting more than a few pages.

But I always bring it back to a brighter tone, absolutely. And, Sarah has a strong sense of herself and her own worth.... perhaps even when it would have been eroded by external forces. Whereas Maxy does NOT. So yes, I see the point that Sarah's internal conflict isn't really a focus, especially when compared to the high relief of Maxy's. Sarah's steadfast, Maxy is trying to hold herself together and the smallest dare is a great triumph. For Sarah, daring is part of the fiber that makes her up.

Still, I think people all too frequently confuse "moody" for "deep"..... darkness for profundity.






Submitted February 27, 2015 at 12:57PM



charis maloy
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Guest post by "charis maloy"
I think what Being Useful was implying was that we don't see Sarah living in her head much. This is not really a bad thing, as Sarah has ALWAYS known who she is, and is a really well balanced child. The only real internal issues we saw her deal with was coming to terms with Irma's fluidity. 

Medical professionals used to say that gender dysphoria was a psychological issue, so some folks might expect Sarah to be a bit messed up if they follow that line of thought. I think what is truly wonderful about Sarah is that, while she REALLY wants the world to understand and accept her, she refuses to let the lack of acceptance change who she is. 
Of course as she nears puberty, I imagine there will end up being a lot of internal stuff and a whole lot of convincing the mother for blockers. 

Maxy, on the other hand, is not so well balanced and so there is a lot of internal issues... she spends a lot of time talking to herself. 

In classic storyline conflict, you have shown man vs environment and man vs man with Sarah, while Maxy shows us man vs self... Perhaps Maxy draws a wider audience because more people need to see somebody winning the man vs self conflict.

I am really thrilled that you are enjoying your classes and doing so well. Even if all you do is drop us a stick figure of you in class, to let us know you are still kickin', we'll be rootin' for you! 

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 4:21PM




Being Useful
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Guest post by "Being Useful"
Yeah, basically. I don't mean that "it doesn't get dark" so much as absolutely nobody questions Sarah being Sarah.

The closest we got was her mom, and that was mainly freaking out about "How will the world react?".

Maxy, on the other hand, questions Maxy being Maxy, and openly defies that concept in every strip.

And, like I said, if you skipped like the first 100 episodes(gosh, this is a long comic, btw. You don't think about that usually), she's basically just a normal little girl with a lot of unusual family and friends. If you're only showing a single update to someone, out of context, a lot of stuff doesn't even register as unusual.

Taken as a whole, it's a great story, very meaningful, but for single-update reblogginess, Maxy wins, hands(wings?) down.

Submitted February 27, 2015 at 9:11PM



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