Rachel the Great Takes the Bus, Page 6

And this is the first time I ever drew an African American in my comics! I used to get letters asking, “Why are all your characters white?” My answer was that I lived in an all-white rural community, and I was writing what I knew. I felt that just “making a character black” for the sake of being all inclusive would be… I dunno, somehow doing a disservice to African American authors and comickers. I wouldn’t be writing a real African American character; I’d be writing a white character in black face. All their interactions would be pure extrapolation. That’s just not how I want to create.

But when I started making this comic, I finally had a chance to actually draw from experience! There may have only been white people on the mountain I lived on, but I interacted with all kinds of people on the bus! So I could totally make a new character extrapolated from real experiences and real people.

I was surprised how many readers noticed in the letters I got after the comic went live! I wish I could have done more like this. I hope some of those girls went on to make their own web comics.

In the comments on gURL.com, lots of girls posted they’ve seen this exact same peach. I think it’s cool that people can connect over obscure landmarks like that.

Notice how they’re all friends in the last panel. See? No hard feelings against the hawt goth girl. This is one of the happiest endings ever in my comics. Ever!

  • http://littlezotz.com Lauren

    I honestly never even considered that all your characters were “White.” Actually, I think I originally thought Bob was Asian (because the only males I’d seen drawn with huge eyes like that were from Japanese anime and they were all supposed to be, well, Japanese!).

    It must have been so strange to grow up in a town of all white folk. Where I live, white people are a bit of a rarity. To the extent that I was the only white girl in my 11th grade history class. So guess who EVERYONE turned and stared at during nearly every lesson (high school history lessons are basically just a long list of “Here’s the terrible things white people did to other people”). It’s like “I wasn’t even around for that, I swear!” :O

    Anyway, I think it was good of you to not include a “token” African American kid in your stories. You’d end up with a bland insulting character like Chuck from Archie Comics.

  • Senyah

    I’m African American and even I feel that way. The only thing history teachers seem to want to talk about is slavery. Even now when we’re talking about the Industrial Revolution, my teacher had to connect it to slavery somehow. He’s one of my favorite teachers, though, so I forgive him.