Saturday, October 3, 2015

Follow the Leader

A story with three variations

Before I start into this, let me say that this is NOT a three panel cap.  Instead this is three variations on the same theme.  I'll go deeper into what I mean after the caps.

So I started my day with a trip into Facebook.  I've been avoiding Facebook since the Oregon massacre as these mass shootings always brings out the very worst in both sides of the Gun/Gun-Control debates.  But I wanted to check in with some friends so I stopped by.  I was very surprised to see an image posted by a friend of mine:

Now if I had posted this I would be labeled a sexist pig. But the friend that posted it is a female married friend.  And so far as I can tell it wasn't posted to be ironic.  What really got me wasn't the numbered rules... change the gender in those rules and they work fine both ways.  The problem I had was the title:

MAN LEADS... woman follows.  Everyone Wins.  

I swear, I had to take a moment and make sure I wasn't logged in as 'Caitlyn'.  Not that Caitlyn is on facebook, but maybe this was some kind of joke, or I was really logged into DX.  I actually find the thought behind this to be sexist.  Once I realized it was a real post, from a real friend, on the real Facebook, I backed away slowly and got into Caitlyn mode.  This most definitely was cap material.

I went through some images at fuskator and came upon the image used in these caps.  My first impression was how the woman looked like she was reluctantly submitting to her man.  He as in his full strength as a clothed man manipulating a woman, she was in full weakness as a semi nude woman having a man just pawn at her.  In other words, it was perfect.

I then opened up MS Word and got to writing.  It took me a bit but I eventually wrote the 'male' version of the cap.  The one that ends 'Wherever my man leads...'  But I didn't like how the story felt.  Maybe it was just because I found it in my real life... that a woman I know seems to want to follow the dictates in this.

So I decided a small re-write might be in order.  One that struck a more balanced loving tone.  One where she wasn't beholden to this or any man, but instead where they were beholden to each other.

That's where the last panel came in.  At this point I was fairly satisfied... but it got me to thinking about what a more significant change would look like.  One where she completely flipped the script and had him subservient to her.

Those changes resulted in the second panel.

Now at this point, I had three instances of MS Word open along with Photoshop with the raw image.  I figured I would be choosing which story I liked better but as they were all roughly the same size I could go ahead and work on the design now.  Like all of my recent caps, this isn't breaking any new design ground.  About the only thing that's any different is the curved edges on the text box.  And that's there simply because I found the tool in Photoshop to automatically add that to a path.  It was probably there before, but I never noticed it.

Anywho, one of the reasons the image called out to me was it's balance.  Yes, the chess set was a nice tool to use but I had every intent of laying it out in this basic way.  So I put the text in, but the curved cornered text box in, and added the title.  As normal I was working with black and white only.  I had the text black, the text box white, and the title using black and white.  I noticed that the title was a bit... off.  It needed something more.  I decided that the gender icon might work, but I'd have to choose which story to work with.  And that's where it hit me... why not have all of the versions?  I could use some subtle design tweaks to help separate them, but they could all be made into caps.

That way if you (the reader) wanted to have that nice subby feeling, you could read and enjoy the masculine version.  If you wanted to have that nice lovey feeling, you could read and enjoy the compromise version.  And if you wanted that nice dom feeling, you could read and enjoy the feminine version.

I liked the mixed version myself.  The lovey one.  So I went with color for that one to make it stand out a bit more.  As the other two seemed like flip sides of the same coin, I went with the black and white format.

I got them laid out and saved them up for the web and then... got stuck away from the computer. So as I'm writing this up it's several hours after finishing the caps.  Right now I'm half tempted to just make the color version available and leave it at that.  I think it works best.  BUT.. I did go through the effort to make all three and honestly I can only say what works best for me.  If one person likes one of the black and white versions better, than its worth putting them all out there.

So... I hope you enjoy one of the caps!

1 comment:

  1. Love the 3 takes on this. a nice thought fluffer.