Is it possible to succeed in executing an overdone trope from modern cartoons?

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by sodaddict, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. sodaddict

    sodaddict GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 18, 2016
    I am currently writing ideas and plot lines for a non-profit local web cartoon with some friends of mine. I have already fully written a couple of characters for said cartoon, some of these characters i have written are deemed homosexuals, i have written these traits for said characters for a long time now. However after taking a look at modern cartoons such as the Legend of Korra, Steven Universe, SVTFOE, and just recently the Loud House, it seems that all of these modern kids cartoons have already tackled on the subject of "subtle homosexuality".
    While this cartoon i am contributing to is by no means a children's show, it worries me that we may receive negative feedback for taking on what is now an overredundant trope in cartoons nowadays, and i do not wish for the cartoon series to be a flop for just a simple character trait.
    I was wondering how may i succeed in executing such an overdone trope without receiving any form of backlash for indulging in LGBT awareness? I apologize if this question of mine sounds dumb.
  2. CeeDee

    CeeDee Super Fox

    GBAtemp Patron
    CeeDee is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    May 4, 2014
    United States
    Your cartoon wouldn't flop because it has gay characters in it.
    Bubsy Bobcat and Veho like this.
  3. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    I'm not sure what to give a bunch of examples of (I assume successful) comic books using subtle homosexuality, but you fear it may drag down your own comic book for the very same reason? Sorry, but I simply don't see why that would be.

    Web cartoons aren't my expertise, but I would think that what matters more is how convincingly you put your characters down. Their temper, how they react to one another, what they say, how they say it (both verbally and by body language)...the sum of all that is what I would think adds to the quality of your comic. You don't have a bunch of subtle gays standing there against a white have (or should have) a wide variety of characters in a bunch of different situations. It's all that as a whole that makes the comic...not the individual parts.

    (and I'm sorry if this whole post sounds way too esoteric...this thread feels like asking if it's okay to use a couple notes or chords in a song because "there are already so many songs using these").
  4. BlastedGuy9905

    BlastedGuy9905 Ace Bricker

    Apr 13, 2017
    United States
    Outside your windows ᕙ(◔ᗜ◔)ᕗ
    Put lenny faces over the g4y characters. You succeed at life, and swim in the 10/10 reviews.
    Felek666 likes this.
  5. Saiyan Lusitano

    Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 29, 2015
    The problem with characters (whether cartoon or in a real TV show) isn't that they're gay but how they're developed for the series in general, if they're pushed hard with an agenda in mind there could be backlash though if it's done subtle with professionalism then it'll be perfectly okay. US TV shows have included gay characters to show they're progressive but whenever they do it, it's usually in a forced way rather than natural to show that there's an affection for each other over "look, these are two gay characters, deal with it, homophobe." sort of thing.

    For an example of what I'm referring to above, on NBC's show Hannibal (Season 3) they showed two females having sex without any backstory to it so it was kind of 'eh?' moment, but throughout the entire series I always felt there was a very close relation between Hannibal and Will though it never progressed to anything. Well, the closest to it was how they ended on the series finale, now, that had a Romeo & Juliet-feel for sure! :)

    Shameless is by far the best TV show which has shown how gay characters (Ian + Mickey) can work without any backlash at all. I f'ing love Ian and Mickey but won't say much more so I won't spoil the show for anyone, possibly. However, the trans character on Shameless is pretty pathetic 'cause that dude is as bland as a tree, he has no charisma, personality, oneself identity or a proper way to interact with Ian. Trevor focuses mostly on the whole LGBTQ+ movement and keeps on bringing it up than being himself.


    If you want an actual interesting, fun, adorable, personality, and with so many other qualities then that's Alba from the Spanish series 'La Que Se Avecina'.


    Anyway, making a character gay just for the sake of it doesn't work unless you give him/her a soul than just being a brainless robot.
  6. Meteor7

    Meteor7 Guess where this thumb goes.

    pip Contributor
    Jun 9, 2014
    United States
    New Jersey
    I think the only reason a subject like that could be dangerous is if you make it seem like the homosexual part of this character was written for no other reason than to make him quirky or unique. It will feel token and hollow.

    The other, bigger issue, is that homosexuality is still looked upon with hate and disgust by many groups of thought in the US alone, with it being outright illegal in other countries. You should be careful to not make it seem as if you're trying to make a statement on homosexuality or homosexual people by propagating negative stereotypes, or writing so that your tone could be misconstrued as hateful or critical of homosexuality specifically. Avoid things like making gay male characters overly flamboyant, cowardly, or promiscuous, or making gay females muscly or psychologically hardened, just as some examples off the top of my head, as it will make it seem as if you're agreeing with or validating blanket stereotypes.

    Also be familiar with the topics used in anti-gay hate speech, and avoid any writing that could be misconstrued as validating those criticisms. For another example, if you had your gay character come under scrutiny by a Catholic fellow claiming he is sinning for being homosexual, and your supporting cast generally agrees with or stays silent for the exchange, and the situation ends there and you move on, that's something that could come under fire by critics. It could be misconstrued as an author proxy trying to push an agenda, and that's generally what upsets people. In short, just be respectful of the subject matter.
    Saiyan Lusitano likes this.
  7. Bubsy Bobcat

    Bubsy Bobcat sipp

    Jul 8, 2015
    As long as it isn't Assigned Male, you'll be fine.
  8. Saiyan Lusitano

    Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 29, 2015
    Exactly. The stereotypical gay guy might fit some but not all and for me, this is where Shameless nailed in making gay characters without pandering to the stereotypes that exist.
  9. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Having some of the characters gay is no more of a "trope" than having some of the characters have brown hair.
    (Granted, having some of the characters gay and then not making a big deal out of it, in a mainstream cartoon is new.)
    If this is not their sole defining trait, and the character serves a purpose other than being "the gay guy/girl", then there is no reason not to have the character be gay.
    You will, however, be accused of having too many, or too few gay characters, and of tokenism, but that's just the way the fan wank goes, damned if you do, damned if you don't. Anyone complaining of any of those is a vocal but tiny minority and won't be your target audience either way. The majority won't give a crap and like people said your cartoon won't be a flop (or success, for that matter) only because a character is gay.

    And now here are some entirely unrelated images, but I had them at hand so here you go:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Saiyan Lusitano likes this.
  10. HaloEliteLegend

    HaloEliteLegend ~Apprentice Game Designer~

    Oct 17, 2015
    United States
    Seattle, WA
    Who cares if a character's gay? It's just a background detail. Focus on making a great character.
    Saiyan Lusitano likes this.