|Original review author:||webkilla - written around January/February 2020|
|Forum Discussion Thread:||Link|
|Webcomic names:||Rooster Tails|
|Start Date:||January 10, 2010|
|End Date:||Not any time soon, sadly|
|Genre:||Trans auto-biography and illustrated blog|
|Defining Flaw:||This is the horror story about the insanity of a trans-trender|
Webkilla found this comic linked while doing the review for Validation. The sad thing is that a lot of these trans-comics seem to be linking to each other, so he's not going to run out of shitty trans-centric webcomics to review any time soon. Pray for his sanity, of what little there is left.
This is page four: Pure cancer. I get that the comic is supposed to be an illustrated blog, but sweet jesus. Also hilarious sidenote: They list transvestite in their list of strange genders. Methinks someone misunderstood something there. This isn't the only time that cross-dressers and the likes are called trans - oh and are you gender-magical?
Basically this thing is a dumpster fire from the get-go. Brace yourselves.
The art is... just barely ok. From the early comics to the later ones there is a noticable improvement in the quality of the lineart, but one thing continues to bog down the art throughout the comic: Sam can apparently only draw mouths Buckley style. Basically, its all B^U mouthes. Equally, whenever its two or more characters talking together, same-face becomes a big issue - which isn't helped by the B^U mouthes either. If it wasn't for the very hand-drawn nature of the comic I'd suspect copy-pasta.
All in all the art works, and shows improvement over time - but the B^U remains throughout it all.
Considering that this comic is supposedly an auto-biography, then this section also doubles as the writing and plot section! Oh joy.
Meet Sam. Sam is, by his own statements, a "trans boy" in New Zealand, who by his own admission more than once randomly shaved his head when he got bored or stressed. This establishes a pattern of self-destructive behavior. Cries for help and attention one might say (shit that's the whole comic in a nutshell).
But ok, what the fuck are we dealing with here? Officially its auto-biographical illustrated blog basically, so its just his daily/whenever thoughts and whatnot. Also he admits to being too socially awkward and shy to really talk to people about all these things,so why not just make a webcomic instead?
So who is Sam? Well, this review thinks that Sam is a transtrender who got way in over his head and actually took the plunge. This requires a level of analysis and is ultimately only a guess, but it all seems to fit so well. Early in the comic he goes on about what kind of boy to as if being male is some kind of fashion expression, uses terms like transfag and of course also blogging about smashing the patriachy.
It should be noted that many of the comics feature blog posts underneath, because... well... illustrated blog. Unlike comics like leftover soup then it actually sort of fits here - because blog.
Now, back to talking about Sam: Sam gets anxious, and early on in the comic is like any 20-something full of love - but its expressed like a tumblr post. Words like Dykelove, faglove and "hettylove" are thrown around here.
That's another thing, in case its not blindingly obvious: Sam is a social justice warrior, the sort who seems to truly fetishize the act of being gay and lesbian (and as a transman he claim to be both)
But right, lets get some background: He has a few comics that actually summarize his past quite well. Only problem is that these comics tell the story of a bisexual girl who couldn't quite reconsile her own sexuality and somehow ended up become a transman. The word we're looking for here is transtrender to a certain extent.
Now, in the almost ten years the comic has run there hasn't been a single mention of Sam ever having felt gender dysphoria in his younger years. Nothing about seeing a shrink to get diagnosed with it. Similarly, he posted a comic about how he didn't like becoming a male webcartoonist because like a good SJW feminist he doesn't read comics done by men. He also feels oppressed and stressed out by normie society, because in the real world people aren't always nice to each other. And while he wants to feel more manly he still wants to feel sassy and gay. Hell, later on after some seven years of hormones he finally wants his tits removed - you'd think that if he was properly dysphoric he'd have wanted all vestiges of being female removed long before that.
In his own words no less. Comes off very much as the type who desperately wants to blur the lines between what is male and what is female - you know, like any good 20-something gender-activist.
Observation: Compared to previous comics about trans-people, this comic seems to revolve a lot around whether the main character, the author self-insert, is actually trans or not, if not directly, then from a point of "oh if only I was more manly... but not too manly, i still want to be gay"
As if the cartoonist has a strangely idealized vision of how perfect man-being is. This is not something I recall seeing in other trans-centric comics, where the main character usually just focuses on becoming a man/woman. Reminds me a ton of a certain tumblr drawing I once saw, which contrasted "real" trans people and listed their issues - things like dysphoria, depression, suicidal thoughts, issues with medication and hormones, that sort - with how SJW trenders looked at being trans - things like being all dreamy about being a soft boy, a with a fem-peen, and being queer... you know, ignoring all the shitty downsides to the whole thing... because to them its all pretend.
I think that's what making this comic all the more scary to me: its a visual diary of a woman who wants to transition to a man, in order to retain her LGBT cred so she can be gay when dating her boyfriend (who, mind you, is also a mtf trans joker) - because those cute gay boys, amirite?
This is reinforced with comics like this one where Sam expresses awkwardness at being seen in public holding hands with his boyfriend - but then when he sees another LGBT couple he's somehow magically reminded how cool it is again.
This legit comes off as "Oh we're lesbians, no wait you're a dude now? But I don't want to be straight, what'll I do?!"
Similarly, Sam whines a lot more about unemployment than anything else early on in the comic. Dysphoria? No, that term isn't even mentioned in the comic until six years into it, and that's years into his testosterone therapy which could have fucked with his self-image just as much. So much of the early comic revolves around fetishistic portrayals of gay living and the odd checking his white privilegde, that there's not much doubt about the pedestal Sam has put living as a gay man on.
Oh and then there's the strange attempt to explain and justify trans-people by claiming that butch female mice have it easier during hard times. Yes gentlemen, he is straight up saying that butch women (Like, I dunno... a lesbian bulldyke) are actually trans.
It all goes back to painting that picture of him trying to justify to himself and to the world why he chose to become a transman - and boy does that choice look to be based on some shonky business, like how he was a shy and awkward girl in high-school, but now as a transman he's cool and wacky... despite having previously posted a ton of comics about still being anxious and occasionally depressed, to the point that while a female lesbian she got so anxious before going to a party she drank herself black-out drunk instead of going.
Now, behold this mockery of superheroes and dispair: Its binary-challenging queer identity... man/woman
That character shows up three or four times total in the comic - but just the name alone... its transtrender buzzwords all over.
Finally a year or so into the comic our author self-insert starts trying to go on hormones, but... he's too fat and we're told by his boyfriend that BMI is just a thing that insurance companies made up, talking all kinds of bullshit.
This is one of the first times we see something that'll come up a lot more in the comic: The rants from Sam's boyfriend. You see, Sam being the spineless little pussy that he is, its the boyfriend Joey who sets the tone quite often. We'll get back to Joey later, because first we have do the proper SJW thing and shit on capitalism and LGBT people who act too much like normies because that's acting too "hedgemonically gendered". You see, Sam is of the SJW school of thought that to be properly fagbulous you must never act like a normal straight man or woman - you have to act queer! This it the same logic that makes him say that all Muppets are asexual
Now why the normie hate? Well, not all normies are nice - and supposedly a normie kid say something mean in school once, despite what we're shown sounding far too adult for a kid to say, but who are we to question the strawmen we're presented with? We must obviously accept that Sam has always been an oppressed sexual minority.
Equally, Sam often goes off on how he hates people trying put clear labels on sexualities because he wants shit to be queer and vague and whatnot - he also implies that a label prevents limits one's ability change, discover, "shift" or "move" one's sexuality if you initially put a clear label on. If ever there was a clear tumblr-grade red flag that should be waving around, then this would be it. Normal people don't talk this. Normal trans people just want to go from male to female or the other way.
It's this insistence that your sexuality and even gender is whatever you make of it yourself... its so quintessentially transtrender. To hammer this point home, the next page is about Sam meeting Joey for the first time, and its nothing but a deluge of gender-special buzzwords. Seriously, check out this dialogue: "Well I use words like trans AND genderqueer, and fag, and femme, and boi, and girly-boy... I'm kinda masculine, but not really a man, not really a girl or a woman, either" because young Sam seemed kinda confused about her then bisexuality because at the time she claimed to be a lesbian. It's supposedly encountering Joey and another transman that gave Sam the idea.
Normal sane human beings do not speak like this - but having read the comic, then I'm quite willing think that Joey talks like that based on what few pictures there are of her/him. Similarly, in that comic sam says that he likes men "in a gay way" - as if becoming a trans-man ever changed what was likely a bisexual or perhaps even just a straight hetero girl into a "gay transman". I say perhaps straight, because we're only ever told of Sam having dated one girl, which might just have been high school experimentation since the only time we're told of this woman its to hear she got married to a man... which Sam of course reacts to like its a sad moment or some kind of treason.
Now that Joey has sort of been introduced, we get this gem where we learn that Joey identifies as a "genderqueer transmasculine femme-boi" - also uses that delightful phrase "we were both assigned female at birth". We also see the two going to an "intersex workshop" where we get glorious concepts like "medical pathologisation of body diversity" and "valuing a binary leading to discrimination of difference" thrown at us. It's like a tumblr blog in comic form!
Another fun boyfriend-centric comic was about some marriage equality bill: Its political rant time - and boy does boyfriend Joey have something to say: "I feel conflicted about pursuing normative ideals through legislation - this implies that our movements are defined by our legal successes, which reaffirm sexist, racist, colonizing state sanctioned violence against poor people, indigenous people, immigrants, people of color, disabled people and others" - this is only part of the rant, but fuck me does it make my head spin.
Later we get an anti-science rant from joey as well: Big upset. Apparently science is racist, bullshit and colonial. Fucking hilarious.
The pattern we can see here is that it seems that its the boyfriend who is the enabler - a verbose SJW who... from the looks of it, probably talked Sam into becoming trans. I mean, ffs, they don't want to support a bill that legalises gay marriage because... state bad? colonizing? Nobody does colonization anymore... sweet jesus.
I mean, it doesn't sound too difficult to talk a chronically depressed and suicidal person into doing something extreme to try to fix it all?
later there's a follow up to the gay marriage thing: the law passed but of course Sam and Joey aren't happy, because lots of other bullshit. Apparently they want human rights protections on gender identities, IE canadian bullshit. Lack of queer-friendly aged care options? Do retirement homes discriminate against LGBT jokers? Lack of supportive healthcare? Oh you mean they don't just hand out hormones to anyone who asks? But gotta sneak in a bit of communism as well, because "classism" is also listed. But then again, bullshit like that makes sense when the boyfriend can't wait for the revolution. Sounds perfectly sensible, right comrade?
but ok, lets talk about sometihng a lot more fun: Sam' thoughts on feminine penises and how clits are totally dicks if its on a transman. Oh yes, this is illustrated with gruesome gut-churning detail. This is Assigned Male levels of cringe. Incidentally, the comic does link to Assigned Male on its link page as the second webcomic on the list. Can you say "boys with cunts" and "girls with dicks"?
Or how about we just complain a bit about clingy and creepy 'allies' at pride parades? I find it endlessly hilarious that an SJW who so clearly fetishizes and idolizes gay men and that of being trans, can complain about other people who in turn fetishize them. This isn't the first time he complains about this - but it really looks like a pot calling the kettle black.
Back on topic, sort of: At one point Sam posts three comics about how his sexuality and gender is 'complex'. He says they shift, turn and morph... and I think we all know that neither genders or sexualities do that for normal people. But apparently its just all about pushing boundaries and thinking that everything is sexy. I do believe there is a word for that: bisexual - but we've seen earlier that Sam doesn't like that term...
A number of the comics also go on about media representation. Of course sam doesn't like what's availiable and apparently the way normies look/want to look is racist, sexist and hegemonic. Sam really likes to use the term "hegemonic". The hilarious conclusion is of course that Sam doesnt' want to explain himself and just tells you to fuck off, because that'll totally improve his situation, right? Just like complaining that sign language uses hetero concepts as default for sex and couple signs.
Or how about a few stories of his 'fun' with doctors and shrinks. The hilarious thing here is that we see him initially reject the lesbian label, insisting that he's trans. Again complaining about having once been rejected for hormones due to overweight, and other examples of what was likely well-meaning medical professionals who are totes evil assholes for just giving Sam the drugs he wanted when he wanted them. Of course, that kind of whining is sort of to be expected when dealing with someone who straight up claims NOT to have dysphoria but instead to have been born in a trans gender-queer body. Because when doctors demand that he get diagnosed by a shrink its unfair, and when a doctor likens hormone therapy to an act against nature then he compares that to polution, deforestation and nuclear war.
Sounds to me like a hissy-fit from someone upset that they can't just get their fucking testosterone when they bloody ask for it!? And that would sound reasonable if he truly wanted to transision, but then we're told he doesn't want to look too masculine, and its totes annoying that men's bathrooms are so smelly
So who is Sam? Sam sounds like a fun person to be around, who shares modern western values and wants that queer folk integrate into normie society and learn to be strong and comfortable with their self-identity without emotional crutches, who faces his fears and deals with them directly. No wait, that is the exact fucking opposite of what he suggests. And the gay liberation movement? No, because it ignores trans people apparently. Similarly, then trans "rebellions" get "pushed over" by gay ones. He tries to claim that trans people have been fighting for civil rights long before gays did, because gotta be number one in the victim olympics!
So, instead we get him telling stories of his youth that make me think that Sam ultimately was just a lesbian or bisexual girl with social anxiety, who 'blamed it' on gender, instead of finding the true source of the problem... so now he's a transman with social anxiety, needs all of the headpats and likes people who say that being different is "revolutionary, necessary and beautiful" - IE, he wants headpats for being a "freak" (his words), and he admires people who "stand up, yell, shout and cry" (act like children?)
how the fuck is he being revolutionary? Necessary? Lolwut? This is the kind of language I see on tumblr, when SJWs there go on about their neo-gender identity being "valid" and important and whatnot. And like a true SJW, he complain about the census because it asks if you're a man or a woman, because in his twisted words "He's too complex for the census to allow him to exist". It's the same kind of bullshit that explains why he's upset that more people like masculine transmen instead of his brand of chubby schlub, all the while "tumblr bros" just talk gym strats... wait, is he legit upset that tumblr isn't gender-fucked enough?
It's this kind of backwards thinking that explains to us how he can become choice-paralyzed when a conservative group used one of his comics to explain trans stuff. Sam can't make up his mind if he's happy or sad (because they're not saying what he wants to hear) - so should he sue them, should he demand money for having used his stuff, should he correct them? He can't make up his mind... and if you think the next page has a followup with a resolution to that problem... nope, nothing. never heard of again. The whole comic is loaded with stuff like this: Comics that look like they could lead up to an interesting discussion or analysis of a topic just... end. Sam's train of thought switches track as often as his gender identity.
But hey - lets complain about transwomen being put into men's prisons - I mean, its not like there are example of transmen rapists in women's prisons raping the shit out of the women there. Mind you, with absolutely galaxy-brained statements like that then it shouldn't surprise anyone that when Trump got elected Sam's response was to rub lemons on his head - because Sam is a perfectly sane human being, right? Maybe its just part of his strange need to feel oppressed
So Sam is a whiny sort - fair enough - but just how whiny? Brace yourselves.
1) Complaining that the anti-Trump protesters used a pussy hat, when transwomen don't have a pussy
2) Complaining about a strawman trying to put male privilegde on a transwoman because used to be a man.
3) Complaining about transmen who look masculine and feel beautiful, because how dare they not remain feminine and queer. Oh and they might even be white!?!
4) Complains that putting Caitlyn Jenner on magazine covers is exploitation (and Sam wanting that revolution... )
5) Complains about media content about trans people that for no adequately explained reason isn't good enough
What else would you expect from a transman who is horrified at the idea of becoming hetero as Joey has remained a sort-of-woman, while he's now more man than woman. No, lets just mope around about the white supremisist cis hetero capitalist patriarchy. But then again, the world is just so unfair - and Sam wants it change so that trans people stop committing suicide. Never mind that trans people usually do that when they can't handle their dysphoria by their own accord. Changing the world isn't going to fix jack shit on that front - but that's SJW logic for you: its never their fault, its your fault, its the world's fault...
And then... the breakup - we're never explained why they broke up. Where does this leave Sam?
This person needed help. At one point in the past, a bisexual woman probably would have benefited greatly from some help - not sure from where - but still. However, if the comic's illustrations of the author self insert is any indication, then the damage is done and is quite irreversible at this point.
This comic is - as mentioned earlier in the review - like watching The Joker. Sort of. You don't quite realize at first how bad it'll be, how bad it'll end, but it doesn't take long to catch on: This is the story of a bisexual or lesbian girl who, wrapped up in her local LGBT community, falls for the allure of the gender-special individual called Joey... and ends up wanting to be a man. Now, I'm not a mind-reader, I wasn't there, but if what is shown in the comic is anywhere close to the truth, then this person never had gender dysphoria to begin with and thus never was a qualified candidate for hormone therapy. What started like a butch lesbian ends up being a fat, balding sort-of man sad that he has to figure out life now that Joey isn't his partner anymore, leaving him adrift in life, now that his ideological enabler isn't there anymore. Is all that's left of him a whiny little shit who can't do anything on his own?
Not sure if his going from being a women transitioning to being a man, and thus still looking very androgynous and whatnot, to very much looking like a man... a chubby probably not terribly attractive man, led to said breakup, but one certainly gets the impression that the magic was gone at that point in their lives, after having been together for a decade.
And that is really sad. The comic basically takes you along for the ride, seeing him being so excited initially, to being so... meh... at the latest updates to the comics.
This is the kind of comic where you expect to see it 'end' when someone posts a blog update saying that he's committed suicide and left a suicide note half a mile long - because Sam seems to have completely gone off the deep end, having done something to himself that he might not ever have needed.