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Author's Comments: yeaka, April 6th, 2009, 5:13 pm

REPLIES: I was going to wait until next week to do this, but since there seems to be a pretty heated discussion starting up I figured I better step in now.

First of all, let’s clear something up: no, the comic never conclusively says that Niku has, is, or will rape Lor. Nor will it. There are a lot of things in Stitches that are purposely left up to interpretation, and the ins and outs of Angel’s detentions are one of them. Yes, they could involve rape, but they could just as easily be far less extreme sexual harassment, or they could be plain, non-sexual violence, or even something entirely different. The reader is free to chose what they think works best for the story and for them. So if the whole rape thing is really, really bothering you, please stop assuming that’s what’s happening.

And second, even assuming the worst, let’s remember here that Niku is acting well within the boundaries of his culture, and up until Niki came and interfered Lor didn’t have a problem with it. It’s not like they were raised in a democratic society where they knew anything otherwise. (Although I'm certainly not condoning it, and neither is the overall comic - that's a large part of Niki's role.)

Thirdly, on a small side note, I'd like to point out that a very, very vast amount of published yaoi manga contains not only rape, but unexplained, graphic rape with no consequences, so to be frank I find Stitches exceedingly tame compared to the usual gay manga standard. (Or just the casual every-day violence all over television, books, and the general media.)

So, just to summarize: what happens behind the scenes is up to you. And it is intended that way. x_x But this comic isn't meant to be all about this issue, anyway, so let's move on, people. X3


SPECIFIC REPLIES:

leafaen – I’m glad you’re interested. :) And I do see the sexual component, but I also think that a lot of it can be attributed to my rather overly-curvaceous art style, and I still do think it could work in a sadistic or simply violent way, if someone strongly preferred to see it in that light... :P

JudeEclipse – Haha, I’m glad at least someone sees it that way. XD

tythecooldude06 – Thank you! ;O; I appreciate the support.

Shadow The Unborn - I agree, I would really rather have not had to do this, but unfortunately people seemed to be getting so swept up in what I felt was misinformation that an intervention seemed necessary...

Ayra – Fair enough. I certainly won’t lie and say Niku doesn’t have ulterior motives, haha. X3 And thank you for your encouragement. :)

FredRock – Thank you for the support. I’m glad some people are able to look past this. :)

GoldenGal42 - Thank you. That's actually exactly how I feel about it. :P

Invader-Ninja - Thanks. ^^ And I happen to like long comments. X3

Mid - Sounds like a pretty fair assessment. :) I wouldn’t expect anyone to come back, but I’m very glad you like Stitches! ^^

Deglorath - It's true, and after all, if stories weren’t allowed to have anything dark in them, be it rape or murder or whatever else, I believe our literature supply would very rapidly diminish. And thank you for the compliments. :)

K i w i - Thanks. :)

Chan Tis Only a Guest - Awesome! Always glad to have a new fan. ^^

Sashiku - Oh, lol. XD I should do a bonus comic of that sometime...

cosmicguen – No, no; I love long comments! :) And I’m glad I’ve prompted you to leave one. I’m also glad that you like Stitches, and have interpreted it the way I meant it. (Spice girls and all, haha. XD) So thank you very much for the kind words! ^^

Missie - Thank you very much. I'm glad you feel that way, and I share the sentiment. :)

Justanotherguest - Thanks. ^^

magicmumu - Too true. :) And thank you.

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User's Comments: Shadow The Unborn, April 6th, 2009, 5:15 pm

Some people just get SOOO swept in...

leafaen, April 6th, 2009, 5:48 pm

I will say that I think the society you've created is fascinating, though I seem to have developed a taste for dystopian societies lately (not sure what that's about). I like that a lot is left up to interpretation, however, to be fair, you have hinted STRONGLY at a sexual component to, at the very least, the interactions between Niku, Jak, Lor, and.... other guy whose name escapes me...

But, it IS a facet of their society. Personally, I find it really interesting.

JudeEclipse, April 6th, 2009, 6:01 pm

I love your story and i wouldn't change a thing!! i also just feel that it is Niku's nature to do the things that he does!!

i will second the 'I cut Niku some slack'

tythecooldude06, April 6th, 2009, 8:39 pm

I also love your story and I don't think anything is wrong with it... I'm just excited to keep reading. I'm into stories and I thought this series, Stitches, is well thought out and I'll continue reading. Quite honestly I think you should ignore those sorta comments... I know it's hard, cuz I've been there, but you just need to continue on. It's your story and I love it! You design it.

Zumbo Prime (Guest), April 6th, 2009, 9:30 pm

I assumed that's what this was about. It's disappointing you needed to explain it, but I think it helped.

Shadow The Unborn, April 7th, 2009, 2:05 am

It feels wrecked that you explained this outside of the comic. The major draw factor was the ambiguity of it all, and now that's gone... :(

Ayra, April 7th, 2009, 7:20 am

Well, it's probably better to give an out-of-story explanation than to lose readers based on something like this... Even though I do agree that Stitches is very tame compared to a lot of other publications (I wouldn't want it any other way personally :))

About cutting Niku some slack, personally I can't. I do understand the whole different cultural aspect of their world, and that what is expected of everyone is not the same as in our world.

The problem is, it's been portrayed quite well (In my interpretation anyway :)) that Niku does those things for his own personal enjoyment, not out of "duty". Also making people angry on purpose, and so on.

Society norms or not... Niku's a bully, plain and simple.

FredRock (Guest), April 7th, 2009, 12:57 pm

Personally, I think there's an influx of complaint's because of the society depicted, and the fact that Lor's OK with it. That kind of reaction isn't normal to the readers, or the idea that it might be socially acceptable for a woman to not really have a say in what happens to her body. I also think your ambiguity adds to it; what exactly is going on in there? (which keeps the reader reading, too, hoping to understand it)

I am a little disturbed by the situation, but I feel you're trying to show the world and culture a little more, and that Lor might start to question things. It's what Nikki is doing to Lor, making her gain a will separate from society.

I support you and your comic, and think that anyone who stops reading simply because of the last few pages can't appreciate the complexity that you have given Stiches, and how rare originality and complexity can be on SJ.

GoldenGal42, April 7th, 2009, 4:44 pm

Wow, I didn't know there would have been such a big debate about this. It never raised a flag in my books. Though I suppose I thought it was something sexual but I still completely support this comic.
I think if more graphic scenes are involved that's when an argument should be raised (if one at all).

Mid (Guest), April 8th, 2009, 3:29 am

Kudos This comic actually is a good depiction of what happens in societie(s); especially when a foreigner comes into country with their own outside views. Sometimes we jump into situations with out fully understanding the scenario. That's where assumptions are made. Assumptions can be pretty bad without the given facts. As far as how this comic is going with Niku, it's almost like we the readers are taking Niki's point of view as an outsider looking in. But that's my opinion. I might add, I like how this comic is stringing people to believe/assume the worst is happening with Niku and Lor. That's what a good book/comic is supposed to do. Sting people along so they wouldn't stop till their "curiosity" and self induced assumptions are answered; favorably or not. Haha I bet you anything that the people who "claim" to stop reading will eventually come back just because of that human naturalistic curiosity. :P

Good comic. I'm an avid reader. :)

Deglorath, April 8th, 2009, 2:56 pm

I have no intention to stop reading, I really enjoy the comic, and it is true that there is a lot of rape in gay manga, which is sad to me, but I've learned that there is enough good content and others free of such things to look past it. It doesn't mean I wouldn't still cut someone doing it in real life from ass-hole to elbow; but they're just characters in a comic, there is a line made between reality to fantasy and we all walk along it fairly often I believe. You draw a wonderful comic and your art is absolutely beautiful.

K i w i, April 8th, 2009, 6:25 pm

Wicked comic (;

Chan Tis Only a Guest (Guest), April 8th, 2009, 11:40 pm

Agh, this is such a great comic. I just started reading it today.
It's so interesting, and I just love the characters. I can't wait for more.

Sashiku, April 9th, 2009, 2:38 am

It's a fun thing to leave it to the readers to imagine what goes on. ^^ I always thought maybe he made her eat candy till she got a stomach ache +.+

cosmicguen (Guest), April 9th, 2009, 8:22 pm

I've been reading for a while and don't usually like to post (on any comic, not just this one), but I wanted to offer some encouragement here.

Honestly, I love Stitches. The artwork is fantastic, the world and society you've built are fascinating, and there's a depth to everything you don't normally see in webcomics...or even some printed comics people pay real money for >.>

Personally, I thought it was fairly obvious you were leaving us to decide what was going on behind the scenes, so I was surprised to see people blowing their tops over it. I think Niku's definitely up to something a bit sinister, but not rape. Lor's probably painting his manky toenails while he sings off-key Spice Girl songs at her (now I've given myself nightmares...Spice Girls <shudder>).

I do think Niku's a bully, but I believe their society allows and possibly even indirectly encourages this behaviour, so while I don't condone it, I do feel I can cut him a bit of slack. Not much though, I should still like to see Nikki bequeath him a boot to the head XD

Anyway, again incredible comic, loving every page :)

(sorry for wall o' text :/ )

Justanotherguest (Guest), April 11th, 2009, 7:06 pm

Wow I must have missed the heated debate!!

honesty its your comic and you shouldnt have to define it! Or change what you want to put in to it because ppl 'cant handle it.' or dont like it.

I love the comic! Great job so far!

magicmumu, April 13th, 2009, 3:33 pm

What I find interesting is that you have created a comic and situation in this culture/society/situation that has lead to a healthy debate with so many different views and feedback on the subject. Something like that is hard to do, but it appears to me that you did it well. It also appears that people are loving the comic and willing to read on despite the fact that there are so many levels to it (or perhaps BECAUSE of that). I think for someone to inspire such feelings and debates among people has done something great. Think on this: Would you rather have people feel strongly on your comic (either in a good or bad way) or feel nothing at all? Keep making this comic for you. Others will follow if it is their thing. If it ain't, they miss out, and it is only them who is to blame.

Erin

Fluffnight (Guest), April 13th, 2009, 9:00 pm

Niku took Lor in for a stern talking!

Chibibarb, January 24th, 2010, 7:37 pm

so sorry I am so sorry. Sorry you had to take the time to explain this. I didn't read other comments, but I'm sure there are others who feel the same. Maybe cause I'm not a teen running around in my little world anymore, but.. really? You got verbal crap about your story? It's beautiful. Yes, that's the correct word. The art, the language, the plot, all lovingly and beautifully told. I never even wondered what happened. It was simply part of a larger whole that was much more intersting. Keep making this, the way you want to.

BadFlamB, January 2nd, 2011, 8:45 pm

Jeez that's true...never really thought about the rape thing until you mentioned it...I'm so obliviously naive sometimes...but either way, this is seriously amazing, and the time and effort you must have put into making this is astounding...seriously this epic...And I don't normally read shoujoai or yuri, mainly because my mother is a homophobe, and because I'm a little shy about, but this is so beautiful and amazing...

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