About and FAQ
Welcome to GTWRAJ's About page. Here you can find out about the comic itself, in terms of its purpose, themes, and intended audience. It will also provide information about myself in relation to the comic, as well as answers to relevant questions from readers.
What's this comic about?
Well, the full description is at the bottom of the News page if you hadn't seen it when going through SmackJeeves, but here's the short version- 15-year-old kid is loser. Finds out his best friend is gay. Hilarity/Drama ensues. Also, there's a Yaoi fangirl who's looking for a real life BL.
Why make this comic?
Well, I created Gay Times With Ryan and Jay as a means to widen reader's perspectives on the issue of gay people, (gay teenagers in particular) and to help them see this complex issue for what it is. I do not attempt to set up favorable arguments on one side of the issue or the other, however; this comic is simply a very possible example of a real life situation, some of whose elements readers may find personally relatable. I only ask readers to finish the story before making of it what they will.
Ok, but what are some of the big ideas you're trying to get across? (Major Themes 'n' Junk)
Hmm. Most of my ideas are conveyed through the person of a single character. Ryan signifies the average person's reluctance, or at least initial discomfort, in accepting a new gay person into their lives. He helps to show that homophobia does not have to be violent or even antagonistic; at its core is simply ignorance of other people's perspectives. Jay, of course, is an example of an actual gay person, who seems to handle it pretty well. And finally, the Fangirl gives an interesting perspective on those who romanticize the idea of gay relationships, while sometimes glossing over the negative aspects. Outside of the main characters, however, there are many other ideas that I hope readers will pick up on.
Fine, fine...By the way, does (gay) sex come up as one of those ideas? (About Sexual Themes and Age Appropriateness)
No, GTWRAJ does not contain explicit adult material, though the characters may or may not talk about it, and the Fangirl does have *censored* fantasies about yaoi from time to time (see Part 1, Page 6). It is of my opinion that the comic is suitable for ages 15 and up. On the other hand, if you are personally offended by (non-sexual) male/female nudity or even the mention of gay relations, chances are this comic wasn't intended for you anyway.
Where dem purty pictures come from? :3 (How I Make These Pages)
All of my work is entirely digital; I create the page art and fancy lettering in Adobe Photoshop CS5 (thank you, student discount <3 ), and standard text and manga-esque effects in Manga Studio Debut 4. EDIT 7-4-2013: Since about halfway through Part 3, I've been drawing and inking in Manga Studio exclusively.
Does the comic have a forseeable end? by Frostwings, on the 50+ Fan Special: Yep, this comic, unlike my other one, Betas (more on that later), is pretty much planned out from beginning to end. Current projections put it at 12 chapters, including the 2 already up, with at least 20 but probably not over 40 pages each chapter. Accordingly, the comic should end in, let's say, 5-9 years at the current weekly update rate, though this rate should improve with my skills in general, equipment, and amount of free time.
Where does GTWRAJ take place? by Alecshar, on Part 3, Page 45, "I insist.": The comic is in fact based in a real place; all of the events take place somewhere in the state of Michigan (mostly because that's what I know lol). You'll find references to this scattered throughout the comic. Regalia St, however, as far as I know, is entirely fictional, as is the specific suburb where Ryan and Jay live.
Do you plot the storyline out ahead of time, or do you develop it as you go along? by Le9, on Part 3, Page 46, "Strong grip.": Actually, the truth is somewhere in between. I have a pretty good outline of what's gonna happen from here on out (see above); however, I don't plan down to the individual page level, so I usually just wing it week-by-week, moving things along at a (hopefully) good pace.
Who inspired the characters Ryan and Jay? Peeps you know? by Le9, on Part 3, Page 68, "...like me.": Actually, Ryan and Jay, as well as the rest of my characters, were formed the usual writer's way: They're composed of parts of my own personality, habits and outlook on life (at different times in my life), with some guesses as to how people in their demographic might represent themselves in our culture. From there, it's mostly me winging it so that they react appropriately to outside challenges. I suppose it's worth mentioning that Jay is very similar to me, excepting for his ability to cook and lack of tact, as well as other, smaller things that I'll mention when they come up in comic. Ryan is, deliberately, almost my opposite, and values very different things than I do*. (This comic would be over by the first chapter if it was me, but oh well...) All in all, he's meant to be a typical teenager, with a few unique quirks and flaws. For me the best method to understand people isn't just by talking, but also by attempting to get in their heads, extrapolating their experiences from your own. I hope this comic will be a good learning experience for both me and you guys in that regard. *We are similar in one VERY important aspect that will come up later.
Are you willing to say when the [Part 3] flashback is set? by Clavier: It is roughly at the end of summer in 2005, a year after the first Nintendo DS was released. That'd make Ryan and Jay (and Kirk and G.C.) about 11 at the time of the first extended flashback. The next one will probably be when they're ~12.
What's the age difference between Ryan and Ally? by Clavier: Ally is about two years younger than Ryan.
More info to come later, or at readers' requests.