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Comic 145 - 92 - Rising Sun Shyness.

21st Feb 2014, 10:00 AM in Regular Strips
92 - Rising Sun Shyness.
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Author Notes:

MaGnUs 21st Feb 2014, 10:00 AM edit delete
I was originally going to avoid any Asian references in the title of the strip, same as the girl in the strip has no stereotypical Asian things in her clothing or backpack (Hello Kitty, etc). The former because this is a real person we're talking about (even if I don't know her name and probably haven't seen her again), and I wished to avoid anything that could be construed as racist. And the latter because she was a regular Uruguayan girl who happened to be of Japanese descent, and at the time (mid nineties), girls really didn't wear Hello Kitty or anime stuff. Matter of fact, neither did we guys wear anime stuff, you couldn't find anime backpacks or t-shirts here in Uruguay.

In the end, I decided to include an Asian reference in the title, because the Spanish title using said references was too darn good to pass up. In Spanish, I called this strip "Timidez Oriental" ("Oriental Shyness"), which is a wordplay that would be lost on English-speakers if I used it in the English version of the strip. I also realized there was nothing offensive about using the word "Oriental" in Spanish (it's not an outdated, less than PC term in that language, it's as acceptable as saying "Asian").

You see, Uruguay's full country name is "Oriental Republic of Uruguay", but not because we're Asian, or "from the Orient". It's because we get our name from a river called Uruguay, and we're the country that's located on its Eastern shore, to the Orient, of that river. And actually, our official nationality is "Oriental", not "Uruguayan" (though we only use the former in formal speech and writing). I'm guessing a better translation for our country name would be "Republic East of the Uruguay", or if you want to preserve the use of the word "Oriental", "Republic to the Orient of Uruguay".

All this to explain how the English language strip ended up with a less than funny title. I'm not even certain she was of Japanese descent; although I'm fairly certain of it, I just assume she was because of her features and because she got on the bus close to a flower shop that I now know to be owned by a Japanese Uruguayan family. Back in 1994 I was surprised to see a Japanese-looking person around, but I've come to learn that there is a small Japanese community in my country.

And no, I never go the nerve to speak to the girl, and she was gorgeous.

Oh, turns out that while I was worrying myself about using the word "Oriental", in 2008 a local magazine ran a piece of Japanese culture in Uruguay and called it "Yellow Fever". Stay classy, magazine.

Music this week is from Nirvana's 1994 MTV Unplugged In New York, and it's actually David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World". I'm not actually a Nirvana fan (although I like their music), but this song was unavoidable back then:



Shari 10th Jun 2014, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
Love the Bad Wolf reference :D
MaGnUs 11th Jun 2014, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Heh, that was the artists' idea, he'd just discovered DW. :)