Early on, El Goonish Shive introduced the “Transformation Gun”, which allowed the wielder to turn someone into a guy, girl, furry, whatever. This has often been used for amusing effect in various storylines, to the point that one person described EGS thusly: EGS is easily the most perverted squeaky clean comic on the net.
It is, too. But that doesn’t keep it from getting downright disturbing at times.
Saturday’s comic (EGS normally updates MWF, but was pushed back a day this week because of exams) has a dream/transformation sequence that is downright disturbing, even as it is evocative, where the one openly gay male character is turned into a girl, and given the chance to be with the guy Justin is most attracted to (who is straight and seeing someone). While the transformation sequence itself is superbly drawn, taking seven panels to not only change Justin to Justine, but then his clothes into just bra and panties, and leaving Justine vulnerable and exposed. “Her” reaction is most telling, and true to life. “This isn’t right… this isn’t who I am…”
The cast of EGS is getting ready for a “transformation party” where everyone but Ellen will be turned to the opposite gender. Naturally, not everyone is comfortable with this, but the most vocal critic of this has been Justin. While being a girl would make his life a lot easier, allowing him to date men without censor or criticism… it isn’t who he is. Dan has touched upon this important fact, one that is joked about and some people think is true… but isn’t. Gay men are not “women trapped in men’s bodies,” nor are gay women “men trapped in women’s bodies.” They are something else, something special and different. Not better, nor worse, than anyone else.
Thus the kudos toward Dan and EGS for this message, in the midst of a very artistic and disturbing scene. Of course, it was just a dream. Or… was it just a dream? Something wicked this way comes… and it may be touching every member of the cast and their lives.
In any event, well done, Dan. I look forward to the party ahead.