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Homestar Runner and Achewood are two very different works for very different audiences, but at their cores they're both meditations on defining masculinity in a '00s suburban America. In this essay I will

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(i honestly probably could write an essay on this and how both series' characters use antiquated cultural touchstones they perceive as "masculine" instead of defining it for themselves through radical personal introspection and community building, but, y'know, i got funny books to draw)

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@irisjaycomics Achewood is stuck in this sort of weird perpetual 1950s, while Free Country, USA is more of a 70s/80s malaise. Kindred spirits in their own, odd way.

@BestGirlGrace things Achewood thinks are Properly Masculine:
- literally anything men did between 1885 and 1935
- the first two decades of Playboy Magazine
- Airwolf
- 90s gangsta rap music videos
- alcoholism

things Achewood thinks are not Properly Masculine:
- being gay
- having opinions about the environment
- girl emotions
- Too Many Brands Of Shampoo

@BestGirlGrace achewood is a fantastic comic in many respects. it also has some gaping flaws in many respects. but the HOW and WHY of those flaws are pretty interesting in and of themselves, and endemic of a specific cis male culture-- middle-class, largely white, and online during the Bush years-- that felt unmoored in a chaotic post-millennial age

@irisjaycomics Yeah, it's a fascinating slice of Chris Onstad's brain, and a lovely little time capsule of what it was like to be him for a decade or so.

@BestGirlGrace oh totally! and to be clear, i don't think he was or is a BAD person. just a normal guy, online, making jokey stories about how he saw the world

@irisjaycomics Someone should have sat down with him and had a talk about slurs, but absolutely. He's just doin' his best, making comics about what's going on in his head.

@irisjaycomics everyone in Achewood unironically buys Dude Soap and Man Lube and says stuff like "this was good enough for a German mailman in 1892, so it's good enough for me"

@BestGirlGrace oh TOTALLY. a boxed straight razor shaving kit for christmas, every year, for a decade. the perfect gift

@irisjaycomics If you are a dad or similar, you may also receive cologne or a novelty tie. This is it.

@BestGirlGrace there's a lot you could also dissect about Achewood also being an exploration of white masculinity attempting to construct some disjointed semblance of "identity" and "heritage"

@irisjaycomics I think a lot about "The ladies know a clown packs!" comic, and how Achewood's characters, just like real people, often believe things for no discernible reason and are just trying to get by on what they've been able to put together so far.

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