On one hand it would only appear in like 5 panels and could be taken out with zero consequence to the story, but on the other I want to challenge the "norm" of webcomics and break free of this certain stigma around it. I am still hesitant though...precisely because of this stigma.
This voices my own thoughts on the subject, regarding my own webcomic. I also had a semi-controversial (controversial to a total of 3-4 people, basically
) "sex scene" which I added in while I was drawing the originally bland script.
My original motivation was "I want to do something more fun/fresh/innovative.
" Ofc, it then has to pass my "Does this help the story?
" self-reflective litmus test. After I ruminated on the thumbnails, I concluded that it does, and then cheerfully went ahead to draw it.
It may be only a couple of ppl who saw the "controversy" in it, but boy were they passionate in their opinion. OMG, mlai denigrates women. OMG, mlai just destroyed his own characters/story/comic. You'd think if it was that severe, that everybody would agree I am stupid and those pages are trash. No, other readers of either gender are fine with the scene and can vocalize on how/why the scene contributed to the chapter/story/characters, sometimes better than I can.
And yet, in my other comic, a large man beats a defenseless girl very graphically, for I think 2-3 pages straight, until her nose is broken, her teeth are falling out, both her eyes are swollen shut, and she's basically unconscious and dying. Her skull is probably fractured. Literally. I **** you not. But there's no nudity.
Guess what, zero complaints.
If it's a rape-like situation, OMG you just denigrated the woman. Why? She's the victim. Are you blaming the victim? Why would you lose your respect for the woman if she was the victim?
OMG you've shown the male character, the perpetrator, is cowardly scum. Hmm, so you couldn't figure that out 20 pages back when he's literally kissing the villain's boots (voluntarily) asking the villain to forgive him?
It's definitely an irrational, ingrained stigma. A reader with the stigma loses focus, and starts interpreting your story in an entirely different way. This cannot be stopped no matter how good you are, because a novel/comic is the interaction between the author and the reader, and what comes out of that synthesis is the actual story. You, the author, cannot dictate how the reader's mind will interpret what you have given him.