Everyone wears a mask. What we see of people on the surface is so rarely what’s ticking underneath. And, in Cortland Hunt’s case, what he’s hiding might just be more than Ian Tanner is prepared for.
Breaks is the story of two young adults coming to terms with who they were, who they are and who they’ll become.
It’s a love story…but a little broken.
Emma & Malin
Emma Vieceli is a freelance comicker, with titles including Vampire Academy, Avalon Chronicles, My Little Pony & Young Avengers under her art belt. She co-writes Breaks and provides art. Emma's Twitter
Malin Ryden is a prose writer most known in the field of horror and queer fiction in her native Sweden. Her work is regularly featured in Eskapix magazine. Breaks is her first foray into writing for comics. Malin's Twitter
Did someone say they wanted to see Tommy Chen? Well, flashback time! And modern day Cortland looks a bit shaken by the memory. Here's a thing: the next page is one of my favourites in the entirety of BREAKS so far and will sum up a large part of Cortland's reaction here for you. :)
Buuut, I'm not sure whether it will go up next week or the week after. Next Monday is of course boxing day for some of us...and so it may not be the best time to throw up the page. Also, with my being out of the country, I can't guarantee internet access. If the page doesn't up next monday though, fear not - we'll be back as ever the Monday after!
Damned festive holidays, getting in the way of webcomic uploads :D
But you guys - those of you celebrating - have a wonderful festive season. xxx
Oh dear, my comment will most likely be heavily judged but... I hope I'm wrong but... is that a muslim girl on the first panel? (I assume that's a muslim because of the thing they wear on their head)
If yes, then that's a bit... sad. And uncomfortable. I'd feel the same way if you drew an Indian in the classroom (the one with the feathers on the head); and that's because he wouldn't belong there. He'd belong to his home with his family.
Well, I hope I'm wrong anyway.
As for Tommy Chen... pff... Cort goes from one dork to another. XD
Tommy seems nice :)
Denying your feelings for someone of the same gender? Yeah I used to be a master at that too. I really grew to love this comic and the characters during the last couple of months - and it's so beautifully drawn <3
@Twinss R.: Islam is the second-largest religion in the UK. It wouldn't be at all out of place to have a Muslim student, and she wouldn't even necessarily be foreign. Even if she was, it wouldn't be odd for her to wind up at that school; after all, Rennie's an immigrant, too.
Also, I do think that the headscarf she's wearing looks like a hijab, so she probably is Muslim.
@Twinss R.: I've seen comments like this in other places and I never really understood them so maybe you can help me out. Why do you feel like she would belong at home? Or that drawing someone wearing a hijab is sad or uncomfortable? There are lots of girls at my university who wear a hijab, and some wear a niqab. My mother knows a woman who wears a burka. It's a thing some people wear, and some don't. If there are people out there wearing it why would it be wrong to draw them wearing it?
@MeTheAmazing: I have absolutely no problem with people wearing anything they fancy, to be honest.
What is uncomfortable is the matter of ethnicity. It's different a white woman wearing it because she likes it, and different an Arab woman wearing it, because her religion dictates her to do so.
I believe it'd be unfair to touch the subject of religion in this lovely comic, so I will only talk about ethnicity. It is, naturally wrong, when people leave their homelands and go to other countries. I know there's currently a war in Syria, that is thankfully being taken care of (I mean, it is currently being dealt with) and some women need to immigrate to other countries in order to stay alive (and of course, return to their home when the war is over).
But when people become *too* acceptable to the Arab (and whoever) women coming from another ethnicity, and they are *too* willing to let these women stay *forever* to their countries (obviously, different ethnicities, different cultures, and so on) then problems arise as the Arab women will gradually forget or lose their own identity, and their own homeland, if they keep immigrating to other places.
So yes, this is what makes me uncomfortable. It'd be the same if Indians move to other countries and such, and they (as it happens, naturally) become a part of a strange (to them) culture and society.
An ethnicity can lose its identity, its culture, its beliefs and its own DNA (if race mixing is also put in the picture).
@Twinss R.: Hey hey ^_^ So, quickly to start with replies I want to say how proud I am of you all as a readership to be able to approach what could have been potentially a difficult conversation there with grace, thoughtfulness and civility. You're are exactly the readers we'd want of a comic that is largely about learning, inclusion and understanding. It's always better to ask questions that it is to stamp opinion. Thank you ^_^
So, yep -@Twinss R.: you're spot on that she's a muslim student, yes:) And she's exactly where a girl her age should be; at school ;D
Her faith is a choice she has made, as is her choice to wear the hijab, but it doesn't in any way denote where in the world she should live or feel comfortable, just as accepting Christianity and wearing the cross wouldn't mean you don't belong where you live any more. So don't feel sad for her at all, hon. She's home right where she is. x
She's not the first girl who's chosen to wear the hijab that we've seen during BREAKS either. Take a look back at the very first dance and you'll see a hijab-wearing girl boogying on the dancefloor, and one gossiping on her way out of the loo. ^_^
Cortland and Ian's world is representative of the UK I've grown up in, and a lot of us will have grown up in similar places, I'm sure; a beautiful melting pot of different religions, ethnicities and choices.
Not that it's perfect; far from it. If it was, maybe accepting their feelings for each other wouldn't be so hard for the boys. We all know school can be hard, and you're as likely to be picked on for the size of your nose as the religion you've chosen. At that age, anything can be used as ammo. (I'm italian, I had the nose thing going for me, haha XD) But diversity is and should be a beautiful thing.
Muslim faith can be easily picked out on a comic page if someone chooses to wear the hijab (and from a purely visual stance, I think hijabs are so beautiful *_*), but the pages of BREAKS will also be full of less visually obvious diversity, you can be sure. Jewish, immigrant, Hindu, gay, non gender-binary, asexual..maybe even the odd jedi ;)
Our main cast, like many of us, all have their own reasons for feeling outcast in varying degrees: Milly's family are from Pakistan, Irena's family are Polish, Ian is ginger (I love you, gingers!x), Cortland has emotional issues with anger and violence...these factors, and how they've handled them, have all contributed to the characters they are now. We can probably all find one thing about us that marks us out, but our diversity as humans should be our strength.
Wow - I've rambled - so sorry! But thank you again for being so thoughtful with these matters. *hugs*
@Twinss R.: Ahh - you're touching on some very complicated discussion points here; as you say - this probably isn't the best platform to discuss them. '^_^ But to keep slightly specific to the initial point, I'd say that religion and ethnicity, while sometimes linked, are not dependent on each other, as you say. We can never assume someone's chosen faith because of where they live or come from. We live in a world now where lines do feel blurred and confusing, but ethnicity and faith are best seen as two separate elements of a person. Each one can be multi-faceted! :)
Cultural identity (so ethnicity more than religion) is a really fascinating thing to discuss (in person more than online where context and nuance can be lost). Where you live and where you're from and where your ancestors are from can often be a mixed bag that crosses over. I live on an island that is very much a product of the different cultures that have either chosen to come, or have been forced to come here. Cultures and cultural identity can shift and merge and create new identities. The potential loss of personal identity or a collected cultural identity is a really interesting angle. It's a complex discussion with no correct or wrong answer, only a need for understanding.
I wish I could say let's get into it now, but honestly - there are better places and if I type too much I won't have time to make any more comic pages, haha! :D
@EmmaVieceli: Wooo nice big replies. XD
Thanks for responding, and also thank you for not misunderstanding my point of view. :)
I understand what you mean though, and it is correct that this comic, and this platform is not the best place for this kind of conversation.
But anyway! YAY gay romance! XDD (I repeat that I understand your point of view, but I will not continue the conversation for the reason that this is not the best place to do so :) )
I can not entirely disagree with you bbbbut, I will leave it at that. XD
Again, thank you for not misunderstanding my point of view. :)
I don't blame Cort for having a crush on Tommy, he is kinda cute :3
But I feel bad for poor Cort, the darling sure does look shaken in the last panel. T^T What happened to poor Tommy?? I feel so sad for these characters :,c
@EmmaVieceli: I just wanted to say thank you for gracefully addressing diversity in your comic, and a reader's comment that I, personally, found appalling. But, as you pointed out, that is beside the point, and this isn't the platform for that kind of discussion. Thanks for doing what you do with this beautiful comic of your's.