Being fat or plus size is not typically celebrated within animations. In most cases, larger bodies are made the butt of a joke or presented in a comical way. So what y’all saying is that fat people are jokes?
Got it. But that has started to change thanks to Kasuto Productions’ creator, Maxi! She has created a comic series about a Chubby Bunny who takes no mess and has a very loving boyfriend! GET INTO IT. Read more and see a few pieces of her work below!
Define plus size
Plus size is just “extra curves” and is the average size of everyone out there. We’re people, just like everyone else, except, we just have extra curves….extra spunk…More to love I say.
Share your narrative/perspective as a plus size person and the work you are doing with your comics.
Well, for starters, I am a plus size woman; I’ve always been a big girl ever since I was little. I was bullied because of it by strangers, peers and even my own family. Being told your whole life that no one will love me because I’m big or that I can never dress pretty because I’m big messed me up pretty bad. I would dress like a boy and act like one because I felt (and was even told) that I was too ugly to be a girl. However, comics and art were my only getaway and made me forget about the horrible reality I was living in. I loved them so much, I would draw mini comics during class…I drew a mini comic about Juliet, the 14 year old feminist who was getting chased by Romeo only because she was beautiful (and rich) but she would always turn him down and call him a pervert. Another was about how Odysseus had no sense of direction so as a result, he got lost. I had fun making them and was encouraged by my 9th grade English teacher to pursue a career in comics.
It was after college where I decided to create Chronicles of a ChubbyBunny but at the time, I was already working on another webcomic called Kids Need Help (Among Other Things). The very first unofficial episode of ChubbyBunny was part of Kids Need Help after I was inspired by the artist Paige Halsey Warren’s Busty Girl Comics (I have almost every single episode saved in my computer so I can read during my down time and yes I’ve met her…I cried haha). However, I hadn’t considered a plus size comic because I was a bit hesitant since Kids Need Help wasn’t very popular. This was 2016, Rogue One had just come out and I drew myself with my bat (that I named Kindness) with Bob the Movie Spoiler with his head bashed in with a small message. One of my friends shared it on Facebook to warn other movie spoilers when one of her friends saw this and said, “Excuse me but why does this cartoon have my body” and from there I had enough guts to officially announce the birth of Chronicles of a ChubbyBunny…which was originally called Chronicles of a Chubby Gurl but was later changed when a fan from Delaware had sent one of my friends a message, “Hey, you’re friends with the Chubby Bunny artist! I love her work, I show her comics to my girlfriend and they make her laugh and feel good about herself!”
Chronicles of a ChubbyBunny is about this plus size snarky little lady (based off of me) who deals with bullies and online trolls…in her own sassy way. Either she puts them in their place with her snarky little comebacks or sometimes her boyfriend will step in…only when necessary. Sometimes she deals with trolls, sometimes it’s just an episode of her living her life; whether it be shopping for cute clothes, trying to calm down her boyfriend (who is madly in love with her) to being caught singing to Queen “Fat-Bottomed Girls” in her underwear. Her name is ChubbyBunny because…that’s what my boyfriend calls me…it’s like an embarrassing cute nickname but then it became part of me. Since I am a nerd, ChubbyBunny has her own alter egos, ThunderBunny (Lady Thor) or WonderBunny (Wonder Woman) and it is through her alter egos she is also squashing negative stereotypes towards bigger bodies within the nerd/geek community.
How are you deconstructing the ideologies around larger bodies being in these spaces?
Since ChubbyBunny is based off of me, I tend to draw based off of my experiences. How I deal with bullies, trolls, how I found my signature dress and my adventures in the gym. Sometimes I get too personal in order to crush stereotypes that follow large bodies. I have drawn her in bed with her boyfriend in response to the negative implications of bigger bodies and sex (no sex scene, just fyi). In one of my most popular episodes, she is in her underwear looking in a mirror. I had to actually do this myself so I can draw it out and get the curves right..suddenly her boyfriend jumps out of nowhere and takes advantage of “cuddling” every inch of his half naked girlfriend.
What are some challenges you all have experienced?
Bullies, trolls…a lot of people telling me to stop wasting my time and get a “real job” and my health. Recently, it was discovered that I have a dislocated disk on my back which is one of the factors of my weight gain. I’ve always had back pain ever since I was small which caused me to sit down more than usual growing up but sometimes sitting doesn’t alleviate the pain and I need something on my back whenever I sit in order to support my back. I can’t sleep as well because of this issue so it’s hard to draw when I’m extremely tired which is most of the time. I also have high anxiety and depression so there are times I lose motivation and feel I can’t continue my comics. Sometimes the bullies and the negativity does get to me so there are moments where I sit at my desk and cry because I can’t come up with anything. Also being told by some people who tell me I should get a real job because art isn’t considered a real job. Sometimes it does affect me but half the time I ignore it and just continue with what I do…I can be my own worst enemy.
What are some triumphs you all have experience?
I think the biggest triumph I wanna talk about is getting into grad school (oh yea). I graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with my BA in Graphic Design in the Class of 2014. So for three years I worked at Knotts Berry Farm working at the front and then becoming a cashier. Mostly because I was discouraged to go to grad school because I had no way to pay for it. My dream school was California College of the Arts and I wanted to be a part of the MFA in Comics program. In October of 2016, my mother in law (my boyfriend’s mom) had asked me why wasn’t I considering grad school and I explained my reasons and I remember her telling me, “There are loans and there are scholarships! You are too smart and too talented to waste away in such a low paying job! God will guide us and find a way! You need to go to grad school!” She would not let me do anything but work on that application…that included chores. Nope, that application was important and even my boyfriend joined in and refused to allow me to do anything but apply (well except go out and stuff hehehehehe)
I will never forget the day I got into grad school. My boyfriend and I were having lunch when my phone rang at it was Matt Silady, the Chair of the MFA in Comics program and I remember what he said, “Just wanted to call you as I sign your acceptance letter to the MFA in Comics program here at Calarts. Congrats!!!” I dropped my fork from the excitement and started to cry. I thanked him and hung up. My boyfriend being worried asked me if I was ok and I shouted that I had been accepted into the Masters program…yeah, I freaked out a few people in the student union (my boyfriend points out we were eating Panda Express and they didn’t make the chow mein that good that day haha).
The two second biggest triumphs had to do with fan appreciation. The first one was on Tumblr; I got a notification on my phone that I received a private message and it was from a fan of my ChubbyBunny comics. She told me that I was an inspiration for her to love her body and to keep going. I will admit, I cried…alot because it felt awesome that my comics were promoting self love and inspiring others to love themselves. The second one was when I was at Long Beach Comic Con; it was my first time at a comic con and I was tabling with a friend of mine who was selling his published comic book. I was selling ChubbyBunny art and promoting my comic. A chubby girl comes up and sees my work on sale and she starts to cry. I got worried and asked if she was ok and she told me that she never sees big girl art so to see someone she can easily relate to drawing artwork that looked just like her made her super happy so she bought some of my prints and follows me on social media. After she left, I felt very emotional because again, it just makes me happy to hear that my work is reaching out to everyone and encouraging them to love themselves which is the purpose of these comics.
Maxi | firstname.lastname@example.org | @KasutoProductions