I am about to explain why I made this cartoon, and in doing so, I would like to maturely and intelligently discuss the use of a very hurtful word. If you are especially sensitive to racial slurs, please don't continue reading.
I have one friend who is a very intelligent black girl, who is very sensitive of racial slurs. I have another friend who is full of uninhibited creativity, and frequently uses racial slurs for shock value. While an incident like the one depicted in Backstage never actually happened, there was a certain amount of tension in the early days of the Splurd crew. Josh knew he had to curb his vocabulary around Jenn, and Jenn knew that Josh had a tendency to use certain racially offensive words. I originally drew this concept in the communal sketchbook (AKA The Book of Death) with the intent of diffusing the situation. With much laughter on all sides, it seemed to have succeeded.
The last frame of the comic is also important to note. It was mainly added for character development. Josh (Mr.) Seffinga voiced a certain amount of apprehension about his first appearance with Studio Splurd being associated with Josh's infamous wrestling move, so I simply put that sentiment in the comic. As for (Green Lantern) Jeff, the man is an actor, and actually LESS restrained then Big Josh. He is, to date, the only member of our crew to accidentally use the "N" word while Jenn was around. To his credit, though, he was quoting "The Last Dragon" at the time. (A horrible, horrible movie. Bruce Leroy VS. Sho' Nuff.)
I took the time to draw this comic because I wanted to use comedy to take some of that word's hurtful power away. I suppose I optimistically believe that true racial harmony is possible within my lifetime.
I think now is a good point to turn the rant over to Jenn.