CH10P24

And thus brings an end to the era of Emo Jaden U_U RIP 2006 - 2012 Kinda love the low-ponytail look as well though ToT _________________ Speaking of era ends, my lesbihonest-art account (a sideblog) on tumblr was terminated, and when I tried to remake, they terminated my entire account permanently for it. It was surprising because I've never been terminated before - had the blog since 2017. But yeah, not particularly motivated to start again on tumblr, and it'll probably be better for my level of focus that I don't. Lease Bound will be continuing as normal though, so if anyone's confused - still here! Not going anywhere. I actually started paying for this website several years ago in anticipation I would be banned, so while I lasted a lot longer than I thought I would, it was always something I was ready for in the back of my mind. More positively! I've updated the Meet the Cast page (looks best on desktop, lmao), and am looking to set up an FAQ page to replace the tag I had on the lesbihonest-art blog. So I'd love to hear what you think of the new layout, and if you've got any questions you'd like to see featured on the FAQ, please send them my way! I plan to have the FAQ up before the next update :D

22 thoughts on “CH10P24

  1. another great page rusty!! its so amazing seeing how far your art has developed and i swear it just keeps getting better and better every page. love the colours and jaden’s armpit hair peeking out from beneath her shirt as well as josie’s leg hair, hairy women ftw!

    1. Thank you so much <3

  2. you’re not going to remake your tumblr? that’s really sad to hear 🙁 I always loved to read your blog in the morning and you were the first to make me peak!

    1. Wow I’m really flattered, thank you! But yeah

  3. Thank goodness it was just you revamping this site, I was fearful that this page got nuked too after I saw the tumblr ban

    1. Sorry about the scare! The site is definitely here to stay <3

  4. Oh dang I had just seen that you were termed again. I will miss your Tumblr reblogs but it’s understandable that you don’t want to go through all that again. I’ll just have to set an alarm to check the website lol
    Great page as always! Poor Jaden she looks so tired. And rip the emo hair 🙁

    1. Thank you for your understanding, I will definitely miss posting to tumblr and the fun engagement I had there too – but I just don’t have it in my heart to build it up again while always knowing I could just be termed without explanation again.

      Glad you enjoyed the page! It’s definitely sad to lose emo-hair Jaden. Gone but not forgotten U_U
      I actually have a mailing system built into the site that sends a weekly notification when a new page has gone up just at the bottom of the page if you’re interested!

  5. Oh my god, did Josie gave Jacobus’ cap to Jacob ??? I didn’t even realize until now ! Oh Josie…

    1. Good spotting! You might notice it in the 3rd panel too, amongst the mess x-x

      1. Nooooo I didn’t notice it in the mess ToT Jacob doesn’t give a shit about his father. Such a big contrast with Jaden being stuck all her childhood and teen years in the ground where she wanted to make him better and had to grow from that 🙁 I wonder if Jacob gives carelessly the cap to her or if she finds it “buried” somewhere or discarded and decides to take it, another rebelious action like quitting medicine

  6. You’re someone who can actually write in a nuanced and real way about this misogynist hellscape that is life. Thank you. Your comic feels completely real. I’ve been reading for two years and look forward to more.

    1. Two years, holy shit, thank you!! That’s so incredibly encouraging to hear.
      And thank you <3 I am both deeply motivated, and also saddened by how many readers have been finding LB, especially this 10th chapter, painfully relatable. It's just not an experience I've seen fully delved into before, but deserves spotlight. Most stories with the death of the father would have the daughter and mother in the background while the focus was on the son who's now the 'man of the house'. No more!

  7. I sent you some asks about this on tumblr, but you began ignoring them because they made you uncomfortable, after angrily replying to me and accusing me of being condescending.

    Anyway though – I seriously have to ask you again, what exactly made you think that you had the knowledge, the experiences or the right to write about some of the racial issues you’ve (presumably) unintentionally mishandled? This whole current storyline is telling us that little black boys are the enemy, that black families are dysfunctional and sexist (right down to Jacobus’ parents being pure evil) and all in a completely sterile, whitewashed setting that isn’t reflective of a Ghanaian family whatsoever.

    One of the first scenes in your comic was three non-white women in a car together after one (Maybe two, Parniya had bruises too) of them was physically assaulted by a group of white men – and yet none of them commented on race at all. Obviously the out-of-universe explanation for this is that you correctly assumed that you were too uninformed to be able to portray it respectfully, but in-universe it makes absolutely no sense and stood out completely.

    Again – you are white. Your wife is white. You live in a white-majority country and your friends are white, and the characters in your comic act, speak and hold values with white people. One of your main characters even LOOKS completely white in spite of her supposedly being half-Chinese – and her Chinese mother is clearly homophobic and abusive.

    You, a white person, have made a comic which is built on the suffering of non-white characters, who are incapable of naming or talking about racial issues. Things we’re been ‘treated’ to have included at least one black woman being beaten by white men, a black man dying of an unexplained illness that is a hilarious joke to you (I’m sure you are aware of the disproportionate rates of preventable deaths in black people due to medical abuse) because he is male, a little black boy being presented as the worst possible thing to happen to his sister, a sexist black mother who favors and coddles her son while mistreating and neglecting her daughter (She didn’t even FEED Jaden consistently!) and a white-looking mixed woman who fits the stereotype of being a shy, softly-spoken, conflict-avoidant Asian and was abused by her Chinese mother. That probably isn’t even the complete list.

    Your story doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and it’s clear you’ve not presented these issues with the gravity or grace that they deserved.

    1. I stopped responding to you because you failed to muster anything other than bad faith assumptions that make you sound fucking racist yourself. Jesus fucking Christ. Read back some of your insanely uncharitable takeaways and have a long think about what you’re saying VS what has actually been presented.

      1. If it’s worth anything, as a mixed Japanese/White person, I have no problem with how you draw an East Asian/White person. I’m not sure what the person above wants from you other than demanding you draw Riley looking like an Asian stereotype.
        They sound like the jokers in my Jr. High demanding that all anime characters are white because they “if the artist didn’t intend them to be white, then why did they draw them with big round eyes?? Only white people look like that!” smh

        1. Also, now that I’ve finished reading that other person’s post I have a few things to say. I had to comment on them demanding you draw Riley more racially stereotypical in order to be more sensitive to what us poor mixed Asian people go through, I was pretty steamed and hadn’t even bothered reading the rest of their comment. Reading the rest just made their rant even WORSE.
          You know what? For how much I’ve seen my peers politicize my looks in order to brag to their friends about how “sensitive” they are. Politicize my family to brag to everyone online to show off how “non-racist” they are. Politicize my personality, politicize my very EXISTANCE to brag to everyone who can hear them about how they as a white person are sooooooooo much better than the people who at least are polite enough to be outwardly racist to my face instead of being racist in a passive-aggressive “I am holier and non-racist than everyone else, let me protect you with my white privilege, poor little Asian girl!” I AM THANKFUL.
          THANK
          FUL
          that I came across your webcomic where you write Riley as not some stereotype. As not some political mouth piece you can brag through about how “s e n s i t i ve” the author is. Not as some TOOL to use as a means to show off to their friends that they’re a better person than everyone else. When you know what? They’re NOT a better person. None of them ever was.
          All I want is to read about characters who are people. Not mouth pieces the author uses as tools to berate other people. When I see anyone writing an Asian character and they’re white, I often brace myself for the incoming “I’M NOT RACIST!!!!!!!” racist ramblings shoehorned into the story for what… internet points?? You want people to clap for you for being so brave for defending me while spouting racist BS about my family when you think I’m not listening??
          But I never had to worry about that with your comic. So thank you for writing actual characters and not using women of color as TOOLS.

        2. Long story short, thank you for writing characters as human beings first with race as an attribute instead of a definition of their entire character, not race being the entire focus of who they are as a person, and not race being the main focus of every single character in every single story, unlike from other white amateur authors I try to read nowadays.
          “wHy ArEn’T tHe AsIaN gIrL’s EyEs sMaLlEr AnD sLaNtIeR, tHaT’s R A C I S T bEcAuSe NoN-sLaNtY eYeS mAkEs ThE cHaRaCtEr LoOk W H I T E.” I’m SICK OF IT. I am at my WIT’S END. I can’t even find ONE PLACE ON THE INTERNET THAT’S NOT LIKE THIS as white people yell and scream and “educate” each other on how to treat WOC and mixed people. Well guess what, WE’RE SICK OF IT!!! It’s STUPID and the louder people like the commenter above screams, the more I want to get away from people like that. Because the more I’m convinced they will secretly treat me and my family like crap behind closed doors purely due to our race, just like everyone else I’ve met irl who talks like that.
          It always screams “I’m overcompensating because I secretly hold deeply racist views and I’m trying to convince you, my friends, and most of all myself that I’m not racist! Let me shout racist stereotypes at you to show you how NOT racist I am!”
          I just want to be a person. A HUMAN BEING. Not a racist PROP to show off how not racist that racists brag they are!
          There are important stories being told that are all about race and that’s great! Stories whose main point are those subjects are great to tell. I’ve dabbled in writing stories that lightly touch on those subjects based on my own experiences and it’s cathartic. But when every single white person I see around me DEMANDS that every single story about every single character who isn’t 100% white NEEDS to be 100% about that person’s race and every single scene needs to scream “This person is ASIAN and that makes them DIFFERENT so we need to treat them differently by CONSTANTLY BRINGING IT UP AND TALKING ABOUT IT!!!”, it’s exhausting. How do people like this even function in society???
          I can tell you in real life, dealing with people like this face-to-face, it’s EXHAUSTING for me, my friends, and my family. I was patient for over ten years. But I can’t take it anymore. These people seem to thrive off this drama. They can’t get enough of it and they’re constantly circle jerking each other and patting themselves on the back for shouting racist stereotypes at people.
          Anyway, yeah, you keep doing your thing, web comic author. I’m enjoying reading about women navigating their own unique experiences growing up in different families, struggling like people do, while no one’s constantly bringing up how the most interesting thing about them is their race.
          Unless Blaire bursts into the next chapter demanding everyone talk about how the most interesting thing about Riley is her race and how cool and non-racist she is for having Jaden as a new friend. She gets a pass because that just seems to align with her character.

        3. Your thoughtful comments are always such a delight to read. Thank you so much for taking the time to engage so wholeheartedly with my work.

          Your comment about Blaire at the end made me laugh out loud especially because you’re probably not WRONG lmao. I did at one time early on in chapter 9’s development consider having Blaire – when discussing her trans headcannons for Jaden with Riley – ask if English was Jadens second language. Something like:

          B: How long do you think Jaden’s been in Australia?

          R: (confused) Well she has a pretty standard Aussie accent so.. probably a long time if not born here ?

          B: That’s what I thought.. Do you think English is Jaden’s first language?

          R: I don’t know. Why do you ask?

          B: Well they seemed to not understand when I asked about their pronouns. I just thought that might be why.

          R:.. Oh.

          B: Do you think Jaden is trans??

          In the end it got cut for clunkiness and time. But it did feel like it fit with Blaire’s character 😂

    2. To me all of these issues would be more of a problem if we had a perfect white family to contrast to, and I do suspect we will be getting some other family dynamics, like with Blair. But there are definitely been hints so far that Blair’s family will also have their own set of dysfunctions – I’m willing to bet many of the views Blair’s parents have will be contributing to Blair’s destructive and hurtful views. If there was a perfect white family contrasting Jaden and Riley’s Evil Bad families then yeah that would be uuuggh but I’m suspecting one of the take aways from LeaseBound is about how difficult it is for a family NOT to be dysfunctional in our sexist society. Jaden’s family doesn’t have these issues because they’re Evil Black People they have these issues because they are living within a sexist society.

      It’s very clear in the narrative that no one within Jaden’s family is meant to be a villain. Josie is not ignorant or stupid or evil she is a woman who has fallen victim to patriarchy, fallen on hard times, struggling alone and without help. The narrative has been extremely sympathetic to her and I have a hard time believing anyone with any level of analysis would have missed that. Jacob is not an evil little black boy destroying his family, he’s a product of how he was raised and treated by the women around him, along with any sexist narratives he may have picked up from society.

      As for like, the “PURE EVIL” inlaw family, it’s kind of unrealistic to expect absolutely every single person who appears in a narrative to be extremely fleshed out. They have their own reasons for reacting so strongly to the death of their son, but Rusty can’t be expected to devote pages and pages to everyone, explaining their motives and etc.

      There is a point in that racial issues in LeaseBound are likely not going to be handled perfectly well, they tend not to be addressed because Rusty is One White Woman, she doesn’t have a team of people, she can’t devote the time and energy to research these issues in-depth. We can’t hold one indie webcomic author to the standards we hold a something like a Disney movie with millions of dollars to hire anyone they need to research and work as a sensitivity reader. I think Rusty does a fine job listening to perspectives of her readers who notice issues, that’s basically all she can be expected to do. She is destined to make mistakes and it serves no purpose to flay her for them. A person can point out when she made an error but it does no good to offer bad faith attacks with no solution to the issues a person has noticed.

      Like what are the “solutions” here? Stop writing anyone else except for white characters? Not a good solution at all in my own opinion. lot of readers who arent white have found enjoyment of the characters as they are

      But anyway idk why I spend a lot of time typing out a whole thing. You really do come off like a hate-reader who’s looking for anything wrong you can find in the narrative, and trying to hit Rusty where it hurts. I do suspect that you understand she cares about making good portrayals of these women and you expect calling her racist might do her harm. If that’s not the case and you are seriously someone who is hurt, I apologize for the assumption! It is the Internet, and there are a lot of hateful people online. idk why a person would make Hate-Reading a webcomic and devoting a lot of time to hate as a hobby, we have such limited time here on Earth. but people do that

      Anyway that’s enough inane rambling for me. MY POINT… is that like, we can’t really have the high expectations we would have of a One Woman Comic Making Team we might have from bigger teams, it’s important to see Rusty makes her art with a lot of love and sincerity. She is trying her best with the limited perspective she can have as one person. If her comic really is extremely hurtful it can be helpful to try to provide solutions… like what can she do to improve things? I hope one isn’t expecting Jaden’s family would have to be totally conflict free, that would be so totally boring…

      It’s a worthwhile endeavor to analyze an artist’s work and provide feedback but it’s also very important to make effort to provide valuable feedback in an insightful and useful way that helps the artist improve. The only takeaway a person can have from your comments is “oh maybe I should quit my webcomic” and to me it seems like the point you’re trying to make, discourage her and quit. No one should ever have to explain why someone is being racist to someone using a kind voice but I’m not sure this comic is anywhere near racist. in my years of following this comic no one has ever really said any of this stuff except for you. lot of readers see themselves in these characters and family dynamics. If you really do like the comic for real and would like to see Rusty write better, it would be very valuable to take the time to learn how to leave constructive comments. I have sincerely noticed the Internet is getting more hateful these days and a lot of younger people aren’t taught how to give good criticism

      anyway if you do really actually like LeaseBound I hope that you can continue to find things to enjoy about it and maybe find a way to explain your points in a way that feel less like an attack in the future. I hope you have a good day today! Hopefully none of my comments sounded rude it’s hard to convey tone online, and like, I do think you do make some good points about racial issues ignored in LeaseBound but there’s not much else I feel Rusty can do about it other then have a story filled with white people only which really just kinda sucks. The diversity in the cast reflects reality, it would just be weird to have no diversity at all

      this comment is too long goodnight everyone lol

      1. It’s an absolute pleasure to have your insight back in my comment section, you’ve hit the nail on the head with how I feel. This person actually brought up Blaire’s family as an example of a ‘perfect white family’ back on tumblr, and her entire basis for this was that Blaire’s parent’s are married, and Jaden’s dad ‘left’ (aka DIED). Despite – like you said – there already being obvious hints that they’ve got some pretty warped views of relationships (no living together before marriage), and would absolutely have an influence on how she carries herself now. She had nothing to say on the fact that in contrast, Josie was a great role model for Jaden in many ways, like not wearing make up or shaving her legs – and Jaden clearly carried that into adulthood by doing the same. Neither Josie or Nana pushed her to dress more femininely either, they were very accepting of how she is, and have shown no homophobia towards her being a lesbian either.

        Even with the in-laws, it’s very much just a common writing trope. In-laws that hate the spouse of their child. Compounded with misogyny, as it’s the son’s parents who dislike the woman he chose. That on top of, I imagine having your child die, no matter the age, is going to cause some pretty turbulent emotions. Anger/Blaming is the first stage of grief when experiencing loss..

        It comes off as very bad faith to me as well :/ When I brought up with her (again back on tumblr before my termination), that it sounded like the alternative she wanted was either perfect happy black family with no flaws or common dynamics influenced by sexism (which largerly come from my OWN personal experiences growing up), or only stories about white characters, she accused me of giving her an ultimatum. If anyone is reading these characters racistly, it’s this commenter.

        She called Jaden’s family introduction in chapter 9 “a bunch of black people yelling”, ignoring the context that Josie’s first born has just moved out of home, has a job she considers dangerous, and is now BADLY BRUISED. Her protectively, motherly demand of ‘who did this to you’ which no doubt carried a promise to find whoever hurt her daughter, was reduced to ‘angry black woman’. It’s just, insanely reductive and bad faith imo.

  8. LOL Oh, Blaire! I’m laughing that I got it right that Blaire would act like that!

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