💬FAQ

About Me

My name is Rusty Hearts, I’m a married lesbian in my mid-twenties. I live with my wife and our many pets in Australia.
I’ve been involved in online radical feminist/gender critical spaces since 2016, and started making Lease Bound in 2017.
I’ve always loved to draw, and had a dream of publishing picture books/being an animator when I was young.
I even dabbled in trying to animate my very own ‘anime’ in my teen years with nothing but MS Paint and a boatload of ambition (didn’t get far, lol).

I’m a firm believer in action informed by theory, when it comes to radical feminism, so it felt like a no-brainer to marry this desire to do feminist action, with my passion for creating art and telling stories.

I also noticed a rise in homophobic trans rhetoric in many creative circles I was running in. Most notably indie webcomics. Suddenly it was all heterosexual couplings where one member pretended to be the opposite sex, and the other pretended they were homosexual – and readers wouldn’t find out about the surprise penis-haver until getting invested in the story.

Long story short: I wasn’t seeing the representation for lesbians (or women in general) I wanted, so I set out to be what I wanted to see. This is why Jaden and Riley state explicitly that they’re lesbians right in the first chapter, I didn’t want any confusion or vagueness about their sexuality.

The infamous AGPgang trio from Chapter 3 were also devised with a similar mindset. For every piece of lesbian media that pulled a ‘surprise one of them is actually a bedicked individual with she/her pronouns’ on me, I pulled a surprise on them.
You thought this was just a cute lesbian romance? It is, but also there will be NO tolerance for men who call themselves lesbians. Surprise! Hope you like the taste of your own medicine <3

And here we are 5 years later!

Making Lease Bound

Lease Bound currently updates with one page every Monday
(Aussie time, so if you're behind that timezone, every Sunday).

**Plus one extra page on the first Thursday of every month.
It is a more lengthy process than one might think!
As a one-woman show, I wear a lot of hats. There’s a lot to be done, before I can even put down the first line of a picture.

Lease Bound has an ending written, as well as some large plot points erected between now and the finish line. Not all the gaps have been filled, but I’ve got many folders with future plot threads, and fleshed-out ideas.

To make sure I don’t get bogged down, I don’t start refining these ideas until they’re set to happen in the current chapter. I focus on one chapter at a time. After I’ve finalized all the scenes/events I’d like to happen in it, I write up a full script, as though I’d be giving it to actors in a play. It has dialogue, actions, and scene descriptions within.

Once the chapter is scripted and I’ve parsed what events will be sharing pages together, I use what I’ve written to plan out visuals for each in thumbnails/mirco sketches. After that,initial sketches, cleaning those sketches into nice lines, adding colour and shading, and then finally dialogue.

While each page doesn’t always take the FULL week to complete, I like to allow some wriggle room in case something IRL comes up, and so I can also take breaks.

Prologue, Chapter 1 + 2:


I drew everything out on actual paper, and lined it with cheap pens lying around.
I then scanned in my pages, and cleaned them up (to the best of my ability) and coloured them with GIMP 2.6.

Chapter 3:


I sketched the entire chapter out on paper, and then scanned my pages onto the computer.

Pages 1-7:

were lined and coloured entirely on GIMP 2.6.

Pages 1-8:

were lined and coloured on the Windows XP version of MSPaint (a program many decry, but I hold close to my heart U_U)

Chapter 4:


From sketch, to completion, Chapter 4 was done entirely in MS Paint.

Chapter 5:


Hot off the heels of Chapter 4, my graphics tablet of 8 years, finally kicked the bucket. Without the financial means to replace it, this chapter was once again sketched and lined on paper.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence drawing with the mouse, so after scanning in my lined pages (and trying to keep fixes to a minimum), I also scanned in several different blue coloured paper. Using layers, I set the coloured paper underneath the lines I created, to give each page colour, which is also why chapter 5 looks so grainy!

Chapter 6


Pages 1 – 34:

Still unable to fix the tablet, I soldiered on with sketching and lining pages by hand and scanning them in. In terms of colour I’d gotten a little more confident with the mouse, and coloured using it and trusty ol’ GIMP 2.8

Pages 33 – 69:

I continued sketching and lining by hand, but was graciously gifted a tablet, and started using it to colour instead of tedius mouse process.

Pages 70 – 98:

Were produced entirely in GIMP 2.8 and my tablet.

Chapter 7 + 8


Gimp 2.8 and tablet.

Chapter 9


Pages 1-14:

Gimp 2.8 and tablet.

Page 15-20:

I was gifted a new art program, Clip Studio Paint, by my absolute breastie @arbustorum on tumblr.

Chapter 10


Continuing to learn and grow with Clip Studio Paint!

Yes!


On July 24th 2022, Lease Bound's first volume made it's debut in physical form. 50 copies were printed, bought and shipped out.



Contents


Lease Bound Volume 1 features the Prologue + Chapters 1 - 5.
All pages have been visually updated from their website counterpart as well:



When / Where To Buy


Unfortunately, because I have many detractors I wasn't able to post a link to my online store publicly - out of fear of being mass reported. In future, I'd like to host the online shop right here on the website.

Volume 2, and a second print of Volume 1 are in the works!



There's also a Digital / PDF Copy

Yes!


Currently I am working alongside several incredibly generous volunteers, who have offered their time to translate LB pages. It's a slow process as it's entirely free, and is secondary to continuing to get more pages out, but translation options are definitely coming in future!

I've definitely considered it!


I just currently don't have the means to sustainably pay anybody to help me.

My dear breastie (female bestie) @arbustorum on tumblr has been absolutely invaluable as an unofficial assistant, offering up guideline help with poses and panel composition of numerous occasions.
I would love to be able to hire her and other women on to help with the project, and possibly see it get out faster than it is currently, but until it's financially feasible it's gonna be the one-woman show.

Oh man I have had MANY thoughts about this. I feel like it would be incredibly fun to do!


I always get stuck in logistics though.

1) I feel like I should pay the people who lend their voices. And much like hiring on women to help produce LB, I don’t really have that income.

I don’t know how effective I’d be as a voice director so I'd be concerned about the amount of guidance I could provide to the voice actors.

I would also like to take care in casting actors that match the race of the characters and not just all white people.
I’m on the fence regarding the accuracy of accents- given Lease Bound is set in Australia and there’s lots of Aussie slang slipped in. But it's definitely a much lesser concern, and I think if it was the only thing holding me back, that it could just come down to a matter of suspension of disbelief.

It's definitely not entirely off the table, I just don't think I have the resources to pull it off right now. That said, if it's something any woman reading this would like to be in charge of, I'd be more than happy to co-operate/help in anyway I can. IE: providing blank pages without speech bubbles, giving advice on moods/tones ect.

Story & Cast

Here's LB's summary for you to make of what you will:

"After a mix-up with their leases, two Lesbians, Jaden and Riley, must learn to share a small, one-bedroom apartment. Friendship, and eventually romance ensues."

Yep!


I've got backstories for most of the main cast that I'm interesting in including in the story. Stay tuned!
I love how invested readers are in Blaire as a character, and all the speculation that has come with it.
My advice is to wait for her to actually take action, before you ask if she'll be redeemed.
I have a lot planned for Blaire as a character, so let us burn that bridge when we come to it 😉
My main goal with LB, has always been to create the representation *I* as a lesbian wanted to see: and that's lesbian romances that aren't wrapped up in femininity BS, gender ideology, or involve past hetero romances, as well as female characters in general, with cathartic, relatable character arcs. That's always going to be my focus.

Before my tumblr termination, I got a lot of asks about what readers could expect representation-wise.

"Will there be any intersex characters?

"Will there be any Jewish characters?"

"Will there be any Latino characters?"

"Will there be any disabled a characters?"

"Will there be any mentally ill/disordered characters?"

"Will there be any detransitioned characters?"

"Will there be any happily transitioned homosexual characters?" (no, fuck off)

"Will there be any feminine lesbian characters?" (no, fuck off)

While I understand, and even sympathise with the intention, receiving questions like this was kind of frustrating, and very disheartening, because it felt like the quanity of representation boxes I could/ would in future tick, was more important than the quality of my current characters, or the story I've chosen to write.

I feel like this mindset has gotten a little out of control, and tumblr is an absolute breeding ground for valuing the fact there is representation, over the quality of it.

There's a level of entitlement involved in asking this of creators, especially those of us who are single-person teams.

I am not a huge company with the finances, time and resources to create accurate, and vast representation. I started Lease Bound to BE the representation for lesbian romance/female characters I wasn't seeing.

I have deliberately constructed a story around what I want to see. Many of the listed XYZ representations would require a lot of development to be done respectfully, that just simply don't fit in with the story and characters I have planned.

Using a detransitioned character as an example - this is a deeply personal, and often varying life journey that I have no personal experience in. Unlike with something like, race, or body type (fat, muscular, ect) I can't just use visual cues to depict detransition because of how varied the results, goals and lasting side effects of transition are.

I also don't have a lot to say about detransition that I feel would fit in my story, nor would be more valuable than an detransitioned women could tell herself.

So that's where I stand on it. I appreciate, and hold no ill-will towards the readers who have asked me this question, but don't particularly want to be asked again.

Stories are not meant to represent every experience, and that's okay. I strongly encourage anyone yearning for it, to also, BE/create the representation they want to see.

Male characters in Lease Bound only exist as vehicles to further develop the important (See: female) characters.


It is a deliberate reversal of the plethora of male creators who waffle out excuses as to why there are little to no female characters in their works.  

While they try to save face with "I just don't understand women", I am honest in saying "I do not want to humanise men, there already exists countless pieces of fiction that serve as propaganda to men's humanity, I am choosing not to add to it."

This is also why I've avoided showing any positive heterosexual relationships in the story, I think it sets up an unrealistic expectation about partnering with men for het-attracted women.

You might notice as more LB cast member's familys come into the story, that fathers are either, absent, deceased, or overtly shitty. I feel this most realistically depicts what a woman can expect from partnering with a male and should avoid at all costs.

Lack of Fathers?

Some readers have expressesd concern about the lack of fathers mentioned in Lease Bound, the lesbian webcomic .

So I have made a chart that details every father who's shown up in Lease Bound. You may notice it is not a high number, and will remain as such (see the male character policy section again for why).
Patience is a virtue. We will be getting to it, I promise 😀
Time will absolutely tell. Stay tuned :3
Her mum, Josephine, knows her way around a set of clippers, and cuts it for her.

With regards to Jaden's emo-hair specifically, she didn't dye it, but just braided in red extensions/fabric to achieve the look.
Originally, way back in 2017 when I was still just scripting LB, I was intending the reference to be about Steven Universe, since it was very popular with gendies at the time.  

I was even gonna call it Stephen Galaxy, but then I was informed that’s apparently the nsfw tag for Stephen Universe. So had to rework it x-x   

By the time I had this scene drafted (late 2022) ,I’d seen so many examples of children cartoons informing gender identities that I figured I’d just go more generic. So you get to choose which children’s show you think it is. No wrong answers! 😂
Lease Bound is set in Adelaide, South Australia. It takes place in the year 2017 - which is also the year I started writing it!

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for here?
Feel free to submit your question below and I’ll be happy to answer it!

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26 thoughts on “💬FAQ

  1. How can I donate to you without signing up for patron? I have a fluctuating economy and I don’t want to sign up for monthly payments when I’m not sure I can afford it but I would like to contribute to your work.

    1. Thank you so much for the interest in supporting LB financially. I am actually in the process of looking to shift from patreon, to an alternative – but haven’t found the perfect fit yet.

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  2. Where can we support you on Patreon?

  3. Hey, how many chapters will LB have in total? I love Jayden btw she’s so relatable

    1. Lease Bound has an ending written, as well as some large plot points erected between now and the finish line but I don’t know the exact number of chapters that’ll be just yet!

      Always nice to know there’s more Jaden fans <3

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  4. Hello Rusty Hearts! Sorry in advance for the big comment. I’ve found your comic somewhat recently and I really enjoy seeing the evolution of your art style. Jaden honestly reminds me of my aunt, she’s awesome! I’ve been reading through and I was wondering if I could talk to you sometime about the trans stuff? Obviously, there’s no need to interact with me, especially if you’re busy working on a webcomic (I’ve worked on comics enough to know they’re time crunches). I’m a trans girl who’s genuinely curious about what the ideology is behind some of your work and would hope to get some insight. If you’d very much not like to talk about gender shenanigans, I’d also love to exchange art advice since you mentioned getting clip studio! If you decide you would rather not interact, I don’t blame you. Hope you’re well; Thanks!

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    1. Why are you a grown man who calls himself a girl (aka a female child)?


      I could see an actual child needing clarification regarding my work because it isn’t written with a child demographic in mind, but if you cannot understand why men do not belong where women do not want them, you are well below the intellectual capacity to be discussing anything with me.

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      1. I’m sorry. I truly am just interested in the specific philosophy behind the writing in your comics that makes it the way it is toward gender identity. I’ve been able to hear other people with similar mindsets explain their personal reasoning, but never another artist who’s been able to communicate through comics. Also, sorry for my usage of ‘girl’. I’m not sure how much the usage colloquially varies between Australia, the US, and other predominantly English speaking countries, but where I live the term can refer to someone older, usually if there’s an adjective preceding it or like, I guess if it’s in an amicable setting. I suppose one could say I walked into that, but I just want to be cordial. Not trying to get you to change your mind on any subjects or anything; I know it’s not within anyone else’s power but yours. None of this is meant to be mean-spirited or sarcastic or anything. Just collegiate curiosity. Thank you for taking the time to respond at all; I will not bother you again.

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        1. Your apology is as genuine as your ” gender identity”. If you were truly sorry you would direct your head out from your naval cavity and stop calling yourself female. Then you would spend the rest of your life expressing remorse to the women and girls around you, for ever acting on your audacity to pretend to be one of them, and expecting them to play along.

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  5. So, this is something I was wondering. I am a man (okay gay male but orginially thought it’d be funny to lead with “I am a man” for the audacity) and I am in love with the story here. I occassionally want to comment/contribute on pages that are heart-wenching/spicy but I fully understand that it’s main demographic is same-sex attracted women (which is why I fully get the Male character policy vibe for the purposes of the art)

    I don’t want to intrude on the “men do not belong where women do not want them”, so wanted to check with the author first regarding their stance on if I should involve myself in the discussions. Obvs can cope with being a silent supporter if the author wants me to, but still a fanboy of this storyark.

    I saw nothing in the FAQ’s on “no boys allowed” so thought It’s be best to ask here?

    P.S. One of my best friends is just like Parniya so pls more of her 🙂

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    1. Hey thanks for reading!


      I appreciate the courtesy of asking, but there’s no need I promise. My comment section is open to anyone who isn’t posting weird spam links or death/rape threats.
      It’s always nice knowing LB has captured readers outside the intended demographic – makes me feel good as a writer.
      You’re not the only gay man I know who reads my work (combined you could prolly fill out a small dining table 😂) or who’s commented. So have at it I Say!


      The “men going where women don’t want them” was referring to trans stuff specifically. Since the dude above is pretending to be a woman wanting to “discuss” my stance on trans-nonesense. As if it should be any simpler than “you’re a man, stop calling yourself a woman and go bald, perhaps.”


      Happy reading and look forward to seeing another contribution to discussion in the comments 👭❤👬

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  6. thanks for such a detailed FAQ it was enjoyable to read. You do have a habit of creating confusing run-on sentence at times, though.

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    1. Agreed!

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  7. There should be more love for Ruth

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    1. In sure there will be when she comes more into the story!

    2. I’m doing my part!!!!

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  8. First time commenting, love your character development and how emotive your style is. Just re-read from the beginning and realized that a short arc I remembered touching on Ruth’s backstory with Naomi wasn’t there (maybe something more about Riley’s upbringing too?). Did I hallucinate them meeting each other as nuns and running away together, or did you remove it/was it something you’d linked to on a different platform that was banhammered for your heretical beliefs that women are real and men aren’t women? If it was a hallucination, it was still lovely…

    1. Welcome to the comment section – and thank you so much for contributing!

      You did not hallucinate and can find those pages here:
      CH4: ASK THE CAST|CH5: ASK THE CAST|CH6: ASK THE CAST

      I think some of them may have gotten lost during my latest visual over-haul of the site, but they’re all back up now!

      1. Thank you !

  9. when are you gonna finally kill yourself?

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    1. When twanswomen are women.

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    2. having a normal one, huh?

  10. Cheerio! I’m working on seeing other views, and I’ve decided to start looking at webcomics whose views are different than mine.

    I also want to do reviews of those webcomics (about the plot, writing, art, etc.) while trying to remain as unbiased as possible. Would it be okay if I reviewed your webcomic? Thanks, and have a great day!

    1. Hey, absolutely be my guest. You don’t have to ask permission- though I would love to read it when you’re finished!

  11. fuck rusty's [misogyny redacted] ass

    rebecca sugar is an award winning artist/song writer meanwhile you’re some [abelism redacted] looking incel bbfr

    1. Heey!
      I remember your anons from a year or so ago where you said the same thing (with less slurs). I’m guessing you didn’t read my response then either lol.

      Was pretty funny the first time because I didn’t know who Rebecca Sugar was and you got so nettled when I looked her up and said “lol of course you’d prefer a children’s cartoon”.

      I see you haven’t grown any, right down to using the question function (anon message then, FAQ section now) incorrectly.

      (I celebrated five years of marriage this year btw – incase you do actually know what incel means.)

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