It turns out Midnight is a “Minority Feisty”. I’ll be adjusting the character balance a bit next season to try and make the cast more inclusive.

I consider myself a feminist, so it’s a bit embarassing that I have exactly one main female character in my comic. I’m happy with how I’ve portrayed her, I think she has about as much claim to the “Protagonist” title as Alan does now, and I’ve introduced a number of female characters this season, who will become more prominent in the future, but they are mostly connected to only one or two of the “main” characters.

It was partially intentional, when I started Cats in the Kitchen, I wanted a small cast, and restaurant kitchen staffing tends to lean very masculine. But I did end up removing a female baker and another waitress from the roster, and I wish I hadn’t, because now, anyone I add to the staff will be the “new person” in a setting of four-years-established characters.

To anyone wondering why I’m worried about something as seemingly trivial as this, It’s about the status quo. Our society puts most of its narrative energy into stories for men, Video Games, Movies, Television, Genre Fiction, most narratives are stories about men, designed to appeal to men. Women tend to play a secondary role in these narratives, often there will be only one or two in a cast predominantly male, and their entire purpose in the movie is to support the male characters in reaching their goal. Frequently they don’t get a story arc of their own, or even a decent motivation.

This becomes a problem when it’s the primary way we see women. It gives the message that women are secondary to men, that their role is universally supposed to be one of support, rather than having actual ambitions, or ability to make positive change in the world. And when we hear and see and create that message all the time, we start to believe it.

Basically I don’t want to be part of that. It’s why Alan got tied up in a dinghey, and Midnight had a pivotal character moment, and is currently saving the restaurant. So far, it’s been hamfisted at best, but I do really want to help make the world a better place, but I’m a terrible writer.

In the meantime, you should read Bad Machinery. The main cast is three girls and three boys. They solve mysteries in a quite town called Tackleford, which has a very long tradition of weird.