License: "Episode 22: The Voting System" by David Revoy − CC-BY 4.0
Tags:  #webcomic   | Download: Markdown


link David Revoy  

Hi! A quick note: this episode is an obvious metaphor of the voting system proposed by any website on the internet; we "like", "downvote", "upvote" and all of this in realtime. This system affect the content a lot. For our witches, they discover here the power of the "cute witches" effect; a parody of a trend I see growing everywhere on Anime culture nowaday, but also the load of "sexy" content I see in digital-art to get more "like" and "upvote" in general... Denunciating this practice with humor wasn't evident, but it was fun to try. :-) I hope you liked this episode!

link Filer  

sadly the truth about voting and also why democracy in our today's form sucks...

the artwork is very nice smooth, I like it. Got here through your linked blog on CDN stuff. Good job on that one too.

link Gin Sheng  

Yup. That's the problem when majorities rules... and their judgment isn't quite just.

Welcome back to business, David.

Best Regards.

link Gordon  

Good to see you back in art world David. I was waiting for it, more money goes your way :)

link Flamma  

How do I vote for this episode?

link Lucas Gelves  

Buen trabajo, es bastante interezante la metafora y muy graciosa XD

link Luch4  

No mature content, they said...

link Valvin Contributor,

Congratulations for this new episode !
10 amazing pages ! :)

link Sergey Parvatkin  

Dear David,

sometimes I catch up with your great work in Russian translation on one of the imageboards. And being a geek convention organizer in my country I was deeply touched by this episode. We are hosting cosplay contests with more than 200 participants with thousands of spectators. And a lot of people are asking "why do you only have a jury, but never provide audience with a direct possibility to vote for their favorite contestants?". Now I don't even need to preform long explanations - from now one I'll just share a link to this episode! xD

So I guess this "voting habit" doesn't extend only to digital art but is applicable to almost any "competitive" thingy where people can vote for their friends or excessive sexualization is present.

link Santiago G.  

Very nice David!!, This episode made a bus travel really fun :)
This describes perfectly how voting gauntlets works on a game I like XD!!!

link Skarfester  

The World Today.

link Nina  

Good commentary on the prevalence of sexy / cute female characters on anime culture. It's like there's so much of them these days we're literally dying of cuteness overload. It also pointed out how the voting system in the magic contest made the witches change their character from strong, powerful, and awesome to fluffy and cute.

I'm glad Pepper is part of the jury, not one of the competitors. Pepper acting as cutesy as Saffron would have been so out of character for her.

I like the way this story reveals another side of Saffron that we normally don't see. Still, I hope to see Saffron use her amazing fire powers in a future episode.

Glad to know you're back, David.

link igor giuseppe  

yay finnaly the new chapter.
hahaha fanservice! xDD
i didnt expect to see this on pepper and carrot (you know, family friend and stuff)
but, how can i say that... 10/10 xDD

i thought they wuld be blind and thus temporaly unable to see the others presentation (so maybe some of then get less votes than deserve).

BTW: how the hell they can see an 2D score number at any agle? magic xD ?

link Kätzchen  

Congratulations to that good comic.

I like the frame, where pepper and carrot are fighting for the remote in the background. It made me laugh.

link Astrokiwi  

Hey David!

First of all, amazing job - as always! I love this episode, it's nice of you to denounce such a bad thing as upvotes and downvotes, and how the "sexy" stuff increases them. Congrats also to those which support you (the team of patrons and translators mainly).

About translations, I've just noticed some little mistakes in the italian version (nothing so serious, just typos I guess): in the 4th panel is written "si" instead of the correct form "sì", and "ninete" in the 6th one instead of the correct form "niente". In the 27th panel should be more correct to write "dopotutto" instead of "dopo tutto" (, but it is correct anyway, just a subtlety :)

Last but not least, in panel 31st is written "magnificol" instead of the correct form "magnifico".

Anyway, the result is amazing. I really admire the great job of your translation team, they are nice guys! Keep it up! :)

link CandyFace  

Amazing as always! and with a social opposition no less :P I fully support it. The social voting system is broken, especially when it comes to user generated content and its cute and sexy factor in art.

link G. A.  

Amazing work as always. The ending was hilarious and imaginative. I'm looking forward to the next episode. :)

link Valvin Contributor,

@Astrokiwi : i've just reported on github your feedback on italian translation :

link CGand Translator,

Thanks Astrokiwi. Fixed. Sorry too much typos this time, we will do better next time :-)

link Expelliarmus1  

Haha! Look at the guy sitting next to Pepper after Saffron burns her clothes. He's drooling!

link Applewitch  

I don't know much about judging, but it looks like Saffron's performance was...
Pretty hot.

link Astrokiwi  

No prob, and thank to you guys for everything. I'm just glad I could help :)

link ComputingFroggy  

A shame, you don't write down the software used for your work, as you did in the first episodes.

link nartance Contributor,

Maybe I should comment on the website for once!

CONGRATULATIONS! Amazing work ^_^ Good job ;)

(I have imagined a little sequel for poor Shichimi here :p ( en :, fr : )

link David Revoy  

It's right under the end of the episode.

link Oskqq  

I introduced my 10yo sis to this comic some time ago, I had a bit trouble explaining this obvious joke now :x

link Larry  

Excelente comic, es muy gracioso.

link James Aldrick  


link tmsky  

many thanks - Amazing work as always

link David Revoy  

I promise no mature, no sex, no violence. With this episode, I don't think I'm even borderline to my rules; but I 'm not planning to go further into this direction. I also understand that this perception/standard/degree can vary from one culture to another.

link David Revoy  

Thank you for your comment Sergey,
Oh yes Cosplay. I can easily imagine how it can quickly go out of control. :)

link David Revoy  

Thank you Nina,
Yes, it was mandatory for this story to have Pepper excluded from the participant. I wish I was able to add more reaction shot at the end ( mainly the one of Shichimi and Coriander) but I had to cut to keep my final twist more unexpected.

link Victor Cavalcanti  

I don't think I've said this before, but I do REALLY love the design of Komona. It works beautifully with the setting and the mood and the characters!

Also, thank you for this chapter! It was awesome (and the critic about the voting system on dozens of websites was spot on).

link tofei  

Sad but sells!

link Alpha  

Am I the only person here who feels totally disappointed by this chapter? David, I thought so much better of you, your attitude towards women and this comic. That's offensive for me and to every women to see you impicturing these kind, talented witch girls all of sudden stupid and greedy enough to turn themselves into flirty dolls with piquant smiles just like that. «Come ooon, girls, we don't want you smart and skillfull, we wanna drool on you, the sexiest will win, so get undressed!» — that's the message, and it's gross.
Until this chapter «Pepper & Carrot» was a wonderful, open-minded and heart-warming story, full of witty, characterful girls and women, a rare gem among tons of sexist, cliched, man-oriented and often misogynistic comics for so long. And here we are. I honestly didn't expect this from you, and this saddens me utterly.

link roboq6  

You also have shown the second way this system can be abused, "give her the green thumb anyway, she is our friend after all". The same logic can be applied to relatives and loyal fans, they can vote "Like" no matter how bad the performance was.

link SethRichard  

While I'm not David of course, I still feel like I should respond to this. I can see where you're coming from, but I believe that David's intentions weren't akin to your perspective on this chapter. I can't read David's mind, but I believe he wanted to shed a new light on this scenario—to sort of parody and criticize the fan-service (glorifying bodily appeal in women) aspect of art and media we see today. We can even see Pepper face-palming in shame as her friend, Saffron, gladly poses half-nude solely for attention. We are not meant to root for Saffron, but to identify with Pepper's show of disapproval, but I can see where misunderstandings may arise. David's comment above even says:

"For our witches, they discover here the power of the "cute witches" effect; a parody of a trend I see growing everywhere on Anime culture nowaday, but also the load of "sexy" content I see in digital-art to get more "like" and "upvote" in general... Denunciating this practice with humor wasn't evident, but it was fun to try."

David seems to be, as he put it, in favor of the denunciation of sexualizing women. Not to sound bossy, but I say you should try to overlook this chapter if you can't perceive the same message David intended.

Besides, the whole body-flaunting thing rather suits Saffron's character, so I found it funny.

link SethRichard  

I know this comment is somewhat late, but I had to say it. After re-reading the whole series up-to-date again, I must say the first aspect about Pepper and Carrot that comes to mind: Attention to detail. My goodness.

Throughout every episode, I love to scan every inch and corner of the panels because it's always chock-full of detail. Whether it's tiny bugs or scribbled potion labels or background characters, there's always something small to be found that can be just as pretty and captivating as the big pictures. My reason for saying this is that I saw background characters in this episode I recognized all the way back from the earlier episodes. After re-reading, I saw the blonde elf lady, the dog-person with droopy ears, and the penguin with the helmet all from episode 3 return to this episode. Probably others I missed as well! Amazing little details :)

link roboq6  

The score of Shichimi is too high, IMHO. On the last panel, we see as many likes can one person get (19863). Probably it's not the maximum, but it's way closer than previous scores to the maximum.

But the same should be true for dislikes, potentially one performer can get 19863 dislikes. Now compare it with the reaction of the crowd and the actual score (-42). It's very high compared to how bad the performance was (I think very few people would like to be suddenly blinded with flash. And I doubt that many people were wearing sunglasses) and how many dislikes one performer can get.

link SethRichard  

You almost sound like you wanted poor Shichimi to get 19863 dislikes! She tried her best, at least =PA

link David Revoy  

Hi Alpha,
That's hurt to get this type of feedback on my episode ... Really.
Be sure I featured in this episode this behavior as a device to denunciate it ( as SethRichard already replied in details, thank you SethRichard ).

link David Revoy  

Thank you for noticing all this details, I put a lot of passion on it :-)

link David Revoy  

That's a good point roboq6, and you'll be probably not surprise to know we had discussions about it with the French correctors Valvin and Nartance when I posted the first pencil artwork with it ; we finally set it to not a huge pack of dislike, because a part of the public still recognize her spell as something powerful and impressive. Also, many in public are affraid of Ah magic --the magic of Shichimi-- (a detail for later, in background story ) and probably prefered to upvote or didn't vote for her. That's how we ended choosing between "0" ( but it was too confusing) , "2" (because it's funny in French RPG when someone score "2" , it really mean a bad score ) or playing with a classic number. I decided to choose -42 . A cameo to the . But sure, it's not a 100% perfect solution.

link roboq6  

Thank you for your reply!

And by the way, here you showed the third way the system can be abused: people can be afraid to give dislikes or NOT to give likes. Like in some pseudo-democratic dictatorships where you can get in trouble if you vote in "wrong" way or where the regime, in general, will become more repressive if NOT enough people voted for the dictator.

link Duffy P. Weber  

Huge props to the Mayor for the "please, a little decorum!" line. He was fun to voice for Morevna, and I'm glad he's a rather upstanding sort of guy. XD

Gorgeous comics, as always! ^_^

link ignos  

Do not worry and like in your story - do what you want, not what the crowd demands. You can not get on with all people unless you are a shapeshifter. Alpha also could be a sophisticated troll like the one in the avatar issue under CDN article.

link David Revoy  

Hey! Amazing performance on the Motion-Comic! ( ) Thank you for giving your voice and acting to the Mayor. It was really professional.

link David Revoy  

Thank you Ignos!

link Duffy P. Weber  

Thanks so much! I really enjoyed it, and it was indeed an honor. It's always a pleasure to be a part of something so awesome. If you guys do another one, give me a shout any time! ^_^

link Night Dragon21  

Couldn't help but notice the use of l337 as a score to describe how impressive the voting system is. Funny way of sneaking that in there. I also agree David's stance on the website voting system and what causes uncanny slew of upvotes for some sites. The system is indeed imperfect, and prevents some good webcomics from truly beginning to shine.

link Snoots  

Oh, seeing a 2D score at any angle doesn't have to be magic. We do it all the time on virtual worlds. Create a "particle generator" which detects the viewer and displays that image specifically for the user. If there are 12 users, they all see the image from virtually 12 different directions.

Uh... well... maybe that IS kinda magic... ;D

link Eléïs  

Je ne réponds qu'à celui là mais j'adore tous les épisodes. L'histoire est géniale, les personnages sont trop mignons, les dessins magnifiques !!!!
Je tenais juste à dire que moi j'adore la prestation de Shichimi. Et puis elle est trop chou !!!

link David Revoy  

Merci ! J'éspère que le prochain épisode vous plaira!

link perlcat  

A wonderful episode; you have a gift for artful storytelling that ventures into the sublime. Thank you.

link Goyhen  

I have the same opinion as Alpha.
Sorry I prefer to write in French.
Je suis du même avis et je pense que ça tiens beaucoup du sexisme ordinaire plus que d'une réelle intention. Mais en réalité l'intention ce n'est pas vraiment ce qui compte. Car se préoccupé de l'intention c'est souvent se préoccupé de comment se sent la personne en position de domination plutôt de se demander comment ça peut-être ressentis par les personnes qui subissent ça.
Ce qui est est blesse ce n'est pas tant ce que vous pouvez ressentir en tant qu'auteur que ce qui est ressenti par toutes les personnes qui auront pu se sentir offensées, blessées.
Je n'ai pas encore lu la suite de votre travail (j'ai au moins lu tous les épisodes jusqu'à celui-là)
Et je pense que d'une certaine manière même si j'apprécie l'univers graphique, il me semble qu'il y a certaines choses qui pourraient être plus prise en compte mais que je suppose être difficile en tant que mec d'appréhender, dans la façon dont les personnages peuvent avoir de se comporter.
J'ai l'impression que des efforts sont fait, mais étant donné le sexisme ordinaire qui traverse toute notre société lorsqu'on est pas une meuf, lorsqu'on est pas concerné.e, c'est plus difficile de s'en rendre compte et donc de le prendre en compte.

link David Revoy  

J’espère que mon travail sur l'épisode suivant ( le 23 ) éclaircira ce mal entendu.

link Pip  

I agree with you... I was also surprised nobody wrote anything about it until now. It would have been a little less bad if just Saffron did it, but the fact all the remaining contestants decided they were okay with being objectified if it helped them win the contest is very disturbing...

I am sure David didn't mean it like that. But still, there are three contesting women in the end of the episode and they all seem to enjoy being drooled on rather than taken seriously, which just puts off the wrong message.

But I also agree with you until now "Pepper & Carrot" was wonderful, and I don't think this has to be the end of it... I hope it isn't, and there won't be more episodes with this sort of things.

link Pandalina  

It's so true. If you post "sexy" pictures on the Internet, you have more likes then people which doing something beautiful.

link David Revoy  

Thank you!

link David Revoy  

Exactly! thank you for getting the message Pandalina

This group of Redditor here also hunt this effect over internet: and true ; it applies also for artist doing more and more Pinup for the like and reshare ...

link libre fan  

Il y a qqchose de différent dans les dessins. Certains sont très bons mais le trait est souvent trop lisse. Je préfère les épisodes avant le n° 21. En plus encore un concours même si certains décors sont très réussis.

Cet épisode semble s’adresser aux accros à Facebook. Bof, on s’en fout des likes et autres stupidités. Il y a autre chose à raconter et à dessiner dans des histoires avec des sorcières.

Et là je suis d’accord avec Alpha dont le commentaire a été mal lu et par toi David et par ignos. Pour dénoncer le sexisme, il est plus efficace et plus beau de montrer des femmes autrement, plutôt comme dans les épisodes précédents, que dans des postures ridicules qui relèvent de la satire.

link captnfab  

Je ne pense pas que l'objectif de cette planche était de dénoncer le sexisme en général, mais plutôt de montrer comment l'évaluation par la popularité a tendance à mener à une sexualisation du contenu.

Ça ne veut pas dire que toutes les filles vont se mettre à se dénuder, mais que celles qui le font gagneront souvent une certaine popularité grâce à cela sans grand lien avec leurs autres talents. Ce travers existe, cette planche en illustre à mon avis intelligemment la cause.

De plus, je ne vois pas là de jugement porté sur les participantes. Elles ne sont pas utilisées comme des femmes-objet, elles profitent d'une faiblesse du public pour changer leur stratégie.

On comprend clairement à l'attitude de Pepper que ce n'est pas ce qu'elle ferait (donc que ce n'est pas le comportement modèle montré par l'auteur).

Peut-être auriez-vous voulu voir le désarrois de Pepper face à cette concurrence déloyale si elle avait participé légitimement et perdu, ou si elle avait pris sur elle pour se rabaisser à faire comme ses consœurs…
Pour ma part, je ne souhaite pas cela à Pepper, et je pense que tous ceux qui ont ressenti cela ressentent bien le problème dénoncé ici.

link David Revoy  

👍 Merci captnfab pour ce retour. J'ai souvent peur de mal être compris et certaines interprétation de cette épisode m'ont fait -en effet- peur.

link SirParsley  

Ah, so that's why Shichimi is the witch of "Ah".

link Adam  

But you're not offended to Pepper wearing a bikini while on vacation.

link Idk  


link scarecrowd  

I rather see the opposite. And the very important message is:
- The average society we all can have IS heteronormative and sexist.
- When you are judged by them, their opinion IS biased. So you just literally cannot get the extra points on your "cuteness" if you're a woman abd you're not stereotypically attractive.
- If you want to compete and win, you HAVE to keep it in mind and to play by the rules you cannot change right away. If you reveal your talent AND your pants, you get higher scores than if you just show your talent. And someone who didn't show pants may get the prize just 'cause you didn't use this option.
- This situation is hilarious and gross in general. (But it doesn't make the girls less skilled or more aggressive to each other tbh. It is still a competition, and it began as one.)

So it's about making a choice in a non-sterile environment that is not always just, friendly, objective etc. Saffron actually got VERY high score in the very first round, and there was only one way to get the same, and it was obvious. And while David shows what's wrong in such sort of competition, I see many other men asking blightly, "what is objectivarion??? where did you get these stupid words?! why don't you like girls with the map of Middle-Earth on their slim t-shits? shut up and get out from our RPGs, you're spoiling all the fun" /_-

link anon  

I deeply dislike the trend you mention. In fact, I was getting worried by the numerous "cute" images in this story. I saw at the end you were actually putting it in a different light. I think it is a very good thing to actively fight against such culture.

link TxDR  

...still better than those horrid granny panties Pepper had on in episode 10.......

link Gorumaton  

I agree. The female characters show far too much ankle for polite society.

link Tresaden  

How old are the girls supposed to be again exactly?
Quel âge sont les filles censéés avoir exactement?

link Craig Maloney  

They are all roughly 14 years of age at the moment.

link GunChleoc  

Whenever you do satire or irony, expect some people not to get it and to be offended. This female person thought this episode was spot-on, so try not to worry about it.

link Mario  

it is an amazing criticism to the social media. I follow your tutorials in Youtube.
You are great bro.

link J  

The best, and worst thing about democracy is that the public always gets what it deserves.

link mario  

Not sure where other commenters live, but according to the wiki saffron is 14, meaning you guys should not be sexualizing her

link David Revoy Author,

14 y/o is when the serie starts, Pepper's B'day at ep8 makes them 15 years old, this is another 'magic contest' so, one year after the first potion contest. So, to be precise; she would be probably 16 at that time. But that's not the point and doesn't change much.

I think this episode is (unfortunately) still very relevant four years after publishing, with the actual issues of hypersexualisation of content produced by Tik-tok teens creators (in a competition for likes/fame, articles and videos about it are easy to find). Please read this episode as my attempt to report this issue I saw growing on many social media at that time, but more broadly about all "sexy" content. (that's what I say in my first comment). I selected Safron (not Pepper) because this character has larger moral boundaries and she is not the heroes (she started even as the vilain). Pepper, at the end facepalm twice and condamn this system. I can't be more explicit about my position on the topic.

link David Revoy Author,

Pour la différence dans les dessins c'est très simple, pendant cet épisode je me suis fait cambriolé ( ) et je n'avais plus mon matériel. J'ai du faire cet épisode au crayon sur papier avec un bureau presque vide et du matériel de rechange (une tablette bien plus petite qui ne me laissait pas trop faire de détails). Malgrès ce challenge technique, je trouve quatre ans plus tard qu'il a bien vieillis.

link David Revoy Author,


link David Revoy Author,

Thank you!

link Juan  

I just introduced this to my preteen daughter based on the first few episodes before this one and was quite concerned on the 3 panels after Saffron's mishap!

But thankfully, the next panels until the end told me Mr. Revoy was actually against what he "did" on those 3 panels and even illustrated the ending in more modest manner.

I would have preferred less skin on those 3 panels while still putting across the highly admirable message Mr. Revoy was aiming for.

But that's my take and is in no way meant to discourage Mr. Revoy's stance and message. To be clear, I wholeheartedly agree with the point Mr. Revoy was making in this episode.

I've always leaned on depicting people in comic or animation in a respectful manner and Mr. Revoy, I believe, leans on that, too.

Again thanks, Mr. Revoy for this comic and your very generous sharing of your talent in your youtube videos!

link Wizardcat  

Christopher Stasheff in his "Warlock of Gramarye" series had stated that a pre-requisite for democracy is good education. I.e, here, it would mean enough magical knowledge on the part of voters (and/or at least self-restraint) to judge the witches on the merits of their magical ability, not talk or looks.

Ideally, the voting would also have two branches - technical complexity and show value. Pepper with her jar or a good Aqua artist might make a top-notch show with most basic of magics, while a healer's work fixing a broken bone will be invisible and yet might be a top-notch magic and a "technological" break-through that changes medicine in the years to come.

Comparing them is comparing apples to oranges and highly unsuited to a simple popularity vote among the laymen - the basic urges easily outvote the sense of fairness when nigh everybody has the cute-loving drives that had reproduced the population throughout millennia and hardly anybody can really figure out what is fair in the unfathomable field of magic.

link das-g  

I like how the skeletons, too, are contemplating Coriander's score.

link Lil  

Amazing art and story! I love the magic and the new characters and their names although Camomille is not new; we see her in episode 18 in the flashback but anyways, it was great!

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