TF2 GORL SCOUT YEARBOOK ZINE
The online "Girl Scout Yearbook" zine is a for-fun zine to show off the community's girl Scout characters! I also took the time to write a bit of my thoughts on the concept of a girl who is a Scout.
This zine is and always will be FREE TO READ, and you can download the PDF to print a copy of the zine for personal reading! Don't buy this zine, don't resell this zine, and don't reproduce this zine for profit!
The cover of the zine is a collaborative watercolor painting by Deflectric and SCUMSUCK.
|Theme:||Female characters based off the "Scout" class in TF2.|
|Organizers:||SCUMSUCK and deflectric|
|Type of art:||48 pages of illustrations and writing!|
|Contributor compensation:||My love and respect. If you like the zine, I highly encourage you to donate or buy from the artists and writers in it by checking out their credited accounts!
All contributors retain the rights to the art and writing they submit. They can use their own art however they wish, without attributing me (SCUMSUCK) or the zine. This zine is completely free, and there is no profit or money directly involved.
By participating, contributors are granting me the rights to reproduce their work on my website (SCUMSUCK.COM) with credit to the artist for an indefinite amount of time. As long as the zine remains on my website, their work will remain reproduced on my site. Should an artist no longer wish for their work to be viewable on my website, they should email me at CONTACT@SCUMSUCK.COM and let me know that they want me to take their work down! I'll do it no questions asked, and leave in blank filler in the work's place.
|Content warnings:||Cartoon violence, and textual mentions of sexuality.|
★ FOREWORD: Why Girl Scouts?
Reproduced from the zine forward.
I want more girls in male-dominated spaces! When I was growing up in fanspaces in the 2000’s, there was so much irrational hatred for girl characters (think Sakura, Fuu, Orihime, Hermione and Ginny). Whether the characters were written well or not was irrelevant. The fact that they were presented as girls was enough for everyone’s (internalized) misogyny to activate! How dare this GIRL get in the way of our MANLY adventures and yaoiz?!?!
Things are better in modern fandom, though male characters still receive the most attention. Probably because most media depicts all-male casts, with maybe one lady sidekick. Even TF2 falls to this imbalance: 9 men, and The Administrator when it first shipped. There were female characters planned in concept art, but Valve never got around to implementing them. That speaks volumes about how male characters are considered the generic default in most games, and girls are considered an unnecessary afterthought. The unused class designs are quite a good base to build characters on, and they show that Valve did seek some form of that ever-sought-yet-disparaged “diversity” through various skintones and genderswaps.
I’m personally VERY inspired by the fan creations of female characters in TF2! Girl Scouts can come in genderbend, self-insert, or original character flavors, and often mix all the flavors together!
My favorite Scout character, as many may know, is from the Scout-Chan OP. It’s SO different from the “canon” Scout -- but it feels so right to make her into a zombie fighting schoolgirl! Especially because Uberchain used the default model for Scout to make him a Scout-chan. There are so many attempts to “feminize” Scout into a female character that squish the face and make the model look strange, but simply keeping the model as-is is just so effective! Girls don’t have to look a certain way!
Even the notorious squished-face Femscout SFM model is inspirational in a way, because it made me want to design my own take on a girl Scout character that fits my own taste.
The GIRLHOOD that a female Scout evokes is relatable regardless of age or gender due to a Scout’s mutability. They don’t have to have the generic Scout traits of being a white boy from Boston - they can be EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! Girls can look and dress however they want! They should be able to enjoy “cringy” things like Twilight and yaoi manga! They can be average schoolgirls, or adult women who bash people’s heads with a baseball bat for a living.
Anyways. Let’s look at some Scouts!!!
You are here.
Reproduced from the zine
The current state of my girl Scout has taken many years to simmer.
Before becoming invested in Liv, I was unfortunately struggling to write girl characters. The media I consumed as a kid informed my storytelling vocabulary, and I must admit that much of the stories I consumed as a babby excluded girl characters. Ed Edd n Eddy, BatMAN, SpiderMAN, x-MEN, hell, video games like TF2 have ONLY male classes! The only female characters in TF2 are Scout's voiceless/faceless mom, the late addition of Pauling, and the Admin's disembodied voice. Mainstream media tends to feed us men as the default/leading characters with so many varying designs and personalities. Women are rarely written with much depth in comparison, and rarely have designs that go beyond ‘cute/hot girl’ or ‘hag’. I recall reading writing advice for men that suggested that if one was having trouble writing women, they should think of her as a male character. It’s a little silly how mainstream media tends to think of female characters as “the other”, barely humans!
Female characters that fall under the “schoolgirl” trope often exist just to be fragile babies or objects of sexual desire (or both at the same time!), and are rarely written with complex wants or sexual autonomy. See: the Aerosmith video “Crazy” where Liv Tyler (the song singer’s at-the-time 17 year old daughter) plays a schoolgirl, gets upskirted, is ogled by a gas station attendant, pole-dances, has a lil’ pillowfight with her friend, and strips naked for skinny-dipping. There’s nothing inherently seedy about the video’s subject. Of course teenagers go on road trips and do “crazy” things! But I find it extremely repetitive and boring to constantly regurgitate the sexy schoolgirl trope in which men (both the director, viewers, and characters in the video) are openly lusting after young girls.
Even media that seeks to subvert that trope still play more on the lust of men rather than the desires of girls. See: Hard Candy. Elliot Page plays a 14 year old girl who lures child predators by playing on the innocent schoolgirl trope, then plays up the sexy schoolgirl trope to trap them into torture and murder. In this case the girl is “in control” -- yet she isn’t. Her personal wants are dictated by the desires of men, and the entire concept is predicated on the girl posturing as prey for sexual predators. I really enjoyed the movie, but it’s a very straightforward take and something in me wants a little bit more twists and turns. There just doesn’t seem to be a world, even in media fantasy, where girls have desires but are not the object of desire.
The earliest form of a girl Scout/Liv that I have are these designs for what I labeled as the “Japanese Groupie” from 2013. It plays upon the same concept as Hard Candy although I hadn’t seen the movie yet at the time: She lures in sexual predators, and chops off their peepees. She’s mistaken as a child, though she’s actually 35, and plays up her short stature and babyface for her trap. She’s also mistaken as Japanese, although she’s Chinese, and she also plays that up because westerners are more enamoured with Japanese pop culture. I still think the concept is fine, but too much impetus for the story is given to the predators, and too much of it plays on the viewer being aware of the identity stereotypes (while people still lack self-awareness in real life: people still mistake me for a child, or mistake me as Japanese)! Not enough story is moved by the girl! I want MORE.
The Scout-Chan SFM is the greatest piece of art in the history of TF2. When I re-engaged with the game in 2018, I was SHAKEN when I discovered it, and had to tell everyone I knew about it!! This is the POV I’m talking about, lads and ladettes! I was enamoured!! The SFM perfectly captured what I liked about the Scout and Spy dynamic! Scout has a crush on Spy, and Spy doesn’t do anything about it (but helps Scout fight crime at night?!!). I love the Sukeban Boy design design for Scout, the whole pun with Sailor Scouts is fun, and I grew up with Sailor Moon so it hit my nostalgia prostate button real good. Most importantly for me, the SFM never shows Scout and Spy in a ”relationship”. They remain distant, but close. I love that.
I had to spread the word of Scout-Chan the only way I knew how. I drew a couple of comics and sketches inspired by the SFM! But they were obviously tinged with my own tastes.
My ideas got very off-topic from the original zombie-slayer Scout-Chan, and I wanted to make my own Scout that was a girl. On the way, I drew variations that became other girl Scouts with their own personalities (but always the same face and body! My Scouts are infinite, indistinguishable, and disposable!). I eventually settled on basically the same outfit as my boy Scout, Ollie, with a ponytail that was in between the hairstyle of my 2013 dickchopper OC and Scout-chan. She was to be named Liv, partially because it’s a feminine form of the name Oliver, and partially because of the aforementioned Liv Tyler moment. There’s some interplay with how strange it is for Steven Tyler to cast his own daughter as a sexy model, and how many people compare the Scout and Spy relationship to a fatherly one, with all of that being tossed into a dumpster fire and coming out as a reversal of older-creepy-man into younger-girl-who-creeps-on-her-mentor-figure.
Liv’s infatuation with Basile should always be a little sad (and very creepy), even if most of the comics I draw are haha funnies. She didn’t grow up with an adequate parent figure, and latched onto the closest thing she could find: a mentor that just barely cares about her because he’s paid to teach her French class. Basile will never care for Liv the same way she does, and Liv thinks everything in the moment is an eternal flame.
No matter how much Liv thinks she loves some broken old man and pushes for his attention and affection, there will never be an old fart chasing after her.
Sometimes Basile is a woman, or in the same age range of Liv, but that doesn’t change Liv’s chances with Basile. Liv’s just a generic brown-haired anime girl, but she has no special powers or world-saving story. And she has no love-interest that she will end up with. Just a girl!
A fun thing about Liv is that she’s anywhere between the ages of 14-40. Fake character ages are hilariously arbitrary. Before the Track Terrorizer and comics gave a solid number to Scout’s age, so many people thought he was a teenager. Guess what, he’s an adult man-child closer to 30 years of age! And thank god for the Track Terrorizer, because that striped jacket inspired so much of my Scouts’s stories of being grownass adult babies still stuck in school. Except the Track Terrorizer implies that the ingame Scout terrorizes high school girls -- I prefer my Scouts to terrorize the teachers and milfs who come to pick up their kids. I also think of those Generic Brown Haired anime protags yet again, where the english dubs of girls like Card Captor Sakura or Sailor Moon are obviously 35 year old women attempting to sound younger.
Any art in which Liv is dreaming of a relationship with Basile is simply that. A dream. She’s an RPF yumejoshi for the idea of Basile she’s constructed in her mind’s eye, whether it’s the dream version of her teacher, or the fan fiction character she’s created about him as her cool biker girlfriend. All her dreams have wicked sweet soundtracks.
Music has always been my inspiration for art, and this zine is no different! I added a section for people for their girl Scout’s song, because I always have a song or playlist in my head when I’m drawing a character. And I’m always eager to hear what else people are listening to!
GIRL SCOUTS FUCKIN RULE!!! They can be anything you want them to be, and their possibilities are endless! Please enjoy Shane and I’s art of our particular flavor of girl scout that we’ve created throughout the last two years, and please SAVOR and WORSHIP the artists who have submitted their girl Scouts to view!!!