ORIGIN STORY | 2021
Women are often pressured by society to shrink, to become accommodating, to bend to others’ needs without considering their own — but what happens when a woman is pushed too far? Niki Colet’s comic illustration explores the experience of shock and guilt over the emotion of anger. The comic strip’s title serves as a nod to the trope of the villain’s backstory, an account that reveals how a character came to become an antagonist. In this story, the feminine quality of softness is taken advantage of — forcing the artist’s hand into a sense of newfound rage, akin to the feeling of a burning fire. Initially published on her newsletter, Voice Notes, the illustrated narrative explores the fear of becoming the villain in one’s own life. The artist yearns to strike the delicate balance required to truly become one’s own person: to be strong and stand up for oneself, without hardening so deeply that the treasured traits of kindness and empathy are corrupted in anger’s wake.