Milton is entitled

We all know why bullies bully.

Right?

Not quite.

When I created Lennan and Smallsy Comics, I was adamant that it would explore the causes of domestic violence. One way I do this is by examining the abusive attitude.

Enter Milton.

Mean and menacing, he’s not unlike lots of cartoon bullies. But I gave him a unique stroke – his attitude, which is basically:

“I deserve to get what I want.” 

Blighted by a past slight (for which he unfairly blames Lennan), Milton will do anything to get what he deserves – what he thinks he deserves. It’s this warped sense of ‘deserving’ that underpins the abusive attitude.

When I was growing up, I was pressed upon from all sides that bullies are cowards, that they probably had lousy childhoods, and that their self-esteem needed a boost. The collective belief was that if these factors weren’t present, then the bully wouldn’t bully. It seemed simple. 

Too simple.

A few years and epiphanies later, I noticed cracks in these theories. Amongst the wild speculation about feelings and childhoods, no one seemed to mention the beliefs or attitudes that are common to bullies. 

Then I found a book by a renowned author and counsellor for abusive men. He made one simple assertion, which instantly cleared my confusion. It was:

‘Attitudes drive behaviour. Not feelings.’ 

A big chunk of the Lennan and Smallsy narrative depicts the attitudes that drive abuse; namely the entitlement to power and privilege, and the right to take any steps needed to establish these. 

I won’t deny that Milton’s had a lousy childhood. And no, lousy childhoods aren’t the best self-esteem builders. But why he treats Lennan and Smallsy the way he does has more to do with his belief about what the world owes him, and his entitlement to justice (read: vengeance), since he was dealt a bad hand in the first place. 

Speaking of which, ‘JUSTICE VS VENGEANCE’ is the name of Milton’s latest story.

Come check it out, and see his abusive attitude in full swing here.

And leave those flimsy theories about bullies in the dust – right where Milton leaves his victims. 

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