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Eric: No, Mom. There *isn't* something I've forgotten to tell you.

Questionable Content

(From Questionable Content. Click on the thumbnail for full sized revelations!)

It occurs to me it's been a while since I talked about Questionable Content.

Actually, it occurs to me it's been a while since I talked about... well, anything.

I wrote over fifty thousand words last month. You know there's only so much time in the day, right?

Anyway. Questionable Content has gotten interesting. Again. But first, let me talk about the art. Because I love talking about the art. Jeph Jacques has always worked on improving and enhancing the artwork of his strip. As I've mentioned before, he's tried to differentiate his female characters without going overboard. That's improved even further (Dora looks far more Suicidegirl these days -- almost reedy. Faye looks more substantial. Though the continue comments on her chunkiness seems a bit odd sometimes, since she remains "aerodynamically curvaceous.) More to the point, however, the artwork is extremely clean and getting cleaner all the time. And lest you think that's Illustrator at work, I've sat in a cafe and watched the man drawing with a sharpie. He turns out extremely polished work with a casualness that frightens a man watching it in action.

So. On to the news. Because dude, there's news.

Questionable Content is a romantic comedy. As with 84.5% (by volume) of all romantic comedies, the tension and conflict of the strip comes from the question of the two leads hooking up, bumping uglies, doing the nasty, falling in love, ripping the bodices, taking the skin boat to tuna town, riding the baloney pony, tethering the blimp, shaking hands with Abraham Lincoln, kissing God Damn it. And so on. If the strip follows the formula (and that's not a guarantee), then in the last minutes of the picture Faye and Marten kiss, and then they walk out of the frame to a Journey song in the background.

As a side note? I was a teenager in the 80's. My default assumption at all times is that Journey songs equate to "happily ever after" in romance. Almost certainly, on my wedding day, I'll try to get "Every Way You Want It" to be the recessional.

(As a side note to my side note, I've just started a cascade rumor that's going to dominate the comments. Please note what was said in the last paragraph, what was not said in the last paragraph, and just how badly Weds is going to smack me around for starting rumors without consulting her. I am, by nature, a troublemaker.)

We know that Questionable Content isn't ending soon. And yet, the core conflict's being poked. Faye has asked Marten if he has feelings for her. He has admitted it. Now, she's going to tell him why she can't feel the same way about him. Note, she's not telling him she doesn't feel the same way. She's going to tell him why she can't. They're very different things.

This is going to shape the conflict moving forward. Having been "let down easily," assuming it's easy, Marten can potentially explore a relationship with Dora -- who we know actually does have feelings for our emo action star. This is some primo plot development we're moving into, and I'm really, really looking forward to what Jacques does next.

And that, in the end, is the way we want it.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at November 29, 2005 10:12 AM

Comments

Comment from: HydrogenGuy posted at November 29, 2005 10:38 AM

Cause that's the way we need it.

Like any good romantic comedy, there need to be bumps along the way. The more the bumps resemble the Himalayas, the better, frequently. So just because Faye's givin' Marten The Talk now doesn't mean we won't have a "You Had Me At Hello" moment later.

Dammit, I need to find my Journey tapes now.

Comment from: Zaq posted at November 29, 2005 11:05 AM

As a current college student, Journey is a bit before my time, but while I have at least a passing respect for most 80's music as better than most of the stuff people think of as "today's" music (though my tastes run far more... esoteric. Marten would consider my tastes to be weird. But I digress.), but Journey sticks out in my mind as "claw my brain I hate this" music. I gather that's a fairly common sentiment; Journey, as I gather, is really damn polarizing.

Not that I really had a point in saying this, but I'll defintely be watching for what's going on next... of course, if it were Randy Milholland writing this instead of Mr. Jacques, for tomorrow's strip he'd cut to Steve or Natalie or someone. Just saying.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 29, 2005 11:23 AM

Hmph. This is completely at odds with the Davey and Goliath thing.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 29, 2005 11:37 AM

Davey and Goliath is clearly a processional. Journey is a recessional.

Wait -- I mean no! No Davey and Goliath!

Comment from: Sandalphon posted at November 29, 2005 11:38 AM

Having been "let down easily," assuming it's easy, Marten can potentially explore a relationship with Dora

True, but it looks like he still has a long way to go to overcome his shyness over asking someone out. Still, many people in real life manage to overcome that, so you never know. But I'd like to suggest another possibility: Raven. Three times now (two within the last couple of weeks) she's behaved toward Marten in a way that can only be described as flirty. Yes, she qualifies it by saying Marten's not her type, but three times? One of those being an ass grab? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Oh, and if (purely hypothetically) Eric and Weds ever were to marry, they should do so on Websnark. You know, set up a chat session so we can all type "awww" and "waaa" and such at appropriate points. And throw virtual rice.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 29, 2005 11:48 AM

Sandalphon: No. :)

Eric: Aw, come *on*. You know that the Davey and Goliath theme is about as appropriate as it gets.

That or the second Bibleman theme. You get to choose.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 29, 2005 12:00 PM

Perhaps, if and when it becomes common knowledge that Faye's taken herself out of the picture, Dora and Raven will compete for Marten. Might that be an entertaining device for ensuring Marten's lack of serious involvement elsewhere and still driving Faye up the wall? Or maybe now we know why my webcomic derives from a found plot.

I recommend the inspection scene music from Star Trek I for processional. It's what I wish I'd done.

Comment from: xbishop posted at November 29, 2005 12:02 PM

Regarding your side note, I may be way off, but does that mean a proposal has been made and accepted? Or just that the possiblity has been discussed? Either way, good on you!

Comment from: kamagurka posted at November 29, 2005 12:02 PM

QC==Crack

Comment from: Matt Blackwell posted at November 29, 2005 12:03 PM

Eric, a serious question here: What movies actually featured songs by Journey in them? I can remember "Anyway You Want It" showing up in "Caddyshack" but the only time I can recall their music being played as a backdrop for a love scene was in "Heavy Metal" which wasn't the most romantic of films.

Comment from: Egarwaen posted at November 29, 2005 12:11 PM

I'd like to note that she can't right now. This means that a more likely development for some "next part" of the story is Faye finding a way that she can.

Of course, this also means that Jeph very probably won't do this next-next.

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 29, 2005 12:16 PM

What movies actually featured songs by Journey in them?

According to IMDB, which makes trivia questions less fun, there were five between 1980 and 1985: Caddyshack, Havey Metal, Two of a Kind, Ricky Business, and Vision Quest. Then, later on, you get the retro: The Wedding Singer, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and Monster. Also an episode of Scrubs and, of course, the "Journey" video game.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at November 29, 2005 12:37 PM

Also, "Come Sail Away" was used in the trailer for Atlantis.

And I'm not a HUUUUGE QC fan, but the fact that we're actually getting SOMETHING makes me dying for the next one.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 29, 2005 12:40 PM

Come Sail Away was Styx.

Comment from: TheNintenGenius posted at November 29, 2005 12:41 PM

I thought Journey also did the soundtrack to Tron, for better or far far worse.

I personally can't help but like Journey on some level just because they're so goddamned ridiculous. Seriously, the music video for Journey's "Seperate Ways" is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things ever.

Oh yeah, QC. I'm loving it as much as ever and I'm hell of interested in seeing just where this goes, even if I'm fairly sure I know what's going to happen (as Eric said, Faye says she just can't right now, this opens up Marten to potentially pursuing other women (read: Dora), this leads to jealousy from Faye, and a whole lot of other stuff). Of course, Jeph's probably a good enough writer to where he'll end up NOT going where I think it will, but even if I'm right, I know Jeph will do it right.

I'd also love to see indietits get updated more often but, well, you can't get everything.

Comment from: Pseudowolf posted at November 29, 2005 12:42 PM

of course, if it were Randy Milholland writing this instead of Mr. Jacques, for tomorrow's strip he'd cut to Steve or Natalie or someone.

Actually, that sounds more like Maritza Campos's style.

Comment from: Zaq posted at November 29, 2005 1:01 PM

Pseudowolf: You're probably right. Randy would have cut with today's strip, after Monday's.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at November 29, 2005 1:33 PM

I personally can't help but like Journey on some level just because they're so goddamned ridiculous. Seriously, the music video for Journey's "Seperate Ways" is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things ever.

Then this is probably a pretty good time for me to revisit my first ever "Fan Fiction Friday" blog entry, which helped inform the mortified world of the existence of Steve Perry Fan Fiction.

(Come to think of it — to fully bring this back on to topic — that blog entry also namechecked what must, I suspect, be one of Marten's favorite albums of all time)

Comment from: Copper Hamster posted at November 29, 2005 1:36 PM

Tron had a couple of Journey tracks in it.

Personally, when I think of sappy happily ever after 80s movie music, I lean more towards:

http://www.reallifecomics.com/daily_old.php?strip_id=1557


But that's just me.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 29, 2005 1:43 PM

See, whenever anyone mentions Journey, I can't but think of a now-defunct Boston-area humor paper, The Weekly Week. They once had an entire advice column centered around WWJD - What Would Journey Do? Priceless.

As for QC - Bleh. I get frustrated enough by people like this in real life. When I talk to people acting like this, I advise them, in no uncertain terms, to be up front and honest with other people and either get into a relationship or move on. And QC's cast is like the ne plus ultra of personality traits I can't stand (except for Pintsize - he rocks).

Sure, his art is fine, but Jacques' writing makes me want to strangle each and every one of his characters.

Though Jacques might be getting better - another problem I always felt QC had was a lack of payoff for, well, nearly anything. I know Milholland's jumps around, especially right after he gives you a payoff, but at least he always gives you one in a story.

Comment from: Spatchcock posted at November 29, 2005 1:58 PM

QC is the biggest blue-balls dry hump in webcomics, it's the emperor's new clothes, it stinks the joint out every time it updates. The giant stentorian balloons of ladled-on non-dialog, the rigid, expressionless art, the glacial non-plots. One can only imagine that it appeals entirely to a generation too happied-out on Prozac (or drama-illiterate) to understand that nothing is happening, or if something is happening, it has happened somewhere else. I would speculate that it also happened much, much faster.

Perhaps the appeal of Questionable Content is its utter remove from the conventions of the comic form. Jacques' new-money interview on Pitchfork (in summary: "I peddle tshirts to the easily pleased") certainly reveals a desperate lack of guile.

Where will its thinly-drawn characters take us next? Wherever that may be, you can be sure the people there will talk a lot without stopping.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 29, 2005 2:11 PM

QC is the biggest blue-balls dry hump in webcomics, it's the emperor's new clothes, it stinks the joint out every time it updates. The giant stentorian balloons of ladled-on non-dialog, the rigid, expressionless art, the glacial non-plots. One can only imagine that it appeals entirely to a generation too happied-out on Prozac (or drama-illiterate) to understand that nothing is happening, or if something is happening, it has happened somewhere else. I would speculate that it also happened much, much faster.

Perhaps the appeal of Questionable Content is its utter remove from the conventions of the comic form. Jacques' new-money interview on Pitchfork (in summary: "I peddle tshirts to the easily pleased") certainly reveals a desperate lack of guile.

Where will its thinly-drawn characters take us next? Wherever that may be, you can be sure the people there will talk a lot without stopping.

Hey! Save that bile-infested hyperbole for Usenet groups. We don't need that kind of hate around here.

Comment from: Kirath posted at November 29, 2005 2:12 PM

Randy Milholland does kind of shift around in a manner that's almost disconcerting. Read the S*P strips from the 23rd to the 25th... Oh wow... then you get one strip of PeeJee doing something incredibly sweet for Davan, then cut immediately to Davan and Aubrey watching MST3K and then it's Aubrey and Mike back to discussing Mike's utter ineptitude in the bedroom.

That's heartbreak to awwwww to the funny in three strips. It's dizzying. It's my favorite comic on the web.

Comment from: quiller posted at November 29, 2005 2:18 PM

Ah those 80's soundtracks. Well, I still have my Risky Business and Breakfast Club soundtrack tapes. That's good music, or at least nostalgic music for someone my age. (Side note: I have attempted to make love in time to the Risky Business soundtrack. My feedback is that it is too short without an autoreverse tapedeck, "Old Time Rock and Roll" is a kind of strange experience rythmically and Muddy Waters did good music but his rhythms aren't very steady.) I'm not sure my tapes are in good enough shape anymore, though. The 80's are getting to be entirely too long ago at this point.

The thing I want to know is why did this talk about Journey's music put "Always something there to remind me" in my head? If I'm going to stop making sense, it should at least be a Talking Heads reference...

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 29, 2005 2:22 PM

Hey! Save that bile-infested hyperbole for Usenet groups. We don't need that kind of hate around here.

The rule is not to insult people, Tice. Don't worry -- if we have a problem with how someone presents in a thread, we'll take care of it. :)

Comment from: Zaq posted at November 29, 2005 2:26 PM

"One can only imagine that it appeals entirely to a generation too happied-out on Prozac (or drama-illiterate) to understand that nothing is happening, or if something is happening, it has happened somewhere else. I would speculate that it also happened much, much faster."

Or you could realize that part of the charm is seeing characters with necessarily exaggerated personalities (which you're going to find in any form of literature or other means of storytelling. That's what makes them characters.) bouncing off situations which are more realistic. You see the personalities of dramatic (meaning that they are characters performing the roles they're given, not that they're being melodramatic. I know this is a smart crowd, but "drama" is a loaded word around here, so I'm erring on the side of caution.) characters in situations which would otherwise be very ordinary and boring, as opposed to the more plot-based situations of most other forms of storytelling, comic or otherwise. It's extremely difficult to imagine one's self or anyone else one knows in the exact situation of, say, Davan, or Kestrel, or Shelley Winters (even in her less surreal scenarios), or whomever. It's entirely possible to have experienced firsthand the situations laid out in the typical QC, though, Pintsize aside... siituations which may be only passingly interesting or downright boring when you or your friends experience it, but becomes amusing when you see a character's reaction to it, rather than a human.

Sure, nothing is "happening". But it's not supposed to, either.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 29, 2005 2:32 PM

Weds is right, of course. Weds is always right. ALL HAIL WEDNESDAY!

Er... sorry.

Anyhow, Weds is right. Spatchcock's comment was explicitly in response to my post. As such, it's legal. Explicitly. This is where the "discourse" part of "dramatic discourse" comes in.

Categorizing his comment with terms like 'hate,' 'bile' or 'Pauly Shore,' on the other hand? Is not. ;)

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at November 29, 2005 2:43 PM

I almost always enjoy QC, but boy, do I feel bad for anyone who relates to the situations it portrays. If it's realistic for people to agonize for months over the most outrageously inconsequential things that Marten and company do, then I don't think there's much hope for us as a species. If I ever related to that kind of wish wash, I might jump off a bridge out of guilt.

I'd also like to take this moment to point out Jeph's more-than-passing resemblance to a certain german dictator.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 29, 2005 2:47 PM

It's true. Jeph looks like Boris Becker. Only taller.

Comment from: jjacques posted at November 29, 2005 2:55 PM

Spatchcock's histrionic tirade against my comic? Hilarious!

A++ WOULD INCITE IRRATIONAL RAGE AGAIN

Comment from: HydrogenGuy posted at November 29, 2005 3:02 PM

Seriously, I think every writer dreams of illiciting a response like that.

Comment from: Spatchcock posted at November 29, 2005 3:05 PM

I do not hate Mr Jacques, nor his comic - it's only a comic strip! But I'm not sure it deserves such high praise. In a medium that offers a broad gamut of genuinely affecting emotional studies, lauding Questionable Content is akin to trumpeting Ding Dongs as "the finest cakes known to humanity".

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 29, 2005 3:09 PM

Yet there are times when Ding Dongs are exactly what you want.

Comment from: Matt Blackwell posted at November 29, 2005 3:10 PM

Please. Everyone know that honor belongs to Chocodiles.

Comment from: W. I. Shane M. posted at November 29, 2005 3:12 PM

Erm, so if the characters in QC have "necessarily exaggerated personalities" what does it mean that I find them to be [i]milder[/i], less 'dramatic', and gerally more sensical than my actual friends?

I like QC cause the situations are generally believable and the characters' words and actions, though humorous, would fit comfortably in with my friends. The characters are human enough to empathise with and 'normal' enough to teach lessons about how people should (or would) act in certain situations.

I prefer QC over any other webcomic I've read- and if emotional pinball and witty conversations between friends aren't worthwhile to you then please go somewhere else. I hear they think like that in Myanmar, or over at indietits.com with the Yelling Bird. Does anyone else suspect Spatchcock is Jeph in disguise, trashing his own comic to get a reaction? (I don't think he'd actually do that, but I know I can't imagine ever picking a handle like 'Spatchcock' either.)

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 29, 2005 3:14 PM

Also, as a member of said anti-depressant taking, drama-illiterate QC-loving generation?

You apparently read the version of Chekhov's Three Sisters where they get to Moscow?

Glacial plots, talking heads, immobile characters who agonize endlessly instead of acting: check.

Brilliant theatre: priceless.

(I'm not saying QC is Chekhov. I... wouldn't know how to begin some kind of valuation there. However, since I'm doing a scene from Three Sisters right now, the topicality was overwhelming.)

Comment from: Connor Moran posted at November 29, 2005 3:15 PM

If it's realistic for people to agonize for months over the most outrageously inconsequential things that Marten and company do, then I don't think there's much hope for us as a species.

To be fair, as I think someone pointed out over on Snarkoleptics, QC most definitely does not move in real-time. I doubt that the entire course of the strip thus far is more than a couple of months in the lives of these characters. Just think of how many week-long storylines take place over an afternoon.

Still, I don't think the QC characters are in a very healthy emotional space. But that's kinda the point, after all.

Comment from: jjacques posted at November 29, 2005 3:17 PM

Well, see that's the thing, Spatchy. I'm not trying to be the finest pastry chef in Paris, here. I'm just trying to tell a story based on (and find the humor inherent in) the minutiae and mundanity of everyday life. If that bores you, or you don't like some aspect of the comic, that's fine. And you're welcome to criticize it! It's just the extremes that some people go to in their opinions of my work that consistently amaze and amuse me.

If you're looking for High Art or the next Great American Comic Strip, my comic is probably not for you. On the other side of the token, the volume of email I get from people who are genuinely affected by my work suggests to me that while I'm not pleasing all of the people all of the time, I'm certainly pleasing some of them (more than 60,000 of them, last time I checked) some of the time. Which is better than I ever expected to do anyway.

PS: Have you ever seen pictures of Stalin without the moustache? Sam Logan.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 29, 2005 3:18 PM

Spatchcock's been a part of the Websnark Commentary scene for well over a year. So, if he's secretly Jeph Jacques, he's committed to the role.

Comment from: Ardaniel posted at November 29, 2005 3:23 PM

As a big-assed redheaded chick with rectangular glasses , I for one fully approve of Mr. Jacques' comic. Even if he does look like Bjorn Borg, or Pol Pot, or someone else equally repellent. (I only go by Eric's testimonial here, never having met Jeph.)

And shit, Seinfeld got how much of a run out of exploiting mundanity?

Comment from: Pseudowolf posted at November 29, 2005 3:24 PM

rm, so if the characters in QC have "necessarily exaggerated personalities" what does it mean that I find them to be [i]milder[/i], less 'dramatic', and gerally more sensical than my actual friends?

Because lots of people tend to create drama in their own lives. This is not to bash on your friends. Just an observation on the people around me. I don't know why folks do it, but they do.

Comment from: Pseudowolf posted at November 29, 2005 3:25 PM

Annnnnd I need an "edit post" button.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 29, 2005 3:43 PM

I retract my first post. Regardless of what I was trying to say, I said it in an overly harsh and angry manner, which is especially ironic since that was what I was objecting to (insert comment regarding pot, kettle and racism). I'm sorry, spatchcock.

What I had hoped to say is that Questionable Content is not worthy of the level of disapproval that spatchcock was giving it. Some comics are worthy of it, but to me, Questionable Content is good enough to not merit any derogatory statements regarding blue-ball dry humps.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at November 29, 2005 4:03 PM

Every webcomic out there, no matter how good, has at least one person who detests it at the level Spatchcock seems to detest Questionable Content. And sooner or later they're going to vent.

You could make an argument that if you're *not* getting derogatory statements about your comic, you're just not popular enough to offend the people who don't like your work.

Comment from: Spatchcock posted at November 29, 2005 4:37 PM

I think Unfettered By Talent is rather charming! A naive, small work invested with care and endeavor.

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 4:39 PM

Actually, right now I think I could gleefully throttle Faye. I mean, I just recently write a tangent where I'm admiring her change of personality and admitting that maybe she's not as bad as I've made her out to be in almost every Tangent I wrote on QC... and she pulls a freaking Margaret (of CRFH fame) on Marten.

The only thing that's missing that would make it complete is for Faye to state the Devil is after her and wants her to give birth to the Anti-Christ. *playful raspberry*

I mean... this last bit is almost cruel. She could have just quietly mentioned "you do realize I'm not interested in a relationship outside friendship, don't you?" without making Marten examine his feelings and thoughts. I can understand Marten's reaction and his retreat into sarcasm. She just bared his soul... and then whapped him on the nose as if he were a bad puppy.

*sigh*

Oh well. At least she's being honest...

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 4:39 PM

Actually, right now I think I could gleefully throttle Faye. I mean, I just recently write a tangent where I'm admiring her change of personality and admitting that maybe she's not as bad as I've made her out to be in almost every Tangent I wrote on QC... and she pulls a freaking Margaret (of CRFH fame) on Marten.

The only thing that's missing that would make it complete is for Faye to state the Devil is after her and wants her to give birth to the Anti-Christ. *playful raspberry*

I mean... this last bit is almost cruel. She could have just quietly mentioned "you do realize I'm not interested in a relationship outside friendship, don't you?" without making Marten examine his feelings and thoughts. I can understand Marten's reaction and his retreat into sarcasm. She just bared his soul... and then whapped him on the nose as if he were a bad puppy.

*sigh*

Oh well. At least she's being honest...

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 4:39 PM

Actually, right now I think I could gleefully throttle Faye. I mean, I just recently write a tangent where I'm admiring her change of personality and admitting that maybe she's not as bad as I've made her out to be in almost every Tangent I wrote on QC... and she pulls a freaking Margaret (of CRFH fame) on Marten.

The only thing that's missing that would make it complete is for Faye to state the Devil is after her and wants her to give birth to the Anti-Christ. *playful raspberry*

I mean... this last bit is almost cruel. She could have just quietly mentioned "you do realize I'm not interested in a relationship outside friendship, don't you?" without making Marten examine his feelings and thoughts. I can understand Marten's reaction and his retreat into sarcasm. She just bared his soul... and then whapped him on the nose as if he were a bad puppy.

*sigh*

Oh well. At least she's being honest...

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at November 29, 2005 4:41 PM

So, if Weds is always right, that means Davey and Goliath for the processional? And which one of you is Goliath, anyway?

Comment from: jjacques posted at November 29, 2005 4:44 PM

Fun Fact: My buddy Frank had the music from the Cantina scene in Star Wars playing during his reception.

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 4:44 PM

Gah! Sorry for the triple-post :( *shakes head* I don't suppose Eric or Weds could delete the last two of them? *sigh*

Rob H.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at November 29, 2005 4:45 PM

Isn't Wednesday afraid of dogs?

Comment from: Ford Dent posted at November 29, 2005 4:46 PM

I think I've mentioned this before (in fact I am most certain that I have), but I love stuff like QC.

Well, that's not true. Most stuff that focuses on the minutae of everyday existence is boring and makes me want to claw my face off.

But Jacques does a damn fine job.

And his art is fucking amazing.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at November 29, 2005 4:47 PM

When my wife and I got married, we used Green Lantern and Wonder Woman action figures to top the cake instead of the traditional guy-in-suit/woman-in-dress figurines...

Comment from: jjacques posted at November 29, 2005 4:50 PM

Thanks for the compliments, but I've never been much of a fan of my own artwork. The writing is what it's always been, and I'm comfortable with that. The art, well...the most I can say is that it's improved over time.

Comment from: Kirath posted at November 29, 2005 4:57 PM

Robert: I agree, it feels like she's deliberately hurting him in order to drive home her point.

But then, we knew Faye was a bitch.

Watching Jacques' art improve has been a delight, when I first started reading (After reading a snark about it, naturally) I complained a few times that I couldn't tell the women in the strip apart, but that's not a problem anymore.

Comment from: quiller posted at November 29, 2005 5:04 PM

As a fan of witty banter, I like QC. Though I think he's made one music joke so far that I've actually gotten, so there are some comics that I just go, "OK, good for them, what comic is next on my list". It is nice to have those character who stand in for the readers like me by going "Huh?!"

One thing that is interesting to me is that while not every comic out there needs to worry about changing its dynamic by getting main characters together, I think QC is one where such a transition has a risk of following the moonlighting formula. Specifically, so much of the humor and drive of the comic is based on the flirting humor, and romantic tensions that it would have a hard time not changing a great deal if Marten and Faye got together. Which is not to say that it still couldn't be good, but Dave and Helen getting together is subtracting one layer and adding another to Narbonic's humor, Marten and Faye getting together would be a major shifting of the humor and premise of the comic. (I was going to use a different term, but I wasn't sure if it is C change like a shift to a different octave, or sea change, like a tidal effect, I don't think I've ever seen that term in print only audibly.)

Oh, and while I wasn't too fond of the initial debut of Jeph's new art style, I think he has fixed the awkward bits and it looks pretty good now.

Comment from: Ardaniel posted at November 29, 2005 5:12 PM

...am I the only person who frequently sees Faye as defensive and therefore touchy-- certainly, at times, inappropriately reactive to the situation-- but not, actually, the cast-iron bitch other people seem to see her as?

I think, at least until I get the rest of the Faye Origin Plotline, I can't really see her actions as a definitive statement on what sort of person she is. We already know she's had sufficient emotional trauma to lead her to a very nasty physical trauma as well; that sort of thing has effects on a person that go far beyond making them a simple, straightforward bitch archetype.

Comment from: Ununnilium posted at November 29, 2005 5:26 PM

I *like* the way Faye's dealing with this problem. No awkward beating around the bush. "Sorry, I don't like you the same way as you like me." Just coming out and *saying* so clears the air wonderfully.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 29, 2005 5:27 PM

It's weird -- I don't see Faye as being bitchy here at all. She often can be a bitch, but not... you know, here.

Is she being insensitive? Perhaps. But she's seen the situation as it's been developing, and now she's confronting it. Remember -- very little time has passed. And she has perhaps sensed that Marten has been giving her "space," in hopes that things will play out.

So, she asked point blank, "do you like me." Essentially.

And he said yes. Somewhat embarrassed.

And she said she knew it, and any girl would love to be involved with him, but she just can't. And she's willing to tell him why.

That isn't being mean to Marten. It's just not. It's Faye dealing with the situation the way she feels she has to, because she wants to be fair to Marten.

Or so it seems to me.

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at November 29, 2005 5:38 PM

Unrelated, but if you didn't already know:

The Liberal government has fallen. Elections scheduled for January... 25, I believe.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at November 29, 2005 5:43 PM

I disagree. I don't think that Faye is trying to be a bitch at all. I think she wants to let Marten know how things are going down. I think it's entirely possible that she's going to say that she likes him, but she's not ready to be in a relationship at this point.

Then they'll make out. It will be the best cold-cock turnaround ever. I will totally send Jeph Jacques my special No-prize.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 5:44 PM

23rd actually.

I don't really think that what Faye is doing is bitchy (and I've never been in the 'Fayes a bitch' crowd). Obviously this isn't fun for Marten, but it's better this way. Waiting for Faye to get over her problems isn't going to work, and it's better that Marten knows that.

Comment from: Frisco posted at November 29, 2005 6:05 PM

I have to come down on the pro Faye being bitchy side myself. I don╠t think Faye means to be harsh at all but really she╠s whip lashing poor Martin this week. Really she could be a lot nicer about the whole thing IMHO, (O.k. O.k. she might not know how to be nicer but she could), but of course that wouldn╠t be nearly as a good story. So go Faye!!

Completely Aside:

The Planet of Krytpon Theme ... possibly the best processional music ever, much better then the theme from Davie and Goliath

But then me and my wife had the theme from Mad About You sung at our wedding so what do I know?

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 29, 2005 6:25 PM

I think the reason it might look like Faye is being mean is that we're seeing the conversation in two-minute chunks. It looks to me like Faye is trying to find an opening to tell Marten why she can't be involved with him and (possibly) why she acts the way she does and generally why she's broken. That's remarkably forthcoming of her (especially for Faye!) and I don't think it's mean of her that she had to open the conversation somehow.

Comment from: Doc posted at November 29, 2005 6:34 PM

The phrase 'Faye origin plotline' made me think of today's Achewood.
Faye: 'WHOOOO AM IIIIIIII?'
Stalk: 'Woh bitch you have issues.'
Faye: 'Ok I'm a bitch who has issues, that makes sense'
*punching ensues the stalk morphs into a pair of hipster glasses*

I don't think Faye is that big a bitch, this probably marks the point where she has realised she needs to stop expecting everyone to accomodate her without question and she wants to make that right by explaining to Martin why she is the way she is. That said did she really need to ask? Given her actions towards anyone who hits on Martin I'm not sure how I'll feel if she straight out says she's not interested.

Comment from: Doc posted at November 29, 2005 6:36 PM

Also two days old but I just checked Nukees and Luca broke character, this denotes something big methinks. Although at the rate the story is moving I needn't check back for another month or three.
Curse you Gav! CURSE YOOUUUUUUUUUU!

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 29, 2005 6:38 PM

Canuck-Errant: The election is 23 January. I had the radio on straight through from the beginning of yesterday's House session to the date announcement report which interrupted Sounds Like Canada today. (Admittedly, I slept through some of the voting.)

(Wow. I'm impressed and relieved that we've finally managed to interrupt a thread about webcomics to bring up Canadian politics.)

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 29, 2005 6:42 PM

Wow... someone compared QC to Seinfeld, I compared it to Chekhov, and... yesterday a Professor compared Chekhov to Seinfeld. My world is complete!

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 6:52 PM

I've been so out of touch with the news for the last little while, that I didn't know about anything about the vote of no-confidence until this morning. It was a bit of a suprise, and it's prompted me to start paying as much attention to the news as i did a few months ago.

Comment from: matthewabel posted at November 29, 2005 6:57 PM

I think Faye's un-bitchy toward Marten, but she's being a bit of a bitch to herself. Why is it so hard for her to believe she could be happy romantically intangled with our poor hipster hero?

This question and more are sure to go unanswered for many weeks, but I'll keep reading because I'm a sucker.

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 7:21 PM

Actually, I didn't say she was being a bitch. Just that she's being cruel.

And the truly sad thing is... it probably won't make a lick of difference. Speaking as a guy who had unrequited feelings for another lady (still do, kinda, but they're fading like all fires do, untended), if the object of your desires tells you "no way, never" there is still a small piece of your soul that says "wait and see... have faith and she may change her mind"

Which is why I'm determined to find every last ounce of my soul and stamp it into oblivion, so that I can be gleefully cynical and evil. ;) Well, except about web-comic reviews. I don't think I could ever have the proper amount of ire that my cohort feels I need to write "proper" reviews.

*shakes head and tsks*

Rob H.

Comment from: Tangent posted at November 29, 2005 7:24 PM

Well, *this* time I didn't say she was being a bitch... *shiftyeyes* *flrrd*

Rob H.

Comment from: Natural Slave posted at November 29, 2005 7:48 PM

Faye doesn't seem bitchy to me here, or cruel, for that matter. For one thing, yes, openess is best in these circumstances-painful truths are much better than uncertainties that are ultimately misleading. But that's almost obvious.
More interesting is the way in which she phrased her reply--'I can't do that' is an ambiguous phrase, with 'that' referring either to reciprocation or to some sort of relationship. I'm leaning towards the latter, because her previous behaviour to him and more importantly, to Raven and Dora when they flirted with Martin seems to indicate that she feels something for him. Now, how she acts after admitting that she can't get together or reciprocate his feelings (whichever) will be more of a test of character. Having ruled herself out of the picture, Faye would be acting quite the bitch indeed if she were to continue to bristle at the prospect of Martin and other girls.
-Wilhelm

Comment from: lucastds posted at November 29, 2005 7:53 PM

Speaking of Sam Logan, Sam and Fuzzy has been remarkably good as of late.

More plot twists than a twizzler.

--
In other news: it snowed last night.

Comment from: Nate posted at November 29, 2005 8:29 PM

I know the whole thing's kinda died down some, but I gotta speak up for us painfully shy guys. And because I was the one who wrote the snarkoleptics post mentioned above. Yeah, it's only been a few months in comic time. But also, like I mentioned in the Snarkoleptics post, the "friends with hot chick but no way you can tell her" thing is probably nearly universal among geeks. And I don't think their personalities are especially exaggerated.

Also, I'm easily amused, but poor and lazy, so I have yet to acquire a Teh shirt, sadly.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 29, 2005 8:34 PM

And to follow through with Siwangmu's post, I dislike QC, Seinfeld, and Chekhov. It's like a Unified Field of Things I Hate Theorem.

See, if nothing is happening, I find myself needing characters I can like to keep myself remotely interesting. So there has to be some redeeming value in that character. It seems to me that it's quite telling that in each case, the one character I find tolerating in both Seinfeld and QC is the one-dimensional "weird" character. And even then, all they have going is weird. I've got enough weird in my life, though, that it's not enough of a draw in a comic.

Also? The processional at my wedding included movements from Aria Di Mezzo Carattere. Google it up if you don't recognize it immediately. Yeah, I'm a geek.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 9:16 PM

I don't know about wedding music, but at my funeral I want 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' from 'The Life of Brian'.

Comment from: Robin Z posted at November 29, 2005 9:36 PM

One friend of my mom wanted "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at her funeral.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 29, 2005 9:42 PM

I always wanted one of Mendelssohn's "Songs without Words" as my wedding processional.

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at November 29, 2005 9:43 PM

No, it's been coming for a while. Layton was unhappy over the stuff the Liberals were doing, and wossname - the independent - died, causing a shift in the delicate balance of power etc.

I just don't think Layton is /funny/ enough to be prime ministerial material, though.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 9:51 PM

Yeah, you could see it coming since summer. I just wasn't aware of the actual no-confidence until this morning. And its gotten dirty much sooner than expected.

Comment from: Sandalphon posted at November 29, 2005 10:01 PM

The election's barely been announced and I already got called this evening for a public opinion poll. Huh.

As for "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," I'd rather have that played at my funeral. :)

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at November 29, 2005 10:05 PM

I bet this coming campaign will be a negative one - based mostly on saying "don't vote for them" - than a positive one - "here are reasons to vote for me".

And yeah. ALotBSoL for my funeral, definitely.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 29, 2005 10:07 PM

The noncon motion is kind of dumb, though, since Martin was going to dissolve the House in early March anyhow and they could have just run the motion through then if he didn't.

Mind, if it wasn't silly, it wouldn't be the lamest of Canadian politics, and this is still a hell of a lot better than the Mulroney era.

Comment from: Doc posted at November 29, 2005 10:11 PM

Today's QC is indeed delicious Jeph. It is a visual feast! Sorry just read scarygoround and can't stop thinking about food.
Also you are a bad man because Faye's dad is a wonderful man and you are about to either make him a bad man or make something bad happen to him.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 10:13 PM

Sandalphon: No one said anything about playing ALotBSoL anywhere but a funeral.

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at November 29, 2005 10:14 PM

Ooh, here's something. An opinion poll on which politician you believe would be most likely to return a lost wallet.

12% in Qu╗bec and 7% in the rest of Canada voted "none".

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 29, 2005 10:25 PM

How can you doubt that they would, when it would be so good for their immage?

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 29, 2005 10:26 PM

Faye's dad looks just like Marten!

Comment from: Zaq posted at November 29, 2005 10:39 PM

"Also? The processional at my wedding included movements from Aria Di Mezzo Carattere. Google it up if you don't recognize it immediately. Yeah, I'm a geek."

I thought I was the only one who loved that song enough to do something like that (I'm far from married, don't even have an S.O., but that's beside the point). Though "Caníao do Povo" (different composer, yes, but if you'd get MARRIED to Aria, I have a hunch you'd recognize it) would probably make me just as happy... Maybe Aria processional, Povo recessional? Of course, that owuld involve finding a girl who had, you know, heardheard

Comment from: kirabug posted at November 29, 2005 11:07 PM

Catch up time!

I almost always enjoy QC, but boy, do I feel bad for anyone who relates to the situations it portrays. If it's realistic for people to agonize for months over the most outrageously inconsequential things that Marten and company do, then I don't think there's much hope for us as a species.

Okay, so yesterday I got a call from my sister, age 16, in tears, because the guy she likes (who's taking her to a dance next month) who just wants to be friends because he's "not ready to date again" (bad breakup) just asked out Lauren, who he really likes but Lauren wouldn't go out with said boy because she knows my sister likes him. So Lauren and the boy agreed that my sister had to decide if they'd date because she'd know best.

And this stuff's been going on since school started in September, and we still have 6+ months of school left. YES this takes place in real life, but thankfully most of us grow out of it!

You could make an argument that if you're *not* getting derogatory statements about your comic, you're just not popular enough to offend the people who don't like your work.

Damn, I've gotta start campaigning to find someone to hate my stuff.

...am I the only person who frequently sees Faye as defensive and therefore touchy-- certainly, at times, inappropriately reactive to the situation-- but not, actually, the cast-iron bitch other people seem to see her as?

Faye is Broken. And she's way too introspective, spends too much time concentrating on why she's broken and how she's broken, but seems to be missing the volume of the Encyclopedia of Broken entitled "How to get over it". I know lots of girls who act just like her (or did) when broken. Heck, I've been broken myself.

That said did she really need to ask? Given her actions towards anyone who hits on Martin I'm not sure how I'll feel if she straight out says she's not interested.

She was looking for an out. If he'd've said, "Why no, Faye, I think you're just a good friend," even if she knew it was a lie, she could have said, "Oh, good, 'cause I'm not interested in you either" and then agonized for weeks internally about how she must have been wrong about him, instead of doing what she's doing now, which is confronting the problem. The way I read it, that's what she's doing - brave of her, actually - and if Martin's hurt by it, well, she's saving him the pain of being hurt more by being in love with her.

Comment from: Polychrome posted at November 29, 2005 11:13 PM

Quote:
Ooh, here's something. An opinion poll on which politician you believe would be most likely to return a lost wallet.

12% in Qu╗bec and 7% in the rest of Canada voted "none".

Wow, Canadians have a lot of faith in their politicians.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 29, 2005 11:26 PM

kirabug: I have been looking for a way to say "hey! Faye's not just a bitch!" for a while now, and you just said it better than I could. Thanks for, I dunno, solidifying that so it'll shut up in the back of my head.

Polychrome: I thought the same thing: "only 12%? only7%?" Geez, in the States it might be 12% who would believe they'd return it, particularly if nobody would ever know (thus no credit/good PR for it).

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 29, 2005 11:36 PM

Catch Up II

You could make an argument that if you're *not* getting derogatory statements about your comic, you're just not popular enough to offend the people who don't like your work.

This worries me sometimes.

Isn't Wednesday afraid of dogs?

But that has nothing to do with Davey & Goliath. Creation or consumption of animals as characters/archetypes/symbols in storytelling is completely unrelated to the true physical presence of nonhuman beings who slobber and crap. I learned this when I married Ellie Mae Clampett. I like to paraphrase Linus Van Pelt: "I love wildlife - it's animals I can't stand."

...am I the only person who frequently sees Faye as defensive and therefore touchy-- certainly, at times, inappropriately reactive to the situation-- but not, actually, the cast-iron bitch other people seem to see her as?

In my contemporary review of ... oh, the one with all the fourth-wall-breaking ... I said of Miss Piggy that I know people like that and they're all soft inside too.

I bet this coming campaign will be a negative one - based mostly on saying "don't vote for them" - than a positive one - "here are reasons to vote for me".

It was like that for my first US presidential election, 1980. I listened to the ads for Reagan and I listened to the ads for Carter and they were both saying, "Don't vote for the other guy." So I voted for Anderson.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 29, 2005 11:45 PM

Paul G.: Hey, I could volunteer to start effusively going on about how much I love AKOTAS (which I do) in the comments section of every single snark! I'm willing to bet people who hate your comic would come out of the woodwork.

Or just people who hate *me*. But that will mean I've succeeded! You know, if I'm Andy Kaufman.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at November 29, 2005 11:53 PM

I think that Marten will be able to put together another minority government after the early elections, which may be why Faye called the No Confidence vote now.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 29, 2005 11:53 PM

siwangmu: Thanks for the offer. But actually, if the present discussion is any indication, the arguments that AKOTAS has jumped the shark will start organically in 2007 when Guenevere and Lancelot get together and will go strong for the rest of its lifetime.

Comment from: John W. Wells posted at November 29, 2005 11:59 PM

Quiller: The term's "sea change." It's from _The Tempest_.

Anyway, I'm not even sure if _Faye is even sure_ whether or not she's being cruel right now. The way she shifts from the abrupt "Do you like me?" to the hesitant "do you have... feelings... for me" to the rather unnerving crossed-arms position is hard to read.

Comment from: J.A.K posted at November 30, 2005 1:10 AM

See, negative campaigning is one of the fundamental flaws of two party politics. Because you have a system where it's one or t'other, they can say "vote for us, or that [insult] gets in and [insert negative depiction of policies here]!", as opposed to "We'll do [positive thing] if we get in." Admittedly, as a Briton that did mean I ended up voting Lib Dems in the last election, but I live in two of their safe seats so it didn't really make much of a difference.

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 30, 2005 1:17 AM

Anyway, I think the direct approach is clearly less cruel than the "I don't like you -- or do I? Maybe I do -- but don't you dare act like you like me!" dance she's been doing for most of the comic's run, in which she flirts with Marten and then punches him.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at November 30, 2005 1:25 AM

Faye's dad looks just like Marten!

I disagree, partly because that's creepy and partly because it looks like Jeph went to some length to make sure that he didn't look like Marten..

I have a feeling he dies. :(

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 30, 2005 1:38 AM

Cruelty so often is unintentional, even unaware. Is the result of Faye's rather abrupt handling of this likely to be a bit of additional (and perhaps unwarranted) bruising around poor Marten's soft bits? aye, but I don't think Faye's character is such that she intends to harm him in any way.

Even her punchings and "I'm tough" talk are semi-serious, not intended so much to cause lasting harm as to maintain arms' length. Or so it seems to me.

Comment from: Horus posted at November 30, 2005 1:59 AM

I think Faye tends to over react so you could call her bitchy for that. But it's the unresolved tension between marten and faye (with faye playing the hot and cold games) that reminds me of situations and people I know and makes it hard for me not to see her as a bitch. Especially what happened recently at Dora's place with her being protective of Marten despite him not being hers.

The first thing that went through my mind when she started talking about how great her relationship with her dad was is indecent intimacy. I'm not sure if that's where JJ is going or if it's just where he wants us to think it's going. I didn't think that Faye's dad looked like Marten at all so I went back to have another look and despite their features being fairly similar they still don't look the same. It's something about the hair.

Also I find the number of people commenting on their weddings somehow reassuring.

Comment from: Horus posted at November 30, 2005 2:03 AM

Also in regards to politics I wish the Australian Labour party would start being critical of anything.

Comment from: Zernik posted at November 30, 2005 2:10 AM

I agree with the "not-a-bitch" view of Faye - at least in this case. When she is bitchy, she's much more blatant about it than this sort of emotional torture, and Jacques usually treats it in a sort of humorous way. Here, though, it seems like Faye's simply decided that the "intricate waltz" is not the most emotionally healthy dynamic.

PS. I have to say that I loved the "intricate waltz" line.

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 30, 2005 2:21 AM

I disagree, partly because that's creepy and partly because it looks like Jeph went to some length to make sure that he didn't look like Marten..

Really? In panel 4 (on the couch), I think he looks extremely Martenesque.

Comment from: Chris Daily posted at November 30, 2005 5:46 AM

damn. the main characters can't hook up. No wonder my "romantic" comic strip sucks and no one reads it. The main characters hooked up in the third story arc.

*scratches head in frustration*

Comment from: Doc posted at November 30, 2005 7:18 AM

Horus: Tell me about it. I'd settle for a Logan's run deal which would stop the majority of the electorate being stodgy, conservative and afraid of the world.
Actually I'd settle for the Democrats being a vaguely credible party again, they managed to implode just as I was old enough to vote.

Chris Daily: No problem man you just let them hook up periodically and find more and more contrived and clumsy ways to break them apart to preserve the fragile premise that keeps the comedy in a state of perpetual un-life while simulating (but never actually acheiving) character development. (See also: Friends)

Comment from: Meander posted at November 30, 2005 7:45 AM

Kestrel just showed up in Something Positive, alive and with a bandage on her head.

That is all.

Comment from: Sundre posted at November 30, 2005 8:27 AM

It's old home week on S*P! oh, and check out the cast page as well.

Comment from: Kirath posted at November 30, 2005 10:18 AM

As far as Faye's bitchiness, my assertion was based on the idea that she might be hurting Marten deliberately, bnut I agree that it's far more likely she's really just muddling through as best she can, just like the rest of us.

I find broken to be a much more apt description than bitch.

Also, Randy broke my brain. I realize it's not a binding contract or anything, but didn't he say that Kestrel would not be appearing in S*P any more? At least not as anything resembling a regular character? Bah, either he changed his mind or planned this all along, either way I wasn't expecting it.

Comment from: Kirath posted at November 30, 2005 10:25 AM

Gah, I didn't even notice the bandage at first. Hehe, adds a layer or two of meaning to Kestrel's reply to Davan's comment...

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 30, 2005 10:58 AM

Well, Zaq, it was actually used for a composition, not played straight. Said composition was actually a wedding gift from my friend Matthew, who also played the keyboard at my wedding. If you'd like to grab a sample, the page where you can download it is here, the first item.

And I didn't recognize the piece you mentioned immediately, but I did once I Googled up the title. Good choice, though I wasn't as much into Grandia as other people were.

Comment from: footyfoot posted at November 30, 2005 11:42 AM

Lost in all the shuffle and kerfluffle about the actual comic is the fact that neither of y'all managed to work in a really classic metaphor for the horizontal tango:
"taking the crimson kingfish spelunking".

Yours in service,
Ed

Comment from: Zaq posted at November 30, 2005 12:13 PM

Damit i, 32, now I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face, and I have class in 20 minutes. Please tell your friend he's a genius.

Comment from: TasteMyHouse posted at November 30, 2005 1:25 PM

Ho

Lee

Shite.


(sp.)

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 30, 2005 1:47 PM

Last thing I expected to see at S*P.

Comment from: Montykins posted at November 30, 2005 1:49 PM

And the Queen of Wands reruns-with-commentary just finished one of the S*P crossovers! How convenient for me, who missed QoW during its initial run.

Comment from: MagnoliaPearl posted at November 30, 2005 4:35 PM

Someone further up compared QC to Seinfeld. Shaaaaame.

That is like comparing month-old stale bread to ... a very very good kind of bread, some sort of fancy, extra-delicious bread, I guess.

Comment from: Eytan Zweig posted at November 30, 2005 4:42 PM

Come on, Seinfeld isn't that bad.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at November 30, 2005 4:48 PM

I'd have to say that, Seinfeld is very, very bad, while on the other hand QC is very, very good.

Comment from: nedlum posted at November 30, 2005 8:28 PM

I like Seinfeld for the most part. However, I never really get into it when I'm watching it, because there are no likable charecters. None. At all.

QC doesn't have that problem.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 30, 2005 9:31 PM

Nedlum, I could say that QC's characters are unlikeable just as easily. When over half the time I did read the strip consisted of me screaming "Stop acting like freaking idiots!" at the computer screen, it's fairly obvious I wasn't liking the characters.

Comment from: Eytan Zweig posted at November 30, 2005 10:58 PM

For me, the characters in QC are very likable, even though most of the time I am also screaming at them to stop being morons. The thing is that QC characters - all of them, except perhaps Pintsize - are really trying the best they can to live good, happy lives. They're just not very good at it. I can both emphasize and symapthize with that. Seinfeld characters are just jerks. Very funny jerks, but jerks through and through.

Comment from: nedlum posted at December 1, 2005 12:09 AM

Exactly. Likable was a wishy-washy term. Let's try sympathetic.

You may not like the QC cast, certainly, and it's your prerogative. But they are sympathetic, because we all want to be with people and don't know how to do it.

(On a similar note, I'm watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix in another window, and one reason I watch it, but also one reason I'm not watching it right now, is because the characters are so realistic, so honest, that you have to pause and alt-tab away because they're so idiotic and so like me it's painful to imagine myself doing what they do)

In Seinfeld, on the other hand, it's very clear that if every person that Jerry knew were killed by Insanely Overpowered Fireballs, his first reaction would be that his shirt got singed.

Also? He didn't like the Pirate shirt. The Pirate shirt was cool. In this matter, Jerry Seinfeld is beyond contempt.

Comment from: RoboYuji posted at December 1, 2005 1:28 AM

So, um, what does the fact that I DID find the Seinfeld characters likable say about me?

How about the fact that I often found it very easy to relate to George, of all people . . .

Comment from: Brendan posted at December 1, 2005 7:31 AM

A few early episodes were funny, but then it started to try too hard to be fresh, and it wound up so entrenched in the 90's that it seems dated already.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 1, 2005 11:44 AM

They aren't trying the best they can to live happy lives. If anything, the cast of QC for the most part is afraid to do the best they can to live a happy life. It's like they're content to wallow in romantic uncertainty because they are afraid of screwing up.

Seriously, interpersonal relationships aren't all that hard. And I'm a video game geek, so I had to learn my share about them. Sure, there's someone out there I want to be with every waking moment of my life. But in our case, the only reason I'm not is because of the need to get jobs to pay rent. See, I figured out, mostly, how to get a relationship to work (mostly by examining the wreckage of relationships I had seen growing up to learn what not to do). And though there have been a few bumps along the way, I've been with the same woman for over 10 years now - and I'm only 26.

To me, it feels like every character in QC is dripping with intense cowardice for no reason. And I just can't stand that.

Comment from: Eytan Zweig posted at December 1, 2005 12:15 PM

32_footsteps:

Well, trying doesn't mean doing the right things, it means doing what you feel are the right things. As I've said above, the characters in QC are simply not very good at it.

And who said that having a serious relationship = living a happy life? It's possible to be happy outside a serious relationship. It's possible to be unhappy in one.

As for relationships, if you're 26 and you've been with the same woman for over 10 years, then, assuming you are happy in this relationship, you are clearly better at this than a lot of people. Which is great, but I don't think setting yourself up as the standard to judge people by is very fair in that case. And seriously - from my point of view - if QC seems like intense cowardice to you, then you have no idea just how intense cowardice can really get. Compared to some people I know - including a younger me - QC's characters are just mildly cowardly.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at December 1, 2005 1:14 PM

I don't think anyone else has said this, but I'm really liking the direction Jeph is taking with his 'flashback art'. I don't personally think I've seen that method before.

Comment from: miyaa posted at December 1, 2005 2:17 PM

First of all, I'm surprised more people didn't wistfully (or perhaps lament) discuss about how many virginities are lost in the back of large and (not so large) automobiles.

Second, why is C-SPAN so hyped up about these Canadian elections?! Aren't there some half-filled think tank seminars that they could cover involving the role of government in the whole Katrina fisaco? (And as an aside to an aside, could Canadian speakers please just stick to one language or another? Talk in English or French, don't flip between the two unless you're planning to repeat the whole speech in the second language!)

Third, are we talking about the Star Trek Chekov, or that Russian Writer Dude?

Fourth, I think either Faye's dad dies or there's a really painful divorce that makes Faye swear against any man. And then sometime down the road, we find out that Faye's dad and Marten's mom have hooked up and this whole relationship really gets kooky.

Finally, when my step-uncle died, the music of this funeral consisted of a pipe organ, several pianos, and an 80 ensemble choir singing music from Bach, Brahms, and of course Handel's Hallelujah chorus. That's how I want my funeral to go.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 1, 2005 2:58 PM

Hey, I know all about trying right things and failing. I've failed in many spectacular ways in my life at relationships. And I've also had myriad minor failures which I had to overcome in the ten-year relationship I've been in.

But I did in fact try in all of them. In QC, I more often than not see a failure to even try, which is what infuriates me. I mean, if Marten is just being up front with Faye now, it's pretty late in the game, as they say. Sure, maybe she would have outright refused him before, but at least it would be definitive and he'd know whether or not he had a hope (albeit delayed) or whether he should reciprocate Dora's attention.

I look at my own standard, in the end, because I was pretty poorly socialized even as recently as 15 years of age (which prompted my mother, curious as to why I never had a date, to bluntly ask me if I was gay). And yet I still managed to muddle my way through.

To me, the telling point was early on in my relationship, when I knew I loved her but she wasn't sure if she felt the same way. I decided to let her sort it out on her own, without any romantic pressure from me. My intentions were clear, and I just waited to see if that hope I had would come through. And it did, perhaps in no small part because I worked at it. But if it hadn't, I would have moved on and not wallowed in potential success or failure.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at December 1, 2005 4:42 PM

I don't think anyone else has said this, but I'm really liking the direction Jeph is taking with his 'flashback art'. I don't personally think I've seen that method before.

Lack of outlines as a flashback convention? I too haven't seen that before. I use lack of outlines to distinguish my style from the style of one of my two characters who draw webcomics. This requires more intricate shading (i.e., any at all) than I usually do, which is probably why the webcomics of the other character (whose characters are MSPaint geometric shapes) have been featured more often lately.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 6:20 PM

Miyaa: Well... the 'nucks aren't going to alter their style for CSPAN; the speeches aren't *for* you. (Badum. Ching.) Part of the point in flipping back and forth between languages in political speeches is to flaunt one's bilingualism. Also, for those Canadians who are bilingual and would benefit from such a demonstration, repeating the whole thing over in the next language on is hella boring. For the ones who aren't, the speeches get translated anyway in the course of your average news report or CBC Parliament show.

(Do you have any idea how tedious cereal boxes were growing up? Shit, even chip packets were annoying. "HOSTESS (or possibly HUMPTY-DUMPTY): Crunch! Crouche-crouche!" The day I saw an American My Little Pony blister card, I nearly cried from the design simplicity.)

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 1, 2005 6:39 PM

But if you're really bored while eating breakfast, you have twice as much to read on cereal boxes.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at December 1, 2005 6:49 PM

"I've failed in many spectacular ways in my life at relationships. And I've also had myriad minor failures which I had to overcome in the ten-year relationship I've been in."

32, I am HELLA calling bullshit on that first part, because, dude... when have you had the time?? (I hope this comes out as flippant as I mean it, I'm not actually trying to be assholish)

I think it's crazy awesome that you've had this relationship for ten years, and, yeah, I think that took a lot of hard work, but also? You were REALLY lucky. Most of us (I think) are very, very glad we are not still dating the people we were with at 16, because those were not people we need to be married to. Yours was. Which is awesome! But which is totally gonna cause me to be skeptical about your perspective on this stuff because, in at least one way, you had it easy. (In constrast to which did I mention I know it must've been hard work? Making sure that's in there)

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 1, 2005 7:09 PM

I can't see how you could be in a steady relationship since you were 16, and have time for spectacular relationships failures.

Comment from: kirabug posted at December 1, 2005 9:01 PM

Most of us (I think) are very, very glad we are not still dating the people we were with at 16, because those were not people we need to be married to. Yours was. Which is awesome! But which is totally gonna cause me to be skeptical about your perspective on this stuff because, in at least one way, you had it easy. (In constrast to which did I mention I know it must've been hard work? Making sure that's in there)

32, don't feel left out, by the way, because I married the guy I was dating at 16 as well... and I'm 29. (I didn't marry him until we were 24.)

I'm not sure that finding the right person early really is much of a disadvantage. It didn't make me mature earlier. It sure as hell didn't make him mature earlier. It just happened to be that we were both bullheaded to work things out -- which is what Faye and Martin are doing -- to tie all this back into the thread.

And there's more than one relationship I have to maintain in my life. There's my husband, my brother, my sister, my parents, his brother, his parents, and the comings and goings of at least 20 close friends over the last 10 years. Maybe my relationship with my husband didn't crash and burn due to mismanagement, but certainly others have.

That being said, the "intense cowardice" that frustrates 32_footsteps doesn't bother me, because I was once that coward, and my 16-year-old sister is now. Heck, my 26-year-old brother is. People like that are definitely out there, though QC also has more than the standard concentration of them.

Comment from: miyaa posted at December 2, 2005 1:14 AM

Wednesday: See, I wonder who are they trying to impress then if they can speak out of both sides of their mouth in French and English. I would think the novelity of bilingualism would have worn off long time ago. Maybe they would be impressed if some politician could speak fluent English, French, and Eskimoese.

32: I still the same "Why haven't you had a date?" problem, which irks my father more than anything else. I'm pretty sure he's most depressed that my lack of manliness is the reason why I've haven't dated and prefer to do the things that Mom does around the house. And I've been asked repeated times at family functions if I'm homosexual.

And besides, the people I could have dated in High School are either on their third marriage, neurotic, or in prison. Well, there was this one girl, but she's getting married to someone who looks too much like her older brother. But I'm sure it's not about the looks (it never is, really). I've pretty much decided that if I'm going to date someone, it should probably be someone not from the high school or the college you got your undergraduate degree from. At this point, I'll probably have better luck with out of country dates. Hey, it worked with my father and mother.

Ultimately, to me, dating and marriage is like that scene out of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where the virtually immortal Knight shows the Nazi archeologist and Indy a whole array of Holy Grail Cups and asks them to "choose wisely." You choose not wisely, and the relationship grows old really quickly.

My only regret is by the time I actually will be making money and starting my post-college life, I'll probably be 35. *sigh*

Comment from: W. I. Shane M. posted at December 2, 2005 2:17 AM

All this talk of cowardice and fear bothers me, because I think you're underestimating Jeph's characters and people's character in general. Taking emotional risks can be great and wonderful but it can also be enormously selfish and wrong. Yeah, it can suck to keep your mouth shut but it's worse to hurt the people you love just to prove you're not a coward. Maybe Martin was trying to protect Faye, knowing he's way more into her than she is him? Maybe QC's characters aren't as self-absorbed as they might occasionally seem? Faye acts tough but Martin has seen how emotionally fragile she is, and as a nice guy he wants to keep her from things that would hurt her, his feelings for her included. He's more willing to credit cowardice than virtue for his reluctance cause he's humble and self-deprecating, things which help ensure his mistakes don't hurt anyone but himself.

Also, today's strip hit pretty hard emotionally, moreso than I expected. Jeph starts with some funny and then "BLAM!"- what is in my opinion the most serious possible topic comes out of nowhere. Shock, milder than in real life but still jarring, and a whole lot of questions answered just like that.

Comment from: Sean Duggan posted at December 2, 2005 7:57 AM

Funny the thing about the music. With the bit about Faye's dad liking a bit of bourbon in his milkshake and then today's strip, I've got Whiskey Lullaby on continuous loop in my head now. I actually think the setup was good. I think Faye's the type to be pretty direct on the disturbing things, rush into them so that one doesn't agonize over revealing them. And the BLAM, while cartoonish in style, worked too because her memory is from when she was a child and I'm sure that the moment is still highly surreal in her mind.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 11:09 AM

You know, when people call a few years of my life bullshit, and the emotions I had during those few years, yeah, it's going to seem a bit assholish to me, guys.

Look, I got into my current relationship when I was 16. That doesn't mean I attempted to start dating then. I have a few years of some rather humiliating stories (from one girl using her little sister as a shield to keep from talking to me to the girl who literally shook with fear, in public, when I asked her out).

It's also more than a bit presumptuous to talk about how I was lucky in meeting my wife (as you may have guessed, we made it legally binding). That might be true, but it was much more about hard work on both our parts. Sure, luck did enter into the equation at times - what are the odds I'd fall in love with someone who has a long-lost evil twin brother? But I didn't end up in this relationship because I was lucky. I'm in it because I worked hard to make it successful, as did she.

And if you're acting just to prove you're not a coward, then that is wrong. But if you act to resolve things so that they don't fester, then it's not wrong. Even if it does hurt, isn't that better than just letting things sting at you with that dull, throbbing ache? Sure, maybe it's going to hurt either way. Better to get the sharp pain done and over with than to have it hang over your head. It will be less pain for everyone in the long run. And that is much more merciful than keeping your mouth shut to "avoid pain".

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 11:15 AM

miyaa: It's nothing to do with novelty or impressing people. The act is somewhat ritualistic, and difficult to explain to someone who does not come from a culture where bilingualism is a set of heavily loaded social constructs. (Someday, perhaps, I'll write the essay about why I was ashamed to speak French for most of the time I was growing up, and what it meant to be a bilingual Anglo with more French education than English, compared to being a bilingual Francophone in the same town.)

What it boils down to is, if you can't switch effortlessly between the languages to some extent, your capability as a member of Parliament is called heavily into question -- this is part of why Preston Manning ran into such controversy.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 11:16 AM

And it's Inuktitut. Eskimoese?!

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 2, 2005 11:34 AM

Firing the warning shot.

Come on guys. Really.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 12:37 PM

Just quoting what other said - I wouldn't have said it otherwise. If I can't quote others when they're being disparaging of themselves, alright. But others might make the same mistake, so it should be made clearer.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 2, 2005 12:46 PM

32 -- didn't single you out for a reason. ;)

Comment from: siwangmu posted at December 2, 2005 1:10 PM

32: Wow. My bad. Really my bad. It seems like you probably can tell that I meant it only playfully, but it is completely on me that that's not what I ultimately said. I'm very sorry I called those years of your life bullshit (obviously I meant to "call bullshit" on the claim you made, specifically, but you're more or less correct that it amounted to the other, and it was disrespectful of me). Also, damn the catchiness of the phrase "call bullshit," without which I might have said something more sensible.

To the issue itself: I definitely want to acknowledge that those experiences you had were real, meaningful and affecting. I do think that relationships you have living at home and later in life carry different sets of issues, and I think that there are sets of those later issues that you haven't had to deal with, exactly in the same way that there are a lot of challenges to having made it through a ten-year relationship about which I know nothing at all because I haven't been there.

Speaking of said challenges, however, I can't quite understand this next bit--
"It's also more than a bit presumptuous to talk about how I was lucky in meeting my wife (as you may have guessed, we made it legally binding). That might be true, but it was much more about hard work on both our parts. Sure, luck did enter into the equation at times - what are the odds I'd fall in love with someone who has a long-lost evil twin brother? But I didn't end up in this relationship because I was lucky. I'm in it because I worked hard to make it successful, as did she."

I don't really understand how it's presumptuous... I did not attribute your success in said relationship to luck, nor would I. I do not believe that being someplace both as a result of luck and as a result of hard work is contradictory--I attend college both because I worked my ass off in school and because I was luckily born into a middle-class family obsessed with education, providing the financial base, expectations, early opportunities and such that made it possible. I am here because I was lucky, and I am here because I worked hard. It seems like you feel that your work in the relationship is denied when I assert that you were lucky, and it's possible that I am somehow denying that and can't see the implication yet, but it doesn't feel like that's what I'm doing. And, yes, I do feel like if I were commenting on the efforts of someone who hadn't had the same luck as me in that way, I would feel a bit of distance because my challenges, while believe me there were many, have been different from their challenges. If you feel like there would be no reason for me to need to feel that way in that scenario, then we have our legitimate point of disagreement here and I'm okay with that. You may also feel the analogy is bad (it may be bad!) in which case I expect you'll explain it to me :).

I'd like to say again that I am really sorry I was assholish. If this post, which doesn't feel either antagonistic or assholish, also turns out to be so, I'd really appreciate someone whacking me with a clue-by-four and will also shut up about things.

Lastly: long-lost evil twin brother? That sounds like a HELL of a story.

(Also I did assume you married the girl, but it was made easier by the fact that you've mentioned being married before :-p)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 2:22 PM

First, Eric, I know I wasn't singled out. But I'm going to own up to being partly a target of that warning shot, even if I remain defiant in maintaining that I was right to make the post. I'm stubborn and argumentative, but at least I'm going to be up front about it - everyone deserves that much from me.

There are always plenty of issues that people won't have any idea about; I sincerely hope that nobody has dealt with some of the ones I've wrangled with in my life. However, that doesn't make them any less emotionally significant.

I'm a bit sensitive when people talk about how lucky I am. See, I came from a lower-class family. My mom was a high school dropout, and my dad eked past it. There's good reason to suspect I had several months of pre-natal exposure to THC. My parents split when I was five, and I spent no more than 3 consecutive years in the same school growing up because my family moved so much.

My family had no money, no connections, and while they loved me (and I love them) they mostly served as negative examples in my life. That's on top of the fact that I was iconoclastic throughout my whole life. For all that anyone could say I'm lucky, with being a college graduate, happily married, and a middle-class lifestyle, I worked damned hard to get all that. I've had some strange luck, to be sure. But all of the things I have that really mean something to me have come through me because of hard work.

As for long-lost evil twin brothers - well, "evil" is a bit of an exaggeration. Mostly because the label entertains both of them. (Not that he hasn't done some morally ambiguous things - like the time he stole someone's cremated remains for a friend.) But yes, there is a hell of a story about that. But it's not really for here (unless there's suddenly a 32 tag for Websnark, and nobody would be more surprised about that than me).

Comment from: siwangmu posted at December 2, 2005 2:34 PM

32: It totally makes sense to me that you'd be touchy about the lucky thing. It seems like maybe I made more sense the second time around since you don't seem mad (yay!). You are utterly a thousand times right that the whole different challenges thing makes particular ones not-less-emotionally meaningful, and actually I think that's sort of what I was going for, tangentially, in the whole "this is why if I haven't had experiences remotely like that I'd feel hesitant making judgments about it" thing. But in the end it's just not that big a deal, and god knows you're entitled to your opinion of the QC characters.

On a sidenote because I thought it was neat: We had very different childhoods in many many ways, but I never stayed at a school longer than three years either (it's actually the same number, that's the part I thought was funny). Of course, it was still only 7 total, but man didn't you freaking hate filling out college apps and having to list all of them? And it'd be all "What High School" and I'd be like "How can I fit three on here?"

Also, if we are now, as my guess is, pretty much cool here (or at least I know where I fucked up and I'm pretty sure I know where you're coming from), then I am officially declaring this the wussiest Internet brawl ever. (Although I'm still sorry for crossing the line in the first place)

Comment from: RoboYuji posted at December 3, 2005 12:29 AM

Ha ha, when it comes to relationships, the QC characters are about 10 times braver than I'LL ever be.

Oh wait, I'm sad now . . .

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