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Author Topic: Marten's fundamental character  (Read 22296 times)

Carl-E

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Marten's fundamental character
« on: 04 Dec 2010, 13:53 »

For all the other characters we've been analyzing, no one's breached our skinny near-slacker boy directly. 

OK, I really  didn't mean for that to sound suggestive, but there you have it. 

People have called him a cipher, attacking him as being spineless, unassertive, or worse, just boring.  People have supported him showing that he really tried with Dora, as best he know how, given the limited information he had.  Some posts have tried delving into his background and personality (OK, I wrote one, in the locked thread), but I think he deserves a bit more.  He is, after all, the epicenter of the comic. 

And so this thread. 

What spawned the idea was Friday's comic.  On an umpteenth reading (I get to the forums from the comic page, so I'm always re-reading), I had a good look at him on the phone with his mother.  It's very telling...

"No, you don't have to come visit, I'm fine, I've got work, and ..."  (translation: I'm an adult, I'm handling it.  Thanks for being concerned, I'll be OK)

"What do you MEAN you already bought the tickets?!  I don't -"  (...think that's a very good idea, apparently.  Translation: I have enough to handle already!)

But it's the next panel.  Eyes shut, shoulders slumped so far they're practically on his hips.  Total resignation.  Mother always  gets her way. 

And I think that's at the heart of the issue.  You never get completely out from under the thumb of your parents, psychologically speaking.  But Marten's mom is a dominatrix, for chrissake!  My mother is a tiny, mild mannered jewish lady who can manipulate her four boys like a chessmaster.  I can't imagine what Marten's mom is like when she gets going... 

But Marten can.  I'm sure, having custody, she dominated his life thoroughly and completely, though probably unintentionallly.  The cross country move after college may well have been a break for freedom as much as it was a miguided romantic move.  That sigh of his says a lot, if it doesn't say it all.  Translation?  Here we go again...

And for an added punch, the emotional blackmail of the I-love-you-expecting-a-response that we know is at the other end of the phone, since we hear his "Yeah, love you too mom."  Don't get me wrong, he loves his mother - who doesn't, at some level?  But it's rarely that simple. 

And of course, he's attracted to strong females.  Freud may ave been a quack, but there's the germ of truth in a lot of what he spewed - it always comes back to the mother. 

So, have at it.  We'll see what comes Monday, but until then, it's time to dig into this poor boy's wretched soul and see what's lying beneath his little indy heart! 



Note:  If you're just gonna tell us who you think he's gonna fuck next, at least support your opinion.  Don't be Marigold "because it'd be sexy sex!" Farmer.  Or the bearhat guy. 
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #1 on: 04 Dec 2010, 14:24 »

My awesome scenario that I will not state because it is so awesome aligns well with the dominating mother theory.

That's all I will say at this juncture.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #2 on: 04 Dec 2010, 14:34 »

You make a good case!

Marten strikes me as a people pleaser. Maybe he's reacting to the bullying he got in school by assuming that if he's nice enough people won't beat him up. He took physical abuse from Old Faye in stride, as if it were what he was used to.

Getting weirder, we know he's Veronica's only son, but nothing has ever said he's an only child. It's canonically possible, though realistically unlikely, that he has one or more sisters. If so, dollars to doughnuts she/they are older than Marten.
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Carl-E

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #3 on: 04 Dec 2010, 14:36 »

He does  have the more passive attitude of a youngest sibling than the "it's all up to me" attitude of an only child, doesn't he? 
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #4 on: 04 Dec 2010, 16:10 »

If Veronica was a truly dominating mother, there would have been a deep, deep schism cut between them when he moved to Northampton, and Marten probably wouldn't have been looking reasonably pleased to see her when she first arrived to visit. Also, she would have been way more antagonistic towards Faye. Look at their interaction together here.  Veronica is relaxed and reasonable. She even says "My son is a grown man and can make his own decisions." Not something a control freak would say. The threat against Faye comes after she speaks as a rational human being; only after that does she let the protective mother take over.

Throughout the visit, Veronica is relaxed and rational. When they have some alone time, Marten seems quite calm and comfortable around her. I don't think Veronica was a domineering mother. Something tells me she reserved her domineering side for her job only.

I'm surprised you didn't say anything about Marten's father, Henry. I think Marten takes after his father a lot more than his mother. Marty's parents got divorced when Henry couldn't hide his sexuality anymore. Though we don't know all the gory details, I think it's reasonable to assume that Henry was hiding from himself his whole life. Assuming he's in his 50's now (which I think is reasonable), he grew up when it still wasn't particularly awesome to be gay. Think about it what Veronica says here. "We both wanted a family" most likely means "I wanted a family, and he wanted to be straight." My point is, Henry went through a lot to try and pacify others rather than think about what he really wanted, and there's a lot of that in Marten. Veronica obviously isn't like that; she couldn't do her job if she was.

He does  have the more passive attitude of a youngest sibling than the "it's all up to me" attitude of an only child, doesn't he? 

Neither of Marten's parents seem like the type to put undue pressure on him, which would eliminating the "up to me" attitude. I'm an only child and thanks to my parent's hilariously low expectations, I don't have that drive. I think the attitude towards life a child has is more up to the way the parents treat the child than in what order they were born or if they're the only one.
« Last Edit: 04 Dec 2010, 16:20 by iduguphergrave »
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #5 on: 04 Dec 2010, 17:12 »

What we've seen of Marten's upbringing was nurturing. Someone on a power trip would never have knitted the Worry Hat.

His mother is a successful entrepreneur, and seems highly confident. Dora said in 428 "Well, you seem to be most comfortable around confident, assertive ladies". I bet his mom was assertive without being domineering.

Though, notice how intimidated Faye was around her, even before the Bosch remark. Apparently Martenmom is one of those people who has a Presence, even when she's not at work.
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Carl-E

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #6 on: 04 Dec 2010, 17:36 »

Possibly, but I think in that case, Faye was being her own worst enemy.  She was worried about what Ms. Reed would think of her from the get-go, and just worked herself up into full blown intimidation. 

Of course, in a case like that, a little presence goes a long way!

And Iduguphergrave, I have to agree with you, Marten probably got a lot of his personality from his dad.  I was really focusing too much on the mother.  It's the dynamic between the two that matters most! 
« Last Edit: 04 Dec 2010, 17:39 by Carl-E »
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #7 on: 04 Dec 2010, 21:08 »

We know he inherited his dad's sense of timing.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #8 on: 05 Dec 2010, 06:18 »

Very good & insightful once again, CarlE and others; Marten's the core and most likeable character, yes, even more than Hanners. (Sorry! I love Hannelore! But which would you rather have as a close friend, able to go places & do things with?)  

Now I'm eager to see his mother dish out some fear and pain to Dora.  I liked Dora for a long time, she was more mature, but gradually became controlling and in denial of her issues. As Faye put it, "You destroyed something good for the stupidest possible reason!"  Perhaps a kick from someone she hurt (by proxy) along with therapy, could help her in the long run.  


Just to defend Sigmund Freud, though;  he may have gotten some of it wrong*, but his core insights (and even tentative brain map, see a recent Scientific American article) were shockingly accurate for their time. (Many people are still shocked by honest analysis of our deep/sexual natures.)  

* medical science was still crude back then; give him a break
« Last Edit: 05 Dec 2010, 06:22 by tomart »
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raoullefere

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #9 on: 06 Dec 2010, 19:42 »

I said this somewhere else, but here goes for here, too. Being a Dominatrix is/was a job for Veronica. Assuming that whatever she draws on to play that role—and that's what it is—is at the forefront of her personality is neither fair nor very likely to be accurate. Someone who is actually a controlling bitch would, I suspect, have a problem, sooner or later, with playing the role because they'd get to into it and go too far. It's kind of like the 'Full Special" Kirk Lazarus talks about in Tropic Thunder "Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed." (Although in the Family Friendly dub I saw, he says "Full Special", which is actually funnier). In other words, if Veronica got that heavcily intop the character she played, she'd probably not be as successful as she seems to be, nor, perhaps, be able to take it as lightly as she  does.

If you're going with the Freud Dude (pronounced Frood Dude), then I suppose to know Marten we must know Veronica. What do we know?
She's assertive, but not overly aggressive.
She at least claims Marten is an adult. In any case, giving him the lotion indicates she has no qualms with Marten being a sexual being, which I in turn infer to mean she doesn't think of him strictly as 'her baby.'
Can be fairly oblivious. Otherwise, one would think a sex worker would've spotted the signs Henry was gay. By that, I mean that at least Veronica should have been exposed to enough closeted and otherwise persons to have a clue.
Goes for what she wants, much more than her son does.
Is nurturing, as Is it cold points out. Contrast her to Hanner's mother, or Dora's.
She's a realist, or at least seems to take things in stride.

Put it all together and—Christ I don't know. But there it is.

I do have a suspicion now, though, about why Marten doesn't want Veronica to visit. She's a realist, and also seems to be a person who believes in dealing with things and moving on. I suspect (the Free Lunch Episode is a clue to this) that is exactly what Marten doesn't want to do. I've being thinking about various people carrying on about his lack of achievement and drive, and one thought occurred to me. Marten doesn't know what he wants to do, where he wants to go, or who he wants to be. The one thing he had, however, the thing everyone—or Tai, Steve, Faye, Hanners, at least—admired and wished they had was his relationship with Dora. It may very well have been his rock, the one thing Marten thought was actually working out in his life. Only he couldn't hold on to that, either, just like he couldn't have the relationship he wanted (or, to be fair, he at least thought he wanted) with Faye, and just like he lost the girl he followed out East.

God, that'd be enough to make me want to break down, and I don't think I could handle someone showing up in the middle of the smoking ruins and telling me "You have to deal with it and move on." That's exactly what I wouldn't want to do, because once I did, it would be completely, totally, over. More than that, now Steve has Cossette, Faye has Angus, and Hanners has that stupid damned pretend date. And I, the one they'd been envying, I'd have nothing.

Okay, I'm depressing myself now, and I'm just thinking about it. It's Marten's life. Is it any wonder he wants to crawl into a hole and pretend it isn't happening?

Now, time to take a break and remember this fellow only exists in Jeph's noggin. Because…

« Last Edit: 06 Dec 2010, 19:50 by raoullefere »
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #10 on: 06 Dec 2010, 19:48 »

Oh man - I didn't think about it that way, but that makes a lot of sense. I bet that's pretty damn close to what Marten's feeling right now. Poor guy  :-(
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #11 on: 06 Dec 2010, 19:57 »

Yes, good insight (as always) rf;  if i was in Marten's shoes i would need quite a lot more time than this to process these changes.  No way i'd be ready yet for supermom to sweep in and take over, in whatever sense she does with him.

I mean, he hasn't even gotten drunk with Steve or Jimbo yet!
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raoullefere

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #12 on: 07 Dec 2010, 07:09 »

Now, of course, I'm thinking about my running pet theory that Pintsize does the things Marten wishes he could do, but dares not. If that's true, the guy must really hate himself, since I honestly can't think of a better expression of self-loathing than to even contemplate Marten would want to engage with that…set up in order to keep up the pretense nothing has changed.

Given the expression on Marten's face in the last panel, I think I really may be onto something.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #13 on: 07 Dec 2010, 08:58 »

Sort of a moral Picture of Dorian Gray?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #14 on: 07 Dec 2010, 13:08 »

I just figured he was starting to drink himself into a coma to forget what he'd just seen Pintsize do, but if it was to...steel himself for...no, I refuse to finish that thought.

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Carl-E

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #15 on: 07 Dec 2010, 14:08 »

Thank you. 

Sort of a moral Picture of Dorian Gray?

Except the picture never changes, either...
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raoullefere

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #16 on: 07 Dec 2010, 21:39 »

Yes, stasis. So is the first, crucial step for Marten's personal growth turning Pintsize off and taking ownership of his perverted desires?

Damn, another idea just sprang forth. Marten needs Pintsize to express his perversions, because he can't, since that would make Marten into one of the people Veronica made a living from—or at least the same as them. People he (secretly?) loathes and does not wish to be. But by putting this part of himself 'away,' Marten has also locked away his drive—his passion. Hence his aimlessness and inability to do anything about it.

Gee, Carl, aintcha glad you made this thread so I can run amok in it?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #17 on: 07 Dec 2010, 22:51 »

That makes a fascinating amount of sense.

Guy's pretty repressed, though, if even his private porn collection is vanilla.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #18 on: 08 Dec 2010, 01:37 »

What, it's not possible that he simply prefers vanilla porn? That few if any of the typical fetishes appeal to him (ESPECIALLY if they remind him of his mother's business?)
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Carl-E

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #19 on: 08 Dec 2010, 03:57 »

Gee, Carl, aintcha glad you made this thread so I can run amok in it?

That was the point!  Not you specifically, but running amok in general...

As for vanilla Marten, how do you rebel against the wild?  Go conservative...

after all, how many children of hippies vote Republican?  or join the 700 club...
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raoullefere

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #20 on: 08 Dec 2010, 07:09 »

How well does such a self-limiting form of conservatism (whatever the cause) fit in with being an 'indie' rock musician?

The only 'Republican' rock musician I can think of offhand is that psycho Nugent, who, so far as I can tell, isn't so much a conservative as a raving nutter whose insanity expresses itself in a manner that seems conservative, or at least what passes for such these days* . In other words, it doesn't limit him.

Naturally, there have been and are persons who find a well of creativity in the tension created between their imposed (and especially self-imposed) conservatism and whatever parts of themselves doesn't really fit those ideals. But if Marten, instead of suppressing his impulses, has managed to transfer them to Pintsize, that's not going to happen for him. The tension has been (at least up until now) diffused.

Incidentally, one little inconsistency has bothered me for a while now—that Marten pawned his guitar to move East, but either kept Pintsize or acquired him instead of buying an instrument. If Marten needs Pintsize for this diffusion, though, that could explain that course of action—the axe could go, but not the placebo (I'm not sure if that's the proper word, but it will do for now). Of course, in the process, I may be making Marten into "Corky" Withers** —in other words, a raving nutcase far beyond the likes of Faye or Dora or even Hanners. That's probably a little too extreme a reading of his character. But that's da breaks.

*I suspect Al Haig, for example, would've probably said go fuck yourself, you god-damned dirty hippie

**Anyone else remember the trailer for that film? It scared the bejesus out of me. And, thanks to the magic of Wikipedia, I discover I wasn't the only one. Of course, now I don't get it at all. What am I missing?
« Last Edit: 08 Dec 2010, 07:17 by raoullefere »
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #21 on: 08 Dec 2010, 07:25 »

Of course he had to keep Pintsize - Pintsize is family.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #22 on: 08 Dec 2010, 08:55 »

Where I come from, that has a whole  different meaning

Raoullefere, ask Tergon about the ventriloquist dummy sometime. 

You won't get a coherent answer...
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #23 on: 08 Dec 2010, 09:22 »

The only 'Republican' rock musician I can think of offhand is that psycho Nugent, who, so far as I can tell, isn't so much a conservative as a raving nutter whose insanity expresses itself in a manner that seems conservative, or at least what passes for such these days* . In other words, it doesn't limit him.

Alice Cooper... Meatloaf... Ice-T... Johnny Ramone... no one really "indie" comes to mind, though, and the first two are kind of vehemently anti-political, and the third is... not exactly a blue dog.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #24 on: 08 Dec 2010, 09:55 »

Like you said, the first two are anti-political. I might add Frank Zappa to them. Ice-T, I don't know about. I forgot about dear old Johnny.

Raoullefere, ask Tergon about the ventriloquist dummy sometime.  

You won't get a coherent answer...
I'm not sure I see the point of asking, then. I mean, if I could see him spew his drink, that'd be different.

pwhodges, are you trying to tell me there aren't those out there who'd sell their siblings to follow twu wuv's sparkly path? If Bella Swan had a sister, that kid'd be on the market before the poor girl could turn around three times.

Actually, looking at them from a critical standpoint, the Anthro-PCs are one of the most ambiguous parts of QC for me. Of course, on one level it's easy to accept them as pee-pul and close the book. But they're also a great deal of fun to consider as character auxiliaries (or perhaps symbiotic characters is a better term)—alternate manifestations of their owners, if you will. Momo is a particular favorite of mine to look at that way.

I think the way Jeph has incorporated them into the reality of the strip may very well be unique, too. I can think of numerous comics where animals, stuffed animals, toy robots and various other what-nots (like that potted cactus thing—I forget where that appears) fill this alt-character role, usually for adolescents, and of course strips with fully characterized robots abound—Star Wars and Lost in Space (and their sources) derivatives, for the most part, with the occasional fully Asmimovian sort thrown in. Jeph's AnthroPCs seem to walk a line between those two roles that fascinates me.

Did I just de-rail the thread?

« Last Edit: 08 Dec 2010, 09:58 by raoullefere »
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #25 on: 08 Dec 2010, 11:30 »

No, I think you just decided to create a thread entitled, "Pintsize's fundamental character".
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #26 on: 08 Dec 2010, 12:39 »

Which may or may not be fundamental to Marten's character.

...and we're back!
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #27 on: 08 Dec 2010, 13:04 »

What, it's not possible that he simply prefers vanilla porn? That few if any of the typical fetishes appeal to him (ESPECIALLY if they remind him of his mother's business?)

There I was commenting on the theory that Marten is a raging bag of perversions like Pintsize. If he is, then his vanilla porn is harder to explain. On the other hand if we go by his secrets, not just his behavior, then the evidence is saying he's vanilla.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #28 on: 08 Dec 2010, 13:41 »

Or it may be that vanilla porn is the only thing he can safely keep on his computer.

Pintsize can access his laptop + Pintsize being creepily malevolent + friends who could be squicked out = Not keeping anything on your laptop you couldn't live with someone finding out.

Seriously, I don't see why Marten doesn't fit Pintsize with a restraining bolt, or at least secure his laptop better so Pintsize doesn't have the ability to spill his wiring about what Marten looks at.

Also, is it ever mentioned why Pintsize collects all this disturbing porn? Marten doesn't seem like he'd encourage that, at all.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #29 on: 08 Dec 2010, 13:44 »

Seriously, I don't see why Marten doesn't fit Pintsize with a restraining bolt, or at least secure his laptop better so Pintsize doesn't have the ability to spill his wiring about what Marten looks at.

Because he's an AnthroPC, not an astromech droid.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #30 on: 08 Dec 2010, 14:13 »

Seriously, I don't see why Marten doesn't fit Pintsize with a restraining bolt, or at least secure his laptop better so Pintsize doesn't have the ability to spill his wiring about what Marten looks at.

Because he's an AnthroPC, not an astromech droid.

I meant literally putting a bolt through him for restraining purposes. Maybe attached to a cinderblock.

What?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #31 on: 08 Dec 2010, 14:18 »

That's what duck tape is for! :lol: :-o :evil:
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #32 on: 08 Dec 2010, 17:51 »

Personally, my theory is that Veronica got the AnthroPC for Marten as a graduation present. This would mean he owned him all the way through the chase-Vicky-across-the-country thing.

Of course, that would mean that he's way obsolete as a computing machine, but that's another story.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #33 on: 08 Dec 2010, 18:58 »

Why Pintsize collects the porn is a good question.

Idea 1: he looks up to humans and collects porn as an homage to their creativity in producing it, as suggested in 1435.

Idea 2: he looks down on humans and collects the worst spewings of humans so he can look at them and gloat about how superior he is.

Idea 3: he thinks porn is important because the Internet links to it so often.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #34 on: 08 Dec 2010, 19:17 »

Idea 4: He's a horny little pervert!

AnthroPC's, in addition to self-awareness and the illusion of free will, also have a sex drive.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #35 on: 08 Dec 2010, 20:49 »

As documented in the newspost to strip 1658.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #36 on: 08 Dec 2010, 22:49 »

I wonder what sort of bus a sex drive uses?

But yes, akronnick, I suppose the debate I've having is whether or not Marten and Pintsize are one person who feels good to be alive*. And, of course, which one is Dr. Heckyll and which one is Mr. Jive. Anyway, I haven't drifted Carl's thread.

Yet.

*Although obviously not in #1812.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #37 on: 08 Dec 2010, 23:02 »

The real question is what kind of sex the bus driver has...
 :mrgreen:












Wait, what?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #38 on: 09 Dec 2010, 08:57 »

you mean you've never wondered whether the sex bus was right-hand or left-hand drive?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #39 on: 13 Dec 2010, 10:10 »

For all the other characters we've been analyzing, no one's breached our skinny near-slacker boy directly. 

Marten started off as an indie/hipster variant of the Nice Guy™ and has gradually grown toward being a more normal, respectable person (though he could definitely use a bit more spine, but I suspect he'll be developing one shortly unless Jeph decides to override that in favor of old-hat humor). This was addressed in fair depth in an older thread (where I was arguing that Marten shared a lot with the animal of the same name).

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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #40 on: 13 Dec 2010, 14:14 »

raoulle, if you derail the thread, i'd still follow it.  Kudos for insightful posts dissecting Marten, and the Anthro-PCs!

the potted cactus (which talks when its owner is drunk) is in Girls With Slingshots, one of Jeph's favorite webcomix.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #41 on: 13 Dec 2010, 15:13 »

Pretty sure the cactus talks all the time; she only hears him hen she's drunk.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #42 on: 13 Dec 2010, 16:39 »

Such is the mystery of McPedro!
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #43 on: 13 Dec 2010, 21:29 »

I suppose I can throw something I put in the weekly over here—is Marten too single-minded when he decides he vaguely fancies* a girl? Is that really what gets him into trouble? For example, by the time he noticed Sara, it seems to me he was really already 'stuck' on Faye. Might've saved himself some frustration—not to mention injuries—had he pursued both girls.

*I have no ethnic(?) right to use this verb. However, it saves me from using the American 'like' and feeling as though I were back in Junior High. Don't too cocky, you lot—you still manage to make kissing sound as though you're blowing your noses. Scorn!
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #44 on: 13 Dec 2010, 22:31 »

Shy person disease, maybe? So much difficulty working up the nerve to talk to girls that he expects too much when he actually makes contact?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #45 on: 14 Dec 2010, 01:35 »

I don't think that's quite it. I get the feeling it's more of "the one" syndrome. I don't think Marten is exactly conscious of it, but I do get the idea that somewhere in his brain that's what's going on. Whosname in California was "The One," so he followed her East. Then Faye was "The One," and so Marten endured seemingly endless putoffs, not to mention the punches, waiting on her. WHen Dora entered the picture, the idea "hey, why not date Dora some while I'm seeing where things go with Faye" never came up. I realize that dating co-workers, or, worse, boss and underling, not a good idea, but my point is I don't think Marten ever really considered it. What he did consider was whether or not to go with Dora or Faye—in other words, which was "The One."

Then in the relationship with Dora, I don't think the idea of things ending ever entered Marten's head, even though Dora mentioned it quite a few times. As far as Marten was concerned, Dora was "The One." I'm not accusing him of having marriagitus; I simply don't think he saw things ending.

That's why I feel Dora's fears are silly, so far as reality goes*, and why I became quite cross when some naive twit (okay, that's not fair) someone complained that Marten wasn't committed to the relationship. He didn't push it, because pushing is apparently not Marten—it's entirely possible, I suppose, that if Dora had wanted, they'd never have gotten beyond dating—but I think he was committed, so long as committing means "I'm in this, I am, and I ain't studyin' gettin' out, me bucko."** Various and sundry may have wanted Marten to do more, to push things along, to take it to the next level and all that sort of jive, but as far as being committed to what existed between himself and Dora, Marten was there to stay.

If you doubt this, note how surprised Marten is every time Dora thinks he is trying to break up with her, or change her, or what-have-you. And, Jesus, he met the parents. That guy was set, and if Dora hadn't a cog loose about suchlike, she'd'a had him as long as she wanted.

*Which is, of course, kind of the point.
**Don't question the sea-dog slang. It's not worth it.
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #46 on: 14 Dec 2010, 02:07 »

I think I follow you but I'm not sure.

"The One syndrome" is different from monogamy in that it can happen even when there's no relationship? Or it's premature overcommitment?
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #47 on: 14 Dec 2010, 03:00 »

Bondage, Black Hoodies and Bad Bands: The Psyche of Marten Reed by Kazukagii


Marten Reed, the protagonist of one Questionable Content webcomic, has been with us since the beginning. Skinny, pale, and meek in appearance. Adrift in a world where he can find no goal or aspiration, and constantly second guessing his own decisions. A fan of all the bands you've never heard of, and author of a blog nobody but his mother reads. We know this, but to truly understand what it is that drives "Marten", we must go back, back to those formative years. These will be our building blocks, with which we will try to create a picture of Marten.

A word of warning: some speculation has been made on the part of the author, due to various gaps within the backstory of Marten Reed. While you may be mesmerized by the vocabulary of your humble author, do note that all information should be taken, as always, with some fine salt crystals.

Chapter One: Development, Divorce, and More Alliteration
Little is known about Marten's early years, though one can assume that being raised as an only child Marten received ample attention from his parents. Also due to his mother's occupation as a fetish model, and his father's (at the time hidden) homosexuality, It is not too far a leap to assume that Marten was aware of many sexual topics early on in his life (though we do not know how early) and was taught to be open to many different beliefs and lifestyles. These assumptions have their basis in the series canon, as Marten has not been shown to have any prejudices against homosexual relationships or fetishes, and even offered to teach Tai how to properly use bondage gear. It can be assumed, then, that Marten had much more knowledge of sexual matters than most his age.

At age 10, Marten's parents were divorced, as a result of his father being unable to hide his homosexuality any longer. It goes without saying that all children this age are devastated by parents' separation, however even more tragic is that it happened under such circumstances. It has been indicated that Marten's parents separated on poor terms, however they eventually reconciled, which will be addressed later. This incident no doubt left a profound impact on Marten's life, but in what way? To this, we can put forth several assumptions. First: it may have shown Marten how devastating the effects of lying about oneself can have. Marten has never, to this author's knowledge, lied about his beliefs in a serious manner, nor has he attempted to hide thing that he felt were crucial to a relationship (regardless of whether the other party saw it as crucial). Marten saw how bad a lie in a relationship could be, and tried to avoid this as much as possible. Second: Marten learned that no relationship is perfect. While we will later discuss how Marten has sadly come to learn this fact over time, this incident may very well have planted the first seeds that any relationship, no matter how solid, can fail in an instant. This divorce may very well have become a point of comparison for Marten in future breakups. Though there are surely many other effects of this divorce that have given rise to the Marten we know today, we shall leave the topic where it is for now.

In summary, we can see that Marten grew up in a very different climate than most of his peers. Both his mother's job, and her openness about it, may have to Marten's own openness and acceptance of different views. His father, whom eventually ended his marriage due to his inability to pretend to be heterosexual any longer, may have taught Marten that it is never good to lie to oneself. Finally the crippling divorce of his parents may have shown Marten both how powerful a lie can be in the demise of a relationship, and how volatile even the most seemingly rock solid relationships can be.

Next Time: Chapter Two: Farewell California, Greetings Heartbreak
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #48 on: 14 Dec 2010, 03:08 »

*slow clap*
 8-)
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Re: Marten's fundamental character
« Reply #49 on: 14 Dec 2010, 03:34 »

Well, I was going to reply to Raoullefere's interesting "There can be only One" theory, but then Kazukagii's term paper showed up.  

This, by the way, may well be Wiki-worthy.  Can't wait to see the rest, snce I've put forth a theory or two of my own based on his upbringing and his parent's divorce.  

Anyway, back to Marten's "There can be only One" problem, which Kazukagii's subsequent chapters may still address.  There's a comic that I was looking for but couldn't find where he talks about this; I think he's talking with Tai, but that may be why I couldn't find it.  He lists all the other available women, and why he couldn't possibly even think about pursuing them (N\not even Faye!), now that he's involved with Dora.  It's pretty much a rationalization of his actions/inactions.  Any help?
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