Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: Kugai on 01 May 2015, 13:16

Title: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 01 May 2015, 13:16
May Day
May Day
May Day
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 01 May 2015, 13:22
I admit that I vote in hope rather than any real expectation. That said, the whole 'townies' and 'out-of-towners' duelling perspectives could be great in many ways.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 01 May 2015, 15:59
There comes the day/when April is done/You'll seeeeee/It's gonna (gonna gonna gonna gonna)...IT'S GONNA BE MAY
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Half Empty Coffee Cup on 01 May 2015, 16:21
Pokin' Sticks & Pitchforks and Torches for me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 01 May 2015, 16:59
Ardent seemed to be doing just fine with Miss Wheelwright before he overplayed his hand. She might give him a second chance.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 01 May 2015, 17:46
"I apologize for my actions Ms. Wheelwright. Where I come from, we're told that we should touch the booty at all times"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 01 May 2015, 23:43
Depending on how he approaches her, the uninhabited ways of the space folk may be... intriguing to her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 02 May 2015, 11:48
COMIC

Ardent... HOW SWAY. JUST HOW.

Also, a 1h walk isn't too much at all, but I assume that in the vicissitudes' original society they don't have long distances.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 02 May 2015, 11:56
HOW SWAY. JUST HOW.
I don't get that reference.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 02 May 2015, 12:04
HOW SWAY. JUST HOW.
I don't get that reference.

Kanye West got supermad on Sway's radio show.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 02 May 2015, 12:06
...Sway is still around? I thought he disappeared when MTV News did.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 02 May 2015, 12:21
Aaannnd that's #28583 on Gavia's list of reasons why Ardent has pretty much ruined her life from the moment it began.

Now, I wonder how long it's going to take Alice to realise that maybe Gavia isn't as simple to understand as she thought. Oh, there's no question that Ardent is as simple to understand as she thinks. Gavia on the other hand? Well, she's been the one asking all the smart questions so far.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 02 May 2015, 14:13
Honestly, someone at some stage is going to HAVE to address Gavias constant use of her 'Hover Mode' and excessive use of her Nanotech.  She's going to have to fit into this society she's going to have to learn to fit in to their way of life.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 02 May 2015, 14:14
...why? Their "way of life" involves using all the technology available to them. Why shouldn't she?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 02 May 2015, 15:00
Would you want to stick out like a sore thumb 24/7 in a society like that - ES[ECIALLY after the way you 'introduced' yourself?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 02 May 2015, 15:01
Walking isn't going to make people forget. I'd want to fly if I could.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 02 May 2015, 15:29
Would you want to stick out like a sore thumb 24/7 in a society like that

Ardent clearly does.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 02 May 2015, 16:38
Have we ever actually seen Gavia with her feet on the ground? I'm beginning to wonder if she even knows how to walk.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: amykathleen on 02 May 2015, 16:56
Gavia's walking in panel 1 here (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/109551157994/thats-the-end-of-chapter-one-alice-grove-will-be).  I don't know why her feet are all lumpy, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 03 May 2015, 00:24
They aren't lumpy; it's just the angle of a pair of feet wearing only socks. I have no doubt that she doesn't routinely use her feet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Skewbrow on 03 May 2015, 05:43
Gavia floats because A) she can, B) she does not own shoes, C) she does not want to go barefoot. Come on. Those clean, pure white socks would be ruined soon enough if they touched dirt.

Some townfolks may want to reach for a pitchfork, but... the Vicissitudes are in Alice's company, and therefore none of their business. (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/102938849739/its-delightful)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 03 May 2015, 13:22
I get wanting to fly, but who doesn't love the feel of grass beneath their bare feet? Socks? Weird.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 03 May 2015, 14:04
I'm starting to think that the whole floating thing is a somewhat subconscious thing by Gavia whose trying to deny the fact that they may be trapped there for the rest of their existence.  I think the first time we really see her walking round normally will be the moment when she finally accepts the inevitable.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 03 May 2015, 14:13
I don't think they're stuck there forever, just for a while.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 03 May 2015, 14:22
That may be true, but I still think that Gavia's fighting the inevitable, while Ardent is trying to fit in - albeit with a few speed bumps along the way.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 04 May 2015, 00:27
Gavia's fighting the inevitable, while Ardent is trying to fit in

Ardent was the one who wanted to be there in the first place. Gavia was just trying to retrieve Ardent and go home.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 04 May 2015, 15:14
There is that.

But it seems to me that now that several days/weeks have passed and Gavia has SITLL got no response, the idea that they may be there for a seriously long time, maybe forever, has not truly sunk in for her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 04 May 2015, 18:11
I wonder if Gavia's nanotech is self-renewable or if it has some kind of lifetime that can sunset
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 04 May 2015, 18:20
Hm... Self-replicating nanotech has all sorts of potential problems. There are ways around that - Gavia may have an artificial organ that produces her nanotech in the way that bone marrow produces blood cells, for example.

But still, the energy to power the nanotech has to come from somewhere. And floating around all the time has to require a huge energy budget. Either Gavia eats a whole lot, or her nanotech is more efficient at deriving chemical energy from food than a normal human digestive tract, or she's getting her energy from somewhere else. Or she's been running on battery power and is about to crash, hard.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 04 May 2015, 18:39
Or she's been running on battery power and is about to crash, hard.

Like that Mophie commercial?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 04 May 2015, 23:41
At least she doesn't need a Regeneration Cubical.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 04 May 2015, 23:58
But it seems to me that now that several days/weeks have passed and Gavia has SITLL got no response, the idea that they may be there for a seriously long time, maybe forever, has not truly sunk in for her.

One of the strongest forces in human psychology appears to be denial. If you don't want to admit to some bad news, then you won't, unless it is somehow rubbed in your face in a way that you can't ignore.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 05 May 2015, 14:16
As promised earlier on Twitter, new comic (http://jephjacques.com/post/118218726220/alicegrovecomic-welcome-wagon-better-late)!

Well, I guess that Gavia is finally learning that her actions have consequences (something I don't think that she really seemed to have a handle on before). Consequences that she may not be entirely happy having to live with. On the other hand, it seems that Ardent hasn't learnt anything at all... Assuming that he's capable of learning.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 05 May 2015, 14:30
Well, I guess that Gavia is finally learning that her actions have consequences (something I don't think that she really seemed to have a handle on before).

I've been wondering -- was she allowed to blow shit up back wherever she came from? It seems like that's not an ability teens should have in what was presumably a densely populated environment.

On the other hand, it seems that Ardent hasn't learnt anything at all... Assuming that he's capable of learning.

We'll only know for sure when he sees Margaret Wheelwright again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: TinPenguin on 05 May 2015, 15:27
She was expecting to arrive, scare the primitives into handing over her idiot brother, and zip off home before anyone had time to miss their eyebrows. She did not contemplate consequences in the same way she might have done at home.

That said, she doesn't seem like the type who contemplates much at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 05 May 2015, 15:31
That may be about to change

Hopefully, before she gets burned at the stake
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Gladstone on 05 May 2015, 15:53
Really like the art in this one, panel 3 especially.  Although the guy in the middle seems to have a very long stray hair that's about to get tangled in the pitchfork...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 05 May 2015, 16:16
Given the looks on their faces, I'm wondering if the townspeople's hatred of Gavia coupled with seeing her with Alice might turn them against Alice (though they probably wouldn't be able to do anything to her).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 05 May 2015, 17:04
Is that a spear next to the pitchfork? If so what is it doing in a peaceful farming community? Do they have wildlife control problems?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: ysth on 05 May 2015, 17:15
Hi, Ardent! Hiiii!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 05 May 2015, 17:24
Is that a spear next to the pitchfork? If so what is it doing in a peaceful farming community? Do they have wildlife control problems?

It looks like the middle guy has an axe slung over his shoulder. It just looks weird because we're seeing it from the perspective of the base of the handle.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 05 May 2015, 17:28
Yes, definitely an axe.

And the three of us who picked "pitchforks and torches" in the poll can now shout "Called it!" - at least half of it, anyway.  :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Half Empty Coffee Cup on 05 May 2015, 18:11
Yes, definitely an axe.

And the three of us who picked "pitchforks and torches" in the poll can now shout "Called it!" - at least half of it, anyway.  :-D
Hi-five?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 05 May 2015, 22:19
Is that a spear next to the pitchfork? If so what is it doing in a peaceful farming community? Do they have wildlife control problems?

It looks like the middle guy has an axe slung over his shoulder. It just looks weird because we're seeing it from the perspective of the base of the handle.

I thought it was one of those hoe/mattock things - you know, like a scythe but with the blade set at 90 degrees for scoopage.  Moreover, I think Elliot's holding it - he's not smiling benignly, and this might be where he gets his broken nose!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 05 May 2015, 23:25
Well, I guess that Gavia is finally learning that her actions have consequences (something I don't think that she really seemed to have a handle on before).

I've been wondering -- was she allowed to blow shit up back wherever she came from? It seems like that's not an ability teens should have in what was presumably a densely populated environment.

Widely-applied nanotech may make it easier to fix things and people that she blew up in a passing temper-tantrum. It's quite possible that the bar for 'irreparable harm' is a lot higher where she comes from.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: TinPenguin on 06 May 2015, 01:26
Is that a spear next to the pitchfork? If so what is it doing in a peaceful farming community? Do they have wildlife control problems?

It looks like the middle guy has an axe slung over his shoulder. It just looks weird because we're seeing it from the perspective of the base of the handle.

I thought it was one of those hoe/mattock things - you know, like a scythe but with the blade set at 90 degrees for scoopage.

I thought it was a trowel at first. :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: NilsO on 06 May 2015, 04:07
I am still trying to estimate the technology level of the inhabitants in the preserve. They have iron tools (and clothes fashion) comparable to 19th century Earth. On the other hand, the houses (glass windows in particular), and Uncle John's farm silo look more modern.

The windmill is obviously Alice's project, and not reflecting the general technology level. Electricity appears not to be currently used, but Alice may plan to improve health care by providing the hospital with electricity from the windmill. Also, she may have access to medicines and technology from the Outside.

The Night Walker appears to confine and isolate all existing nanotech in the Preserve (except Gavia, and Alice's own nanotech, of course). This may be Alice's work, and is also the reason why Alice needs to keep close watch on Gavia. Alice is obviously afraid of nanotech getting out of control.

As for nanotech in general, there must be an energy source somewhere (unless our basic physical laws are flawed). As this is technology indistinguishable from magic for us, I would not speculate too much on this.

As for Alice's role, I am still favoring the "caretaker" theory, that she is there to take care of the inhabitants, without interfering more than necessary. The preserve may be a big sociology experiment, or a "zoo" to preserve a population of baseline humans.

EDIT: I would guess Alice herself is baseline human, but heavily augmented by nanotech. This would "explain" her invulnerability and longevity. She probably got this "job" thousands of years ago. She basically has good intentions, but it is also human nature to be a raving mad dictator if you get too powerful.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 06 May 2015, 04:21
Is that surprise on Gavia's face when she realises that her explosions means the townsfolk are horrified and hostile at seeing her? If so, it put paid to my theory that she didn't want to go to town out of sheer embarrassment as if so she wouldn't have been surprised at how unpopular she was. Alas, Gavia certainly strikes me as the type who has never once meaningfully experienced her actions having consequences.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: NilsO on 06 May 2015, 05:44
More speculation: If this is basically a self-sufficient community (with a little help from Alice), there should be a lot more farmers than Uncle John, and less townspeople (what are they all doing?). Of course, we may not have seen it all yet. It is also possible that the farmers live in the town (as is common in central Europe), and work the fields during the day.

A community like this needs some infrastructure and assets: Where are the farm animals (other than the weird dogs (http://36.media.tumblr.com/f8abe09e8e1e683ef807f8316a3f4298/tumblr_ne4tz6XOo21tl5t55o1_1280.png)), wagons, and plows? Is there a school (we have seen a shop sign, so I assume the people are literate)? Is there a mayor, a city council, police, or firemen (doubtful, we should have seen them after the explosions)? A courthouse? Lawyers? A church? Do they have contact with other communities? Who issues their money? What industries or professions exist (blacksmith, tailor, carpenter, glass blower)?

What we have seen, is the doc, who probably provides basic health care. I assume there is no university level education available, so is the doc from Outside? Or is he a local, having been trained by Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Aziraphale on 06 May 2015, 11:06
I'm a bit late to the party (as usual), but I wonder if Ardent took them the wrong way on purpose, knowing they'd be both unwelcome and unprotected if they went to town on their own. If the moon's bright enough to see the nanotech swarm monster thingy, it's certainly bright enough to at least have a basic sense of direction.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 06 May 2015, 11:24
That only helps if you know the direction you are supposed to be going in. And no, I don't think Ardent would deliberately go the wrong way. He was the only one who wanted to go into town after all. It was his pushing and instance that they go that led to the trip in the first place. It's pointless to force someone to go someplace if you aren't going to go there anyway.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 06 May 2015, 11:46
But then why would he have talked her into going to the town at all, if he wasn't planning on going there?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 06 May 2015, 20:36
I'm a bit late to the party (as usual), but I wonder if Ardent took them the wrong way on purpose, ...  bright enough to at least have a basic sense of direction.

Nope.  Ardent is just a teenager.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 May 2015, 05:27
I'm pretty sure we still don't know their age, but they're probably used to having GPS to take them anywhere they need to go.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Loki on 07 May 2015, 23:06
I wish to file a complaint against the family in panel 2.
If you are assuming to be in danger, quite possibly the last thing you should be doing is grappling the main fighting limbs of your protector.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: ysth on 08 May 2015, 03:34
Rereading, and enjoyed this bit of foreshadowing:

"Explosions seem unlikely."
"That your professional opinion?"
"I'll go get my pokin' stick!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Schwungrad on 08 May 2015, 05:19
I wish to file a complaint against the family in panel 2.
If you are assuming to be in danger, quite possibly the last thing you should be doing is grappling the main fighting limbs of your protector.
If your protector looks like he might plunge himself into a fight against a superpowered demon he cannot possibly win, out of a notion of "heroic sacrifice", it might be a rational decision to hold him back, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 08 May 2015, 05:30
If they're holding him back, then they're his protector, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 08 May 2015, 08:05
It is often a two-way street.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Thrudd on 09 May 2015, 20:20
It is often a two-way street.
with no cross walks and the intersections are hazardous
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 11 May 2015, 20:57
Is that a spear next to the pitchfork? If so what is it doing in a peaceful farming community? Do they have wildlife control problems?

It looks like the middle guy has an axe slung over his shoulder. It just looks weird because we're seeing it from the perspective of the base of the handle.


I guess it could be a trident.
I thought it was one of those hoe/mattock things - you know, like a scythe but with the blade set at 90 degrees for scoopage.

I thought it was a trowel at first. :psyduck:

That's an axe all right, but that is no pitchfork.  It looks like a spading fork, but I've never seen one with only three tines.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 12 May 2015, 19:22
So, the guys in this strip: I can't help but see them as Well-Tanned Steve, Beefy Marten*, and Young Jimbo.

* Well, Beefier Than Marten, anyway. He's still on the slender side, but not pathetically scrawny like that guy in the other strip.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 12 May 2015, 20:04
I am coming to realize that Ardent has all the survival instincts of a lemming. Perhaps less.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 12 May 2015, 20:27
Ok, that looks nothing like Steve. I'll give you Marten and Jimbo though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 12 May 2015, 22:57
Alice fixes things, tends things, cleans things, pacifies people and looks after disruptive fools.
If I were in Alice's position I would have exploded by now.  If they punished me for something by putting me into Alice's position, I would explode again!
What is going on in Alice's head?  I don't get her motivation.  I know that nurses and NGO workers tend to bitch to each other about all sorts of issues.  Are nuns like Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 12 May 2015, 23:38
Something that I suspected has now been proven true: Ardent actually is that na´ve about human threats! He really doesn't seem to realise just how tense and dangerous that this situation could be, especially with some of the townsfolk so upset that they are willing to defy Alice. Does he lack a survival instinct or is he just plain dumb? Personally, I think that it is an indication of just how safe 'Up' is under the Praeses' direction.

I'm trying to work out what Alice is going to do to Jeb. Either he's going to come back babbling that he knows what it is like to be a frog or he's going to have a whole new outlook on life based on Alice's merciless deconstruction of his personality.

Meanwhile, what happens when one of the townsfolk succumbs to curiosity and approaches Gavia?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 12 May 2015, 23:44
Something that I suspected has now been proven true: Ardent actually is that na´ve about human threats! He really doesn't seem to realise just how tense and dangerous that this situation could be, especially with some of the townsfolk so upset that they are willing to defy Alice. Does he lack a survival instinct or is he just plain dumb? Personally, I think that it is an indication of just how safe 'Up' is under the Praeses' direction.
I suspect he's enjoying getting a rise out of the natives.  "Oh!  A hold up!  Wait, let me get my camera, can you hold this bag for me?"

I'm trying to work out what Alice is going to do to Jeb. Either he's going to come back babbling that he knows what it is like to be a frog or he's going to have a whole new outlook on life based on Alice's merciless deconstruction of his personality.
Yeah.  Either is possible.

Meanwhile, what happens when one of the townsfolk succumbs to curiosity and approaches Gavia?
I would love them to have a conversation, sans fireworks!

(Fixed the quotes - Method)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: NilsO on 13 May 2015, 00:02
When there are signs of unrest, Alice picks the perceived leader for a one-to-one talk. I like this strategy :-)

Jebediah obviously needs to learn, he has not the same respect for Alice as Beefy Marten. I am sure Alice can be quite persuasive, without using more force than necessary. That grip on his arm is probably strong enough to make him realize Alice is not to be messed with.

Alice is both respected and feared by the townspeople. This probably means Alice has not any real friends. She lives by herself, outside the town. She must be lonely at times, as the centuries and millenia pass away. She may have lovers sometimes, but no long term relationship (when you are immortal, every relationship is short term). Did she ever have children? Did they grow old and die?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 13 May 2015, 00:08
Why is it on hearing that name I'm suddenly hearing this .....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: ankhtahr on 13 May 2015, 02:49
You too, huh?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 13 May 2015, 05:50
Either that, or...
(http://new3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/North+korean+astronauts+_a2600b9503feeb91c6851801c8d8454a.png)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 13 May 2015, 06:14
I was the guy screaming "You misspelled my name!"  :lol:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 13 May 2015, 13:34
I think some or all of these applies:
1) Alice needs to remind Jeb about a time when she handled him and wants to do it privately so she doesn't cause him further public embarrassment
2) Alice wants to remind Jeb about why they call her a witch with a practical demonstration of her power
3) Alice wants to set some kind of play-acting up with him to punk Gavia or Ardent (somewhat unlikely)
4) Alice wants to deputize him and explain the conditions under which she would accept his "help" (very unlikely)
5) Alice is calling in some kind of favor that she doesn't want the rest to know about

other?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 13 May 2015, 13:35
I also think it's likely we won't see the conversation and Jeb will come back with some new expression on his face that we won't know the true origin of.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 13 May 2015, 20:11
Jebediah is right, though, from any reasonable perspective the townsfolk could possibly have.

This may show us something more important of Alice's character.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: KevxD on 14 May 2015, 01:33
The black haired character in today's strip looks very like Marten
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 14 May 2015, 02:02
Jebediah is right, though, from any reasonable perspective the townsfolk could possibly have.

This may show us something more important of Alice's character.

Everything I've seen so far suggests that Alice cares for the people in her area. However, she is quite cold and unfriendly. She very obviously doesn't enjoy being around them. I wouldn't go so far as to say she dislikes them but she certainly doesn't actively seek to have more than the strictest minimum interaction with them.

Maybe that is part of the Praeses' plan - Force Alice to live with people who are going to be heading in and out of town, thus forcing her to develop connections one way or another.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 14 May 2015, 15:26
Hmmmmm

Interesting theory.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 14 May 2015, 16:55


Maybe that is part of the Praeses' plan - Force Alice to live with people who are going to be heading in and out of town, thus forcing her to develop connections one way or another.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 14 May 2015, 20:42
Comic.

Scary Alice is scary. Of course, if she's been alive for as long as she claims, she probably has the right to be a bit... psycho.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 14 May 2015, 20:58
Aaaand now I don't like Alice. I have an automatic dislike for anyone who says 'I'm older and smarter than you, so I don't have to explain myself.' I also have an automatic dislike for anyone who says 'I'm bigger and stronger than you, so do what I say.'  Alice just did both.

Jebediah's question was totally legitimate: From all he's seen of Gavia, she torched the town with absolutely no provocation and the people were helpless to stop her. He hasn't seen her outside of that context. (Heck, even around Alice's property, Gavia appeared to be near torching some kids until Ardent stopped her.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 14 May 2015, 21:07
^


Well, we sorta knew she was probably gonna be like that. Could've went worse.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: SubaruStephen on 14 May 2015, 21:57
Dangit, now I WANT to see Alice "flex her muscles", see what else she can do.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: ysth on 14 May 2015, 22:07
Awesome, awesome range of facial expressions.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Half Empty Coffee Cup on 14 May 2015, 23:30
Sweet tapdancing Christ. You tryin' to make him die of fright, Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 14 May 2015, 23:34
Just a reminder that Alice is fundamentally not a nice person. Panel 6 reminds us that she is super-strong and that she likes hitting people. :-o That said, there is an oddly ritual feel to her threats. Did she ever serve as a military DI?

Also, it's now confirmed that Alice is very old. Jedediah would have know if she was lying about how long that she's been around.

Awesome, awesome range of facial expressions.

Agreed 100%
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: NilsO on 15 May 2015, 00:26
Aaaand now I don't like Alice. I have an automatic dislike for anyone who says 'I'm older and smarter than you, so I don't have to explain myself.' I also have an automatic dislike for anyone who says 'I'm bigger and stronger than you, so do what I say.'  Alice just did both.

Jebediah's question was totally legitimate: From all he's seen of Gavia, she torched the town with absolutely no provocation and the people were helpless to stop her. He hasn't seen her outside of that context. (Heck, even around Alice's property, Gavia appeared to be near torching some kids until Ardent stopped her.)
Well, yes. You know, power corrupts (and absolute power corrupts absolutely). Alice is bound to be a bit psycho after all these years. Basically, she tries to do what she perceives is the best for the inhabitants; unfortunately, that also means she does not ask them for advice, but dictates how things should be done. I guess that is why there is no apparent mayor or police, Alice takes care of it all.

The Praeses might have an idea on how to correct Alice's behavior, and sent her a couple of horrible kids for a starter.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 15 May 2015, 00:36
I'm wondering now who the protagonist is supposed to be. If it's Alice... I've already said I don't like her, so that's not a good thing. Ardent and Gavia also kind of fit, except I don't know why I should really root for them. Who am I supposed to cheer for? What am I supposed to want to happen? (There HAS to be a better way to phrase that question...)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 15 May 2015, 00:43
We don't always have to like a protagonist.

Sometimes they grow. Sometimes they fail.

We'll see I suppose.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 15 May 2015, 00:53
We don't always have to like a protagonist.

Sometimes they grow. Sometimes they fail.

We'll see I suppose.
It helps, though. At the very least you need to empathize with your Protagonist, and I certainly can't do that with a millenium old superhero, a blue alien with no sense of boundaries or consideration for others, or a floating alien who mostly just complains.

I'm interested by the universe enough to keep reading, but if the link weren't right there on the QC page, ready as soon as I finish checking for updates, I probably wouldn't still be keeping up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: NilsO on 15 May 2015, 01:03
Alice is obviously the protagonist, but she is not without flaws. Improving her character may be a main theme of the series. Jeph may want to illustrate the "superhero syndrome": Even if Alice initially had good intentions, things will go bad unless someone is able to correct her behavior.

Besides Alice's worrying behavior, and the Ardent/Gavia problem, I want to know whatever happened to Jack?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 01:17
I don't like Alice.
She's not boring, though!

To be fair, I'm pretty sure she only used this tactic because she knew it was the only way to convince him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 15 May 2015, 01:26
We don't always have to like a protagonist.
... Sometimes they fail.

Light Yagami.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 15 May 2015, 01:30
Back at the start of volume 2, I speculated that the long-term plot of the comic would be the personal growth and 'salvation' of sorts of all three main characters - Alice, Ardent and Gavia. I suspect that it is going to be how the three of them inadvertently helped the others to grow as people and about the situations and mysteries that influenced that growth.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure she only used this tactic because she knew it was the only way to convince him.

I, too wonder if the way Alice handled Jeb is related to that comment about him 'respecting strength'. Depending on who it was, she might have handled it differently (but still in an overbearing way). It's just that Jeb is one of the town roughs and the only thing that really impacts on his decision-making process is the threat of force and the threat of being humiliated in front of the townsfolk.

Maybe Jeb is an antisocial type and is the leader of the town troublemaking idlers, getting away with it just because he's the biggest and strongest. Being physically crushed by a slender woman who has to strain her neck to look him in the eye would destroy that reputation for being the local top physical specimen and his position in the community and his peer group would never recover. It's that threat, more than any threat of being physically beaten down, which will probably make him back down. Alice's reputation of being a violent, homicidal sociopath with super-strength, invulnerability and a raft of other superpowers (a sort of female Hancock) just makes the threat that much more plausible.

Headology. It never fails.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 15 May 2015, 01:34
I don't like Alice.
She's not boring, though!

To be fair, I'm pretty sure she only used this tactic because she knew it was the only way to convince him.

Sounds reasonable. Big hunky dude might not be easy to persuade by reason, as we see with the futile attempt from the other dude on last comic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 01:35
We don't always have to like a protagonist.
... Sometimes they fail.

Light Yagami.
Ugh, don't remind me that season 2 exists.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 15 May 2015, 01:44
I don't like Alice.
She's not boring, though!

To be fair, I'm pretty sure she only used this tactic because she knew it was the only way to convince him.
How can we be sure, though? All I know about Jebediah is that he's a guy who's worried about his town and distrustful of Gavia. We just have to take Alice's word for it that she knows him best, and she knows how it's best to treat him, since we're not given a chance to see things any other way.

If we had seen her try to explain Gavia's perspective, then get shut down with a 'That doesn't matter, the demon is evil', and THEN Alice went all 'I'm-superior and you-don't-matter,' she'd be a lot better off, but as it is we have only assumption and her (unreliable) opinion that this was the best course of action.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 01:48
How can we be sure, though?
We can't! That's half the fun.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 15 May 2015, 02:08
How can we be sure, though? All I know about Jebediah is that he's a guy who's worried about his town and distrustful of Gavia. We just have to take Alice's word for it that she knows him best, and she knows how it's best to treat him, since we're not given a chance to see things any other way.

If we had seen her try to explain Gavia's perspective, then get shut down with a 'That doesn't matter, the demon is evil', and THEN Alice went all 'I'm-superior and you-don't-matter,' she'd be a lot better off, but as it is we have only assumption and her (unreliable) opinion that this was the best course of action.

All that would have done is use up a few strips for no real narrative advantage. The comments on this thread show that the readers get the points of this conversation:
In the end, how can we be sure? We can be sure because that's the path Alice took. At least with the town, its residents and the surrounding lands, I think that we can be sure she's more likely to be right than wrong. Any holes in her knowledge (and the resulting fun of her being dramatically wrong) will come when she's dealing with something from "up" that is out of her normal area of expertise.

With a two-strip-per-week update rate, Jeph can't afford to waste strips on verbiage that can just as easily be taken as read. I think that he made the right call here.

FWIW, I'm more and more sure that Alice is a reliable source and rather enjoys people telling themselves that she's lying or exaggerating when she's actually told them the unvarnished truth.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 15 May 2015, 03:24
An extra single line of dialogue would have done it. One panel. It doesn't take a lot to establish stuff. Just have Alice say something like "That was a miscommunication, she didn't intend to hurt anyone," and have Jeb cut her off saying that he didn't care. One panel. Easy.

You're assuming that Alice is correct because Alice says she's correct... Without bothering to try and explain the situation peacefully. Her immediate first resort after someone dared ask a legitimate question was to threaten physical violence and humiliation. (Because again, expressing concern over letting a firey demon walk around your city is a fair thing to do.)

Besides: It doesn't matter if she's certain that's the only way to get through to him either: Using vast intellect to manipulate and push around weaker and stupider people is not an admirable trait. It's something bad guys do.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 15 May 2015, 03:37
You're assuming that Alice is correct because Alice says she's correct... Without bothering to try and explain the situation peacefully. Her immediate first resort after someone dared ask a legitimate question was to threaten physical violence and humiliation. (Because again, expressing concern over letting a firey demon walk around your city is a fair thing to do.)

You're looking at this strip in isolation. Alice already said that she had Gavia under control. Jeb's reaction to that was to disrespect her in such a way that made me think that this was an attempt to prove he is the town's alpha by picking a fight with her.

Besides: It doesn't matter if she's certain that's the only way to get through to him either: Using vast intellect to manipulate and push around weaker and stupider people is not an admirable trait. It's something bad guys do.

As I've already said above, Alice is not a nice person; Jeph's established that very clearly.

The fact that she is, optimistically, light-grey (what I consider a lawful neutral) does not mean that her ultimate motives are not good - she wants the town to be safe and peaceful. It's just that she doesn't feel the need to pursue that end through solely objectively nice means. Age, power and knowledge may have taught her contempt for the little mayfly lives over which she is self-appointed protector. Or, it's possible that she's just so emotionally detached from them that treating them like abstract psychology puzzles has become second nature to her.

It's quite possible that the strip will be partly about her learning to overcome this mindset.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 15 May 2015, 04:00
Just have Alice say something like "That was a miscommunication, she didn't intend to hurt anyone,"

But we don't really know that.  Gavia is now under Alice's thumb - that's what we know.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Half Empty Coffee Cup on 15 May 2015, 05:29
And with that, I think we've probably reached the agree-to-disagree point. Nobody's getting swayed here.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 15 May 2015, 06:15
I think we have a cross between Discworld and Hancock going on here with Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 15 May 2015, 07:12
What I'm hearing is people giving Alice leeway because we know her better.

Which I mean, that's human, that's normal.

edit: my point does not invalidate Alice being correct or using the correct method. Or the incorrect one.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 12:44
lawful neutral
Are you really lawful if you are the law?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 15 May 2015, 12:46
lawful neutral

Are you really lawful if you are the law?

'Lawful' alignment is more of a case of favouring order over chaos.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 15 May 2015, 13:31
My guess it she knows Jebediah fairly well, and he's one of those guys that occasionally needs reminding just whose 'Top Dog' around the place.

What I think Alice is really trying to do is stop anything happening before it starts by taking down the guy she knows is more likely to start anything than anyone else.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Stoon on 15 May 2015, 16:29
I think we have a cross between Discworld and Hancock going on here with Alice.
What does Herbie Hancock have to to with anything?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 17:30
Hancock as in that terrible Will Smith movie?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: SubaruStephen on 15 May 2015, 17:44
lawful neutral
Are you really lawful if you are the law?

"You are the law" as in that terrible Sylvester Stalone movie?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 May 2015, 17:50
As in the guy on the lower half of this:

(http://41.media.tumblr.com/7b0cc44a3210097dd10a3ffd6cadf9c7/tumblr_mk8lh1DN0T1r738fco1_500.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Storel on 15 May 2015, 23:17
Alice's face in the last panel looks as if she's hoping she gets to flex her muscles a bit...

You're looking at this strip in isolation. Alice already said that she had Gavia under control. Jeb's reaction to that was to disrespect her in such a way that made me think that this was an attempt to prove he is the town's alpha by picking a fight with her.

Good point. I hadn't thought of it quite that way before, but it does seem like that's what he's doing.

lawful neutral
Are you really lawful if you are the law?

How can you not be?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 15 May 2015, 23:46
You're looking at this strip in isolation. Alice already said that she had Gavia under control. Jeb's reaction to that was to disrespect her in such a way that made me think that this was an attempt to prove he is the town's alpha by picking a fight with her.

Really? His question of 'And what if you blink and she's got the town afire again' seems pretty legitimate. Especially since, earlier that day we saw Gavia nearly provoked into a torch-the-world rage by a few kids with sticks. (And if it hadn't been for someone on standby watching her, she would have torched the place.) If Alice looks away, it's totally plausible that Gavia could torch the place pretty badly.

Further, keep in mind that Alice apparently doesn't seem to visit the town very often. Since the comic started, we've only seen her go to the town twice, and both times were with reluctance. I highly doubt that she really knows everyone in the town perfectly well enough to know exactly what to say in order to manipulate them to do what she wants.



As a thought experiment, if I ever worry that a main character is acting badly, I try and imagine their actions from the perspective of the other character, as though the story was written with that side-character as the protagonist. If the side character is still in the wrong, the main character is probably fine. Let's try that with Jeb.

Scene one, Jeb, (A local farmhand or town worker of somekind,) is minding his own business when a demonic monster attacks the town, seeking an apparently harmless blue alien who's wandering around town. The monster torches a majority of the town, and is stopped only when a more powerful being who neither lives in the town nor regularly spends time with the townsfolk steps in. This being, who also seems to have total unquestionable control over the town, then takes away the monster.

Two weeks later, the monster and the being return to town. When our hero questions the idea of bringing in a deadly monster back to town, he's not given a rational explanation or common courtesy, he's told that he simply has to trust the being, and if he doesn't then the being is going to beat the crap out of him and then publicly humiliate him for worrying about the town.


Now, thinking about that, where would a Jeb-centered story go? It's a pretty basic hero's journey setup. He's laughably weaker to Alice and Gavia both to the point of it being not just underdog but the underdog TO the underdog. His attempts to preemptively save his town get shot down, and the all-powerful government body tells him that he's not allowed to question them. If this were a story about Jeb, Alice would be the villain.




Also, re-reading the comic... Alice says she's been 'Watching over the town' for a really long time.

Um... Watching over for what? Until Ardent and Gavia, what threats have needed an immortal demigod watching over the town for hundreds or thousands of years? (An immortal demigod who gets snippy and aggressive when a twenty-something male questions her.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 16 May 2015, 00:49
Until Ardent and Gavia, what threats have needed an immortal demigod watching over the town for hundreds or thousands of years?

Well, we don't know yet; doesn't mean we won't find out in due course.  The story's still only just beginning.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 16 May 2015, 07:51
Be fair, there's enough things that we've seen in that forest already that would at least need to be known about a bit, with the implications of even more.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 16 May 2015, 07:54


How can you not be?

Now *that* is a discussion you and my paladin should have.

But the shortest and easiest distinction I can make without going off-topic is that creators of the law that neither believe in it nor enforce it with any consistency or creed would be one example.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 16 May 2015, 07:58
How can you not be?
Because if the law is basically "do as I say because I say it", that doesn't seem like an actual code of laws.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 17 May 2015, 13:47
Until Ardent and Gavia, what threats have needed an immortal demigod watching over the town for hundreds or thousands of years?

Well, we don't know yet; doesn't mean we won't find out in due course.  The story's still only just beginning.

It's obvious isn't it.  She wears overalls/dungarees, fixes wind turbines, herds the livestock.  She's a farmer of humans.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 17 May 2015, 14:12
That makes a lot of sense.  :psyduck: Herding the humans, building a barbed-wire carnivorous plant fence, guarding over the humans. She's overseeing a farm that makes Soylent Green.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 17 May 2015, 14:15
But then the title of the strip would be "Alice's Farm".

Or maybe "Alice's Restaurant."

 :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 17 May 2015, 14:25
You can call a restaurant whatever you want!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 17 May 2015, 14:41
Good point. I used to live in a city that had restaurants (good ones, even) that were named "Watts Grocery" and "George's Garage".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 17 May 2015, 14:42
But then the title of the strip would be "Alice's Farm".

Or maybe "Alice's Restaurant."

 :-D

Friendly reminder that it isn't "Alice's Grove" either, but "Alice Grove".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: plusorminus on 17 May 2015, 19:07
Frankly, Alice is starting to remind me of that little boy in the Twilight Zone episode where he could read minds and everyone had to tiptoe around him or risk being "Sent to the cornfield."

I think possibly Gavia - more so than Ardent - will be the the one that helps Alice grow, if that's where this is going. Gavia has already pointed out the difference between letting kids roam free where she's from and why it seems weird to her in this world. Gavia has also proven introspective. She realizes that her plan of scaring the little locals in order to suss out Ardent's whereabouts was the wrong idea, she was frightened when she was going to fireball those weird cave animals, and she was pissed at the kids. I don't think Gavia is essentially evil so much as she is just impulsive. The difference between her and Ardent is that his impulsiveness (so far) is just relatively harmless and mildly obscene.

Alice is dangerous and she's openly condescending of the townsfolk. I would not be shocked if Gavia and Ardent were stranded there by the Praeses because they have gotten wind of a possible coup against Alice and they want to head that off at the pass.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jheartney on 17 May 2015, 19:17
It's obvious isn't it.  She wears overalls/dungarees, fixes wind turbines, herds the livestock.  She's a farmer of humans.

From what we've seen, the townsfolk are all simpletons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHJbSvidohg
Have a hard time thinking there's much interesting drama going on there. Going forward, it needs to be about Alice and wherever the two brats are from.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 17 May 2015, 21:28
I was happy about this comic because I wanted to see what sort of things happen when somebody speaks back to Alice or hints that She Doesn't Know Best. And now I know.

It further establishes Alice's character as someone who is fundamentally not really that nice. When you've lived a long time, it can anger you when some short lived powerless little git question your judgement. I think part of Alice's problem is she rigidly sticks to lawful good principles and always gives people one chance after they make mistakes (note she wasn't mad at the other two guys with Jeb who seemed happy to take her word that Gavia was no threat and tried to stop Jeb sassing the witch), but deep down inside she loves flexing her muscles and is always secretly hoping people will be stupid enough to give her justification to do so. This would also explain why the townsfolk are so fucking terrified of Alice. The things Alice did when her judgement was questioned are probably legendary, and if she's as old as she claims they probably have a lot of legends about her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 18 May 2015, 01:26
There's an approximate quote I'm going to butcher here: "True strength lies in knowing when not to use it."

If Alice was really 'Strong' (at least by that definition,) she wouldn't need to go around threatening punks. From her perspective, she just threatened to beat the crap out of a toddler who was throwing a mild tantrum after getting stung by a bee. (Both in relative age, strength, and expected maturity.)

She shouldn't need threats at this point to emphasize her power. The fact that she uses them tells me that either:
A. She's a terrible person looking for an excuse to be cruel.
B. She's not particularly bright, or good at leadership.
C. She's not as powerful as everyone thinks and she claims.

We've seen evidence to the contrary for B and C.


Also, looking back, while it was framed as a "The nieve kids mistake innocuous things for threats and have to learn" moment, when Ardent and Gavia went into the forest, it was really Alice intentionally setting the both of them up for failure. Again, not something you should have to do if you're really as strong as she claims.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 18 May 2015, 01:52
She shouldn't need threats at this point to emphasize her power. The fact that she uses them tells me that either:
A. She's a terrible person looking for an excuse to be cruel.
B. She's not particularly bright, or good at leadership.
C. She's not as powerful as everyone thinks and she claims.

We've seen evidence to the contrary for B and C.

Completely wrong.

A - A terrible person wouldn't do more than the bare minimum to help our her charges. It's pretty clear from the impromptu town meeting in volume 1 that she is a lot more active than that;

B - She's clearly a brilliant observer and deducer, given how she's come to reasonable conclusions about the wildlife and has learnt how to handle them;

C - After taking a lethal-force fire blast without a scratch, she punched her way through a personal forcefield.

Your problem, Mik, is that (by your own admission) you personally dislike (and feel threatened by) Alice's attitude to the degree that you have gained a personal investment in trying to prove publicly that she is a bad person. The rest of us don't have that investment or as strong emotions.

She's just got a violent nature. Additionally, she knows the right way to manipulate people's minds to get what she wants without actually having to use physical force. She's quite similar to the darker interpretation of Batman - Using plans and knowledge to defeat her adversaries and control her allies. It isn't nice and she's a pretty grey anti-hero if that's her way of doing things.

I agree with Wildroses that this story may be (at least in part) about her being taught by experience a better way of doing things.

I'll finish off with something Jeph said: "QC is fundamentally about a group of people who like each other. Alice Grove is about a group of people who don't like each other at all and it's refreshing in a way."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 18 May 2015, 09:58
Again, I'm saying that those three options are what I get just from how she handled Jeb. And, also again, I wasn't referring solely to physical strength. You're either missing or ignoring two key parts of my statement.

EDIT: Also, I feel I should point out that I'm not making these statements because I don't like Alice, these statements are a part of why I don't like Alice.

EDIT #2: Also, just because the characters don't like each other doesn't mean they shouldn't be likeable. That's not a good excuse. Nobody liked each other in The Avengers, but I still liked all of them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Mlle Germain on 18 May 2015, 11:19
EDIT #2: Also, just because the characters don't like each other doesn't mean they shouldn't be likeable. That's not a good excuse. Nobody liked each other in The Avengers, but I still liked all of them.
Why on earth should characters in fiction be likeable?
There are a lot of celebrated works of literature/ other art where the characters are really unlikeable.
I have to admit that I usually like books/ films etc. more when there is at leats one character I can somewhat identify with (which doesn't mean they have to be likeable either), but I know a lot of people for whom even that's very different. Stories can become much more interesting if characters are not likeable.

Also, while Alice is certainly not universally likeable, I still like her -- not in the sense that I think we'd be best friends if we met, but she's an interesting and strong character.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 May 2015, 14:38
Unless I'm forgetting a post, I'm pretty sure mik never said they didn't like Alice Grove, just that they didn't like Alice Grove*.

*I'm assuming that's her last name until canonically told it's not.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Mlle Germain on 18 May 2015, 15:31
Oh, I never meant to imply mikmaxs said they didn't like the comic; I just disagree with the implication of the quote cited by me that an author needs an excuse to make his characters unlikeable; or that unlikeable characters are in themselves a deficit in a story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 May 2015, 17:00
Fair enough. I dunno, I think when I think of a character as "likable" I think of it as a character whose actions make some sort sense, even if I don't agree with those actions. I can relate to why they do those actions, even if I wouldn't ever do them. I may not like them, but I consider them likable because I get them, get why somebody would like them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 18 May 2015, 19:22
All right, is Alice more likable now or not?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 May 2015, 20:13
Oh gosh. Yeah, I'm pretty sure Jeb's not complaining.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 18 May 2015, 21:28
Alice knows her people


Jeb's cute when he blushes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 18 May 2015, 23:11
I think I should say here that most of my criticisms of Alice Grove only work (At least in my opinion,) because Alice Grove is a comedy, which is heavily working against the drama and characters. It's hard to tell a dramatic story when you're constantly telling jokes. It's hard to laugh when the main character is a jerk. (Unless the story constantly gives them their comeuppance, which you can't do when your main character is Superwoman in a world of paper people.)


As for tonight's comic: It... doesn't really hurt, but I don't think any more of Alice either. It just cements her character as a bit of an all-controlling bully. 'Do what I say without question, I'll boost your reputation and get you laid. Dare to question me in the slightest and I'll beat the crap out of your helpless self to humiliate you.' It's better than just the stick without the carrot, but not by much.

At least for my money, there's very little that Alice can do in a single comic, or even a half dozen comics, that will make me forget that she threatened someone who was totally helpless against her for being worried for the safety of himself and his town.


If the comic IS going to be an arc about her learning and growing, it better get started soon because we're 9 months in and I haven't really seen any start of her learning yet.


Oh, I never meant to imply mikmaxs said they didn't like the comic; I just disagree with the implication of the quote cited by me that an author needs an excuse to make his characters unlikeable; or that unlikeable characters are in themselves a deficit in a story.

I'd like to expand on this a bit, since it's an important part of storytelling in general.

First off: When I say 'Likeable' I mean 'A character that I enjoy watching.' (Or reading about, or hearing, etc.) A lot of characters are not likeable in that I would hate to be around them in real life, (Jayne Cobb from Firefly comes to mind, for example,) but they are still caught under 'Likeable' the way I'm going to use the word here. Meanwhile, characters that are interesting or driving don't have to be 'Likeable' to be good. (Later seasons of Walter White from Breaking Bad come to mind.)

Characters don't need to be likeable to be good characters, and compelling and interesting stories can be written around them. Empathy is nigh-universally required to one extend or another, but likeability isn't. However, it is incredibly difficult to write an unlikeable character with a goal so that they are still interesting and compelling, since if I don't like a character, it becomes difficult to care if they succeed or not.

It's also extremely hard to write characters who have no explicit or clear goals, because if they aren't doing anything of substance it is hard to care what they are doing. Without a goal, it's very easy for a character to become dull and boring.

Alice is currently doing both. Unlike Gavia or Ardent who both have somewhat of a goal goal, (Get home and/or Meet the natives to have fun,) she just wants not to do anything. Her ideal day involves Gavia and Ardent not doing anything while she doesn't do anything either. She's also not particularly likeable, for reasons I've gone over before.

For these reasons, I simply can't care about anything she is doing, and when she does something bad it becomes a lot more noticeable and detractive to her character.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 18 May 2015, 23:55
As I said before, Alice knows her people. I mean terrifyingly well. As in, she knows who has a crush on whom just by reading their body language! That's what happened here by the way. The reason why Alice needs to intervene with Shelley's family is because Jeb isn't normally the sort that they would want to court their daughter.

Mik, seriously, when have we ever seen Alice 'doing nothing'? The first time we saw her, she was hard at work for the community and, apart from food and sleep, we haven't seen her stop yet!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 00:00
As I said before, Alice knows her people. I mean terrifyingly well. As in, she knows who has a crush on whom just by reading their body language! That's what happened here by the way. The reason why Alice needs to intervene with Shelley's family is because Jeb isn't normally the sort that they would want to court their daughter.

Mik, seriously, when have we ever seen Alice 'doing nothing'? The first time we saw her, she was hard at work for the community and, apart from food and sleep, we haven't seen her stop yet!
Doing nothing out of the ordinary. She's working her day job as far as she's concerned. She hasn't tried anything even remotely challenging, she has no long-term goals she's working for other than 'Town maintenance', and she's not got any driving motivations. She's totally content with her lot in life. Obviously she's doing something in the literal sense of the words, but it's not anything major or important as far as she's concerned. If this story were about a plumber, we'd be watching him fix pipes for three hours as routine repairs for an apartment building with no real difficulty.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 19 May 2015, 00:03
After millennia on the job, I think that you'd be hard-pressed to describe anything as being not just another day!

[EDIT]
Just an additional thought: I don't think that this is just a job to Alice, even though she's been doing it long enough that it has become something close to a reflexive behaviour to her. My proof? Why tell Jeb about Shelly? This isn't a carrot or even a sugar lump for being a good boy. She's already got what she wants and, if she's as detached and oppressive as some want to believe, she has no particular reason to care about reinforcing the lesson in such a manner. However, she pauses and, not only points Jeb in the right direction but actually makes it clear she's going to make it her business to smooth the road.

This is just how Alice is. The comparison with Sir Terry Pratchet's character Esme 'Granny' Weatherwax is very clear. Both are somewhat antisocial and make a big show of being misanthropes. However, when it comes down to it, they both care for their charges on a deep and personal level and never miss a chance to help when it is presented. Please note the latter clause 'when it is presented' - Neither Granny nor Alice strike me as the sorts to go busy-bodying about, looking for opportunities to interfere. However, if they are in the right place and time, they'll take action. We have yet to see something similar to an event in one Discworld novel, where Granny actually challenges Death over the fate of a baby, using her own life as a stake (Death cheats on her behalf, but that's just Him). It will be interesting to see if Jeph chooses to put in a scene like that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Mlle Germain on 19 May 2015, 02:42
I think I should say here that most of my criticisms of Alice Grove only work (At least in my opinion,) because Alice Grove is a comedy, which is heavily working against the drama and characters. It's hard to tell a dramatic story when you're constantly telling jokes. It's hard to laugh when the main character is a jerk. (Unless the story constantly gives them their comeuppance, which you can't do when your main character is Superwoman in a world of paper people.)
Yeah, that I agree with, although I don't see Alice as a jerk. But yes, in a comedy, her character (and others as well) feels out of place and exaggerated. I, for my part, wish Alice Grove would go more into the serious, story-driven direction instead of the one with the bad butt and tail jokes -- I've commented on this before.

Quote
First off: When I say 'Likeable' I mean 'A character that I enjoy watching.' (Or reading about, or hearing, etc.) A lot of characters are not likeable in that I would hate to be around them in real life, (Jayne Cobb from Firefly comes to mind, for example,) but they are still caught under 'Likeable' the way I'm going to use the word here. Meanwhile, characters that are interesting or driving don't have to be 'Likeable' to be good. (Later seasons of Walter White from Breaking Bad come to mind.)
Ah, fair enough -- I apparently understood you wrong. As I said, I also way prefer stories where I can relate to the characters somewhat,or where I enjoy watching them, even if I don't like them; and for me this is kind of the case with Alice. But then I could never watch Breaking Bad, for example, because the character is someone I absolutely can't relate to. I guess that's personal taste.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 19 May 2015, 06:16
Alice does understand how people tick. Jeb is not going to be brooding on how to get revenge on mean old Alice for squashing him so thoroughly as Alice has given him something far more interesting to think about. Go on date with pretty girl who likes you is a far better prospect than get revenge on dangerous village witch.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 19 May 2015, 12:37
Some thoughts, in order of them crossing my mind:

1) I'm not so sure Alice Grove is a comedy

2) The pace only feels glacial. Go back and read the whole thing again, then consider Alice has been there millennia. Whatever few weeks or months we've witnessed in-comic time are nothing to her. (Think Ents (considering the aroboreal themes here, it's probably pretty darn appropos)) ANY change to her routine, like bringing aliens to town instead of smiting them herself and being done with them, will be much faster change to her than we think. I'd recommend re-setting your expectations accordingly.

3) With a only twice-a-week update schedule, we're even more exposed to time compression. Have patience with Jeph and let him tell this story the way he needs to.

4) I said it in a previous MCDT and I'll say it again... we still know virtually nothing about Alice's challenges, limitations, long-term goals, or her motivations, we don't even know if they're present or not present.
As such, projecting your expectations into criticisms of her will show you a lot more about yourself than about her as a character or this story as a whole :D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 13:55
As a response to that, FunkyTuba:
1, if Alice Grove isn't a comedy, then Jeph needs to STOP TELLING JOKES. I will believe that it's not a comedy when it stops acting like one.

For 2-4, I have only one response for the lot: You write a story with your limitations in mind. When you write a book, you don't rely on pictures and sounds to tell the story. When you write a movie, you don't rely on words to carry you through. When you write a twice-weekly updating webcomic, you don't use the update schedule as an excuse for bad pacing.

A slow update schedule would work with QC, because the plot is minimal compared to the character interactions and humor, but if you want to have a heavy plot, you need to either update more quickly (which isn't an option) or write it in such a way that things don't move at a glacial pace. (Alternately, Jeph could only update once a month with a lot more content per update). We should know something about our character once we're nine months in.

For example, JL8: It's a webcomic that updates maaaybe once a week, but more likely once or twice a month. (It's a loose schedule.) E ery update moves the plot along pretty far, though, and it never lets humor get in the way of plot. It tells jokes occasionally, but not as a staple. (I don't think there's been any major funny moments in a few months, in fact.) JL8 has all the same limitations as Alice Grove, but actually deals with them effectively.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 19 May 2015, 14:04
I don't know how to respond other than to say that I'm happy with what Jeph's providing (for free) and as such I look forward to him telling Alice's story his way.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 14:46
I don't know how to respond other than to say that I'm happy with what Jeph's providing (for free) and as such I look forward to him telling Alice's story his way.
Not exactly for free. He only started Alice Grove after reaching a stretch goal on Kickstarter. Admittedly it's a one-time payment, and not everyone who reads Alice Grove had to pay, but not totally for free.

That being said, I don't like the 'It's free' excuse to dismiss criticisms. The point of criticisms is so that 1, people can share opinions and 2, so that creators (Both the creator of the content and other creators,) can learn and improve. My opinions are not the only way to write a story, not by a longshot, but at least as far as I can tell they have solid logic behind them and are somewhat applicable. Following my advice won't ever guarantee a perfect story, and going against it won't guarantee a bad one, but I think that my criticisms are legitimate and potentially helpful to anyone looking to write a similar work.

Also, I'm not saying that Alice Grove is bad, just that it could be better. I'm still interested in Ardent and Gavia's dilemma, and at least for the time being I'm still curious about what's going on with the Praeses. That being said, I'd enjoy it a lot more if the pacing and comedy weren't crippling the plot.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 15:09
The pacing is a fair criticism (it doesn't take away my enjoyment of the comic but your mileage may vary), but I don't think it's fair to say the comedy is crippling the plot. Then again, I do think it's a comedy, or at least that comedy is one of the genres, just like QC.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 15:13
The pacing is a fair criticism (it doesn't take away my enjoyment of the comic but your mileage may vary), but I don't think it's fair to say the comedy is crippling the plot. Then again, I do think it's a comedy, or at least that comedy is one of the genres, just like QC.
The comedy thing is a lot more YMMV than the pacing, I'd agree. I feel like the comedy works better in QC though, because the plot isn't nearly as complex. (Also, again YMMV, but I feel like deep character studies don't work as well when you're constantly telling jokes. I wouldn't have near as much of an issue with Alice's being a bully if it wasn't saturated in punchlines.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 15:15
I don't think AG is that much more complex than QC, it just takes place in an unfamiliar setting so it seems so.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 15:19
I don't think AG is that much more complex than QC, it just takes place in an unfamiliar setting so it seems so.
An unfamiliar, alien setting with at least a dozen unanswered questions I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe the plotline by itself isn't that complicated, but there are so many mysteries, secrets, and unexplained plot threads that mean it's a lot more complicated from setting alone. The setting is a huge part of the plot. You can't separate the two and still have a cohesive story. If the setting is confusing and complicated, then the story inherits all of the issues that come with that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 15:20
That's your interpretation, which is perfectly valid.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 15:28
That's your interpretation, which is perfectly valid.
That's your opinion about my interpretation, which is also valid.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 15:47
Well of course you'd think the opinion that your interpretation is valid is valid! :parrot:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 19 May 2015, 15:49
But if you feel that you'd like Jeph to take your views into account, you'll have to send them to him; he doesn't often read these forums.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 15:50
And either way, why would Jeph take any of our view into account?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: grez on 19 May 2015, 16:14
awwwwwwwww shelley wilson is adorbs
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 May 2015, 16:19
I like how Jeb is more Elliot than we thought.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 19 May 2015, 16:59
But if you feel that you'd like Jeph to take your views into account, you'll have to send them to him; he doesn't often read these forums.
My criticisms aren't just for Jeph. I assume I'm not the only person on this forum who writes or does something similarly creative and story-driven. Besides, I like talking about stories and plots and stuff.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 19 May 2015, 17:31
Popcorn anyone?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: amykathleen on 19 May 2015, 21:57
1, if Alice Grove isn't a comedy, then Jeph needs to STOP TELLING JOKES.

*whispers* I don't mean to cause trouble but have you ever read Shakespeare?  He was all about telling the jokes in his tragedies.  And his comedies.  And probably his historical plays too but I've not read any of those.  And people seem to like him all right.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2015, 22:39
Besides: It doesn't matter if she's certain that's the only way to get through to him either: Using vast intellect to manipulate and push around weaker and stupider people is not an admirable trait. It's something bad guys do.

It's also something good leaders do.

A depressing number of good leaders have been bad people.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 19 May 2015, 23:29
I assume I'm not the only person on this forum who writes or does something similarly creative and story-driven. Besides, I like talking about stories and plots and stuff.

Sure!  That's why there's a whole subforum for stuff like that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 May 2015, 00:39
Sure!  That's why there's a whole subforum for stuff like that.
You mean like this one, dedicated to talking about the plot and stuff happening in Alice Grove? (That's what it's here for, right?) If I want to talk about other movies, books, or comics I can do that anywhere, but Alice Grove is a bit too niche to talk about elsewhere.

*whispers* I don't mean to cause trouble but have you ever read Shakespeare?  He was all about telling the jokes in his tragedies.  And his comedies.  And probably his historical plays too but I've not read any of those.  And people seem to like him all right.
You can have humor in serious and/or non comedy plots, sure. Iron Man is funny without being a comedy. Firefly. Skulduggery Pleasant. Lots of things. Fine.

The problem is, Alice Grove has a punchline in almost every comic. I actually went and counted: Only a around twenty five comics don't have a punchline, and 2/3rds of those are from the fight scene and the intro. Everywhere else, the strips are used soley to tell jokes. Many strips have practically no bearing on the plot except to tell jokes, and even plot heavy strips usually take a panel or two to tell a joke.

Jokes don't need to be cut out entirely, but right now they're taking up a huge amount of the focus. I wouldn't mind it being a comedy, except it's working against the plot. (Just off the top of my head, the two panels used for the 'Is that a farm implement' joke could have been used to better setup Jeb as being stubborn and bullheaded, rather than legitimately worried. This in turn would help Alice's character and make her future actions feel less like she's bullying him around.)

If a guy goes up on stage and plays rock music, but tells a joke between one or two of his songs, he's a musician with a sense of humor. If he plays one rock song and then tells jokes the rest of the time, he's a comedian with a weird and pointless rock song in the middle of his set. Shakespeare is the musician, Alice Grove is the comedian.

It's all about where you put your effort and time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 20 May 2015, 01:48
If I want to talk about other movies, books, or comics I can do that anywhere, but Alice Grove is a bit too niche to talk about elsewhere.

OK - I just thought you were expressing a wider interest in the process of story-telling itself, is all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Mlle Germain on 20 May 2015, 02:56
If a guy goes up on stage and plays rock music, but tells a joke between one or two of his songs, he's a musician with a sense of humor. If he plays one rock song and then tells jokes the rest of the time, he's a comedian with a weird and pointless rock song in the middle of his set. Shakespeare is the musician, Alice Grove is the comedian.
I think this comparison, though hyperbolic, illustrates your point quite well.

I don't agree with everything you've said, but I think this is valid criticism that is absolutely not out of place in this thread. Of course it's alright to like Alice Grove as a funny comic focused on slightly silly punchlines -- but it's also alright to point out that AG's more serious aspects are kind of covered up by the silliness and it stops the plot from advancing. Because it does. And I think that this amount of silly humour feels less natural in AG than in QC, because AG set out as a much more story-driven serious and dramatic comic than QC.

I can understand the impulse to defend a piece of art you like against any criticism, even if valid (I've done that multiple times), but this forum would be really boring if people couldn't also voice their opinion on aspects of the comic that they don't like as much.
Of course if someone complains incessantly and is only negative, one wonders why they still read the comic, but I think we would all do well to not dismiss valid criticism immediately even if we disagree.
(I mean look at this discussion: I bet Mikmaxs would have looked way less negative about AG if people hadn't shot down all of their criticism from the start, making it necessary for them to explain and reiterate their views so much. Of course it's ok to disagree -- I do on several points -- but then it might also be good to admit that a lot of the points are valid criticism, even if they don't bother you personally.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 May 2015, 09:43
^What she said.

And, just so it's said, there are a lot of things I like about QC: The comedy really is pretty good, even if I wish it was further in the background. Obviously the art is nice. When we *do* get flashes of setting and background it seems pretty interesting. Ardent and Gavia have a nice back/forth dynamic and their characters contrast well.

I just feel like saying this isn't really particularly profound, 'cause it's kind of obvious. Unlike something like Catch 22, where it works for confusing or strange reasons that take a lot of thought and explaining to understand, all of the good stuff in AG is pretty straightforward, so I don't often see the point in bringing it up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Mlle Germain on 20 May 2015, 11:56
^What he said.
It's she, actually. :-)

(Even though a screen name of course doesn't have to be indicative of someone's gender or preferred pronouns in any way, in my case it is: Mlle is short for Mademoiselle, i.e. Miss in French. Sophie Germain was a French mathematician I admire.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 20 May 2015, 11:58
This whole time I hadn't noticed that was a lowercase L, and thought your screen name was Mile Germain.  :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 May 2015, 11:59
^What they said. I should look at usernames more carefully, I read it as 'Miles Germain'. My bad. Edited.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 20 May 2015, 14:01
This whole time I hadn't noticed that was a lowercase L, and thought your screen name was Mile Germain.  :psyduck:
Holy shit, me too! I didn't even notice that it wasn't a lowercase i, I've been seeing "mile germain" for years. Then again, I still don't remember how to spell bain-in-the-dub's screen name.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 21 May 2015, 19:42
Young Jimbo and Ardent seem to be hitting it off.

Alt-Marten and Gavia, not so much.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 21 May 2015, 20:09
I don't know. They seem pretty awkward-cute to me. :)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Energia on 21 May 2015, 20:38
Ardent.  Don't touch the pitchfork.  Ardent, give the pitchfork back!  Ardent! NO!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 21 May 2015, 23:30
Yeah, I thought that the kids would be okay!

Ardent, I suspect is a nostalgic; into 'primitive' ways, at least as a hobby. I think that this is why he came down there: He really wants to know how low-tech people live. Any awkwardness that the locals feel will be likely swept away by how curious and friendly he is.

As for Gavia? She actually comes across as being like Hannelore: Highly intelligent but poorly socialised to the point where it verges on a handicap. I'm wondering how long it will be before the young ladies of the town take pity on the lost little girl and try to help her feel more at ease.

I don't know. They seem pretty awkward-cute to me. :)

Pretty much how the real Marten would react to a nervous girl - Try to make her feel more relaxed but have no real clue how to do so! :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Skewbrow on 22 May 2015, 00:20
Sophie Germain was a French mathematician I admire.)
I was kinda hoping that was the origin of your username. Nice to get a confirmation :-)

Young Jimbo and Ardent seem to be hitting it off.

Alt-Marten and Gavia, not so much.

I am half expecting Gavia to show off and use her nano tech to help the townfolks/farmers do some boring job with it.

And Alice to disprove of that for spoiling her long term plan of introducing technology to the locals only very gradually.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Pilchard123 on 22 May 2015, 00:34
This comic reminds me of okapis in space (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1925).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 22 May 2015, 01:23
I am half expecting Gavia to show off and use her nano tech to help the townfolks/farmers do some boring job with it.

And Alice to disprove of that for spoiling her long term plan of introducing technology to the locals only very gradually.

Gavia is too nervous and 'fish out of water' right now to think of doing something like that. That said, if she creates connections with the townsfolk, I can see her start using her nanotech because it seems an obvious solution to certain problems to her. Alice will be sore annoyed when she finds out (remember the balance and harmony she was afraid Ardent would upset?). However, I think that the real reason she'd be upset would probably be because of townsfolk discussing 'the miracle girl'. ;)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 May 2015, 05:15
And Alice to disprove of that for spoiling her long term plan of introducing technology to the locals only very gradually.
Which would make the town rightfully annoyed with Alice for holding them back.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 22 May 2015, 05:41
Well, the townsfolk already know about Gavia's powers, first hand. And it's not like Alice told her to stop floating around town. So she doesn't seem that concerned about knowledge of high tech getting out. It's not like the locals can replicate what Gavia can do, most likely. I imagine Alice was more concerned about the social impact that an (or two!) aliens would have on her town. Another thing that's unavoidable now. Alice seems nothing if not practical. Well she also seems bossy, tyrannical, aggressive and a number of other things too, but you know...

I just hope she takes the opportunity in town to get the sibs some new clothes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Tophwells on 22 May 2015, 11:32
Quote from: Gavia
A skein of nanomachines generates a liftfield that negates the planet's gravitational pull on my body.

A skein is one of these:

(https://knitcircus.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/6a00d834543ca369e20163002adab8970d.jpg)

What is a skein of nanomachines like? Is it a thread made of nanotech wrapped around her body?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 22 May 2015, 12:20
That's a ball; a skein is "loosely wound, typically falling into a figure of eight" (OED), like this:

(http://www.marniemaclean.com/words/image/0603/sunflower_skein2-thumb.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: hedgie on 22 May 2015, 14:42
Either way, it'll be a pile if a cat is anywhere nearby.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 22 May 2015, 15:30
Alt-Marten and Gavia are cute together.


Ardent will want to practice her 'Fork Tossing Technique'
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 22 May 2015, 22:12
Wait, if the nanobots just negate the planets gravity, why do they have such a crappy maximum speed? Without gravity, all you'd have to worry about is wind resistance, right? Shouldn't she theoretically be able to move incredibly quickly since there's no weight slowing her down?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 May 2015, 22:45
Yeah...if she wants to. But she doesn't seem to be in a rush.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 22 May 2015, 23:29
Wait, if the nanobots just negate the planets gravity, why do they have such a crappy maximum speed? Without gravity, all you'd have to worry about is wind resistance, right? Shouldn't she theoretically be able to move incredibly quickly since there's no weight slowing her down?

I read it as meaning that they are generating an upwards thrust equal and opposite to the planet's gravitational force, thus negating gravity (net force = 0). There is probably not much extra power in reserve for lateral motion.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 23 May 2015, 00:08
IRL, in zero gravity you can't move at all (unless you can push off against something or fart really hard).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: TinPenguin on 23 May 2015, 02:21
What is a skein of nanomachines like? Is it a thread made of nanotech wrapped around her body?

She is actually held up in the air by a flock of tiny, tiny geese.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: retrosteve on 23 May 2015, 08:49
Honestly, someone at some stage is going to HAVE to address Gavias constant use of her 'Hover Mode' and excessive use of her Nanotech.  She's going to have to fit into this society she's going to have to learn to fit in to their way of life.

Besides the way of life, she's going to have entirely atrophied and useless legs and feet in a month. Unless her nanotech exercises her muscles too.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 23 May 2015, 12:59
Yeah...if she wants to. But she doesn't seem to be in a rush.
Remember when she was running from the Nightwalker, and she couldn't keep up with Ardent?

IRL, in zero gravity you can't move at all (unless you can push off against something or fart really hard).
IRL, you can't move in normal gravity unless you have something to push off against either.

My point was that there shouldn't be a speed limit. Even if the nanomachines can only give a tiny amount of forward thrust, the only thing that should slow Gavia down is air resistance, which wouldn't be much of an issue until you start pushing highway speeds.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 23 May 2015, 16:06
My point was that there shouldn't be a speed limit. Even if the nanomachines can only give a tiny amount of forward thrust, the only thing that should slow Gavia down is air resistance, which wouldn't be much of an issue until you start pushing highway speeds.

Think of it as a VTOL aircraft moving at slow speed. Gavia's nanomachines can generate, for the sake of arguments 20 units of thrust in any direction. However, to resist the planet's gravitational force requires that 15 units of thrust always be directed downwards to keep her up in the air. That leaves only five units of thrust for translation in any direction.

VTOL aircraft get around this by having lift-generating aerofoils so, at a certain speed, aerodynamic forces generate lift and reduce the amount of vertical thrust needed to keep the aircraft in the air and allowing more thrust to be used for horizontal flight speed. However, Gavia doesn't have that option. So, she's limited to the amount of force against air resistance that her nanomachines can generate without compromising her levitation.

Remember that air resistance increases in strength right up until you reach the speed of sound. At a certain point, unless you have particularly high-thrust propulsion, the total air resistance equals your thrust and you cannot accelerate any further. So, Gavia has an equivalent of 'terminal velocity', where the aerodynamic forces acting against her body equal the lateral thrust generated by her nanomachines. As we have seen, that is slower than human running velocity. Once again, there are work-arounds, such as altering her body posture to reduce her frontal area against air resistance. However, from what we've seen so far in the strip, it is unlikely that Gavia has either the knowledge or practical experience to do this.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 24 May 2015, 01:17
If it was VTOL-like, then we'd see a cloud of Pig-pen like dust every time Gavia started moving in a particular direction.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Pilchard123 on 24 May 2015, 02:31
Magnets.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 24 May 2015, 06:55
Magnets.

Exactly; don't take the VTOL comparison too literally. The point is that Gavia's nanomachines can generate a limited amount of force and most of it is used up just keeping her off the ground. Thus, there isn't much reserve left to get her moving in any lateral direction.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: KOK on 24 May 2015, 08:09
IRL, in zero gravity you can't move at all (unless you can push off against something or fart really hard).

Which is why Gavia can not go very fast. Even augmented by nanotechnology, there is a limit to the exhaust speed of your farts.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 May 2015, 12:11
Are you telling me she has enough power in the nanomachines to do this:
 http://www.alicegrove.com/post/104120259904/uh-oh (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/104120259904/uh-oh)

But not to overcome the wind resistance faced at a light run?

Besides, if that were the case, decent weather or a gust of wind would send her tumbling like a tumbling tumbleweed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 24 May 2015, 13:18
Are you telling me she has enough power in the nanomachines to do this:
 http://www.alicegrove.com/post/104120259904/uh-oh (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/104120259904/uh-oh)

But not to overcome the wind resistance faced at a light run?

There's no automatic connection between the different effects. Just because the nanomachines can generate huge heat pulses or illusions of the same doesn't mean that they have the physical capability to generate more than enough repulsive force to float and generate enough lateral force at the same time to move faster than a light jog.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Pilchard123 on 24 May 2015, 15:06
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ugebzq3juE
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 May 2015, 17:52
That only applies if the medium makes no attempt to explain how something works.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 May 2015, 20:21
My point was that I'm having a hard time believing that such an immensely powerful technology can't overcome light wind resistance. (And, as I said, if that were the case then she'd fall apart in actual wind.) I know when I run, my limiting factor is gravity by far. I barely even *feel* wind resistance at my top speed. (Which, admittedly, isn't particularly impressive.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: TheCollector on 24 May 2015, 21:03
Y'know, I just realized this, but ya really gotta wonder if constantly floating has caused any anthropy in Gavia's legs.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 May 2015, 21:49
Y'know, I just realized this, but ya really gotta wonder if constantly floating has caused any anthropy in Gavia's legs.
I haven't seen them exploring and studying branches of humanity, that's mostly Ardent's job.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: hedgie on 24 May 2015, 21:53
Maybe she is mis-ing it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 25 May 2015, 23:29
New comic!
Okay, something tells me that poor Jeb will be blushing like a stop light all day!

It's interesting how Alice described what happened over the last couple of strips to Gavia. It seems to me that Alice has a real problem with being jaded. Maybe that's what the kids are for: to shake up her complacency and remember why she started to do it, so very long ago.

Meanwhile, Ardent reminds us just how alien everything about this world is to the space siblings.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: SubaruStephen on 26 May 2015, 01:51
Good thing Alice was there or Ardent would've learned the other use of a pitchfork...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 May 2015, 04:46
Ardent's joy is infectious :)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 26 May 2015, 16:18
As powerful as she is, I think Gavia still has a fair bit of growing up to do, the same with Ardent

Hmmm

Maybe they're the 'Spoiled Brats' of their society and sending them down into Alice's world is a way to force them to grow up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 26 May 2015, 23:35
Maybe they're the 'Spoiled Brats' of their society and sending them down into Alice's world is a way to force them to grow up.

Gavia, definitely. As for Ardent, I think that they're trying to break him of his 'primitive is cool' delusion by making him live it for a while.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 27 May 2015, 04:10
But he seems mildly amused about doing things the primitive way. Maybe not super-thrilled, but...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 27 May 2015, 04:16
But he seems mildly amused about doing things the primitive way. Maybe not super-thrilled, but...

No-one said that the plan had to work. Or that it wouldn't have unanticipated consequences!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 28 May 2015, 10:20
Maybe a little tell in P2 http://www.alicegrove.com/post/118999472319/alice-is-getting-scary-again

"And I've been watching over this town longer than your whole family has lived here"

Am I reading too much into it when I think that "has lived here" this implies that there's somehow somewhere else they could have lived?

This casts the Grove as a place into which whole families can be reassigned, relegated, sent, etc. Not exactly a prison, necessarily, but Alice-as-warden kind of makes sense given her general affect.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 28 May 2015, 10:54
All that really means is that there are other areas, other towns that people live in. Not that people are forced to live in this town. People resettle all the time, set up new communities or just migrate. All we really know is that there is a much more advanced society 'up there' and they are normally forbidden from interacting with the people 'down here'.

Given the clearly non-terran species we have seen, I suspect this is a settled world, where the ancestors of the people wanted to live a life without all the technology that almost seems to dominate their society. The Nightwalker may be the remnants of terraforming nanomachines or something similar, to make the planet suitable for human habitation, or vice versa. After generations the people have mostly forgotten about where they come from, but the world is still considered officially 'off limits' to visitors.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 28 May 2015, 16:31
The weird species look more like gene-tweaked versions of terrestrial life than alien.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 28 May 2015, 17:33
And the moon looked a lot like good old Luna too. I'd say this is our Earth, some thousands of years after a biotechnological apocalypse.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 28 May 2015, 17:54
Caused by Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 28 May 2015, 19:54
I doubt it was caused by Alice, but I think she's annoyed that she has to clean up after it.

And: new comic. And it has someone who Alice treats with something resembling respect. Will wonders never cease?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 28 May 2015, 20:05
The respect appears to be mutual. He's not afraid of her like the younger villagers are.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 28 May 2015, 21:51
The respect appears to be mutual. He's not afraid of her like the younger villagers are.
He's had enough time to be indoctrinated by fear into obeying and revering her, so she no longer needs to talk down to him to make him listen.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 28 May 2015, 22:16
I'd say just the opposite -- he's been around long enough to know that Alice is mostly harmless and doesn't like it when people are cowed by her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 28 May 2015, 23:24
So... A couple of mysteries to round out the month.

Firstly: Is Gavia really ashamed of her attack? If so, how do we square this circle with her nearly cooking those kids? I think that she's ashamed, but I also think that she's got a very short temper as well as a tendency to react without thinking. This is not a good personality combination for a girl with super powers.

Now... Secondly and more interesting, why has Alice brought the space kids to see Old Amos? It's possible that, as a town elder, he's the best choice to spread the word that they are (mostly) harmless. However, that's making assumptions about an old man's influence. Maybe, instead, Jeph intends to use him to tell some back story. Something along the lines of " when I was young... " Alice isn't very forthcoming, so, any exposition about her and her role will have to come from someone else. As probably the oldest normal human in town, Amos is ideally placed to tell the tale.

Finally... Am I the only one who has started to see Ardent's smile as saying: "Vacant. Please try again later"?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: wlewisiii on 28 May 2015, 23:37
Hmm.  Rather more like the relationship between the Lord of the Manor (Alice)  and the Manor's reeve (you never "just visit")
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Jesus DeSaad on 29 May 2015, 00:27
Is it just me or does this entire concept or threatening people with violence sound wrong?

Young dude just saw this floating woman nearly burn everything he holds dear into a crisp, am I the only one who understands why he doesn't want her around any more? And then there's this superwoman who threatens him with physical violence against trying to protect his own people? What the fuck, Jacques? You think it's funny to threaten just because it's a dude? You think it's empowering to women or something? What if the roles were reversed?

Let's see, a male demon-like floating being appeared in town, started burning it up, Superman stepped in and takes demon away, then the demon dude comes back. He says everything is fine, but one woman doesn't trust him around her loved ones, so she tells him to get the fuck out of her town. Then Superman reappears, and tells the woman that if she speaks again he will enjoy beating her to death.

Does this sound empowering to any of you? Let's continue the story.

Superman and Demon man and his sister who looks like a Succubus go to see the village elder. It's an elderly woman. She tells the demon that if he tries anything funny again she'll kick his ass. At which point the Demon dude scoffs at her and Superman humors her. "Hey Demon man I won't be around to protect you when she kicks your ass". You can almost hear Alice being patronizing.

Is this acceptable behavior? Or is it okay when women do it because feminism or whatever you think feminism is?

I'm not saying change the character behavior, but if you want it to look believable, well everyone in the village now thinks Superman, I mean Alice, is a huge dick, and they don't want her around. She's actually a bad guy, of the Doctor Doom variety: a villain who thinks she knows better and that only her opinion matters.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 29 May 2015, 00:31
In Alice's place, how would you have handled the situation?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Jesus DeSaad on 29 May 2015, 00:43
Bring the village elder to my place after explaining the situation, instead of bringing two demon-like beings and letting them sight-see around the town they almost eradicated. Try to diffuse the very palpable and completely understandable fear of the villagers with reason, instead of "OBEY MY ILLOGICAL WHIMS OR I WILL BEAT YOU TO DEATH AND LAUGH WHILE AT IT".

She's the one who's supposed to be thousands of years old, and she displays the temperament of a child with ADHD on a sugar rush. That's just bad writing.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 29 May 2015, 01:18
I don't think you're quite grasping the situation. Yes, Gavia almost MOAB'd the village down, but that was taken care of. And we do understand that Jeb might not want her around at all, but that's not his call to make. No-one's actually.

Jeb was first and foremost told that the "demons" are not dangerous. Something I believe Alice should know better since she's lived with them for several weeks and everyone in town knows that. Jeb responded with a "SHUT UP WOMAN". There's people who only react to brute force, think of the school bully. Since Alice probably knows Jeb better than Jeb knows himself, she decided to go that route because she knew it'd be quick, effective and easy. Something really important if you need to defuse a bomb, which was basically the case here.

Reminder that Alice is regarded to as a witch. "Reason" at the level of tech the vicissitudes are working with probably does not apply to these people. "Listen, they're not dangerous, they just have <insert convoluted tech talk here>" "BURN THEM".
I know Gavia did that to some townsfolk, but that was AFTER Alice told them "You can trust me when I tell you that they're not dangerous".

Which by the way would be the same thing the village elder would say after being explained the situation and most definitely he's several hundred years younger than Alice, so I still don't see how your point could work.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 29 May 2015, 07:26
Didn't we have basically this same conversation a few weeks ago? An important thing to remember is that Jeph is a writer. These are characters. Just because a character has a certain trait doesn't mean that the author has it, or espouses it as a good thing. Alice is an ancient being, and a powerful one. None of the people in the village are contemporaries to her in any way. She is also patronizing, arrogant and enjoys being feared a little bit. She's also used to her authority and knowledge going unquestioned. In some ways, she's a bully, the big fish in a lake of single celled organisms. In other ways she's an adult watching over a pre-school. Her interaction with Jeb was basically a four year old yelling at her, and her pulling him aside and saying "Calm down and listen to what I say. Do you want me to give you a spanking in front of your friends? If you listen, I'll give you a cookie." She's not a nice person, but she's hardly an example of Evul Feminizm either.

Both Gavia and Ardent have issues with self control and boundaries, largely because of the environment they were raised in, most likely. Gavia mentioned that children run free where they come from because it's safe for them to. She also has a short temper and likes using her powers. But she has enough control to only use them to scare people, instead of just flash-frying them. Or maybe she just doesn't have the power to do real damage. Her attack on the town seemed mostly like magician's flash powder. A big burst of short flame that doesn't really do anything but make a big show. She is aggressive certainly. She goes for the first first every time she felt threatened so far, instead of putting up her shield.

As far as the elder threatening Gavia and her and Alice's reactions... Both of them know that the old man is zero danger to Gavia. Essentially it's like a toddler threatening to beat her up and Gavia going 'oh no, won't you save me from the wrath of his tiny fist.'

And to answer the recurring theme of 'Why does Alice dismiss the reasonable fears of the townsfolk'. Because to her, they are not reasonable. They make as much sense as a kid worried about a monster in the closet. That doesn't make the child any less scared, and Alice could be more tactful about how she calmed the townsfolk about Gavia... But again, tact is not one of Alice's things. She is a 'Listen to me because I know more than you' person.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 May 2015, 12:22
Starting at least with the disturbing glee with which she beat up Gavia, it's been clear that Alice is being characterized as Not A Nice Person. There's no reason to think that Jeph is endorsing her tactics and attitude.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 29 May 2015, 16:08
This seems familiar.

Except I really don't get the feminism angle...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 29 May 2015, 18:54
If so, how do we square this circle with her nearly cooking those kids?
I don't think she was ever going to hurt the kids, I think she was just trying to scare them off.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 29 May 2015, 20:13
After some reflection, I think I should add a bit to explain where I'm coming from personally in relation to this whole Jeb thing:

I've been that guy who makes an ass of himself or says something insensitive without thinking. More than once, in fact. I have trouble reading body language and subtext, and can be painfully blunt or obtuse. Subtlety is often lost on me. I could go more into why, but it's not really relevant. This has left me in a lot of situations where my own inept social skills or blindness to the obvious has made me do stupid things.

I've also gotten into a whole hell of a lot of trouble from the backlash of this. And while I don't want to blame the people I got in trouble with (Mostly, with a couple exceptions...) because I had, unintentionally or otherwise, provoked it, that doesn't mean that that I think it was a fair situation. Nine times out of ten like this, if anyone had just taken the time to explain that I was being an idiot, or what was going on, the problem would have been defused in a heartbeat, but instead I've frequently taken a lot of crap over genuine mistakes and misunderstandings. Because of this, as a kid I was (metaphorically) pushed around a lot by figures of authority who should have known better.

I empathize a lot with Jeb.

Meanwhile, Alice (who is supposedly a millenium old and knows everyone in town super well and is a wizard with social interaction,) can't give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 29 May 2015, 20:32
Well, first of all, Alice being a 'wizard with social interaction' made me actually laugh out loud. Of all the things that can be said about here, that's about as opposite from the truth as can be. She's good at reading people, probably. But she absolutely sucks at dealing with them. Her interaction consist of her telling people what to do, generally. Again I say, we are not talking about an interaction of equals here. From Alice's perspective she is dealing with a bunch of children, essentially. She knows she's stronger, better and knows more than every single person in town. She expects people to just listen to her when she says something, because she's sure she knows better. And most people do, out of respect or fear... mostly a mix of both.

Her interaction with Jeb was as polite as that was going to get. He directly challenged her authority in front of others. She took him aside and quietly explained that she could crush him if she chose. And that she had things under control, and he should trust that. Was that the nicest way to go about it? No. But as has been said repeatedly, Alice is not a nice person. But essentially what she did was pull him aside and explain he was being an idiot. Which he was being. She could have just as easily smacked him into the ground the way she did with Gavia. She gave him every opportunity to listen to his friends, and when he didn't she took him aside and dealt with it privately and without violence, if not without the threat of violence.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 29 May 2015, 23:06
Quote
Well, first of all, Alice being a 'wizard with social interaction' made me actually laugh out loud.
I misspoke there, my bad. Rather, she's supposedly a wizard (Or just really experienced or what have you) at understanding how people tick. Not social interaction necessarily, but she allegedly reads and understands people pretty well. (And was able to convince two men who hated each other to become best of friends, also.)

Quote
From Alice's perspective she is dealing with a bunch of children, essentially.
THIS IS WHAT MAKES HER ACTIONS SO TERRIBLE. She's talking to a child. Not even a particularly old or mature one. Both in terms of life experience and physical strength, it's like someone in their late thirties (Who exercises a lot) talking to a toddler.

Quote
But essentially what she did was pull him aside and explain he was being an idiot.
No. That is not a thing that happened. She did not explain anything, she said that she was smarter, stronger, and better than him and that he should shut up and obey. She gave no reason for why his complaint was invalid or wrong. She didn't explain a damned thing beyond that she was capable of beating the shit out of him.

Quote
She could have just as easily smacked him into the ground the way she did with Gavia. She gave him every opportunity to listen to his friends, and when he didn't she took him aside and dealt with it privately and without violence, if not without the threat of violence.
This is also not a thing that happened.
Gavia was an apples and oranges situation. For one, Gavia was already being extremely violent and for two, Gavia was armed with nanotech and is from an entirely different culture. That was still not a meeting of peers, but it didn't have the 'Adult threatening an unruly child' vibe to it.
With Jeb, she barely gave him one opportunity to back down, (Actually less of an opportunity than Gavia had. Gavia was given a direct offer to back down and talk about things reasonably. Jeb was given a vague comment about how Alice knew best.) Furthermore there WASN'Tan opportunity to listen to his friends. Go back and read the comic: By the time his friend warns him, it's too late.



My overall point is that Jeb never had a chance. His objection was a little obtuse and a his presentation a little abrasive, but mostly reasonable: Gavia DID set the town on fire with very little effort a couple weeks prior, causing a lot of damage. It'd be extremely easy for her to do it again if some kids started teasing her and she flipped out again. Alice gave no explanation for why Gavia wouldn't be a threat, she just expected blind faith and total obeisance. (Also, to those saying 'She knows him and it was probably the only way to deal with him'... That's incredibly stupid. You deal with him violently now, then he'll only ever respond to violent threats in the future. You try and explain and help deal with things rationally now, he won't need to be cowed later by threats of physical violence.) This doesn't just make Alice a 'Not nice person' to me, it turns her into a character just shy of being a straight villain.


Furthermore, this annoys me heavily because nearly all of my complaints here could have easily been solved if Jeph hadn't included the two panels at the end of Jeb's introductory comic, where Ardent asks about the Farm Implement. If those two panels had been used instead to give Alice a chance to try and respond reasonably, and for Jeb to ignore his friend's advice and get genuinely aggressive, and THEN we had Alice drag him away... Everything would suddenly work. Alice'd still have a small aggression issue, but she wouldn't be deplorable to me.





With all that said, I want to mention something totally unrelated: The April 9th Comic, 'Kids These Days'. In my opinion, this is the best Alice Grove panel currently available to the public. Not necessarily my favorite, but the best.

(http://www.alicegrove.com/post/115986771824/kids-these-days (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/115986771824/kids-these-days) - Hyperlink for people who don't want to search for it.)

Simply put, I think it's the best because it's structured so damned well. The dialogue moves along the world and lore with important speculation that needs to happen, but by itself is a little dry. We also get to know a bit about nanotech and the world Ardent and Gavia came from. Simultaneously, though, the art and use of the comic style adds a second layer of action to everything we're seeing. The ending is funny, but the joke doesn't take precedence over the actions.
Not to mention, it moves along the plot, since this comic is the inciting incident for everything else that's happened since then. (Going to town, interacting with the locals, etc.)
No space is wasted. Every panel is efficient and well paced. The dialogue serves several purposes. The comic itself serves several purposes. It doesn't waste the update on a joke, it doesn't drag its feet, and it does in one update what most of Alice Grove takes two or three to accomplish.

It's not profoundly great, but it's so incredibly solid and the structure is really good.

In my opinion, while not every update should conform to a strict frame, if more Alice Grove updates were like this one, Alice Grove would be a better comic. In fact, if more plot-based webcomics were like this one, a lot of plot-based webcomics would be a lot better.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 May 2015, 23:18
Quote
just shy of being a straight villain

Do we know she isn't?

She has done some Mary Worth things for the villagers, but that could be egotism or a community service sentence instead of a matter of good will.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 29 May 2015, 23:47
I don't think she's a villain, I think that she's just an old, somewhat grumpy old soul in a young body.  She's found a way to deal with the people of the world she lives in as an immortal (or practically immortal) being, and its worked well for her over the centuries.

Gavia and Ardent are a new wrinkle in her world and she's dealing with it the best way she can.  If she truly were a villain, I have no doubt she would have found a way to quietly rid herself of these two weeks ago (AG Time).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 30 May 2015, 06:15
I'm ok calling her an anti-hero.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 30 May 2015, 06:42
I do suspect she wanted nothing to do with being in the position that she currently is in. Hence, her attitude.

Of course, that begs the question: how, exactly, did she end up where she is - and why?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 30 May 2015, 11:42
Comparing her to the characters in QC, her temperament is closest to Beatrice Chatham's.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 30 May 2015, 12:12
Comparing her to the characters in QC, her temperament is closest to Beatrice Chatham's.

And now the locals have twenty words for "pompous, condescending white woman." (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=913)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 30 May 2015, 14:02
And some of them have only one word

"Lunch"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 30 May 2015, 15:12
I'm ok calling her an anti-hero.
That's fair, though most anti-heroes have some kind of draw to their personality to make them empathetic. Alice might have a tragic backstory or a character draw, but we're nine months in and I haven't heard a glimpse of it yet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 30 May 2015, 22:43
Would you argue that beyond being an unsympathetic character she's a badly portrayed one?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 31 May 2015, 01:12
Quote
just shy of being a straight villain

Do we know she isn't?

She has done some Mary Worth things for the villagers, but that could be egotism or a community service sentence instead of a matter of good will.

SO MUCH THIS. I have wondered for a long time if she is going to be the villain of this story. I'm waiting for more information on her origins and motivations before making a final decision on that. Another of my theories is this is the story of Alice realising she's a horrible person and becoming nicer, so there is a chance we are supposed to be thinking Alice is a nasty patronising jerk right now.

Do the ends justify the means is possibly something Jeph is trying to make readers think about here. That town is very well protected and the villagers all respect Alice greatly (I didn't say like, that is a different thing). But Alice's methods of protecting and getting respect are questionable.

Really for me the most damning thing about Alice is how much people are afraid of her rather than anything she does. Jeb wasn't the first, and I note it wasn't until she explicitly stated she wanted the chance to prove her strength that he became afraid. She terrified the three demon hunting children, she managed to bring Jack to gibbering panic by changing her expression when he asked if she'd deal with Ardent if he turned out to be dangerous, and when a child asked if it was true she could turn out the sun their mother became afraid and dragged it away. To get that level of fear, you have to have done something rather than merely used words. It's possible everyone is afraid of her because she's done powerful things while protecting the villagers, but Alice's joy in beating up Gavia and obvious desire that Jeb would give her an excuse to be violent makes me consider it unlikely. Alice only gives people one chance.

You have no idea how much I want to hear the villagers talking about Alice when they think she is not there.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 31 May 2015, 07:14
So far it doesn't seem like this comic has a villain. Then again, neither does QC.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 31 May 2015, 08:33
I don't think the story really needs one. But if there is a villain, I don't think we've seen him/her/it yet. If I had to guess, I'd go with it being the Praeses that allowed Ardent and Gavia to beam down.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 31 May 2015, 09:13
If the Praeses turn out to be villain-like, I would suggest that the are in a 'Lawful Evil' form. They are determined to do the right thing by the majority, even if that means treating individuals, their dreams and their wants like paper dolls to be thrown into the fire. When you've protected and effectively ruled the entire human race (apart from the primitives in The Habitat) for millennia, naturally you become a bit... callous.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 31 May 2015, 09:34
Callous is a good word to describe Alice, actually. She protects the people of the town. But she's not nice in doing it and takes what she sees as the quickest and most effective route to it. If some people get hurt feelings along the way, what does she care?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 31 May 2015, 09:58
Is lawful inherently better than neutral or chaotic? Or is it really just the evil/neutral/good that's used to determine how good a person is?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 31 May 2015, 10:21
Is lawful inherently better than neutral or chaotic? Or is it really just the evil/neutral/good that's used to determine how good a person is?

Good-Neutral-Evil is the ethical spectrum - the attitude the character has to life and the rights of the individual.

Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic is the societal spectrum - the attitude the character has to order and organisation

Some extreme examples:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 31 May 2015, 10:24
Well yeah, but my question is this. Is being lawful evil somehow "better" than being chaotic evil? Also wait, how is Batman not good?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: BenRG on 31 May 2015, 10:55
Well yeah, but my question is this. Is being lawful evil somehow "better" than being chaotic evil?

Not better, not worse but rather different methodologies and world-views. A Lawful will create and follow elaborate structures to achieve their ends. A Chaotic will just whoop it up and smash everything that gets in his or her way.

Also wait, how is Batman not good?

It depends on your preferred version of Batman. My version of him in my head is someone who wants to prevent evil from ever winning and is quite able to use ethically dubious means to do so. He'd never hurt the innocent but he'd use means that would not meet the approval of a paladin to achieve the outcomes he wants.

"Win if you can, lose if you must; always cheat."

Or...

"Seven billion lives hanging in the balance? I'd lie, cheat, steal and use every underhand and unethical means necessary. The losers can fight over the 'good conduct' medal."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 31 May 2015, 12:12
Would you argue that beyond being an unsympathetic character she's a badly portrayed one?
It really depends on what Jeph is trying to portray. My issue is that I don't know what he's trying to do, nine months in. If he was clearly trying to create an ambiguous character it'd be one thing, but the intent isn't very clear. If I'm supposed to like her I can't because she's a jerk, if I'm supposed to empathize with her I can't because we don't know anything about her, if I'm supposed to dislike her then she should have started some kind of character growth by now, and if I'm supposed to be intrigued by her then we should be getting information more clearly or quickly 'cause at the current pace I really don't care.

I can't say she's *badly* characterized because she's barely been characterized at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 31 May 2015, 16:02
It depends on your preferred version of Batman. My version of him in my head is someone who wants to prevent evil from ever winning and is quite able to use ethically dubious means to do so. He'd never hurt the innocent but he'd use means that would not meet the approval of a paladin to achieve the outcomes he wants.

"Win if you can, lose if you must; always cheat."

Or...

"Seven billion lives hanging in the balance? I'd lie, cheat, steal and use every underhand and unethical means necessary. The losers can fight over the 'good conduct' medal."
Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding it, but that description sounds far more chaotic good than lawful neutral.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: osaka on 31 May 2015, 18:07
I was about to say that Method. Although I believe that the first one is definitely Chaotic Neutral (if taken at face value) while the second one is Chaotic Good.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Storel on 01 Jun 2015, 13:15
Yeah, I wouldn't say Batman is always lawful in the strictest sense. He breaks a lot of society's laws in his pursuit of criminals: he taps phones and hacks computers without a court order, he breaks into buildings without a search warrant to find evidence, and so on. You have to wonder how a lot of the criminals he arrests ever get convicted.

But he never plants false evidence, or lies on the stand to falsely convict anyone. Basically, he only breaks the laws that get in the way of bringing criminals to justice, and all the people he goes after are ones who've broken what he considers the important laws -- the laws against hurting innocent people. So you can argue that he obeys a different set of laws, but he's still lawful under those laws. I certainly wouldn't call him chaotic -- everything he does is pretty highly structured.

And since everything he does is for the purpose of fighting evil, I suppose you could even argue that he's Lawful Good, but not in the sense of the typical paladin who won't break any laws. That may be a limitation of the people who play those paladins, or the DMs who enforce their interpretation of Lawful Good behavior, however. Then again, you could also argue that a man who decides which laws he'll follow and which laws he won't is more Neutral than Lawful. I could see Batman as Neutral Good.

I dunno. I haven't played D&D in so long, I have no real idea how the categories are "supposed" to work these days...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 01 Jun 2015, 16:03
My issue is that I don't know what he's trying to do, nine months in. If he was clearly trying to create an ambiguous character it'd be one thing, but the intent isn't very clear. If I'm supposed to like her I can't because she's a jerk, if I'm supposed to empathize with her I can't because we don't know anything about her, if I'm supposed to dislike her then she should have started some kind of character growth by now, and if I'm supposed to be intrigued by her then we should be getting information more clearly or quickly 'cause at the current pace I really don't care.

I can't say she's *badly* characterized because she's barely been characterized at all.

9 months IRL (not that long really)
66 comics (not that many)
a few months in-comic (a fleeting instance to Alice, now that we know her longevity and timescale)
give Jeph a chance to tell the story his way (or wait until he's done and you can buy the book and read it all at once)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 01 Jun 2015, 21:10
9 months IRL (not that long really)
66 comics (not that many)
a few months in-comic (a fleeting instance to Alice, now that we know her longevity and timescale)
give Jeph a chance to tell the story his way (or wait until he's done and you can buy the book and read it all at once)

You write a story with your limitations in mind. If you're only going to give two comics a week, that's fine, but you have to make sure you're economizing heavily to pull that off. Nine months may not be a vast amount of time and 66 comics isn't an immense book's worth of pages, but it's still a huge amount of time and a plentiful number of comics for basic things like setting up characters and conflict.

I've mentioned this before, too, but the story doesn't really read well as a comic book either. (Next to contemporaries of the genre.) If you read it like that, the setup-setup-punchline format present undercuts any type of flowing storytelling and the implied space between almost every comic doesn't work as well if things are arranged back-to-back. Arguing that it's supposed to be read all at once doesn't help.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 01 Jun 2015, 21:33
Who cares how it's "supposed" to be read? Read it however you want.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Jun 2015, 00:00
And if it doesn't work for you, don't read it at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 02 Jun 2015, 09:18
You write a story with your limitations in mind.[...]

I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but it appears that Jeph is not interested in constraining himself to whatever limitations you seem to have in mind for him.

At the same time, such investment in the storyline and being impatient to see what's in store is itself a pretty high compliment.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 04 Jun 2015, 20:49
 
You write a story with your limitations in mind.[...]

I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but it appears that Jeph is not interested in constraining himself to whatever limitations you seem to have in mind for him.

At the same time, such investment in the storyline and being impatient to see what's in store is itself a pretty high compliment.
The limitations I'm referring to are his choice of format as a webcomic with a bi-weekly update schedule. I'm not making up any limitations, I'm just pointing out the obvious ones that already exists: Jeph chose to constrain himself to these limitations when he started writing Alice Grove. You could argue that he's just dealing with the limitations in a different way than I'd prefer, but from my perspective he's simply not dealing with a lot of the problems at all. (Namely, the way that the update schedule and limited scope harms the pacing.)

And yeah, I still think Jeph's work is very good. If nothing else, the art is pretty nice and as long as I'm checking up on QC, the Alice Grove button is right there for the clicking. I do think it's worth reading, or else I wouldn't bother talking about the issues. I'd just stop reading.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Schmee on 04 Jun 2015, 22:45
New comic! And the Praeses are... trees? Which store the memories of the Spaceborne in their... sap?
I'm not sure how much of that was a metaphor.
Edit: Damn, wrong thread.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT - May 2015
Post by: Kugai on 04 Jun 2015, 22:53
Meh


It happens