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Is Dale the prettiest princess?

Yes
No
Only if Marigold is awake

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Author Topic: WCDT: 2636-2640 (Feb 10 - 14 2014) Weekly Comics Discussion Thread  (Read 35712 times)

Fenriswolf

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...Okay I'm going to stop coming into the comic forum again.
Nooooo. I can never quite resist checking the forum, and your posts have been making the discussions on here recently much more pleasant to read.

If we accept that attractiveness is purely in the eye of the beholder, then how are we supposed to make people feel uncomfortable with their bodies or their preferences?  If we accept that people are attracted in innumerable ways to innumerable attributes, then how can we create a hierarchy of attractiveness to be packaged and sold to insecure people?  How can we hold people to impossible and sometimes contradictory standards both in personal appearance and the appearance of their partner/s?
:-D <3

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Drunken Old Man

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Long time reader, first time poster here.

Honestly, I'm beginning to worry about Marten. He's not happy and hasn't been for some time.  He's becoming increasingly bitter about his life.  We've already seen that bitterness move him to act out of character (refusing to see Padma for the last time) and now we've seen that sex with people he doesn't really care about won't help..not that we really though it would.

If things don't start looking up for him soon, I would not be surprised to see him consider returning home to California.  Faye would be upset but she really doesn't NEED him anymore: she took what she learned stringing him along and used it to make a functional relationship of her own.  Same goes for Dora. 

He's made the lives of almost everyone around him better but his own is still right where it was in Comic #1...except for a more satisfying job and a buttload more people to get drunk with.  That's not enough.
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WAYF

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^The Drunken Old Man has obviously hit the Ballmer's Peak of forum posting. :D

I don't think Marten's life since comic #1 has been entirely a waste. I mean, he HAS had the opportunity to go to space without any of that peak-physical-fitness-and-intensive-training rigmarole.
I do like your idea about Marten improving the lives of everyone around him though. Hopefully karma sends something good his way.
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I agree with the newbie, to a point.
He does spend his life making others better, but I wouldn't say he's back at where he was in Panel #1. Also Marten leaving would change the entire dynamic of the comic, given that he's the closest thing to a protagonist that we have.
Dude's got issues, sure. Hell, practically every character does. You do notice that he tends to go back to music when he gets in this state though, so don't be surprised if we see more of Deathmole in the near future.
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techkid

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it would help if the "humor" was so sitcom-y.
I would agree that the Dale/Marigold thing was a bit clichéd (we all knew it was going to happen, but the way it happened seemed like it was pushed forward, rather than a natural thing). Other than that... I'm cool with the comic.

You do notice that he tends to go back to music when he gets in this state though, so don't be surprised if we see more of Deathmole in the near future.
Maybe (and hopefully) that is the direction that Jeph will take. I mean, because of Marten's influence (is the only word that comes to mind at the moment, but hopefully you know what I mean), Faye (fear of attachment, and more specifically, loss of attachment), Dora (control issues, insecurity), Hanners (extreme OCD, anxiety with human contact), and even Marbear (non-social, bordering on reclusive) have managed to pull themselves together through various means and make Normal Human Beings of themselves (more or less).

Marten has had relationships in the past, and has been happy during those times, but his character is still drifting. Maybe music is where he will find himself. Only time will tell, I guess.
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Schmorgluck

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If we accept that attractiveness is purely in the eye of the beholder, then how are we supposed to make people feel uncomfortable with their bodies or their preferences?  If we accept that people are attracted in innumerable ways to innumerable attributes, then how can we create a hierarchy of attractiveness to be packaged and sold to insecure people?  How can we hold people to impossible and sometimes contradictory standards both in personal appearance and the appearance of their partner/s?
You win so many internets with this that we'd have to borrow some from Akima to hand them to you.

Dude's got issues, sure. Hell, practically every character does.
Tai doesn't have any issue. She's the best-adjusted character in the whole main cast. To find similarly well-adjusted characters we'd have to look into tertiary characters, namely Marten's dads.


Having just reread the comic, I found I have a problem with Marten's attitude. He says he doesn't want to talk about it, then he goes on to talk about it anyway. Without any incentive from Faye. It'd have been okay if Faye had pressed the issue, but she didn't.
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Barmymoo

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I suspect Tai does have issues, they're just less problematic than those of her friends (or perhaps they're more resolved - remember that at one point she was struggling with the fact she wasn't completely comfortable with her polyamorous lifestyle; that's no longer a problem at present but she might still be conflicted over her place in that sort of culture).

My read on Marten is that he is still trying to live according to external ideas of what is good for him. That explains the "I don't want to talk about it... oh wait I do!" thing, because he thinks that he shouldn't need to talk over a one-night stand, but then the fact that he really does overwhelmes that. He feels he ought to be more ambitious, but the only thing he's actually ambitious about is his music, and he doesn't quite dare throw himself into that - or maybe he's aware that he's unlikely to achieve any material success doing so, and that is still an important factor for him because it's generally accepted to be important.

Eventually he'll grow more comfortable with himself and be more confident in saying "this is what makes me happy, I don't care if you think it's weird".
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Schmorgluck

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I thought about adding that Tai used to have issue when she was exploring polyamory and ultimately finding out it wasn't her stuff, but I decided against it for the sake of concision.

As for the "I don't want to talk about it" thing, I always defaulted it as meaning "I'm uncomfortable talking about it but I'd like to talk about it if you're okay with it so please give me a sign that you're okay with hearing me talk about it." Especially between close friends.

In this case, Faye just saying "Oh?" and then Marten gushing would have felt less odd to me. But that may be just me.
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Barmymoo

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That seems like ridiculous double-speak to me. If my friend says to me "I don't want to talk about it" then I respect that. If they say "you don't want to hear this", then I would gently probe to see if they wanted to talk.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Jazzmaster

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I dunno... I'm not getting so much whining here as Marten trying to sort out his feelings on the whole hook up. This is apparently the first time he's done something like this, and it clearly isn't what he was expecting it to be.

As somebody who got his heart broken on v-day, I can tell you that's exactly what it is.

« Last Edit: 16 Feb 2014, 07:26 by Jazzmaster »
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aliensporebomb

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Long time reader, first time poster here.

Honestly, I'm beginning to worry about Marten. He's not happy and hasn't been for some time.  He's becoming increasingly bitter about his life.  We've already seen that bitterness move him to act out of character (refusing to see Padma for the last time) and now we've seen that sex with people he doesn't really care about won't help..not that we really though it would.

If things don't start looking up for him soon, I would not be surprised to see him consider returning home to California.  Faye would be upset but she really doesn't NEED him anymore: she took what she learned stringing him along and used it to make a functional relationship of her own.  Same goes for Dora. 

He's made the lives of almost everyone around him better but his own is still right where it was in Comic #1...except for a more satisfying job and a buttload more people to get drunk with.  That's not enough.

I hate to agree but this post makes WAY too much sense.  Although, looking back with the 20/20 hindsight of time I wasn't far off from Marten: stuck in the mud somehow.  It took a while to get out of the mud but I managed to get out.  Marten will be able to as well if he doesn't wallow in emo wallowness for too long.  He went into that party chomping at the bit for action and when he got it he found it wasn't what he wanted after all.  Lesson learned, painfully so.  Move on.
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Welcome, insightful new person!

Marten's friends agree. Dora said he's too passive and The Pugnacious Peach told him he's wasting his life.

The obvious way forward is to pursue his music. There's a less obvious one that could be more fun and has the benefit of introducing a new character.

What if he goes back to the adoption service and gets a second AnthroPC?

He needs a friend like Momo to interfere in his life as Momo did in Marigold's.

There would be endless openings for comedy as the new robot interacted with Pintsize.
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Drunken Old Man

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What if he goes back to the adoption service and gets a second AnthroPC?

He needs a friend like Momo to interfere in his life as Momo did in Marigold's.

How sad would that be?  That Marten has done so much for the people around him but, in order to get help with his own life, he'd need to get a robot?

I would certainly hate for Marten to move back to Cali (it would be a shark-jumping moment, I'm sure) but maybe his considering it would let his friends know just how bad things have gotten for him and motivate them to DO SOMETHING about it.

Besides advise him to engage in meaningless hook-ups.
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Barmymoo

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How bad have things got for him lately, exactly? I don't quite see what everyone's talking about - Marten seems fairly content. He doesn't have a girlfriend, sure, but he has friends he cares about, a job he doesn't hate, and music he is passionate about. Where are the comics that are making people talk like he's on the verge of a breakdown?
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Thrillho

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...Okay I'm going to stop coming into the comic forum again.
Nooooo. I can never quite resist checking the forum, and your posts have been making the discussions on here recently much more pleasant to read.

Wow, okay, wasn't expecting this post.

You know I meant the comic-specific subsection not the rest of the forum, right? I didn't think I added much to the weekly comic discussion threads.
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Detachable Felix

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How bad have things got for him lately, exactly? I don't quite see what everyone's talking about - Marten seems fairly content. He doesn't have a girlfriend, sure, but he has friends he cares about, a job he doesn't hate, and music he is passionate about. Where are the comics that are making people talk like he's on the verge of a breakdown?
I wouldn't call him 'on the edge of a breakdown', but he's definitely depressed. I think people are probably referring to this comic, even though that was immediately after a breakup.
Iunno.
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How bad have things got for him lately, exactly? I don't quite see what everyone's talking about - Marten seems fairly content. He doesn't have a girlfriend, sure, but he has friends he cares about, a job he doesn't hate, and music he is passionate about. Where are the comics that are making people talk like he's on the verge of a breakdown?
I wouldn't call him 'on the edge of a breakdown', but he's definitely depressed. I think people are probably referring to this comic, even though that was immediately after a breakup.
Iunno.

Would depressed really be the word?

I think he's doing just fine, but perhaps lacks that 5-10% extra "drive" to get him closer to where he wants to be.  He's perhaps on the cusp of personal success, but isn't quite there yet, and because of it he feels more inclined to dwell on events (such as the one-night-stand with Delilah) instead of just shrugging it off and moving on.
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Mlle Germain

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I wouldn't call him 'on the edge of a breakdown', but he's definitely depressed. I think people are probably referring to this comic, even though that was immediately after a breakup.
Iunno.

Na, that's way too far back. And feeling down after the end of a long relationship is not depression, it's perfectly normal. He was fine again in between then and now , even happy. 
I'm not sure I'd call Marten depressed, but we definitely had some stretches when he was feeling directionless and a bit down. The latest has been initiated by Faye and Dora constantly nagging him about not having a girlfriend or any other romantic involvement when "even" the "meganerds" Dale and Marigold found someone. I really wish they's stop doing that. I mean, maybe now they have or will, if they see that it's something that genuinely bothers Marten.

Edit: Fixed missing word
« Last Edit: 16 Feb 2014, 16:06 by Mlle Germain »
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Schmorgluck

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Things happened in his life. Something just happened in his life that he ultimately found frustrating. Nothing wrong with feeling bummed.
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Drunken Old Man

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he's on the verge of a breakdown?

Didn't say that.

Quote
Marten seems fairly content.

Wouldn't say that.
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Fenriswolf

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Wow, okay, wasn't expecting this post.

You know I meant the comic-specific subsection not the rest of the forum, right? I didn't think I added much to the weekly comic discussion threads.
Yeah, I know, but I don't seem to have the attention span to be properly part of a forum community these days - I just check this after I read QC, often to my regret. You have just been consistently making the points I would, only more succinctly, in the face-palm discussions that have come up recently. Don't mind me though. :P
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Thrillho

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Wow, okay, wasn't expecting this post.

You know I meant the comic-specific subsection not the rest of the forum, right? I didn't think I added much to the weekly comic discussion threads.
Yeah, I know, but I don't seem to have the attention span to be properly part of a forum community these days - I just check this after I read QC, often to my regret. You have just been consistently making the points I would, only more succinctly, in the face-palm discussions that have come up recently. Don't mind me though. :P

Well I'm glad someone else agrees with my points.

I'll stick around on the WCDTs then and see what happens. But if discussion continues to delve into the same level it has been doing lately, I think I'm going to have to step away for my own mental wellbeing because there have been times on here where I've felt like there are forumites who if they knew me, would think I should be ashamed of myself.
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How sad would that be?  That Marten has done so much for the people around him but, in order to get help with his own life, he'd need to get a robot?

Robots are people too, and one chosen for stability and empathy by the adoption agency could be better for him that the slowly recovering emotional cripples who surround him now. It's noble that he helps fix them but he may be using that as a distraction from confronting what he's going to do with his own life.

AIs can succeed as therapists and life coaches. Station made a critical difference to Hannelore, for example.
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Drunken Old Man

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Robots are people too, and one chosen for stability and empathy by the adoption agency could be better for him that the slowly recovering emotional cripples who surround him now. It's noble that he helps fix them but he may be using that as a distraction from confronting what he's going to do with his own life.

AIs can succeed as therapists and life coaches. Station made a critical difference to Hannelore, for example.

Point excellently well made and conceded.
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KOK

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Would depressed really be the word?

I think he's doing just fine, but perhaps lacks that 5-10% extra "drive" to get him closer to where he wants to be.  He's perhaps on the cusp of personal success, but isn't quite there yet, and because of it he feels more inclined to dwell on events (such as the one-night-stand with Delilah) instead of just shrugging it off and moving on.

And where does he want to be? Does he even know?
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He says somewhere that he has come to realise that that is not going to happen.
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Method of Madness

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It might.
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Mlle Germain

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Robots are people too, and one chosen for stability and empathy by the adoption agency could be better for him that the slowly recovering emotional cripples who surround him now. It's noble that he helps fix them but he may be using that as a distraction from confronting what he's going to do with his own life.
You make it sound like Marten has sacrificed his own mental health in caring for the "emotional cripples" and like being a therapist for them is the whole extent of Marten's relationships with his friends. And that is just not true. Sure, the friendship with Marten and with each other has helped the others to get some of their psychological issues under control (among other things like therapy), but it is still ordinary good friendship from which Marten has also hugely profited (as he himself admits) - just look at the first comic strips and compare him to that. I would say that for most of the comic, Marten has been happy overall.
Also, I doubt another robot friend would help him more in finding his life's purpose than his current friends. I thought the whole point was that Marten should do something himself, not wait for others (humans or robots) to figure out what he should do. If Marten wants therapy to help with that, he should go to a professional therapist.
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rschill

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Robots are people too, and one chosen for stability and empathy by the adoption agency could be better for him that the slowly recovering emotional cripples who surround him now. It's noble that he helps fix them but he may be using that as a distraction from confronting what he's going to do with his own life.
You make it sound like Marten has sacrificed his own mental health in caring for the "emotional cripples" and like being a therapist for them is the whole extent of Marten's relationships with his friends. And that is just not true. Sure, the friendship with Marten and with each other has helped the others to get some of their psychological issues under control (among other things like therapy), but it is still ordinary good friendship from which Marten has also hugely profited (as he himself admits) - just look at the first comic strips and compare him to that. I would say that for most of the comic, Marten has been happy overall.
Also, I doubt another robot friend would help him more in finding his life's purpose than his current friends. I thought the whole point was that Marten should do something himself, not wait for others (humans or robots) to figure out what he should do. If Marten wants therapy to help with that, he should go to a professional therapist.

Or maybe he should go back to school and study to be a professional therapist?
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LittleKing

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Well I'm glad someone else agrees with my points.

I'll stick around on the WCDTs then and see what happens. But if discussion continues to delve into the same level it has been doing lately, I think I'm going to have to step away for my own mental wellbeing because there have been times on here where I've felt like there are forumites who if they knew me, would think I should be ashamed of myself.
I also really enjoy your contributions Gareth, you're a funny dude.
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Goddamn I'm blushing over here.
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You make it sound like Marten has sacrificed his own mental health in caring for the "emotional cripples"

Then I wasn't clear enough. More "distraction" than "sacrifice". Does Marten even know what his own problems are?
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Goddamn I'm blushing over here.

I also really enjoy your blushing, Gareth. It adds some much-needed color to the forum.

:3
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Long time reader, first time poster here.

Honestly, I'm beginning to worry about Marten. He's not happy and hasn't been for some time.  He's becoming increasingly bitter about his life.  We've already seen that bitterness move him to act out of character (refusing to see Padma for the last time) and now we've seen that sex with people he doesn't really care about won't help..not that we really though it would.

If things don't start looking up for him soon, I would not be surprised to see him consider returning home to California.  Faye would be upset but she really doesn't NEED him anymore: she took what she learned stringing him along and used it to make a functional relationship of her own.  Same goes for Dora. 

He's made the lives of almost everyone around him better but his own is still right where it was in Comic #1...except for a more satisfying job and a buttload more people to get drunk with.  That's not enough.

Agreed. He's certainly improved the lives of Faye, Dora, Tai, Hanners, even Claire. He showed Padma a good time while bringing Eliot a much-needed catharsis, brought Steve back from a self-pity party, introduced Jimbo to a big fan, helped his father feel good about remarriage, and helped stop Vespa Girl. It's time for him to either get helped big-time by all these friends, or ride off into the sunset with Silver and Tonto to do his work elsewhere.
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Goddamn I'm blushing over here.

I also really enjoy your blushing, Gareth. It adds some much-needed color to the forum.

:3

I just

 :psyduck:

MUCH EMBARRASS
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Such posting. Very Gareth. Wow.
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Can't tell if Dale's webbed fingers on the first panel is artist mistake or incredibly deep plot point to be revealed later... :?
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Neither, it's his thumb, you're just seeing it between his two fingers. :roll:
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They call me Mr. Madness.

Quote from: Polonius
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Is it cold in here?

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As insecurity blowups go this is the most benign Marigold could have come up with.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

Near Lurker

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I see what some people are saying about Marten.  It first hit me in the conversation he had with Claire after she outed herself to him - he just seemed too... external... is the word?  Something's seemed a bit off about him for a while now... I'm thinking back to the breakup, and how miffed he was, first at Dora for invading his privacy, then the broader "we're both sick of her shit" and drowning of his sorrows that followed.  I can't imagine any of that from him now, for any reason.  Some would call that healthy or mature, but I'm not convinced.
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No longer remotely a lurker.

Shjade

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You might be thinking "detached," Near, a state with which I'd be somewhat inclined to agree if not for QC's cast rather commonly having a somewhat uninvested response to most things.
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"People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway."
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