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Poll

And now act three...

Tropical Storm Martenclaire meets Northern Hurricane Faye for disastrous results
- 32 (26.2%)
The Svenectomy begins
- 16 (13.1%)
Tai razzes Marten and Claire till they're both as red as Claire's hair
- 16 (13.1%)
Steve Eating Cereal: The Legend Continues
- 8 (6.6%)
Clinton finally finds out that big sister has a boyfriend
- 41 (33.6%)
5 straight days of yelling bird cloaca jokes
- 9 (7.4%)

Total Members Voted: 117


Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 14   Go Down

Author Topic: WCDT: 2816-2820 (20-24 October 2014) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread  (Read 37099 times)

DSL

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My nightmare scenario, if you want to call it that, involved someone (perhaps a red-haired someone but not necessarily) entering CoD and interpreting the tableau before them in the most dramatically hilarious worst possible way. But I thought, Jeph doesn't like to repeat entire scenarios like that.
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eschaton

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I don't think that at all. I firmly believe that Marten and Faye are friends now, not a couple-in-waiting.

Yeah.  This comic pretty much closed the door forever, IMHO.  At least on Marten's side. 
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Faye's "I thought I could" could mean it was an honest mistake or perhaps self-delusion. Was there a way for her to have expressed concern that wouldn't have amounted to holding Angus back from a life dream?
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Ultimately, it would have been up to Angus. Is his relationship with Faye more important to him than his dream job? The trick would have been for him to be honest with himself. I have no doubt that Faye would have let him go with her blessing if he honestly told her that he can't pass this up. She would have been upset but we know that she didn't want to hold him back.

The worst of all worlds would have been for Angus to wrongly assume that Faye was more important to him and pass up his dream for her. He would have come to resent her for "what she made him do"; that way lies domestic abuse.
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Aziraphale

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Angus has no incentive to make this a clean break. He's going to be so busy in NY that he basically won't have time for a different girlfriend there, so I think he'll say "It's ok if you're not ready. Call me when you are."

Effectively married to his job, he busily but patiently waits for Faye. Faye rebounds, realizes she doesn't want Angus after all but neither does she have to make a clean break because he's not present and prosecuting their relationship is on hold indefinitely.

This continues until one or the other cheats (or is it really cheating?) or otherwise hooks up with someone else and there's time-delay dramorz.

What do you think, sirs?

Possible, but I'm not sure how likely it'd be, because that kinda pushes Faye's side of the arrangement into the same territory she was in with Sven, and I'm not sure that she'd make that mistake a second time.

Despite all the "Angus' fault / Faye's fault" discussions it seems that Faye has had a sudden revelation that she doesn't care as much about Angus as she might have thought. She can't help that - she's given it her best shot and simply can't do it, and at least she's honest enough to admit it rather than painfully continue the unconvincing pretence.

So nobody's to blame. These things happen, and while this is going to be painful for Faye, I don't think it's going to be a disaster for her, and she's surrounded by friends who will look after her.

I do wonder if a recurring theme though the whole history of QC is going to be Marten and Faye failing to get together forever for one reason after another:
- first she can't handle a relationship at all
- then just as she might be able to handle it, Dora gets there first
- then she's with Angus when Marten/Dora split up
- then Marten's with Claire the moment Faye loses Angus, with uncanny timing.
(I don't even want to speculate about the next step in that series)

Which reminds me of this, for some reason:

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NemoX

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Ultimately, it would have been up to Angus. Is his relationship with Faye more important to him than his dream job? The trick would have been for him to be honest with himself. I have no doubt that Faye would have let him go with her blessing if he honestly told her that he can't pass this up. She would have been upset but we know that she didn't want to hold him back.

I suppose you are right on that regard. I would also like to point out that ever since the first time the audition came up, Angus knew Faye was uncomfortable with the idea. He was the first one to propose the "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" and he did say he would try to make it work if they had to do the long distance thing.

Also, I don't think it was up to Angus to decide if he would follow his dream over Faye. He wants both, but if he chooses Faye, she would have felt horrible for robbing that opportunity from him, she said so as much. Overall it is just not an easy situation, things just happen. It sucks but that's the reality. They both should have seen this coming, and Faye at least did try to be happy for him and be supportive, she just couldn't. That does not make her a horrible person, nor does Angus one for choosing to go (if he doesn't change his mind before then)

I don't see this ending well if either of them go back on their position. If he drops it and stays, there will be resentment, on both sides, if Faye caves (unlikely) then there will be resentment as well. The ship is sunk. They gave it a try and was good while it lasted. I don't feel either one is fully at fault, or free of it. Its just a thing that happened. Again, I hope at least it ends amicably or civil.
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Neko_Ali


I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens. People break up because their lives are heading in different ways. Nobody is to blame for following their own needs. There is no requirement to stay together, especially if doing so means causing pain or unhappiness for one of them. It would be better if they had a talk before Angus leaves so they can at least part on good terms. But playing the blame game helps nobody here.
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Bologna

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Relationship drama aside, it would be cool to have the characters watch Angus on TV later on in the series.

We don't see anybody watching TV too often unless it's anime.
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Aziraphale

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Relationship drama aside, it would be cool to have the characters watch Angus on TV later on in the series.

We don't see anybody watching TV too often unless it's anime.

I'd be surprised if it doesn't pop up at some point.
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I don't think anyone is at fault. Life happens. Sometimes life just takes us in different directions. Sometimes people just aren't compatible.
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Rubick

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I kind of worry that things are going full steam ahead into a very miserable time for Faye. You have the break up with Angus. The budding romance of Claire and Marten - which even if Faye doesn't have feelings there - is going to prey on the feelings she's had before about that not being her and a reminder that she just can't seem to make relationships work for one way or another. With every close friend in her life, sans Hannelore, in new relationships will not only exacerbate that, but I also see it preying on another of Faye's fear (which mostly came up during the early Dora/Marten times) of being left alone and her friends not being around as much. So it could be easy for somebody to find themselves upset and alone...and well...Svenocalypse seems a possibility. Could be me reading into a lot of things, but I think Jeph's been writing things in a way to set that up for a fair few months now.

Maybe she'll nip home for a trip, though. We haven't seen her mom or Amanda in eight years or so at this point (I don't know this by heart, I've just been re-reading from the start recently.) and it'd be fun to revisit them as well.

(I really hope we don't get any Marten-Claire-Faye drama with Claire being worried about that. Feels like we've seen that story before with Dora.)

Edit: Going back, in one of those 'Fuck I forgot QC time is not real time', if I'm right, the Svenectomy was only in-universe a few days ago and nobody's told Faye yet. Uh oh.
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2014, 11:38 by Rubick »
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eschaton

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(I really hope we don't get any Marten-Claire-Faye drama with Claire being worried about that. Feels like we've seen that story before with Dora.)

Honestly, I think if any drama is going to happen soon, it will be between Marten and Dora, although I don't know the origin.  Could be related to Claire, could be something with Sven, etc.

My basic feeling here is, as people have noted, Dora and Tai's relationship is boring because it hasn't had any conflict.  A conflict involving Marten is a great way to set something up.  Why?  Because Tai has sort of replaced Steve as Marten's "best bud."  Not to say that other people in the series are not closer to Marten, but Tai is pretty clearly mainly Marten's friend, and interacts with Marten mostly on a one-on-one level. 

If there was any tension between Dora and Marten (particularly if Dora was pretty clearly in the wrong about it) I think Tai would have a very hard time not getting involved in the conflict. 
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If there was any tension between Dora and Marten (particularly if Dora was pretty clearly in the wrong about it) I think Tai would have a very hard time not getting involved in the conflict.

I don't see tension between Dora and Marten so much as between Dora and Tai due to her being mum about the Svenectomy.

Much as I'm jonesing for more onscreen time with Marten and Claire, I'm pretty sure the rest of the crew are about to move front and center.

Edited to add: The Dora/Tai tension would necessarily include Marten if Tai got a case of ass because Dora told her ex-boyfriend but didn't tell her.
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Aziraphale

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I kind of worry that things are going full steam ahead into a very miserable time for Faye. You have the break up with Angus. The budding romance of Claire and Marten - which even if Faye doesn't have feelings there - is going to prey on the feelings she's had before about that not being her and a reminder that she just can't seem to make relationships work for one way or another. With every close friend in her life, sans Hannelore, in new relationships will not only exacerbate that, but I also see it preying on another of Faye's fear (which mostly came up during the early Dora/Marten times) of being left alone and her friends not being around as much. So it could be easy for somebody to find themselves upset and alone...and well...Svenocalypse seems a possibility. Could be me reading into a lot of things, but I think Jeph's been writing things in a way to set that up for a fair few months now.

Maybe she'll nip home for a trip, though. We haven't seen her mom or Amanda in eight years or so at this point (I don't know this by heart, I've just been re-reading from the start recently.) and it'd be fun to revisit them as well.

(I really hope we don't get any Marten-Claire-Faye drama with Claire being worried about that. Feels like we've seen that story before with Dora.)

That's eight years in real time, but in comic time it's been less than a year. The first trip home made sense; she had told the story of her father's death as a first step toward really coming to terms with it, and the trip home was a logical next step in that journey. There's nothing going on in-comic right now that really makes another trip home, especially so soon, all that likely.

And it's likely to be a difficult time, but things are different in a number of ways than they were during the Faye/Sven arc. In this case, unlike the other, she's the one doing the dumping. She also has the support of Marten, same as she's always had, which helps. As much as Angus leaving hurts her, I think that pales next to how she'd feel if it was Marten or Dora pulling up stakes.

(I really hope we don't get any Marten-Claire-Faye drama with Claire being worried about that. Feels like we've seen that story before with Dora.)

Honestly, I think if any drama is going to happen soon, it will be between Marten and Dora, although I don't know the origin.  Could be related to Claire, could be something with Sven, etc.

My basic feeling here is, as people have noted, Dora and Tai's relationship is boring because it hasn't had any conflict.  A conflict involving Marten is a great way to set something up.  Why?  Because Tai has sort of replaced Steve as Marten's "best bud."  Not to say that other people in the series are not closer to Marten, but Tai is pretty clearly mainly Marten's friend, and interacts with Marten mostly on a one-on-one level. 

If there was any tension between Dora and Marten (particularly if Dora was pretty clearly in the wrong about it) I think Tai would have a very hard time not getting involved in the conflict. 

The two most likely ways this would pan out, I think, would be either an argument between Dora and Tai, where one (or both) of them go to Marten for advice, or just to vent; or something happening again between Faye and Sven (and by "something," I also mean something as innocent as Sven trying to be a good guy for a change and just being there for Faye, no sex involved), which sets Dora off. Either one puts Marten in an uncomfortable position, because his circle of friends has so many points of intersection that things said to or about one person are likely to end up dragging in lots of other people.
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eschaton

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I don't see tension between Dora and Marten so much as between Dora and Tai due to her being mum about the Svenectomy.

...

Edited to add: The Dora/Tai tension would necessarily include Marten if Tai got a case of ass because Dora told her ex-boyfriend but didn't tell her.

I dunno.  This all presupposes that Tai freaks out about it.  We haven't really seen Tai in another relationship within the confines of the comic, but she seems like a pretty chill person overall, albeit not an accidental Zen master like Marten.  Tai might be upset, but frankly her flipping out and causing a fight about it seems like something Dora would do - not Tai. 
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KOK

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Angus is not coming back. Faye does not want to move. A long distance relationship is not a viable long time solution. In the final analysis, it is as simple as that.
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Yeah.  This comic pretty much closed the door forever, IMHO.  At least on Marten's side.

And just a few strips back Jeph flat out says in the commentary he's with Veronica on this. He's also said 'the talk' was going to be the end of the strip, but since he wanted to do qc indefinitely he just did it to get it out of the way.

I don't think it was a coincidence it took four or five hundred strips for Angus to leave while we waited for Marten to get a girlfriend, but that's more to NOT move in a specific direction at all rather than saving that direction for the endgame.
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Somnus Eternus

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.

I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.
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Rubick

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I am terrible at multi-quoting so will just reply to points here:

Dora/Marten drama would be...weird, not sure why it would happen. I only pop in the forums randomly to comment at times so I didn't realise there might be a feeling Dora and Tai are boring. Personally don't feel that way and I'd rather not have the strip go for drama of the sake of trying to spice things up. A couple that actually get on long-term would be quite refreshing, really. Interesting point about Tai replacing Steve, although it feels that might be more that they work together than anything. I don't recall seeing Tai & Marten being that commonly with each other outside of work when it wasn't a 'whole group' thing.

Has Faye's trip home really been less than a year ago in-universe? Jesus. If true, that's fair enough. I don't think this is Faye 'dumping' Angus, or vice versa, though. It's just things reaching a terminus, rather than one person forcing it. My point is that while Faye usually has Marten's support, she might find he's not around very much because he's in the happy throes of a new relationship with Claire and so that support isn't there when she needs it.

I do have a feeling a Svenocalypse could get everyone at each others throats, considering a lot revolves around Sven and people hiding things from each other to related it (Dora from Tai, everybody from Faye, Faye from Angus, etc etc. Unless I've forgotten people being told.)
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TRVA123

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That's eight years in real time, but in comic time it's been less than a year. The first trip home made sense; she had told the story of her father's death as a first step toward really coming to terms with it, and the trip home was a logical next step in that journey. There's nothing going on in-comic right now that really makes another trip home, especially so soon, all that likely.

I think its been longer than that, I mean, Fays trip home was when Dora/Marten started dating. I think that was, at the most recent, two years ago in comic time.

Otherwise, I agree with you, there is no reason for Faye to make a trip home right now.

Instead, Faye should strike up an unlikely friendship with.....

Marten's Mom!!!!

Think about it, Faye can learn how to be a dominatrix! Which, if Veronica is as expert as she's been portrayed, means having excellent communication skills. Faye can learn how to set her own boundaries and communicate what she needs effectively, while exercising her penchant for violent behavior in a controlled, consensual environment!

*NOTE* I am serious when I mean she should be FRIENDS with Veronica. I think Faye and Veronica would make a terrible romantic couple.
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Pilchard123

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Relationship drama aside, it would be cool to have the characters watch Angus on TV later on in the series.

We don't see anybody watching TV too often unless it's anime.

Or disturbing adverts for self-immolating robots.
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NemoX

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.

I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.

Yeah, I think a few people have managed to realize this.
I think the consensus is that there WILL be some Faye/Sven...something in the future. Doubt it will be a relationship or a FWB thing again. But something will happen that may lead to Dora/Faye arguments or fallout. Dora is likely to missread a situation and snap at Faye for "going back with Sven" even if that is not the actual truth, exacerbated by Dora's Svenoctomy and all (which sibling rivalry issues aside, it still seems rather drastic at this time on her part).
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Bologna

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Maybe I'm just boring, but I don't really see Faye doing anything too drastic, including a ONS with Sven.  I can see her being sad, yes, and mopey, and even more snarky and sarcastic than usual, but I really think that she'll be fine.  She's got a pretty good understanding of the circumstances around the breakup.  Definitely see her visiting Dr. Corrine, though.

Calling it now: Sven confessing his love for her is a red herring for post-breakup Faye drama.  At most, he'll try to get with her, she'll be all like 'ugh,' and he'll go off and sulk somewhere. 

On another note, wasn't Dora supposed to talk with her parents about cutting Sven off sometime soon?  I'd like to see where that goes.
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Relationship drama aside, it would be cool to have the characters watch Angus on TV later on in the series.

We don't see anybody watching TV too often unless it's anime.

Or disturbing adverts for self-immolating robots.

Aw, forgot about him.  Poor guy.
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Aziraphale

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That's eight years in real time, but in comic time it's been less than a year. The first trip home made sense; she had told the story of her father's death as a first step toward really coming to terms with it, and the trip home was a logical next step in that journey. There's nothing going on in-comic right now that really makes another trip home, especially so soon, all that likely.

I think its been longer than that, I mean, Fays trip home was when Dora/Marten started dating. I think that was, at the most recent, two years ago in comic time.

Otherwise, I agree with you, there is no reason for Faye to make a trip home right now.

Instead, Faye should strike up an unlikely friendship with.....

Marten's Mom!!!!

Think about it, Faye can learn how to be a dominatrix! Which, if Veronica is as expert as she's been portrayed, means having excellent communication skills. Faye can learn how to set her own boundaries and communicate what she needs effectively, while exercising her penchant for violent behavior in a controlled, consensual environment!

*NOTE* I am serious when I mean she should be FRIENDS with Veronica. I think Faye and Veronica would make a terrible romantic couple.

The dominatrix angle aside (though I'm thinking you said that with tongue firmly in cheek), I think that's a great idea. Her sometimes iffy/nonexistent boundaries aside (which I'd imagine is a bit ironic for a dominatrix), Veronica seems to like Marten's friends and seems to "get" people better than they sometimes understand themselves. It seems a bit of a waste to bring her to the East Coast just as Jim's love interest, and I think she'd have some interesting perspective to offer the other characters. On the other hand, her involvement with Jim could also be a convenient way to get her closer to the main cast for other developments later (like mediating drama, or talking sense into people who need it).
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ReindeerFlotilla

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.
I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.

There are no bad guys in QC (Barring Hanners' mom). I may label Sven the villain, but only in the literary sense. He's the go-to antagonist. But he's still a good guy when he tries.

The next person down is Clinton. And even he isn't so bad when he stops being creepy. (May has a point about Hanners' privacy. That mega fanboy Clinton has respected it says a lot. He's clueless, but not vicious.)

On the other hand, even good people make mistakes.

I'm not sure Tai drama makes sense. Marten's transformation from zero to hero pretty much coincides with Tai joining the inner circle. If you watch the interaction, Tai is almost Marten's Obi-wan. She's nearly as chill as Dale. I just feel like Jeph's going to have to lay some ground work to justify a Tai-fight. I can see her getting upset, but she seems likely to handle it almost as reasonably as Marten would.

MooskiNet

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So you're saying Tai wouldn't be spicy?  :claireface:
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Aziraphale

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So you're saying Tai wouldn't be spicy?  :claireface:

If she got angry, she'd probably retreat to pad Tai while she cools down.  :claireface:
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ReindeerFlotilla

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Those puns were so bad they made it all the way back around to...delicious.

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.
I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.


<mod>fixed embedded video</mod>
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2014, 15:42 by pwhodges »
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Aziraphale

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.
I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.

Not a valid youtube URL

Video isn't displaying, but I'm wondering if you're thinking of the same song I am...
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HauntingPoem

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.
I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.

There are no bad guys in QC (Barring Hanners' mom). I may label Sven the villain, but only in the literary sense. He's the go-to antagonist. But he's still a good guy when he tries.

The next person down is Clinton. And even he isn't so bad when he stops being creepy. (May has a point about Hanners' privacy. That mega fanboy Clinton has respected it says a lot. He's clueless, but not vicious.)

On the other hand, even good people make mistakes.

I'm not sure Tai drama makes sense. Marten's transformation from zero to hero pretty much coincides with Tai joining the inner circle. If you watch the interaction, Tai is almost Marten's Obi-wan. She's nearly as chill as Dale. I just feel like Jeph's going to have to lay some ground work to justify a Tai-fight. I can see her getting upset, but she seems likely to handle it almost as reasonably as Marten would.

What about the Vespa Avenger?
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MooskiNet

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Those puns were so bad they made it all the way back around to...delicious.

You're just trying to curry favor with us.  :clairedoge:
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What about the Vespa Avenger?

A terribly confused and misguided individual, now gainfully employed on US government black projects. But deep down, she just needed a hug.

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Those puns were so bad they made it all the way back around to...delicious.

You're just trying to curry favor with us.  :clairedoge:

I'd never stoop so low. There's too much at steak.
<.<
>.>
Just thinking about it makes miso sad.

:clairedoge:

Aziraphale

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Those puns were so bad they made it all the way back around to...delicious.

You're just trying to curry favor with us.  :clairedoge:

I'd never stoop so low. There's too much at steak.
<.<
>.>
Just thinking about it makes miso sad.

:clairedoge:

This is peppered with far too many puns. And miso? Why so salty?
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AprilArcus

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I'm not sure Tai drama makes sense. [...] I just feel like Jeph's going to have to lay some ground work to justify a Tai-fight. I can see her getting upset, but she seems likely to handle it almost as reasonably as Marten would.

We see Marten and Dora have six fights during their relationship, all of which are basically instigated by Dora:
These paint a consistent picture of Dora as insecure, controlling, jealous, paranoid, and passive-aggressive. What has she done since the break-up to work on this? Well, she starts therapy, concludes that her problems are all about Sven, and then passive-agressively aims her paranoid streak at him the moment he attempts to re-enter her social circle.

So Dora's worst tendencies are currently pointed away from Tai. Mostly. Meanwhile, we know exactly what Tai sees in Dora. We don't really know what Dora sees in Tai, except that she's flattered by the interest. Marten is helping Tai ride the waves, and they have new relationship energy on their side... for now.

So I would consider the ground work for Dora/Tai drama pretty well-laid, if only because Jeph has neglected to show Dora really confronting her emotional problems on-panel. He's just kicking the can down the road; it needs to happen eventually. And if it turns out that Dora/Tai is a rehash of Dora/Marten, it would still feel dramatic and naturalistic people are terribly slow to change behavior patterns like these in real life. Dora and Tai have been outside of the strip's focus for over 200 strips, and they're due for a return soon. I hope it's an interesting one.

Marten's transformation from zero to hero pretty much coincides with Tai joining the inner circle. If you watch the interaction, Tai is almost Marten's Obi-wan. She's nearly as chill as Dale.

Marten's exposure to Tai's relaxed attitudes toward social incest and gender identity has certainly coincided with the queering of his cultural baseline.

Before he meets her, he's already a good ally he loves and accepts his dad and supports Pintsize through a sexuality crisis. But he's also defensive about his heterosexuality, has a somewhat faulty narrative about his dad's orientation, an unexamined gender-essentialist outlook on his mom's social circle, and a slightly prudish attitude toward his own sex life.

On two occasions, Dora tries to rile him with a trans joke. The first time (before he meets Tai), he takes the bait:

Quote
Dora: So I guess this would be a bad time to tell you I used to be a man.
Marten: No, see, the way my life works is you'd wait until after we had sex to tell me that. You know, let me get the full afterglow going before you shatter my mind.

The second time (after having worked with Tai for most of a year), he is utterly unflappable:

Quote
Dora: Maybe you realized you didn't love me. Or you wanted a girl with a penis.
Marten: Is that seriously something you worry about?

So I'm totally comfortable with the notion that it was through Tai's influence that Marten became the kind of person who would be able to listen to Claire's story without prying, process a drunken cuddle without outing her, and ultimately be the kind of person who could start a relationship with her and not even bring up the gender stuff until she did first. And it's also plausible that it was through exposure to Tai's own casually polyamorous fuck-knot that the idea of his close friend dating his ex came to feel normal to him enough for him to feel real compersion.

Quote
Compersion (n.) A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.

So while I'm comfortable asserting that Marten learned his cultural queerness from Tai, I don't know if I'm ready to say that's where he got his chill-ness from. It seems to me like whenever he talks to her about his relationship with Dora, she's either generically encouraging, or graphically jocular. And Tai is not precisely chill herself, at first. It seems to me that she slowly mellows out in parallel with Marten's reactive disillusionment at Dora's distemperate passion.
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2014, 19:39 by AprilArcus »
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Aziraphale

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I still don't understand this need to find someone at fault for this. It happens.
I was literally just about to say this.  There doesn't always have to be a bad guy.


<mod>fixed embedded video</mod>

Can't go wrong with Howard Jones. I was actually thinking of Dave Mason...

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MooskiNet

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holy shit <snip>

I really enjoy reading your analysis, but what do you do for a living?  Academia?  I mean, I have opinions that I might take the time to link to their basis, but you're, like, doing white papers and whatnot (not that I'm bitching; reading your posts is almost as much fun as an archive trawl).
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ReindeerFlotilla

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I'm not sure Tai drama makes sense. [...] I just feel like Jeph's going to have to lay some ground work to justify a Tai-fight. I can see her getting upset, but she seems likely to handle it almost as reasonably as Marten would.

We see Marten and Dora have six fights during their relationship, all of which are basically instigated by Dora:
These paint a consistent picture of Dora as insecure, controlling, jealous, paranoid, and passive-aggressive. What has she done since the break-up to work on this? Well, she starts therapy, concludes that her problems are all about Sven, and then passive-agressively aims her paranoid streak at him the moment he attempts to re-enter her social circle.

So Dora's worst tendencies are currently pointed away from Tai. Mostly. Meanwhile, we know exactly what Tai sees in Dora. We don't really know what Dora sees in Tai, except that she's flattered by the interest. Marten is helping Tai ride the waves, and they have new relationship energy on their side... for now.

So I would consider the ground work for Dora/Tai drama pretty well-laid, if only because Jeph has neglected to show Dora really confronting her emotional problems on-panel. He's just kicking the can down the road; it needs to happen eventually. And if it turns out that Dora/Tai is a rehash of Dora/Marten, it would still feel dramatic and naturalistic people are terribly slow to change behavior patterns like these in real life. Dora and Tai have been outside of the strip's focus for over 200 strips, and they're due for a return soon. I hope it's an interesting one.

Marten's transformation from zero to hero pretty much coincides with Tai joining the inner circle. If you watch the interaction, Tai is almost Marten's Obi-wan. She's nearly as chill as Dale.

Marten's exposure to Tai's relaxed attitudes toward social incest and gender identity has certainly coincided with the queering of his cultural baseline.

Before he meets her, he's already a good ally he loves and accepts his dad and supports Pintsize through a sexuality crisis. But he's also defensive about his heterosexuality, has a somewhat faulty narrative about his dad's orientation, an unexamined gender-essentialist outlook on his mom's social circle, and a slightly prudish attitude toward his own sex life.

On two occasions, Dora tries to rile him with a trans joke. The first time (before he meets Tai), he takes the bait:

Quote
Dora: So I guess this would be a bad time to tell you I used to be a man.
Marten: No, see, the way my life works is you'd wait until after we had sex to tell me that. You know, let me get the full afterglow going before you shatter my mind.

The second time (after having worked with Tai for most of a year), he is utterly unflappable:

Quote
Dora: Maybe you realized you didn't love me. Or you wanted a girl with a penis.
Marten: Is that seriously something you worry about?

So I'm totally comfortable with the notion that it was through Tai's influence that Marten became the kind of person who would be able to listen to Claire's story without prying, process a drunken cuddle without outing her, and ultimately be the kind of person who could start a relationship with her and not even bring up the gender stuff until she did first. And it's also plausible that it was through exposure to Tai's own casually polyamorous fuck-knot that the idea of his close friend dating his ex came to feel normal to him enough for him to feel real compersion.

Quote
Compersion (n.) A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.

So while I'm comfortable asserting that Marten learned his cultural queerness from Tai, I don't know if I'm ready to say that's where he got his chill-ness from. It seems to me like whenever he talks about to her about his relationship with Dora, she's either generically encouraging, or graphically jocular. And Tai is not precisely chill herself, at first. It seems to me that she slowly mellows out in parallel with Marten's reactive disillusionment at Dora's distemperate passion.

Excellent analysis. The conclusions fit what I was trying to say.   I don't rule out Dora drama, for instance. I just feel that for Tai to be the instigator, even reactively, requires more ground work. Even following up on her possessive streak, just because we haven't seen it in so long.

Tai is too much the level head. When she gets off balance she confronts the issue, most of the time. You make a good point about who she was before Marten, but--again--it will take ground work to justify a regression.

Marten and Tai have been very good for each other.

I can totally see Tai taking exception to Dora's misbehavior, and laying down the law. It's a histrionic blow out that seems unlikely.

Edit: I should add, I would be surprised if the current story threads aren't leading up to more Dora initiated drama, as I have said before. I am not sure which way Tai will roll. But I expect either sympathy or disappointment, rather than deep angst. Tai worries she will mess up. She doesn't have a lot of internal conflict about her worth. It's possible she'll take being kept in the dark about Sven deeply personally. I expect she'll take a more mature view.

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wow - only two days, and the forum's gone from anger over the breakup straight to acceptance.  I guess there was some bargaining in there too (Angus should do this!  Faye should do that!), but unfortunately the big stage that Faye has too go through has just started. 


Depression. 
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AprilArcus

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I really enjoy reading your analysis, but what do you do for a living?  Academia?  I mean, I have opinions that I might take the time to link to their basis, but you're, like, doing white papers and whatnot (not that I'm bitching; reading your posts is almost as much fun as an archive trawl).

Heh, I'm glad you like what I write. Some people show their devotion to a work of art with fan-fiction; I guess I'm doing fan-exegesis.

My day job is in software. I learned close reading and rhetoric at a super-fancy prep school for rich kids, got a liberal arts degree from a school a lot like Smif, and got halfway through a masters in biology before realizing that pursuing a career in academia would be madness itself. I love clearly presented information and well-cited arguments the way Hannelore loves a clean room; the way Claire loves a well-organized library; the way Jim loves a good scone.

Questionable Content is often called a "slice of life" strip, something I feel very intensely. Tai could be the living image of half a dozen of my close friends from college. I spent the summer of 2007 playing Sven in a Dora-Marten-Faye-Sven quadrangle. As a trans woman, I love seeing how delicately and intelligently Jeph is painting a picture of Claire. But I also understand that what is a "slice of life" for me is deeply weird and alien to a lot of other posters:

My problem with Tai and Dora is how creepy Tai acted with that relationship and how she gets what she wants.

So after looking back through the comics i figured out why i dislike the tai/dora ship... tai was like all about getting in dora's pants like 80 strips after the break up, so like, days in comic time? You just don't jump on your friends ex like that, specially in a damn collage town where their are many fish in the sea

Generally speaking, I think it's at least a contentious issue among groups of friends, even if it's not an outright taboo. I think if you were to hook up with a friend's ex pretty much right after a break-up, it's basically confirming that "Yeah, I've fancied your significant other for some time now", and seemingly implies - whether it's actually the case or not - that you've been waiting for things to fall apart so that you could make your move. It's kind of a lousy way to feel about a friend's partner, and not particularly considerate of their feelings or your friendship with them.

I just couldn't disagree more with any of this. It comes from a place of profound misunderstanding of a type of (mostly queer/poly) social dynamic that Jeph really gets, and that he's doing a terrific job of portraying. If there is a subset of the readership that are critical thinkers, who are interested in this topic but who don't have a direct experience of it, who I can reach with good expository writing and citations, I think that's a great use of my time.
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2014, 19:29 by AprilArcus »
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TieDyeKat

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Welp, where's the brain bleach?

Comic's up.
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Gladstone

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Comic's u--

I hit the refresh button for that?
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valkygrrl

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New comi.... buh?

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Neko_Ali


Quick! After it! We can't let it escape out into the wild!
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AprilArcus

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actually pretty lulzy

Rghfrgl

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I predict midweek robot filler, where the forum gets mad and the AI's have to take the blame.

I'm a prophet!
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Gladstone

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actually pretty lulzy

Yeah, you're right.  I can't stay mad for long.
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