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Poll

Well, Valentine's Day is Past! What now?

The Domesticity of Marten, Faye, Claire and Pintsize
- 8 (9.6%)
The Talk, Phase 2
- 10 (12%)
Faye meets Keeper Hannelore
- 6 (7.2%)
Sam: "Come on! I need your help!"
- 1 (1.2%)
Dora Does Guilt-Trip
- 24 (28.9%)
Tai has no boudaries about employees' personal lives
- 13 (15.7%)
Clinton and Emily's "date" (because that's still happening, AFAIK)
- 21 (25.3%)

Total Members Voted: 83

Voting closed: 18 Feb 2015, 08:09


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Author Topic: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)  (Read 30185 times)

DrClef

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #400 on: 19 Feb 2015, 01:09 »

I still urge patience.   Which doesn't always mean how long we wait, but what we do and how we handle the wait.     :)

I've been sitting here reading this statement, wondering why it bothers me so much. I still haven't come to a conclusion, but I think that I may have the start of one.

It's been 93 pages since the start of Marten and Claire's relationship. That's over four months of real-world time. I estimate about a third of those pages are about Marten and Claire's relationship. So estimate about 30 pages of Marten and Claire.

ALL of those pages have had the same structure.

1. Something happens to further their relationship.

2. They explain to us in no uncertain terms that this is good.

3. Claire does something cute and compliments Marten.

It's a bit uncanny how many of those pages follow this EXACT pattern, and I'm sick of it.

I GET it already. Marten is the perfect boyfriend for Claire. Claire thinks he's handsome and wonderful. And the first ten times this was made clear, I liked it. But around the ice-cream kisses mark, it started seriously getting old.

In the words of the entire cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!" I've BEEN patient, and now I'm getting frustrated.
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greywolfe

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #401 on: 19 Feb 2015, 01:16 »

Has it occurred to anyone that this is exactly what Jeph wants as an atmosphere in the comic right now? From his Tweets, I get the impression that he is in a particularly good place, relationship-wise right now. That happiness and optimism will inevitably be reflected in his work.

Be human, people. Let him enjoy it! :-)

I'm sincerely happy for Jeph if that's the case.

These comics still suck.

I'm still of the opinion that this is all a dream sequence.  It's to perfect. Marten had evolved into the perfect boyfriend. It's...matrix-y.

I'm taking a bet that it's all a single-malt-prompted dream sequence.
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BenRG

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #402 on: 19 Feb 2015, 01:39 »

It's a bit uncanny how many of those pages follow this EXACT pattern, and I'm sick of it.

I think that you're just going to have to learn to deal with the fact that this is how Jeph is going to write this phase of Marten and Claire's relationship. Personally, it's my view that, generally speaking, he handled Faye and Angus in similar ways.

I've been thinking about this whole thing. It's worth noting that we're still in the 'roll off' period after Marten and Claire were intimate for the first time. There was the cute giggly moment but this is the first time they've had a chance (away from Faye, who has problems that doubtless made them reluctant to talk whilst around her) to discuss what's going on in their heads.

From this we've learnt that:
  • Marten has realised that he is experiencing this in a different way from how he's experienced previous relationships (active vs. passive);
  • Claire still has a lot of insecurities and has hinted that she has a significant 'dark side', Martin's reaction to which she's worried about.
It isn't being rubbed in our faces, but the progression is there. You just need to be bothered to look and see. Additionally, given Jeph's general writing pacing, you're going to have to be patient too because developments are going to appear slowly and subtly.
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CM_albion

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #403 on: 19 Feb 2015, 04:42 »

Has it occurred to anyone that this is exactly what Jeph wants as an atmosphere in the comic right now? From his Tweets, I get the impression that he is in a particularly good place, relationship-wise right now. That happiness and optimism will inevitably be reflected in his work.

Be human, people. Let him enjoy it! :-)

I'm sincerely happy for Jeph if that's the case.

These comics still suck.

I'm still of the opinion that this is all a dream sequence.  It's to perfect. Marten had evolved into the perfect boyfriend. It's...matrix-y.

I'm taking a bet that it's all a single-malt-prompted dream sequence.

WHAT IF?
the comic just gets increasingly happy and perfect for the next couple of weeks until we cut back to the hospital and find out...Faye still hasn't awoken?
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osaka

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #404 on: 19 Feb 2015, 04:45 »

I could see that happening. But that'd bee a hell of a whiplash.

Also, something about the comic (and sorry if this comes out a bit wrong): Does Claire saying that she's never shared her fears and insecurities and bad days and all that with a cis guy mean that Clinton is also trans? Because I'm pretty sure that's something you'd want to share with your brother.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #405 on: 19 Feb 2015, 04:45 »

DrClef's long analysis of Claire and Marten's new relationship struck me as really excellent. At first. Like AprilArcus, I was inclined to say "this." That post was beautifully-written and incisive as hell.

Then I thought about it a little more.

It's been a long time for me, on account of being married and stuff, but I suddenly remembered what the first few days/weeks of a new relationship are like. Especially one that grew out of a friendship from pals to co-flirters to lovers.

This is pretty much what it's like.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #406 on: 19 Feb 2015, 04:49 »

Jeph doesn't do the dream-sequence twist though  :parrot:
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #407 on: 19 Feb 2015, 04:56 »

I could see that happening. But that'd bee a hell of a whiplash.

Also, something about the comic (and sorry if this comes out a bit wrong): Does Claire saying that she's never shared her fears and insecurities and bad days and all that with a cis guy mean that Clinton is also trans? Because I'm pretty sure that's something you'd want to share with your brother.

this might just be me personally, but speaking as someone who grew up with two brothers, they're the LAST people i would open up to about insecurities. well, maybe not the very last, but you get my point.
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osaka

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #408 on: 19 Feb 2015, 05:02 »

I have a sister. Older one. I tend to open up to her about this shit. That's why I thought about this.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #409 on: 19 Feb 2015, 05:05 »

My brother only ever gets Half Empty Coffee Cup LiteTM. If I say something about what I'm thinking to him, it's either superficial and banal, or I've turned it over enough in my head so that I can give him a sanitized version that doesn't provoke bullshit out of him. Then again, he's a jerk who I have a hard time forgiving. Your mileage may vary regarding sibling relationships.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #410 on: 19 Feb 2015, 05:24 »

I want to find out more than just how cute Claire and Marten are. I want to find out how Claire feels about the Faye Fiasco. I want to see Marten dealing with the little issues that come up when a cis male dates a trans woman: and there ARE issues. Even the nicest, sweetest, most understanding guy in the world WILL have issues because every real relationship has issues.

Yeah, this is pretty much where I am.  I find it hard to believe that marten has no further questions, concerns, issues at this point.  I mean, okay, maybe today there aren't any questions because afterglow, but to imply (as has been implied) that there aren't any at all...?  Like DrClef said - it's not that Marten isn't understanding, easygoing, all that jazz.  But when starting a trans/cis relationship, there will be issues. 

In that vein - could it be considered irresponsible not to address these types of issues up to this point?  I mean, if the point is to give life and breadth and depth to this relationship, to really create a voice that most of us aren't hearing - oughtn't there be a responsibility to address things in a more nuanced way?  So far, neither Marten nor Claire have shown any real trepidation about their endeavor together minus a few jitters.  Do either of them have the wherewithal/self-awareness/life experience to simply dive into this new and distinctly unique (to them) situation, no questions asked?  Wouldn't the general public be better educated by a more nuanced and detailed path forward? 

Jeph has dealt with many other topics so powerfully and effectively - alcoholism, suicide, anxiety, depression, civil rights.  Why, thus far, is this topic being approached so differently? 

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MooskiNet

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #411 on: 19 Feb 2015, 05:45 »

Why, thus far, is this topic being approached so differently?

I think the operative part of your question is 'thus far'.  Time moves at a pace that could be called 'glacial' in the QC verse; it's been less than a week since Marten and Claire snuggled on the couch, if I'm tracking correctly, and certainly less than two even if I'm not.

QC has a lot of irons in the fire right now (perhaps too many), but I would imagine there's a great deal of pressure to do the relationship between Marten and Claire 'right' (whatever that means).  Also, if a significant amount of your positive feedback comes every time a certain redhead does something cute, you could be excused for having her do something cute a lot more often.

Point is, most if not all the quibbles with how the story is being told tend to resolve themselves as the story continues being told.
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swapna

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #412 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:12 »

I want to find out more than just how cute Claire and Marten are. I want to find out how Claire feels about the Faye Fiasco. I want to see Marten dealing with the little issues that come up when a cis male dates a trans woman: and there ARE issues. Even the nicest, sweetest, most understanding guy in the world WILL have issues because every real relationship has issues.

Yeah, this is pretty much where I am.  I find it hard to believe that marten has no further questions, concerns, issues at this point.  I mean, okay, maybe today there aren't any questions because afterglow, but to imply (as has been implied) that there aren't any at all...?  Like DrClef said - it's not that Marten isn't understanding, easygoing, all that jazz.  But when starting a trans/cis relationship, there will be issues. 

In that vein - could it be considered irresponsible not to address these types of issues up to this point?  I mean, if the point is to give life and breadth and depth to this relationship, to really create a voice that most of us aren't hearing - oughtn't there be a responsibility to address things in a more nuanced way?  So far, neither Marten nor Claire have shown any real trepidation about their endeavor together minus a few jitters.  Do either of them have the wherewithal/self-awareness/life experience to simply dive into this new and distinctly unique (to them) situation, no questions asked?  Wouldn't the general public be better educated by a more nuanced and detailed path forward? 

Jeph has dealt with many other topics so powerfully and effectively - alcoholism, suicide, anxiety, depression, civil rights.  Why, thus far, is this topic being approached so differently? 

To be honest, I think he wants a positive representation of a trans character and trans issues (which is a good thing), but he's overshooting by a parsec. As you said, every real relationship has issues, but Marten and Claire.. don't. And while it's fine that they're still in their everything-is-perfect-phase of their relationship, we don't need to see every cutesy boring detail - the other couples we saw also had their perfect-relationship phase but after 2-3 comics it was assumed that they are together and everything is fine and we didn't need 30 comics of content-deprived sweetness to know it. Depicting Claire's relationship with Marten so incredibly boring does them no favour.

Let me be clear - I don't need them to fight and I don't need any drama whatsoever in their relationship, but I don't need to watch them make out and gush over each other for months. We could follow Faye or Dora or Tai or Sven or Angus (or anybody, really), who's dealing with their issues and just assume Marten and Claire are happily making out because they don't answer phonecalls or need an hour from the library to the CoD.
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Khazgar

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #413 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:17 »

Changing the topic slightly...it's interesting that Claire says that she wants to believe in LETTING the relationship work. It's as if she perceives that the biggest obstacle to her happiness might actually be herself - deep down she knows that she has found a good man but her own anxieties and hang-ups work against her.

I can see Jeph maybe developing on this in the future to give us our much sought after conflict. :wink:
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eschaton

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #414 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:18 »

I'm seeing what some of you are saying about these strips lacking character/plot advancement, having too much dialogue/cuteness, and overall acting as boring filler. But I think it's a good thing that there are so many strips about Marten and Claire just hanging out together. It's a depiction of a relationship between a trans person and a cis person, and I could be totally wrong about this, but I feel like it's a nice thing for trans people to see a representation of themselves being handled in a totally casual way - it's important that we have this emphasis on the relationship because it really secures the fact that just because Claire is trans, it doesn't mean Marten has to treat her any differently than he would have treated Dora, or Padma, or any other girl he's had feelings for. Thoughts?

I agree with 100% of what Jeph is trying to portray here.  But I read QC to be entertained, not lectured at.  Didactic anything turns me the fuck off. 

Claire's half of the conversation was, predictably, way more interesting. The relationship is much more of a revelation for her than it is for Marten. Kinda feels like he should be the one taking the initiative to check in on her, not vice versa, but that's a nitpick since they're communicating well.

Agreed.  But then again, Claire's character has had much less of a lobotomy after they started dating than Marten.  To me the most interesting thing she said was that she had never opened up about her issues to a cis guy.  This implies she has transwomen (or perhaps cis-women) friends which have not been seen in the comic.  More characters ahoy? 


Epic rant.


Right on brother!  Or sister!  Whatever.

The thing which makes me sad about this is Jeph has written beginnings to relationships much better.  The Padma arc was fantastic.  It was doomed of course, but it perfectly got across the tension/excitement of meeting someone new and beginning to fall for them.  He wrote Padma as the sort of woman I'd have a hard time resisting.  The now ancient arc with Steve and Meena (remember when Steve wasn't a one-dimensional bro?) was also very well done from a passion standpoint.  And although they were more "comfort" relationships and less full-on passion, Martin/Dora and Faye/Angus were written well.  There was nothing particularly deep about Marigold hooking up with Dale, but it was a realistic depiction of two awkward people hooking up regardless. 

Claire/Marten had great potential, as I've said in the past.  The wedding arc showed amazing chemistry between them, given the combination of friction and sexual tension.  But all of the rough edges have been worn off both of them.  The whole arc since they've started dating seems like bad slash fiction that was written by a fan of the strip, not Jeph himself.

Maybe Jeph will find a way, a year or two from now (real world time) to plant the seeds of serious relationship issues, if not its total destruction.  But by that time if he keeps up this way he may have alienated much of his core readership which wants complicated, intelligent depictions of relationships, and attracted people who just want the puppies and kittens ever after to last.  Meaning he'll have hella blowback. 
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kent_eh

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #415 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:29 »

Quote
...with a cis guy

Excuse me for being clueless about such things, but can someone define the term "cis" for me?

I assume from the context that it has something to do with having a traditional gender identity, or something like that.
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miados

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #416 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:31 »

am I wrong or is this the first time we saw marten start the relationship so to speak? I am pretty sure that Dora started the relationship with him. I don't 100 percent recall the other coffee girl offhand but i feel like she kind of made the moves to start it, but it was a while so i guess i need to go back and read again. Although that one night stand i think he kind of made the first move but i don't count that.
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eschaton

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #417 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:36 »

am I wrong or is this the first time we saw marten start the relationship so to speak? I am pretty sure that Dora started the relationship with him. I don't 100 percent recall the other coffee girl offhand but i feel like she kind of made the moves to start it, but it was a while so i guess i need to go back and read again. Although that one night stand i think he kind of made the first move but i don't count that.

Padma is iffy.  I mean, Marten was definitely pursuing her, but arguably she was the one who kissed him.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #418 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:38 »

I'm glad there are still some folks enjoying Clairten, but I need a break from this plot line. Interactions I would find more interesting:

Dora vs. Tai on Sven & Faye
Dora vs. Sven
Faye vs. Sven
Angus says goodbye to Marigold
Momo goes on a date
Claire vs. Tai on transfeminine vs transmasculine experiences & trans women at Smif
Faye & her family on addiction and life choices
Band practice

... really, just, absolutely anything at all.
Agreed. Fortunately, today's strip seems to be a temporary closure on the Claire/Marten cuteness. Let us hope they do not reappear in the next 200+ strips, and that AprilArcus' wishes come true. :mrgreen:

I suspect Tuesday's Yelling Bird disturbed the numeric sequence, and today's Claireten closure was meant to be strip #2899. That way, #2900 should be the start of a completely new thread. But a number is just a number, so I shall not complain if the new thread starts at #2901 instead.

I GET it already. Marten is the perfect boyfriend for Claire. Claire thinks he's handsome and wonderful. And the first ten times this was made clear, I liked it. But around the ice-cream kisses mark, it started seriously getting old.
Another soulmate. We have had enough. Time to move on, and get the sweetness out of our bodies.

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #419 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:40 »

Quote
...with a cis guy

Excuse me for being clueless about such things, but can someone define the term "cis" for me?

It's a new one to me too but my understanding is that it is the Latin antonym to 'trans'. It is, in this context, used to define those who are not trans-sexual.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #420 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:41 »

Hm. The lack of verbal sparring is actually uncharacteristic of the strip enough to make me wonder... What will happen when it does show up? Will it serve to set off those alluded to anxieties? Maybe this change of tone is more significant than I thought from a plotting standpoint.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #421 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:42 »

The other thing is, I wonder if Claire might get sick of being coddled, worried that Marten doesn't see her as an equal, because she's not as experienced as his past partners.
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Castlerook

Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #422 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:48 »

Look at it this way, we're seeing the relationship in the "Lovey-dovey" stage, where it's all cutesy and happy and everything about the other person is new and fresh. That stage doesn't last forever and when it ends, both people start seeing the flaws in the other (and sometimes themselves). It's when a relationship gets to that stage that it's really decided if it can continue or not.

There's no conflict now, but that doesn't mean there won't be any in the future.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #423 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:53 »

Look at it this way, we're seeing the relationship in the "Lovey-dovey" stage, where it's all cutesy and happy and everything about the other person is new and fresh. That stage doesn't last forever and when it ends, both people start seeing the flaws in the other (and sometimes themselves). It's when a relationship gets to that stage that it's really decided if it can continue or not.

There's no conflict now, but that doesn't mean there won't be any in the future.

This would be defensible if they were beginning to date as strangers.  But they were friends for months before hooking up, and arguably were becoming besties.  They've seen each other in pretty bad lights already, and of course they accept one another despite this.  But you don't just magically change how you interact with someone because you start boning.  You just add the boning to the initial dynamic. 
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #424 on: 19 Feb 2015, 06:57 »

I understand people's complaints, but I have a hard time caring because smiling Claire is BestClaire.

More seriously, though, what I'm seeing in some of these complaints boils down to a demand that this relationship play out exactly like every other relationship has in the story.  Why would we want that?  Variety is the fuel for a more interesting story.  I'm also seeing demands for "complicated, intelligent depictions of relationships," but I'd argue that what we're seeing here is every bit as "real" of a relationship* as one founded with the help of a robot and a hologram.  Just because this one has less "drama" doesn't make it devoid of narrative content, or character growth (which is also of importance in a story.)  Just because it's a happier, more optimistic start doesn't make it any less "intelligent," nor less "complicated."

A couple examples:

  • The fact that this is going so well highlights Marten's character development. This has been hinted at for quite some time (with regards to job dissatisfaction and guitar stuff.)  I see his successes here potentially spurring him on to make more bold decisions in other areas of his life, which could lead to some really interesting story material.
  • What we've seen over the last couple of weeks is a really far cry from the insane levels of saccharine during the first date (Ice Cream Kisses OMGDEAD.)  I'm not reading this as pure fluff at all.  What we're seeing here is some pretty honest exploration of first relationship feelings. It doesn't have to be nail-biting drama to be compelling, and Claire's insecurities can be an interesting avenue to explore without those insecurities having to be a ticking time bomb that everyone's expecting to go off in Marten's face at any moment.
  • This is almost certainly planting the seeds for further plot developments later (and I don't think that involves any mega-drama between Claire and Marten; we've got enough drama going on with the various Faye storylines right now) that will give the "deeper" things some people are asking for.  Once we've established their relationship dynamic fully, the "newer" iterations of Marten and Claire (and Claireten) can be set against the various desired story events for narrative purpose.
  • Also, it's nice to have squee strips to break up the OMGdrama strips.


Also, I have already seen that last panel turned into peoples' Facebook avatars, and it is GLORIOUS.


*I've had relationships that were every bit as "holy crap, everything just fell into place with us" as Marten and Claire's.  Often, after the first few day's glow begins to wear off, there's some discussion, and yeah, sometimes it's the same tone of discussion as we're seeing here.  That's not "bad fan-fiction."  It actually happens, sometimes.



Warning - while you were typing 5 new replies have been posted. You may wish to not try boring everyone to death with gigantic walls-of-text next time.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #425 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:00 »

Agreed.  But then again, Claire's character has had much less of a lobotomy after they started dating than Marten.  To me the most interesting thing she said was that she had never opened up about her issues to a cis guy.  This implies she has transwomen (or perhaps cis-women) friends which have not been seen in the comic.  More characters ahoy? 

Perhaps we'll see the support group members she alluded to.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #426 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:12 »

Yeah, this is pretty much where I am.  I find it hard to believe that marten has no further questions, concerns, issues at this point.  I mean, okay, maybe today there aren't any questions because afterglow, but to imply (as has been implied) that there aren't any at all...?  Like DrClef said - it's not that Marten isn't understanding, easygoing, all that jazz.  But when starting a trans/cis relationship, there will be issues.

It's been suggested before that Marten's early exposure to all the stuff his mother did means he genuinely has no hangups about it. He's seen it all before, and knows too well that there are no limits or rules about what people should or shouldn't or might want do to have sexy fun together. All that matters to him is people's personalities and characters.

Claire, in contrast, has had to tread a hard and lonely path (even if well supported by family) where she was the one that was "different", and is naturally still anxious about whether she's doing things right. It will take a while for Marten to convince her that there's no right and wrong, and whatever she's comfortable with is OK. She's lucky to have fallen on her feet, and got into a relationship that she wanted but wasn't even sure would be possible. "Can't believe it's true" must be how she sees it.

The other thing is, I wonder if Claire might get sick of being coddled, worried that Marten doesn't see her as an equal, because she's not as experienced as his past partners.
Hopefully when Claire relaxes a bit, Marten will stop coddling her so much. It's early days yet - give them time!
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #427 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:26 »

I understand people's complaints, but I have a hard time caring because smiling Claire is BestClaire.

More seriously, though, what I'm seeing in some of these complaints boils down to a demand that this relationship play out exactly like every other relationship has in the story.  Why would we want that?  Variety is the fuel for a more interesting story.  I'm also seeing demands for "complicated, intelligent depictions of relationships," but I'd argue that what we're seeing here is every bit as "real" of a relationship* as one founded with the help of a robot and a hologram.  Just because this one has less "drama" doesn't make it devoid of narrative content, or character growth (which is also of importance in a story.)  Just because it's a happier, more optimistic start doesn't make it any less "intelligent," nor less "complicated."

Honestly, I don't think anyone who is complaining about the overdose of VERY SIMILAR Marten/Claire strips is really asking for more drama. At least, I'm not. There is pleanty of drama currently set up in other characters. Characters we aren't seeing. Characters we will see for one strip, then we have at least two, usually more strips of Marten and Claire doing the exact same things they have been doing.

I think the people asking for more complexity are asking for it because... well... if we are going to be forced to focus on Marten/Claire at least give us something interesting to focus on. Anything! Hell, reveal that Claire is PizzaGirl! I don't care how outlandish it is at this point, as long as it is something besides "OOH! Claire and Marten are SOOOOOO Cute! How Cute? Let me show you again with my next strip! And again and again and again!!!11!"

I think at this point we have more than enough proof that Marten and Claire have a strong foundation for a happy relationship. Now show us other things, and let us assume that they are happy and making out or whatever.

For those encouraging patientce, yeah, I get that this is a comic where the plotlines are often a slow burn. But I've been reading this comic for more than five years now, and I've never been so frustrated that one plotline is being stalled in cuteness while another 5 potential plotlines are not being addressed at all.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #428 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:27 »

It's been suggested before that Marten's early exposure to all the stuff his mother did means he genuinely has no hangups about it. He's seen it all before, and knows too well that there are no limits or rules about what people should or shouldn't or might want do to have sexy fun together. All that matters to him is people's personalities and characters.

I don't buy it that he escaped home with zero hang-ups about trans people. We saw him work through a bit of that with Tai and Dora, but he was still daunted about starting a relationship with Claire as recently as strip 2803. It isn't until 2804 that confidant, smooth, ideal husbando Marten fully takes over.
« Last Edit: 19 Feb 2015, 16:12 by AprilArcus »
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Neko_Ali

Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #429 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:35 »

Quote
...with a cis guy

Excuse me for being clueless about such things, but can someone define the term "cis" for me?

I assume from the context that it has something to do with having a traditional gender identity, or something like that.

It is simply an outgrowth of the usage of the prefix trans- which means 'across from' or 'on the other side of'. Cis- means 'on this side of'. It refers to people who do not experience any significant disconnect with their sex assigned at birth and their identified gender. Basically, in short it means 'someone who is not trans-*'.

Some people assume it is an insult because it's not hugely common yet. And being cis is seen as 'normal' where trans is seen as 'abnormal' so they feel attaching a specific word to being what they see as 'normal' as insulting. For the record, both cis and trans people are perfectly normal and natural. It's just one is a lot more common than the other. The word itself is not in any way an insult. Like any word though, tone, inflection and timing can turn it into an insult. Heck you could use 'puppy' as an insult and that's about the cutest thing I can think of.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #430 on: 19 Feb 2015, 07:36 »

It's been suggested before that Marten's early exposure to all the stuff his mother did means he genuinely has no hangups about it. He's seen it all before, and knows too well that there are no limits or rules about what people should or shouldn't or might want do to have sexy fun together. All that matters to him is people's personalities and characters.

I don't buy it that he escaped home with zero hang-ups about trans people. We saw him work through a bit of that with Tai and Dora, but he was still daunted about starting a relationship with Claire as recently as strip 2803. It isn't until 2804 that confidant, smooth, ideal husbando Marten fully takes over.

In 2803 he just says that he needs pancakes for processing. It's a surprising amount of times that's happened to me without having any negative connotations, or having anything to do with hang-ups. This is not to say that he had zero hang-ups back then, but to say that maybe he just needed to compile everything he had done the night before 2803. I'm pretty sure he was already fine with what happened in 2800 (which is a whooping 5 hours earlier in comic time, but still).
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #431 on: 19 Feb 2015, 08:02 »

I don't like the depiction of Clairten. I think it's too cheesy, maybe a mild case of Romantic Plot Tumor. JJ seems to be overly anxious to represent this relationship as unrealistically impeccable as possible. Well, a 3000-strips-long webcomic cannot be perfect at all times and some extra sugar for a few days never hurt anybody.

I think our Comic Overlord needs to relax, he's already doing a great job with QC -even though I arbitrarily believe we will see THE END by strip 4000-.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #432 on: 19 Feb 2015, 08:50 »

Summary of the WCDT thus far:
Group A: Hmm. New relationship. I see they're still in that stage where neither one of them is thinking of places to hide the body. Cute.
Group B: Where's the drama?
Group A: Uh, it's only been a week or tw--
Group B: Gaaaah! Why haven't they broken up yet? MOAR DRAMAZ!

Couple things here:
First, it's useful to remember that there's a significant disconnect between comic time and calendar time.
Second, it's useful to remember that, in life and in stories alike, it ain't all drama all the time.
Third (he points out for the second, maybe third time), when you're juggling multiple story arcs, you need something to leaven the drama. If you view this as a comedy, on the other hand, sometimes a serious/darker undercurrent (a slot currently occupied by Faye getting her life back together) helps to maintain some balance.

I'm beginning to think that some of the disconnect is from differences in people's experiences.


It's been a long time for me, on account of being married and stuff, but I suddenly remembered what the first few days/weeks of a new relationship are like. Especially one that grew out of a friendship from pals to co-flirters to lovers.

This is pretty much what it's like.

I'm coming from a similar place, having gone through a ton of relationships good, bad, and ugly before getting married. Most of my relationships started similarly to Marten and Claire's. None of them -- including my marriage -- stayed that way. The honeymoon ends. But if you do the honeymoon part of it right in terms of respecting boundaries, figuring out each other's communication styles and issues and "stuff," then you're a lot better prepared when the honeymoon ends and reality sets in.

But the more I read the forum, the more I think that half of y'all won't be happy unless the entire cast dons sackcloth and ashes (except Hanners, because she'd be freaked out probably), and commences the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. Verily, wailing shall be in all the streets, 'cause, you know, verisimilitude.

The irony of it is that when issues do come up (and as with any relationship, they will), some of you will still be complaining, either because the drama didn't conform to your kinda drama, or because there wasn't enough of it, 'cause there's never enough drama. Which, frankly, makes me glad that I don't know some of you offline.

I think maybe we all need to take a step back and chill - this is gradually edging closer and closer to stereotypical tumblr territory.

Edge? It dove.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #433 on: 19 Feb 2015, 09:18 »

We saw him work through a bit of that with Tai and Dora

April, I love that post on Marten's evolution as an LGBT ally, but I can never find it when I want to.  I suppose I should just bookmark it, but might I suggest you post it in its own discussion page?  That way, it won't get lost in the archives so easily, and we can discuss/add to it as the story progresses.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #434 on: 19 Feb 2015, 09:51 »

First, it's useful to remember that there's a significant disconnect between comic time and calendar time.

Are you telling me this?

Quote
Second, it's useful to remember that, in life and in stories alike, it ain't all drama all the time.

Life and stories are not alike. Drama is the life's blood of a story. QC has the form of a "slice of life" strip, but it's never been as tediously literal in its entire run as it has been these last few months.

Quote
Third (he points out for the second, maybe third time), when you're juggling multiple story arcs, you need something to leaven the drama.

Let's look at those story arcs, in the 2800-2899 period. Jeph wrote:
  • 35 strips featuring or commenting on Claire and Marten's relationship
  • 33 strips featuring or commenting on Faye vs. Angus & the Bottle
  • 10 strips of Yelling Bird and Turkeys
  • 9 strips of Clinton & Emily
  • 4 strips about Hanners
  • 4 strips about Marigold
  • 2 strips of AnthroPC hijinks
  • 2 strips of Claire talking about something other than Marten
So I would call this is more a case of a little angst cutting the sweetness. Only 7 of those 35 Marten/Claire strips (2800-2806) even had any narrative tension. In those hundred strips, we've seen nothing of Dora/Tai, nothing of Dora/Sven, and barely an offhand mention of Marigold/Angus. I would happily have traded ten or fifteen Marten/Claire strips for any of those subplots.

Quote
I think that half of y'all won't be happy unless the entire cast dons sackcloth and ashes (except Hanners, because she'd be freaked out probably), and commences the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. Verily, wailing shall be in all the streets, 'cause, you know, verisimilitude.

I just want some motion and complication, and some attention paid to other characters (DORA) and dangling plotlines.

Quote
I think maybe we all need to take a step back and chill - this is gradually edging closer and closer to stereotypical tumblr territory.
Edge? It dove.

Instead of casting aspersions on presumed-homogenous groups like tumblr/4chan/reddit/"SJWs", why don't you try unpacking that cliché and say what you really mean? What element of our discourse here has fallen beneath your standards?
« Last Edit: 19 Feb 2015, 10:11 by AprilArcus »
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #435 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:06 »

I could see that happening. But that'd bee a hell of a whiplash.

Also, something about the comic (and sorry if this comes out a bit wrong): Does Claire saying that she's never shared her fears and insecurities and bad days and all that with a cis guy mean that Clinton is also trans? Because I'm pretty sure that's something you'd want to share with your brother.

I'm not caught up, but as someone who has a brother, I can definitively answer: No.

Blood doesn't imply intimacy. For those who say the opposite, it's also worth noting that intimacy defined by blood doesn't always feel like acceptance. Sure they tolerate, but you can't discount the possibility that they only tolerate because of the genetic relationship.

Clinton and CLaire seem to care about one another, but that doesn't mean they are close confidants.

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #436 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:15 »

First, it's useful to remember that there's a significant disconnect between comic time and calendar time.

Are you telling me this?

No, it was directed generally. If I were telling you specifically, I would've made that explicit. But then, you already knew that.

Quote
Second, it's useful to remember that, in life and in stories alike, it ain't all drama all the time.

Life and stories are not alike. Drama is the life's blood of a story. QC has the form of a "slice of life" strip, but it's never been as tediously literal in its entire run as it has been these last few months.
[/quote]

While I don't disagree with the "tediously literal" part, I think the "tedious" stems from the comic's habitually glacial pace, and the "literal" likely stems from Jeph breaking the fourth wall a bit. I would also guess that given that he's writing, at least in part, about things outside his experience, he's trying to tread carefully.

Quote
Third (he points out for the second, maybe third time), when you're juggling multiple story arcs, you need something to leaven the drama.

Let's look at those story arcs, in the 2800-2899 period. Jeph wrote:
  • 35 strips featuring or commenting on Claire and Marten's relationship
  • 33 strips featuring or commenting on Faye vs. Angus & the Bottle
  • 10 strips of Yelling Bird and Turkeys
  • 4 strips about Hanners
  • 4 strips about Marigold
  • 2 strips of AnthroPC hijinks
  • 2 strips of Claire talking about something other than Marten
So I would call this is more a case of a little angst cutting the sweetness. Only 7 of those 35 Marten/Claire strips (2800-2806) even had any narrative tension. In those hundred strips, we've seen nothing of Dora/Tai, nothing of Dora/Sven, and barely an offhand mention of Marigold/Angus. I would happily have traded ten or fifteen Marten/Claire strips for any of those subplots.
[/quote]

Again, you'd have to take that up with Jeph. There are, as we've discussed, gobs of unresolved plot points -- some of which have been left unresolved long enough that one can't help but wonder if they were afterthoughts to begin with. Which brings us to:

Quote
I think that half of y'all won't be happy unless the entire cast dons sackcloth and ashes (except Hanners, because she'd be freaked out probably), and commences the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. Verily, wailing shall be in all the streets, 'cause, you know, verisimilitude.

This isn't me. I just want some motion and complication, and some attention paid to other characters (DORA) and dangling plotlines.
[/quote]

With which I agree. But again, I don't think either of us knows the broader arc here. There may be an offline reason for this arc (as has been suggested elsewhere, maybe Jeph's happy as a clam and the writing reflects that), or maybe there's some narrative reason for the storytelling going the way it has (establishing the Claire/Marten relationship firmly enough that he can then background it a bit and move on to addressing loose ends without everybody collectively losing their shit and thinking this is a sign of the apocalypse or something). I'm holding out hope for the latter, but I'm guessing the answer is C: none of the above.

Quote
I think maybe we all need to take a step back and chill - this is gradually edging closer and closer to stereotypical tumblr territory.
Edge? It dove.

Instead of casting aspersions on presumed-homogenous groups like tumblr/4chan/reddit/"SJWs", why don't you try unpacking that cliché and say what you really mean? What element of our discourse here has fallen beneath your standards?
[/quote]

Not sure if that part was directed at me or TCP. On the off chance it's the former, here's my take: what I'm seeing pass on this forum for "discussion" of anything remotely issue-related/substantial lately has rapidly devolved into a shitstorm of petulance, snark and ad hominem attacks. Call me a silly bastard, but I'd like to think, or at least hope, that people are capable of better.

PS: Sorry for making a total hash of the formatting... I can never seem to get the hang of the code on this thing.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #437 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:20 »

Quote from: Jeph
I love how I read the first page of this thread and it was super informative and well-considered, and then I jumped to the last page and it was people throwing "privilege" around like it was a javelin. I'm sure I missed something useful/important in between but I don't have the time or energy to read this stuff much so it is what it is.
Global Moderator Comment 1. The moderators have gone out and done legwork about the words "cis" and "cisgender". We take them as neutral. 2. The rules and their enforcement are simply aimed at being decent human beings, no more. 3. Anyone who wants education can spend days in the library just following pointers from ZoeB. 4. Even the delicate questions about trans* people have been answered here. 5. The weekly comic thread is for discussing the comic. 6. Explaining these things is getting really, really old.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #438 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:22 »

6. Explaining these things is getting really, really old.

..... Never before have you been in a position to understand the frustration more.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #439 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:25 »

Let's look at those story arcs, in the 2800-2899 period. Jeph wrote:
  • 2 strips of Claire talking about something other than Marten

That's pretty much the most disturbing bit of analysis I've seen in this thread.

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #440 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:29 »

6. Explaining these things is getting really, really old.

..... Never before have you been in a position to understand the frustration more.

It's: "really, really, old" - as in: "yes, we really have been here before!"
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #441 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:39 »

6. Explaining these things is getting really, really old.

..... Never before have you been in a position to understand the frustration more.

It's: "really, really, old" - as in: "yes, we really have been here before!"
I was trying to imply the frustration of being trans and being expected to explain things over and over.   I wasn't invalidating the past...  :/
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #442 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:47 »

The formatting for quotes looks like
Code: [Select]
[quote=person being quoted]
words
[/quote]

I almost jumped in and tidied up Aziraphale's formatting but was afraid of misquoting someone in the process.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #443 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:49 »

The formatting for quotes looks like
Code: [Select]
[quote=person being quoted]
words
[/quote]

I almost jumped in and tidied up Aziraphale's formatting but was afraid of misquoting someone in the process.

Yeah, that's what I was trying to do. For some reason, it was formatting the code as text and not reading it as code, though.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #444 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:54 »

That's pretty much the most disturbing bit of analysis I've seen in this thread.

OMG yes! 

Marten clearly has had a role outside of his relationship with Claire over the last 100 strips, even if it's mainly been to be a good friend to Faye.  Claire seems to be heading in the direction of totally failing the Bechdel Test as a character. 

Hell, even Padma, who was just a fling, more or less, had more independent agency from Marten while we saw her.  She had Elliott-related drama, grandmother drama, the weird fight scenes with Faye, etc.  She wasn't a passive vessel, which is the vibe I'm getting off Claire.  Or more properly, both of them when together, but we don't get to see Claire much when she's not with Marten. 
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #445 on: 19 Feb 2015, 10:55 »

Are we starting a meta-dialogue about the conversation we aren't supposed to be having here? Because the recursion level there has reached the recursion level there.

What we talk about when we talk about not talking about Claire

Okay, time to go read Kant.  That hurt my mind.
Try not to think about the fact that your mind is hurt because it hurt your mind. Such thoughts will hurt your mind as they are recursively tautological due to tautological recursion.

That's pretty much the most disturbing bit of analysis I've seen in this thread.

OMG yes! 

Marten clearly has had a role outside of his relationship with Claire over the last 100 strips, even if it's mainly been to be a good friend to Faye.  Claire seems to be heading in the direction of totally failing the Bechdel Test as a character. 

Hell, even Padma, who was just a fling, more or less, had more independent agency from Marten while we saw her.  She had Elliott-related drama, grandmother drama, the weird fight scenes with Faye, etc.  She wasn't a passive vessel, which is the vibe I'm getting off Claire.  Or more properly, both of them when together, but we don't get to see Claire much when she's not with Marten.

I find it disturbing because it didn't feel forced. It's a poster child for slippery slope arguments.

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #446 on: 19 Feb 2015, 12:02 »

The problem I have with the recent failures of writing is that all of this is happening with CLAIRE.

What I loved about Claire was how well she fit in to the group. She was basically just another character in the group. Oftentimes I'd completely forget that she was trans at all: like the wedding arc. It wasn't until she got back and had that conversation with Clinton that I remembered "Oh yeah. . . that would actually have the possibility of being dangerous for her."

But the moment she has a relationship with Marten it felt like she wasn't allowed to be Claire any more. Instead she had to be "ICONIC TRANS FEMALE CHARACTER." And Marten had to be "PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDING CIS MALE BOYFRIEND." Because this wasn't just another relationship. This was CLAIRE'S RELATIONSHIP! And it is big and important and significant and we need to make sure everyone knows that this is perfect and without problems and spend thirty pages on it and bleh.

Whereas: imagine how much more powerful the message would be if Jeph just handled it the same way he handled the start of other relationships? The message then would be "Trans-Cis relationships are just the same as any other: the issues can be different, but the relationship is the same."

Like. . . why did #2900 need to exist? Claire is going to have bad days? Of course she is. Everyone has bad days. I want to see Claire have a bad day and have Marten cuddle and support her. That's how a good writer would have handled it.

Hell, that's how JEPH would have handled it. He said more about Marten and Faye's relationship in a single hug in #2816.

I think it's unfair to characterize the critics of Clairten as wanting to see them break up for the sake of drama. A lot of us shipped the two and were happy as hell when they got together. But looking back at the entire arc, it felt self-indulgent and saccharine, and I seriously hope that it's over.
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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #447 on: 19 Feb 2015, 12:09 »

The problem I have with the recent failures of writing is that all of this is happening with CLAIRE.

What I loved about Claire was how well she fit in to the group. She was basically just another character in the group. Oftentimes I'd completely forget that she was trans at all: like the wedding arc. It wasn't until she got back and had that conversation with Clinton that I remembered "Oh yeah. . . that would actually have the possibility of being dangerous for her."

But the moment she has a relationship with Marten it felt like she wasn't allowed to be Claire any more. Instead she had to be "ICONIC TRANS FEMALE CHARACTER." And Marten had to be "PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDING CIS MALE BOYFRIEND." Because this wasn't just another relationship. This was CLAIRE'S RELATIONSHIP! And it is big and important and significant and we need to make sure everyone knows that this is perfect and without problems and spend thirty pages on it and bleh.

Whereas: imagine how much more powerful the message would be if Jeph just handled it the same way he handled the start of other relationships? The message then would be "Trans-Cis relationships are just the same as any other: the issues can be different, but the relationship is the same."

Like. . . why did #2900 need to exist? Claire is going to have bad days? Of course she is. Everyone has bad days. I want to see Claire have a bad day and have Marten cuddle and support her. That's how a good writer would have handled it.

Hell, that's how JEPH would have handled it. He said more about Marten and Faye's relationship in a single hug in #2816.

I think it's unfair to characterize the critics of Clairten as wanting to see them break up for the sake of drama. A lot of us shipped the two and were happy as hell when they got together. But looking back at the entire arc, it felt self-indulgent and saccharine, and I seriously hope that it's over.

I disagree with much of what you say, but DAMN you say it well.
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DrClef

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #448 on: 19 Feb 2015, 12:15 »

The problem I have with the recent failures of writing is that all of this is happening with CLAIRE.

What I loved about Claire was how well she fit in to the group. She was basically just another character in the group. Oftentimes I'd completely forget that she was trans at all: like the wedding arc. It wasn't until she got back and had that conversation with Clinton that I remembered "Oh yeah. . . that would actually have the possibility of being dangerous for her."

But the moment she has a relationship with Marten it felt like she wasn't allowed to be Claire any more. Instead she had to be "ICONIC TRANS FEMALE CHARACTER." And Marten had to be "PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDING CIS MALE BOYFRIEND." Because this wasn't just another relationship. This was CLAIRE'S RELATIONSHIP! And it is big and important and significant and we need to make sure everyone knows that this is perfect and without problems and spend thirty pages on it and bleh.

Whereas: imagine how much more powerful the message would be if Jeph just handled it the same way he handled the start of other relationships? The message then would be "Trans-Cis relationships are just the same as any other: the issues can be different, but the relationship is the same."

Like. . . why did #2900 need to exist? Claire is going to have bad days? Of course she is. Everyone has bad days. I want to see Claire have a bad day and have Marten cuddle and support her. That's how a good writer would have handled it.

Hell, that's how JEPH would have handled it. He said more about Marten and Faye's relationship in a single hug in #2816.

I think it's unfair to characterize the critics of Clairten as wanting to see them break up for the sake of drama. A lot of us shipped the two and were happy as hell when they got together. But looking back at the entire arc, it felt self-indulgent and saccharine, and I seriously hope that it's over.

I disagree with much of what you say, but DAMN you say it well.
I'm okay with that. What's done is done, and people will feel the way they want to. I'm just trying to help others understand why some of us who are unhappy with how it turned out feel that way, and why it's not just 'boohoo I hate happiness gimme drama.'
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TRVA123

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Re: WCDT 2897 - 2901 (16-20 February 2015)
« Reply #449 on: 19 Feb 2015, 12:24 »

Yeah, I'm really sick of people ignoring the points we make and then going "But why do you hate to see Marten/Claire happy?!! Do you just want teh Dramaz all of the time?"

If that is all you're getting from the walls of text we're spewing out, then you're missing several important somethings.
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