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Poll

Yarr, what be waitin' out there on the open seas for the Good Ship Claireten?

Wedding bells!...for Veronica and Jim
- 17 (19.3%)
Wedding bells for...STEVE AND COSETTE?!
- 5 (5.7%)
Padma returns, with a bun in the oven
- 11 (12.5%)
"Uh, Marten? Just got a call from Delilah.  She says you should get yourself tested..."
- 7 (8%)
Shakeup at the library
- 11 (12.5%)
Deathmøle hits the road
- 6 (6.8%)
They lived happily ever aftAHAHAHAHA I CAN'T EVEN FINISH
- 6 (6.8%)
No, seriously!  Happily ever after!  Why would you even joke about that, you MONSTER?
- 25 (28.4%)

Total Members Voted: 88


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Author Topic: God Himself Could Not Sink This Ship: Thoughts on Marten, Claire, and the Future  (Read 18864 times)

aliensporebomb

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I think killing Claire would be far too dramatic for this strip but here's how I think it could actually go:

-We're coming up to the point where the interns are developing experience and getting recommendations from advisors.
-Claire seems pretty determined that this is where her future career lies.
-What if she gets a job offer?  She may have been sending resumes out already.
-If she has to move several states away to get a decent job in that field then she might have to.
-Long distance relationships are tough.

Yes it's possible the S.S. ClaireTen may sink but it will be due to mundane things like distance not suddenly exploding coffee cups or cars driving into the front window at COD.

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TRVA123

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As has been stated ad nauseum, we are only about 10-14 days into their formal relationship; expecting more than cloud nine from either of them at this point is probably unrealistic.

But that also speaks to the current pacing of the comic. QC has always been a slow burn, but this is the slowest that it has ever been. And yes, maybe the pacing isn't as agonizing when you binge read, but that isn't how most people consume this comic.
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But there doesn't have to be major drama between them.  i'm not saying that Jeph won't or shouldn't include some drama, but I'm just wondering if it's coming to pass that after so many years of Marten being a 'Relationship Punching Bag' (so to speak) it might not be time for him to be allowed to have a long term, good relationship and that Claire may just be the 'Fit' for Marten.
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TRVA123

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Who is saying that there has to be major drama between Marten and Claire?

Marten and Claire are a couple, great. be happy. Now Jeph should have them take a backseat to the rest of the cast, unless he has some actual plot development for them. Seeing the characters individually would also be a nice change.
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ASB84

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I think some sort of conflict/drama is necessary at some point, but I'm not eager to see it just yet. I'd actually prefer to see more humour, them being a part of a group that's socialising, "Seinfeldian" conversation, making wry comments and throwing out the odd witticism...that's what we got with Marten and Dora, and that's why it worked. Obviously Marten and Claire have a different dynamic, so those situations might play out a little differently this time around, with their own punchlines and so on. The important thing is showing them in a context that offers more than cutesy-poo imagery, and situations that exist for reasons beyond "Hey, look how cute they're being? Aren't they cute?".

So no, I for one am not asking for angst and drama. I want humour, wit, amusing escapades, more "mundane" moments that run the gamut of them hanging out with each other, hanging out alone, or hanging out with other members of the cast...interactions that move plots forward. Have the cute/sweet moments happen along the way, rather than seemingly being the only point of having them appear. I'm not saying that stuff hasn't happened - Clinton's date and a bit of crossover with Faye's arc are obvious examples - but for me, the current ratio isn't quite to my taste. Personal preference, our mileage may vary, and all that.
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Gladstone

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So no, I for one am not asking for angst and drama. I want humour, wit, amusing escapades, more "mundane" moments that run the gamut of them hanging out with each other, hanging out alone, or hanging out with other members of the cast...interactions that move plots forward. Have the cute/sweet moments happen along the way, rather than seemingly being the only point of having them appear. I'm not saying that stuff hasn't happened - Clinton's date and a bit of crossover with Faye's arc are obvious examples - but for me, the current ratio isn't quite to my taste. Personal preference, our mileage may vary, and all that.

I completely agree.  And regarding the slowed pacing, I think the new layout has something to do with it.  While the larger panels have made it possible for Jeph to show us more intimate moments between characters (especially 2892--that scene would've lost a lot in the old 4-panel vertical layout), I think he sacrificed the potential for large group hangouts.  The number of comics featuring three or more characters, all contributing to the conversation, has dropped significantly.  When was the last time everyone got together for old times' sake?  "Another Night Out" barely cut it--you have to go back to the pre-2600s to get any meaningful group interaction.  Marten hasn't even interacted with Dora or Steve since that night--but I doubt they'll show up together in the same strip anytime soon, so they'll probably find out about Marten and Claire individually, leading to more Claireten-centric stories.

(Obviously, Dora found out about the two of them from Faye the day after the scritches, but as far as we know she hasn't seen Marten since, so I imagine there'll be a congratulations-on-the-new-lady conversation when next they meet.  Sigh.)

(Also, it doesn't help things that Faye and Dora are kind of estranged at the moment, so a get-together with the old regulars isn't likely to happen anytime soon...)

I can't complain too much, though--I still love QC, and the pacing isn't nearly as glacial as my newfound love Dumbing of Age--but I really hope to see a large group gathering sometime in the near future, something along the lines of the 2014 cast poster from the store, obviously with a few minor changes in character attendance. 



End-of-summer/start-of-fall barbecue?  Engagement party for a certain mother and her new beau?  I don't care, just make it happen.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2015, 21:57 by Gladstone »
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electromgneticDstroyosaur

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Perhaps God couldn't, but Faye just might.

Yes, I know she's insistent on not screwing Marten over again, but do y'all honestly expect this evening to pass without incident?  Faye's prickly on a good day, let alone a drunk, miserable, and embarrassed one.  Claire makes quick assumptions, carries trust issues from her childhood, and lacks experience and tact.  Marten's already stressed just from Faye's lapse.  This can't end well.
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Gladstone

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I honestly did not consider Faye being a factor in this relationship.  Weird thing to overlook, huh?
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themacnut

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Faye will continue to be a factor in any romantic relationship Marten is in long as they live together, and her alcoholism complicates the situation further, especially since Marten feels obliged to care for her when she falls of the wagon. That's the kind of thing that could stretch a girlfriend's understanding and tolerance to the limit, especially if said girlfriend knows they almost banged.

Put that together with Claire's inexperience with relationships and her insecurities about cheating, and end result is a 'ship that's actually quite sinkable. She and Marten have some treacherous icebergs to navigate if they're to avoid sinking.


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Stoon

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I kept talking about Questionable Content to a friend of mine, and he realized he stopped reading it at some point.  He said he's missed a lot more of the archives than he thought. 

A few days ago he linked me this comic, thought it was an interesting bit of foreshadowing considering the relationship of Claire and Martin.

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=615
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Gladstone

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Yeah, we'e talked about that one already, both here and in this thread.  It can either be seen as a sign of Marten's character changing over roughly 1-1/2 to 2 years in-comic, or just a risqué joke that seemed funny 9-ish years/2300+ strips ago but that Jeph would never tell now.  Like a few other jokes in the really early comics, for that matter.  As Samuel Goldwyn once said, we've all passed a lot of water since then.
« Last Edit: 06 Jun 2015, 22:08 by Gladstone »
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As Samuel Goldwyn once said, we've all passed a lot of water since then.

 :laugh: That's a Goldwynism I haven't heard before, thanks!

The one I quote most is "A verbal contract ain't worth the paper it's written on."
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I wanted to add "Don't talk to me while I'm interrupting" to my signature, but Google can't decide if it's from Goldwyn or Michael Curtiz.
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One of my favorite Goldwyn anecdotes: he was watching a test screening of a film, and told the director it was 37 minutes too long.* The director asked how he knew it was exactly 37 minutes and he replied, "That's when my ass started to hurt."

*I'm paraphrasing. It's been a while.
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StellaVator

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I kept talking about Questionable Content to a friend of mine, and he realized he stopped reading it at some point.  He said he's missed a lot more of the archives than he thought. 

A few days ago he linked me this comic, thought it was an interesting bit of foreshadowing considering the relationship of Claire and Martin.

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=615

Yea, now that comic would be considered "transphobic" because "WOW what's wrong with being born a man and transitioning?!?!! And it's really transphobic to say "born a man" because if they're trans*, they were ALWAYS a woman, and just had a gender slapped on them by a transmisogynistic doctor you BIGOT".

Strange world, huh? I'm honestly surprised Jeph hasn't gone back and deleted that comic or replaced that bit with something more tolerant like he's done before with another comic.
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More than one other. There was the Sara cartoon, and the Yelling Bird/Harriet fireworks cartoon.

I look at it as character growth for Marten.
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hedgie

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It could be remaining as it is to show character growth, as well as evolution of society.  I don't know whether or not it was a true ret-con, but in the beginning, robots were more like pets, but Clinton's first appearance was about an AI civil rights amendment, and later, Anthro-PCs were, under the law, the same as biological beings.
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Yea, now that comic would be considered "transphobic"

I've heard people make this case before about 615, but I seriously don't get it.  If one's attraction has biases based on biological sex (which I'll admit is an odd concept to me, but clearly not everyone's bisexual) then having sex with a post-op trans* person could be quite a lot to wrap one's mind around.  It's not prejudiced to have one's mind shattered by such a revelation in that case, and it's certainly not prejudiced to depict a character in that position.
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But it's also not the inclusiveness which Jeph identifies as a major theme of Questionable Content.
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DSL

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I will posit that the author of the current strips is, in a way, a different person than the person who wrote 615.
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Jeph mentioned having done a lot of research before he felt qualified to write about Claire's back story.
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Theinternetsurvivor

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I honestly hope that Jeph will decide to eventually do some changes on the character's lives soon, like for example, Marten reunites the Deathmole band and they perform in some places and a carrer starts to be a reality, Faye getting some great feedback with her skills with metal, Coffee of Doom turns out to be even more successful at the point of being a bigger company with more places being set in other locations, a more brief story of Sven's carrer maybe, and also Angus' (why not?) and among other characters.
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Gladstone

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Shameless bump! 

Sorry, but this discussion was getting too close to the bottom of page 2 for comfort, so I thought I'd resurrect it.  And since the long-awaited (and long overdue?) time skip has happened, it's probably as good a time as any to bring it back.

I honestly hope that Jeph will decide to eventually do some changes on the character's lives soon, like for example, Marten reunites the Deathmole band and they perform in some places and a carrer starts to be a reality, Faye getting some great feedback with her skills with metal, Coffee of Doom turns out to be even more successful at the point of being a bigger company with more places being set in other locations, a more brief story of Sven's carrer maybe, and also Angus' (why not?) and among other characters.

Honestly, I have no idea where the comic is going now.  I really thought that Faye's firing and subsequent joblessness would be a much bigger factor in the future of QC than it turned out to be--as in, her job search would be much less fruitful, leading to her having trouble with that month's rent, and Marten struggling too since he had recently (in-comic) blown his savings on a new guitar.  I figured that, combined with a bit of egging on from Claire, would lead to him having serious thoughts about his future at the library and cause him to become more serious about Deathmole.  Instead, Faye had no trouble getting back on her feet and finding a new job, in a way that felt too easy and far-fetched even for a comic as weird and far-fetched as QC can sometimes be.  And maybe it's just me, but Bubbles still feels like a character who belongs more in Alice Grove than here.  Probably just me.

So, several months after Marten and Claire started dating and Faye lost both Angus and her job, Marten and Claire are still together (and possibly living together?), Faye's employed, Claire is no longer interning at the library, Coffee of Doom hasn't been burned to the ground by Emily, and...? We'll probably find out more throughout the week.  As for me, I'm fresh out of predictions.  What do the rest of you think?
« Last Edit: 07 Jan 2016, 15:03 by Gladstone »
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RetroRefractive Noodle

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One could argue that having one's mind shattered is not always a bad thing.

So you just had sex with a person who transitioned from one to the other... it blows your mind.    You just realized 1)  It's not an issue after all 2) you're ok with this bit of information 3) the sex was satisfying for both parties and holy s*it what was the question again?

Marten never came off as homophobic,  he stated that he just wasn't into guys.    He never stated that he was transphobic either,  he's simply stating sex with a trans-person would be a mind-shattering experience.

In many ways it has been.   He's done the horizontal demolition-derby (or equally creative euphemism) with Claire and look at that -- his worldview has been altered.  He's much happier and less mope-ish.

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Gladstone

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I did not revive this discussion thread so we could have THAT discussion again.  Ugh.
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Global Moderator Comment Caution please.
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RetroRefractive Noodle

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I did not revive this discussion thread so we could have THAT discussion again.  Ugh.

No snark intended here,  but maybe you should consider labeling conversations that you want to continue discussing and which ones are not viable due to forum-culture rules or other considerations.

Not everyone here has a feel for what is acceptable and what is not,  and really it is not fair to lay out landmines and then get angry when people trigger them. 

I was a member here long ago,  I left because of Trigger Culture.   Oh we can't say this,  discuss that, everything is offensive,  everything causes someone to be injured or suffer an episode because reasons.

And here we go again.   First attempt to strike up a conversation and people are upset already.

Is It Cold In Here,  I am going to send you a PM when I finish here.
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Gladstone

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This has nothing to do with triggers.  I asked what was next in the comic for Marten and Claire, you tried to bring up a topic that's been over-analyzed to death and clearly doesn't need further debate.  Claire is trans, Marten is fine with that, very old strips that seem to say otherwise are more product-of-their-time than canon, now can we please move on.
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Tova


I did not revive this discussion thread so we could have THAT discussion again.  Ugh.

I don't disagree. But to be fair, you did bump a thread whose last page was dominated by that very discussion. So it's not really surprising that someone picked it up again.
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Gladstone

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Yeah, I clearly didn't think this one through.
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There is only one thing I'm a bit concerned about - is Faye still living with Marten and Claire, if (as assumed) Claire has moved in with Marten?
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Gladstone

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She and Bubbles have found a cozy little loft apartment somewhere.
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cesium133

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It might be like the arrangement they had when Dora moved in, with Claire sleeping in Marten's room.
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Oenone

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Given how territorial Faye is, it'd be interesting to see how her and Claire interact if they're living together.
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BenRG

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Given how territorial Faye is, it'd be interesting to see how her and Claire interact if they're living together.

The precedent of Dora's time living in the apartment is interesting. There were strips when it was very clear that Faye and Dora were 'sharing' Marten in emotional terms, at least. To the point where, one Halloween, he was the chosen thing to hug for comfort for both ladies simultaneously when a scary movie made them particularly jumpy. Of course, Faye and Dora had the advantage of a pre-existing friendship and didn't have the occasional simmering antagonism that Faye has with Claire.

That said, Faye does seem to have relaxed around Claire after they bonded over brutalising Pintsize (and was that deliberate? Did Pintsize deliberately trigger that incident over breakfast to force Claire and Faye to bury the hatchet in the face of a common irritant?). Claire has tried to be friendly and understanding to Faye at times. So, I can see the two of them at the very least being in a situation of mutual tolerance for Marten's sake.

There is only one thing I'm a bit concerned about - is Faye still living with Marten and Claire, if (as assumed) Claire has moved in with Marten?

I wouldn't use the word 'concerned', myself, only 'curious'. FWIW - Yes, I think that Claire has moved in and, yes, I think that Faye is still living there. Where else would she go, right now?
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Neko_Ali

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The Faye/Dora/Marten relationship is a lot different than the Faye/Claire/Marten relationship as well. Both Faye and Dora had some romantic intentions towards Marten at the time, but Faye was not in an emotional position to act on them. And Marten had romantic feelings towards both Faye and Dora. While everyone may have agreed that it was best that Marten move on and find happiness in someone else rather than wait and see if Faye would ever be in a state where she could get that close to someone... emotions are a lot harder to convince than logic. So there is that friction. Then you add in Dora's relationship trust issues, and the Faye/Dora work relationship and yeah.. it's not that surprising that things were stressful.

Now though, the ship Fayten not only never sailed, but it's been decommissioned and re purposed. Faye and Marten's relationship is not and super unlikely ever will be of a romantic nature. They are now closer to best friends or siblings. Claire has no jealousy issues towards Faye, or bad experiences with past romances to color her relationship with Marten. And Faye herself approved of and pushed Claire towards Marten, offering up her approval of the pairing. The two women may have some abrasive edges around each other, but both know they are not competing for Marten's romantic affection.
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Morituri

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I dunno, but I sort of expect that having sex happens when a relationship has reached a point where you trust each other.

Finding out that someone I just slept with used to be a guy wouldn't shatter my mind, but realizing that someone was okay with having sex with me but not ready to trust me -- I think I'd find that more than a little weird.

To me the whole deal of realizing that the trust you thought existed wasn't there for her (or at least not enough to let you in on something like that) would be disturbing.
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Dora should have known better than to say "used to be a man". Though in fairness to her there was a lot less understanding of trans* issues back then.
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Kugai

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Global Moderator Comment Morituri, I think that that type of discussion has been done to death in other locations and unless anyone has any useful new contributions, the matter should be considered done and dusted.
« Last Edit: 09 Jan 2016, 13:20 by Kugai »
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Global Moderator Comment For anyone who is rolling their eyes wondering what we're talking about, current policy was the result of hearing from multiple forum members from trans backgrounds and especially from some with a proven record of not sweating the small stuff. The older cartoons are not a safe guide to how to talk about trans* people. That said, the moderators will have a sense of proportion about accidents by people who simply haven't yet absorbed all the information about trans etiquette.
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Oenone

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That's true -- Claire has never known Fayeten to be an actual possibility, since by the time she met Marten Marten and Faye had already started dating other people.

Also I think Faye is in a way better place -- she's in group to talk about her alcoholism, she's got a job she likes... Maybe Faye can be less territorial because she's got less to lose if Marten gets close to another girl.
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Dora should have known better than to say "used to be a man". Though in fairness to her there was a lot less understanding of trans* issues back then.

Let me put a logical pin in this once and for all.

Dora's hypothetical alter-ego is not trans.
Dora's hypothetical alter-ego used the phrase "used to be a man."
A trans person would not use the phrase "used to be a man."
Therefore, Dora's hypothetical alter-ego is not trans. QED

Canon preserved.  Movin' on!
« Last Edit: 13 Feb 2016, 20:33 by mustang6172 »
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Gladstone

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Definitely should've let this discussion stay buried.

Anyway, the time-skip presumably means that most of Faye's troubles are behind her--she's several months' sober and doing pretty well at her job, best buds with Bubbles, etc.--so I hope we get to focus on someone else now.  It would be a great time to bring Claire back to the foreground.  Not Claire and Marten, of course (do we need another hundred strips right now of them being cute together?  Nah...), but just Claire by herself.  She's apparently not interning at the library anymore, which is nice, because there were only so many more times did she could clash with Tai before it got old.  So, what now?  Is she still on track to her career goals?  Did her internship change anything? A lot of the questions I brought up in my original post still stand, I think.  Well, mostly.  Claire seems to be fairly well established as an important QC character, but she hasn't had much of a role lately beyond being Marten's Girlfriend.  It would be nice if we got more of a glimpse into Claire's life (family/social/etc.) outside of her relationship with Marten. 
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Undrneath

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I also would like some new character development for Claire. I would assume that being a TA is a step in her chosen career path towards librarianship.
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Zebediah

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Being a TA is one of those things you have to do in graduate school, which is a step towards her career goal, so yeah.
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