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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 19018 times)

Gladstone

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An Apology: This is NOT the WCDT for the week of February 23rd. You can find that here. It was going to be, but I got a bit carried away and turned some brief speculation about Marten and Claire into the mega-post you see below, so I decided to spin it off into its own discussion and let someone else do the Weekly instead. I kept the poll for funsies, though, so it'll stay up and open until it gets boring, and feel free to change your answer as the story progresses. And, of course, discuss! Add your own thoughts/tell me how wrong I am/whatever.

So, let's talk about Marten and Claire. They've been together for what now, a week? (In-comic, that is; for us it's been about five months)  Gosh! In my first post on these forums, I mentioned two possibilities for them as a couple: they could either hang out for a bit and go on a few dates before deciding to just stay friends (doubtful), which still meant that with Jeph's storytelling pace we were in for several months of squee material, or they could embark on a serious relationship that played out over several years worth of strips, if not longer. No middle ground! Twoo Wuv Fuwwevva or bust! And we appear to be taking the second route, but at a faster pace than I expected: I assumed we'd be in for several dates with innocent hand-holding and such before they progressed to cuddling and chaste sleepovers before any sexytimes happened, but Claire had other ideas, and both of them have now admitted to each other that they want to let this relationship work. So we're in it for the long haul! Years of strips to look forward to! I'm not necessarily talking wedding bells, mind you (although Tai and Veronica have probably started scheming together), but Claire and Marten certainly have the potential to be a long-term couple. Knock on wood, of course: something could happen to break them up sooner than expected, which is what I wanted to explore in this post. The last hundred strips were full of squee- and d'awww-worthy moments, but now that they seem to be settling down (well, maybe), there is plenty of room in the relationship for some conflict to emerge. With that in mind, there are several questions we need to answer:

(Note: I decided to put each part of this post under spoilers due to length)

1. Who is Marten?
(click to show/hide)

2. What does Marten want?
(click to show/hide)

3. Who is Claire?
(click to show/hide)

4. What does Claire want?
(click to show/hide)

So, what next?
There is a lot to consider about Marten and Claire, separately and as a couple, and a lot of potential for the both of them to grow as characters. So with that in mind, here's a short summary of what I would like to see happen next:
(click to show/hide)

Aaaand those are my thoughts on what the future has in store for the S. S. Claireten. tl;dr: Anything can happen. What are your thoughts? Let's discuss!

[Edited to fix minor typos and factual errors, change the thread title, and to expand on some thoughts.]
« Last Edit: 28 Feb 2015, 20:22 by Gladstone »
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Aziraphale

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #1 on: 22 Feb 2015, 14:59 »

Certain aspects of Jeph's life were reflected in the earlier strips, by his own admission; as he's aged/grown up, he's mentioned that those things have diverged. This is by no means the most random thought I've had, but it's up there: If Marten's young Jeph, what are the odds that some aspects of Claire are old(er) Jeph (at least in terms of having a bit more ambition and focus)?

And if he can get up off his ass, Marten making a living with his music isn't that far off base; speaking of his creator, I kinda doubt if Jeph knew when he started this thing more than a decade ago that it'd become what it is now; the important thing is, at some point, he did start, and took the leap of faith into doing it full-time. He can, in other words, write Marten's growth from a position of experience that a lot of people don't have. Whether he's comfortable doing that is something else altogether, but it could take the story in some interesting directions.

The Marten-Claire dynamic as a couple... all I'm going to say about that is if you've ever been someone's first real relationship when you've got some experience under your belt, that does have its challenges. There's a huge vein of material there, not all of which would have to end in heartbreak (even though there're bound to be some rocky moments in between).

I've mentioned elsewhere that I think the long series of strips focusing on the two of them was so that he could firmly establish them as a couple and then move on to other things. They, and their relationship, would still be in the strip, obviously, but in some ways it'd be a lot like Steve and Cosette's relationship; it's backgrounded to some degree, so we just assume everything's humming along alright unless/until we're told otherwise. That lets Jeph move on to other things without a metric shit ton of speculation about what Claireten's status is.

And, as you mention, there's still plenty to be explored with both of them as individuals rather than as a couple. I'd really like to see some of those things delved into, since one of the biggest signs of a healthy relationship (IMHO) is that the people involved have lives that don't just revolve around what they are with/to each other.
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BenRG

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #2 on: 22 Feb 2015, 15:12 »

I voted for Jim and Veronica's wedding bells, mostly because this does seem to be where Veronica's arc has been going from the time of Henry and Maurice's wedding. Remember the cry of "Oh God! I'm so lonely!" What Veronica is looking for now in her life is stability and somewhere she can have real, meaningful roots. Not the professional links that she has and seems to be the closest thing to a 'family' she has but personal roots of a kith and kin type.

This will relate to Marten in one important way. I think that Marten, too, is seeing too many empty spaces in his life. That's more than anything else why he's been looking at Claire differently. She is, bizarrely enough, probably the most normal girl he knows. That's what he desires - normal, settled and predictable. He's had enough of drama and he's had enough of exotic. I think that he's taken to heart what Tai said about not rejecting good enough just because it isn't his heart's desire come true. He's decided that he should value the existing good things in his life and treasure them; go with what he has rather than wait forever for a perfection that may never come.

What's their future? If the relationship lasts, I can see it being very, very long-term. Wedding bells and everything. Although I get the impression that Jeph isn't a great fan of little kids, I can see Marten and Claire settling down and, after Claire graduates, starting a family. Maybe they'll adopt or, maybe, depending on how advanced medical technology is in the QC-verse, Claire may have had a uteroplasty as part of her gender reassignment treatment. Or, hell, one of Marten's friends may volunteer to carry a child for them. No matter the mechanics (and it would be in Jeph's nature simply to 'take it as read' when it comes to the mechanics), I can see, in the distant future, a mellow, red-head girl and a punning, prickly black-haired boy helping the cast earn their grey hairs.

But there is a big 'in between' standing there. An 'in between' that could be filled with anything. Dora and Tai asking Marten to father their child? Emily joining Deathmole as keyboardist (leading to Amir finally getting to tell Natalie to take a running jump)? Clinton turning out to be a grade-A ass and making Emily cry on their 'not-a-date'? Claire deciding to walk on the wild side with Marten for a while, leading to a brief phase of sex, intoxicants and rock-and-roll during a short period when the Indy Hipsters are treating Deathmole as flavour-of-the-month? None of these are inconceivable. We'll just have to wait and see!
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #3 on: 22 Feb 2015, 15:34 »

I suspect that next for Marten and Claire is a whole lot of nothing.

I want to elucidate, but my thoughts run in directions that will certainly derail the thread. I do not wish to do that.

Gladstone

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #4 on: 22 Feb 2015, 17:17 »

Certain aspects of Jeph's life were reflected in the earlier strips, by his own admission; as he's aged/grown up, he's mentioned that those things have diverged. This is by no means the most random thought I've had, but it's up there: If Marten's young Jeph, what are the odds that some aspects of Claire are old(er) Jeph (at least in terms of having a bit more ambition and focus)?

[Snip]

Huh, I hadn't considered that.  Good thought!

Quote from: Aziraphale
I've mentioned elsewhere that I think the long series of strips focusing on the two of them was so that he could firmly establish them as a couple and then move on to other things. They, and their relationship, would still be in the strip, obviously, but in some ways it'd be a lot like Steve and Cosette's relationship; it's backgrounded to some degree, so we just assume everything's humming along alright unless/until we're told otherwise. That lets Jeph move on to other things without a metric shit ton of speculation about what Claireten's status is.

Yeah, that was my conclusion near the end of this arc as well.  Near the beginning, though, I assumed they would go a lot slower, but I wasn't considering the questions other readers were raising regarding them as a couple.  It makes sense now that Jeph felt he needed to drive the point home several times with a very large mallet before moving on, and I hope you're right that we do move on and let more of their relationship happen off-panel.

What's their future? If the relationship lasts, I can see it being very, very long-term. Wedding bells and everything. Although I get the impression that Jeph isn't a great fan of little kids, I can see Marten and Claire settling down and, after Claire graduates, starting a family.

[...]

But there is a big 'in between' standing there. An 'in between' that could be filled with anything. Dora and Tai asking Marten to father their child? Emily joining Deathmole as keyboardist (leading to Amir finally getting to tell Natalie to take a running jump)?

Jeph said no babies!  And Natasha has been gone for a while now.

I suspect that next for Marten and Claire is a whole lot of nothing.

I want to elucidate, but my thoughts run in directions that will certainly derail the thread. I do not wish to do that.

Well, I did write this piece under the assumption that Marten and Claire are Going Places, but I won't stop anyone who assumes otherwise.  Elucidate away, if you like.
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Omega Entity

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #5 on: 22 Feb 2015, 17:20 »

A small correction - There's already 3 employees at the library, as Momo is also employed there and not an intern.
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Gladstone

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #6 on: 22 Feb 2015, 17:25 »

Oops, forgot about her.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Fixed! 
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #7 on: 22 Feb 2015, 23:32 »

I agree with pretty much everything in this thread, particularly the idea that Jeph has changed his writing style as he matures. The comic has really come a long way.

I've often wondered about the development of the characters and how (or if!) Jeph is going to develop them in the future. I personally, like, I suspect, so many others, began to get my life together during my twenties and started making real relationship, job and future decisions rather than just drifting along like many of the QC cast seem to have been doing.

I would really hope that we will see some real character development in the next batch of strips - Dora and Faye (and arguably, Marten too) are at a point where they have to make some difficult decisions at some point in the near to middle future. Going to be very interesting to see how it pans out.

And if I may have a personal wish - Marten/Claire wedding arc at some point please don't break them up Jeph!
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #8 on: 23 Feb 2015, 01:01 »

While we need to be shown a bit more substance, I think fundamentally they're a solid couple that's good for each other. They've got traits that can either cause some friction or maybe rub off on each other in a positive way. Or both.

Y'know, as long as the right traits rub off. We could end up with a stuck up judgmental Marten and a lazy Claire who doesn't know what to do with herself  :-P
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #9 on: 23 Feb 2015, 01:07 »

Happily.  Ever.  After.  And until then, I'll just be standing over here with my fingers in my ears, humming a little tune.  lalalala
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BenRG

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #10 on: 23 Feb 2015, 01:22 »

What's their future? If the relationship lasts, I can see it being very, very long-term. Wedding bells and everything. Although I get the impression that Jeph isn't a great fan of little kids, I can see Marten and Claire settling down and, after Claire graduates, starting a family.

[...]

But there is a big 'in between' standing there. An 'in between' that could be filled with anything. Dora and Tai asking Marten to father their child? Emily joining Deathmole as keyboardist (leading to Amir finally getting to tell Natalie to take a running jump)?

Jeph said no babies!  And Natasha has been gone for a while now.

Well, as I understood it, Jeph said no drama about babies and I agree with that. For example, no 'oh my god, it broke and I may be pregnant' soap-style story-lines.

However, I can see several story-lines he could pursue that would have children at the end of it. FWIW, though, I don't really expect it to happen until very close to where Jeph thinks that the strip is approaching its end and that the time has come to close off the remaining loose ends. You wouldn't actually see the Claireten and Taira spawn until the epilogue strips. Exact origin would, true to Jeph's attitude towards such things, be nebulous.

Regarding Natasha, this is just headcanon for me but I imagine that she's still in contact with Amir, continually going on about how Deathmole is nothing without her unique artistic stylings. It is even possible that Amir has some arrangements that require a keyboardist that were originally intended for her but (of course) Natasha couldn't play because she just wanted to make 'loud noises'. Enter Emily, who I would love to have this maverick near-auteur musical talent that is so automatic for her that she doesn't really think about it. ("I can play Pokémon game tunes with my eyes closed!")

Amir makes a point of dragging Natasha over to a rehearsal to finally hammer it home into the harridan's solid titanium-like skull that she isn't needed anymore.
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ASB84

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #11 on: 23 Feb 2015, 01:41 »

With a lot of other plot arcs left to resolve, it wouldn't hurt to put them on the backburner for a bit. That's not to say they shouldn't be featured or anything, but focus on their interactions with other characters and spend some time with those other arcs.

As for their future, I think the comic should treat them as it has most other couples that have gotten any significant amount of "screen time" thus far: show that they're in a relationship, have them hanging out and doing stuff together, talking about whatever, the same as any other couple. I think the important thing for any of their arcs moving forward is that there's more to the story than "Look how cute they are together!"; have any cute moments be a part of the proceedings, not the point of the proceedings.
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #12 on: 23 Feb 2015, 13:32 »

Questionable Content: The Next Generation
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Kugai

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #13 on: 23 Feb 2015, 13:46 »

At least he won't be the JJ Abrams of the group.
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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #14 on: 23 Feb 2015, 14:34 »

Ahem

P.S.: I know we're talking about the future here, but it was necessary.
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Gladstone

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Re: Marten and Claire: The Future
« Reply #15 on: 23 Feb 2015, 16:28 »

Ahem

P.S.: I know we're talking about the future here, but it was necessary.

Hey, nothing wrong with the occasional lens flare if it looks awesome.  It only becomes a problem when you have light reflecting off of every available surface and making it impossible to see anything going on.  Hannelore's dad was smart enough to avoid that when he had the Station built.

In related news, I edited the above essay to expand on my conclusion a bit (the original seemed too abrupt), but I didn't really add anything new that we haven't discussed already.  My only real achievement was breaking the 20,000-character limit, which I did not know was a thing.

Also changed the thread title to something more exciting, and probably jinxed the relationship.  You can blame me if they break up later this week.
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Yes, I was the only one who voted for "HAHAHAHAHA I can't keep a straight face."
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mustang6172

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Claire has to die.

Marten and Faye are the Daphne and Niles of this comic.  We've known since strip 4 that Faye is supposed to be the love interest.  We just can't get to that point until Jeph runs out of ideas.  Before we can get there, this relationship has to end.

Marten would never initiate the breakup.  Initiating a breakup makes a protagonist unlikeable.

Claire would never initiate the breakup.  She doesn't think anyone else could measure up to Marten and still be into her.

Thanks to Game of Thrones, we now live in a world where main characters can die anytime without foreshadowing.
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You're horrible. 

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Gladstone

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Claire has to die.

Marten and Faye are the Daphne and Niles of this comic.  We've known since strip 4 that Faye is supposed to be the love interest.  We just can't get to that point until Jeph runs out of ideas.  Before we can get there, this relationship has to end.

Nope.

Nope nope nope nope nope.

NOPE.

Preeeeetty sure Jeph (and Veronica)(and EVERYONE ELSE) disagrees with you
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Just adding my NOPE to the NOPE pile here.
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Hybris

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Claire has to die.

Marten and Faye are the Daphne and Niles of this comic.  We've known since strip 4 that Faye is supposed to be the love interest.  We just can't get to that point until Jeph runs out of ideas.  Before we can get there, this relationship has to end.

Marten would never initiate the breakup.  Initiating a breakup makes a protagonist unlikeable.

Claire would never initiate the breakup.  She doesn't think anyone else could measure up to Marten and still be into her.

Thanks to Game of Thrones, we now live in a world where main characters can die anytime without foreshadowing.

Idea:
Que Faye and Claire talking outside CoD, car comes in crashes into them or nearby, Marten rushes out and see both girls out cold but the car is on fire!, He hesitates for a moment before grabbing Faye and dragging her to safety, then just as he turns around to get Claire car explodes killing Claire, Marten spends a few days in the hospital with shrapnel wounds fighting himself as he tries to explain to himself why he picked Faye over Claire. (Pardon the short hand.)

^That is the nicest way to permanently kill off Claire.

Now as much as I dislike Claire I will be generous and say that maybe in the coming months things just quietly peter out and neither Marten or Claire can explain why they just fell apart, or Claire after gaining relationship experience wants to simply see other people, maybe even try to initiate a relationship under her own power essentially outgrowing Marten. Marten of course being Marten while being bummed supports Claire in her choice. Maybe combine this with Clair moving to say San Fran or other great distance or have her hook up with a random girl from the college.

Beyond this I feel fairly safe in Claire\Marten not being permanent again because so much of Marten thus far is increasingly out of character for him and he is going to eventually hit a critical failure point (kinda like Faye right now) in which EVERYTHING falls including Claire. The question is how long do we have to wait for that moment and could we get a extra long strip out of it?
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Gladstone

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ASB84

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I thought the true ending had already been revealed? I mean, we're all prepared to laugh it off and dismiss it because it's Yelling Bird, but what better way to keep the final twist unexpected to the end?
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Claire has to die.


We've all gotten together and I was asked to extend you an invitation. There's a wedding being thrown at The Twins and well, after your thoughts on Claire's future we'd just love for you to attend.

The forum sends its regards.
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I hear there will be live music. It'll make you feel right as rain.
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Though it can take many torpedoes one submarine can sink a ship.

Mustang if you aren't too busy I invite you join me in my armored Sub bunker the food isn't as good as the wedding but there will be far less of your blood flying around.
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I don't know whether to be mad at the idea of killing off Claire or mad at the idea of Marten and Faye actually being endgame.

And that makes me angry.
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Hybris, I may have to take you up on that offer.

Claire has to die.

Marten and Faye are the Daphne and Niles of this comic.  We've known since strip 4 that Faye is supposed to be the love interest.  We just can't get to that point until Jeph runs out of ideas.  Before we can get there, this relationship has to end.

Nope.

Nope nope nope nope nope.

NOPE.

Preeeeetty sure Jeph (and Veronica)(and EVERYONE ELSE) disagrees with you.

Great humor can be found in ironic false predictions.

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Gladstone

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Jeph put a lot of thought and care into introducing Claire, and he is not going to set her up with the main character only to kill her off for cheap drama.  Full stop.

So many nopes.

(That should have been my first response.  I'm sorry that it wasn't.)
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2015, 21:18 by Gladstone »
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I love Claire. I don't see her and Marten stating together mainly because this is her first relationship. Ultimately those rarely ever last. It's a good fot for Marten, but in my view because of her lack of experience it isn't a good fit for her.

I forsee a break-up (eventually) followed by a reconciliation (way in the future). Then maybe wedding bells and what have you...

I apologize for brevity and grammar, stuck on a phone due to burglary.
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Gladstone

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I love Claire. I don't see her and Marten stating together mainly because this is her first relationship. Ultimately those rarely ever last. It's a good fot for Marten, but in my view because of her lack of experience it isn't a good fit for her.

Yeah, I'm willing to consider that the relationship might not work out for reasons like this, because it's entirely possible that the magic might fade/one of them will outgrow the other/whatever, even though I really don't see it happening...unless Jeph surprises us years down the road, and ends the strip with the two of them amicably going their separate ways (OH GOD NOW I CAN SEE IT HAPPENING WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO MEEEE?).  But I will not entertain the "lol Claire DIES so Marten can kiss FAYE!" idea.  It's awful and absurd for so many reasons.
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2015, 23:08 by Gladstone »
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Rghfrgl

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How I Met Your Mother all over again!
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Storel

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I can't believe you called this thread "God Himself Could Not Sink This Ship". You DO remember what happened when someone said exactly that about the Titanic, don't you?? God said "Oh, yes I can!" and found himself just the right iceberg to do it. On the ship's very first voyage, no less. God don't waste no time when he's pissed off.

Why would you tempt fate like that? You're just daring QC's god, Jeph, to find some way to sink this ship!

Ohhhhhh, I see. That's what you WANT!! All this blather about how Marten and Claire are so perfect together is just to hide your real feelings. You want the SS Claireten to sink without a trace, so you're doing everything you can to sabotage it! Well, now we're on to you, and we'll do everything we can to foil your dastardly plot! Who's with me?? Charge the barricades!!!
 
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BenRG

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I can't believe you called this thread "God Himself Could Not Sink This Ship". You DO remember what happened when someone said exactly that about the Titanic, don't you?? God said "Oh, yes I can!" and found himself just the right iceberg to do it. On the ship's very first voyage, no less. God don't waste no time when he's pissed off.

Somewhat off-topic but this is sort of an urban legend. Actually, no-one on the Titanic or involved in her construction or operation said those infamous words. They were drawn from an Op-Ed in a British newspaper at the time of her launch, lauding the innovations like water-tight subdivisions that, theoretically at least, made it a lot harder for the ship to sink due to a hull breach.

I suppose the point is that 'god' (Jeph, in this case) doesn't want to break them apart; for some reason he has a big personal emotional stake in them.
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Zebediah

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I don't know whether to be mad at the idea of killing off Claire or mad at the idea of Marten and Faye actually being endgame.

And that makes me angry.

Why choose? You can be mad about both!  :x
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BenRG

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Crazy Shipper Idea:
Some time in the immediate future, Claire and Martin go through a 'wild and crazy' phase where they try to 'spice up' their lives (even Tai is a bit worried). Amongst the consequences is a series of poly dates (Marten x Claire x ???). In essence almost every possible Marten x ??? ship is in some way referenced.

At the end of this, Jeph publishes a single-panel strip of Yelling Bird wearing a Trollface mask and no-one in the strip ever refers to the sequence ever again.
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Gladstone

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Looks like we're going to need a bigger NOPE.
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Mr_Rose

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DEPLOY THE ORBITAL NOPE CANNON!
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"I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." - Charles Babbage

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work it ᕙ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ harder 
make it (ง •̀_•́)ง better 
do it ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ faster 
raise your ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ donger

Zebediah

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Nope 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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MrNumbers

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Non Option Pretty Explicitly.

N.O.P.E'd.
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I was once asked to describe the sound of a dial-up modem to someone who had never heard it.

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rfrank dodelijk

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I think they'll both come to their senses in a couple of weeks and give it up as a bad job.

I like the car crash/martens choice thing though, and I think a throwing the cat in with the pigeons exercise would be good for the comic generally.

kill your darlings.
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Omega Entity

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How about tossing a serial killer in there? Then it goes from slice-of-life to horror! We have the 20-somethings, now all we need is a lake hou- oh wait  :psyduck:
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2015, 09:05 by Omega Entity »
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cesium133

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And Emily already has a ski mask and a hatchet. I think I see the writing on the wall. It says "All work and no play makes Jack... something something."
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The nerdy comic I update on Saturdays: Cesium Comics

Unofficial character tag thingy for QC

rfrank dodelijk

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it's Jacques. "all work and no play makes Jacques something something something."

would that be a meta comment if used in the comic? I can't tell these days.
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