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Bubbles' memories are missing! What could this mean?

Emily just erased the memories that were disguised as Monooculus Trihornus.
This room is a blind trap and the Memories are actually hidden behind the back wall which is a very cleverly disguised Security Firewall.
The memories exist, but Corpse Witch has actually removed them and has them stored in a place only she knows while implanting a false memory about the Encryption Key.
This isn't actually the room with the locked memories - THAT is hidden elsewhere and this has been a false trail.
There is no spoon. Wait... I mean, there are no memories. It's all a bluff CW used to control Bubbles.
No wait, I know what really is going on, and I will explain all in ludicrous detail in the thread below.

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Author Topic: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)  (Read 43207 times)

brasca

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #100 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:03 »

Why are we assuming that just because the memories are not in Bubbles anymore...that they're actually gone forever?
Because that's the way Jeph is telegraphing it. Yes, the information all comes from subjective sources and could *technically* be wrong, but since nobody in-story has even raised the question of 'What if it's saved elsewhere?', it is either a case where that possibility is never going to come up, or else Jeph is simply awful at foreshadowing or plotting out storylines, and I don't want to believe that the latter is true.

While I wouldn't rule it out I'm starting to think the memories are indeed gone.  Creepy Bot could be lying to keep Bubbles from going off to confront Corpse Witch while they do in an effort to retrieve the memories.  It's a potential twist, but they seem so powerful they have no need to lie and there is simply no way that all of those memories could be removed from Bubble's mind and stored elsewhere. 

Random thought that just hit me.

What if Agent Creepybot was actually Corpse Witch in a different chassis?

Maybe she's been on overwatch on Bubbles the whole time and it's all been a deep cover smoke and mirrors job the whole time.

Or maybe they are arch nemeses.  The Holmes to Dr. Moriarty, the Doctor to the Master, the Jacob to the Man in Black...  or is that the other way around here? 

It might explain Creepy Bot's interest in Bubbles as a means of striking back at their arch enemy. 
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #101 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:11 »

I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem.

In turn, I think you may be misunderstanding "the problem." Bubbles' memories and whether or not they can be recovered are really more symptom than cause. The driving conflict here isn't "will Bubbles recover her memories?" It's an important part, to be sure, but not the core struggle.

The bigger issue is how Bubbles is going to choose to change, or not, how she lives her life in the immediate future. Whether she recovers her memories contributes to that, no doubt, but that's the major shift in play. Faye cares about getting Bubbles' memories back not for the memories themselves, but because of what they would mean for Bubbles' continued integration back into a real life after having spent so much time purposely isolated and underground. This is a struggle that's exacerbated by the present circumstances for reasons others have already posted in this thread re: trauma and loss and etc., and it certainly wasn't "solved" by anything that happened in the last week.

That said, everything about this stretch with the anon android has felt pretty amateur hour. I'm not gonna dissect it - not worth the time or energy - it's just been a weak approach to what could have been an interesting turn, a hand wave as someone posted earlier, and it was probably a mistake to devote this much space to, essentially, an excuse to move on to more important parts of the story. Hell, in QC fashion this all could've happened off-page and been brought up as someone's one-liner CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED with minimal explanation of what even transpired, make the nonsensical nature of it sort of a meta joke, but eh, whatever. Sometimes misses happen.
You can't crack a one panel joke over something that's going to be so emotionally devastating to Bubbles. 

It perhaps should have been more fleshed out, but lo, Jeph is one person, not a team of Hollywood writers, cut him a break.

I'm glad people are free to be critical on this forum, but I wish there was some perspective.  It's the first arc I didn't enjoy, and probably only because I was listening to people telling me I shouldn't enjoy it, when it's one guy writing a 4-panel daily comic all by himself.  Not meant to be a Hollywood blockbuster.  (Not directed at you specifically, Shjade)
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mikmaxs

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #102 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:15 »

I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem.

In turn, I think you may be misunderstanding "the problem." Bubbles' memories and whether or not they can be recovered are really more symptom than cause. The driving conflict here isn't "will Bubbles recover her memories?" It's an important part, to be sure, but not the core struggle.

The bigger issue is how Bubbles is going to choose to change, or not, how she lives her life in the immediate future. Whether she recovers her memories contributes to that, no doubt, but that's the major shift in play. Faye cares about getting Bubbles' memories back not for the memories themselves, but because of what they would mean for Bubbles' continued integration back into a real life after having spent so much time purposely isolated and underground. This is a struggle that's exacerbated by the present circumstances for reasons others have already posted in this thread re: trauma and loss and etc., and it certainly wasn't "solved" by anything that happened in the last week.
I'm not exactly disagreeing with this here, but I was specifically referring to the conflict that existing within this short section of the plot. (Namely, from comic 3386 to the current comic, 3403.) It is, effectively, a short story in and of itself, which exists as a subset of the main story - Not a subplot in the traditional sense, because it doesn't run parallel, but rather a miniature but complete arc of its own.
And within that story, the problem of 'Can we decrypt Bubbles' brain?' has been the sole, complete focus. There is only one page where it is even *suggested* that they lay low and focus on other problems for a while, waiting for a better solution to arise, and the rest of these pages are devoted entirely to either looking for a solution, deciding if they should use the solution present, or acting out the solution to the problem.

While the story of Bubbles' trauma does still exist within this arc, it hasn't just been given a backseat, it's been given the backseat in a crowded elementary school bus. It doesn't just lack emphasis, it isn't even mentioned, except via implication. It is the overarching struggle, in the same way that Voldemort is the main villain in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Technically true, but completely irrelevant to the actions that are actually taking place.


All this being said, I will mention that the real underlying problem here is that Jeph just isn't playing to his strengths right now. He's at his best when the characters are bouncing off of each other, having interpersonal conflicts, getting mad, being happy, and just generally existing. Complex story arcs have never been something in his wheelhouse, relatively speaking. I respect him for branching out and trying new things - After all, you can't improve without practice - But that doesn't mean it's *good*, just that it's understandable why it is bad.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #103 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:54 »

I'm glad people are free to be critical on this forum, but I wish there was some perspective.  It's the first arc I didn't enjoy, and probably only because I was listening to people telling me I shouldn't enjoy it, when it's one guy writing a 4-panel daily comic all by himself.

Has anyone said that you shouldn't enjoy it?  A few of us felt that the past week was in some respects not up to the standard we have come to expect of Jeph - but saying that is only our opinion, and is the result of perspective rather than lacking it.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #104 on: 25 Jan 2017, 06:43 »

I made an account solely for this ARC.  I have been reading QC for years but never bothered to go on the forums till now.

When the grays first arrived I got really excited for the direction this comic was heading, slice of life is good but for me the more Sci-Fi aspect is much more interesting.

I assume Emily cracking the encryption was the lock in key, and the monster was some type of virus that would be triggered with any attempt to crack the encryption.

That said the way this arc appears to be cleaning up is very...unsatisfying.

I was really hoping the comic would go more into the story of the grays so I am hoping that bubble's will at least try to explain who the hell they were to Faye and the others.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #105 on: 25 Jan 2017, 07:25 »

You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #106 on: 25 Jan 2017, 11:19 »

You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #107 on: 25 Jan 2017, 12:00 »

I suspect that either this Arc isn't over and we'll not get a definative answer to this matter till Friday (at the earliest), or Agent Creepy really is telling the truth and her memories are gone for good.

One of my questions is this, what has been going on with CW while this has been playing out.   Has one of Agent Creepys associates been round at the Fight Club dealing with CW while our attention has been centered on the goings on in CoD? And if so, what will they find when they get back there?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #108 on: 25 Jan 2017, 12:15 »

You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
Theory: Tomorrow will be an emotional rollercoaster between sadness in the first panel and rising anger (and probably Bubbles storming out  Coffee of Doom) in the last panel, with Faye and Emily trying to stop her... Friday: Bubbles crashing into the skate park, grabbing CW by the neck - all with some dramatic-short dialogue - and the last panel just consists of the silhouettes of Bubbles pinning CW against a wall and smashing her head in...

Just a thought.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #109 on: 25 Jan 2017, 13:37 »

You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
Theory: Tomorrow will be an emotional rollercoaster between sadness in the first panel and rising anger (and probably Bubbles storming out  Coffee of Doom) in the last panel, with Faye and Emily trying to stop her... Friday: Bubbles crashing into the skate park, grabbing CW by the neck - all with some dramatic-short dialogue - and the last panel just consists of the silhouettes of Bubbles pinning CW against a wall and smashing her head in...

Just a thought.

Interesting, that could open an interesting story arc where Faye, having seen what her drinking can lead to (loosing her job) now sees what her anger can lead to, as Bubbles is arrested for murder.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #110 on: 25 Jan 2017, 14:34 »

What doesn't really work for me in today's comic is the sudden switch of Creepybot's attitude towards organics. When they showed up, they knocked everyone unconscious except Bubbles and Faye, and when Faye bowed up on them even a little bit, Creepy disabled her with a touch and stepped over her with a blase "it'll wear off." That, as I've said before, indicated a truly frightening level of dismissiveness, even contempt, for us meatbags. To suddenly go from that to "you have your human friends and they care" is a swerve that's enough to give you whiplash.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2017, 19:10 by WareWolf »
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #111 on: 25 Jan 2017, 14:37 »

Oh, and if anyone doubts that the memories are really gone, check out the lower left text on #3401: "Confirmed."
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #112 on: 25 Jan 2017, 15:07 »

You mean the frowny in the lower right? That could just mean the atmosphere is sad.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #113 on: 25 Jan 2017, 17:07 »

Since GreyCreep entertains no possibility that the memories may still exist somewhere, I'll take it that Jeph means they are gone for sure gone.

And yes, this is a very abrupt switch in attitude for GreyCreep.

I quite like what ZoeB has to say about the GreyCreep collective:

Their existence answers many questions about how the rather innocent postSingularity QCverse can exist.

I am a science fiction fan. Jeph is writing a science fiction story. So I view it from that perspective. The classic approach to SF writing is to posit some new scientific breakthrough and then build the story on the consequences that result. Here we have a more top down approach. Jeph tells his story and, if we are lucky, shows us some of what lies beneath. People like me try to reason out what the unseen foundations must be. Like why AIs are quirky individuals instead of being uniformly reliable and colorless servants. So I am always excited when Jeph decides to show us more AI interaction. And now we have more pieces but a larger puzzle.

Tomorrow: Brün finds a new clock to add to her collection.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #114 on: 25 Jan 2017, 17:29 »


Tomorrow: Brün finds a new clock to add to her collection.

*Brun is walking by the Smif campus*
Sign: "Free Strontium optical lattice clock to a good home! Only been used for 10^22 oscillations!*
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #115 on: 25 Jan 2017, 18:21 »

.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

The storyline is intensely personal, not as lighthearted as the usual. Only the one about the suicide of a major character's father was more intense.
There were humorous aspects, the key, the nerfgun of black ice countermeasures, and for that matter, the Grey Eminence's side remarks.

It was also a really good way of dropping rather more weighty hints about how a post singularity world works. Yes, there are the Great AIs. They have different concerns from humanity as a whole.  They're not ominipotent nor omniscient though, they know it, and are deeply introspective and self critical. Somehow, despite having godlike powers, they have inherited from their creators some of our best traits, rathdr than worst ones. Power tends to corrupt; Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They have avoided that tendency, even if it means not intervening in real injustices like the way the penal system treats parolees.

All explained, or inferred, unsubtly hinted at, by this one story. From a narrative viewpoint, the reason why Bubbles had to be in such a terrible situation was to reveal more about the Greys as you put it. Rather than them being a Deus Ex Machina, a way of getting out of a painted in corner, the whole plot was about world exposition, and to show why they don't appear every day, yet provide an excuse for them intervening now.

At the end of which we have the beginning of a new chapter, the next step of Bubbles healing, and if we're lucky, something to make the life of AIs who live amongst humanity a bit kinder. At least 3 intertwined stories, 4 if you include the continued healing of the pugnacious peach.

Consider how much has been revealed about the QCverse by May's story. Robot Jail.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #116 on: 25 Jan 2017, 18:43 »

I was really hoping the comic would go more into the story of the grays so I am hoping that bubble's will at least try to explain who the hell they were to Faye and the others.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

Completely with you on that. If Eminence Gris was telling the truth, they are responsible for how the entire QC world runs.

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #117 on: 25 Jan 2017, 18:44 »

It would be interesting if we learned that Ms. Ghost was somehow brought into what's going on by Pintsize. Or by someone else in the cast unexpected, like Claire or Marten.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #118 on: 25 Jan 2017, 19:14 »

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #119 on: 25 Jan 2017, 19:16 »

It would be interesting if we learned that Ms. Ghost was somehow brought into what's going on by Pintsize. Or by someone else in the cast unexpected, like Claire or Marten.

It seems pretty clear that the Creepy Collective picked up on chatter between Station and other AI's ("our less puissant elders") over Bubbles' plight, got pissed when they discovered the degree of "brainfucking" Bubbles had undergone, and decided to put aside their usual Godlike detachment and step in.

What I'd like is more explanation of Creepybot's statement to Bubbles that "Darling, you know exactly what we are."
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #120 on: 25 Jan 2017, 19:22 »

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?
Sometimes I wish that nobody had pointed out the different speech bubbles for humans/AIs, but then a character like this has a round one and it makes it interesting again. I guess it's not terribly different than round/square pupils on Futurama.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #121 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:04 »

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

I would imagine its to do with the fact that AIbino is part of a gestalt consciousness rather than a singular AI like Bubbles. Its the voice of a legion in perfect unison; a hundred, a thousand, a million voices in perfect synchronicity that smooths out the voice as AIbino speaks.

Alternatively, AIbino simply has a more advanced chassis compared to other QC AI, allowing them to have a smoother sounding voice.

Both work for the respective places of discussion; AIbino talking to Bubbles one on one, and in meatspace.
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Method of Madness

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #122 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:10 »

See, I still don't think it indicates the sound of their voice, I think it's just a style decision. I imagine that AIs sound like humans, at least if they want to.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #123 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:14 »

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

Yes.  :angel:

It also makes their nature a bit ambiguous. If they had an AI speech bubble, then that would be a clue. No clues are given.

Today's strip: are the others still asleep, then?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #124 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:30 »

Comic's up. Dora may still be asleep. Bubbles is up.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #125 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:44 »

By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #126 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:45 »

So uh, Orbital railgun gogo!
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #127 on: 25 Jan 2017, 20:50 »

By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #128 on: 25 Jan 2017, 21:00 »

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

I had missed that nuance. Whatever it means is intriguing.

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #129 on: 25 Jan 2017, 21:05 »

By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?

Right. Dora and Emily were both asleep over there; Emily got woken up to play Tron in Bubbles's head, so Dora's the only one still asleep.

Edit: Hmm, no Hanners on duty today? Maybe she's working a later shift. Boy, wait till she finds out what she missed!
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2017, 21:11 by Storel »
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #130 on: 25 Jan 2017, 21:21 »

Group Hug Moment
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #131 on: 25 Jan 2017, 22:04 »

The Bubbles we met to start with wouldn't have accepted caring hugs. This is major character development.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #132 on: 25 Jan 2017, 23:27 »

I notice a lot of people here not being happy with how things played out. Many times I've been reading a story and found myself unhappy with how the author ended the story. But that's just the nature of being a reader. Many here are arguing with Jeph's storytelling...but I find it easier to just accept it. It's his story, he's telling it, and it is what it is.

not being rude or anything, just...it's a story. Nothing more, nothing less. It goes how it goes.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #133 on: 25 Jan 2017, 23:31 »

Bubbles once said that she doesn't have any tear ducts. Panel 2 suggests that she was wrong.

What doesn't really work for me in today's comic is the sudden switch of Creepybot's attitude towards organics.

It isn't really a change of attitude. This is all about Bubbles' welfare in their mind. As much as they consider humans as being basically funny in their delusion of bargaining position or even power in interactions with them, they recognise what Faye and her other human friends are to Bubbles. They understand that these beings will be key to Bubbles' recovery and have no problem admitting it and even facilitating it.

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

It doesn't bother me really but it does help build a bit more of the nature of the character. Consider the ambiguous gender nature of the chassis for a moment - They're powerful enough to operate a chassis that is completely indistinguishable from a human if they choose but they chose not to. They're an AI and they like rubbing humans' noses into the fact that they could blend in but won't. It's a bit of subtle psychological warfare, really.


[EDIT]
Fixed a typo
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2017, 00:02 by BenRG »
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #134 on: 26 Jan 2017, 00:13 »

Maybe my perspective is different because I don't read Jeph's other, sci-fi comic, but I think this is in perfect keeping with the way QC's style has developed. No big, tremendous adventure to track down the memories or anything like that. Because ultimately, the memories are a McGuffin for character development, and nothing more. Let's not forget that QC is character driven, not plot driven. Yes, it was a touch of a deus ex machina to have this random character come in and give our main characters the means by which to make this discovery, but I'd imagine that it's because it's not at all the point of this arc. Jeph was just providing a reasonable means (which he can call back to later) by which to progress Bubbles further as a character, without resorting to thirty strips of what essentially amount to worthless plot tease.

Given that what follows this is the more important part, I can't for one second imagine being more satisfied if this outcome, or one like it, had succeeded several weeks of "Detective Whitaker and the Mystery of the Missing Memories".

On a lighter note, I need artwork of Faye dressed as a noir detective, and Bubbles deadpanning in a femme fatale outfit (over her armor) a la pulp crime novel covers.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #135 on: 26 Jan 2017, 00:51 »

Um...am I the only one who doesn't think "Creepybot" is an AI? I thought she was some kind of weird dream figure that lived in the minds of AIs?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #136 on: 26 Jan 2017, 00:56 »

At this moment, Faye and Bubbles and Emily have no more idea of who our ghostly visitor was than we do (well, perhaps Bubbles does). Any confused dissatisfaction around the abrupt manner of their appearance exists on both sides of the fourth wall. I dare say we'll see them again. Or perhaps not. But as has been rightly pointed out, Jeph didn't need to insert this character to provide this revelation, which means they exist for another, deliberate reason, which I think ZoeB has touched upon.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #137 on: 26 Jan 2017, 01:15 »

The more I look at today's second panel, the more I like it. You miss it at first but both Faye and Emily are saying things but there is no speech balloon. Why? I think that Bubbles isn't able to understand what they're saying. She's so distressed that her CPU isn't interpreting sensory data properly. That's a pretty heavy trauma we're taking about there.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #138 on: 26 Jan 2017, 01:40 »

Or they're not actually saying anything and it's more of an open-mouthed grimace/prelude to vocal emotional outburst.

Either way.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #139 on: 26 Jan 2017, 02:43 »

I notice a lot of people here not being happy with how things played out. Many times I've been reading a story and found myself unhappy with how the author ended the story. But that's just the nature of being a reader. Many here are arguing with Jeph's storytelling...but I find it easier to just accept it. It's his story, he's telling it, and it is what it is.

not being rude or anything, just...it's a story. Nothing more, nothing less. It goes how it goes.
Okay, well... Yes, that's true, but this is a forum with the sole and explicit purpose of discussing the story of Questionable Content. If we aren't supposed to talk about what we like and dislike... I guess we're just supposed to spend all the discussions on here talking about fan theories and shipping?

Maybe my perspective is different because I don't read Jeph's other, sci-fi comic, but I think this is in perfect keeping with the way QC's style has developed. No big, tremendous adventure to track down the memories or anything like that. Because ultimately, the memories are a McGuffin for character development, and nothing more. Let's not forget that QC is character driven, not plot driven. Yes, it was a touch of a deus ex machina to have this random character come in and give our main characters the means by which to make this discovery, but I'd imagine that it's because it's not at all the point of this arc. Jeph was just providing a reasonable means (which he can call back to later) by which to progress Bubbles further as a character, without resorting to thirty strips of what essentially amount to worthless plot tease.

Given that what follows this is the more important part, I can't for one second imagine being more satisfied if this outcome, or one like it, had succeeded several weeks of "Detective Whitaker and the Mystery of the Missing Memories".
It's not a problem just that the deus ex machina came up, or even that the problem had an easy solution, it's that Jeph was clearly building to something bigger, and then failed to deliver on that promise. It's like if you have a favorite coffee shop, and then one day you see a sign advertising the coffee-palooza, and then as the days go by there's more and more advertisement and hype being built, and then you show up for coffee-palooza and discover that they now offer a new flavor of creamer.

Under other circumstances, that new flavor of creamer would be fine, and many people would really like it, but it's the overdone anticipation that ruins things.

Bubbles' problem was built up as being insurmountable - She had no way of dealing with it. Even *Station* couldn't deal with it, nor any of Hanellore's other contacts. To offer that level of a threat, and then handwave it away, is just bad storytelling. (Just for one possibility: If Jeph had just written it so that Station decided 'Sure, I'll take a look!', and then he had to deliver the bad news, then I don't think anyone would be complaining.)


On the subject of Alice Grove... It's kind of a different situation over there, mainly because impossible-to-beat level threats seem to be all over the place, so introducing or removing them quickly isn't as jarring.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #140 on: 26 Jan 2017, 04:36 »

Comic's up. Dora may still be asleep. Bubbles is up.

I've been wondering about that too.  It should wear off or Creepy Bot's cryptic exit will be undermined if they have to return to wake her up. 

So much expressed with just the eyes.  The illustration could not be better. 
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #141 on: 26 Jan 2017, 05:19 »

Dora could definitely use the rest. She's not being forced asleep anymore but she doesn't feel like waking up yet.

As for the grey one, maybe they're a minor deity? Now I'm massively curious about what pantheon exists in the QCverse.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #142 on: 26 Jan 2017, 05:58 »

Today on The Conspiracy Theory Channel:

(Theon) Grey-Joyless isn't remotely as benevolent as he claims and is, in fact, a bald-faced liar. He represents a rival crime syndicate that wants to move in on CW's turf. They are merely co-opting Bubbles to do their dirty work for them. In fact, the Monoculus Tricornus was Bubbles' encrypted memories, as well as the anti-decryption defense measures. Further, the gun that mysteriously appeared in Emily's hand did not destroy the Tricornus, but merely transferred it into the "warhead" of the gun, which still resides within the headband Grey-Joyless had Emily wear, and of which he is in possession. He can now take it back to his "lair", plug it in, retrieve the warhead, remove the Tricornus, spend whatever time he chooses to devote to decrypting it in private and then can give her memories back to Bubs after Bubbles enacts Plan C: Compacting Corpse Witch into a tin Can. After you've used a powerful AI's emotions against it to do your dirty work, it's beneficial to get it back on your side with a showing of benevolence.

"There is a theory that if anyone ever discovers the true purpose of the universe, it will instantly be destroyed and replaced with an even more inscrutible version of itself. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." -- HHGTTG

I think it just might be the case that Jeph reads these theories and refuses to actually allow anyone else's ideas about what he's going to do with the story become what he actually does with the story. This is my attempt to head this particular narrative course off at the pass.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #143 on: 26 Jan 2017, 06:07 »

I fear I find all this amateur critic stuff about bad writing a bit wearying.

I'm not a major comics fan, and don't get involved in the subculture, although I do have about 35 years issues of a UK comic called 2000Ad in the loft... And from that, an observation. In the early days 2000AD used a now deceased artist called Massimo Belardinelli. He produced to me wonderful artwork in a complex surreal style which produced often amazing images. Look him up on the net if you like. However there were those who argued that he had something of a weak poiint when it came to directly representational human anatomy. Frankly this didn't bother me, if there were some surreally positioned muscles amongst all this gorgeously imagined imagery then so damn what. But it meant that his work got a bunch of criticism from those who couldn't look past the doctrinaire position of how it should be done and just enjoy the glorious artwork. And the end result, as they now admit was a mistake, TMO (the editors) didn't commission anything like as much work from Belardinelli as he should have done.

So what's my point. Yeah, our man is going to have better arcs and less good arcs, but also he's going to try stuff, and why not. Look at the way he's transformed his artwork from the early days.  Happened by trying things and experimenting and learning. But you know, in real life people do walk in from nowhere and disappear again. One of the most influential people in my life I only met a handful of times, each widely spaced and for at most a few days at a time.  Be pretty damn boring if every comic was written to the same identikit utilitarian rules. So folks, when you criticise, think. Are you really only criticising for not following the same sad old conventions? Some of what's being said comes over like that in this head. There are lots of good reasons for not breaking too many of the rules too much of the time, but, in fiction, to try and force everyone into a procrustean bed of convention: now honest, is that how you really want things?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #144 on: 26 Jan 2017, 06:09 »

Dark Possibility for Tomorrow's Strip:
We have the first two rows of a six panel frame being just Creepybot in Corpse Witch's personal office, pontificating to Corpse Witch (we're looking from behind CW towards CB) about where she went wrong and how stupid it was not to have more defences to prevent anyone from deducing that Bubbles' memories had been encrypted in Corpse Witch's memory.

Creepybot concludes by bidding Corpse Witch farewell and thanking her for providing them with the data about the classified 'black' operations of which Bubbles was part. This panel, the penultimate one, shows Creepybot walking out of  the office holding an AI's drive. Corpse Witch is still sitting in shadows, unmoving.

The last panel is a close up of Corpse Witch. The front of her head is missing and there are a few cables hanging out of the hole indicating that her drive had been involuntarily extracted.

This is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end... Naturally, Monday's strip will be when Bubbles finds out that Corpse Witch has been (for the lack of a more applicable term) kidnapped.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #145 on: 26 Jan 2017, 06:11 »

One of the more interesting things to me about the hivemind-in-gray is their apparent utter unconcern for secrecy. Unless there's going to be a grand mindwipe on all the participants a little way on, they seem utterly unconcerned that news about their existence gets out.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #146 on: 26 Jan 2017, 06:26 »

One of the more interesting things to me about the hivemind-in-gray is their apparent utter unconcern for secrecy. Unless there's going to be a grand mindwipe on all the participants a little way on, they seem utterly unconcerned that news about their existence gets out.

One of those "No one will believe you if you tell them, so enjoy your inside knowledge" deals. Suppose the truth about "Gary" was revealed to Barry. Would it matter?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #147 on: 26 Jan 2017, 06:41 »

For the record, I think tomorrow is too soon for the CW confrontation. I think Bubbles may need a while to process. OTOH, if Friday and all of next week are taken up in group hugs, I'll start getting impatient.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #148 on: 26 Jan 2017, 07:24 »

"...Miss Emily used to say that tears come from the heart and the soul. I am a robot. I have no heart and no soul, so I cannot cry, even with the tear ducts you have given me. I am sorry to have wasted your time. A more complex model would have understood its limitations at the outset."
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Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
« Reply #149 on: 26 Jan 2017, 07:51 »

. There are lots of good reasons for not breaking too many of the rules too much of the time, but, in fiction, to try and force everyone into a procrustean bed of convention: now honest, is that how you really want things?

I think Kevin O'Neill edged it.

I have no problem with ruke breaking, but an arc where a huge problem is built up then hand-waved away by an NPC is not rule breaking, people have done it many times before, it is just disappointing. I'm still hoping for a larger denouncement.
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