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Ideas for new arcs; which to you like the most?

Roko's next moves to help May
- 5 (15.2%)
More on the Clinton-Elliott-Brun-Millifeulle quadrangle
- 4 (12.1%)
Claire gets a very weird job offer
- 4 (12.1%)
Faye's mother comes to town to meet 'my future new in-law' (awkwardness)
- 4 (12.1%)
A day in the life of Yay-yay Newfriend, the spookiest bot of them all
- 1 (3%)
We will rock you! The fighting ring is re-opening!
- 0 (0%)
Sven ends up trapped in a stuck elevator with May, Hannelore and Momo
- 3 (9.1%)
Marten goes to the music shop to learn how to fix guitars; things start getting weird (Ghosts? AI musical instruments?)
- 7 (21.2%)
Emily's other job - Dog-sitter extraordinare!
- 0 (0%)
Roko drags Milli, Beeps and Winslow to a synthetics nightclub; hijinks!
- 0 (0%)
Emily and Raven working together by telepresence on a faster-than-light starship drive
- 1 (3%)
An adventure with Tilly, Station, Dr John and Lt Porter on the ECI Space Station
- 0 (0%)
Actually, I've got a better idea... (Tell us!)
- 4 (12.1%)

Total Members Voted: 33


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)  (Read 3894 times)

BenRG

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So, decided to go in a slightly different direction here. I'm a fan-fiction writer, when I can summon up sufficient focus to actually put things together and actually write. So, rather than ask what you think is going to happen next or what you would like to happen next, I thought: Why not be a bit more imaginative?

So, here is a list of ideas I think are all slightly plausible arcs that could be written for Questionable Content. Some are more exotic than others but I would argue that none are unthinkable. What idea is your favourite?

Me? I like the idea of Marten following up his dream of becoming a musical instrument repairman. However, this is Questionable Content and Northampton. Nothing is easy or straightforward in such a universe. Maybe he meets self-aware musical instruments with very particular ideas about how they're to be tuned? Maybe there is a ghost of a failed composer still trying to work out that piano concerto? Maybe, like in Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger books, music really is magic... or at least sufficiently advanced technology.

What do you think? Feel free to throw your own ideas out there!
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #1 on: 31 May 2020, 12:34 »

BenRG : creativity :: Akima : debate
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #2 on: 31 May 2020, 15:08 »

We haven't seen Faye's sister in a long time too. Have her & Mom visit.  :-D

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #3 on: 31 May 2020, 16:27 »

We haven't seen Faye's sister in a long time too. Have her & Mom visit.  :-D
  Faye's mom, her sister and her girlfriend.  The one I suspect mom isn't that keen on.  Make for a "interesting" time for Faye and Bubbles.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #4 on: 31 May 2020, 18:00 »

Marten hasn't had a storyline in forever.  Time for his bus to come back.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #5 on: 31 May 2020, 19:24 »

New strip up. Glad there was no further drama. :D

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #6 on: 31 May 2020, 20:41 »

Marten hasn't had a storyline in forever.  Time for his bus to come back.

Sadly, it looks like Marten's tale is done...if Jeph follows the belief that there is no drama in a domestic life. It looks like Marten has been relegated to being an incidental character with the focus shifting to the broader cast.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #7 on: 31 May 2020, 21:55 »

There's an unresolved question about what he will do if Claire's job is out of town. Drama could ensue.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #8 on: 31 May 2020, 22:44 »

I'm torn between Roko and May, Emily's other job, Emily and Raven collaboration, and the fighting ring reopening.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #9 on: 31 May 2020, 23:14 »

Emily does strike me as the sort of girl who would create a Unified Field Theory whilst stoned and, when she comes around, not understand her own work (beyond thinking that it 'looks funny'). I also agree with Marten that the craziest ideas are always the ones that sound the most plausible when you think about them. That's the secret of the viral conspiracy theory.

Bubbles and Faye's body language is so nicely done in this strip. They're visibly happy to see each other and are so obviously been worried for each other. It's subtleties like that that mark Jeph out as at least trying with his art.

There's an unresolved question about what he will do if Claire's job is out of town. Drama could ensue.

I kind of like the idea of Claire scoring a job as assistant student librarian for Miskatonic University. It's only around the corner for her, relatively speaking. It has its own exotic vacation spot (sunken R'lyeh) and the town's herald is... well, he's just a guy who wants to hang out with the cool kids. He's actually scared of Yay and also of Emily for different but equally valid reasons!
« Last Edit: 01 Jun 2020, 02:23 by BenRG »
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #10 on: 01 Jun 2020, 04:52 »

Emily and Raven working together on reducing to a practical size while improving the data integrity to a high level of reliability of Instantaneous Distant Communication via Quantum Entanglement.  :psyduck:
They haven't even touched on the issues of multiplexing and signal switching as yet.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #11 on: 01 Jun 2020, 06:47 »

Union Robotics gets a really tough problem. Emily offers to help. Sam crosses two wires and ...
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #12 on: 01 Jun 2020, 08:11 »

Union Robotics gets a really tough problem. Emily offers to help. Sam crosses two wires and ...
So long as the next part isn't 'BOOM' or the AI getting fried that could be an interesting plot.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #13 on: 01 Jun 2020, 19:02 »

Back to Spooky and Roko. That was cute. It's actually nice seeing Yay/Spooky be unsure of herself.  :-D

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #14 on: 01 Jun 2020, 19:41 »

Huh - Northampton actually has a smaller permanent population than Amherst.  Having lived in Amherst, I would not have guessed that.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #15 on: 01 Jun 2020, 21:26 »

Huh - Northampton actually has a smaller permanent population than Amherst.  Having lived in Amherst, I would not have guessed that.
i

Is that 'small' by East Coast standards, 'small' by Midwest and Southwest standards?
We've got actual by-definition hamlets in the latter two.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #16 on: 01 Jun 2020, 21:42 »

Roughly 30k vs. 40k, so both small-ish towns, really.  But Northampton has city status and Amherst doesn't, and downtown Northampton looks more urban (despite UMass's 28-story library).
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #17 on: 01 Jun 2020, 21:55 »

Marten hasn't had a storyline in forever.  Time for his bus to come back.
I get the feeling Marten is at best a bit character now. I've had that feeling for a while now but seeing Marten completely abandon his dream (after Jeph spent years not even bringing up Deathmole at all much less ever actually giving them a show or something to get some progress on that dream) for something that is tangentially related at best is what cemented it. Marten's main purpose has largely always been to just prop up the rest of the cast to keep them all together and he's become not even particularly important in that capacity anymore. I think we've reached the point in the comic when Jeph could retire Marten completely and it wouldn't completely wreck the rest of the cast.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #18 on: 01 Jun 2020, 22:18 »

immortalfrieza was right: the secret of bonding really is dog pics!
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #19 on: 01 Jun 2020, 22:36 »

Question: when QC AIs see a canine for the first time, do they wave their manipulator appendages in the air and yell “doggy!”?
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #20 on: 01 Jun 2020, 23:40 »

The humanisation of Yay continues with a tacit admission that they do feel a certain amount of awkwardness about their past behaviour. Also, yes, it is possible that they suffer from mottephobia. :-P

So, what does Yay want with the work being done by Invisible Emu? I know that they're paranoid about being discovered, feeding into my theory that they're a runaway NSA communications monitoring system. Do they like the idea of being literally invisible? If they were, just how would they abuse that because of their instinct to snoop?

I wonder how long it's been that Roko has wanted to meet the SpookyPups?
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #21 on: 01 Jun 2020, 23:42 »

I was thinking of one of the Emily scenarios, then I was thinking of the space station scenario - then I thought, "Why not one where Emily gets a job on the station? Where her wild talents and imagination would be appreciated!" ( and generally safer - i.e., not among the general unsuspecting population!  :-P )

Heck, why not a whole spin-off on board the space station, with Emily among a population of fellow propeller-heads?!  :-D 
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #22 on: 02 Jun 2020, 01:12 »

I was thinking of one of the Emily scenarios, then I was thinking of the space station scenario - then I thought, "Why not one where Emily gets a job on the station? Where her wild talents and imagination would be appreciated!" ( and generally safer - i.e., not among the general unsuspecting population!  :-P )

Heck, why not a whole spin-off on board the space station, with Emily among a population of fellow propeller-heads?!  :-D 
I think the NSA has several black bag squads and a hojillion lawyers on standby to prevent exactly this situation occurring, mainly to prevent either Earth or Station suffering abrupt terminal existence failure because hypercardigans are bad enough already, thank you very much.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #23 on: 02 Jun 2020, 01:35 »

Union Robotics gets a really tough problem. Emily offers to help. Sam crosses two wires and ...
So long as the next part isn't 'BOOM' or the AI getting fried that could be an interesting plot.
I have a favored scenario that starts like that... and continues, in this case, with these characters to:
 
as the smoke clears, an OLDER BUBBLES stands in front of a glowing portal wearing an adorably domestic apron and holding a tray of cookies, flanked by OLDER FAYE, OLDER CLAIRE and OLDER MARTEN, who are all wearing body armor and carrying futuristic weaponry.

BUBBLES
Alright. Pay attention now, as this is where it starts getting weird. First: Have a cookie.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #24 on: 02 Jun 2020, 01:51 »

Union Robotics gets a really tough problem. Emily offers to help. Sam crosses two wires and ...

That's when things get weird... and potentially an insurance liability. It takes all of Emily and Hannelore's father's respective genius and Yay pulling a few strings but they do eventually de-merge Sam and Beepatrice. However, both of them do agree that their perception of the world has been permanently altered and their minds are still quantum entangled so, occasionally, Beepatrice finds herself answering questions Sam has been asked in school several miles away. Also, Sam has got in trouble more than once by blurting out the details of the latest experiment Beeps is carrying out in her day job.

Oh, and thanks to Beepatrice's complexes on the matter, Faye now has a rival role-model in Sam's mind. That said, no-one is really complaining about Sam developing a 'save the world' complex from Beeps desperate attempts to emulate Roko or experimenting with the ex-policebot's aesthetics.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #25 on: 02 Jun 2020, 02:09 »

Roughly 30k vs. 40k, so both small-ish towns, really.  But Northampton has city status and Amherst doesn't, and downtown Northampton looks more urban (despite UMass's 28-story library).
East Coast small, got it.

EDIT: American Midwest and Southwest small involves cities with populations around 500 people or less. These are cities due to the technical definition; having at least one place of worship, at least one store, and at least one government building (usually a post office). Granted, I've seen towns with 300 people that have 3 separate churches that are all different denominations.
« Last Edit: 02 Jun 2020, 02:15 by Gyrre »
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #26 on: 02 Jun 2020, 02:14 »

I like the idea of Faye introducing Bubs to her mother/sis/sil and seeing the reaction. However, I would be interested to see Roko going over to the apartment that Yay has with their other instances to meet the dogs.

Would allow for more exploration of how these instances are different from each other and give a counterpoint to Roko's own identity issues seeing this entity easily have multiple versions all with slight uniqueness born from their individual interactions in the world since they became realised. Plus you could have Roko think she's talking to Yay but its one of the others who reacts oddly to her compared to what she is used to from Yay.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #27 on: 02 Jun 2020, 02:17 »

I like the idea of Faye introducing Bubs to her mother/sis/sil and seeing the reaction. However, I would be interested to see Roko going over to the apartment that Yay has with their other instances to meet the dogs.

Would allow for more exploration of how these instances are different from each other and give a counterpoint to Roko's own identity issues seeing this entity easily have multiple versions all with slight uniqueness born from their individual interactions in the world since they became realised. Plus you could have Roko think she's talking to Yay but its one of the others who reacts oddly to her compared to what she is used to from Yay.
I'd be willing to bet money that they all take turns speaking parts of the same sentence just to be annoying/show off.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #28 on: 02 Jun 2020, 07:46 »

It can't really be a coincidence that both today's QC and the most recent XKCD comic both feature crabs in more or less similar ways can it? I approve anyway..
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #29 on: 02 Jun 2020, 08:24 »

BUBBLES
Alright. Pay attention now, as this is where it starts getting weird. First: Have a cookie.

"Here, take a cookie. I promise, by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain."
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #30 on: 02 Jun 2020, 09:27 »

The humanisation of Yay continues with a tacit admission that they do feel a certain amount of awkwardness about their past behaviour.

I wonder if this would be considered dodgy language in the QC world.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #31 on: 02 Jun 2020, 13:07 »

Marten will still be Faye's closest justafriend and he may appear as a sounding board for her.

EDIT:
Heartwarming new strip.
« Last Edit: 02 Jun 2020, 18:13 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #32 on: 02 Jun 2020, 18:47 »

Bubbles is taking exactly the right tone here.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #33 on: 02 Jun 2020, 18:58 »

For comic #4278...

crab  crab
crab  crab


That is all.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #34 on: 02 Jun 2020, 19:40 »

HUG HER DAMN YOU
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #35 on: 02 Jun 2020, 20:15 »

Okay now Jeph is *definitely* going to drop a past relationship drama bomb on Bubbles.

Or am I giving him Willis-levels of credit?
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #36 on: 02 Jun 2020, 20:58 »

The humanisation of Yay continues with a tacit admission that they do feel a certain amount of awkwardness about their past behaviour. Also, yes, it is possible that they suffer from mottephobia. :-P

So, what does Yay want with the work being done by Invisible Emu? I know that they're paranoid about being discovered, feeding into my theory that they're a runaway NSA communications monitoring system. Do they like the idea of being literally invisible? If they were, just how would they abuse that because of their instinct to snoop?

I wonder how long it's been that Roko has wanted to meet the SpookyPups?
At a guess, they want it specifically so that they --quite literally-- don't ever have to show their faces again.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #37 on: 02 Jun 2020, 21:04 »

Okay now Jeph is *definitely* going to drop a past relationship drama bomb on Bubbles.

Or am I giving him Willis-levels of credit?

"Definitely! ... maybe?"  :lol:

I don't read Willis, and can't comment on whether comparing Jeph to him is really "crediting" him.

I feel like if he was going to do that, he just would have done it, rather than have the characters process it beforehand. I don't see what such a development would explore that the current storyline hasn't explored already.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #38 on: 02 Jun 2020, 21:38 »

Marten hasn't had a storyline in forever.  Time for his bus to come back.
I get the feeling Marten is at best a bit character now. I've had that feeling for a while now but seeing Marten completely abandon his dream (after Jeph spent years not even bringing up Deathmole at all much less ever actually giving them a show or something to get some progress on that dream) for something that is tangentially related at best is what cemented it. Marten's main purpose has largely always been to just prop up the rest of the cast to keep them all together and he's become not even particularly important in that capacity anymore. I think we've reached the point in the comic when Jeph could retire Marten completely and it wouldn't completely wreck the rest of the cast.

What about Claire?
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #39 on: 02 Jun 2020, 22:48 »

The reason Faye is offscreen is because she fell due to dehydration in the form of tears leaving her eyes. That was romantic.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #40 on: 02 Jun 2020, 23:11 »

I'm pretty sure that Jeph is currently angling things towards a double or possibly even treble wedding. I don't have a problem with that and I strongly suspect that it would make economic sense! Meanwhile, yes, Bubbles, for all her stoic demeanour, is a being of the strongest feelings, love being one of them. She's been through lots of bad places but, here and now, she's seeing the sunlight again.

Meanwhile, it tells me a lot about Emily that I have no idea if she's come down yet or not. There is literally no indicative behaviour there at all!
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #41 on: 03 Jun 2020, 02:34 »

For comic #4278...

crab  crab
crab  crab


That is all.

I presume that is a reference to Monday's xkcd:

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #42 on: 03 Jun 2020, 06:55 »

Aww, Bubbles. :D

One reason I want her to meet Faye's Mom is that it'd be oddly reassuring. "My daughter is in good hands" or something.

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #43 on: 03 Jun 2020, 07:11 »

Aww, Bubbles. :D

One reason I want her to meet Faye's Mom is that it'd be oddly reassuring. "My daughter is in good hands" or something.

My preferred scenario is that Faye sucks it up and tells her mother all about Bubbles. The two ladies then travel to Savannah to face the music, only to find that the music is very pleasant. The ladies at Faye's childhood church are very pleased  that Faye is 'settling down' after a period of instability (with sad looks and whispered mentions of 'poor David' when they think Faye isn't listening) with considerable praise going to her starting her own business ("Better than all that silly 'art' thing, dear"). Some curtain-twitcher's enterprising son or grandson has looked up Bubbles's record on-line and found a long list of awards and commendations and this has led to the congregation deciding that she is a 'fine, patriotic young woman' and thus an ideal surrogate daughter of the community.

Last panel is a 'deer frozen in the headlights' Faye and Bubbles in their Sunday best at the church with locals lining up to welcome them.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #44 on: 03 Jun 2020, 08:18 »

I hope tomorrows strip starts with "art imitating life"

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #45 on: 03 Jun 2020, 09:02 »

Depart In Peace.

Bubbles is taking exactly the right tone here.

Making the most of what you have. A healthy attitude.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #46 on: 03 Jun 2020, 09:41 »

Some curtain-twitcher's enterprising son or grandson has looked up Bubbles's record on-line and found a long list of awards and commendations and this has led to the congregation deciding that she is a 'fine, patriotic young woman' and thus an ideal surrogate daughter of the community.

Being a veteran will take you a very long way in the South.

I would expect Mrs. Whitaker to require some time to get used to the idea.
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awkwardness

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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #47 on: 03 Jun 2020, 11:12 »

Roughly 30k vs. 40k, so both small-ish towns, really.  But Northampton has city status and Amherst doesn't, and downtown Northampton looks more urban (despite UMass's 28-story library).
East Coast small, got it.

EDIT: American Midwest and Southwest small involves cities with populations around 500 people or less. These are cities due to the technical definition; having at least one place of worship, at least one store, and at least one government building (usually a post office). Granted, I've seen towns with 300 people that have 3 separate churches that are all different denominations.

For what it's worth: city status is meaningless except in name. There is no real difference between the two anymore, it's all in how things are viewed. Easthamption, the only other city in Hampshire County(where Amherst and Northampton are located) has 21,000 people LESS than Amherst yet has been a city designation. Amherst could easily just be called "City of Amherst" but they refuse to lose the "charm" that being called "Town of Amherst" causes.
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #48 on: 03 Jun 2020, 11:33 »

There's a store in the background of the 3rd panel called Perhaps Computers? Probably run by Why Not Zoidberg?
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Re: WCDT strips 4276 to 4280 (1st to 5th June 2020)
« Reply #49 on: 03 Jun 2020, 11:34 »

I am wondering, is Marten ever going to get his t-shirt back from Bubbles? It is definitely going to be stretched all out of shape.
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