SFP

sfp-5-112-for-web

Hey Toronto, we’ll be at TCAF this weekend, table 283, with books, t shirts, and more! TCAF is free to attend and is a really excellent convention with an amazing array of talent – more information here!

(Also, comments for today’s comic may take longer to post since we won’t be moderating as actively as usual.)

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.02.01 PM copy

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  • David Nuttall

    Re: TCAF, Just remember when you hear a weather forecast of 28 degrees, that it will be pretty hot this weekend around here, not below freezing. I have enough of the freezing stuff for a while and have no desire to see it until, say, November. See you tomorrow, along with a bunch of other favourite web authors.

  • Ryan

    I’ve got nothing clever to say about this page that Alison hasn’t already said.

    • Shjade

      I admit some slight disappointment it didn’t come to window-launching after all.

  • Adrienne Herbst

    Baby girl. I’m so sorry. It’s done. Nothing good can grow here.

  • ZBass

    Sitting here in the office reading todays page, I almost cheered out loud.

  • Thrice

    Oh my god, this feels so good. Alison, I love you.

  • Greg E Downing

    *golfclap*

    • Kid Chaos

      I think you mean “Standing Ovation”!

  • motorfirebox

    She’s not demanding that he reciprocate her feelings, she’s demanding that he not lie to her and deliberately manipulate her.

  • David Nuttall

    Patrick: But I liked that table…

  • motorfirebox

    She’s asking for them, yes. Anybody can ask, and anybody who gets asked can refuse. But refusing to share yourself is one thing; what Patrick is doing is something else.

  • Bravo, Alison!

    I’m trying to see this scene from Patrick’s perspective. I can see him saying everything he’s been saying, watching her analyze and discard it, knowing it wasn’t working and she’s not being persuaded by anything he says…that’s why he got so desperate and did the near-kiss thing. Now he’s failed to manipulate her and he’s flat-out asking her to leave.

    Either that or he wanted this outcome and has to keep up a farce of disdain to make whatever he’s planning work. But I still think at least some of this was personal and about pushing her away: reading between the lines he has a lot of pain and loneliness from his power and feels unappreciated.

    • Also, this may be my favorite page ever.

    • ampg

      I saw the hug and almost-kiss as a goodbye to their friendship, because he knew he was about to say something that would destroy it.

  • Zac Caslar

    Handily there was a tune from a few years ago that really sums this scene up for me:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXdhKyIEQpM

  • Sara B

    Man…I knew it was probably leading up to this, but it still felt good to read, because I’ve been wanting to hoist this guy above my head for weeks now.
    Also loving the hands on this page.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Seriously, at this point I think Allison should join us down here in the comments section. She’s clearly got a better handle on things going on in the story than I do!

    And seriously Patrick, don’t pout. Allison beat you fair and square, just own up to it.

    • motorfirebox

      It’s a live camera. Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind the couch.

  • lostjedi

    The entire argument, Patrick has been manipulating, bullshitting, and deliberately trying to hurt her on every level. Morally. Emotionally. Sexually. I’m not saying that line would be cool in normal interactions with anyone who’s shown any kind of respect. But here? Being outraged at Allison for using it is like blaming a victim of assault for land a blow on the mugger trying to stab them in an alley.

    She’s defending herself, and she’s doing a damn good job of it. But when he tries to beat her up emotionally, makes their entire relationship into an abusive, one-sided manipulation game and then wants to kick her out on the curb when she stops taking his shit? No, Allison’s not obligated to sit back and take that. And being pissed at him for continuing to manipulate and bullshit her is an entirely valid response.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      I feel like we’re engaging on the worst slippery slope of all time, morally weihing what kind of terrible behavior it’s okay to engage in in response to any kind of abuse. Considering the (very) real threat of physical violence *and* damage of personal property we seem to totally be forgiving Alison for right now, I’d say her perfectly legitimate anger is already gone a bridge too far BEFORE the demand, or outright order, that he should reveal what he has decided to keep to himself.

      There has to be a better middle ground between sitting back and taking that and violating the principles she upholds.

      • Rod

        Yeah, I sort of thought the fact that she literally had to talk herself down from apparently… what, killing him? Over lying and manipulation?… to be somewhat stunning.

        EDIT: Again, reverse the genders here, and keep the female as the protagonist, and I suspect most fans would be furious at the guy breaking tables and appearing to be ready to rip her head off.

        • Thomas Woods

          @Rod

          not kill him, hit him which with her powers is the same difference.

          but yeah after the last page the fact that she’s touching him knowing how close she is to losing it is worrying.

          which leads to the question is Patrick asking her to leave because the conversation isn’t achieving his goals or because he knows how close Allison is to losing it.

  • Llum

    Man, Panel 6 is probably my favourite panel of any comic ever.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Allison asked for some help capturing a friend who she feels is doing something wrong. Patrick is allowed to say no. But he shouldn’t have said no and “btw, let me insult you on a deep and personal level.” That is the main problem Al is having here.

    Similarly, there is a long history of intimacy between her and Patrick (friendship, mental and not physical.) His powers gave him the initial advantage in their relationship but now it is much more about a true friendship. She is not asking for a return of affection, just vulnerable honesty on a subject matter that has her worried and is near and dear to her. And again, Patrick is allowed to say no, but he also added, “btw, let me insult you on a deep and personal level AND emotionally manipulate you while I am doing it.”

    That is how I perceive the above scenario and I invite you to swap “powers” with “looks” and swap genders as I already have while rereading it. My opinion on Patrick’s current actions and Al’s response haven’t changed.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      Let me be clear that I am in no way absolving Patrick of anything. He betrayed her trust and proved to be the shittiest of friends. He’s clearly manipulating her with some intent and words fail me to express how much I empathize with Alison for how infurating being treated as a puppet is.

      And you know, my concern for the issue I’m raising would absolutely be alleviated if at some point in the future she would say “wow, I was angry and that jerk deserves every inch of my boiling hatred, but telling him I outright deserved to know his secrets was kind of not awesome on my part.”

      That the comic would not sanctify that way of thinking.

      • Rod

        Interesting to see if that actually develops.

        Down with double standards.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Yeah I recalled that present as well. I imagine it’s going to have a narrative significance of some sort when it is revealed.

  • Rod

    By this point, I can’t imagine it’s number two.

  • DawnCandace

    Applause

  • Rod

    Next bet: the present is an apology note for the treatment she just received.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      I like that theory!

  • Subbak

    I guess he was planning on making Alison angry for some reason, but clearly underestimated the anger he was going to get. Plus, now that she’s angry she’s seeing through his previous deception better, which only makes here more angry at Patrick. A small mistakes snowballing into huge effects.

  • motorfirebox

    The only similarity between this and the friendzone argument is that both involve demands for reciprocity. Other than that, they really couldn’t be more different, and demanding reciprocity as a general concept isn’t exclusive enough to the friendzone argument to make the comparison work. Really, the friendzone argument is fairly unique in being a situation where demanding reciprocity is an unreasonable thing to do.

  • Ian Osmond

    Unfortunately, I can only upvote this once. I’m considering making multiple accounts for the purpose.

  • Ryan

    I’ve mentioned it a couple times, but I’m pretty sure Patrick can’t read someone’s reaction to something before he says it (i.e. he’s a mind-reader, not a future-reader). So just like everyone else, he has to predict how someone will react based on past experience. The difference is that he has much more accurate feedback from past experience than we do. But past experience is not necessarily a perfect indicator of future results, for reasons that Alison ably explains on this page.

  • KatherineMW

    Wooo! You said it, Allison! Could not agree with you more! Patrick’s EvilMonologue Month may have even been worth it, to get to this!

    She’s spoy-on about everything, especially her last line. That idiot TV woman who wanted supers involved in US wars, and Sonar’s account of the superpowered War on Drugs, are enough to show she was right to get away from those methods before they caused more harm than good. Superheros in the traditional sense were only needed because of people like Menace.

  • motorfirebox

    Honesty is something everyone can reasonably demand from others pretty much anytime. That demand doesn’t have to be honored, of course, but it’s reasonable to get upset when someone is dishonest with you.

    That becomes even more true when a relationship exists. The onus to be truthful with others absolutely increases when they are truthful with you.

    That DOESN’T mean you have a responsibility to provide them with any information they request from you. It’s reasonable to tell someone that you don’t want to share something personal with them, even if they’ve shared something personal with you. “No” can be an honest response.

    This applies to the current situation between Patrick and Alison in that he could have asked her to leave at any time—not just tonight, but just about any point since she learned his name. The only reason he’s asking her to leave now is that his previous deceptions failed. It’s a continuance of his dishonesty, which is why it’s valid for her to dismiss it by pointing out her own honesty.

  • SClayton

    It’s not unreasonable to expect/demand reciprocity in any relationship. What makes the friendzone argument skeevy is the bait and switch in regards to what is actually supposed to be reciprocated, combined with the projection of that dishonesty into an accusation of moral/emotional deficiency on the part of the object of the subject’s affections.

    What Allison is saying here does not have any of those features. She’s demanding some slight reciprocity of the emotional intimacy that Patrick is able to extract from her by virtue of his mind-reading powers. Now, he is welcome to deny her that, and she’s welcome to walk away from their relationship. That would be fine. What he’s doing instead is using the intimacy he’s (forcibly) obtained from her as a weapon/tool (to wound? manipulate? annoy?) while playing an elaborate shell game with the intimacy she’s requested from him in return.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      That doesn’t matter. Patrick may be toying with her and treating her irrespectfully, and I’m absolutely not discounting that, but no amount of terrible/harmful behavior makes it okay for her to say she deserves a secret he doesn’t want to give.

      Because it she does, you’re essentially saying that a girl emotionally teasing a boy she has no intention of actually committing to “owes” him the affection he’s looking after when finally caught red handed.

      • motorfirebox

        Again, I don’t think she’s demanding the secret. I think she’s demanding the honesty. If Patrick’s honest answer is, “I don’t want to talk about it”, I think she would accept that.

        At least, in terms of her relationship with Patrick. In terms of his possible supervillainy, she really doesn’t owe him anything—he owes her for not throwing him in jail, and in return for that it would be totally fine for her to demand access to pretty much any work-related secret he’s got. That she’s only asked for an explanation of a few of his more possibly-villainous activities is continued grace on her part.

      • SClayton

        Not at all. Even now, Patrick has the right to say, “No, I’m not telling you anything,” just like the girl in your example still has final say over to whom she gives affection.

        But the bullshit manipulations he’s employed along the way gives Allison the right to be confrontational about his behavior. She’s being quite a bit more physical about it than is meet, but she has every right to demand he stop treating her like a child. If you follow the line of Allison’s actual rant, you’ll notice that she’s not demanding access to his secrets, just some honesty and respect in his treatment of her.

        In the case of your example, the boy in question has no right to demand the affection she’s led him to believe was forthcoming, but he has every right to demand she stop treating him like a toy of which she can just pull the levers to try and make him dance.

  • Perlite

    All well and good that Allison is calling Pat-prick on his BS and getting to the heart of the issue, but I have to know… WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cmqwbZa6_w

    PS: Patty, stop moping just because you heard that monologue twice.

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Almost my thoughts exactly. Patrick is a sore loser. 😛

    • Mechwarrior

      The box is full of cenobites.

      • Johan

        Dear lord I feel old for getting that reference XD

  • some guy

    I’m not sure if Patrick is going to tell the truth here. It’s clear Allison just doesn’t want any more bullshit but Patrick’s fight or flight responce has already kicked in so if there’s any avenue for escape he’ll probably take it. If that escape is a convenient lie, then I bet he’ll use it.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    All that would be true if Patrick hadn’t expressed friendship with Allison in the past. I don’t know. I hardly think that you’ve earned and deserve your friends honesty is a controversial statement (assuming they want to be your friend.) I mean, do you?

    “Friendzones” are about betrayed expectations, and they get such a bad rap because often one party wasn’t aware and/or interested in those expectations but the other party demands that they adhere to those expectations anyway. What Patrick and Allison had was established, communicated and held together with a shared history and now one is apparently going back on that in a nasty way.

    Betrayed one-sided expectations vs. betrayed shared, consensual history. One comes off as way more reasonable to me than the other. Does that make sense? I hope I’m not coming off as sarcastic. And it’s not like I’m totally unsympathetic. I used to use the term “friendzone” to describe rejection softened by friendship myself, until I saw all the awful baggage that term carries and realized it meant waaaaay more than just romantic rejection.

    (P.S. :Yeah, I think the audience is trusting Allison not to resort to real physical violence because she is female in this situation and we who consume western media are more used to seeing males act as aggressors. That said, if she actually does resort to violence, I think most of the audience here would quickly swing around with a lot of “WTF Allison?!” Also I think we are using to seeing senseless property damage with superheroes. :P)

  • Pol Subanajouy

    What do you think Allison is asking for here? I think that might be where we are parting ways. I interpret this situation as Allison asking if Patrick will help her find Moonshadow and him responding with a no and all that awfulness that followed. Then she shook it off and responded with a, “OMG WHY DID YOU LIE AND INSULT ME LIKE THAT?” What do you think Allison is asking for when she asked, “Why are you afraid of?”

    And if you want to catch Allison in the wrong, I’d actually refer to back when Allison thought dirty thoughts about Patrick mid conversation when she knew full well he was paying attention to her mind. THAT was not cool.

  • Markus

    Called shot: Patrick actually has feelings for her, but he hates the idea of having legitimate romantic attraction towards someone. He’s a virgin for the mental equivalent of Allison’s physical concerns. Nothing ever comes of it, because Patrick is too self-flagellating to let himself have a legitimate moment of human intimacy without believing his power is undermining it, but he actually likes her as much as she likes him.

  • ampg

    If a friend lied to you and manipulated you in service of some terrible secret, then yes, I do think you have the right to ask for an explanation. You might not get one, but it’s a reasonable request nonetheless. You don’t get to pry any random secret out of your friend to satisfy your own curiosity, but once your friend involves you through their actions, it changes the equation.

  • Kid Chaos

    More like The Reason You Suck Speech, but to each his tropes.

  • Sabriel

    I see she’s holding him by the shirt, not the neck. Good.

    (People were very upset about her lifting Miles by the neck. This is better.)

    • I’d be pretty upset by anyone lifting me by the throat. It’s not very comfortable. Shirt’s fine, because it’s more removed from strangulation.

      • Sabriel

        Strangulation wasn’t the main issue, actually. It was damage to the cervical vertebrae that people were worried about.

        I’ve always believed that it was a stylistic mistake, and that Alison wasn’t *supposed* to have been endangering his life.

        Anyways, whether or not I was right about that scene, I’m glad she’s not doing it again.

  • *massive clapping*

    Bravo, m’lady; Bra’F#*@in’o. That is what I was thinking

    Just, wow. Hopefully, most of what he said in the past chapter was a lie, because I liked him before, but I feel that there’s some sort of kernel of truth in it. He’s definitely firmly and almost scarily utilitarian.

  • Lostman

    Alison… you are running out of friends, fast!

    • Sabriel

      Eh. It doesn’t count as a loss if the friendship was a sham (as it was with her roommate).

      • Lostman

        Look; how is one sub-post to save the world when they can’t fixes themselves, Alison one day is going to face a problem that to big for her and she going to have to faces it alone.

        • Sabriel

          I hear you, but I don’t think that’s true.

          Things might be a little rough with Hector, but he is a real friend, and their fight doesn’t have me worried. Hector has her back.

          I think she could probably also convince Feral to take a break from her martyrdom, and Feral might bring some friends, including the teleporter guy.

          Paladin is retired from combat, but I think Alison could get Lisa to help.

          Mega Girl also has a following. People might come out of the woodwork to help Mega Girl even if Alison doesn’t know them (yet).

          I am still waiting to see how things work out with Patrick. I know how narrative structure works and I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. (If this were real life, they’d both be so out of line it isn’t funny.)

          Patrick is either going to remain her ally or end up one of the main villains. Despite how much I’m hating him right now, I’d bet on an alliance.

          I can also see things continuing to go back and forth with Patrick for some time.

  • Sabriel

    Hm. I’m not a fan of the friend-zone comparison because I really don’t like that sort of analogy (it bothers me when people use rape and slavery analogies, too, or say things like “woman is the n—– of the world”) but I agree with this central point:

    *Her decision to be vulnerable with him does not entitle her to anything from him in return.*

    Mutual vulnerability tends to be a cornerstone of friendships, but it’s not something you can demand.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    “No, I mean, the fire guy has been watching us from outside since earlier”

  • fairportfan

    I think she might be just a teeny bit upset with him.

  • Ryan

    In panel 2, she’s definitely spilling water on his computer… by catapulting them both into each other.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Just on the screen, no ?

      • Ryan

        That’s a Mac. It’s the entire computer.

        • Darkoneko Hellsing

          Argh.

  • Classtoise

    Well I think it’s that and also him realizing how strong she is. She’s so strong that the way to handle her going rogue is “Fuck it, find a new planet”. Meaning that when she’s THIS ANGRY, all she has to do is push her fist forward JUST too far and he no longer has a right side.

  • Kid Chaos

    He’s less afraid of her than he was at first, so he’s going to keep dodging the question. He’s more afraid of something else, and he doesn’t want to tell her what “it” is.

    • I think it’s his own feelings for her, but that seems like a cliché.

      • Kid Chaos

        And we must avoid clichés like the plague.

      • Justin Williams

        I REALLLLLLY hope that is not the case, because that is far too “Twilight/Random Teen Romance Novel” for my taste.

  • Sabriel

    Does anybody else get really excited thinking this comic is going to update on Monday? I lump it in with my MWF comics because of the Friday update, and then I remember that it won’t update until Tuesday.

    *The Saddest Face*

    I am on the edge of my seat right now! I need to see Patrick’s reaction. I need to know what’s in the box. I also wonder if those scientists are going to finally wake up now that Alison is breaking furniture. C’mon. I need the next update….

    • Johan

      Right there with ya.
      I AM SO FAR AT THE EDGE OF MY SEAT, THAT THE CHAIR IS BASICALLY IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT!

      Yeaaaah guess what I’m doing to keep my mind of it XD

  • Kid Chaos

    Could he possibly have uncovered a clue to the conspiracy? (SEE:
    http://sfp.nsch.co/issue-1/page-18/)

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      you should add a space between the URL and )

  • Jared Rosenberg

    Alison has a scar that blocks x-rays, magnetism, et. al. perhaps it also blocks telepathy. So there could be a part of Alison’s mind that he can’t see. Also I think Patrick’s emotions are clouding his judgement.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Oh no, the present on this page here.

    http://sfp.nsch.co/issue-5/page-100/

  • Adrienne Herbst

    ::golf clap::

  • MisterTeatime

    Remember that comment about how I trust you guys?
    ^_^
    Thanks.

  • Markus

    Or that he’s lying there, like he was lying for effect throughout that monologue.