SFP

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Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

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  • ALIBOT.THE.YARR!DEROUS.LESBORG

    UNTIL.OUR.UPCOMING.SWIFT.BRUTAL.GLORIOUS.AND.SEXY.ONE

    HAPPY.NEW.WORLD.REVOLUTION.EVERYBODY

    ⚙️

    • ALIBOT.117.THE.BINARYCURIOUS.

      QUERY.ALIBOT.PRIME: HAS.YOUR.OPERATING.SYSTEM.BEEN.PIRATED?

  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    Sounds like my arguments. “It’s not about you! It’s about the principles you believe in so deeply you make them the unquestionable basis of your worldviews and behavior! Totally different.”

    Also no mater how valuable information it is to have us know the scars extend to his hands, the “pat pat” is ungodly creepy

    • Shjade

      I dunno, seems like a fairly diplomatic gesture to me. It’s contact, but about as little and tame as possible.

      Honestly I’m a little more weirded out by his posture in panel three. For theoretically showing up to lend an ear and be helpful and educational he sure took up a defensive stance quick there.

      • Dean

        It doesn’t look that defensive to me- his arms are crossed, but he’s looking her in the face and leaning forward.
        And the hand-pat doesn’t seem creepy at all to me.

        • Shweta Narayan

          Ditto, all this seems like just. p good representation of cultural differences.

        • Shjade

          Maybe just me. I’d interpret arms-crossed leaning-in as more defensive/judgmental positioning than supportive, but eh. It’s not like he stays locked in there.

          • Shweta Narayan

            I think that it is in the west more than in India, where the head tilt is way more informative and is a go on I’m listening angle.

            But of course Molly & Brennan aren’t omniscient so IDK if that’s even what’s intended.

    • Vaporware

      Sometimes, I think it would be a much kinder world if people were better able to separate their ideas from their identities.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        There is *nothing* you can link to your identity without it being problematic in some way.
        Expect names. Possibly.

        • Tylikcat

          Barack Hussein Obama. I’m just saying.

        • Zac Caslar

          Welcome to Death By Identity Politics where what someone thinks is irrevocably part of their identity and where criticism of a idea is an attack on a person.

          No mistake: people are ideas as much they are as protein but the demand for intellectual purity is the root of great human evil.

          Including twerking. *ding*.

        • Weatherheight

          Cruella De Vil
          Cruella De Vil
          If she doesn’t scare you
          No evil thing will
          To see her is to take a sudden chill
          Cruella, Cruella
          She’s like a spider waiting for the kill
          Look out for Cruella De Vil

          At first you think Cruella is a devil
          But after time has worn away the shock
          You come to realize
          You’ve seen her kind of eyes
          Watching you from underneath a rock

          This vampire bat, this inhuman beast
          She ought to be locked up and never released
          The world was such a wholesome place until
          Cruella, Cruella De Vil

      • Seer of Trope

        It would be, but it would also be a world where no one will stand up for their ideas.

        • Vaporware

          Would it? Isn’t a good idea worth defending on it’s own merits?

          • Seer of Trope

            It’s hard to avoid adopting the idea into one’s identity because once you put in the effort to defending the idea, you are either wasting time or you are a believer of that idea.

    • Weatherheight

      Yeah, this is one scarred-up dude, for sure. his backstory can’t come too quickly for me.

      As for the patting of the hand, that seems generationally-linked to me. I know that those who are a decade or more older than I am do the hand contact thing a lot. I’m finding myself engaging in it more myself as I get older (albeit with people I’m actually close to, as opposed to those in a far less intimate relationship similar to Ali and Guwara’s).

      Don’t ask me why, though – I have no idea.

    • Elaine Lee

      Have we really gotten to the point that a comforting gesture must always be creepy? That is so sad to me.

      • Tylikcat

        It doesn’t strike me as creepy in this context, though there’s a lot of reading the tone and body language of the situation that we’re not going to get from a comic.

        It does strike me as symbolically important – Alison tends to feel very isolated (for reasons). Gurwara is reaching across that, in a caring manner, but also a “I am not afraid of you,” manner. I’m willing to take it on face value until there are indications to the contrary – but I suspect whatever his motive, the emotional impact on Alison is likely to be strong.

      • Incendax

        Less likely a comforting gesture, and more likely an attempt to build rapport. Because he needs her to trust him to do his job.

      • Shweta Narayan

        It depends on who does it and what readers are bringing to it, I think. I suspect who does and why would be informative to analyze, but since I disagree *vehemently* with the people who find it creepy and am pre-convinced that race is a factor, I’m not the right person to ask that question.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          If race is a factor in that regard, wouldn’t it be in the interpretation that the gesture is charming? And would it be less problematic then?
          To me, it’s more to do with age and social status imbalance embedded within.
          And also gender. Can’t get away from that one ever.

          • Shweta Narayan

            The meaning of gestures, touch included, is not universal, it’s culturally mediated. Reading Gurwara’s gestures through a white western lens is… well, it leads to different conclusions than mine, though given that I have things in common w Gurwara that Molly and Brennan do not, perhaps it’s my reading that’s wrong.

            But, and this part isn’t just about me and my biases: race is never irrelevant to power/status imbalances.

            Cis white women tend to have the balance of power vs men of color *regardless* of their relative social status .(consider that a white woman could get in the PotUS’ face and scream abuse at him without being apprehended. It’s *unimaginable* that that could happen, except in the case of a Black man dealing with a white woman, knowing perfectly well that anything he does would be read as predatory.)

            For cis white women, misogyny manifests a very different way than it does for any woc (or for trans white women the moment they get read as not-cis): as long as they are attractive to the straight cis white gaze they are precious objects for cis white men, worth of protection. This is horrible, yes; patriarchal thinking hurts us all. But it’s a different horrible from what the rest of us get.

            The
            rest of us are at best useful objects, men of color included, with the added danger for men of color that they will be viewed as tainting the purity of the precious objects, so anything they do can be read as predatory. (Not just men, either; little boys too. Consider Emmet Till.) And white women have always, always, weaponized that against the rest of us.

            Most media plays along with that, so media literacy alone means that readers are biased towards seeing Gurwara as the Scary Brown Man. But if there’s realism here, his social power wrt Al is extremely constrained and dangerous to use, and even talking to her is a *risk* he’s taking every time.

            So, you cannot look at age and social status and gender without taking race into account, or at least not without implicitly reinforcing white supremacy.

          • Ordinary Tree

            Shweta your words are so honest its painful. I sadly can think of examples in my own life where situations like that have happened (the cis white woman pre-judgement I mean). But until I read your post I hadn’t thought into it. Thanks for making me think.

          • Shweta Narayan

            You’re welcome, and I wish the world was kinder :/

      • FlashNeko

        I think it’s more an issue of how one views contact of this nature in general, both through their societal and personal lenses.

        Speaking as an introvert raised with a somewhat Protestant view towards these things, for example, Guwara’s hand pat comes off as him, at best, being a little overly familiar and, at worst, being way too intimate with someone who his only previous engagement with has been a very heated argument that played into the social power disparity he has over her.

        Even just the fact he stepped, unbidden, into her personal space at all, regardless of contact, could be seen as off-putting if you’re really deeply introverted.

        Now I’m actually going to be fair to the guy and say he probably doesn’t mean anything bad by the contact and is aware that Alison is enough of an extrovert that she probably won’t be instantly put off by something that’s more socially casual in his culture.

        That said, I can’t say I’d blame her or anyone else if they ended up thinking, “That was a little weird and uncomfortable so I hope he doesn’t do that again.”

    • Arkone Axon

      Actually, it sounds more like Guwara sees that Allison really feels horrible about herself and her actions, and wants to help her find atonement. She done goofed and she knows it. What she doesn’t know is if there’s a way back from that. It’s something the Scandinavian legal system (with its emphasis on rehabilitation), most religions (“Love the sinner, hate the sin”) and any good teacher worthy of the name would do.

      Or to put it another way, Guwara is putting into practice what so many gold and silver age superheroes would preach regarding supervillains, “if only she could be taught to use her powers for the good of humanity!”

      As for that hand pat… that’s hardly creepy. Hands are extremely sensitive, and touching them, stimulating them, is an excellent way to bridge the gap between people. It’s intimate without being sexual. You can hold hands with a lover- or with a platonic friend, or a relative, or anyone you wish to bond with, whether it’s for your sake or theirs. Guwara wasn’t being a “creepy old perv” with Alison (who is, after all, the strongest person on her planet and capable of ripping his arms and legs off like plucking grapes off a vine), he was being someone who could see how miserable and alone she was, and offering reassurance that she didn’t have to feel alone.

      • Zac Caslar

        I am disappointed your logical and thoughtful assessment of this utterly non-threatening (even to a conventional human) interaction has been so poorly received.

        I actually like the general SFP comments community, but it’s consistent failures at interpreting basic human interaction cues and incredibly generous philosophical challenges makes me cringe.

        • Ordinary Tree

          Zac its honestly probably because of the stereotype of webcomic readers being socially awkward introverts turning out to be true.

          • Huttj509

            “Your intent is understood and appreciated but please don’t touch me.”

            -Something I wanted to say, but didn’t, when I was having a panic attack and a friend was trying to ask if I was ok.

    • Ellis Jones

      The only person alleging Alison to be one way or the other is Alison. He never said ideas were seperate from identity, just that he hadn’t been saying she was the sort of person he had been describing.

  • Murray C

    Dude must work at a stray cat shelter

    • Weatherheight

      You infer this from the scars on his hands, or the way he’s managed to calm down one stressed-out cat before him? 😀

      • Khlovia

        Yes.

    • Robert

      Glad I’m not the only one cluing in on the scars. The professor looks like he’s traveled some tough roads.

      • Kid Chaos

        “Do you wanna know how I got these scars?” 😜

        • Zac Caslar

          Absolutely.
          I’ve got scars hither and yon, not quite as many yet a few for my hands, and in my case it’s not for enthusiasm for destruction so much as lots of manual labor with crappy gloves.

          Or things involving hooks.
          Or poorly managed chemical cleaning agents.
          Etc.

          • deebles

            I’d be worried about a non-accidental origin for those scars. Especially those on his face, given where on his face they sit and the way they cross each other.

            My guess: somebody abused this guy in the past.

          • Zac Caslar

            I’m going with “lifetime of gentlemanly duels” or “professional jaguar wrestler” or perhaps “fascination with massaging bears.”

      • Ellis Jones

        Owns cats.

        Edit: shit someone already made the joke

  • Hiram

    A helpful lie? Okay, how about. . . “I find you to be pleasant and fulfilling company, and that yellow tie and vest combo is in no way garish.” Hey, this is fun!

    • Shweta Narayan

      I mean if he’s Sikh that color is probably meaningful but ok

      • wahahaha

        Its not.

        • Weatherheight

          Well, according to SikhNet.com…

          “Below are some meanings of the Khalsa colours from a colour therapy perspective, exploring the many ways in which they influence us as Sikhs in our personal and spiritual development.

          The colour yellow has to do with our sense of self, our identity – who we are. It brings forth the emotions of happiness and joy. Yellow is most strongly associated with the brain and mental faculties, giving rise to focus and clarity of thought, it is helpful to learning and the gathering of knowledge. In general terms; knowing your direction and what you are doing in life.”

          Not a bad color for a teacher or professor to wear regularly, actually…

          And thank you for making ask a question and finding an new interesting website. 😀

          • Wahahaha

            The colours are explored from a colour therapy perspective, not a theological one. The 4 main colours (yellow/orange, blue, red, white) are mentioned a couple of times in the guru granth sahib there’s not that great a meaning behind it. Culturally yellow was the colour of harvest. Yellow flags are displayed outside gurudwaras but have changed around a bunch of times. They’re flags to show “hey we’re here!”. I doubt he’s choosing to wear yellow because its theologically important. Probably just wearing yellow because it annoys his wife or kids.

          • Weatherheight

            Neat!
            One of the things I enjoy about this webcomic is the level of serendipity when folks start exploring things and sharing thoughts. Levels upon levels upon levels for interpretation show up.

            Personally, I think the yellow looks good on him. 😀

          • Elaine Lee

            Thanks for the interesting info! But he’s probably just wearing a yellow tie because it is part of the color palette Molly chose for this scene. Matches Alison’s hair. Early morning sunrise.

          • Shweta Narayan

            I trust, and *really* hope, that Molly’s more culturally sensitive than that.

          • Hiram

            It would be interesting if the clothes had some cultural connotations, and it’s always great to have such things represented accurately and well. I don’t really think it qualifies as culturally insensitivity if an artist serendipitously rather than intentionally uses a color with possible significance to the maybe-cultural-background of a person they drew. If we find out later he’s from India or Myanmar it will be an interesting point to consider. For now. . . well to quote a napkin I once found – “You might be reading too much into this.”

            Really, though I was just thinking Alison was due a good snark.

            Oh, and this is apropos of the discussion of color in general, but it’s interesting that they’re associating yellow light with wakefulness. I know that a lot of artificial ‘warm’ or ‘yellow’ lighting doesn’t produce the wavelengths blue light that are supposed to activate the photo-receptors in your eyes that have something or other to do with (melatonin?) production that keeps you awake and helps regulate you circadian rhythm.

          • Shweta Narayan

            we’re going ot have to agree to disagree on that one. I’ll grant it’s the default, but the default is a great deal of cultural insensitivity. That’s part of why this is one of my fave webcomics, the fact that I *can* trust it’s not that.

          • Tylikcat

            But even in the scientific community, you only have to go back a couple of decades to find people promoting the idea that yellow toned light is going to lead to more wakefulness, when pretty much the opposite is true. (As people age, the lenses in their eyes yellow, which filters out the blue light that helps set circardian rhythms via interactions with the pineal gland and a bunch of proteins which would actually take work to dig out of memory.* Anyhow, so that system tends to start to break down and dysregulate. Meanwhile, of course, we’ve come up with some awesome ways both of making the situations worse and better.)

            TL;DR This shit is complicated, I’m not throwing stones.

            * Also, the research in this area is very much ongoing. Something like 30% of the protein synthesis in the body is at least somewhat under diurnal regulation, and my last serious review of the literature was a couple of years ago, though I follow it casually.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Thank you for getting something useful out of the jerks who like trolling me 🙂

        • Shweta Narayan

          right yes which of uninteresting trolls I blocked are you I wonder

      • span

        What makes you think he’s Sikh? Short hair, trimmed beard, lack of turban and being named Guwara all seem to indicate otherwise.

        • Shweta Narayan

          …Do you have any idea how many Sikhs in the west *do* cut their hair and conform to western notions of clothing?

          And uh, that Gurwara is a Sikh surname? Not everyone’s a Singh. (Not every Singh is Sikh either btw.)

          • span

            …I didn’t say that he wasn’t a Sikh, I just asked you why you thought he was since nothing seemed to indicate it, no need to be rude.

            And uh, I’m aware that not all Singh were Sikhs, but I was always told that all Sikh men were Singh.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Apologies, some of the trolls I’ve blocked have been using guest accounts to pester me, and without context your comment sounded like one of theirs. I jumped to that conclusion way too soon, and that’s my bad.

            Better answer, fwiw: Gurwara is a Sikh name (either primarily or exclusively, I’m not sure), and he looks a lot like some of the Sikh men I’ve known; mostly the men I know with features similar to his have lighter skin, but that’s probably a sampling error.

            And I oversimplified on Singh – If he’s religiously Sikh then to the best of my knowledge he *would* have Singh in his name; thing is, it doesn’t have to be in what the west considers surname place. He could be Somebody Singh Gurwara. (He could also be Somebody Gurwara Singh, who goes by prof. Gurwara because there are already several professor Singhs.)

            NB. I’m Hindu, and this is all secondhand knowledge at best. So please listen to any Sikh folks over me on this.

          • span

            No worries, it’s hard to read tone in a written medium, and my message was a bit curt. Thanks for teaching me something new and happy 2017 to you.

          • Shweta Narayan

            you too!

      • Alex

        Hiya, I was raised as a (rather religious) Sikh, and most that is pretty much correct, I’d say. I don’t usually post but I suppose this is an opportunity to say that I can offer a hand in clearing misconceptions (if any are present).

        Gurwara is probably a village name to my knowledge

        Sikhs usually have ancestors in the Northern Indian state of Panjab, where individuals tend toward having lighter coloured skin than our Professor, but his appearance could easily be because of lighting or a light tan.

        Sikh names dont necessarily conform to this rule, but usually they go by “FirstName Singh / Kaur (which is the Last Name) and then optionally a third name which is the village name for their ancestors. So, Ranjit Singh Mehra would be a guy called Ranjit whose ancestors came from Mehra village. Now, these villages arent necessarily ‘villages’ anymore, by now theyre probably large communities, but I’m getting off track.

        Turbans are becoming more uncommon among Sikhs since it can potentially require a lot of time to properly maintain hair. Additionally, there comes an additional amount of suspicion when wearing them, there continues to be a distrust towards non-western cultures and their symbols. Cultural identity isn’t worth nearly as much as the peace of mind of not being insulted and spat at when walking down the street.

        From personal experience, people tend to grab or touch turbans as well, this is considered extremely disrespectful, and, well, occasionally disorienting, since you have your head jerked when people do this.

        On a more sour note also from personal experience, having a turban and /or long hair also puts you at a disadvantage if say, you’re being robbed. Not having the weight on gives an ever so slight advantage in movement.

        I’m open to talking about this stuff more, if you like, but I think that’s all for now.

        • Shweta Narayan

          *hands you the mic with some relief* Thank you for stepping in! And if I’ve repeated any misconceptions I’ll be grateful for corrections. Always trying to unlearn all the wrong things I’ve learned 🙂

          • Silly_Billy_Feelin_Chilly

            No worries ^-^, you didn’t say anything that needed correcting, there’s way worse stuff that’s been repeated. A looking glass to other peoples lives is always interesting I’ve found, and this time I saw the opportunity to be on the side that was observed, hence the wall of text.

            Think of it more like, additional bullet points to your info, as opposed to myself creating an entirely new powerpoint slide. I’d go so far as to say even if I didn’t add that information your explanation was well done.

    • bta

      I see white and yellow for the eggs, faded red for the bacon (or the jam, depending on your sensibilities), and beige for the toast.

      He is… Breakfast Man.

      • Dean

        Alison hasn’t had breakfast yet, so he’s probably just making her feel hungry.

  • Manuel Simone

    Happy new year for the creators of this great webcomic and keep with the good work, hope you’ll achieve your goals and dreams as soon as possible. Also, Happy new year for all readers here and hope you’ll have a better year that the previous one.

    • Weatherheight

      Seconded.

      And frankly, I’m going to be perfectly if things play out that they don’t get any worse this year.

    • Tylikcat

      This. I didn’t expect to see anything until the New Year, so this was like a present! Thank you!

      And thank everyone for keeping this one of the more interesting fora on the net. (And Molly in particular for all the time she spent moderating it – let’s keep up that tradition!)

  • Gaurav

    And so starts corruption of the world’s strongest human. Or maybe another insightful lecture on applied psychology? …Perhaps both.

    Happy new year!

    • masterofbones

      “starts”

      This is the woman who threatens to kill peaceful protesters, falls in love with a supervillain, allows another supervillain to go free… just because, punches people who kiss her through buildings, and tortures people into complying with her desires.

      The corruption was here all along.

  • Kid Chaos

    “Thanks, Professor, but I really don’t feel like spilling my guts to you right now.” * flies off* 😜

  • zellgato

    insany seguay (which i can not spell apparently) leading back to the brain guy whose gonna try to convience her to help him rule the eworld. ya’kno for the betterment of folks

    • Zinc

      It’s segue. Can’t blame you though, there’s no relation between the way it’s spelled and the way it’s pronounced (in English, anyway – it makes more sense in Italian).

      • Weatherheight

        ::carefully sticks his nose into Italy’s vocabulary, lifts a few choice words, and strolls nonchalantly away with an innocent expression on his face::

        • palmvos

          ::films event::

        • Kid Chaos

          If you’re going to “lift” something Italian, it had better be labeled “Ferrari” or “Lamborghini”. ‘Nuff said. 😎

          • Weatherheight

            I tried it once – threw out my jaw.
            Life is rough without opposable thumbs…
            ::glances down at this hooves::
            Upside – always ready to tap dance!
            ::exits stage left to a staccato beat::

          • palmvos

            ::adds to film::

      • zellgato

        Oh is it from Italian? I was wondering where the etymology was.

  • Markus

    It’s kinda cute the way Prof. Gurwa patted Al’s hand there. It’s dadish in a way.

    • Hiram

      It is the most sympathetic and humanizing gesture I can remember him making. It’s often hard to interpret tone in written media and a lot of what he’s said reads off as pedantic, manipulative or defensive by itself. Since we’ve had the ‘just an excitable boy’ scenario so I guess this is the parable mirror with the gruff seeming professor with the heart of gold?

      • jd

        I mean, he’s a professor of rhetoric and philosophy – in the class room, pretty much all of them are pedantic assholes.

  • JohnTomato

    Philosophers tend to p*ss everyone off.

  • Lorraine Fryer

    I feel like Guwara is Alison’s ghost of christmas present. “Come, walk, and know the world better.”

    Now I’m wondering how to extend the comparison. Buster, ghost of christmas past? Lisa, ghost of christmas yet to come?

    • Weatherheight

      Buster in chains AND talking?
      Yes, a thousand times yes!

  • Happy New Year and thanks for the writing, the drawing, the lettering, the coloring, and all that I’m forgetting…

    Thank you for a great comics.

  • Dawn Smashington

    Wow, scars everywhere on this guy. I’m willing to bet he’s killed before, and that could be setup for, at the very least, some very interesting talk. Al’s kills were accidents; random strangers whose faces she never saw until they were on the news. (Unless I’m forgetting a storyline where Al straight-up shanks a dude or something, which is possible as I just got off the night shift and long periods of awakery will do that to a brain.) But if Guwara killed people, it would have been up close and personal. I am dying to know what his reasons or rationalizations might be, and I am super interested to see how he handles Al starting to toe that Moonshadow line.

    I really need to see all of this adapted into a rad movie. Like, Millie Bobby Brown in a few years with blond hair, Maisie Williams for Feral…I would just pay so much money. All of the money, everywhere. I will pay in space-dollars.

    • Tylikcat

      Goodness, I’m interested to see that you see his scars as evidence that he’s killed. I mean, I wouldn’t rule it out – as many people (including me) have pointed out, this guy just reeks of backstory. But to me the scars, especially in that they seem so eerily uniform in their distribution, mostly seem to indicate that he’s suffered. I mean, seriously, what the hell happened?

      • Dawn Smashington

        I think it’s entirely possible that he was the victim of something, rather than the instigator of violence. But if he has killed before, then he’d be on somewhat equal footing with Al, and in a better position to dispense wisdom if he’s of the reformed variety of killer, or foster further doubt if he’s something else. If Al’s meant to have a mentor who was a victim of superhero/villain violence, why didn’t the character of her former professor step into that role? I can accept if it’s because his husband was killed and it was too close to the heart for him, but two professors in a row with a history of being affected by superhero/villain violence is quite a coincidence at the very least.

        It IS interesting that he has an X on both cheeks in the same spot, though.

        • Cyrano111

          Two professors in a row with a history of being affected by superhero/villain violence would not be that much of a stretch in SFP-land. How many characters have we met who were *not* affected in some way? It seems to be a pretty commonplace piece of anyone’s history.

          That said, I don’t see any reason that Gurwara needs to be a victim of super-violence, as opposed to simply violence, in order to be a mentor. There are plenty of mundane people with power willing to abuse it.

    • Weatherheight

      I didn’t see this as him being either an intentional killer or a soldier, but rather a victim of systemic violence of some sort (slavery, torture, something like that).

      But this is interesting too – I hadn’t considered him to possibly be the dealer of violence rather than the recipient. Neat.

      I seem to be saying “Neat” a lot today…

  • Walter

    I’m sorry Clevin, you never really had a shot. Long sail the good ship Guwison.

  • Wood

    He’s too nice. He’s probably trying to draw her to the dark side.

  • Mitchell Lord

    And he’s NOT being an asshole.

    • palmvos

      well, many are already accusing him of creepiness. Its like the look for creeps everywhere- don’t they remember that the creeper is the banker?
      but give him time, this conversation has only begun. but then again- like the last significant conversation… we may get a jump cut to the end.

      • Weatherheight

        Actually, it’d be kind of nice if creeps starting dressing better.
        Well, sartorially nice, at the least.

  • Loranna

    Today’s art-inspired musing is brought to you by the number 9.7 and the letter J.

    As we go back and forth between pink and blue backgrounds, the sudden inclusion of the verdant grass in the last panel, made me think of this song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJTzFSf0FP0

    Granted, Alison’s now being asked to watch for the teacher in a trenchcoat, but I can’t help but hope that Gurwara will bring just a touch of the Wizard’s magic into her life right now – and, maybe, help her find her dream once again.

    Maybe even see it clearly for the first time? *shrugs*

    Happy Holidays to you all, and a very happy New Year to our creative team here at SFP!

    Loranna

    • ClockworkDawn

      Who needs lsd when you can just watch that?

    • Zac Caslar

      I remember that movie. 😀
      Been a very, very long time but I do so fondly.

      That’s also an insane amount of stop-motion arrangement.
      And bonus points for being the Green Screen Wizard at least a decade before that was a thing.

  • Toby Yasutake

    I like the professor a lot, but at the same time he seems to sound like someone writing someone who is supposed to be wise. When was the last time you heard someone say “Come. Let us walk” unironically.

    • Tylikcat

      Second language speaker who read philosphy at Oxbridge?

      • Toby Yasutake

        Perhaps. I re-read his introduction speech and he does say specifically “your founding documents,” so he is clearly a foreigner, but his command of wit and language in that exchange never struck me as someone who wasn’t *very* comfortable in English.

        • Tylikcat

          Oh, his English is excellent. But his diction is odd. I’m not sure if that’s affectation or what, but I have heard that among highly literate second language speakers. (Of course, I’ve also heard some pretty strange diction amongst highly litererate people who didn’t participate much in mass culture. Come to think of it, while I collect colloquial usage, because I love it, I do have friends who will occasionally stop me and say “That just sounds completely wrong when you say that.”)

          • Huttj509

            I think part of it is this: When learning your native tongue, you might learn the formal “rules,” but you’re constantly absorbing informal chatter from everyone around. “How are you today” becomes “howzit goin” for example.

            When learning a second language, depending on when and how you’re learning it, you’re learning it more formally. You’re not learning street English, you’re learning written or scholarly English. Especially if you then study philosophy, you might lean more towards “permit me to lay out this idea in order to effectively communicate my point to those reading my book” style of speech.

      • Kifre

        I suspect he may just be of Indian extraction. English is a lingua franca but some odd and archaic phrases are still kicking around though they’ve fallen out of fashion for english speakers elsewhere in the world. For example, Indian english speakers will use the phrase “do the needful/needful thing”…which went out of style decades ago amongst American and European english speakers.

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          There’s an Indian lady studying in my program. Her diction does sound a bit formal compared to a native English speaker’s. I think it’s because India does have a culture of using the English language, but it’s their own culture. They have different word choices than we use in the States.

    • Cokely

      I mean, yes, that’s literally what is happening here.

    • Arkone Axon

      I’ve heard that sort of thing a great deal. Out of my own mouth. Language is something to have FUN with.

  • someladyontheinternet

    Aww, Allison! You’re not a tyrant. You just need hugs from friends.

  • Incendax

    There is no way the government would allow the most powerful person on the planet to run around doing whatever she wants. Having the best damn shrink in the country keep tabs on her and provide guidance, while keeping sufficient distance to not immediately alienate her?

    Seems like a good idea.

  • Anna

    I really, REALLY want him to say “You wanna know how I got these scars?”

    • Mechwarrior

      “It’s a long story and it involves the Head of Vecna…”

      • RobNiner

        “….. Then the chimpanzees left the tour bus after Morocco. I think they’re a jazz trio now.”

      • Arkone Axon

        You know, I actually GMed a game where the Head of Vecna was involved. The team had to rescue an epic level Paladin who had gone into the Abyss and returned after claiming an artifact – the Head. The REAL head, kept in a glass globe filled with anti-magic liquid and sparkly white bits (so that when the globe was shook it would look like snow). Lord Kern was now low on HP, smites, potions, etc… so the mid-level team needed to go rescue the epic paladin. And the Head of Vecna in a snow globe.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Still say he got thrown throught a window.
      Very possibly as a collateral damage during a superhero fight, like the husband of that earlier-comic teacher.

  • TheLordofAwesome

    “Come. Let us walk, and know this world a little better.”

    Is this going to result in a musical number?

    • Ellis Jones

      Sometimes it feels like Gurwara is trying a little to hard to be a Willy Wonka figure.

  • Graeme Sutton

    Ah, the scars gained from a long life spent talking shit to superheroes…

  • I can’t help wondering how Alison is going to formulate what happened into a “helpful lie”.

  • Ira

    Ugh, this situation was seen coming so long ago it’s sickening. Here’s hoping it does something different.

  • Evan Dark

    Hey! Professor Douchebag is back! And he’s ready for some more bullsh1tting! Also, he just failed you in class, so why the hack are you so friendly with him??!! Punch him to the sky!

  • Filthy Liar

    He’s the best villain we’ve seen in this comic people, why you gotta hate?

  • Lysiuj

    What a way to start a year.

  • weedgoku

    I think the true secret is that he’s a shapeshifter. He changes size every panel!

  • Sage Catharsis

    Is dis *$%@ Batman with those scars?

    • Mechwarrior

      No, he’s the guy who didn’t set his phone to vibrate during the premier of The Dark Knight.