Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132 Show Comments Wahahaha Is it weird that while I didn’t expect him to not eat the crust it seems perfectly in character for him to do so? Darkoneko Hellsing When you get old you save on calories wherever you can 😀 Guilherme Carvalho I WILL NEVER BE THAT OLD well except when the crust is really dry, but come on, just don’t go to a pizza place that has dry crusts like that, have some self-respect at your age sheesh Weatherheight Pizza Bones! Pizza Bones! Pizza Bones! Aubren Lewis I learned a new word today. Lheticus Videre Oddly enough, I never ate the crusts as a kid but I do now. What’s it supposed to say about you? AshlaBoga Ugh, now I’m going to wonder what he’s offering as insurance other than the obvious fact that she could reduce him into chunky salsa. Perhaps he murdered Duck Royalty when he was a youth and has been hiding from the Duck King and Queen ever since? Edward Philibin While boldly carrying the trophy with him every single day. Gurwara obviously has nerves of steel. Tylikcat Hey, if this is the segue that gets us back story, I’m all in. Insanenoodlyguy He got scars, and he gave scars. Weatherheight Ah, that explains the Disappearance of the Duck. It left to report in. Which also explains leaving the park and going to someplace a bit less public. I think you’re really on to something here. Regret I’m going to assume that was a king of dragon pass reference and smile. Please don’t tell me if that is not true. Roman Snow As absolutely everyone predicted, they decided to leave the park and walk to a pizza restaurant. All the clues were there. “Pleasant morning in the park, Ms. Green,” is an anagram for “Paraphrase Letting Inn Monk, Ms. Green.” “Letting Inn Monk” is (as we all know) another name for a pizza restaurant, and the professor was “paraphrasing” by communicating this through code. That’s not what paraphrasing means, Gurwara! Isaac Burke Is Unsong leaking? Roman Snow Oh “thinking of you” is written on the front of the building. We haven’t seen that graffiti in a while. Cori J. PATRICK SENSES TINGLING leoboiko I’m out of the loop, what’s the story about the graffiti? Debbie Jackson http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-1/page-20/ Menace, that is, Patrick, wrote it on a silhouette of himself outside Alison’s window. It’s quite possible that other graffiti of the same phrase comes from the same source. leoboiko Thanks! …Are we thinking that Patrick sent her Powerup’s data knowing in advance that she’d ask for his help, that he’d refuse, that she’d force his hand, that she’d feel guilty and look for solace in Prof. Gurwara, and that Prof. would take her to this particular favourite pizza place of his? Debbie Jackson I’m not necessarily sure of any of this. It could just be that these messages are local to where she studies and lives. Patrick could well have coated the city in tiny graffiti aides memoires so that he was always on Alison’s mind, conscious or no. Or he could just be following her on his downtime. None of these possibilities are great boyfriend behaviour.. Insanenoodlyguy Alternate thought: what if it’s his catch phrase/attributed to him? So the graffiti isn’t him, but his followers/ex followers (as we saw before that his network was still operating)? his powers are known and even exaggerated. “Thinking of you” becomes sinister when you are talking about an evil mind reader. He used it with Allison as more of an in-joke, but it could have a deeper history. Tylikcat I like this. Especially as Menace, in his superpersona, collected biodynamics who were not well served by the status quo. (Actually, the extent that this is true, versus that he collected people who were useful to him is a bit up in the air, but it seem to be at least somewhat true.) We know “Menace” has gone, and that some of his people are still about. It’s not hard to see how he might still seem like a rallying figure for not only his actual people, but others who feel disenfranchised.* I suppose I find Patrick more interesting as someone who yes, has a gift that makes him an effective manipulator… but who personally is just as fucked up as anyone else. (But then, whatever my grave reservations about the assigned counselor system, can we all agree that poor Patrick could really use one?) * History is full of unlikely folk heroes. Or at least folk heroes who are flat out creepy when you know more about them. Ryan Gauvreau On that note, “Thinking of you” carries two distinct feelings. For Menace’s enemies, it is quite, well, menacing, but for the disenfranchised it must feel uplifting. Tylikcat Exactly – that kind of graffiti often has pretty distinct in-group and out-group meanings. (Well, not just graffiti, but you tend to see the greatest divergence in reading when there isn’t a veneer of respectability over it.) Insanenoodlyguy Well now I’m doubling down on that theory. Thanks for adding on! Insanenoodlyguy I didn’t even think of that when I put this theory forth, but makes it even better! Comfort for allies and demoralization to the rest. How wonderfully efficient. Weatherheight “Menace, in his superpersona, collected biodynamics who were not well served by the status quo. (Actually, the extent that this is true, versus that he collected people who were useful to him is a bit up in the air, but it seem to be at least somewhat true.) ” It could be both… 😀 Tylikcat I’m sure it’s both! I’m just not sure about the weighting. Weatherheight Inside a piggy bank inside the safe inside a locked room inside your safe house about which you’ve told no one. Debbie Jackson True, true. Then again I never claimed that Patrick had painted it there personally – it would make just as much sense if he’d sent Rat on a nighttime mission as a useful and disposable minion and Rat had jazzed it up a bit. Honestly, I think it’s exactly what Patrick thinks that the world wants to see from a romantic gesture. It’s possible he was legitimately thinking of Alison and what would capture her interest rather than what fit better with his ‘idiom’. Insanenoodlyguy Yeah, the other comments supporting my theory have served to reinforce it. I just don’t see Patrick bothering. Especially since it’s clear he has no romantic inclinations towards Allison whatsoever based on everything we’ve seen! Agree to disagree as we’ll probably never get a canon answer, I suppose. bryan rasmussen especially if Patrick is a time traveling professor of philosophy! Kifre Ohhh good catch. KatherineMW I really hope that means we can get back to Patrick and the conspiracy storyline soon. A bit of philosophy is fine, but I’d like some plot progression. Zac Caslar A healthy appetite is a benefit of a life examined. If you did it and you can face it you can eat. Martine Votvik I think this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Yes, this is why I haven’t been able to eat properly for the last few days. Because I havn’t owned up to it and faced it yet. I now have a text to answer that should have been answered on sunday. And then hopefully I can eat too. Zac Caslar Villains and babes alike sleep the sleep of the contented, after all. There’s the saying “no rest for the wicked” and with it the corresponding implication that the righteous rest easy. Assuming any value to these ideas what’s the actual difference? The difference is the perspective held by the person. Wicked and righteous both can lie, steal, and slaughter as their needs demand and considering the origins of the phrase -the book of Isaiah verse 57- the sanctified murderer rests knowing his way is that in accordance with the will of the creator of the universe while the merely personally selfish killer might feel the prickings of their humanity. So, yeah. That Allison feels such stings suggests she’s still got a lot of good about her. Tylikcat …and yet I think of that absolutely dreadful sleep problems I had for much of my life* and I want to throw something symbolic at you. Like a book. Not a hardback. Or a stuffed hedgehog. (Though I gave the stuffed hedgehog away to a neighbor’s child, and the more recently acquired stuffed bobcat just doesn’t have the same cache…) * They’re fairly vestigial now, though sleep hygiene is still, like, my religion. Lostman And yet I still hit with the question: did Alison slept at all? Weatherheight Share the hedgehog? Tylikcat She was perhaps two when I gave her the hedgehog,* and can’t be more than five now. One does not belatedly ask for joint custody of hedgehogs from toddlers. (Also, I understand that her sister already demands a certain amount of hedgehog time, so this would really be pushing it.) A dear friend and former housemate used to keep a basket of smaller stuffed hedgehogs in his apartment for the purpose of throwing at people who justly deserved it. I’ve often thought our PI’s office (which includes a meeting space) would be improved by the addition of a basket of stuffed microbes for similar purpose – our attempts to impose a pun tax being only partially successful. * I don’t actually make a policy of keeping stuffed animals around. I’d gotten the first hedgehog as a gift for the later mentioned former housemate, and then picked up the stuffed bobcat last summer at a wildlife refuge. I’m sure I’ll find a good home for it one of these days. In extremis, I might leave it in the little free library, but at the moment it’s sitting on my library table quietly enough. Weatherheight https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj3q9ri8rPSAhWCOSYKHfNwCYsQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tshirtvortex.net%2Fhedgehogs-share-the-hedge%2F&psig=AFQjCNGxVP1w87nCPNur1kfxWpxhYzcfKA&ust=1488409275332552 Tylikcat I am enlightened! Zac Caslar Hey, two symptoms of depression (same category) are sleeping too little and sleeping too much. I’ve done both, and it’s had nothing to do with light my conscience is/was. As for the bobcat, if it was an actual taxidermy bobcat that would prove exciting as improvised projectiles go. Tylikcat *laughs* gods, the one really awesome thing about being deathly ill is that I suddenly gain amazingly talents of sleep. Anyplace, anytime… well, no, not even then, but like, vaguely reasonable places, like, say, my bed, or my couch, in the middle of the afternoon? I become The Napinator! I otherwise really hate being sick, but that part is always kind of incredible. So, yeah, never really sleeping too much. I seem to be pretty depression resistant. Less anxiety resistant, but even there, I do surprisingly well, especially with both the nature and nurture components present in my ever-ridiculous family. The lingering sleep issues are mostly PTSD related and a souvenir of my upbringing. They’ve been getting better since I left home in my teens, and are pretty negligible now, though I still tend to check in with folks before sharing hotel rooms with them. AshlaBoga The original meaning of “no rest for the wicked,” was that they spend all eternity suffering in hell. It’s a theological comment on how even if the wicked seem truly content and fortunate in this life, they shall never no any joy in the next. Of course, if you’re an agnostic like myself, this concept falls rather flat. Weatherheight May you communicate effectively and may your feelings shine clear And always remember Joy lies in the listener’s ear. zarawesome “I’m out of pennies, Teacher.” “Hm. Any arcade tokens or coffee stamp cards?” llennhoff Next Scene Lostman I guess all that talking make a person hungry. Weatherheight Talking, not so much. It’s all the wardrobe changes that takes it out of a person. FlashNeko *The Professor picks up a pizza cutter and slices off his own tongue* Alison: OH MY GOD! How are you going to finish your pizza? Fairportfan Uh oh Walter Guwara is about to confess to being in the conspiracy. Now they will each know a secret that could destroy the other. Tylikcat Oh, Al, is it too much to hope that you’re more worried about exposing Max? (I’m kind of guessing it is.) Pol Subanajouy I sure hopes he doesn’t ask for a full nelson as insurance. Al seems to have a problem with that. Oh yeah, and with Patrick looming in the metaphorical edges of these panels, I wonder if he’ll show up to blackmail Al or not. Nathan B Earl EAT YOUR PIZZA BONES, PROFESSOR! Pol Subanajouy Heh, pizza bones. I like that. Weatherheight Wish I’d seen this first rather than Wahahaha’s post. Ah, well… Marinara for muh Pizza Bones! Ranch-o Dressing for muh Pizza Bones! Lotsa Dat Cheese for muh Pizza Bones! Darkoneko Hellsing No ! JohnTomato Promises. Pretty little promises. Anna All the respect I accumulated for Gurwara vanishes as I realize he does not eat his pizza crusts. Filthy Liar He feeds them to the birds, who he feeds to the cats, so he’ll have something to stroke as he sits in his mastermind chair. Simeon It’s funny all this talk about “the Slope” when they are eating pizza in Park Slope…. Avram Grumer But since when does Roma Pizza have round tables? Weatherheight Googled it – damn, that looks good. Kifre Huh. I was expecting diner breakfast before I scrolled down. I guess they’ve been talking longer than I thought. Aubren Lewis Are you against eating pizza for breakfast? martynW “My silence will cost you…THREE cents!” Dean “If you’ve only got a nickel, I have change.” martynW Ha! Good one. Akiva If she only has a nickel, he’d have to give her his two cents? 😀 Weatherheight I, for one, love those first two panels. One of the finest summations of the human condition I have ever heard or read. Very nicely done, Brennan and Molly. Weatherheight Also, panel five is the sweetest and vulnerable I can recall Alison being. Adorable. (Yes, I’m aware she’s been more sweet or more vulnerable previously, but I see this as being the instance where both bars are high on the bar graph). Mike Elsner “Insurance.” I bet he’s going to tell her something awful he’s done, like war crimes and atrocities. And she won’t be able to tell anyone, because he can expose hers. Or she’d have to kill him, which I think would probably amuse him. Henrik Magnusson For gods sake woman, just do whatever you want and then numb yourself with booze and drugs like the rest of us. You’re never going to find a way to make what you did “right” because it’s impossible to. No matter what you accomplish, you’re going to have to screw someone else over to get it. The best you can hope for is to screw over someone you decided deserves it. AshlaBoga No such thing as a free lunch. Every time I choose to help one person or group, I sacrifice my ability to help another group. Triage is the bane of my existence, yet it is unavoidable. You cannot help everyone all the time, you cannot save every life. So you have to pick who to save first and yes, sometimes you’ll make the wrong call and spend your time saving someone that would have pulled through without your help and other times you’ll realize that there was no way to save them and that you could have been trying to save someone else. That’s life. It doesn’t mean you don’t try, it doesn’t mean you drink yourself into a bottle (although I do like to drink). That’s the real danger of a god complex, you start to think that you CAN save everyone all the time, and so when reality slams into your delusions and people die regardless of your best efforts, you blame yourself and start to break. Henrik Magnusson I dont drink because of a God complex, I drink to numb the toxic cocktail of anxiety, depression, guilt, despair and relentless need for approval tha haunts my every waking moment. Weatherheight “Triage is the bane of my existence.” This needs to be on a poster. Danygalw Alison really, really should not numb herself with alcohol and other drugs. That would be a bad idea. Tylikcat Well, if it helps her sleep, at this point I might vote for it. (The one time I tried to drink to the point of passing out was so made of fail…!) AshlaBoga The only two times I’ve ever gotten truly smashed I was barely able to sleep because of the nausea. Tylikcat There was some weird interaction with my metabolism. It gave me insomnia. Drunk insomnia. I do not like being drunk, and I did not want to be conscious. I stayed up most of the night reading trash fiction. Stephanie Gertsch I like the graffiti. It’s the “Who watches the watchmen?” motif of the series. Spongegirl Circleskirt “It’s because of the implication…” Zachary Olivos I really hope Gurwara just goes “If I talk you could always just kill me! Why would I do that? Seems pretty impractical. Swim on, shark!” Zachary Olivos I really appreciate the simplification of the background art as this discussion has gone on. Molly is an incredibly talented artist, and I know like three things about drawing at all so it is really possible I am full of shit. But as this discussion between Gurwara and Allison has gone on, I’ve noticed the backgrounds have shifted to simple colors to draw focus to the ideas being explicitly said. Or maybe it’s just been a busy few weeks of professional arting and this got put on the backburner a bit, I dunno. Rugains Fleuridor I’m comfortable thinking it’s a little of both 🙂 Danygalw The simplified backgrounds have been in since they switched to colour. Rugains Fleuridor Why the heck is my mind in the gutter…. Since I’m not sure what he’d do to provide “insurance,” I can’t shake the feeling that he’s insinuating something indecent. I’ve had this problem for the last few pages, even though I know better. Stephanie He’s probably just going to tell her something incriminating about himself. Mutually assured destruction. whatagrump Hey, Park Slope! I guess I should’ve realized they were in Prospect Park. Grant “Here is your insurance!” *stuffs face* kwerboom “Three can keep a secret if two are dead.” -Benjamin Franklin Once you open your mouth to someone else (excluding a priest, doctor, or lawyer) about something you don’t want spread around in public, it is just best to assume it will be spread around in public and plan accordingly. Alison needed to talk and she benefited from talking to someone with a different perspective. She can ask that all this be kept private, but she shouldn’t assume that it will be and relax because it is out of her control now along with being no longer solely her responsibility. And if it was made public would that be the worse thing? She’s been trying to get out from under the black and white, hero vs villain world view of her persona as Mega Girl. Maybe like Disney channel teen stars, having this revealed could allow Alison Green, adult trying to deal with a complex world, outshine Mega Girl, squeaky-clean staged hero fighting villains who don’t affect people’s day-to-day living conditions. Arkone Axon There’s a bit of a difference between a Disney channel teen star experimenting with drugs and premarital sex, and a biodynamic experimenting with assault, torture, and terroristic threats. Crow For some reason, maybe the formatting, I read Gurwara’s question as “Are you become hungry?” Like, “I am become hungry, destroyer of pizzas.” Freemage And now I want a t-shirt. Dwight Williams There may be a large target market for that t-shirt. Lisa Feld This page is an absolute mic drop. Mary Lea HA! Allison’s daydream finally comes true(-ish), especially if they have any coffee with their pizza (unlikely, I know, but…) http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/sfp-2-26/ tooltip/alt-text. Aubren Lewis Are you sure that was the right page? Cause that was depressing. No daydreaming, no coffee, no pizzas… AshlaBoga Read the alt text. Aubren Lewis I have no idea where that is. palmvos if you are using a computer- hover your mouse over the page for a bit- text will appear. this is the alt text. if you are using mobile… i have no idea. Mary Lea Sorry, I probably should’ve quoted it for those on mobile, or otherwise unable to read the hovertext for that comic: “Alison had a daydream at the beginning of the semester that Professor Cohen would invite her out for coffee so they could talk about philosophy. Probably not gonna happen now.” – sub coffee for pizza, and Cohen for Gurwara I found it an interesting contrast to her previous encounter with a philosophy professor: Cohen vs. Gurwara. I leave the specifics of the contrast as an exercise to the better readers/commentors, or anyone else who’s had sufficient sleep lately. 🙂 Silenceaux Alison, please eat your pizza. It’s getting cold. Aubren Lewis Alison has mushrooms. And Guwara has…plain? Maybe? I didn’t expect a person with such complicated thoughts to have such simple tastes. Freemage Well, given how narrow the bit of non-crust left is, it’s possible (especially if the place uses heavy cheese) that what we’re seeing on his is just the tomato sauce left on the bare crust after the cheese and toppings got pulled off. Mitchell Lord …No. That is NOT the lie about the slippery slope. The lie of the slippery slope is that it FAILS TO CONNECT ITS PREMISES. (It treats the fall as inevitable, and often fails to connect A to B to C.) But, he’s poetic so I’ll forgive the Doc.