SFP

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  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Oh, Clevin.
    If only you knew the only thing you had to do to find your way to Alison’s heart was to get rid of your pants.

  • Francisco

    Looks like, deep down inside, she’s had second thoughts about boxer guy.

    • Some guy

      I’m betting she didn’t even register that it was meant to be a date. He’s too subtle and she’s to oblivious. You pretty much have to literally read her mind or strip for her to get it.

      • Jared Rosenberg

        When you’re invulnerable there are many other things you also don’t worry about.

  • Dean

    Alison’s ability to let people down gently comes in handy for more than just rescuing underwear gentlemen.

  • danny in canada

    this is probably a better start to a relationship than Underwear Gentleman, to be honest.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      You can definitely feel more vulnerability emanating from Clevin, and more empathy as a consequence. But it won’t happen. You know why? Because he’s got glasses, he dresses like a dork, and you know what makes Alison go insane that Clevin isn’t expressly advertising? Calves.

      • Ryan

        It won’t happen because he isn’t confident enough to ask her out in a way that clearly communicates his romantic intent. Some point in the future, his frustration will explode, and he’ll berate her for not liking nice guys because she took all of the things that he said to imply he was only interested in friendship seriously.

        • feli

          Oh goodness I hope that doesn’t happen D:
          I can’t see any more nice guys, I don’t care its sadly a realistic thing, it just makes me sad.

        • ∫Clémens×ds

          Are you a boy or a girl? Or other?

          I ask because it seems curious to me that anyone could *not* interpret this scene as showcasing although the implicit, clear romantic intent, but maybe it’s the bias of my own experience as a guy. (Not that I may be mistaken and that he really just wants to see movies and chill, but that I come to recognize these things for having happened to me lots.)

          I mean, when Max McUndergarnments happened a few weeks ago, half the commenters said it was super creepy to be so blunt about his intentions. But when it’s implicit and smoothly brought forward, it passes completely below the radar?

          How did flirt ever happened between humans.

          • MrSing

            Being attractive is the secret to getting dates, but you won’t find that in the hand books.

          • Tylikcat

            Well, sort of, but you want to keep in mind that attractive != how you look. Sure, it’s a part, but god help you if you think that’s the biggest thing you have going for you (and I super explicitly include those people who are ridiculously gorgeous in this.)

            *Thinks fondly of former housemate having screaming temper tantrum because she was prettier than me, and I was dating a bunch of people and she was dating no one at all. Somehow the connection with the temper tantrum never occurred to her…*

          • MrSokar

            From my experience complaining about not having dates instead of actively trying to go out usual means you end up alone. Though I don’t consider myself particularly good-looking. And These types of situations tend to bring about severe anxiety.

          • Tylikcat

            The individual in question became my house mate while I was out of the country, so I didn’t have a direct voice in the selection process – in retrospect much of our interactions could be encapsulated in me being perfectly happy ignoring her (I was busy!) and her finding that really offensive. It was almost worth it that she stole a bunch of my stuff when we threw her out, just to have her out.

            But yes. And people tend to obsess about their looks, because it’s the easiest thing to obsess over.* And looks are a thing, but they’re only a thing. But both positive and negative feedback are self-reinforcing, and when things are going badly, we often latch on to explanations for why they’re going badly somewhat randomly.

            I’m in my forties, and most of my extended social circle still does more of the dating as an extension of a social circle that folks picked up in college (or wherever / whoever they hung out with in the teens and twenties) – there is a context in which people hang out, often multiple interlocking contexts – and a more or less smooth transition to hanging out as a group to hanging out one on one, which lowers the energy barrier. (There still are a lot of people with a noted preference for social group exogamy – but at the same time, there’s a subculture compatibility thing, y’know?) Dating in a more strict one on one context sounds really hard.

            (I’ve tried a little of it. Mostly it seems really frustrating.)

            * I’ve totally done, this and often my reasons were really stupid. If I had no trouble finding people to be involved with, and I was usually doing the dumping (or the setting up with other good friends of mine, which is the kinder gentler version of dumping and there’s nothing like being single and the third wedding of an ex you’ve set up with a good friend…) and my problem was I couldn’t find anyone I could connect with in a way that made for a decent long term relationship – pretty sure my looks weren’t the issue!

          • Tylikcat

            I’m with you on this one.

            There’s a context dependent thing. This is a great early move. Y’all do have to escalate, but then the escalation can’t be one sided, unless you’re part of those* subcultures where one person is supposed to be entirely active and the other entirely passive.

            * Creepy, IMNSHO. I mean, if that’s your kink, OK, but yo, that’s a kink.

          • lizasweetling

            it’s not so much about what exactly was said that made McUndergarments blunt and creepy so much as his clear confidence suggesting it.
            He fell out of a freaking building- and then asked out this super famous chick like it was nothing?
            That’s unusual and intimidating, and when advances are unexpected (as in not what they were expecting, unusual) and make the person scared or uncomfortable (intimidating), the advance is called “creepy.”
            the only reason he wasn’t only creepy was because he pointed out that he wasn’t likely to get another opportunity, so his request was less out of the blue.

            Clevin, however, would have to push it super hard to come off as creepy, so he’s pretty much completely safe from that.
            His problem is that he has already slid into the position where Alison is completely at ease with him- she isn’t as attuned to his meaning because she had the preconceived notion that he just wanted to hang out.

            the ideal flirting relation is one that isn’t so familiar to be totally comfortable, so that the participants don’t have any existing ideas on what the other person wants, but familiar enough to know how the other person expresses themselves so that they know how blunt or explicit they usually are as a comparison.
            this makes them more comfortable around people who are straightforward about it and sensitive to those whom are subtle.

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            I don’t know, I’m not really fond of deciding whether or not Max’s personal feelings regarding his own status are wrong. Or anyone’s, for that matter. But then again this is just me being controversial for thinking “creepy” should mean “people making you uncomfortable who don’t care when you tell them” instead of just “people making you uncomfortable merely acting in a way you don’t like”

          • Tylikcat

            I think confidence is a misnomer – and it’s important to name it out because we already have enough creepy entitled pseudo Nice Guys whining about all the things “They Aren’t Allowed To Do” and so it’s worth distinguishing why this isn’t something perfectly reasonable, like being confident, and why even invulnerable Alison’s sketch-dar is pinging.

            Because he did a couple of things that were both super smooth and super boundary pushing in a weird and manipulative sort of way. Which isn’t to say that these absolutely couldn’t just be accidents – we all screw up – but these weren’t dorky mistakes, and they did happen pretty close together. Two orange flags is enough to pay attention to.

            1) The butt touching bit. Alison has just saved his life and is flying him to the ground and he starts joking about how she touched his butt. Now look, there can’t be many professional, impersonal, modest ways of holding someone while flying with them. There just can’t. This is the kind of situation where well mannered civilized people end up touching more than they ought, and everyone handles it as gracefully as possible – especially since it’s unavoidable. (Not talking about active groping situations.)

            Instead, in flight, so in a situation where Alison’s only escape is dropping him – which isn’t going to happen – he ups the sexual innuendo, and ups in in a way that implies she’s somehow at fault (even if maybe he enjoyed it). This all about making her uncomfortable, and getting into classic pick up artist territory.

            2) The shirt. The power dynamics there are super straightforward. He asks for her phone number. She hesitates, and returns with a request for his – further contact might be good, but on her terms. So he seems to go along with it, but he does so in way, giving her the very shirt off his back, that creates a perceived obligation. So her attempt to regain control is totally undermined. (But only if she doesn’t roll her eyes and go “Fucking manipulative player. Nope!” But she’s, what, twenty? She probably needs years more practice in the school of nope.)

            Confidence can be hot (though totally unequal confidence needs to be balance out somewhere else). And theoretically, all the above shit could be accidental coincidences. But… it seems like an awful lot of them, especially for a super hot guy in his underwear.* (What the hell was he doing on his balcony, anyway? I mean, I guess maybe there was another balcony he thought he could climb down to or something?)

            * I probably should not extrapolate from my experiences as a con-kid with hot guys in their underwear. I mean, it’s at least possible that Max was not choosing this as a public presentation garment…

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            I’m not sure where I stand with your whole comment. I won’t deny society needs to realize we have to rethink how we teach boys the way they deal with other people, romantically or not, of course. But on the other hand, going this far into value judgments made with the benefit of hindsight doesn’t hold much water in my eyes.

            Because real life and real time conversations happen organically and pretty much nobody thinks rationally about what they’re saying and doing as they’re doing it. And considering we are anything but rational creatures and that free will’s not a thing, that’s even harder to defend.
            Which isn’t even considering how thoughtful criticism of flirting is flawed as well, not only biased, but you can pretty much apply that and find the “mistakes” you want in any conversation, none perfect. If everybody is guilty, blame gets selectively placed and that’s how intolerance happens.

          • MrSokar

            I wonder if part of Max’s forwardness was due to the near death experience and a sudden urge to live life fuller and take more chances. Obviously its speculation especially since we have zero background on him.
            I also wonder if he considers Al equally invulnerable emotionally as she is physically.

          • Rafinius

            Did it ever come to mind that the half of the commenters who thought of Max as a creep for being straight forward and the half that thinks of Clevin as being an unconfident “nice guy” because implicitness and smoothness as you put it could be completely different people?
            I for instance saw Max’s approach as pretty perfect when you discount the fact that he was just rescued from a life threatening situation.

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            Well, I come here enough, you tend to recognize some names that pop up.

            And considering Max I found it really interesting that nobody saw his reaction as a subversion of the very unrealistic but still altogether common Dude saves damsel and she holds him close saying “My hero, my love!” trope, instead of jumping straight to the, albeit definitely fair, Real people don’t act like that.

      • Markus

        Some day he’s gonna roll those brown corduroys up and we’re going to see the sexiest calves that ever did moo.

      • Natsumeg

        Calves drive the ladies crazy.

      • MrSokar

        True, but if you mix calves with Clevin you get Calvin.

  • Clevin’s a chill-ass dude.

  • Forecaster71

    Got a printing error there in panel 6. He says “Are there are any movies…” He might be stuttering a bit? But I don’t think so

  • bakkonator

    HA… captain oblivious strikes again!!!
    Nothin to see here.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Hey, props to the guy for even getting the nerve to ask Mega Girl to Netflix and Chill (that’s what kids are calling it now, right? I’m assuming he wanted to make out. That’s what that means, right? I’m so out of touch), even if he never accounted for just how genuinely oblivious Al can be.

    • ∫Clémens×ds

      Still, I hope he’s punishing himself afterward for having, in this moment of intense inner panic he surprisingly managed to show no trace of externally, thought “chill-ass” would be an attractive adjective to inject into a sentence.

  • UnsettlingIdeologies

    Clevin just asked Alison to netflix and chill!

  • Charles Dickson

    Such a difference from “We hate you, we packed your stuff, get out” at the start of the chapter. That’s life I guess.

  • Theobservantwolf

    Go see Zootopia! XD

  • Burke

    “So, hey, I’d really like to obliquely hint that I want to Netflix and chill.”

    • Markus

      This might be a stupid question, but what’s the endgame on vague hinting at the prospect of doing something tangentially sort-of dating like that? Like Alison isn’t the sort of girl who thinks of herself as getting asked out on dates, so she’s not going to just magically conjure up dateogenesis based on a hint so vague you basically need a private investigator to realize is actually a date proposal.

      • Ralph, the Dire Opossum

        “dateogenisis” you are my new favorite person.

      • dragonus45

        Usually its a matter nervousness. If you ask in a roundabout enough way than your giving the person a way to say no without you feeling rejected or at least without feeling like every passerby who happened to be within earshot heard you being rejected.

      • chris2315

        “Netflix and chill” is a euphemism for sex.

        • fookiesan

          Yes, it seems that asking one’s 13 year old daughter if she wants to “netflix and chill” is quite inappropriate. Or so I’ve heard…

        • D. Schwartz

          Really? Or it means exactly what it is.

        • Lance Allen

          “Netflix and chill” is *sometimes* a euphemism for sex.

          FTFY

      • Calum Cameron

        I’m not the kind of person who goes on dates, but it seems to me like, even if we assume he DOES want to date her eventually, he could just genuinely want to spend some pleasurable time in her company, even if only as an exercise in emotionally bonding before he becomes comfortable enough to actually ask her out?

        • Tylikcat

          This is how I usually ended up in bed with folks (of any gender). The whole dating assumption this is so weird, and people who are caught up in those sorts of assumptions of power dynamics a) aren’t usually the sorts of people I want to be in relationships with and b) are usually lousy in bed.

          (Gosh, did I take my flame-y pills this morning?)

          • ∫Clémens×ds

            The problem with the dating game is that there are to few of us dissatisfied with it to not assume the person in front of us we’d like to have a tour in our pants *won’t* be into it, and it makes us the weirdos for not adhering to the mainstream ritual.

            Or not even necessarily into it, just making the same assumption as us regarding us because of the prevalence of social norms. And that’s not even considering how peer pressure influences the goings on outside of the two people involved.

          • Tylikcat

            I think this must really vary a lot by subculture. Because sure, yeah, I hung pretty heavily in geek circles, and being a fairly outgoing, not terrible looking geek girl who is perfectly happy to take the sexual initiative is, as a dear friend put it, like coming to Earth from Krypton (in very narrow ways).

            …but most of the people I knew didn’t date, in the more ritualized sense. And then most of the people of the younger set (say, the folks five to ten years younger, who are part of some of the social circles back home) don’t date much. And now I hang with undergraduates (and am at times confidante to some of them) and while some of them date as such, more of them don’t.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        Because flirting is a social game we’re expected to pretend doesn’t exist. Don’t go around telling people “Hey, you’re attractive. If the sentiment is requited, care to go on a date?” Because they’ll think you’re a shallow creep.

        Because there’s nothing more arousing than pretending sex is the least of your concern, apparently?

        I blame the lasting influence of Puritanism.

      • Burke

        For some it’s a means of angling for intimacy (emotional or physical) while minimizing personal risk and, if we’re being honest, being really manipulative about it. “So, hey, here we are in this situation where typically people get close and one thing leads to another. Who knows what could happen, right? I mean, you’re here, I’m here, I’m totally making myself available without saying anything to convey my hopes or intentions–because if I did, and you weren’t interested, I’d feel rejected, but as long as I don’t say them, there’s a chance you’ll just be so relaxed around me that you’ll let me touch a boob. Also if you don’t then five years from now I might write an angry open letter on Facebook.”

        Dateogenesis, that’s apt.

  • Kevin Flynn

    Smooooth…

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    The invention of Netflix started with the Chill

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    ah, crushes, crushes… <3, <3

  • Rascal_Face

    The origin story for the new villain Freindzoned Man is coming along nicely.

  • Pugsy

    Clevin you sly dog! 😉

  • BobKeo

    That’s a really awkward way to say “wanna Netflix & chill?”.

  • martynW

    Is there a character list page on this site? I do lose track sometimes.

  • Nathan B Earl

    Alison’s got hot and cold running hunks! I sure hope this doesn’t come back to bite anyone in their toned or well-tailored butts.

  • ClockworkDawn

    Wow clevin
    Much hip
    such slang
    wow

  • dragon

    ________>
    (@@)
    _____

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Oh and by the way, is anyone else thinking “The New School” is not the best name for a school, and also that they could have at least bought a sign instead of what amounts to a very underwhelming graffiti?

    • Mechwarrior

      Yeah, definitely looks cheap.

    • Eli Wells

      The New School is an actual university in New York City and that is actually what their main university center actually looks like. It’s a really awesome building!

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        Thanks 🙂 I feel like a doof now.

        Honestly, I thought this was a creative way for the Molly to introduce us to a new setting with a slight perturbation of the diegesis. As if we brushed past a guy reading a journal in which we could only make out the words “The Next Day” to indicate that to us.

        It would have been interesting, narratively speaking, to see the webcomic evolve a few calculated notes of fourth wall breaking.

        So my intervention hinges on the fact that I pretended to take literally something I expected to be meant to be taken figuratively. Laughs!

        • Haven

          She’s been going to the New School this whole time.

          I like the way you think though.

    • Akiva

      You reminded me that I’d always meant to look up why it’s called The New School, so I did. Honestly, they should have stuck with The University in Exile. That is an AWESOME name.

    • Carla

      The New School is an actual college in New York City that Allison would very feasibly attend.

    • GaryFarber

      Yes, it’s terribly implausible, aside from being real, major, and famous.

      http://www.newschool.edu/

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        It still kind of sucks.

  • Carla

    “Hey, here’s a crazy idea!”
    Oh, Clevin. You poor, gameless moppet.

    • A strategic subversion of certain aspects of “game” can be useful if you play your cards right

  • Walter

    Clevin seems like a fine dude. I wish him the best of luck in his romantic pursuits.

    That said.

    What on earth is with his outfit? Is it picked out by his ex girlfriend who secretly wants to make sure no one ever asks him out? Is it like that one Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where the clothes just jump on him and puppet him to school?

    He’s got a business casual top, collar, buttons down the front…except that it is red background and white polka dots. He’s topped this off with a vest, but no sweater.

    I’m changing my mind. Sorry Brois Lane, I hope she dates Clevin, just so we can see what sartorial borders he breaks each day.

    • MrSing

      Hipsternes is a hell of a drug.

    • Paradoxius

      Calvin is fly as hell.

  • Jeremy

    I worry that Alison only meets people through “work.” First the villainous guy (yuck!), and now two people (Underwear guy and Clevin) that she’s rescued. It seems like that sort of thing can create an odd dynamic…

  • spriteless

    Oh hey I remember him he wanted to watch foreign movies with her and then she stopped a rape.

    She should get his phone number too so she can have double the anxiety about calling boys.

  • Jack Lostthenames Warren

    YES CLEVIN IS BACK

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    He didn’t say the expression, but … we really got it. haha

  • Lauren Tipps

    ALISON. YOU OBLIVIOUS GIRL.

  • This comic is AWESOME. Wow. Only recently discovered it, binge-read it this weekend and *MIND-BLOWN*.

    Would you guys be interested in doing a radio interview about it?

    ———————————————-
    IMHO on RainbowRadio.FM
    Past Shows

  • I like his hair. And is this the first time we saw Clevin?

  • Felix Felicis

    Wait, The New School? Is she studying existentialism?

  • MrSokar

    By the way the colors are really great on this page.

  • Jake

    Did this guy appear before, because I’ll be honest, I’m drawing a blank.

    • There are links in previous comments. He talked with Al at the superhero theme party before things went sour

  • Jared Rosenberg

    From Netflix: We here at Netflix really like this Clevin guy. We hope things work out well with him and Alison. Lets talk about a promotional deal. (P.S. Not really Netflix.)