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I’m very happy for Alison, this is very very cute! Taulsn Awwwwww knifleman Man, it’s a good thing Allison can fly now, otherwise that last panel would just be Max watching her awkwardly hop away down the street. Lysiuj That would be even cuter! (Although even without flight she could jump really high, so she probably would have started jumping up the rooftops.) (Also, without her flight Max would probably be dead right now, and that would be a *much* more awkward end to the date than her hopping.) Kid Chaos By “hop” I presume you mean “leap tall buildings in a single bound.” 😎 Matthew Dowd Now I picture Allison moving through the city like the tick, just barreling through ledges and jumping from the edges… Weatherheight She forgot to fly him around the city before she left. He forgot to get a penthouse apartment with an amazing balcony. Tylikcat Well how’s she going to do that without touching his butt? He totally ruined that one for himself! ∫Clémens×ds Piggyback? (The greatest tragedy of Alison’s life is that there’s no way to carry someone in flight that is not either embarrassing or ridiculous) masterofbones Isnt princess style the obvious choice? From how her powers work she might even be able to fly if he princess carried *her*. Weatherheight Take him flying by the throat! ::scurries offstage before the tomatoes mess up his fur:: Kid Chaos Or a skylight! 😜 bta So sinister! Dean This is all very well, but what about the GELATO? ∫Clémens×ds Okay then, right back to being a pressuring assclown. It’s astonishing (and very lucky on his part) that Alison doesn’t seem to mind but, at least to me, the cute moment is totally ruined by how much he’s trying to push his luck too far each time he opens his mouth in this page. Tylikcat His last two utterances were kind of adorable, I thought. ∫Clémens×ds I don’t see it. His “Cool, should I wait a week too?” might as well read “Should I look for a ring before I decide to call? Or is Prudy McPrude here courageous enough to consider premarital handholding without a womanly faint? Do you want me to ask your father’s permission first?” There are way to convey flattery and impatience without emotional blackmail. As I said in another comment, there is nothing I despise more than people who pretend their harassing insistence is humor when the victim says no but absolutely serious if they say yes. Ben Posin Uh…I think it’s pretty clearly meant to be a reference to the fact that ALISON waited a week after getting his number before contacting him. This idea that Underwear Gentleman has been engaging in inappropriate “pressure” or “emotional blackmail” really doesn’t gibe at all with how I’ve been reading these pages. He’s been pretty great, actually, and Alison seems to think so too. ∫Clémens×ds This is what the patriarchy does to you in a nutshell. Toxic masculinity in full display and everybody, onlookers and even sometimes its victims themselves, thinking it’s just normal and nifty. I’ve explained further why that’s the way I see it in response to Pythia. Ben Posin I’m not going to make any grand statements about the state of the world or the “patriarchy,” but in regards to this particular comic, nope, as best I can tell you’re just reading things into it that are not there. Tylikcat Eh, he asked her about gelato, and she kissed him – I’d kind of call that upping the ante on her part, really. That kind of sets the tone differently, I’d think. (Of course, that might partly be that every time I hit that, I think about how good gelato would be right now. Darn, why didn’t I buy more of that unusually excellent mango sorbet?) Lheticus Videre I read the “pressuring” more as kidding both her and himself. Especially that last line. There’s a “I literally know this line isn’t going to change a thing but I’m saying it anyway” implicit there. ∫Clémens×ds Exactly. I know that tactic very well. “Of course I’m kidding! Unless you say yes in which case I’m dead serious.” Sexual harassment as a social institution could never have thrived without that one. Pythia Okay, seriously? He’s just making light of how long she took to call him. It’s not pressuring, hell, if anything, it’s putting the ball on her court if she wants to take the question seriously and be like “yeah, wait a month”, he can’t exactly go against her wishes here. I get it if you have a bad history with people who do that kind of thing, but: a.) Allison is not a victim here, b.) there’s nothing there to indicate that the wait was due to her being a prude, he probably knows she could have just been busy, she IS a full time student with a job after all, not to mention her independent study which she may or may not have brought up sometime during the date, c.) what you call impatience here some might call earnestness. Maybe he just… enjoys her company and wants to repeat the experience, and has received no signs to indicate the feelings are not mutual. Sexual harassment is awful, it sucks, it hurts people, and it should stop. This is not sexual harassment. And claiming it is, or claiming it is even on the same level as sexual harassment just… cheapens the magnitude of the issue there. You have my condolences if you have been the “Prudy McPrude” in any situation similar to this one, but I’m having a hard time finding that mockery of sexually conservative behaviour in his words. Specially considering his immediate apology when he realized he may have been trying to move too quickly. I get that our dear Underwear Gentleman here has resting-evil-face and is pretty dominant as they go, but that does not equate with being a “pressuring ass-clown”, specially since he’s repeatedly asking for consent, asking for her opinion, asking whether or not she wants to do the thing, instead of being like “you should come upstairs”, or “come on upstairs, girl, it’ll only be a few minutes *glances at alcoholic beverage*”. He has been a great, though imperfect, guy the whole time, which is kind of all we can hope for out of a human being. I’m honestly kind of baffled that so many people here keep failing to see that. ∫Clémens×ds I was okay with the gelato proposal. She already said she was getting going but fine, the conversation went on from there so you might be excused for thinking she would have changed her mind. I was mildly annoyed at “…You’re sure you don’t want to come upstairs?” It’s starting to sound annoying, Max, but okay, it falls under everything you’ve been describing in your comment. I was angry by “should I wait a week too?” Is this all you think about, Max? I realized what he was referencing but it doesn’t change the fact that the underlying message is “I’m teasing you for being slow”. Which, considering he knows it’s her first date, is goddamn irresponsible and immature. Is it rape when you force a girl to say “yes” because she fears she might “lose you” if she doesn’t perform? Yes. I was infuriated by the last one. It’s the only fucking thing he opened his mouth to say on this page. Every time Alison said “not yet” and he has kept at it until she was in fucking orbit. I can only imagine that’s the last we got because he finally wasn’t in earshot anymore. This is not okay. It’s not because Alison is very uncharacteristically fine with his teasing now –whereas she displayed a lot of embarrassment he didn’t seem to realize or care for every time he did that before– that it’s suddenly defensible behavior. Would you have said the same if, like the case I told about before, he stayed exactly the same but we had Alison visibly struggling to come to terms with “what a girlfriend *has* to do to make a relationship work”, all inexperienced that she is and not willing to screw up, and decided to give in to his demands instead? Pythia Um, okay, let’s pause for a moment and look at the evidence. When did Alison display “a lot” of embarrassment? Page 52 of this chapter when she was made to be mildly uncomfortable by the realization that she weights options consequentially and not based on any personal preference? Page 53, when she said “What? No, not at all!” and “No, it’s totally okay” when referring to his forward behaviour, indicating that she was bothered by the philosophical implications of his comment and not his being forward? Page 50 when she didn’t seem to be able to say “date” but was otherwise smiling and clearly looking forward to the day? She’s been fine this whole time, if she was really embarrassed or upset we know she would make a big deal out of it. She made a big deal out of it in CLASS to a PROFESSOR, she obviously doesn’t care about power dynamics when it comes to speaking her mind. You say that it’s “goddamn irresponsible and immature” for him to tease her for “being slow” because it’s her first date but… she’s an adult. Why should he treat her with kid gloves? I would honestly find that slightly insulting. She knows what she’s doing, she was the one who called him, she has known he’s interested in her since she saved his life and he said “forgive me for being a total fanboy” and “I would never normally be this forward but this is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me”. This shouldn’t be coming out of nowhere from her perspective. When you talk about “forcing” a girl to say yes because she fears the consequences of saying no… there’s definitely emotional abuse going on there. Max isn’t in a position to emotionally abuse Alison. I would say that Patrick was much more in a position to emotionally abuse Alison, and the moment he crossed the line she took charge, pushed him away, and broke a ceramic cup on his face. You also said “Every time Alison said “not yet” and he has kept at it until she was in fucking orbit”, and… that’s not actually true. When Alison first thought she should call it a night, he automatically apologized for his behaviour. When he offered the Gelato and she decided against the idea, he went with her choice. She initiated their kiss. Alison hasn’t been telling this guy to fuck off to no avail as he keeps on pushing. She’s been enjoying his company with a little bump or two, which is to be expected when two different people interact. Lastly, this was a very interesting question on your part: “Would you have said the same if, like the case I told about before, he stayed exactly the same but we had Alison visibly struggling to come to terms with “what a girlfriend *has* to do to make a relationship work”, all inexperienced that she is and not willing to screw up, and decided to give in to his demands instead?” And I think it strikes to the heart of our disagreement. If he stayed exactly the same but Alison was in a completely different position, making the power dynamic tilt in his favour? Sure, that would suck for her. Yet, Alison is NOT STRUGGLING. She is not in a position of weakness. The balance of power here is in HER FAVOUR, independently of whether or not she has experience in the area of dating, because she’s a wealthy, smart, SUPERPOWERED CELEBRITY with a functional support network, who is making informed decisions carefully. She’s not his girlfriend, she’s not heavily invested in this relationship, and she’s not “giving in to his demands” or in a position where not doing so is detrimental (there are no negative consequences to her choice of not-coming-upstairs). She ASKED him to text her, she LIKED the date, and when she was thinking of leaving, she was thinking of doing so because she seems to have a bunch of soul-searching to do regarding the fact that she’s missing the point of the professor’s comment regarding her axiom being a tyrant’s (which, it is honestly. How do you make sure everyone works together, when people naturally won’t? You make them). Alison’s “no” is not a consequence of her being female and being therefore expected to be less sexually liberated, or her not actually liking this guy or wanting the night to be over. It’s a carefully made choice by someone who understands the potential consequences of her actions. You’re talking as if she was suffering the whole time and just wanted the night to be over–don’t you think if that was the case she would have just left? Or yelled at him? We know she has no qualms about telling a man in a position of power to fuck off, we know she has no qualms about doing the same to someone she’s in a pseudo-intimate relationship with. Between Patrick and Gurwara, two people in relative positions of power that Alison has told to fuck off, Max is not even a blip in the radar. He’s just some guy. He’s not FORCING her to do anything. Physically OR emotionally. And, lastly… my condolences if you have been in that kind of abusive situation. It sounds to me that you find it so easy to be riled up by these things because they remind you of some bad stuff. And that sucks. Sorry. ∫Clémens×ds You’ll realize I don’t mention Alison’s actual reaction once other than to say it’s uncharacteristic. You base your entire tolerance of his fucked up behavior on Alison’s positive reaction, but that’s why you don’t understand my point: I don’t care about Alison. His behavior? It’s not okay, ever. Scratch that, it can be, of course it can be. Two people knowing each other, teasing each other, that’s three fourth the fun of dating. So here’s what I think: either, as I suspect, their date albeit neat wasn’t a foray into each other’s mind so deep and exhaustive they can exchange the banter of a married couple, and Max is a massive asshole for pushing Alison the way he does considering it’s their first goddamn date and her very first ever and he certainly doesn’t know her enough to be sure he can push her that way without coercing her into the sex he wants and freaking rape her;… …or their date actually was a foray into each other’s mind so deep and exhaustive they can exchange the banter of a married couple already, and Max knows her enough to know her choice will be her own if he’s teasing to showcase his own affection– in which case, the author is inexcusably irresponsible. And do not assume you know my history because of my opinions. Lheticus Videre I…honestly had no idea that was a thing. masterofbones You never ask people if they are sure that they don’t want something? Seriously? If that counts as being a pressuring assclown, then we shouldn’t ask for anything, because by doing so we are clearly pressuring people into doing things that they would just do if they *really* wanted to. dragonus45 Pressuring assclown? Are you just of the opinion that its impossible for a man to proposition a woman in any way or something because it seems like you find the very fact he had a the GALL to ask her if she was interested to be abhorrent. Where on earth does this come from. Thrice.Great Yay first date! Yaaay! It went so well! There was even an awkward hiccup to get over which led to a pretty deep revelation about core values! And then a very sweet first kiss (Ali’s first ever?!) and some cute post date banter! Cue World Ending. Jaroke Nope. Feral was her first kiss I believe. danny in canada careful with the direction of your word balloon stems! Mistress Dizzy My gosh I really hope they work out. Insanenoodlyguy Smooth boy is smooth. JohnTomato First kiss awkward nose placement. OoO! From the last pannel it should be possible to triangulate if the possible side effects of date-related happiness include spontaneous extra-atmospheric activities. Mucho cute 🙂 Liz Ok, odds on this guy being a secret massive jerk? Right now I’m putting them at 1:1. ∫Clémens×ds Matter of perspective, but to me he’s not even a secret one. dragonus45 How is he a massive jerk? Weatherheight The problem with a massively smooth.. well.. anyone who is massively smooth is that it’s very difficult to tell if the smooth is an act or if it’s the real deal based on the initial few interactions Billy Dee Williams: Real Deal Mel Gibson (to take the easy shot): Not so much david_yim Go gurl Pol Subanajouy Differentiating between “wanting to” and “going to” might be the fulcrum of all responsible adult behavior. ∫Clémens×ds Although in this case, I don’t really see what she’s got to be responsible about. For all my contempt of Max’s behavior here, I’m curious as to what exactly prevents her from doing the thing she definitely proclaims wanting. Could be many reasons of course (not crushing his hips into fine paste being a good one) but that difference you speak of, between the things we want to do and the things we should do, it’s usually not how we frame whether we have sex or not. Ideally it’s about wanting it, simply. And she does. So… societal imperative to be the restrained one, as a girl? I hope it’s not that one. Thunder I think Alison is just making a very mature decision. She wants it, yes, but merely wanting it doesn’t mean that she feels that she is READY to make that next step. And in all fairness, it is a pretty big step for her, for more reasons than it would be for most people. Being concerned about crushing her partner’s hips into a fine paste, as you so eloquently put it, is a pretty big and not unreasonable hang up to get over, and is something that would take time and experience to do so. Remember, this the first date that Alison has ever been on. It’s an entirely new experience for her, which amplifies the nervousness factor. Do I really want this? Is this something I’m ready for? What if it isn’t very good, or ends badly? And probably a dozen other or similar questions, all would be running through Alison’s head at this moment. It’s a lot easier to maturely decide for yourself to have sex with someone when you’ve already done it before, and have had previous dating experience. This is entirely new and unfamiliar territory for Alison, so she’s making the decision for herself about how far she is comfortable going at any given time. This seems, from my perspective, to be Alison saying “Yes, I want to. But I don’t feel that I am ready for that right now, so I’m going to say no. Maybe next time.” And Max, for his part, is being a gentleman about it. He extended an offer, it was refused, and is gracefully accepting it. “Okay, that’s your choice to make, regardless of how I feel about it. Maybe next time.” They’ve both been pretty clear to each other by now that they want to be intimate. So, barring something really bad happening, it’s probably going to happen at some point. Just… not now. And that is a perfectly fine and mature decision to make. Pol Subanajouy Contempt? Urthman It’s possible to want multiple incompatible things (such as wanting to have sex right now and wanting to wait until you know someone better) and choose between them. Monica Gorman “Ideally it’s about wanting it, simply.” That’s very far from universal, and I don’t see any particular reason to think that Alison agrees with you. Tylikcat She initiated a kiss, and then politely saw him to his door. What a very Brois end to the evening. zarawesome Ali, you sure you don’t need to b– oh, she’s gone. persephone_the_wanderer Please don’t tell me she’s going to write him a sappy message _on the moon_. Mechwarrior How metaphoric, Alison. Lysiuj That’s gotta be one hell of a strap on her bag. MisterTeatime I think the speech balloon in panel 2 is supposed to be coming from Alison. ukulady7 Yay for Alison! I really want to see her take more control over her life like this. She’s got a good heart and a solid head but keeps getting pushed off course. MisterTeatime I can’t decide whether a romantic interest going into orbit after a date would be better told as an “I’m so hot” story or an “I blew it so badly” story. Snorkels It’s a Superman calming and settling moment. She’s going up there to catch her breathe and enjoy her moment. Dani Church I absolutely love Alison’s line in panel 5! Kate Blackwell Gasp! They didn’t ask for affirmative consent! jk, actually I’m not sure who kissed who, speech bubble in second comic reads like it should be Alison’s but is pointing at Max. Sanguich Aaargh… I can’t do it. I really, really WANT Allison to be happy, but this guy is a supervillain. I dunno how, but he HAS to be secretly evil. chaosvii Simply take a deep breath, and chant the Spider-man mantra “Good things don’t happen, it’ll all become worse for melodrama, good things don’t happen, it’ll all become worse for melodrama, good things don’t happen” Eventually you’ll calmly reject everything that this story sets up and reach a blissful state of expecting things that have no internal reason to happen but nonetheless must because the genre is out of good ideas and must conform to industry standards. Snorkels ;; solkan It seems like the text in the second panel has its tail pointed at the wrong person. Isn’t it still Allison speaking? screechfox Okay, I like him. I’m ninety percent sure he’s not secretly out to get her. He can stay. Balthazar I don’t know… I don’t trust those eyes 🙁 Pol Subanajouy Cheekbones of darkness I tell you. CheeeEEEeeekbooOOoones of daaaAAaaarrrkneesssss. sammybaby KISSING. Nothing good can come of this. Izo Yes, we must all be vigilant against the threat of super cooties. Aiun Way to take charge, girl. Can just about guarantee he’d be feeling good about how that went. fairportfan Still don’t trust this guy. If Alison was my kid sister i’d keep a close eye on him. deebles I don’t get the “do you” line. Raven Black Me neither. My best guess is it’s a synonym of “be yourself”. Izo Do whatever you would do. bta “Should I wait a week?” “Of course you should, let’s not be too hasty!” is how I interpreted it. Nethead Jay It’s a shortening “You do you” which has become a fairly popular phrase the last few years. Be yourself, as Raven Black says, fits quite well. She’s saying that’s up to you and, incidentally, might learn a tiny bit more about him. RobNiner *Makes soft squee sounds* Jon Harris This is the American internet. Mistakes will not be tolerated 😀 Psile Allison is happy. This shall end in tears and murder. AtomicZeppelinMan This might be a similar issue as with Superman and Lois Lane, i.e. Man of Steel vs. Woman of Kleenex. The movie Hancock alluded to this when Will Smith pulls the girl off real quick before climaxing with the equivalent of a shotgun blast. Alison has super strength, everywhere. So if this guy gives her the Big O, her kegels could seriously hurt him. masterofbones Always let Alison kiss you first. If you try to take the lead, she will punch you out of a building. On second thought, just don’t kiss Alison unless you have super-durability. Sexual stuff and self-control don’t go together super well. Woman of steel, man of kleenex and all that. motorfirebox I didn’t even notice the word balloon was wrong. I just figured Max was so smooth that he was able to instantly come up with the exact alternative proposal that Alison had in mind. masterofbones correct! There may be circumstances in which situational complexity merits a distinction, but the situation involving sex in no way should automatically make it so we treat it as some horribly complicated thing. It seldom is. Even if a distinction is merited, an increase in complexity often merits spending *more* effort determining the correct choice, meaning that asking for confirmation is *more* valid than usual. ∫Clémens×ds You have a suspiciously hard time distinguishing between an honest demand for confirmation and blatant teasing. masterofbones Or you said something as a joke, but I believe that same thing to be a fact. Even if I hadn’t been able to recognize your mockery, what difference would it have made? I believe what I said completely, no matter how absurd you may find it to be. ∫Clémens×ds Then you are a gross person and go away please? masterofbones you are truly a model of enlightened debate. dragonus45 Yes yes, he asked AGAIN, how DARE he ask so much a second time, or any times at all apparently. You are aware that people do that right, ask if your sure about something. Especially when the date has been going pretty well. Ben Posin What part of “I’m not going to make any grand statements about the state of the world” was me exercising a veto power over you? You feel free to discuss all the context you want, and I’ll feel free to say that, in my reading of the comic, you’re dead wrong. Snorkels It’s a sad crying emote. Maybe things work out great for everyone forever, maybe? yay? ∫Clémens×ds Again I shall point toward the “ideally” I wrote. I don’t think it’s a difficult position to have to say that in a perfect, ideal world, external logistics not being a variable over sex-having is a desirable thing? chaosvii *snerk* never change, idealized authority on constructive exchanges, never change.