A reminder: Molly will be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this weekend at table 201, with copies of SFP Book One and Book Two, as well as her other graphic novels! Here’s a full list of her panel appearances. 

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  • trev006

    Lovely strip. Can’t wait for TCAF.

    It’s ironic. If anything, Patrick’s godlike powers might make him more relatable to Allison specifically. I don’t know if anyone else could have handled things so calmly.

    Then again, Allison would cheerfully kill Patrick’s mother if that was still possible.

    • Tsapki

      Not sure cheerful would be a the right word, “angrily and vindictively” might be more apt. But yeah, both of these people have immense powers. But for the most part on a global scale, their powers simply seem like they can backfire. Their powers are blunt instruments, not surgeon tools and the fact they cause so much collateral damage still seems to be something they are dealing with.

  • Professor Harmless

    That’s our Allison.

  • Weatherheight

    “I was a child soldier, Patrick – what you’ve shown me was horrible, but you stuck by me when you saw what I had done. Come on, we need to talk about this and figure out how you can learn how to survive it. I’ll help if you want.”

    • Dwight Williams

      This, among other reactions.

    • Tsapki

      Someone get this donkey a carrot, they’ve earned it.

    • Tom O.

      Did Patrick really stick by her, though?

      • Weatherheight

        This has the same feel to me as the incident with Daniel.
        For all of her faults, Alison is at the very least loyal.
        Perhaps foolishly so, but she bonds with the broken easily and fiercely.

    • Blub Blub

      are you the same Weatherheight that posts on grrlpower?
      BTT: That could work between them.

      • Weatherheight

        That is me, although I do so less often these days.
        Grrlpower is awesome. Keeping up with the forum there is an awful lot of work, though.

        • zellgato

          I really wish they used Disqus or something.

          • David Brown

            I dedicated part of my Discord for their use, but it wasn’t well-received to say the least. Or taken advantage of. Also, I’m Viirin.

          • Alynna

            Well Yorp is just hilarious, but yeah I totally get the comment section being difficult.

          • Viirin

            Here’s the place I said, if anyone cares to use it:

          • Weatherheight

            Yorp is intelligent, willing to consider other viewpoints, and hilarious.
            And he”s a dog, so he’s got that going for him.

          • Eli Pomerantz

            can you share the Grrl Power discord again then?

    • Merle

      Man, you made me wanna cry with this. But, in a good way.

  • Zaku

    Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. Bravery is when you’re able to be afraid and stand your ground nonetheless.

    • Rafael Bogdan

      Isn’t that courage? Am I mixing them up?

      • David Nuttall

        Courage = Bravery

        • Rafael Bogdan

          I’m almost certain they’re not, at least not quite.
          There’s the one where you’re afraid but conquer fear – courage, IIRC – and the one where you’re just not afraid of the danger for whatever reason (extreme confidence, arrogance, insanity etc). IIRC this would be bravery.

    • DaktariD

      I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
      – Nelson Mandela

  • AdamBombTV

    Patrick’s mom fell in the floor jam and ruined her nightgown, no wonder he’s distressed. Don’t worry Patrick, there’s still delicious cookies on the table.

    • Pretty sure that’s ketchup.

      • Gotham

        With cookies? You /animal/

  • Gotham

    “So like are we intangible, is this whole thing a hologram or…? Because I’m frankly underwhelmed and the only thing that would make any of this worth my time is if I can grab some of these cookies before we bail”
    “Alison… they’re covered in my mother’s bloo—”
    “Did I fucking stutter”

    • AdamBombTV

      “Mmm, chocolate chip and the blood of a fresh kill, just like momma used to make… Oh, sorry Patrick”

  • AL Tei

    I appreciate this story very much.
    Thank you.
    I could have been a Patrick once, in a way….
    But I had my own Allison then too.

  • HanoverFist

    I’ll say it again: Al should get him a new puppy at the end of this, and it better be the cutest little shit I’ve ever seen.

    • friendlymosquito

      He DOES need some good influence, and there’s no mind more full of genuine love than a puppy.

    • Eve

      Or possibly an adult cat. Will love if loved, will take no shit.

      • Johan

        Yep, true 🙂

  • Gotham

    I kind of love how what she’s saying isn’t reassuring in the slightest.
    “This what you hid to prevent me from realizing you were a monster. Now I know.”
    “I have seen.”
    “Now but I mean so do you think…”
    “What’s the hold up monster boy let’s go or do you have other parents to murder”

    • If you respond with “sure, that’s all cool, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest,” then either you’re lying — and Patrick would know that — or you’re not really a person who’s capable of helping in this situation.

      If you say, “Yep, that’s fucked up, and I have to process it, but I haven’t run away yet, and there is still a decent chance I won’t run away, because I’m also fucked up”, well, that’s actually more likely to be true and helpful.

      • Philip Bourque

        I admit I’m not all that well-versed in psychology, but why would that be helpful?

        • StClair

          Because it’s honest.
          Yes, that’s scary.
          Yes, that’s fucked up.
          I’m not going to lie to you or try to pretend otherwise.
          It is what it is, we both know it, let us proceed on that basis.

          • Weatherheight

            And having someone they accept you and then proceed to actually ACCEPT YOU, including the bad stuff, goes a long way to making that person feel lees like an abomination and more like a person. 😀

        • I am not particularly all that great at psychology, which I use to mean the actual understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the mind, but I’m pretty good at empathy and counselling, which are kind of like the practical “where the rubber meets the road” effects of it — kind of, maybe, like the difference between science and engineering, where science is understanding how and why things happen, and engineering is the ability to do it.

          So, I can’t tell you exactly WHY that’s more helpful. But I can tell you that it IS. I spend four hours a week texting with strangers, supporting them emotionally with all sorts of things, occasionally touching on stuff that’s, well, not THIS bad, but is at least sort of vaguely slightly a step or two in that direction, maybe?

          By the way — if you need to talk to someone about something you’re going through, any sort of crisis where a shoulder to cry on, or a voice to vent to, or someone to support you, would be helpful, and you like texting better than talking, you can text to 741741 to be connected to one of us at Crisis Text Line, any time, day or night. Sometimes we can point you at potentially helpful resources, sometimes we can help you work out ideas of things to do, but mainly, we are just there to listen and keep you company when you need, not a friend, exactly, but someone who cares and will support you, which is kind of sometimes better than a friend.

          Empathy isn’t about making someone better, or cheering someone up. It’s about being with someone when things suck. Recognizing that things suck. Not denying the suckitude of things.

          Not this: http://nineriverswellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Inside-Out-5.png

          But this: http://brianpagan.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/empathyInAction1.png

          Because when things suck, and especially when things suck because you genuinely screwed up, you don’t need someone to tell you that things aren’t that bad. They ARE that bad, and you need that acknowledged. You need someone to recognize that, and share it with you, so that you can recognize it, and share it with someone.

    • Natsumeg

      I admit, after every page your comments are one of the first I try to seek out. I disagree with what I think you’re trying to say almost every time, but I think your reactions and thoughts are always really interesting and you often point out things I didn’t notice first time round.

      It seems to me like this page looks very different to you than it does to me, unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re trying to say here. I was really touched when I saw ‘I have seen it’.

      I think there’s a lot going on behind Alison’s words, “This is the thing you’re most afraid to show me. The thing you were certain would keep anyone from seeing you as human”. I think that while most people are innately good at catching subtlety and we all know why this is such a painful memory for Patrick, Alison’s words here are for his benefit, because she has learned a lot more about the different kinds of emotional vulnerability from people and is trying to connect with Patrick by making him realize she understands what this all means to him.

      She’s not just acknowledging how painful this is for him. By saying ‘the thing you were certain would keep anyone from seeing you as human”, she’s acknowledging how awesome and how heavy what’s she’s seen. She’s acknowledging that this is no trivial memory, this is something that probably has impacted his self-perception, his identity, his worldview, his every decision ever since. In one short sentence, she’s trying to communicate an understanding of how truly important this is.

      And that’s all the more of a setup to the next line that is incredibly minimal.

      “I’ve seen it”. Patrick knows how much Alison held him in high esteem. When she lost her temper at him, it was still a deep frustration at him as a person, at his shitty behavior and worldview. She had always seen him as a person, a spooky person, a cute person, a myoptic person and shady person–always a human being. And like a normal person out there, he has things he knows about himself that he’s terrified, rationally or not, would cause people to see him as a monster. And he has the ability to see into people’s minds and see self-delusions, see rationalizing, or see the shift in perspective so that fear is probably multiplied.

      By acknowledging exactly how heavy this is and then following up with something so quiet and minimal, I don’t see it as trivializing or leaving Patrick on a cliffhanger. I don’t think she wants to have the bigger conversation inside the same memory that’s traumatized Patrick for so long. She might have a lot to say, but the main point of everything is that while Alison’s perspective of Patrick IS probably changed completely, she still sees him as a person. And she wants him to realize she still sees him as a human after understanding exactly why this is horrifying and why this is so traumatizing.

      I know this and I think Patrick knows this because immediately after saying it, she puts her hand to his shoulder and says ‘let’s go’. Together. And Patrick answers ‘ok’ immediately, maybe because he’s genuinely stunned or because he got that message that I think Alison was trying to send to him. She’s taken this enormous heavy thing, acknowledged how big it is, and then intentionally tried to turn it into something less monstrous and more calm without trivializing it. I think that’s impressive and mature of her.

      If Alison tried to immediately say, ‘I’ve seen it and I’m still with you,’ without the first part, it can be interpreted that she doesn’t understand or comprehend just what she’s seen and how it relates to Patrick truly. If she said all of that and didn’t then put her hand on his shoulder before gesturing to leave, then maybe she’s just saying that and leaving things unresolved. But everything together paints a very moving picture for me of someone who is trying to understand and accept a deeply traumatized person, while also doing her best to communicate that to the person with no pretensions.

      I imagine with how painful and how emotional this whole memory is, Alison was trying to cool the temperature as well. Instead of saying ‘this does not make you a monster’, she’s showing it in her actions.

      Sorry for rambling.

      • David B Huber

        Bravo! I think your response is thoughtful, perceptive and pays a great compliment to the author’s ability to condense a complex interplay into a few panels of comic gold!

        That said, I doubt Patrick can read more than surface thoughts while Alison is in his mind – perhaps not at all. I hope your interpretation of that last panel is correct and she’s not just placing him under arrest!

      • Sprainogre

        I think that his face, right before she says “I’ve seen it.” has a lot of weight. He’s already read her thoughts, he’s seen the truth. She doesn’t see him as a monster. Does she think worse of him? Probably a little. Does she see what led to it? Yes. Does she think he is beyond all hope? No. He’s not a monster. He sees that in her mind.

        Patrick’s expression, that little bit of shock in it, tells a lot as well.

      • Gotham

        Well it’s flattering, but I’m sorry I must shatter the illusion: I agree with your interpretation, wholeheartedly. It’s not only irrefutable that that’s what’s happening here, to me it’s also… obvious?

        Which is why my comments tend to be controversial, I guess. I never say the first thing that comes to mind, but I think, rethink and overthink it adding layers upon layers of critical distance so that what comes out at the end is often very dumb, but hopefully unique and if anything, interesting to ponder. Even if, disclaimer, it’s almost always in jest.

        But do continue to ramble, I will always encourage you to if it’s going to be this pertinent and well put every time.

        • Natsumeg

          whew, awesome! Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly how you feel about the things happening in the comic, since sarcasm doesn’t always come across clearly in every written comment.

          I relate with adding layers and layers of distance–I think a lot of times, it is more interesting than being 100% frank, and there a lot of times where you gain something extra from it.

    • cphoenix

      The text of her words isn’t reassuring, but her body language and facial expression in the last panel are very soft and supportive.

      • Gotham

        Y’know, when I say “I love how what she’s saying in not reassuring in the slightest”, this is what is evidently implied:

        “I know this is a reassuring act. It’s established clearly enough so as not to warrant repeating it as the premise of my own comment. However, within the confines of this reassuring framing, willfully and explicitly unfairly taken out of context, the very words themselves are ripe for snark I’ll be damned if I don’t highlight.”

        I say this because it’s not the first time some people, you included, essentially responded to my jokes by explaining their premises back to me. And, honestly, it’s infuriating. It feels immensely condescending. I know it’s not intentional, and I hold no resentment, but by Lord Boy Patrick please do remember this next time.

  • Geo Ogonosky

    Wait though.. Didn’t he tell her very specifically that he couldn’t control people?

    • Tom O.

      This memory was locked away, so he may not have remembered being able to do so.

    • Callinectes

      I wouldn’t call what happened here “control”.

      • Philip Bourque

        Overwriting or rewriting, then.

        • Callinectes

          What I mean is, he was able to make the changes he wanted, but had no control over the outcome. It was not what he wanted, and I doubt any usage of that ability would go any better than that. He had control of the situation right up to the point where he attempted “mind control” and it immediately spiralled into hell well beyond his ability to correct.

          • Philip Bourque

            What makes you say that? He was able to rewrite her mind. She loved him exactly as he rewrote her to. They had cookies, they were talking and she was praising him; he was happy. Then he found his rewriting to be a bit less than perfect and he childishly decided that since things weren’t perfect the first time he would give up. He then commanded her to kill herself and she did. It wasn’t outside of his control, he simply decided not to try again. I’m sure that with time and practice he would get better at it, just like any other skill.

          • Callinectes

            I disagree completely. He didn’t want a mother who have been brainwashed into loving him, he wanted a mother who loved him. The only tool for getting what he wants must necessarily turn what he wants into crap, and horrifying crap at that. There’s no amount of invasive tweaking that will make a whole and healthy person. And that horror started to break him down also. You don’t have control when your own head is spinning and your world crumbling by your own clumsy hand.

          • Philip Bourque

            He said “I can make you love me.” And that’s exactly what happened. He was happy, not in any kind of distress or showing any sign of instability when he was eating those cookies. Why wasn’t he freaking out after he had given her the “love me” command? How was he not in control then?

          • Callinectes

            Is that what you saw? No instability?

          • Philip Bourque

            Immediately after he mind mojo’d her, he was elated. “Yay, it worked mommy loves me!” Then at the table he was excitedly telling her his plans, the same way a child tells their parent how they were playing with friends. Then he found that it was less than perfect and went “waaah, it’s not perfect. I didn’t draw or colour perfectly within the lines. I’m gonna throw it away and never draw again. waaah!” Still fully in control because she, without argument or resistance carried out his command. Personally, I see him as a threat that needs to be eliminated. If he could use his power perfectly, will that just means he needs to die sooner.

          • Callinectes

            That strikes me as a very shallow interpretation. It looked to me like he was desperately pretending he was okay, allowing himself to believe for a moment that it was, when he knew better but needed himself not to. I’ve seen that look and condition before. He was already losing it, and focusing his remaining mental energy on the facade in the drastic hope that he would forget the truth and reality would mantle the facade and all would be well.

          • Philip Bourque

            With the sunken eyes with smudges underneath, the gaunt appearance and generally unhealthy complexion, I can understand where that view comes from. For me, page 97, panels 1, 3 and 4 are where I get my impression.
            Oh well. As a certain wise old man said “you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

    • Altain Phoeinx

      I’d call this changing people. He had no real control here, he wanted her to feel, and all he got was love specifically for him.

      • ObviousPuppetAccount

        He said “I can make you love me”.
        I’d say he exactly got what he asked for.
        Also, controlling someone is generally seen as making them act in the way you tell them to do. That is what Patrick did to her, so he is for all intents and purposes controlling her. And he got her to shoot herself, which I would call control.

    • Zaku

      He specifically repressed this memory. As far as he could remember, he couldn’t control people.

  • Callinectes

    “Let’s go, Patrick. Your double’s sobs are already turning back into quacks. There is little time.”

  • Walter

    They get back to the real world
    Patrick: I’m ready to tell you about the conspiracy.
    Alison: Let’s hear it.
    Moonshadow: *slits Patrick’s throat*

    • Johan

      “Ah shit, were you having a moment? How rude of me. Sorry”
      Because it’s only polite to apologise when you cut into a conversation.

      Does that work? I’m not sure it’s a saying. Ah well 😀

      • Steele

        “Cut into”, oh, you sly punster!

        • Johan

          Why thank you 😀

    • Stephanie

      Moonshadow only kills rapists.

      • Walter

        You don’t think ‘dude who murdered his own mother’ would get her excited? Like, at least as much as the squad of Blackwater dudes, or the old guy who beat his wife, right?

        • Gotham

          This casts “why don’t our daughters ever visit us” in a grim, grim new light.

          • Walter

            I always kinda took it that way, tbh. I think we are meant to take it that Moonshadow generally did her research, given how she reacted when she couldn’t tell if Furnace fit her target profile or not.

          • The Improbable Man

            What’s the new light? I’d always assumed he’d abused his daughters.

          • Gotham

            It’s clear enough considering his wife’s black eye and question.
            I took it as violence against women—and the pardon of gang rapists—was all that was necessary for Moonshadow’s actions. Not that he had raped them.

          • The Improbable Man

            I guess I’m still confused about what the new light is. Are you saying that you now think he raped them when you didn’t before? Walter’s comment is suggesting that Moonshadow doesn’t only kill rapists, so I feel like I’m missing something.

          • Gotham

            Yes, that’s the new light. I’m answering to both @disqus_FYIpGydl8T:disqus and @disqus_DkLklQDjEE:disqus.

          • The Improbable Man

            Okay, thanks, I understand now. 🙂

          • The Improbable Man

            Oh I just remembered. That squad of Blackwater dudes were all rapists too:


        • Stephanie

          I don’t think this would get her excited, no. She seems focused on sexual violence in particular.

    • Weatherheight

      okay, this is kind of dramatically awesome.
      Full marks/

  • Yirtimd2

    … And then they lived happily ever after….(no)….

  • martynW

    “I’ve seen it. Let’s go.”

    Whoa. Two years of therapy in two sentences.

  • Jshadow

    If the next pages will be “and then everything was okay”…. I dunno what honestly.

  • bryan rasmussen

    More emphasis on ‘this’ in ‘this is the thing you were most afraid to show me’, please.

  • zellgato

    You are not remotely the first person to murder their family.
    not even the first person who ~made~ their family murder each other.
    Hell… She’s probably killed a family or two just incidentally.
    In the scheme of things…
    not world ending Patty boy. You’re still a f88ked up villain though. Never forget that. Just do better.

    also. I still half think the mom lives through this and is the cause of the conspiracy.
    That first pulse in the first panel there?
    Accidentily creating a subconcious connection. She know will have a pipeline to him instead and various resources due to it. That she’ll use to do all the stuff he talked about
    That. or the dad isn’t dead in the bedroom.
    grows up to become that Fake TEacher guy whose name I forget. gurararer something

    • Weatherheight

      “You’re still a f88ked up villain though. Never forget that. Just do better.”

      Words for all of us to contemplate and consider. Well said.

      • zellgato

        He should use Feral as an example.
        She’s a dear. and she’s doing her damdest to do better.

  • Good answer.

  • “Without condoning, or condemning. I understand.”

  • John Smith

    There are so many comments of people that feel sorry for Patrick.

    But I just don’t understand why. I don’t find him sympathetic in the slightest. He has done bad things to lots of people and freely admits it. Moreover, he is completely unapologetic and refuses to stop, even though he easily could.

    This backstory does not excuse him doing bad things. It is just another bad thing he has done.

  • Philip Bourque

    After all this, my opinion of Patrick has changed. Previously I was apathetic towards him. He seemed nothing more than a wannabe Saturday morning cartoon super villain who had looked at the grime of the human psyche a little too much. Now? Now I see him as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

    • ObviousPuppetAccount

      There are perfectly fine super prisons where they can lock him up. Of course, he’ll first have to go on super trial in front of a super jury of his super peers.
      But I think we all can tell they’ll find him super guilty.

      • Philip Bourque

        Perfectly good prisons where he can make “suggestions” to all the guards, prisoners and staff about better conditions, a better prison system and a better America with him at it’s head. Attica! Attica! Attica! or something like that.

        • ObviousPuppetAccount

          I said “super prison”. We’ll just convert some little roomba’s to bring him food and drinks. He can’t mind control them.
          Problem solved.
          Sometimes you just need to be a little creative.

  • bryan rasmussen

    I wonder what Clevin’s up to. Still running?

  • She’s seen worse.

  • Where’s Gurwara, BTW?

    • ObviousPuppetAccount

      We’ll see him in about a year or so again. Down into the memory hole it goes!

  • masterofbones

    Why would patrick be afraid of how people *might* react? He knows exactly how they *would* react…

    This whole scenario would make way more sense for someone who couldn’t read minds.

    • Jimmyjims

      Maybe it’s one of those times where the thing he’s asking a person to react to is so beyond the normal range of human experiences he has observed other people react to that showing it to Alison was an act of desperation and hope? Like when he first met her, maybe it would work, probably it would fail but no attempt at all would mean certain ‘failure’.

    • Gotham

      I don’t think we’re supposed to understand Patrick can predict people’s reactions and choices with 100% accuracy. Sure, reading minds can give you a pretty decisive headstart, but it’s like a book: if you’re halfway through reading it, your guess as to how it ends is much better than someone who’s just seen the cover, but you’d be foolish to bet on your guess.

      Also, I think you’re understanding this incorrectly. He wouldn’t be afraid because he wouldn’t know how they’d react, but because regardless of whether he knew in advance or not, they might react badly.
      I mean, hopefully. You don’t see gay teens anxious about coming out to their parents going “oh thank God, I know for sure they will disinherit me and throw me in the street, the uncertainty was killing me.”

  • MineNOR

    Happy Mother’s Day!