SFP

Hi there! If you live near Durham, NC, Molly is a guest at the Durham Comics Fest this weekend! More details here.

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  • Gotham

    Alison makes it her goal in life to not wear socks in her of anyone else’s dreams

    • Professor Harmless

      This is precisely why I. Don’t want to live on the moon.

      • magnetoo

        Personally I’m with Kermit:

        Well, I’d like to visit the moon
        On a rocket ship high in the air
        Yes, I’d like to visit the moon
        But I don’t think I’d like to live there
        Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
        I would miss all the places and people I love
        So although I might like it for one afternoon
        I don’t want to live on the moon

        So if I should visit the moon
        Well, I’ll dance on a moonbeam and then
        I will make a wish on a star
        And I’ll wish I was home once again
        Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
        I would miss all the places and people I love
        So although I may go I’ll be coming home soon
        ‘Cause I don’t want to live on the moon
        No, I don’t want to live on the moon

        • That was ERNIE’S song, how DARE you.

          • magnetoo

            My bad! I listened to it in my head, and heard Kermit.

          • ampg

            Well, they’re both Jim Henson, so it’s understandable.

          • magnetoo

            I realized later I’d never *seen* the song sung – just heard it on a cassette tape.

          • Weatherheight

            My life is better for having heard this for the first time today…

        • Professor Harmless

          Eh, I’m just glad someone understood the reference. I was afraid I’d have to make noises about flying monkeys.

    • ampg

      As much as she wants to stay faithful to Clevin, as long as they love each other I genuinely don’t see how they can avoid an emotional affair, even if it takes place entirely within their shared dreamscapes.

      • Ian Osmond

        I am deeply dubious about whether an emotional affair is an actual thing that exists.

        Okay, fine — I get that any people in any relationship are able to define their relationship in any way that works for them, and if they want to exclude “having emotions for other people” as a thing that is okay, well, that’s up to them and it’s not my place to judge.

        But… I really don’t get it or how it’s a thing.

        • ampg

          It’s definitely something that has a less commonly-accepted definition than “physical affair,” but usually it refers to someone in a monogamous relationship both having romantic feelings for someone else AND investing significant emotional energy with them that should rightly be directed toward their partner, including a level of emotional intimacy that’s normally reserved for a romantic relationship. Like I said, it’s hard to define, but I think most monogamous couples do have their own definitions of it (and most likely, many polygamous relationships do, as well, but I don’t have experience with those).

          • Tylikcat

            Polygamous is usually used to refer to people from traditional religious / cultural backgrounds where marriages often involve more than two people*. If that’s what you mean, great. But culturally, there’s very little overlap with polyamory, which is the modern and much more fluid construction. (Not to say that all ethically non-monogamous people identify as polyamorous – seriously, that’s another can of worms.)

            * FWIW, it’s the generic, with polyandry for marriages with one wife and multiple husbands, and polygyny for one husband and multiple wives. (And why does spell check recognize polyandry and not polygyny?)

          • ampg

            Sorry – I was posting after no sleep and misspoke. I actually do know the correct terms and have edited to reflect that.

          • Tylikcat

            I was pretty sure I’d seen you use it in the past, and I was a little confused. The misuse can be meant as a pejorative, but I figured taking it as such couldn’t possibly be productive.

        • Tylikcat

          To me that sounds a bit like the kind of logic that says there can be no cheating in polyamorous relationships.

          Deception and breaking of agreements is still deception and breaking of agreements, even if there’s no fucking involved. I mean, different people might make different relationship agreements, and more power to them, but to me, that’s the core of it, not “Oh, no, you’re not allowed to have feelings for anyone else.” Though, admittedly, a lot of people are (or try to be) controlling shitheads in how they structure their relationships, and that’s another thing entirely.

    • Gotham

      Addendum:

      I want Feral to learn about it and react “this is the corniest straight blonde shit I’ve ever witnessed

  • Fluffy Dragon

    ooooh no.
    They’ve already created the precedent that kissing in dreams is allowed.
    Let’s hope that’s not why he’s comin’-a-knockin’

    • Gotham

      How does she know if she’s actually dreaming of him (and Patrick Prime is not aware of it) or he’s a projection of the real deal?

      In case of doubt just kiss him you’ve got plausible deniability with ya

      • David B Huber

        You bring up an excellent point! Is there any way to distinguish another Being from a figment or fragment of your own conciousness?

        At first I thought this proof that Patrick retains his powers, but now I wonder…

      • freemage

        Eh, the former is certainly a possibility, but the notion that Patrick Prime doesn’t know about it would be… strange, given the strength of his telepathic abilities, particularly in reference to Allison herself. He may not be projecting into her mind, but he’ll know any time she thinks of him.

        • David B Huber

          I wonder what it would be like to lurk passively within an avatar of yourself that’s being animated by the expectations and fears of someone you care about?

    • Callinectes

      If you could be held accountable for what you do in dreams we’d all be in trouble.

  • Masala Nilsson

    Wait, does she only have the one dream? I assume the mirror figures are going to become important, but I kind of got stuck on that detail.

    • Professor Harmless

      Not just the one dream. A recurring one. A young woman who sees herself reflected in mirrors upon oh so fragile people made of paper. What do you suppose you’d dream of, if you lived in a world made of cardboard?

      • Callinectes

        Box cutters.

      • Weatherheight

        Fire.. Fire.. heheh.. fire. Cool…

  • Turnabout is fair play?

  • David B Huber

    “You don’t have the authority to stop me” is.. unsettling.

    Although clearly taking place in Alison’s mind, I wonder how much of this scenario is actually Patrick’s dream?

    I hope he waves his hand to create a nice picnic setting, then invites her to sit down and open that suitcase (which contains all the Conspiracy info Gurwara couldn’t find).

    • Vegetalss4

      I disagree with the unsettling part.
      No one has the authority to forcibly stop someone from crying (very differently from stopping someone from wanting to cry, which loads of people are allowed to try).

      • The Improbable Man

        And what if that’s being used as a metaphor for what happens next? Two panels later he shows up in her mind and says “may I join you?” She doesn’t have the authority to stop him from being in her mind, but it’s better if he has permission. I think that’s the unsettling part.

        • friendlymosquito

          I think in that situation it would be more, “you don’t have the power/ability to stop me”, which (I think) is slightly different. I view “authority” in this instance as being a moral/boundaries thing, because invading her dreams is a pretty clear violation, but everybody has the right to cry if they want to.

          Alternatively, he could be explicitly thinking of his mother, who was technically in a position of authority over him and almost certainly told him not to cry (because it was annoying to her). So now he’s asserting that Allison doesn’t not have that authority, possibly in an attempt to remind himself that he is an emotionally responsible adult now, while also being glad that expressing said emotions is not being poorly received as it has been in the past.

          • David B Huber

            I like that! Emphasizing that he doesn’t view Alison as a mother figure who has authority over him, but as a friend whose permission is liberating.

      • David B Huber

        I’m not questioning the truth of the assertion. I’m dismayed by the tone. As if Patrick is already beginning to distance himself from Alison, with a totally uncalled for “You’re not the boss of me!” injunction on the person he literally invited to break him?

        • Tylikcat

          It fits right in with his awkward formal overly literal thing to me.

          • David B Huber

            Upon further consideration, I have to agree. 🙂

          • friendlymosquito

            Yeah, I read it as “I know it’s weird that I’m thanking you for giving me permission when TECHNICALLY from any logical standpoint I don’t strictly NEED it, but let me try to explain what I am feeling and every potentially relevant context detail surrounding said feelings.” Because gratitude is SUUUUUPER weird you guys!

            And on that note, it occurs to me that Patrick has NEVER IN HIS LIFE (probably) had the opportunity to be genuinely grateful to anyone, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his parents managed to convince him that he SHOULD be grateful (because that’s a thing unempathetic parents tend to do when they’re conforming to social conventions and their child….doesn’t, quite), thus leading him to view gratitude as insincere on principle, hence his awkwardness in expressing it now.

            … I dunno, maybe I’m just projecting a little ;P

        • Callinectes

          If everything we said aloud, especially under heightened emotional stress, was picked apart by literary critics, I wonder how many things they would discover about us, and how many of those things would be wildly off the mark?

  • Thomas S

    Ha! Now he is the polite one…

    I remember I had a clever theory about the start of this chapter about Alison’s dreamscape, but I cannot recall a shred of it.

    Still, glad she is also carrying baggage.

  • Amilynn

    Strategic blanket deployment!

  • plainclothes supervillain

    Last time she had this dream, there was a moment where she was Gurwara. And then we saw Gurwara in Patrick’s brain stealing things.

    Are they going to maybe worry about that now? Can we please worry about that now, guys?!? I’m a sucker for the Feelings Crap (I really, REALLY am) but CAN WE PLEASE WORRY ABOUT GURWARA WHO HAS NOW SHOWN UP IN YOUR TWO ENTIRELY SEPARATE BRAINS?

    • spriteless

      But they weren’t seperate. Al was a way to get to Pat.

      Oh hey just realized they have gender ambiguous names, who else does they will also be important!

      • deebles

        Since when is Daniel gender-ambiguous? Dana, sure, or Danny. Never met a female Daniel, though, only Danielles or Daniellas.

        • Incendax

          That one is more in the pronunciation. If you didn’t see it spelled out, it could go either way depending on how you say it.

          • magnetoo

            To me that sounds like saying “John” is a gender neutral name because there are women named “Jane”.

            If they are spelled and pronounced differently, I’d say they are different names, even if they might “pair up”.

          • Incendax

            They can be pronounced the same. That’s the point.

          • magnetoo

            I can only say that if you have met someone with the name spelled “Danielle” but pronounced “Daniel”, or vice versa, then we have had very different experiences.

          • Incendax

            Of course! The world is full of interesting pronunciations and accents.

          • freemage

            Well, sure. I mean, there’s Gaelic, for pity’s sake, which I maintain was originally a prank the Welsh, Irish and Scots are playing on the English, and which they discovered was profitable enough to draw in American tourists so they keep it going:

            American, examining a carved rock: “W-n-n-d-n-n-h-d-w-r? How is that pronounced?”
            Irish guide: “Fred.”

            Still, in American English, the name “Daniel” almost always has the emphasis on the first syllable, while “Danielle” puts it on the second one. Magnetoo is correct that that would be a very oddball reversal, to the point someone would’ve mentioned it or noticed it before this.

          • Incendax

            Hahahah, yeah. The old joke is something like “How do you speak fluent Welsh? Shove marbles in your mouth.”

            But it’s definitely interesting that there is such a firm distinction in American English. Around here it’s actually pretty common for “Daniel” to have the emphasis on the second syllable. So it just sounds the same for both men and women even though it is spelled differently.

          • masterofbones

            Girls are called Dan-yell. Boys are called Dan-yul.

            There is no overlap

    • magnetoo

      I’m in the minority, I know, but I liked Gurwara and am not yet willing to entirely give up that opinion.

      • masterofbones

        Well, Allison and Max are both crazy and dangerous, so manipulating them to reduce damage isn’t particularly evil

        • magnetoo

          I wouldn’t have a problem with any of Gurwara’s interactions with Allison no matter how she was regarded, and it is not yet clear to me what his relationship is with Patrick.

          The one thing that does give me pause is his behaviour towards the professor whose class he high jacked.

    • Lance Allen

      Oh, I’m absolutely sure we haven’t seen the last of Gurwara. I’m thinking he’s part of the conspiracy, but perhaps a splinter faction that acknowledges the dangers supers present, but thinks they can be worked with and molded instead of outright killed. Still maybe evil, maybe not.

  • AngstyCrow

    It is strange how much you cry when people make you talk about things you rarely or never voice.

    I don’t think I’ve ever cried by myself since I was a child, but my now fiance kinda pressed me about why I was elusive about my family about a year into our relationship and I just fell apart. Just about everything in this chapter has hit penetratingly home, except for the dog. For me it was my goldfish as punishment for hiding.

    It didn’t make me feel better, and I’m not sure I’m really convinced by catharsis arguments. More than anything, I think it just gave her context for why I behave the way I do in certain situations. I know its literally counter to what seems to be the message of this comic, but I was always most familiar with the Bojack Horseman bit about moving forward over making peace.

    But then, I didn’t murder my parents because I couldn’t get away from them. Patrick literally couldn’t move on.

    Good comic. I rarely comment, because I often feel the comment section goes over my head, but I make new accounts every once in a while to post something inane. I recommend this to every single one of my friends. I’ve been reading since Issue 3. It’s motivated a lot of personal growth and efforts at developing a sociological imagination, which I have to imagine was partly the goal for this comic. So… thanks.

    …yeah.

    • aseariel

      There can be more than one response to trauma – even the same or similar traumas – and more than one way to heal. You might not ever find catharsis from crying – I know my husband doesn’t – and it baffled him for a long time that I do. Nothing wrong with being either way.

      I hope things are immeasurably better for you now than they once were, and that they continue to become even more so.

      • AngstyCrow

        Yeah, I don’t mean to sound like I’m harping on the comic for not, like, following my experience or anything. I just know a lot of people were kind of critical of Allison’s “you have to feel emotion” approach and the first panel today reminded me of that one night when I got really upset. I know media is always seeing crying as some kind of breakthrough, but I’ve found that being a little dulled isn’t some sort of disability. I work in EMS, and it’s actually been very helpful in my work to be honest. I’ve got some experience with abuse and I’m often quite a bit quicker than my partner to spot it as a result.

        Things are better, for me at least. My older siblings still talk to them, but I don’t because I got the brunt of it. I was much younger, and wasn’t planned, so there was some resentment that was exclusive to me. My older brother especially still has his issues, but I’m making my way forward slowly, which is really true for pretty much everyone on earth, to be perfectly honest.

      • AngstyCrow

        Things are much better. Better than I could have imagined, to be perfectly honest.

        And you are definitely right, it’s just the visual of that first panel combined with the subject material made me want to contribute my 2 cents to the “Allison apparently knows better than Patrick how to handle powers/trauma that she has never and will never experience” debate.

        I know Allison’s desire to help comes from a good place, but speaking from experience, you get really tired of people thinking they can Good Will Hunting you into being a better version of yourself. It’s like, I’m functional. I’ll take functional.

      • AngstyCrow

        Things are much better. Better than I could have imagined, to be perfectly honest. I’m engaged, and that alone would astonish my younger self.

        And you are definitely right about everyone coping in their own way. I’m sorry if it seemed I was judging people for handling things different than me. It’s just the visual of that first panel combined with the subject material made me want to contribute my piece to the whole “Allison apparently knows better than Patrick how to handle powers/trauma that she has never and will never experience” debate.

        I know Allison’s desire to help comes from a good place, but speaking from experience, you get really tired of people thinking they can Good Will Hunting you into being a better version of yourself. It’s like, I’m functional. I’ll take functional.

        Which Patrick wasn’t, which is I guess why it is okay that Allison, like, did involuntary psycho-surgery on him? I really just wish it wasn’t tied up in the idea that he loves her, and so he has to relive this stuff with her so she can forgive his flaws and they can become friends again? Her forcing him to unblock the image of his mom is actually the biggest issue I have with this, because it is the one part that was totally unnecessary, except that Allison arbitrarily insisted on it presumably just because she and the audience were curious.

        • Tylikcat

          I think what is necessary does depend on the person. I’m not a fan of obligatory processing as per some set script. For me… well, the way my mind and memory works, I kind of suck at repressing things anyway, the best I could do is sort of knot it up and hang the equivalent of warning signs around it, and once I had to deal with shit, it was either deal with it or let it fuck with my life. Also, I was pretty pissed off. After that (and all the practical fallout, but I’m mostly pretty proud of that, thanks) I could go back to ignoring it, or at least getting on with things.

          (I realize I’m give no fucks Tylikcat now, but how I dealt with things when I was fifteen isn’t how I deal with them at forty-five… and how I dealt with them in my twenties, and them my thirties also diverged a lot.)

          I re-read Patrick’s reappearance, and I was struck by him showing up, drunk, and then a few pages later shouting “I’m supposed to be good a this!” – and it’s never clear what, but in retrospect, coming to Alison, and asking her for help and letting her into his mind (something that terrified him) seems to be implied. I don’t expect Alison to highly skilled at this all. They survived.

        • Natsumeg

          I think one thing this chapter has repeatedly tried to explore is how some traumas people experience can inexplicably make them feel like THEY are the ones who are to blame and that the things they experienced and the people they are make them less than human–or rather, less able to connect with other humans. And under the premise that having connections with other people and being able to have connections is one of the most essential part of being human–if the experiences you went through (without any choice) force you into a situation where you are less able to do that, it’s probably a very painful situation to be in.

          In that context, I think I personally don’t see it as Alison knowing better than Patrick how to handle trauma she never had to experience. In fact your problems with what’s happened are exactly the same problems I had/have with Alison’s whole relationship/exchange with Cleaver. Alison had all the upper hand in that chapter and the whole scenario had a discomforting feeling for me.

          However, in this specific situation, the comic has made attempts to communicate that the way Patrick has internalized his trauma is by structuring his identity around it. I mean…kind of understandable considering how much of it involves his ability to one-sidedly read other people. So less of a Alison thinks she knows what’s better for Patrick and more of a the authors think they know what’s better for Patrick and they have given us some reasons why. A strategy of compartmentalizing and moving on wouldn’t work because some traumas can end up defining someone’s identity no matter how hard they might try to have it not. And for Patrick, so much of his pain comes from something he’s born with that he has no control over.

          So when Alison says he needs to open that door and confront it, it kind of plays into the trope of ‘you need to confront your past! Get catharsis! release’, but it also doesn’t, because the chapter didn’t frame that as the positive endgame. That trope became a trope in the first place because many creators who use it forget that the whole point to talking about the past and confronting it isn’t usually about how it’ll make you feel better–it’s what comes afterwards. Once you understand better why you’re upset and put it into words, even when it seems obvious, it’s what comes next that’s actually important. For some, it’s owning it and gaining power over something that’s hurt you by framing it through your own experiences and perspectives. Because then it’s no longer something that’s just happened to you with you as the passive receiver. By talking about it to someone else, you are using the very thing that might have made you feel an outsider and and isolated and using that to connect emotionally with someone. There is power in that for some people.

          In the context of this chapter, Patrick literally perceives the world differently from other people. He experiences things slightly different, but it’s revealed that he’s terrified that those differences permanently cut him off from ever being human, because of what those experiences has led him to do and to become. In this context, Alison telling Patrick that he needs to open the door is to reach an endgame where Alison and Patrick can both understand exactly WHAT Patrick has based his identity of incompleteness and inhumanness on. In the comic we see that Patrick reveres (and probably envies) the way Alison was raised. She had the family that Patrick might have desperately wished he had, and as a result, HE feels as if her judgment and perspective is so important. Whether that’s true is debatable, but it’s PATRICK who probably feels like:

          ‘I can’t trust my own judgment about how much of a monster I am, but Alison had the ideal family background. She is both someone who’s inhuman like me, AND she’s also someone is the most human I know.’

          Not only is she the best bet in his life who can see the things he’s done and understand exactly what those experiences felt like, she is also the best bet from the ‘human’ side of things to validate or invalidate his humanity. I imagine that his other friends and compatriots all came from dysfunctional homes like he did. Sometimes, people do need that empathy from someone with a completely different background, because it really does go a long way to help remind you that the experiences that have made you more awkward or maladaptive in situations that other people have no problems with does not make you any less human.

          And just my two cents, if people are trying to good will hunting you or something, idk. that’s just gross. Like you should be the one who gets to choose what to talk about. If people are pressuring you to do that, then I kind of feel like it’s 100% legitimate to feel like those people care more about how much they can help and how good of a person they are than they care about actually helping you.

          That might not be true–they might genuinely not realize being pushy can just add on the flames of pain, and there are cases where being pushy can be helpful, but even if they did genuinely care about helping you more than they do about how good it’ll make them feel in return, it’s still perfectly natural to feel angry and want them to go f’ off. I mean….there’s more of me than I like to admit that wishes Cleaver just told Alison to go f’ off.

          sorry I”m rambling. tldr; I think there should be a lot more debate on whether this whole thing was really involuntary. There were a lot of hints in the chapter that suggest that Patrick desperately needed this connection with Alison for years but didn’t know how to ask for it and it has escalated to this point more as an inevitability. On an emotional side, I kind of feel like you can deeply want something and be terrified of it all at once. It’s how you portray that contradiction in a story where it can become problematic. I kind of feel like saying that what happened to Patrick was definitely involuntary kind of takes a bit of agency away from him that this chapter attempted very hard to give him.

        • aseariel

          Oh, no, I didn’t take it as you judging that other people might cope that way. I was just trying to note that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with *not* finding catharsis in crying, because there is definitely a predominant trend in fiction (and real life, to an extent) that if you can “let it all out,” that you will feel better. Sometimes it does help, but sometimes it’s just not true. I found what you wrote an interesting and thoughtful response, and just wanted to add my two cents and some well-wishes.

          And, on the Good Will Hunting note, I entirely agree. People can do a lot of damage while being well-meaning, and it’s frustrating. I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of that, and I’ve probably done it to other people without realizing.

    • friendlymosquito

      Crying for me is just a signal that, hey, this thing matters. Good job, you found the real problem. And crying in front of other people who let you is amazing because people accepting your vulnerability is crazy rare in our culture where everybody has to “be strong” all the dang time…

      • AngstyCrow

        Sorry, I don’t mean that crying is bad or shameful in any way and I’m sorry if it came across that way. I just meant that, for me, it makes me feel worse. When it’s entrenched in something that you can’t change, I prefer to just move on and not dwell on it which Allison seems to claim is maladaptive. And I kinda disagree with that.

        • friendlymosquito

          I think it depends on the thing. There’s a very subtle difference between dwelling on a bad thing, thus making it worse, and processing/working-through a bad thing. And like you said, different things work for different people. I think the most important thing is being allowed to have the OPTION.

  • jd

    Oh hey, she’s carrying literal baggage and looking at herself in the mirror. M E T A P H O R E S

  • Franklin J Gomes

    Patrick: “Oh, I hope Ms Power Girl don’t have the nerve to question someone entering her mind uninvited”

    Allison: “I see the that despise all of the changes, the snark is gonna stay”.

    Patrick: “Dear Allison, getting rid of the snark was never an option to begin with”

  • Weatherheight

    It may be telling about me that the idea of unfettered access to my subconscious by another person is terrifying and something that I would never want to have happen, for my sake and theirs.

    • friendlymosquito

      And now we know why Patrick is messed up in ways we can barely imagine 😛 Let’s hope his coping mechanisms improve…

    • Zac Caslar

      I suspect we want to think that as a defense of our percieved uniqueness. I bet the reality is that we’re more squalid and pathetic than shocking and alien.

      • Weatherheight

        The squalid and pathetic is what I’d prefer not to inflict and / or acknowledge… 😀

        • AshlaBoga

          I think we all would be embarrassed if everyone could see our darkest sexual fantasy, but perhaps we might be almost as disgusted if we could see theirs. It would not be a good chance for society I expect.

          • RobNiner ♫

            I imagine once you’ve seen a few people’s darkest sexual secret they seem pretty similar.

          • Weatherheight

            Honestly, the sex stuff is the least of my worries (although your point is also truthful).
            Between the horrible things I’ve done unaware and the horrible things I’ve done with malice aforethought, there’s plenty to go around.

          • David B Huber

            We all contain multitudes – good, bad & ugly! Maturity consists largely of impulse control, but let’s face it: we’re spacefaring primates.

            As for myself, the voices in my head have quit talking to me and only mutter conspiratorially between themselves… 😉

          • Weatherheight
          • Tylikcat

            That’s largely cultural, I’d think – the emphasis on sex, anyway. I’ve spent a fair bit of time around the kink community, and… I dunno, if it isn’t your kink, a lot it gets boring so quickly. (And IME, the BDSM community is pretty dominant, at least in the groups I’ve spent time in, and that’s mostly just not my thing.) Even the assumption that people’s sexual fantasies are “dark” is largely cultural, I suspect.

    • Tylikcat

      Huh. There are two diametrically opposed categories of people I’d welcome in.

      • Tylikcat

        I suppose it depends on what you mean by unfettered. Shall we say full but read-only?

        • Weatherheight

          That was what I meant, but I can see it being broader than just being able to see into my mind whenever. Excellent point.

          • Tylikcat

            Well, since we apparently don’t actually have read-only memory…

      • Weatherheight

        ::waits patiently::

        • Tylikcat

          Hey, I have alienation issues. And I’m on fairly good terms with my subconscious – or, at least, not horrified of it. Both come from that. There are the group of people (“group” I say, ha!) who would be interested enough to poke around, and for whom such would be an exercise in intimacy. Come on in, say I! (With a side of “Anything that you’re going to find that is going to totally freak you out will probably horrify you eventually, so let’s get on with it.” Though TBH, how much of that is my subconscious per se?)

          …and then there’s the flip side of the coin, the people who find me horrible and scary and make no bones about how freaky and inhuman etc. etc. they find me*. Ahaha… come right in. (This entirely includes for the possibility of it being entirely banal, because that subverts their trip as much as anything else. Though if I have the opportunity to give them a guided tour, well, now, there are options…!)

          * and not in a nice way. I mean, I might have some issues with my colleagues who announce that I’m not actually inhuman in a cheerful friendly laughing sort of way, but while I often perceive it as a limit on our friendship, there is a difference between being cast as the friendly alien and an actual monster.

          • Weatherheight

            Excellent explanation. Thank you.

  • Weatherheight

    Secondary comment – I see Alison standing in front of a crevice on a grassy mound, with mirror-headed paper dolls and her luggage..
    Very Freud – or possibly Jung…

    • Tylikcat

      Jung, please Jung.

      • Skudplastr

        Lol yes, no Electra complexes please!

  • Glen Raphael

    Patrick: “Where were you going with that suitcase?”
    Al, confidently: “I’m taking my case to court!”

    [Al drags a ladder the other direction]
    Pat:”What’s with the ladder?”
    Al: “I’m taking my case to a HIGHER court!”

    [Al sadly holds an empty coat-hanger]
    Pat:”Oh no, what happened?”
    Al: “I LOST MY SUIT!”

    Wakka wakka…

    • Weatherheight

      Didn’t Fozzy Bear do this on The Muppet Show…?

      “Everything’s coming up Muppets!”

  • Thomas S

    A tiny bit of analysis I would like to offer and hopefully garner some thoughts from the wise readership here.

    We can see here (http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-1-7/) that Alison had dream fragments from outside her mind – we now know that those thoughts and images are most likely Patrick. We see words and a face in that link above that I take to be Patrick’s mother. How did this happen? Was something leaking into Alison’s mind from Patrick’s mind? If so, how do we explain how Patrick has limitations in how he can access Alison’s mind and speak into them – does he do the same thing in Dreams as he describes here?

    http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-101-3/

    Now, the words being spoken in Alison’s mind are of Patrick’s mother saying:

    “Break me as fast as you can”, “I am trying to kill you” and “One day you will put me back together”

    When I read that now having reached page 111 of chapter 7, I read it as though the parts of Patrick can also be parts of other realised people, like his mother. Leaking out. Into other spaces. Into Allison’s mind.

    A page later, at page 2 of chapter 7, we see Guwara carrying the super heavy baggage. So, is Guwura also leaking out into Alison’s mind? Is he leaking from Patrick’s mind or elsewhere? I see the options being:

    1) He is leaking from Patrick’s mind – another part behind another wall, not a wall that we have seen so far. This could be a colonising viral mentality or a distorted mirror of another entity he encountered and wiped his own mind of.

    2) Guwara is imposing himself into Alison’s mind. If so, this means that Guwura is a real entity and really encounter Alison in her class and Alison really did choose from a white stone and a black stone.

    3) Guwara is an internal aspect of Alison’s mind – meaning she has a part of her own mind that is able to manifest as an entity and able to be wise, yet wounded from past episodes. Perhaps this aspect is an aspect of herself that she created to teach herself how to be a wise yet powerful superhero. Perhaps it also is her mental facilities manifesting?

    • Dave Huber

      We don’t know why Patrick had his “mental breakdown” but I suspect Gurwara’s ham-handed sifting of Patrick’s memories as he sought to delete all knowledge of the Conspiracy played a role.

      If I suspected my mind was being edited I’d copy all the target memories to another mind for backup. The suitcase carries “the weight of the world” so far as Patrick is concerned.

      I’m confident Gurwara is an independent agent, probably using technological means to read/write the minds of others. Patrick needs to embrace his full potential as a projective telepath to defeat him.

      The dream fragments which beset Alison are leakage from Patrick’s tortured subconscious. The “I’m trying to kill you” warning suggests he may be in thrall to the Conspiracy!

      Gurwara’s overloading of Alison’s self-image is even more frightening! I honestly don’t know what to make of that, yet…

      • Thomas S

        wow @[email protected]_YdGWDdj0wA:disqus you went further than I even thought to go … eek! The combat for the mind of the altruistic telepath is a step I can now see as feasible, but we do have a very different model of a telepath to the conventional ones from Marvel or Akira

  • Viirin

    *nod* Of course Alison would consider humans to be flimsy paper people, since she’s invincible and super strong.

    • martynW

      Probably an issue for all similar super heroes. In Alan Moore’s “Miracleman,” the hero refers to “the paper world men live in” as he plunges through stone obstacles.

      Someone like Alison who has a strong moral foundation would be constantly worried about accidentally hurting someone. This is mostly glossed over in comics and movies, with some unspoken assumption that the strength is under very conscious control somehow.

      One of the major objections to more recent Superman movies is the seeming unconcern for collateral damage when the historical comic-book Superman bent over backwards to avoid killing anyone. It was practically his signature idea. When I got older, I realized that Batman in the comics had the same creed without being indestructible, which is even more admirable. Again, the movies aren’t very consistent about this.

  • Hiram

    I liked the little paper men better when I thought they had magnifying glasses for heads. I’m ghoulishly amused by the thought of little people who would burst into flames under close self scrutiny.