Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42 Show Comments Markus Pat’s conceptual version of himself has really long hair. Oakreef Maybe it’s his anima? elilla Or she’s trans?? ZBass I assumed it was a young Mary/Nightshadow KatherineMW Moonshadow. Zorae42 Maybe there are multiple versions/aspects of himself in there. And this representation/aspect is a girl or trans. And whatever she represents is disliked by the other aspects. Markus Am I the only person who dislikes the way fanbases tend to go “Oh this character has long hair now? Must be trans.” It just seems like doing that is implicitly asserting that real men can’t have long hair. Also, I wanna stress that I’m not calling you out or trying to put you on blast or anything. I 100% had that same thought, then thought to myself “Man, isn’t it shitty of you to jump to that conclusion? Narrow definitions of gender roles are really bad for both genders, and you’re helping prop them up.” I dunno. This conversation will also look kinda weird in retrospect if it turns out that this Pat was meant to be represented as trans. Jason Smith For what it’s worth, short hair or long, I’d have identified that figure as female, based upon the build alone. Callinectes I just figured that his mind-city has no barbershops. I once made that very same mistake. Mind-me looked like a hobo for months. Gotham That wouldn’t account for his pristine beardless cheeks now would it? Callinectes Depends how old he is, or whether elf-like beardlessness counts as dynamorphism. Gotham If dynamorphism is a factor then all bets are off anyway 😐 Charlotte Du Toit While I get your concern – bear in mind that trans people – trans women in particular, often have little to no good representation in media – to the point where even if something is meant as a transphobic joke (i.e. Samus) we still latch onto the idea that the character is trans – also, like, any time trans people suggest a character is like them others jump down thei throats with this sort of “don’t assume anything” criticism Arkone Axon I posted a comment above about how making Patrick “secretly transgender,” or even just the “benevolent” aspect of his psyche, seems pretty damned offensive. I agree with you that there needs to be more and better representation of trans people in media… but… 1: we’ve already got at least one in this comic (the biodynamic individual who changes genders… making them very much like an intersexed person), and possibly others (which would be interesting; the women in the group ostracized the intersexed person for being “part time male,” what would they have done to an MTF?), and while one character is still not a substantial number, it’s still better than the vast majority of media at the moment (and this is coming from someone who has yet to see a Jewish male character as an action star role, with the possible exception of Jeff Goldblum’s character in “Independence Day.” And even then, he was a computer geek who sat next to Will Smith’s character and moaned about being chased by the aliens). 2: one of the (fully justified) criticisms made by people objecting to the “SJW Marvel” crap we’ve been seeing is that shoe-horning previously established characters into new roles to fulfill a quota (turning the happily heterosexual Iceman into a flamboyantly homosexual caricature, for instance) is a poor substitute for creating new and interesting characters to fill the role (i.e. if they had shown the creative ability to make a new character who is homosexual and is not the Iceman). 3: Not sure if Samus was ever meant as a transphobic joke. ORIGINALLY (when Metroid was originally released in the 80s) she was meant as a sexist joke – a joke on sexists and a commentary on gendered assumptions. A silent, powerful, unstoppable bounty hunter who no amount of aliens and space pirates could stop… and then off comes the helmet and OMG A WOMAN!? Transgender issues had nothing to do with it (And then came that game “Other M” where she was depicted as a shy, clingy, vulnerable thing with massive Daddy issues pining for an abusive jerk). The first real transgender character in video games was… the result of Capcom’s attempt to defend themselves against accusations of violence against women (Instead of saying “it’s okay that they’re hitting Poison because Poison is a violent street criminal armed with a knife who attacks first,” they said “It’s okay that they’re hitting Poison because… er… um… Poison’s really a dude? Yeah, that’s the ticket…”). http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/every-rose-has-its-thorn (Followed by Birdy from Super Mario Bros 2… who was definitely a transphobic joke…) Gotham The criticism of stereotypes when it comes to characters whose representation is very scarce has always to tread a very fine line. It’s important to question and fight off prejudice and stereotypes but one should be mindful of who’s doing the criticism. Is it the people that character is allegedly a representation of? Or is it mostly white dudes either unconsciously or hypocritically proving harsher to thing they are not familiar with under the guise of honest and fair criticism, thereby giving more voice and power to assholes who loudly and clearly oppose these characters for bigoted reasons? And it’s not like all gay people will arrive at a consensus about whether or not to find the new Iceman to their taste. But to those who do, as Charlotte du Toit says, cling to anything they’re given because that’s all they got… how do you think it feels to be robbed of their representation /again/ by white dudes appropriating the discourse about their value? (Also, being intersex and being genderfluid are not the same thing, by a mile) David Gillon ” we’ve already got at least one in this comic” Sigh, the quota argument. This is actually a real world problem in publishing, minority group authors have literally been told by publishers “we like your novel, but we already have a black/gay/whatever author” (author, never mind character). And for that matter, I’ve multiple trans friends, never mind just acquaintances, yet I should be restricted to just one in fiction? A significant demographic among my friends is gay, neurodiverse, wheelchair users, I’d have a problem getting one of those past a publisher, never mind half a dozen. “one of the (fully justified) criticisms made by people objecting to the “SJW Marvel” crap we’ve been seeing is that shoe-horning previously established characters into new roles to fulfill a quota (turning the happily heterosexual Iceman into a flamboyantly homosexual caricature, for instance) is a poor substitute for creating new and interesting characters to fill the role” Well, the idea that Marvel Corporate has the first clue when it comes to doing something subtle and well written when it comes to universe wide diktats is your first problem. But the particularly problem with an established universe that was written under the rules of the universal narrative (everyone is a straight white male unless specified otherwise – it’s even more of a problem in written work with no imagery) is that trying to fix it is very difficult. In the real world around 1 in 4 of your characters will have some kind of disability (mostly invisible ones such as diabetes, epilepsy or neurodiversity), 1 in 10* will be LGBT, and ethnicity will vary heavily by locality, but in any major urban area in the west you should expect non-white people in numbers significant enough they should show up within the typical cast. Trying to fix the issue to become representative of the real world population is a significant effort if you restrict yourself to introducing new characters, you’re looking at a 10% growth in character numbers for LGBT alone, which isn’t too significant in a stand-alone novel, but is a problem for a universe as large as Marvel’s. And of course there is the problem of introducing neophyte characters who need to be as competent as characters who in some cases have been written about for 70 years. If they’re that competent and well established, why haven’t we heard of them? If they aren’t competent and well established, you’re recreating Robin the Boy Hostage in a more offensive format, to inevitably be saved by the SWM heroes. But superhero characters are almost all closeted, their wallet ID hidden behind a super-persona. That means that having them doubly closeted about their sexuality isn’t actually a major step, plus real-world consistent, and makes it much easier to bring in LGBT heroes in a more developed role and without needing a significant uptick in headliner characters. Doing it for ethnic minorities, or visible disabilities, is obviously more of an issue. Of course expecting Marvel to do it in a well-written, respectful and appropriate manner is probably too much to hope. * Stats vary, but, as talking about LGBT sexuality becomes more openly accepted, look to be headed for at least 10%, with outliers for as much as 15% Gotham I’d argue for shooting for more than 10-15% of characters being LGBT. It would transcend real life, but the good thing about fiction is that it can be better than the boring former. Nobody could argue this would be a bad thing for anyone. Zorae42 “and this is coming from someone who has yet to see a Jewish male character as an action star role” Hm, I suppose none of Kirk Douglas’s or Harrison Ford’s characters were ever shown to be Jewish. I believe Inglorious Basterds had a Jewish person on their crew. Magento isn’t really a ‘Hero’ ( although there have been movies where he’s just been kind of a big dick instead of a straight up villain), but he does qualify as an “Action Star” since he’s a main character in multiple action movies and participates in the action that occurs. Ooh, you should watch ‘The Frisco Kid’ if you haven’t. It’s a comedy starring Gene Wilder as a Rabbi making his way through the wild west. So he’s extremely Jewish and gets into various hijinks with some mild level ‘action’ involved due to the nature of the setting. It’s great! *cough* That is some pretty shoddy representation though, but at least it’s better than Jeff Goldbloom in Independence Day. Arkone Axon Kirk Douglass and Harrison Ford are Jewish… but their characters generally are not. Magneto being the villain doesn’t make a “Jewish action star,” it makes a “Jewish villain.” I’ve seen bits of “Frisco Kid,” and it looked good. Bear in mind that I’m not much for TV or films in general. I’m not fond of passive entertainment. But yeah… and much as with the dearth of positive (or indeed, ANY) depictions of transgenders on the screen, the absence of “Jewish action stars” flies in the face of reality. Daniel Mendoza is known as the father of scientific boxing (he developed the lead hand jab, the guard, and sidestepping techniques). In the Old Testament the Maccabees were one of the first guerilla armies, and “David and Goliath” was the story of a young military slinger winning a duel against a larger, stronger enemy (slings being a devastating weapon still used today in parts of the middle east. “Lebanese grenade launcher”). Today Israel is depicted as an “evil empire” in no small part due to the inability of its hostile neighbors to win a war even when they attack from multiple sides in a “genocide coalition” while outnumbering the IDF by a hundred to one. And then there’s Sayeret Matkal… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayeret_Matkal David Gillon It occurs to me there’s at least three versions of Operation Thunderbolt/The Raid on Entebbe, pretty much all of them with Lt Col Yonatan Netanyahu (Benjamin Netanyahu’s elder brother) as the male lead character. But that’s a special case. And if we drop the ‘male’, Ziva David on NCIS pretty much fits the role. therufs I guess for me it wasn’t so much the long hair as the (apparent) breasts that made me go “hmm some kind of gender thing is going on here”? *shrug* Markus I think that’s reasonable, and like I said I had the same thought. Eric Meyer Yah. The breasts and hips, and softer face. I didn’t even equate it as Patrick- just a random female in a jumpsuit. Stephanie I initially didn’t take it as Patrick, but there’s that line on the cheek–I’m not sure if it’s a scar or a cheekbone line, but Patrick is usually pretty distinctively drawn with it, right? Gotham But Max, of all, is the most cheekbone-licious. Not saying this one up there has anything to do with Max, only that using that cheekbone line as evidence doesn’t seem solid. Stephanie I’m not claiming it’s any kind of solid evidence. They just look really Patrick-ish to me. I’m sure we’ll find out what the deal is when we get a closer look. David Gillon That long face could be consistent with a feminized Pat, but I don’t think the evidence is remotely conclusive yet. Gotham Isn’t there a case to be made that the trope of using fictional hair as visual marker for a very broad definition of character growth is very much ingrained? For reference, so many occurrences in visual media about cutting one’s own hair or getting one’s own hair cut by someone else. Would it be possible we’ve been so thoroughly trained by it that there’s little chance to mistake fictional hair stereotypes with real life hair stereotypes? I wouldn’t know about jumping to the conclusion that this is a hint Patrick might be trans (I should read/see more things with trans characters, I do) but at the very least I thought genderswap. But maybe this isn’t a mental leap I find worrying because that’s one that obviously wouldn’t work in real life, so I might need to think about that more. Chani “I should read/see more things with trans characters” reading/watching list time! 🙂 * Steven Universe * Dumbing of Age * Assigned Male * As the Crow Flies Misfile might also count? and I’d be surprised if El Goonish Shive doesn’t end up with a trans character soonish. AveryAves The author is generfluid but they only realised this a LONG way into their comic so they have a lot of shitty stuff at the stuff They spend a part of a Magic The Gathering chapter’s plot resolving this by having a character express what they experienced (“I had never heard of transgender being used in that way, I thought it was just gender bender stuff??” who then kinda realises that they’re y’know….allowed to be trans n stuff) though I think it was kinda presented similarity I kinda stopped readin a while ago tho Zorae42 Given the placement of the shadow on their torso and the slight roundness of their chest, it seemed like there were other indicators of them presenting as female. The shadow could just be due to their stance and they could just be a man with big pecs or something; but it seems more probable that they’re a woman. I personally am uncomfortable with people asserting certain characters are trans, because of how they potentially push gender stereotypes. But I recognize the lack of representation of trans people and understand why people might want to make those theories (and it’s not like having personal theories/headcanons hurts anyone). I was suggesting that maybe his subconscious is full of different aspects of his personality and this one appears to be a woman – and has either always been one or potentially changed to be one. Which doesn’t necessarily mean Patrick himself is trans (and doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not). elilla The relationship between transgenderism and gender stereotypes is… complicated. I emphatically oppose the idea that long hair should be gendered, and will defend as strongly as I can the right of women to wear short hair and men, long. And yet I’m trans, and I used to wear long hair as a largely unconscious impulse towards some internalized gender schema. I got positively hurt when I cut it short in one of my fits of trying-to-be-a-man, and people praised how “good” I looked. I didn’t choose these feelings; they’re not a consequence of my ethical or philosophical reflections about gender. They were there from childhood, and there’s nothing to make them go away (Goddess know I’ve tried); if I put on a piece of clothing stereotypically “masculine” I feel (very) bad, and if I put on a “feminine” one I feel (very) relieved, irrespective me not believing in the gendering of clothes in the first place. You want to eliminate gender in hair and clothes be my guest, I’ll do anything I can to help you, except go back to the psychological self-harm of cutting my hair short and crossplaying a stereotypical “male”. Many trans people see themselves in dreams as their unconscious gender. The first time that happened to me was in my teens; I dreamt I was a Saint from Saint Seiya, tasked with finding and defeating the villain Julian Solo, except by the time I did find him I was a woman, and we made out instead of fighting; I woke up quite confused – and exhilarated. Naturally, I saw my dream self in long hair (nevermind that most male Saints have long hair anyway). So “seeing yourself in a dream as a stereotypically feminine, long-haired person” was in my case literally a trans experience. Now I don’t actually think this is what’s going on with Patrick, but you have to understand; there are so few trans characters, we jump on any opportunity to headcanon something, tongue in cheek. AveryAves Best timeline patrick is a girl and gender euphoria cures their shithead-edness lmao Stephanie Expanding on the idea of “multiple aspects,” this mindscape is modeled after a city, right? Maybe it’s fully populated by various Patricks. Maybe everyone in there represents a Patrickified version of someone whose mind he read and therefore added to the “population.” David Gillon And half of every mind Patrick can’t avoid reading is female. Patrick has spent his entire life bathed in female thought. Even if he’s cis, he may have the best insight into female thought of any cis male in history. Gotham I mean sure, but let’s not mince words on this existential ride. Patrick is the only conscious being able to attest of the existence of the consciousness of others, and single-handedly proves solipsism wrong. And not only that, in the entire history of the humanity, he’s the only one who will be able to compare his experience of reality to anyone else and thusly have the answer to the terrifying question we all face all our lives, on whether someone can ever understand us. Whether we’re entirely alone. …and that’s what makes him alone. A real monkey paw situation. David Gillon Well, he’s the only telepath we know of. I tend to think he’s probably not the only one, but certainly that doesn’t rule out the insight. Gotham Yes well you ruined all my super finely tuned hyperbolic poetic comment why thank you do you have to bury all of my dreams Ray Radlein The giant dream-robots made him do it Arkone Axon I am… concerned, about that. Specifically, the idea that a vulnerable or moral aspect of a person must by necessity be feminine. “This is a good man – he’s gotten in touch with his feminine side!” “This is a bad woman – she’s acting like a man!” Not only is that sexist towards both males and females, but it also seems pretty damned insulting towards transgenders. The notion that an MTF is somehow “purging” themselves of the evil of their fathers and male relatives (a.k.a. the men they love and respect)… and the notion that an FTM is somehow “degrading” themselves by becoming… y’know… male. So I’m REALLY hoping that’s not the case here, and that this is just “Patrick feeling like a bishounen.” Zorae42 ???????? Who said anything about “moral aspect”? Aspects of yourself/your personality don’t necessarily have any moral weight at all (like the ones in Inside Out). It could be some part of him that just happens to manifest as female because why not? Or it could be his ‘feminine side’ or some other ‘feminine aspect’ that his subconscious manifests as a woman due to the way society has programmed that into us, and has no bearing on what women are actually like/any message about that being a good/bad thing. You’re the one bringing your “males are evil, women are good” baggage into this. Arkone Axon Yeah… there’s another commentator for this comic who I had to block because she decided I was completely and hopelessly sexist for… pointing out that men and women are both equally capable of both good and evil (not meaning that as a threat about blocking, just saying I had to block her because she wasn’t posting arguments, just abuse). And her attitude is a distressingly common one. It’s resulted in MULTIPLE pages in tvtropes, which I’ll list (but not link, or you’ll lose days of your life): “All abusers are male,” “Females are more innocent,” “females are wiser,” “higher education is for women,” and… pretty much anything in their “double standard” category. It’s a very problematic and dangerous attitude to have, as well. Nevermind the fact that it’s hugely insulting to both sides (if women are never to blame for evil choices, then they are denied their free will; a choice to engage in moral behavior means nothing without the option to engage in immoral behavior – also known as “you’re not really honest until you’ve had the opportunity to steal something, and didn’t.”). It’s also genuinely and truly dangerous – it’s the attitude held by evangelists talking about G-d’s will as they demonize LGBTs. It’s the attitude held by aristocrats suppressing rebellions. It’s the attitude of “I get to be a sadistic abuser AND feel self-righteous about it and blame my victims. They’re the bad guys so everything I do is 100% justified and I can feel smugly superior as I indulge myself.” So yeah, I’m concerned here. If this individual that Alison is approaching is in fact one of Patrick’s “good” aspects, a portion of his psyche associated with a positive aspect (such as compassion, empathy, or integrity), then making it female just reeks of the mindset of Valeria Solanas, who claimed that men are “walking abortions.” (Solanas makes for some interesting reading. Her apologists claim that her “Scum manifesto” about male genocide was meant purely as satire… except that she attempted to murder Andy Warhol, which pretty much destroys the claim that it was “just satirical speech.”). Zorae42 I’m sorry you had a bad experience with someone else. But I’m not them. Did you even read what I said? Aspects don’t always fall into ‘good’ or ‘bad’, some just are. Maybe this is the aspect of him that likes apple pie, maybe it’s the part that gets sad when it rains, or maybe it’s the part of him that feels the need to rebel (which is both a good and a bad thing). And also like I said, if it is related to some aspect that society labels as ‘traditionally female’, then it manifesting as female in his subconscious is a reasonable thing that doesn’t mean ‘men don’t possess this aspect’. It just means, ‘society says women are usually like this so my subconscious has associated it with a female form’. If he does have multiple aspects, then unless all of the aspects you consider ‘good’ are female and all the ones that are ‘bad’ are male there really isn’t an issue here. Considering the author of this comic has presented us with examples of good, bad, and morally complex people of both genders, I don’t think there’s a chance that they subscribe to such thoughts about the nature of men and women. I do thank you for not linking to that sinkhole of a site. Arkone Axon As I said, I’m not making “threats” about blocking (like that even qualifies as a threat. “One more step and I click ignore! I’ll do it, man! I’m on the edge!”). I’m just pointing out that the notion that “men = bad, women = good” is a very real, very dangerous, and distressingly common belief. And it’s one I’m hoping we don’t see here. Gotham Just so you know, he blocked me because in his quest to prove feminism wrong, his only contribution to a conversation about the value of Alison’s plan to create a support group for women was to say “but what about male victims of domestic abuse?” Which is a distraction tactic about that topic that makes me legitimately furious for a number of reasons. You may notice a pattern of thinking that the actions of individuals and broader social behaviors are somehow comparable, because someone has to tell us women can be evil and men can be victims, and if he won’t, who will?! I mean it’s not like as a women I get insulted and blamed for every wrong weekly (Oh wait no, I meant the absolute opposite) OccamsTireIron Or – and I realize this is a radical notion, here – Patrick has a sister? Gotham We know so little about him anyway, no reason why that couldn’t be true over other theories. AdamBombTV Kinda want my subconscious to have sick giant robots and sweet-ass drones guarding it too BadExampleMan I want one of those “Thinking of You” banners to hang in my courtyard. Merch! Francisco Could go the Inception way and have armed personnel? David Gillon Inception is actually a pretty good analogy. This is a dreamscape Patrick has built, and Alison is the intruder looking for a prize. Just hope there’s no spinning top, or Mal. Tsapki Even better, one has a serrated blade, which the Warhammer fan in me desperately hopes is a chainsword. Francisco Given that he sees robots challenging him, is he accusing Lisa of being involved? Alternatively, given that is subconscious is a dictatorship ruled by by his alter ego, are his efforts to be good seen as being traitorous to his being? scottfree They have the same fins on their head as his Menace helmet, and they’re calling someone a traitor. I think they’re the villainous part of his psyche. He said a few pages ago that he had trouble remembering which body was his because everyone’s thoughts blended into his own. Maybe he made this Menace persona or mental system to lock down his psyche so it wouldn’t be overwhelmed by all of the people around him. David Gillon A memory palace is traditionally a construct for organising your memories and thoughts in a structured manner, so with Patrick’s stated problems with maintaining his boundaries, it’s quite reasonable to think he might have built one to maintain his sense of self. But locking down your sense of self denies his ability to grow. The undermining of the city might represent Patrick’s own growth pressing against the walls he’s built. persephone_the_wanderer I mean, looking at the art, I’m betting that Patrick might be trans and trying very hard not to be. Goatmon Since they look like a woman, it never even occurred to me that the person shown would be Patrick. Tsapki Did anyone else hear one of those mad science musical stingers in their head on the lightning strike panel? Or was that just me? Apromor I think we’re seeing his fear of Lisa, or more exactly why he’s treating her as he does. Glotos The face is a bit too long, I think, and all the pictures of Lisa I can find show curly or braided hair. Apromor I wasn’t sufficiently clear. the girl is not Lisa, the giant robots and the drones and the Dictatorship are representative of what he fears about Lisa. Glotos Hm. Not buying it…if the city is his mind, it’s his dictatorship, unless as far as he’s concerned there’s already a dictatorship being imposed on him. I’d sooner think that that’s Patrick’s feminine side, which he sees as a threat to his personal/preferred sense of self. Though at the same time, on the previous page the city appeared to be partitioned off by walls. If where Alison is does represent Patrick’s insecurity regarding a particular person, perhaps other partitions are his reactions to other people? Gotta wonder what the authors think of this massive effort to read between the lines of their drawings… Apromor What prompted my interpretation is (I searched and found the quote) issue 5 page 103. Patrick says “Lisa Bradley is Idealistic to the point of insanity, she is a liability on a global scale”. This page, to me, is what fear of insanely idealistic super-genius roboticists looks like. Amelie Can’t wait to see where this goes. In unrelated matters, it might amuse you folks to hear I had a dream where I was Mega Girl. There were these metal rods that were trying to kill me, shooting through buildings and anything in their path to hit me in the head, then turning mid-air when I dodged them. I was more or less driven into the air to try and catch them, even though it was harder to dodge them while I was still figuring out how to fly. This is when I happened to look down and noticed I had Alison’s uniform. (And her boobs. That part makes me the happiest, being trans and still lacking my own.) Then, while a rod slowly circled me and I began to see they were only animate when I could see them, I woke up. ZBass ‘I had a dream where I was Mega Girl’ I thought you were gonna say you had a long socio-political discussion Amelie Then I’d have said I had a dream where I was Alison. :p Goatmon Aw, that’s awesome! I hope you can safely have boobs of your own, some day! Walter ‘Thinking of You’, say the evil posters… Giacomo Bandini And now the question: in this mental reality, does Alison have her powers? It makes sense for her to still have them, she is for sure a powerful presence in Patrick’s mind, but at the dame time it’s more dramatic to have her reduced to a base human level and to see her struggle withbthis newfound limitations. So, my money is on No. Gotham How close are these to the robots Mega Girl used to rip apart back in the day? Although it’s important to remember it’s a world in which mechanized law enforcement is a thing so maybe these robots are nothing symbolic. MedinaSidonia Bipedal digitigrade chainsaw/energy sword/blaster-wielding mechs menacing an Elvish Tron character with drones monitoring from above? Sign me up FOREVER. MedinaSidonia This is my favorite comic scene involving chainsaws. I adore Lampshading Tony. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72314bccd9284abfdf565580a78535ecb1ceb8c51934431033def4a31e3c9594.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f125771b163667c12a64b2c8fa8be4a368b7b5278b265fce4be1063a4a50e68.png Arkone Axon How many times has Iron Man – and other heroes – gone up against enemies with saw weaponry? Hell, at least a few times he’s popped out a saw blade from his own armor (He once whipped out a tiny saw out of his wrist to cut a little hole into the hull of a space shuttle… to expose the wiring so he could hack into the thing and disable the thrusters and weapons systems). MedinaSidonia I don’t remember the space shuttle thing. I do remember him extending the saw blade from his finger a few times. The most memorable one was (looks up the issue) #165, when he used the saw to poke a hole in the ceramic plating on a wall, thus escaping an acid mist death trap. http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Iron_Man_Vol_1_165 Arkone Axon The space shuttle incident was from one of the Marvel novels they were selling a while back. Iron Man and Spider-Man teamed up because Stark Industries was building a space station that could provide limitless free energy to the world… so naturally terrorist groups literally competed to see who could steal it. I can’t remember if the shuttle was piloted by AIM or Hydra, but either way they were jerks. The saw may have come out from his finger, I don’t remember… then again, his armor is constantly being modified. And then the station is destroyed and nobody gets it, because this is why we can’t have nice things. Jon Guys, I’m pretty sure that’s Allison’s younger sister. Tylikcat I *love* this idea. I don’t think it matches her current hairstyle (which is cut to frame her face more?) but maybe Patrick’s behind the times? Gotham Twisting the knife considering Alison just saw her earlier tonight, for the first time in what felt like years to the reader at least. Why would we need to remember Alison has a sister if not for sisterly shenanigans of the sort indeed… Lillian Zhang Ok, who does everyone think Mystery Girl is? There isn’t much to go off of, but she doesn’t look much like Patrick to me; her skin tone and physique are different, although I think the face shape is similar. If anything, she resembles Alison’s little sister or a minor superhero from Issue 5 ( http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-121/ ), but I can’t think of a reason for either of them to be in his head. Maybe she’s someone from Patrick’s past who hasn’t appeared before? Mechwarrior I think she’s Slipstream. Pol Subanajouy …Who is this? I’m interested in seeing if this is a manifestation of a thought, an emotion or a specific memory of a singular individual. Okay, you’ve got my attention. Fairportfan SERIOUS cop-droids – no hands, just a chainsaw, gun, sword and something-we-can’t-see-yet. Arkone Axon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-9MbhK4tt8 Darkoneko Hellsing So he got a conscience and now his past is eating away at him ? elysdir Nifty swirly Seussian lightning bolts in that first panel. (Or maybe it’s not lightning? Not sure.) elysdir Those cracks in the streets and buildings are pretty ominous. The symbolism is straightforward, but I like it. elysdir Has there been discussion of the small archways in the sides of some buildings? I’m picturing big telepathic mice. Loranna Dangit, someone beat me to it snaps fingers in frustration You win this round, elysdir, but I will be back! I WILL BE BACK!!! (. . . probably won’t be back anytime soon though :P) Loranna RobNiner ♫ Are those robots meant to be made by Paladin? David Gillon No sign of a sense of humour as yet. Weatherheight If so, their target need only stall for time. The Elsewise Inb4 Alison trying to be a super hero with no powers. Tylikcat This certainly frames the “Thinking Of You” in a much more Big Brother context. Okay then! David Gillon Absolutely. I’m not sure it completely rules out it being directed solely at Al, but it’s definitely more Menacing. Dave M callback to way back here. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-1/page-16/ Weatherheight Quick Thoughts a) Menace / Patrick used to use robots as his attack force, so it makes sense that they’re also in his head. I assume the link to Lisa is there, but this is more easily explained by that part of his history. b) The person in the Tron suit referred to as a traitor seems to me to be Mary / Moonshadow, but we still don’t have sufficient information to determine exactly who this is. I’m not sure exactly how either Mary or Jen are “traitors” in Patrick’s mind, so I’m interested to see how that pans out. c) Color! We have some color to discuss! Alison has color in her clothing and hair, the banners are in the traditional Nazi colors as well as that sort of greenish-grey, and this “traitor” also has color in the blue piping of her costume. Is the presence of colors other than white, black, and grey an indicator of significance? Is it the marker of external influences on Patrick’s consciousness – that is to say, is this an indicator of an external psyche impinging on Patrick’s psyche? Does the prevalence of black, white and grey indicate a simplicity in Patrick’s thinking, a paucity of life experience, a lack of nuance? Is the similarity of the shading of the lightning and the light in the windows and the “power glow” of the robot’s weapons significant? Color twin powers activate! Shape of… pretentiously pedantic burro! Callinectes The colour could simply be a matter of masonry. Loranna Form of . . . WATER!!! is now five gallons of water lugged about in a pail held in the burro’s mouth . . . What? You were expecting something else? 😛 By the by burro, is it my imagination, or is the color of the lightning in Panel One the same as the menacing glow coming from those robots’ weapon-arms? Could these manifestations of the Menace-Bots (Menasor? Nah, only two so far, need three more to pull that off) be powered by the primal chaos raging in Patrick’s mind? Could Patrick be making a visual allusion between Lisa’s creations and the classic cinematic Frankenstein’s Monster? And, by God: Why is there a mousehole in Panel Two?! Is Patrick secretly hoping Pintsize will come and save him? Did Patrick develop a fondness for Tom And Jerry cartoons along with Looney Tunes? . . . Did he and Alison see some of those old Speedy Gonzeles episodes I heard they stopped showing due to racist overtones? Anyway, have fun lugging me around burro; I’m sure I can be put to good use putting out a fire 😀 sloshes Loranna Weatherheight I noticed the similarity as well – but I didn’t make the Frankenstein link, which brings up allusions to a creation that somehow gets out of control. Noice! I didn’t even notice the mouse hole. Now I have to wonder which cartoon mouse Patrick has living in his head (in addition to yours – Pixie or Dixie? Mickey or Minnie? Danger? Fieval (sp?)? Pinky? Ralph and/or Norton? Mighty? Motormouse? Gadget?). I somehow think it’s Pintsized related, too, but I have no justification for thinking so. ::quickly applies a coat of red paint to the outside of the bucket to keep from accidentally drinking his friend:: ::trots off with a bucket handle hanging from his teeth:: palmvos you should transfer Loranna to a tall glass. then she could be a tall glass of water. cphoenix If Feral is seeing this, then I think Patrick is about to be unmasked. JohnTomato Weapons provided by War Hammer 4K, when something has to be absolutely, positively, destroyed overnight. Nik Gervae The phrase “Thinking of You” and the way it was set had me thinking it was a signifiicant quotation from somewhere, but all I came up with was this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOHHEaHH7Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOHHEaHH7Y Thomas M Hewlett Watch out for those fidget spinners!! Gotham By the way, is someone else worried by the shoddy craftsmanship? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41be698c5d7e9e6b0a7d7ff14bb567f2ab803e5cbceb634a9be67d2e312ed114.png You need more Architect’s Posts in your city, Governor. Glotos You forgot the mousehole. The…carefully-crafted, arch-supported, looking-better-than-the-rest-of-the-building mousehole. David Gillon Not architects, structural engineers. Architects are all about the grand design, they have minions for the practicalities. And it’s not just cracks in the walll, that’s a crack through solid pavement and up a wall, with substantial areas of render gone as well. That’s the ground shifting, though whether by a sudden earthquake, or being more gradually undermined, we can’t yet say. The city is not well, or rather the city as metaphor is not well. Gotham It was a poorly thought-out reference to the city-building game Pharaoh, which I tend to go for when I speak about things I know literally nothing about like city management and repair. But you addressed my point about the metaphorical crack not being discussed enough just like I desired! The fact that we have such a close contrast between oppressive Order and implicit Chaos will hopefully be expanded upon. Also, the mousehole, because, what David Gillon Son of a municipal engineer, I grew up with Dad being called out at all hours for sudden emergencies (mostly flooding). I don’t really see it as order and chaos, more the tension between growth and constraint, sort of a tectonic process. Weatherheight Wouldn’t you just know it – Patrick with all those scientists and not a decent engineer in the lot… And since you gave me an opportunity to be pedantic… Structural engineers tend to deal with things that go up, like buildings and bridges. Civil engineers tend to deal with things that go along, like roads and canals and sewers and such and the ground underneath them. Got a chewing out by a structural engineer once because the plans had him as the Civil Engineer, I called him to get a clarification on which concrete mix should be used in a loading dock area (the mix strength break was quite a bit higher than expected) and he rather crudely told me he didn’t give an airborne intercourse and that I should call the expletive deleted Civil Engineer. Talked to the Super and he pulled the project manual – found the actual Civil Engineer, asked my question, and we found out the approved plans were *filled* with mix errors. He faxed over the mix specs – we happened to have the right mix for that pour (but would have poured the wrong one a week later had we not figured out the error). The super filed an update with the city, the city asked why, and 48 hours later we got the *correct* final plans, not the preliminary approved plans that we had (which the city site inspector should have already checked to make sure was correct). And the Civil Engineer’s name and the Structural Engineer’s names were correct on that version. The structural engineer apologized to the super a few weeks later when we had to contact him on a structural issue (had two quite different reinforcements called out in the same area in two different details for the same area), and we were like, “Dude, you saved us all a lot of rework. No big deal – just wish we hadn’t had to find out in such a lousy way.” David Gillon It used to be that roads, drains and sewers were municipal engineering, while civil engineering was everything else, but the Institute of Municipal Engineering merged with the Institute of Civil Engineering a good few years back, so my Dad went from having CEng MIME as post-nominal letters, to CEng MICE 😉 He did have to turn his hand to whatever came along, so one summer I got to watch him (well, technically the demolition firm he’d hired) blow up the weir on the local river (which made it a weir on the Wear). 40 years later and the local fishermen still haven’t forgiven him. Weatherheight I did not know that – I can chalk off learning something for today! David Gillon Well, that’s the way it worked in the UK. US usually does stuff different. damocles6 Heh, literal thought police. Hiram As Alison hurtles into the fray the robot on the left fires a pulse of green energy at the hapless citizen of Patricity. Just then, the citizen stops the energy blast mid air with a well aimed palm strike, dissipating it in a brilliant flash. ” Sup, Interloper. ” They say. ” You and Intruder going to go see that concert at the tower? “ David Gillon Okay, ‘Thinking of You’ just levelled up in creepiness. M. Alan Thomas II So far I haven’t seen anyone in the top comments bring up the possibility that all of the people whose knowledge he’s mind-ripped over the years (e.g., those scientists that one time) have left personality fragments in his mind and he’s slowly losing control over them. moriati Anyone else think, ‘Cool, Sanskrit lighting’? Ack I’m gonna go with “It’s Moonshadow”. Misspel Could this be Jen Green? I mean I could also see this as being a relative of Patrick’s like a sister or cousin. I don’t really see this person being either Mary Kim or a female version of Patrick, but I could be wrong. Lisa Izo Obviously the robots are angry that that woman is sporting a TRON look in what is clearly a Terminator world.