She must have nearly the whole set by now.
For anyone on a phone or tablet, the alt text is: oh boy, amber’s collected a new red flashback panel
If Willis gives us another one, I Swear to Cheese, I will go to where he lives, and sit outside his house just crying for days and days on end asking “why?” And he’ll just laugh and say, “the tag came pre-pulled, you knew the risks.” Please though. Not another one. We already have father issues and heartbreak. If he have another I don’t know how it’ll get worse
OHIO CRY-IN, LET’S DO THIS
seriously this strip makes me cry
GOD DAMN YOU, WILLIS.
Seriously Willis. I cry every time.
Her father is still in town.
It’s funny, because only half of it is red.
Actually, you can read the alt-text on your iPhone (and I’m assuming iPad) by clicking on the empty space to the right of the “Next/Latest” buttons.
Well, son of a Joe! Will you lookit that!
Holy balls it’s BEAUTIFUL THANK YOU
Cool! Works on android devices, too. ^^
KevinGriffin3CD, you are my hero.
Depends on which browser app you’re using. I only ever got that functionality on my phone once I started using Firefox. The default Android browser and Chrome both failed me.
(Firefox also seems to be the only mobile browser I’ve found that’ll show animated gifs anyhow…)
Well, Firefox does totally rule. Especially with the regular plugins.
Fear destroys relationships. When we doubt ourselves, we can fail to say certain things, or do certain things, and it can harm our chances at happiness – but worst of all is when we act out of fear.
This is when we do the most damage to our life. Amber is afraid, and she needs someone to help take that fear away.
I think that’s incorrect. Not that she feels fear, but that she needs someone to take it away from her. Personal emotional growth is best done on one’s own, and depending on another in order to gain something that you do not have is how many relationships go sour, or are doomed from the get go. Long term relationships, that is.
I feel that the best way would be a healthy combination of those two things. You must learn to deal with it as an individual, and gain that strength through growth on your own. Having a partner that will support you in your struggle by listening and giving love when you need it, but not solving the problem for you, makes it more bearable, and feel less unmanageable. It can be a fine line between healthy and codependent however.
yeah, I mean, I finally got really pretty emotionally healthy when I met my now husband! no man is an island, and it isn’t that you need someone else to get there, but shit if having a rad-ass partner doesn’t help!
You know Amber’s completely doomed when the person she needs most is DANNY.
I know, right? I don’t want to hate on a character, but he makes it so damn easy. When he says his best feature is his availability, he wasn’t kidding. Otherwise he’s just so bland as a character, at least in this comic (I’m guessing that he’s better in Roomies). He’s completely defined by whoever he’s dating and if he isn’t dating he’s desperately searching for someone. His “dating” Amazigirl just makes it worse, since it keeps him from interacting normally with any girl, even the girl he’s sort of dating! The only time we get to see any other side to him is when he’s with Joe and Joe is about the only guy who’s more simplistic than Danny! Not that I dislike Joe, he’s just not annoying to me like Danny.
To train them is her cause.
“And that’s why I’m now with Joyce, ’cause I don’t give a shit about her.”
huh…that really is what he’s implying, isn’t it…
Not at all. Ethan staying with Amber wouldn’t have made Amber happy. Ethan staying with Joyce does make Joyce happy.
No, Ethan makes Joyce “happy”. At some level, she knows the difference.
He can be what she needs: someone who’ll never require her to make intimate physical contact. (Until one of them inevitably wants that)
No. What Joyce needs is a man who won’t require hanky panky until the wedding. And Ethan is not marrying her ever.
Oh based on current Ethan’s idiocy he just might.
He wants to live the straight life through, don’t forget.
Eventually that means shaking up with a girl.
Now will Willis actually let him stay stupid long enough for that to happen? No. But it’s not like in other universes he hasn’t stayed with a girl for far too long.
Of course, the problem is Joyce is thinking she’ll eventually convert him and then they can get married and then she can have her perverse sexual lusts be okay, and Ethan is hoping to fake it till he makes it and somehow have that work out. It’d fall apart pretty fast after marriage.
But for now, their stupid little arrangement works as well in practice as it does on paper. (For now being a key word)
Or maybe Joyce’ll just buy a strap-on and the wonderful world of pegging will save their marriage.
Yeah, thats exactly the same thing Amber went through and look how that ended. Saying this is (relatively) a good idea just cause it works until the something like some form of commitment inevitably happens, is just like saying Amber and Ethan’s relationship works up until their Prom Night.
Shes hurt and confused, but objectively speaking she trying to stop a loved one from hurting someone in the same way he hurt her. Not to mention she wans to set that person up to accept who he is and stop letting himself be objectified and defined by others, which are the core reasons why bullying and abusive relationships, are so psychologically damaging.
Of course on a level shes in ot for herself and o protect her own pride, and I’m for Ethan getting into whatever mess he wants to make, but A) its a little messed up to have someone fight fot you and to not even give being gay a shot, and B) hes gonna hurt someone else (Joyce) in the process
Joyce feels safe with Ethan, because she knows he’ll never pressure her for sex, and also she can talk about temptation with him and then there won’t be all that sexual tension during the conversation, which is what likely would happen if she was with a straight guy. Plus y’know that there’s the religious angle, because turning a gay guy straight would be MAJOR Jesus brownie points.
And Ethan seems like he REALLY doesn’t want to be gay. He knows he is, and that it’s not gonna change, but he’s more comfortable pushing that to the side and ignoring it. Thinking things like “Well, maybe if I stay with her long enough I’ll fall for her” Unfortunately, being gay doesn’t work like that. I speak from experience.
Just no. That is not how sexual orientation works.
Right on Charles RB. He’s willing to let Joyce get as attached as circumstances dictate, and when her need for intimacy pops up BAM! “Oh Joyce I love you too much to pretend”. Ethan needs a crash course in DBAD.
The real question is: does Ethan?
For the moment.
Noone gives a shit about Joyce.
Ya he’s just really really stupid when it comes to girl problems
That ol’ Deej. He’s a good egg.
Even Danny couldnt give two shits about Joyce, BUT joe does. Platonically surprisingly, joe does
Give it up that ship aint EVER happening
Eh. They say anything possible, but whether we like that ship or not, it’s pretty much 99.99% impossible.
Platonic friendship, though? Between two characters with two very different view on certain topics? Heck yeah.
I actually seriously think Joyce/Joe is a likely endgame ship here. Not any time soon, but I think it’s entirely possible that a ways down the road – when Joyce has figured out that she doesn’t need to be afraid of sex, and in fact enjoys it an awful lot, and Joe gets tired of empty encounters with women he doesn’t remember afterwards and starts looking around for someone he actually cares about – they’ll meet in the middle.
And the President of the United States will be the maid of honor, and Jacob will be the best man. Because Danny’s never the best anything.
Which is a shame, because it would be funnier to say the president’s ex-boyfriend was the best man.
Yeah. Joe’s a horndog but the little openings to his heart go all the way in.
Well, she is the only girl I can think of who would take “repulsive” as a compliment.
I read it as more that Amber was obviously interested in a sexual relationship, while Joyce is deliberately trying to avoid that. If all Amber wanted was someone to go get lunch with, he could do that for her, but that wasn’t going to be enough, so things were going to be really awkward regardless.
Joyce has said she’s happy to have their current arrangements, after all.
Joyce still has some PTSD from the whole “Roofie guy” thing too. So it’s both her upbringing telling her premarital hanky panky is bad, but her brain is all “AAAAHHH PENIS!! ALERT! ATTACK FORMATION DELTA TANGO! NEED STRONG BLACK WOMAN WITH A BAT!”
Is it really what Joyce wants though? I mean, I’m having flashbacks of her sex dream, in which she was trying to repress her wanting to have sex with Ethan.
Don’t forget though, Joyce actively wants to fight that impulse (Until marriage). If she had a guy she liked who was trying to push her into sex… well… best not to ever have that temptation in the first place.
Joyce lusts and has some desire for sex. She is also scared of it.
The reason she tried dating two guys outside of her faith and didn’t ever consider Sarah’s warning about Joe is because Joyce lusts very shallowly.
Joyce doesn’t particularly look happy in the final frame. Kinda giving Ethan the side-eye as far as one can tell in the zoom out.
Joyce: “You love *her* more than *anyone*? And I’ve never even heard her name pass your lips?”
Because praying the gay away is one thing. Praying an ex-girlfriend away is another.
It isn’t because he doesn’t care about Joyce, it’s because his relationship with Amber was built on a lie. Ethan’s already come out to Joyce, and they both know (if not completely, at least somewhat) what they expect of each other.
Ethan was forced to come out to Joyce. No indication he was going to give up the lie. Mike would keep prodding him, Sarah would know, Jocelyn would know, but no sign he was ever going to come clean.
Well, he still told her, even if it wasn’t his idea to do so, and she still wanted a relationship with him. The end result was the same, even if it wasn’t his idea to tell her in the first place.
MY PEOPLE NEED ME!
Is it time for dungeon crawling already? Time sure does fly.
I think in this universe caring about someone always destroys some aspect of your life.
DoA obeys the Law of Conservation of Drama.
Drama’s being conserved here?
It’s being conserved so that what is saved can be used elsewhere in the comic. Efficiency in all things!
Drama cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one state to another.
Teenagers seem to be a source of infinite drama, as are crazy SO’s.
Teenagers don’t necessarily create drama. Similar to a magnifying glass, they amplify that which already exists. Use a magnifying glass in a dark room and you still see nothing.
Only true if DoA is a closed drama system. Local departure from conservation and other dramodynamic laws for closed-pathos systems can occur here.
I myself am suspending my crime fighting for the arc.
Willis studied at the feet of Joss Whedon.
Then how come his comics haven’t been abruptly cancelled after one or two seasons?
He hasn’t needed to deal with Fox.
So rejection did happen unclothed.
So why could Ethan be what Joyce will eventually need?
Because he doesn’t wanna bang, but he DOES want to put up with her wingnut parents…?
We all dream of in-laws like that.
From personal experience the only thing that really counteracts in-laws is plenty of sex afterwards.
No, they’re both still clearly clothed. It’s the exact same panel as the one we discussed before. His shirt is kind of open but it’s still on and she’s still in her dress.
Which I was unable to find. I took the blue as a bra.
It’s from the strip where she’s crying in the hall while hiding from her dad before she puts on her mask to make herself feel better.
Ah, will check later.
Found it. Like I said, I took the blue as a bra.
My larger point still stands, that the moment of discovery was at a moment that would make her question her desirability as a woman.
It turns out a Google search shows there is no word that is the exact female equivalent of ‘emasclate’, given the word’s origins. Many have tried, no direct answer.
I would probably go with Lady MacBeth’s infamous line:
Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’
While Amber’s intentions are good, her actions in the wake of Ethaning(tm Willis) seem pretty on par with this.
Of course, Amber does seem to be feeling remorse. Well. She’s feeling SOMETHING. I think it’s remorse though. She really does hate it when she acts in any way which reminds her of her dad.
While Amber didn’t act entirely right, I don’t think she has a lot to be remorseful for. She was mistaken about some things, but acted out of love. Ethan didn’t exactly communicate this stuff to her either. He would have kept it hidden, it just took all this for it all to come out.
But her world just came crashing down on her again.
Speaking of Amber’s flashback while sitting in the stairwell — remember that this was less than 24 hours ago in the Dumbiverse timeline. Between her own issues over stringing Danny along (as Amazi-Girl), the conflict with her father, and this train wreck we’ve been watching unfold, it’s been one hell of a weekend for that girl.
And by “stringing Danny along”, you mean “trying to make Danny’s fantasy come true while establishing a real relationship with him, only to have her efforts thrown back in her face because he’s too fucking stupid to catch on”.
Plus fighting with Ethan’s mother again on this issue that Ethan himself won’t stand up on, having her own mother ditch her to bang Joe’s dad, and then Mike rubbing her face in her own issues.
At least she got Mrs. Warner hugs.
Everyone wishes that they could run into someone like Mrs. Warner after shit like this. Now I wonder even more how an asshole like Mike could have come from someone like her. Though I suppose he tries to help in his own awful way…
I think the difference is that with Amber it would have been pity dating (which is unfair to both parties). Amber wants and deserves a boyfriend who is attracted to her physically, and he knew he couldn’t provide that. With Joyce they’re both deluding themselves, but at least it’s mutual.
Honestly, I have to agree with Ethan’s rationale here. He pulled the band-aid off quickly to save her a lot of eventual hurt.
It’s obvious that neither Joyce nor Ethan are thinking that far ahead. Right now they both want someone who will understand and support their self-denial. If Joyce ever DOES want a healthy sexual relationship, presumably Ethan will break up with her too, but as far as he knows that is not going to happen any time soon.
I’m not saying this is a good thing for them to do, and it is definitely short-sighted as all hell, but “girlfriend who I know I can’t make happy currently” is not the same situation as “girlfriend who I probably won’t be able to make happy at some undefined time in the future.”
Now we’re seeing clearly that Amber has issues with controlling her anger. We saw it once in a justified setting, but now it’s a hell of a lot harder to say flipping that table and telling Joyce off was the right thing to do.
Yeah. But she, of all people, kinda understandable to have anger issues.
Yeah: genetics (unfortunately still play a factor), childhood, environmental factors; every psychological approach would say its understandable for her to have them
We knew she had anger issues before – the crime fighting was an outlet.
There is a wide divide between justified and understandable – it is all entirely understandable.
I won’t say telling Joyce off is all wrong. She is trying to convert Ethan and part of that is telling him that being gay is wrong, something she believes and her parents believe even more.
Now would be a good time for her to actually talk to danny, as amazigirl and remove the mask… :/
It’s never a good time to talk to Danny.
If I were having problems with self esteem, I’d go talk to Danny. I’m sure I’d walk away thinking “I could sure have it worse”.
I think of Danny as basically being a grown up Charlie Brown. Just imagine him trying to kick a football and having it yanked away. “Auugh!”
If you have emotional problems and you talk to danny you might end up depressed then dead.
Heh, if Danny was Charlie Brown, *then* I would hate him as much as everyone else seems to.
There are bad times to talk to Danny, and terrible times to talk to Danny. Right now he is bonding with Sal over Mario Kart, so it is a terrible, horrible no good time to talk to Danny. What are the odds of Willis allowing that to happen?
I would say HIGH, HIGH, HIGH.
I would say damn near close to 100%
Talk to Danny? Poor odds.
See Danny apparently having replaced her with a new gaming girl (and in her mind everything else)? GREAT ODDS
What all of you said.
Odds are mixed. Willis knows that we’ll notice opportunities for him to drop the hammer. He will let many of these slide to keep us from getting habituated. Just enough to get us to relax before he lets his mystic Mjölnir of misery fly.
I’m guessing that will be the next thing that Amber sees. For some reason Willis appears to get off on making this girl miserable.
Willis, I’m not claiming that you’re an awful person, just that the tears of orphans must taste like sweet sweet candy to you
BTW, I love this comic.
Are we back on the Danber wagon?
Honestly I think she just needs a solid, non-romantically-threatening friend.
We’ll see how Dina does.
Non-romantically-threatening? I hope that’s not the case.
Losing Danny was a positive development.
But… now Danny is convinced that Salis Amazigirl…
This may end poorly.
That’s what will make it funny.
Man he’s going to feel stupid after he spend the entire day with sap and its night time and he’s still then looks up and See’s amzi-girl jumping from roof to roof…you know what no no not yet I want to see the entire danny and sap thing dragged out first
Hopefully you are done picking on Amber for the time being, because damn crap just won’t stop piling on her.
In the next comic she falls face first into dog poo.
which was put there by a floating butt that follows her around and poops on her head constantly
Wow, just walked straight into that.
She can’t help but walk straight into it.
Like the saying goes, “the one constant in all of your failed relationships is you.”
(Meaning Amber, of course, not the commenter above).
This brought issues to the surface and gave Amber an answer.
The healing can begin.
That’s why I’ve said this may be a brilliant Batman Gambit by Mike.
Why don’t I buy that?
Because a lot of it is bullshit.
But also cause you’re Suspicious Joyce.
Bugger, you beat me to it. It’s probably because it’s a typical bullshit line, and doesn’t explain a lot of things. It especially raises some awkward questions about what he’s doing with Joyce now…
No it doesn’t. Joyce is more than happy to be with Ethan despite knowing he’s gay, and he doesn’t have nearly the kind of emotional connection he has (had?) with Amber, it’s kind of obvious why he’s willing to fake with Joyce, scummy though it is. I don’t think he’s being dishonest, but I don’t think he’s being moral
Regaining a social life, sense of normalicy and reasserting control over his life. It’s a bad way of doing so but that’s what he’s doing.
But he can do all of those while being out and not trying to cram himself back into the closet? And with Joyce of all people.
Joyce is sort of the perfect person to do this with. She won’t actually cross a line he can’t physically cross in the foreseeable future and she’s too naïve and biased to understand just how doomed the situation is.
But as I said, it’s not the right way to go about this but it’s accomplished his set goals so far.
But Ethan seems to know this isn’t going to work, despite the lie he keeps telling himself. And rather than try and actually do what every kid in college has to do (make tough choices, make new friends, find new social groups and find your own “normal”) he’s using Joyce’s ignorance of the situation to desperately make this lie to himself seem okay.
And in the end it doesn’t really accomplish his goal because at the end of the day, he’s still gay. He knows this. It’s the giant elephant in the room that he seems to think he will never have to acknowledge. And the longer and longer this goes on with Joyce, the greater the chance that what her subconscious seems to be trying to tell breaks through and he is back in the same boat he was with Amber.
Joyce get to “save a soul” with a guy she can safely lust after.
He won’t be wanting sex until marriage.
Then again, besides the obvious ways that ends badly it can also end this way:
“Mr & Mrs Brown, I wanted to get married and have kids (which he really does). But your daughter is so frigid we can’t have sex and she turned me gay. Divorce time.”
Not even for a dollar?
Because it’s a down economy.
Dear lord…murder in panel three!
I like to imagine that panel 3 Amber is in the middle of creating a Spirit Bomb.
Panel four amber is delivering it underhanded.
Readers, lend me your energy!
Awwrgh, Amber. She needs a hug.
Also a good therapist, but hugs first.
I second this motion
Thirded, with the addition of hugs after therapy, too.
I say therapy first, I don’t want to touch her until she’s more stable.
Yes, a ninja hug.
All the hugs, a nice cup of cocoa, and then the best therapist money can buy.
Then more hugs, then more therapist, then more hugs … lather, rinse, repeat.
Ethan is the WORST.
Britta Perry is the worst and don’t you forget it.
The logic is a bit simple, but not entirely wrong. The fact that the relationship was a lie would be a time bomb just waiting. Which doesn’t justify the closet, but that first part is true.
Amazi-Girl(*using a batman voice*): “MY LOVE-LIFE IS DEEEEAD!”
I laughed, and I feel horrible about it.
Thanks, I do have a streak of dark humour in me.
The Evil-Osaka avatar confirms that.
(Note: This comment will expire within the next 24 hours.)
So does this mean that Amber will become a Red Lantern?
…and her greatest weakness will be blue lights, like the ones the police use, also bug-zappers.
Lest we forget the entire Tron franchise.
Red-Lantern VS Quorra, now that would be interesting.
Ethan you lying little weasle
What makes you think he’s lying? Calling it quits so as not to hurt her in the long term rather than for himself makes a lot of sense.
‘Cause at the time he came out I highly doubt he was considering Ambers feelings at all (which is understandable) but now it just sounds like hes trying to be noble when the reality is hes hiding
He doesn’t have the guts to be honest to the one person who supported him through the biggest upheaval in his life, who supported against his family and is still (in her own way) trying to help him and he returns the favour by giving her some nothing line…may as well have just said “its not you its me” for all the meaning it has
Why wouldn’t he have been thinking of her at the time? There are a number of different ways he could have stopped them from having sex that night without coming out of the closet. telling her he was gay removes any concerns she might have done something wrong and places the problem between them as his sole deal.
Waiting until shes half-dressed and on top you is probably the worst time to let her know your gay (I’m guessing)
Sometimes people don’t really know they’re gay. Ethan’s not the most sexual guy, so it’s possible he didn’t even know he was gay until he tried to have sex with Amber and maybe couldn’t perform. Remember that in the Walkyverse he was even more clueless about it and only figured it out a long time after getting out of college.
Because telling someone “I’m gay” right as you’re about to do the nasty is the worst possible time to realize it. Now and forever, you have instilled in them the subconscious fear that they’re so bad, so ugly, so unlikable, they literally turned someone off of their gender forever.
It is scummy to then say you did it with their feelings in mind. So far, Ethan has shown a very narcissistic outlook on life. I honestly doubt he had her feelings in mind back then, and I honestly doubt he has them in mind right now.
It might even drive a girl to Danny.
I just don’t know what a good time would be. Trying to have sex brings focus to the issues though. Kind of forces a guy to realization, I would think.
And if the rocket isn’t on the launching pad, it isn’t launching. No good way to break that news.
So, what? Was Ethan supposed to go through with having sex with Amber? He would have been lying to her; she would be upset that he was faking it, and he would be upset that he a) had sex with someone that he wasn’t sexually attracted to and b) made her upset. I don’t see how he could have NOT told her. If he knew he was gay beforehand, he should have come clean sooner, yes; I still think he really did the best thing here, in the long run.
As for the other bit, I don’t know what to say other than that I really believe he did it for both their sakes; he knew he couldn’t provide everything Amber wanted, and that she would suffer because of that. He ended it because he knew their relationship would end, sooner or later. They weren’t compatible enough for the kind of intimate relationship they had; ending it then, before they’d had sex or stayed together for too long, allowed them both to move on. So I don’t think it’s narcissistic for Ethan to call off the relationship- he did it in both their best interests.
No. But saying he did it because of her is a bit suspect, considering his every action since then has been about running away from this fact. I agree. If he realized it at that VERY INSTANT, yes, it was the best choice. But somehow, a bloke like Ethan, who is so deep in denial he could tell us the weather in Egypt, doesn’t strike me as the sort who would admit something like this the very INSTANT he realized it.
I dunno. I was a bit harsh in my judgement, but I still don’t agree with what he’s doing.
Wow. The lengths some people will go to hate characters in fiction.
Ethan may have screwed up, but it’s not like he did so deliberately and with malice aforethought. We don’t know the full scene that led up to that and whether there was a better time before things begun to escalate past his comfort level.
I’m amazed at how so many people just assume the worst of all these characters instead of realizing that they’re mostly well-intentioned but imperfect people.
He wasn’t malicious about it, no. But he’s hardly considering others as he goes through life. He has problems. I get that. Believe me, I get that better than most people. But something that teenagers need to learn badly (and, I believe, Ethan is about to in this arc) is that your actions don’t only affect YOU. We live in a society, the basis of which is the ability to consider the collective as well as yourself.
Maybe I was a bit harsh on Ethan. But the damage he’s done to Amber is almost certainly irreversible. He may not have meant to hurt her, but anger and self-image issues don’t burst out of the ground just like that.
You’re right, though. I may have gone a tad too far. He is still a teenager, and still making stupid mistakes.
I might have bought it if he hadn’t leapt into a relationship with another woman at the first available opportunity, which is basically guaranteed to hurt her no matter how he does it.
I mean, best case scenario here is that he’s being sincere when he tells Amber that he couldn’t have an empty relationship with her because he cares too much about her… which just implies that he’s okay with having an empty relationship with Joyce because he doesn’t give a shit about her. Though given that he was making eyes at her (presumed) brother right over her head, that’s pretty obvious anyway.
Yeah I call bull on Ethan’s story here. He’s basically saying, “it’s not me; it’s you.” He’s attempting to validate his mother’s horrible accusation that Amber dated him so badly that he came out as gay.
Ethan is a Weasley? I never saw him at Hogwarts.
Amber, raising her arms in the air LIKE WE ALL CARE. WE REALLY DO AMBER, HONEY.
Nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong. Times infinity.
At this point the amount of dysfunction among the cast is reaching that point where it stretches my suspension of disbelief too far and becomes uninteresting due to the lack of resolution.
I think it’s pushed just far enough.
Fortunately I no longer have to suspend my disbelief, because I learned how to make it hover in midair. Turns out it comes from the distant world of Krypton and gains super power by bathing in our yellow sun.
That’s right. You will disbelieve a man can fly…
I put my disbelief in a closet.
On an inappropriately light note, Amber flipping the table makes her look lie one of the figures from “Guernica.”
When even Picasso’s “Guernica” strikes a light note in comparison to the current strip, you know a webcomic is getting pretty serious.
Ethan, honey, sweetie. Fucking grow a pair. Don’t give bullshit explanations, don’t hide from who you are, and do NOT blame this on others. I understand he’s gone through a lot, but you know what? That does not fucking excuse his actions here or anywhere. And you know something else, you should take your head out of your goddamm ass for the first time since you got to college and either be there for your friend or own up to your faults. Goddammit. I hope Sarah tears him a new one.
I’m thinking Joyce might actually have this one…
well played ethan.
Only AmaziGirl can save them now!
Ethan cant save her from PURE RAGE
Unlike impure rage. It needs to be refined.
Poor Tiny Thunder Amber…
“Tiny Thunder” has got to be one of the best nicknames I’ve heard in a long time.
Cue her seeing Danny bonding(?) with Sal, adding on another layer of drama and blaaaaaaaaah
I’m crying right now ok
Oh Amber Poor Amber
You’re fading away
Oh Amber Poor Amber
Life slowly decays
Sarah’s probably wondering how she got stuck in more drama.
“Where’s that twelve year old? Dealing with her was much more straightforward.”
This. This makes me smile so much. So so sooooo much. Hehehehe…
What the hell dude
1. I enjoy schadenfreude.
2. Amber is bringing her problems on herself. She’s a young, attractive, smart girl who most people would love to have. But she fixates on Ethan and Danny, two thoroughly terrible people. One is a spineless wimp who wants a fantasy world where he’s dating a superhero, the other is a spineless wimp who has his WHOLE LIFE to find someone, but is so clingy he latched onto JOYCE of all people.
3. I reeeeeeeeally enjoy schadenfreude.
To be fair, Ethan is/was her lifelong friend and first bf.
She was soundly rejected when about to have sex, but sees him with a woman. That is a pretty big slap on the face.
1. It’s… Schadenfreude! Making me feel glad that I’m not you!
2. Yeah, she’s bringing problems onto herself, but it isn’t because of “who she fixates on” or anything. First of all, Ethan is her closest friend, her ex-boyfriend from high school who she came close to consummating their relationship with until they figured out he was gay, and with a long history together, it’s not surprising nor inappropriate that Amber would care about and be concerned for him; and secondly, it could’ve easily been anyone other than Danny, and the result would’ve remained relatively the same. The real reason she’s bringing problems onto herself is because of the problems she already has, with her anger and with her father, which are causing them.
Furthermore, I personally wouldn’t call Danny a spineless wimp who wants to live in a fantasy world; he’s very morally driven, trusting and loyal in his relationships, and he doesn’t wish to seek out a casual bang because he sees no value in it. And just because we, the reader, know who Amazi-girl is, that doesn’t invalidate the fact that Danny doesn’t know and Amber won’t tell him. She has turned the part of herself full of rage and violence and sadness and anger into a separate physical entity, a completely different person, and because she wanted that identity to be separate, and wanted others to see that identity as a unique individual, it isn’t wrong to say that Amazi-Girl technically IS a completely separate person from Amber, who merely occupies the same space as Amber does. In those regards, the person whom Danny is dating is, for all intents and purposes, someone “real” and not Amber until she acknowledges her to be so to him.
Once you look at the situation like that, treating Amber and Amazi-Girl like separate people as she would want others to do and certainly as Danny sees them, Danny’s recent actions towards Amber become more clear and understandable. Danny had a choice between two “different” women, and he decided to choose the person who both had an interest in him and least reminded him of his ex; an issue that’s also understandable given the circumstances at the time. The fact that Amazi-Girl is a superheroine is certainly uncommon, and meant to be somewhat comical, but in real life it’s not unheard of; so while it’s easy to look down on Danny for “wanting to live out a fantasy”, take into consideration the idea that their relationship really isn’t a fantasy as far as he’s concerned. So when Amber decides to hide from her dad by “pretending” to be in a relationship with Danny for his sake, and not telling him later about either her identity or the reason she was hiding, Amber quite literally set herself up against herself, forcing Danny into a situation he was very uncomfortable with, which lead him to remove Amber from his life. In the end, it was her refusal to face her issues, to compartmentalize them and create an outlet for them, that wound up biting her in the ass, not Danny.
Once again, Cragalanch’s high school essays are dwarfed by the comments to a webcomic. Cragalanch will go cry in a corner now
Have you tried using a bigger font?
So she’s got a type, can’t fault her for having a type.
I want to slap Ethan so hard right now, it’s ridiculous. He’s alienating his closest friend so he can be an angsty teenager about his sexuality, saying “HEY I’M GAY BUT I’M NOT YOU TOTES CAN’T PUT A LABEL ON ME” and he deserves a primal ass-whooping.
I mean, I get the pressure he’s getting from his parents, and that isn’t his fault. But the way he’s playing it is.
tl;dr Ethan is making me mad bro.
That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s saying that he’s not willing to use her as a beard, because he thinks she deserves a real relationship.
But Joyce on the other hand.
Joyce doesn’t want a real relationship. Or at least, she doesn’t mind pretending.
No she wants one bad she just doesn’t have a good idea what a real one is, if you where to going to ask her out you might as well propose rite there on the spot, to her love is that simple
She’s in love with a fairy tale, with a script, with the expectation of how her life is supposed to go. Actual people don’t really have anything to do with it yet.
But Joyce doesn’t apparently.
Joyce doesn’t want a real relationship, she wants someone who she knows has no sexual desire for her at all.
Well yeah, right now. Her subconscious seems to have other ideas however.
However, I think to Joyce the relationship is very real, in that she thinks she will “save” Ethan and then they get married and go prancing of into the sunset in holy matrimony.
And what are they going to do on there wedding night when she does want sex and might spring up and say “OH GOD I MADE A MISTAKE….AGAIN,” She thinking about marraige I’m surprise she didn’t think that far.
Joyce very much wants sex. She is also very scared of sex, hellfire, and damnation on top of all the hang-ups.
She thought Joe JOE was relationship material even with Sarah’s warning.
This is one of her problems – she thinks of herself as competent (it’s been four weeks, but I’ve got this dating thing down) and never gives a little thought that others have an idea of what they’re talking about.
I agree, Joyce is willing to have sex but only under her terms. Which means “No ding-ding vithout a vedding ring!”
More like her parent’s terms. Joyce is basically trying to live by a set of rules imposed on her and ground into her brain that even she is finding stifling but sincerely believes are the “right” way to live, so live by them she is. At least until she convinces herself that they aren’t the roadmap to the good and righteous she’s been told that they are.
Doesn’t mean she won’t come to need it badly as her bond to Ethan grows.
Not alienating her. Just saying that he can’t be her boyfriend. He’s putting her first here, or at least thinks he is.
But isn’t Joyce going to get hurt when she realizes she can’t turn Ethan from a gay Jewish man into her perfect Christian husband? ‘Cause that’s what she meant when she said she’d try to “fix” you dude.
Yes, but Ethan hasn’t realized that she can’t “fix” him either, so of course he’s not gonna break up with her over it. As far as they’re concerned it’s a sound plan.
I’m fairly certain Ethan is aware that she can’t fix him, but is clinging on to this desperate horrible plan to appear “normal” when it’s going to pretty much just end up hurting him and the people he cares about in the long run.
If Ethan believes that Joyce can “fix” him, then he’s deluded and that’s really frickin’ sad. If he knows she can’t, then the same logic he using to explain why he couldn’t be with Amber should apply to Joyce. I’m not sure if he’s just being more callous to Joyce because he doesn’t know and care about her the way he does about Amber, or because he doesn’t see Joyce getting hurt when her efforts to change him are thwarted.
I’m saying this all as a gay person who is horrified by conversion attempts and should probably be more mad at Joyce than I am. Somehow I actually really like her as a character and have a hard time blaming her for all the ignorant crap she pulls when she’s only been out of her fundamentalist home bubble for a few weeks.
Considering Jacob’s first strip, I think it actually is possible he really thinks he can be “fixed”. To which I agree, really frickin’ sad.
I think the Joyce thing is that while conversion attempts are, in fact, more messed up than there are words for, and yeah, we should probably be horrified, it’s pretty clear she’s only trying this because she’s so fresh out of the home bubble and this is obviously the first time she’s ever interacted with someone who’s openly gay. In other words, this is setting up for a huge reality dump in the near (in-universe at least) future for both of them.
With Ethan… now that we’ve met his parents, it’s easier to see how he thinks he can just ignore the fact that he’s gay, because hot DAMN that situation’s a big ball of messed uppedness. But all the same, the fact that he’s willingly setting them both up for trouble for chances he probably knows aren’t that great and hurting his best friend in the process makes it hard to be sympathetic.
They’re both using this relationship to hide their own issues. They’re both teens too inexperienced to realize this is never going to work. All we can do is sit back and watch it fall apart.
Yeah, juding by some peoples anger, they seem to forget Ethan is lying to himself as hard as everybody else. He’s really going “this will work!” to himself in his head. And pushing the “no it’s not”‘s that come up way, way back.
Sure Joyce will be hurt. She also believes that being gay is a choice and gays can be changed/saved. It’s kind of part of fundamentalism.
Oh god, now Coldplay is stuck in my head and it’s entirely fitting for this strip.
WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO ME?
Awwww! This girl is making me cry!
And all the lunch room workers are like, “thank god that didn’t end in a mother food fight I just got done cleaning the floor.” On a more serious note The entire amber’s heartbrakeing angst might be put on hold FOR NOW! But there still Joyce who wondering
“What was that about? I still don’t know who that is.” And where the fuck is dina and where the fuck is walky and Billie they say they where going to get lunch so I thought they would show up by now?
This is so sad. Ethan you fuckass. If you only like men, just be true to yourself.
It’s a reasonable trade-off.
On one hand, he’s breaking his best friend’s heart and leading on some hapless homeschooler for a few days (or months or years) with the implicit promise of a relationship that’ll never, ever happen.
On the other hand, chicken sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches fried in peanut oil, man! With waffle fries! (Also, he’s evading the disapproval and persecution of the majority of his neighbors and peers, but I’m thinking it’s the waffle fries that sent him over the edge.)
First Billie suffered the Break The Cutie moments, now it’s Amber’s turn.
Willis really likes that trope doesn’t he? Hopefully Amber hits bottom soon (though I bet there’s going to be one or two more things to give her grief) and can start to rebuild her life.
My abnormal psych teacher used to say “The problem with problems is that they create more problems.”
THIS x a million.
People have speculated about Joyce’s sexual orientation before, but not in the same discussions where they are opining about the right/wrongness of the Joyce/Ethan ship. Has anyone considered that they both might be gay? I know the weird Joyce dream sequence implied otherwise, but dreams about one kind of sex don’t mean it’s really your main thing. It isn’t unknown for two queer people of the opposite sex to find common ground for a relationship, especially if one or more of them is in denial . . .
I don’t think anyone’s sexual orientations changed between universes, and Joyce was pretty straight in the original walkyverse.
Joyce was pretty straight in the old universe, even when she didn’t remember her religious upbringing (though she also had the emotional growth of a child for a good part of that).
It’s possible, especially considering how repressed her sexuality is, but I don’t think it’s likely. Could be bi, I guess.
Well, standing rule for Willis’s comics is that if sexual orientation is consistent across continuities. Joyce was definitely into the boys in the other comic, so at best she’s bi. There were a few slivers of possible flexibility that were hinted at, but they were pretty thin. So for Joyce to outright prefer girls in this version would be a pretty significant change.
(As much as I like to ship her with Dorothy, I am mostly aware that that’s a bit of a crack ship.)
But even if we just look at this comic, and Joyce’s behavior in it, she’s had definite arousal from looking at guys, and the closer she ever came to taking interest in a girl was staring at Billie’s breasts at a time when she was paranoid about the mere possibility of being gay. So I’d say it’s unlikely but not impossible.
Staring at Billie’s breasts wasn’t the only time. She seemed to like Sal’s hair WAY too much.
Then again, who wouldn’t?
Joyce’s pastor said she was the best socialized of her home study group, not well socialized in general.
She hasn’t seen much of life and people at all and doesn’t express everything well. Witness telling her friend that she has a black room mate.
This. Joyce is confident because her background gave her all the answers. She still lives in that bubble.
I don’t the only person I see her going being gay for is Dorothy, even so she seems to be extremely homophobic, and dreams isn’t the only thing that makes her seem strait if you recall few day dreams. But any way she seems really sexuly frustrated, I mean shit haha
How is Joyce homophobic? The tenets of her faith might tell her that homosexual hanky panky is a sin, but I have yet to see her denounce someone for being gay. Trying to “fix” Ethan might seem terrible to us, but Joyce is honestly trying her best to be understanding and loving to someone she perceives as broken. Homophobia is a thing, but not a thing Joyce has.
Believing that being gay is something that needs to be fixed IS homophobic.
You might be right, the word is used so often that it’s lost all meaning. But ignorance isn’t bigotry. And though Joyce may be ignorant she’s been really kind and caring toward Ethan despite what her church probably taught her. When she sees that she can’t ever change him, though, I guess we’ll find out if she’s actually homophobic or just a sweet girl trying to reconcile reality with her religious upbringing.
And yes, what she’s doing is wrong, but according to everything she knows about the world she’s doing something really good for Ethan. If people spent the time to explain real life to her (and, you know, it actually landed in the “new information” box) rather than calling her a bitch or deriding her, she might learn a thing or two.
It’s really easy to dismiss people as “homophobic,” but I think we’d be better off to say that sometimes people don’t act out of malice, and instead just don’t know any better. I’m sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Did you not see her reaction when she got into the entire discussion of lasbiqn love
Amber’s having a bit of a breakdown.
Saying that she’s having a bit of a breakdown is like saying that the ocean is damp or that the sun is a somewhat warm.
Oh I see what he’s saying, what Amber wanted was a full relationships, not just sexytimes, but all those other things that come with a real, long term relationship and Ethan couldn’t give that to her, he knows it. He knows she deserves it but he doesn’t want to hurt her.
Joyce just seems to want that cute part of the relationship, the hand holding, the cuddling and watching movies/tv. Nothing heavy, nothing substantial. That’s what he’s able to give and not feel bad about it, it’s one step above friendship but not quite a romantic relationship either.
Okay, see, this is the thing, tho. That’s all Joyce wants -now-, because Joyce’s idea of an ideal relationship progresses slowly. But it DOES progress. If Ethan honestly thinks that’s all she’ll want forever, he’s an idiot. If he knows it’s not, then he’s a jerk, because by the time the nature of the relationship starts to change for her, she’ll be invested, and he’ll be doing to her what he did to Amber.
(Well, I expect it does progress, anyway. I’d be surprised if I’m wrong on that.)
Yeah, Ethan isn’t working on foresight…or good logic at all really, but i can understand why he’d do it. He’s lonely and sad, he’s tired of being different and standing out.
He wants his parents approval, a cute relationship and to not be that gay kid.
Am I the only one around here who thinks that Joyce (subconsciously) wants a sexual relationship?
Oh no, that’s been made pretty clear from the sex dream. However, the other thing that dream made clear was that between the big bundle of sexual “purity” stuff she’s been raised on and the trauma from Ryan, she’s got it so repressed its straitjacket has a straitjacket.
No, but you’ll never get her to admit it.
And given what happened with Ryan, I think she’ll need to feel EXTREMELY safe before she wants to progress any further (physically speaking). She’s got the drive, but he buried it under a pile of fear.
There was a pretty convincing dream sequence that suggested (through the eyes of madness) that she yearns for a sexual relationship. That said, she’s not likely to let those urges go anywhere anytime soon.
She wants sex in a big way.
That’s why she rationalizes the choices of Joe and Ethan who are outside her Jewish.
She came to find the godly man who will be her husband and she was warned about dating outside her faith.
But it’s been made clear both are attractive and that Joyce definitely lusts.
She wants it, believes getting it is wrong.
The question is why isn’t she punishing herself for her lustful thoughts?
Umm willis, one favor can u put the link to the first flash back if it exists down here.
That’s all you ever see of it, just the one panel.
Even though there’s nothing different about the flashback panel its previous iteration, have a link anyway: Shocking Reveal
I think “whatever” Amber needs is part of her rage and aggression but she doesn’t want to need.
I really don’t know what to think here. Am I mad at Ethan? No. I think he did what he thought he should. But I’m not sure if Amber is confused or hurt or…
realistic characters, amirite
I’d say both, and a bit horrified at her actions. I feel like this arc will be heading towards Amber finally getting help for her anger issues; after seeing her actions with her dad, her best friend, and perhaps one more incident that has yet to come with Danny and Sal, she may be pushed over the limit and break down, where Danny will eventually come into the picture and save her from herself, as a callback to when Amazi-girl first saved him. At least, that’s my prediction.
But if Amber gets help with her anger issues– would that spell the end of AmaziGirl?
Possibly. She may actually like helping people out, and instead of being a masked vigilante, she’ll use that as a starting point for an actual career in, I dunno, being in law enforcement, or a paramedic, or a firefighter, or something that lets her reach out to others. Or maybe she’ll continue her crime-fighting, just without the pretense of using it as an outlet for her issues. And hell, maybe Danny will join her.
You mean straight? Ethan? I think given the second panel what she needs is sex. Ethan seems to like Joyce because she doesn’t want sex.
And so Joyce is….?
Well, Ethan thinks he can be what Joyce needs and that Joyce is what he needs right now. Whether he’s wrong, well, at least he did realize he wasn’t the right person for Amber.
Nothing is right and
Cause everybody wants, and everybody needs
Everybody asks for one more piece
Everybody wants to hear someone say please
Cause everybody takes, and everybody steals
Everybody cries when something feels
Everybody’s looking for the drug that heals
Why do I get the feeling that Amazi-Girl is about to go through her mid-90s grimdark ultra-violence phase?
Fractured Jaw! Bam, Broken Ribs! Ruptured Spleen.
And beating someone in the FAAACCEEEEE!
With their own bloody femurs.
I think so too. At least I fear it. I wouldn’t want to be the next guy to call her Amazi-tits.
Now Amber is running down the hall.
THAT hall where you who is playing with you know who’s DS (or is it 3DS?)
I have a VERY BAD feeling about this™
I don’t think they stay in the same place for two hours playing 3DS they would at least take it to his room say it could charge.
Wait a minute….oh shit
Ethan’s little teary eyes. And even more Amber crying panels. Aghagh all the feelings. I have aaaaaaaaall the feelings.
For some reason I find it hilarious that Ethan is still carrying his empty lunch plate while having this deep and serious conversation with Amber.
I actually find it really touching. like, when you’re engaged with something/one on an emotional level, you’re just not worrying about crap like that. I think it is an awesome detail for Willis to include.
I agree, but I keep reading it as if Ethan is really disinterested about the whole thing and he’s just talking to Amber on his way to drop off his dirty dish.
Yeah, I noticed it yesterday, where it looks kind of like he’s offering it to Amber. It feels kind of symbolic to me. Like: Here’s what Ethan brings to his relationships. *empty plate*
(And I still maintain that he had a sponge for lunch. ‘Cause there’s no way anyone could get a plate of mac and cheese that clean.)
ooooh ow ow ow but that possibility huuuuuurts
My feels have got feels from feeling this feely-feel
so many feels. I feel like giving them feels a feel, if you feel my feeling.
Someday, Amber is going to murder somebody. It will not be a persn related to any of her issues, just someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She’ll probably flip a table and it’ll hit some unfortunate bystander
oh my god the name of this strip. this is the reason that when all three strips of Willis’s update, I read this one last.
And now rises Darth Amazi-Girl!
Do not even joke about that it would be the end of all of us.
She cray cray
Yeeeeahh, not buying what you’re selling Ethan.
Ethan’s in a transition phase. He’s out of the closet, but he’s not ready yet to act on his impulses and find a boyfriend. Being with Joyce in the meantime would not be the worst thing in the world– they’ll be happy, until he dumps her to pursue guys and she either regrets trying to reform him or regrets that her efforts were wasted. Then she’ll be sad from that regret and he’ll be miserable from breaking another girl’s heart.
It’s not like most relationships end with both partners being happy, though. And for Joyce, there’s an applicable quote from Shakespeare: ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.
I really want to like Ethan because I have a love for Shortpacked-Ethan but Dumbingofage-Ethan is getting harder and harder to like…
My thoughts exactly
So much this.
Does anyone else feel like this girl is a serious suicide risk?
This is a story where, if I remember correctly, the creator has said nobody will die. I don’t remember where I read that, though. Maybe I’m just imagining it?
Good Ruth is safe.
I kind of suspect that when Amber loses it, it’s everyone else at risk.
No how in the other universes Ruth died
why must you keep breaking the heart of my favorite character WHY!!!!
Well, at least this strip established the fact that Ethan sees his relationship with Joyce as a relationship of convenience. So now that Amber’s on the tipping point, all she needs now is to find Danny and Sal together and hopefully confront him about his terrible, terrible misunderstanding. Either that, or a visit from Mike telling her that she needs to get herself help in the way he usually does; by being an asshole and pointing out the truth to her.
Also, I feel like this song is very appropriate. Poor Amber.
The confrontation with Danny should go like this:
Danny’s standing in the hall with Sal playing the game.
Amazi-girl, in costume, walks up behind Danny and taps him on the shoulder.
He looks back at her, and while he’s in shock she says, “Moron,” and then turns and strides around the nearby corner.
When he runs to follow, she’s not there, having already slipped out the nearby window.
I’m more curious if Joyce is going to choose the Right Thing and get Ethan to go comfort her or even go herself, or stick to her selfish desires to not have Ethan get close to some girl he just declared to ‘love more than anyone.’
I feel that Joyce, being the “wanting everyone to be happy” kind of girl, might go and comfort Amber; then again, she’d probably be wary after just being yelled at by her.
Joyce, who was extremely territorial when Ethan was talking to Amber at Galasso’s? Who put Ethan’s arm around her after seeing Dorothy with Walky?
Who, as you say, was just yelled at?
I think a realistic best case would be to think about what she did.
“I’m sorry. I — I have to go.”
I know the feeling, Amber; sometimes you just need to have a little ‘alone’ time to try and sort shit out.
Just don’t do anything stupid, girl.
Ethan has a very odd way of showing Amber that he “loves her more than anyone”. Looks like he is sad because he feels sorry for her, but I’m willing to bet it is not because he thinks it could possibly be HIS fault.
As for Amber’s flashback, she hates anything that reminds her of her father and she hate’s herself when she acts like him. As she just did. Lost control.
She just stood up for a friend who she see’s as destroying himself, just to be kicked in the face, again, by said friend.
Looks like she is feeling pissed at herself for loosing control, devastated by Ethan’s actions, and just over the whole human race.
What’s next Mr. Sadist Willis, going to run Amber right into Danny mooning all over Sal while they play the DS?
Oh… Oh god no. That’s exactly what’s going to happen next isn’t it?
I was expecting it before, but that was before this all happened. Now would be tje worat timing.
Actually, I’d be willing to bet that Danny is going to see Amber running away crying, and thinking that Sal is Amazi-Girl, will try to “hint” to her that someone is in trouble and needs help. Then, after seeing Sal not do anything, he’ll get mad at her and they’ll argue, finally culminating in Sal exclaiming that she is not, in fact, Amazi-Girl; either that, or he will think that because they are in public together, it would be best not to be seen leaving together as she changes into her costume, and leave her ahead of time, confusing the heck out of Sal who then leaves with the person she was waiting for.
For the former, if Sal reveals she isn’t Amazi-Girl, Danny will then think that Amazi-Girl must be on her way to Amber’s assistance right now, and he’ll take off to meet her. And when he finally gets to her, he’ll probably hide and wait for Amazi-Girl to show up, then witness Amber doing one of three things (that I can think of): 1. He’ll see Amber put on the mask just as she did in a previous strip; 2. He’ll see Amber do something that, after realizing that Amazi-Girl isn’t coming in a last-minute save, will prompt him to try to save her, just as Amazi-Girl had saved him; or 3. He’ll just witness her crying, and then after he sees that Amazi-Girl isn’t coming, will approach Amber in an attempt to make some sort of peace with her, but will either be a victim of Amber’s anger, or will be pushed away. For the last choice, if he gets pushed away, he’ll probably keep pushing the issue, and ask if it had anything to do with his actions (of course), and then Amber will promptly vent and rant at him about her shitty day, filling him in on her father and on her history with Ethan, and Ethan’s rejection of her. Danny will then probably impart some kind of wisdom (unexpected of him by everyone) to her, which actually is genuinely helpful for Amber to cope with the day, and then after a bit of talk, end up either blurting out that he thinks he knows who Amazi-Girl is, or he’ll miraculously put the pieces together (again, unexpected of him by everyone) and realize that Amber is Amazi-Girl.
I can go on and on with this.
Laughs like a school girl because Ethan is trying to make people gay
It just occurred to me. She’s lost as much of an emotional support network as Ethan. While Ethan’s off with only Mike for council all she’s really got is Dina at this point, when she used to have somebody who was a big enough figure in her life to warrant marriage.
What she needs is a Robin. A sidekick who understands her pain, who she can talk to about all this bullshit, who can fill some of the companionship void created when Ethan became painful to be around, who she can be herself around without relying on any secret identities.
Her robin can, since Dina is apparently not an option, be the Danninator. He Dans right up the plans of evil!
It took me a second to figure out that you didn’t mean Robin DeSanto.
She’s Leslie’s sidekick! (Even if they’ve only barely met in this universe.) Amazi-Girl can’t have her!
Oh hey, I just noticed Ethan has a tear in his eye in the first panel too.
“I can fake it with Joyce because I don’t really give a $*@& about her.”
an then Amber get hit by a bus as she runs out the door……
I am starting to wonder if there is a random tag somewhere in this universe.
Ohhh! My heart!
I don’t get the Joyce hate in the comments here. Everyone is perfectly honest and above board with one another in this relationship. Is it perfect? Hell no. But it’s not Joyce’s fault that Ethan doesn’t want to be gay. And it’s not Ethan’s fault that he doesn’t want to be gay. Not wanting to be gay is a perfectly valid feeling.
Is it going to make him stop being gay? Probably not, but until and unless one of them actually takes initiative to have sex, it wouldn’t matter. Joyce wants to wait until marriage, and has become thoroughly scarred by the son of a preacher man. She’s not going to try to force Ethan to have sex.
You know what? She’s /right/. She did have this relationship thing down. She was being a cute little girlfriend, Ethan appears to like her, she likes Ethan, everyone involved was happy. Making a relationship all about sex is ridiculous.
Oh jeez, the song “Son of A Preacher Man” takes a whole new meaning when put in the context of Joyce’s experiences. I guess it’s fitting that the only one who could ever really teach her to fear sex was the son of a preacher man, hehe.
The commentariat in general has some rather narrow views as to acceptable relationships.
Let’s see, why do I hate Joyce? (Do I hate Joyce? Well, let’s assume I do.) Here are a few potential reasons:
1) Anti-gay bigotry is annoying, and thus the concept of ‘fixing’ gays is annoying. While it’s a little unclear how much of this is ‘avoiding sex’ and how much of it is ‘curing Ethan’, both aspects are part of her plan for this relationship.
2) She’s an idiot! She’s putting up with so much crap as part of playing her girlfriend role. Seriously, Ethan has been consistently treating her like shit since the thing started, first ditching her for her (apparent) brother, then just now turning their kiss into a spite-glare at Amber. This comic strongly implies that he’s only able to date her because he doesn’t care about her, and he’s not kidding. She’s clinging to a broken and damaging relationship despite the fact that she’s a victim of it too.
3) She responded to Amber’s challenge by trying to quote scripture at her, which makes me want to smack her with a newspaper. Even the most hardcore theist apologists know by now that when somebody accuses you of gay-hating, they’re not going to accept biblical quotes as justification for it. It’s like asking to be shouted down.
4) I’m not sure that sweater vest goes with her eyes.
Stuff like that, I think.
Oh come on!
Please, someone give Amber a hug…. pleeeease!
not until she stops running from her problems.
Otherwise it is an emtey hug, not a healing hug.
I’m honestly uncertain how you imagine she should be dealing with her problems. Standing her ground and punching them into submission? Blaine abusing her, Ethan rejecting her, Danny not cheating on Amazi-girl – all of these are objectively stressful and saddening things that she’s having to deal with. And the only one she can do anything about by talking about it is the Danny situation, which can’t possibly happen because the plot issue would instantly resolve. So what can she do?
No more burying her problems and using AG as a crutch.
and Smack Danny for being an idiot.
Oh I hope this is going down a very dark road so Amber can do what needs to be done.
every damn day with Amber i swear to god
In-universe in a couple of days Amber has twice broken the compartments and become violent as Amber, rather than in her contrived vigilante-avenger persona, and we can see that really shatters her. The flashback combination confronts her with that while she once was ostensibly heartbroken but supportive, later when Ethan again goes off-script she becomes angry and violent about it.
Unwittingly, Ethan’s conduct rubs in her face that nobody asked her to set out “righting wrongs”; more so it feels like a reprise of how “after-all-we’ve-been-through-together” he still fails to respond the way she expected. She wants him to be Out-And-Proud because she feels it’s the right thing to do, yes… but also, because then it’s a validation of how she dealt with his original reveal.
Over these two in-universe days, Amber feels she’s failing: failing at getting away cleanly from her dad, failing to control her anger, failing to foster Ethan’s complete coming out, failing to establish another relationship upon honest foundations.
Ethan has chosen a facade of control and he has already said that’s what he wants: it satisfies him for now. When Amber said “he could be happy” she means in a grand lifetime sense, but when Ethan says it he means in the sense of a satisfactory current life arrangement. Joyce, well, Joyce already believes control is in the hands of a Higher Power anyway and trusting that Power will eventually make it all right also satisfies her for now. Amber however is getting neither happiness NOR momentary satisfaction as a return on her emotional investment.
It’s only partly the drama. It’s also the isolation. Everyone gets together and eats and Amber sits alone. Even Dina is enjoying company for the meal.
She need AG just to have someone to talk to about her problems.
Willis needs to slow this down, because she is already in the area where campus security may be called and if she has a Sal/Amber fight, they surely will be, because it would be epic.
And are the comments behaving wonky today. They are displaying weird on Firefox for me.
but they work in Explorer. Panel one, Amber still has her fists of death ready, but then is off for more isolation. God help the criminals on campus. I hope they are non-violent like the sign vandalizers.
…and then Joyce breaks up with Ethan because PREMARITAL HANKY-PANKY!
If it’s been said before I apologize but my goodness I’m hating Ethan. I’ve read a lot of comics with openly homosexual characters and each one have been happily accepted and I never had to read through their struggles, only once before have I read something where someone was against it and couldn’t accept it. I’m not saying that this needs to be like that, in fact I’m welcoming this because I know it’s not easy at all and not everyone is accepting.
Now that aside my hate towards Ethan right now. His coming out wasn’t a walk in the park and he wants to go back to when it was. Why he thinks the people in college will be the same as those back home is a little boggling but he wants to lie to himself and put on false airs for that idea of normalcy. An act that basically spits in Amber’s face for all that she had done for him after coming out.
Another thing is the danger he is putting Joyce in. If it gets out that he is gay people may ask why he has a girlfriend and may even ask her. If Joyce points out all of the things that she is doing with him and that she is trying to “fix” him LGBT supporters and those who see her taking a Jewish boy to church might rip her to shreds.
Soooooo…. Is Amber wearing the same shirt in panel four as she is in current day? Or is that not a flashback panel?
It IS a flashback, but to 2 strips ago.
Amber, you’re my best friend, I couldn’t possibly use you just to feel normal! That’s what oblivious blonde protestants with frightening smiles are for!
There’s no way anyone’s getting out of this one without looking like kind of a jerk, is there? Except maybe Sarah. Sarah’s chill.
Willis draws a mean epiphany face
Amber now has enough Dark-Side points for Force-Choke, right?
Now that I read through the comments, I wonder if some parallels are going to be drawn between Sal and Amber. Sal, who dislikes how her parents treated her and became angry and violent as a result, and Amber who’s had to deal with a parent precisely like that.
Hell, if Danny and Sal become a (likely one-sided) thing, Sal could even be construed as abusive in her worst moments.
=( Poor thing.
She needs some serious loving, that girl.
She should try to stay away from homosexuals or superhero loving dorks for now.
…Funny thing is, I knew a girl who was into gay guys. And was always crushed when they didn’t want her. It was kinda sad seeing her crash and burn all the time.
Just out of curiosity did she ever explain why she was into gay guys?
She was deep into yaoi. Enjoying the more androgynous, effeminate males she could find, I guess. Maybe she found them non-threatning? Or she was sure that those guys would never cheat on her with another girl?
Of course, there was always the fact they weren’t into her that made her plans never really work.
She eventually matured, of course, and realized other males were fine too. Although her current boyfriend is so terribly skinny I’m afraid of breaking him with my gaze.
Fenales crushing on “safe” guys is fairly common, actually. It’s a safety is-
ue as much as anything. A bearded, muscular, roaring, sworded, force of na-
ture of a man is dangerous to the develpomental female, and can only be dealt with by a fully mature female, secure in her femininity. Immature females often find safe crushes who do not threaten thier psychic framework. Like Beiber. or gays. They are no threat, and can be safely engaged in fantasies. As you pointed out, it is essentially a maturity issue. Control issues are often interwoven in such com-
Thanks, its always a mystery to me why girls do what they do (being a typical clueless male)
It’s a terrible thing to discover that all your friends are so much more grounded and reasonable than you are…
Just looking at the cast page, how come Becky is on there but Jacob is not? He is in more comics than she is.
I actually am giving Joyce more credit than most. I don’t think she believes she’s going to marry Ethan. She’s just using him as a placeholder for the time being.
I think Ethan and Joyce are very dumb here, but I’m not entirely clear why they’re being beaten so much in the comments here. Both Ethan and Joyce have been honest with each other, and they have accepted the relationship for what it is. Both of them are using the other as something to cling to in order to resist their sexual desires, and they both know that about the other. It’s not healthy, but it is their choice.
Ethan isn’t saying that he can do this to Joyce because he doesn’t care about her. It has to do with sex. Ethan can’t be there for Amber, sexually. He can’t be there for Joyce sexually, either. The difference is that, for Joyce, this is solidly in the “pro” column for how they both see this. With Amber, it was in the “con.” It has nothing to do with affection, and everything to do with sexual need.
They’re all fairly dumb and damaged to be engaging each other this way, but then, the comic is called “Dumbing of Age.” Did anyone expect these 18-year-olds to be making good choices with a title like that? They’re young, and they get to be dumb for a while.
Can you be honest with another person if you can’t be honest with yourself? Believing self-deception isn’t really honesty in my book, even if it’s not overtly deceitful.
It doesn’t seem to me that Ethan’s problem is with being gay, in and of itself. His problem is that he will be pigeon-holed and stereotyped as “that gay Jewish nerd”. He is in for a rude awakening when he realizes that everyone is pigeon-holed and stereotyped, and he will be ”the closeted (who is he kidding?) gay Jewish nerd dating the fundie girl”. Ethan doesn’t seem to care about religion except that he likes that it gives structure and direction; he doesn’t seem to care if it’s “true”.
Does Joyce really think she can convert him? I know that is often the trend in thinking with fundamentalists, but thus far she’s only said that with her support he can avoid temptation. There’s a big difference between not acting on homosexual tendencies and pretending and eventually acting on heterosexual tendencies.
That being said, why isn’t Ethan freaked out that Joyce is already planning their wedding? Does he think that Joyce is not going to have expectations for their wedding night? And I’ll bet Joyce wants at least three or four children, which means that Ethan will have to do it three or four times . . .
And for their entire relationship/married life, Joyce is going to have this niggling fear that Ethan could backslide at any moment!
Please forgive me for being emotional, but as one of the few openly gay guys in college, I have been hurt many times by closeted boyfriends who left me for women because they wanted a “normal” life. This all hits way too close to home. Until yesterday, I have never disliked Joyce* or Ethan, but to me they are approaching unforgivable levels of self-delusion.
I wish I could hug Amber!
*Joyce quoting the Bible as if it should end all discussion really made me hate her. She doesn’t even recognize that other people have different religious beliefs, and to them the Bible may as well be Mad magazine when it comes to moral authority.
Hugs for everyone! :’(
I’m really interested in Joyce’s reaction, she really doesn’t like seeing anyone hurt and I don’t think she’s ever realized that all relationships don’t end in “Happily Ever After.”
The concept of divorce and gay and dating have all been very distant ideas that she heard of, but being confronted with the negative effects of people being hurt could shock her system. The idea of a hussy after her man got her angry and she had a over-the-top villain angle, but seeing two people that obviously love each other and it didn’t work out is another story.
Another interesting note: Is it established that Sal is the convenient store robber that inspired Amazi-girl? If so, seeing her with Danny at such a fragile state might inspire Amber to confront and subsequently dump on Sal.
You know you fucked up when something that happened five minutes ago is ALREADY flashback material.
Come on, it’s all in the PAST
a-HA! Second to last! So either you’re not magical, or Frogger is very slightly moreso! The plot thickens.
Didn’t Ethan flirt with Joyce’s brother before? Something tells me that Ethan might stray and “cheat” on Joyce with another man eventually. I don’t really see things ending so well with Ethan and Joyce. Someone is going to get hurt.
Oh badly. And you know what? As much emotional turmoil as that’s going to cause, I’m rooting for it to happen as soon as possible.
50 imaginary bucks says it happens
Hey, Hey! We bet with internet cookies here, mister/missy!
This is the most feels I have ever received from a webcomic before. “Damn you, Willis!” is completely appropriate right now.
What Amber needs is an emotional rock.
I’m gonna be that guy and say it looks like Ethan’s getting some Amberboob in the second flashback.
Wow…a resolution (sort of) that makes sense! Not that there won’t be more drama to follow, but this incident is wrapped up with a minimum of bloodshed, nicely blurring the lines between Right and Wrong. It’s rare to find a webcomic that (I hope) intentionally defies the norm…heck, in most fiction, the hero is the Good Guy and any mistake he makes is quickly corrected. The Heroine is the Good Girl and any mistakes she makes are quickly corrected. Here in DoA, there really aren’t any Good Guys or Girls; there’s just a bunch of college kids trying to find their way in life.
And somehow Willis manages to make it interesting and entertaining. Someone buy that man a bag of Gummy Bears.
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July 24-27 - Comic-Con International San Diego, CA
2014 Edition: Who Is DoA's hottest dude? CHOOSE TWO
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