Gogo tiny Thunder!
I have the Power Rangers theme stuck in my head now.
“YOU MIGHTY MORPHING TINY THUNDER!”
I believe you mean “Go go gadget tiny thunder!”
I wanted something to remind everyone about both.
Pretty sure that doesn’t fit into the meter.
Is it horrible that I also thought, “Hold me closer, tiny thunder . . . “?
No, it is awesome
*laughing from their grave* That’s awesome.
Go Amber and Sarah. Go Sarah for stepping in and stepping out.
Amber is fabulous.
If by “fabulous” you mean “really good at not minding her own business” then yes, she’s fabulous.
ignore everything that isn’t directly about you, the true american way
I have no idea what you are trying to say here.
Mind if i jump in and give MY opinion?
Be my guest.
…. That was my point.
Then again this is an open forum where anyone can interject their opinion. Fairly, and in-universe, Amber’s interjecting because she’s doing what she feels is best for her friend, that she feels he can’t do himself.
You do realize that there is a difference between forcibly thrusting yourself in the middle of someone’s relationship and hurling accusations, and discussing fictional characters in a forum created specifically for the discussion of those very same fictional characters, yes?
Amber’s committing assault and battery on some of her closest friends because she is hurt and cannot be honest about it. The Ethan/Joyce situation is just a convenient pretext; the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I understand that Ethan and Joyce being together would make her feel betrayed by Ethan because of all her work over the summer, and I can understand that what Joyce is doing is deeply against her values, and I can understand that her anger issues and the recent visit from her dad would probably exasperate her enough to… but…
okay, I think I just undermined my own point here.
Amber hasn’t committed battery against any of her friends. (Assault, maybe. Not battery.)
And to me, this comic puts this whole situation in a new light. Amber is not simply venting in a situation that’s none of her business. In her eyes, Joyce is actively hurting her best friend – and her logic about how Joyce is doing it is actually pretty sound. Amber’s ragey way of expressing it is over the top, but Joyce actually is twisting Ethan in the wrong direction, and because it’s his own psyche she’s twisting he’s not in a mental position to notice and avert the damage.
Yes, Ethan was going through a phase of self-doubt and self-hatred, but both Mike and Joyce have told him to take that self-hate-ball and run with it, which cemented, prolonged, and escalated the issue. We’re all sitting back with our popcorn and happily awaiting the inevitable explosion and collapse, but Amber doesn’t see the crushing of Ethan in the same favorable light we do. She, rightly, wants this to stop NOW.
You’re saying a friend shouldn’t care that someone is enabling them down a bad path.
She’s not attacking them because she cares. Her actual concern for them has come out before, in a MUCH more civilized and friendly manner, by talking with them and trying to reason with Ethan about this. Her actions here are driven by her emotional pain from issues only tangentially related to Ethan/Joyce.
She’s venting from trauma, and it has overridden her concern for her friends to the point where she doesn’t care how badly she hurts them. Ethan’s actions are just the context of her explosion, not the actual cause.
Thank you, Batman.
Eh, not fully. Though it seems clear that it’s more than JUST the immediate situation doing this, she never spoke with Joyce about this before. Last time it came up, Joyce didn’t know and was considered an innocent waiting to be hurt. Now she’s the perpetuator (Is that a real word? Perpetrator of perpetuation.) behind an unhealthy mindset.
Except that Ethan is an adult and knows what he is doing. It’s his choice.
Mustachio – Ethan is 18 and has only just left a home environment that strongly pressures him into believing homosexuality is wrong. He’s gone from his mother (who is terrifying), to Amber, who if memory serves lost her shit when he came out, to Joyce, who ‘loves him for who he is’, providing ‘gay’ is not a part of who he is. He hasn’t had a chance to make a choice on his own yet.
And I might also add that technically, human mental development doesn’t fully end until 25 y.o.
Biology/ psychology aside, if one has trauma or baggage, their ability to make sound choices when faced with their particular fears/shames can go right out the window.
Tl;Dr – I (and science) agree with Lunargh.
You may be batman, but you’re still wrong. To Amber the situation is completely different now: Before Ethan was crawling back into the closet and using an unknown Joyce as his tool in doing so; now Joyce is pushing Ethan back into the closet. Before Joyce was a victim; now she is a villian.
Amber has rage issues, but there’s no reason to think that she’d be any happier with Joyce if her relationship with Danny was going swimmingly. Joyce is doing damage here, and whether Ethan is damaged enough not to mind it, that doesn’t mean Amber needs to approve of it.
Amber might have a point, but when someone comes storming into my world to scream and curse at me I tend to think of them as a rage filled crazy person, not someone I wanna have a rational conversation with. If her goal is to reach Ethan or Joyce and get them to understand that what they are doing isn’t healthy, she’s completely fucking it up. And if her goal is to try and scare Joyce away from Ethan, all she’s accomplishing is fucking up her friendship with Ethan. Hoping I’m wrong here, but right now I’m thinking that Amber smashing everything with her metaphorical fists is just gonna make everything more broken.
Amber has as much business being a part of Ethan’s life as Joyce does. Possibly more, even, since she’s known him for longer.
Possibly more so? You mean significantly more so.
She fought Ethan’s parents for him. She fought so he could be himself. She was assertive for Ethan. She took the abuse.
So it isn’t too surprising she feels some ownership of the situation, given what she went through and his level of assertiveness.
She wants Ethan to go back to being Fabulous.
Fabulousness by osmosis.
Going back implies he was once Fabulous. Sadly, this Ethan has yet to achieve Fabulous. Perhaps some day.
Tiny Thunder? So, is that going to be Amazi-girl’s sidekick name?
Amazi-girl is her own sidekick. She just doesn’t know it.
It will be Dino-ninja. It even fits the comic world thing of being close to the real name.
Dino Ninja and Amazi-Girl!
Sung to the tune if THIS: http://youtu.be/GiPY4KdZ2eQ
I thought Amazi-Stool was her sidekick…
Y’know, what they say is true. Many guys DO tend to end up with a woman who reminds them of their mother.
I love my mother, but I’d rather give up some fingers.
This is not a joke.
Which ones? Because not many uses for the pinky exist.
Sure, if you don’t hang around stereotype Hollywood Italian mobsters or need to make a good impression with Yakuza.
Also handy to stablize knives. Grip is with thumb and first two fingers, stability with last two fingers.
You cannot be fancy without the pinky to extend while eating or drinking.
Also pianists would much rather drop the ring finger.
It’s true, I use my pinky way more than my ring finger while playing piano. Though losing my ring finger would still suck.
The truth is that if you had to choose between losing an index finger or a pinky, the better choice would be to lose the index finger. The pinky provides a great deal of strength when gripping, and counter balance for fine work. The middle finger is capable of performing the same actions as the index finger.
But it is still better to lose the ring finger, as it is worse at all of those things.
Wouldn’t the best choice be to lose the middle finger? Aside from the communication issues, it seems to be playing second fiddle more than the pointer finger.
a misconception, actually. due to how your muscles work, if you loose the pinky you cannot fully close your hand – thus if you ever have to loose a finger, choose the index or pointer, they do the least besides being longer than the others
and now you know
Well said, person with the same Gravitar as me
Upon reflection, one of my left ones. The ring finger and maybe one to be named later.
Love the new nickname
Joyce better think, Sarah already knew about this and backed off. What will Dorothy do?
Probably nothing since she’s nowhere near here atm.
Amber will be getting loud enough for everybody to know.
Joyce, you just got served.
She got served a heaping platter of Someone Else’s Issues, which is not at all what she ordered.
Except you’re forgetting that whatever Amber may have done to separate herself from Ethan for a little while, she is still Ethan’s friend, and however brash she may be acting right now, she is defending Ethan’s right to be gay. The fact is that he shouldn’t be feeling the way that he’s feeling because there’s nothng wrong with him, and it is the influences of certain individuals that are making him feel like the only way to be “normal” and have a normal life is to be straight. And it is the duty of a friend to at least try to stop their friends from making bad decisions, which is what she is doing right now.
I know you’re sympathetic to him, but I think this comment is being a bit too hard on Ethan (or maybe not hard enough, I can’t decide.) Sure, he has a lot of baggage from his parents, but IIRC Indiana is a fairly conservative state. We don’t know if “certain individuals” means Joyce and Ethan’s parents or, say, 67% of the people on campus. For example, we know Walky has some fairly stereotypical views on what it means to be a male. Is it so unreasonable for Ethan to worry that someone like Walky (who is otherwise a good, fairly easygoing person) would look at him a bit sideways if Walky knew Ethan was gay? I think Amber’s anger is a bit misdirected here. Sure, Joyce is being an enabler (just like Ethan is Joyce’s enabler), but the real problem here is that Ethan doesn’t have as much courage as Amber thinks he should have. Amber’s intentions may be pure, but lashing out at either of them really isn’t justified here IMO.
I assumed that “certain individuals” meant Mike and Joyce, since they’re the two people who have helped him down this specific self-destructive path: Mike put the idea in his head, and Joyce has taken the ball and ran with it.
And now I wait for Mike to pick up the bat and stop her.
…I might be mixing metaphors about two sports I know nothing about here.
She is using Ethan’s issues too.
More like Ethan is using her issues.
I know there are deep emotional issues invoved but dammit, I wanna see a catfight with some clothing damage.
Hold on! Hold on! I haven’t even filled the tub with chocolate pudding!
Silly Yoto, chocolate pudding looks too ‘poopy’, it’s best to use something like jello instead.
Just throw some cereal on them.
Now Dina and Riley are into it.
Corrupting those pure souls with cereal on jello. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for thinking it, Yoto.
On the other hand, I can see Mike handing out scorecards to the rest of the dorm to judge the event.
CUSTARD OR GTFO
Chunky custard made with pure yak fat?
Yakkity Fat, Don’t talk back.
…with fish fingers?
Oh god thank you, I thought I was the only one who thought that.
Exactly, Plasma! Pudding may conceal too much. Being relatively see-through, Jello is a much better cat fight medium.
Nah, vanilla’s much better. Way more suggestive.
Or, you know, just… pour some water on them or something.
well probably it would not end well. think about the damages that Sarah’s bat could inflict on both Joyce and Amber. i think that Amber would also maybe try to kill Joyce and i dont want her killed.
While Joyce did an admirable job of fighting off a rapist with a soda glass, I’m pretty sure Amber would take her apart in a straight up fight.
Catfights are only sexy if none of the combatants are actually capable of demolishing one another.
Unless Sarah decides to protect Joyce, then it will be a ‘death-match’ between A-menacing-Girl and The Old Testament God.
I’d put my money on A-menacing-Girl.
Joyce has considerable experience fighting with her brothers and definitely can take care of herself in that respect, but is definitely not on Amber’s level. However, any ass-kicking Amber may attempt on Joyce will have to get past Sarah, who I’m pretty sure can make a pretty good attempt to kick Amber’s teeth in.
I don’t know, if she’s anything like Walkyverse Joyce, she will have an episode of psychopathy where she will become hyper-competent near the beginning of the fight.
It has been amply demonstrated that Dumbiverse Joyce also has a psychopathic violence mode. Just ask Joe. (Though how competent she is in this mode is as yet unclear.)
Mind if I sit and watch with you? I brought my own bag.
I brought the butter!
for us or for the girls?
Why not both?
Coercing? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Still not seeing it.
It means persuading, as I’m sure you know. So, Joyce is persuading Ethan to be straight, which is true.
That is not what it means, no.
No it doesn’t mean just persuading. Coercion implies the promise of pain or loss if the victim does not comply. The worst thing that would happen if Ethan decided to stop presenting as straight is that Joyce would stop being his girlfriend. Not exactly a gun to his head.
But he believes he’ll go to hell for being gay. For a lot of people, worse than a gun to their head.
What? When did he ever say that?
Never. He does not ever say that.
At no point is that a thing Ethan states or implies he believes. Here, have a stack of all the strips in which Ethan enumerates why he is determined to stuff himself back in the closet behind all those Christmas and Hanukkah presents:
-Extolling, in which Ethan shoves his face with chicken sandwiches and states that being gay is something he had no choice in and will not keep him from his comfort foods.
-Primal, in which Ethan is depressed and concerned his identity is helping marginalize him out of any shot at happiness.
-Lincoln, in which Ethan takes Mike’s speech entirely the wrong way and thinks that if only he hadn’t come out, sure, he’d be stuck in an unfulfilling relationship, but hey, at least he wouldn’t be alone and miserable with just one friend who’s an unrepenting and unrelenting asshole to him.
-Wow, in which Ethan is so desperate for any tiny slice of friendship and friendly faces that he invites himself to church with Joyce in a religion he has zero interest or belief in. (And for anyone talking about Joyce pressuring Ethan into church, note the dialogue here, in which Joyce casually mentions getting back from church, asks, “And you?” Ethan responds that he’s Jewish and spent the day on his computer, Joyce says, “Right, right. That’s cool. See you later, Ethan,” and Ethan VOLUNTEERS before she can wander away, because oh, that boy is a hot, hot mess who is willing to change everything about himself if it gets him a little friendship and acceptance, no matter how small or potentially false. Joyce does and says a lot of awful stuff, but bringing someone who requests to go to church with her who is sporting the saddest and most hopeful of puppy faces to said church isn’t one of them, but rather some mix of obliviousness, optimism, and naivete on her part.)
-Alone, in which Ethan gives a suspicious denial of being afraid of “dying alone and unloved.”
-Confident, in which Ethan alludes to a desire to be confident in himself and where and how he fits in the universe. (This is where I’m like, “Oh, Ethan, you don’t want to *date* Joyce. You kind of want to be *be* her.”)
Reset Button, in which Ethan is super excited about being back in the closet, because hey, he has friends again.
Always Always, in which Ethan points out that when you are gay, to others, you are always your label and you never get a break from all the crap that comes with it. Not even with your friends. Not even with the person who claims to be your best friend.
and of course
Misleading, which is the biggest train wreck and best illustration of Ethan’s issues with his sexuality. By dint of who he’s attracted to, something he has no control over, he is separated and alienated from the majority of his peers and has to wade through a whole ton of crap more. All he wants is to put down the weight and exist according to some societal definition of normal.
Nowhere in all of that (and seriously, I’ve re-read every single DoA Ethan comic today) does religion ever or at all come into play.
. . . Also, I am never ever reading Ethan’s story on it’s own, because it is depressing as all get out and the highlights are him watching cartoons with his girlfriend, a relationship that is all kinds of a terrible idea. THOSE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS.
If you’ll excuse me, I am going to go look at pictures of kittens.
“Nowhere in all of that (and seriously, I’ve re-read every single DoA Ethan comic today) does religion ever or at all come into play.”
Edit button, how I wish for youuuuu. But in case it is not obvious, to clarify: Nowhere in all of that does religion ever or at all come into play for how Ethan views his sexuality. I mean, honestly, there could even be extra-textual bits in his planned history for DoA in which his sexuality and having been raised in Judaism possibly came into conflict and shaped who he is at the start of the comic itself. But the text as it currently exists does not support a reading that Ethan thinks he’s going to hell, if he believes in it at all.
“Nowhere in all of that does religion ever or at all come into play for how Ethan views his sexuality.”
Ethan doesn’t (as far as we know) believe that he is going to go to hell but you really can’t say that religion plays no role in the way he feels about himself when our culture is so steeped in it.
This was originally posted by marshlc on Joe. My. God.:
I’m a straight ally. Always have been, and our kids were raised that way – knew our gay friends, saw us signing petitions, voting, heard us talk…. Yet, when my daughter came out to me at fifteen, one of the things she asked, in a small voice, was “You still love me, right?”*
What the hell kind of a world do we live in that a kid should have to ask that question? And where some kids will hear “No”?
There is so much poison pouring out of the mouths of the haters that a seed of doubt was planted in even a kid raised with examples in front of her every day from her parents that of course her revelation would change nothing. That it wasn’t even that much of a revelation.
What makes those preachers think that they have a right to even have an opinion on someone else’s sexuality?
present participle: coercing
1.persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats.
“he was coerced into giving evidence”
No force or threats here, at least not by Joyce. Perhaps at home, they pressure him into repressing his sexuality, but Joyce hasn’t MADE him do anything.
Of course, there’s no way Amber could no that.
Good Lord, horrible typo.
Okay, honestly, she’s not, after having gone back through the archives. Really he’s using her as an outlet for the actions he WANTS to feel, but doesn’t. She’s not coercing him, but the reason he’s dating her is because he doesn’t want to face the fact that he is gay, and the associated stigma, HE SEES. So while she isn’t coercing him directly, her own views are part of what persuades him into going along with it. That he can “overcome temptation”. Phrasing it as if it’s a choice for him.
I wish this was simpler, but then again if it was, i wouldn’t like this comic as much.
Yeah. Outside of Ethan, the only thing Joyce has stated about homosexuality is that she thinks it’s a sin, but no worse than any other sin. She’s never mentioned “praying the gay away” or anything like that.
When Ethan came out to her, he basically told her that being gay is horrible and awful and that he hates it. With everything that’s shaped her worldview, how else was she supposed to react? I honestly think Ethan is taking far more advance of Joyce than she is of him. Ethan wants a buffer for so society, protection from judgement, someone to save him from all of the problems he perceives in himself, even though he already KNOWS from his experiences with Amber that this won’t work. Joyce just wants a relationship free from the fear of sexual assault.
Amber doesn’t know Joyce believes being gay is a choice and can be cured. She also doesn’t know Ethan is a handy way for Joyce to avoid her own issues. They have only seen each other face to face at the pizza place.
And Sarah doesn’t know that Amber is using this as an excuse to avoid her issues. It’s a vicious circle.
She told Ethan congratulations on worming your way into a relationship based on a mutual revulsion of fucking.
I think she has some idea.
<_< I was referring to Amber using this whole thing as a distraction from her own issues.
Sorry, I was bulk reading and occasionally looping back to comment.
Must have lost track.
She’s not coercing; she’s a colluder and active enabler. And active enabler of EVIL. (Cue thunder.)
Amber may not be wrong in the slightest, but I think she could stand to talk to someone professional about her anger issues.
Good…let the hate flow through you.
If Amber develops Force Lightning the entire cast is fucked.
She doesn’t have Force Lightning. She has TINY THUNDER.
The tiny thunder is all you hear.
After that… nothing
Unfortunately, she is wrong. Joyce is not coercing him in the slightest. She is providing an unhealthy outlet for deny his sexuality, just as he’s providing her with one to avoid her fear of her own, but Amber is being completely unfair due to her own issues.
Amber doesn’t know about Joyce’s issues.
She also doesn’t know about Mike’s talk (I believe meant sarcastically) wtih Ethan right right before he asked Joyce out. That may have convinced Ethan to go into the closet, which would be the opposite intention.
I’d say Ethan and Joyce are equally wrong for not confronting issues they know exist, but Ethan’s is not an easy one to handle.
Amber has the potential to know about Joyce’s issues, but doesn’t live up to that potential. Amazi-Girl was there just after Sarah saved Joyce (too late to play hero). So, she could know, but doesn’t (as you said).
Well she didn’t follow up as Amber.
She doesn’t know about all the other issues.
I’m not sure how much Joyce remembers about the roofies. The guy appears in her dream/nightmare about sex, but she had to be told the “pastor’s son” was the one.
She called Sarah ‘sister’, but Sarah has been acting like a big sister and Joyce always wanted a sister. That wasn’t necessarily tied to what Sarah said that night.
Meaning Amber could potentially suspect/believe that issue (but doesn’t, as you say) while Joyce has no idea.
Sorry to repeat what I said upthread (I’m late to the party because I’m old and tend to use my nights for sleeping), but the real problem here is that Ethan does not have the courage to come out of the closet. Amber may want to blame everyone for the situation except her best friend, but he’s the one she really should be yelling at.
I don’t really see what courage has to do with it, there are plenty of people in situations where staying in the closet is the far safer thing to do.
Good point, but the bottom line is still that Ethan is refusing to do what Amber wants him to do and that is making her upset.
Yeah, let’s get rid of my “in the slightest” there. I’d edit that if I could. That post was the last thing I did before bed – was pretty tired at the time. Her anger does come from a legitimate place (it’s not as though the church is widely fond of gay people, and I wonder if Joyce would take part in Jewish activities for Ethan), but my point was intended to be more about it not being expressed in a healthy way. And, you know, therapy.
Stay out of her range until her Rage runs out and she becomes Fatigued!
Well, Joyce may just say something confusing here, so yeah.
Amber used Outrage.
Amber became confused due to fatigue.
Amber picks up a stray lum berry.
It cures her of confusion.
… They ARE in a cafeteria.
So, I’m making a Pokémon type chart of the cast now.
Dina is Rock/Dark (all fossil Pokémon are Rock-type, and she thinks in a manner that would be hard to read, making her immune to mind reading)
Danny is Normal, as far as I can discen.
Amber is Dragon/Fighting.
Take this where you will. I’m not finished.
Apparently Dina is Tyranitar.
Amber is a pokemon that we NEED to have those types of.
Hey! Artist people!
Dina in a Tyranitar costume!
Joyce is clearly Fairy/Normal or Fairy/Ghost.
Danny is Normal-type, no subtype at all.
Ethan…is Fire/Ground. So he’s fucked.
Fuck me, wait, Ethan’s not Fire/Ground, he’s Water/Normal.
Sarah…Ice/Steel I think would be pretty accurate. Joyce is definitely Fairy-type at least.
Walky… Electric/Psychic? Nah. Dark/Psychic more likely. Contrasts with Sal, who is Dark/Bug or Dark/Ghost, I’m pretty sure.
Billie is Fire/Fighting. Countering this is Ruth, Poison/Psychic.
Ruth is also a Fighting type.
Man, I dunno. The only Fighting-type move she’s ever used consistently is Vital Throw.
Joe is…what is Joe?
Joe is normal/ground. Cuz, you know, he Slams chicks and makes the bed ‘quake. ;D
So Ruth is Mega Mewtwo X? Or would she be more of a Medicham/Meinshao?
Mike’s Dark/Fighting,. right!
Fairy/Ghost? Amber may be in trouble, then, but she does have quite a level advantage.
No good. Amber’s at least 17th level, she already has Tireless Rage.
Crap, and Joyce is probably not a high level Cleric.
Aww, she’s still helping him. Though it seems she’s going for the Mike approach since the nice approach has done fuck all for Ethan.
The Mike approach? What does throwing a temper tantrum have to do with Mike?
Mike is more of a self controlled snarky helpful. Amber will be helpful until your legs are broken.
Tell that to Joe. He’d say that Mike will be helpful until your nose is broken. Self-controlled? Not so much.
Mike’s not punching you out of rage. He’s punching you cuz he’s a dick.
The nose is just as broken . . .
Well ya see, Mike does what he does to ruin things for everyone, if it happens to help someone somehow, he can’t foresee everything, right?. Anywho, looking at the broken nose incident, he ruins Joe’s chances of deflowering Joyce, and by being necessarily enthusiastic at the task Joyce assigned him to, he ruins Joyce’s possibilities at having a nice night out.
Punching was his price for chaperoning Joyce. He hasn’t been punching anybody else.
Except he wasn’t helpful at all, since it was talking with Mike that made Ethan decide to “take control of his own life”, a.k.a. “pretend to be straight for the sake of social acceptance”.
I think he meant it the opposite way. He isn’t the kind to point out all the good things.
He pointed out Ethan would be living a lie and have an unfulfilling life, but he’d have the other things he dreamed of.
The realization should be that without being himself, the other stuff won’t be satisfying. Then if he could accept what he is, then he could find somebody to love, he could get the rest anyways.
Joyce showed up before Ethan went down the chain of logic. He might not have anyways.
Mike made a very helpful point; Ethan came to a very stupid conclusion from it. Maybe Mike knew that he would do that and maybe he didn’t, but either way, Mike’s not concerned with making sure people do the right thing – but he rarely tells people things that aren’t true.
Ouro already said most of it, I just wanted to add my own little nugget.
Have you seen her thighs? Amber is LARGE thunder, mmkay.
Amber’s thighs are tiny compared to Chun-Li’s thighs, but then again whose isn’t.
Chun Li has femurs even Ruth would be unable to break.
Tiny Thunder Amazi-girl’s name when she goes dark side.
WHOA-LY SHIT never expected Amber to confront Joyce about…well anything ever, really!
Tiny Thunder was one of the superhero names that Static Shock rejected, right?
Yes, along with “Black Lighting Jr”, Sparky, Thunder Thug and Plug Boy
Well, Sarah certainly handled Tiny Thunder better than she did the 12 year old.
That 12 year old wouldn’t get off her damn lawn.
The twelves year old was sweet and innocent, and thus annoying.
Tiny Thunder is a towering inferno of rage. Sarah is impressed, and letting it all play out so she can take notes.
“The twelves year old”? When did I start talking like Toki Wartooth?
You say that like it’s a bad thing.
As much as I’d love to see Joyce accept that what she’s doing with Ethan is wrong, Amber is trying to bring this about in the most retarded way possible.
I dunno. There are worse ways. She could throw a slice of bologna at Joyce’s face and then hip drop Ethan.
Yoto, I should remind you that this confrontation just started, there’s still a chance she might do both of those things.
I hope it does. That would be my favorate comic ever.
Jeez people, ease up on Amber, just yesterday she had to confront her abusive father and Faz, Ethan’s parents, plus the whole mess with Danny. So a background of extremely bad mood is a given.
Now she finds out that her once potential boyfriend, who she nonetheless helped to come out to his terrifying parents, is:
- trying to fake a straight relationship
- with another girl (which happens to be a fundamentalist Christian who is trying to “heal” him)
- first hiding from her in the most miserable way, then slamming the fact in her face
This is a complete train wreck, on every aspect (betrayal of trust, negation of ideas she believes in, wasted work and sacrifices, anger and probably some jealousy towards the “new girl” who gets what Amber wanted but renounced for Ethan’s own good)
IMO, I would understand if she jumped straight to punches.
“Your Honor, we the Jury find the Defendant, Amber O’Malley, Not Guilty, due to the fact that she was having a really bad day.”
I’m not saying that she’s right, I’m saying that it’s ridiculous to expect her to behave according to reason and self control after all this shit.
Maybe a bit much to expect her to navigate a complex situation with a level head right now.
Not at all too much to expect her to refrain from flipping tables and manhandling strangers. That’s always a reasonable expectation. Just, you know, as a member of society you have to be able to do that regardless of what’s going on in your life. That’s just meeting the base level of functionality required to continue existing as part of the greater us, to continue being allowed to interact with other people who don’t find strangers stepping forward to restrain them when their lives go to shit.
Her baby died. There, a universally accepted breaking point.
What’s it take for YOU to snap?
I think that the very slow time frame of this comic relative to the update schedule in real time encourages people to miss the proverbial forest for the trees, so to speak. It’s only been a few weeks, if that, in comic time, with a lot of stuff happening in that brief period. These characters are having one hell of a freshman fall.
That’s my opinion too. “yesterday” lasted several months for us, but for a real person it would be really challenging to tolerate all this stuff in just one day.
To simulate that experience, we have these comment threads to test our endurance(s).
A bad day is no excuse for getting violent. What Amber has done here is battery, both to Ethan and now to Joyce.
Not excuse, the reason for getting violence.
It isn’t acceptable, it is why it happened.
She has not done battery to anyone. She FLIPPED A TABLE and GRABBED Joyce’s arm but she has NOT hurt anyone.
Wikipedia: ‘In the United States, criminal battery, or simply battery, is the use of force against another, resulting in harmful, offensive or sexual contact.’
I’d say grabbing a woman’s arm in a threatening manner and calling her a bitch would be offensive–both in the emotional and physical sense. Now whether the cops would want to bother with the paperwork it would take to charge Amber is another story.
Simple battery is any intentional, unwanted, offensive contact. That can be direct, as in the case of grabbing Joyce’s arm, or by an object propelled by the aggressor, as in the case of flipping Ethan’s table and its contents. While it’s unclear whether she managed to hit Ethan with anything when flipping the table, she’s at least guilty of assault.
You’re being pedantic. Stop it.
Sorry, but when it comes to the law, I can’t let misinformation stand. I feel an ethical obligation. (Speaking of which, IANAL.)
Not a fan of Amber’s attitude!
Amber’s attitude is at least halfway warranted, in that Joyce is being an enabler.
I’m pretty sure the guy must already hate who he is if he’s tolerating the church-going, dating-a-girl shtick for the sake of maintaining his public image, though.
She’s enabling him? To do what? To do stupid things while in college? Quelle horreur!
I think that entering into a relationship with somebody, however consensual, that is based on denying your sexuality because of learned self-hatred from your upbringing rates a little more highly on the Poor Decisions scale than, say, doing a kegstand at your local frat party.
We can argue about Ambers methods (oh, how we can argue!), but I think it should be clear that Ethan’s trajectory up until now has been going in a very bad direction.
Yes, but it’s a bad decision that he decided for himself. There are only two parties involved in his decision to be Joyce’s seemingly straight boyfriend, and that is him and Joyce.
He has already bowed to Amber’s wishes once when he told Joyce that he was gay. You might even say that Amber coerced him into telling Joyce, since she threatened to tell Joyce herself. He already went above-and-beyond what he needed to do for Amber, and now Amber wants more because she didn’t like the response that Joyce had to Ethan’s confession.
If Amber should be on anyone’s case about unhealthy relationships based on lies and secrets, she should be on her own.
But Amber would need to confront her own issues rather than just get angry at her friends and random strangers, and that’s outside her comfort zone.
But she is on her own, lol.
While I agree with some things you’ve said here, I absolutely cannot abide the implication that Ethan should not have had to tell Joyce he’s gay. Whether or not he would have done so without Amber’s interference is at this point irrelevant; however, it was necessary for him to do so. Doesn’t make anything else acceptable.
Being honest about incompatible sexuality is hardly going above and beyond what he needed to do.
Having matching sexuality is about as basic an assumption as there is in dating. To do otherwise is a rather large lie.
Amber shouldn’t have threatened Ethan, but she had no duty to lie for him either.
On a scale of one to ten, pretending to be straight when you’re gay rates fairly high on the scale.
That’s not even a remotely true accusation. Joyce isn’t “coercing” Ethan in any way – he was totally down for this, it’s not like she talked him into doing something he was against. She’s also not teaching him to hate who he is – he already hated being gay, for reasons entirely unrelated to Joyce or her taking him to church.
Of course, Amber has no way of knowing this, and she’s drawing entirely plausible conclusions from what Ethan’s told her. (I hesitate to use the word “reasonable” here.)
And, in the process, making a complete ass of herself. She’s going off and calling someone a bitch, practically attacking them, and yelling at them over a situation she doesn’t even know all the details of. This behaviour wouldn’t be even remotely excusable even if she was 100% in the right, but it’s just pathetic as it is.
Characters don’t have the global view of readers.
But now that the accusation has been publicly made, Amber isn’t the one that will look like an ass.
If Indiana is as liberal as the other Big 10 campuses I’ve been on, Joyce is the one who will look rather bad to the majority.
Uhh… Amber is physically attacking someone and outing a gay guy against his will. Just saying.
Amber telling world Joyce is coercing Ethan and teaching him to hate himself for being gay.
You don’t think anybody, even a large percentage, of students on a Big 10 campus would find that at all offensive?
Teaching somebody to hate themselves for what they are won’t look bad?
Maybe majority was overstating it, but a rather large percentage won’t see Amber as the villain. Over-reacting perhaps, but right in what she says.
Dorothy, for instance.
I don’t know how much things have changed in the past five years, but keep in mind: this is still Indiana. And while it’s Bloomington (lovely, lovely Bloomington), the campus isn’t the town.
So basically, you think Amber is going to make Joyce the person non gratis at the college and you’re okay with that?
Amber, who has forced herself into a situation mutually agreed upon by two people with massive issues. Remember that Ethan is the one who told Joyce that being gay was horrible and terrible, Ethan is the one that has prior relationship experience and Ethan is the one who approached Joyce wanting a relationship.
So it’s totally okay with you that Joyce take the FULL blame of this incredible f-uped situation in the eyes of her peers?
Amber just became my favorite character. I’m ready for someone (ANYONE) to end this sham. It’s gone on long enough.
Regardless of what you think of Joyce and Ethan’s relationship, this behaviour shouldn’t be accepted. Amber is little better than her father right now.
Amber is emotionally broken at the moment, and quite understandably; but her actions are dreadfully out of proportion to the situation. It isn’t any of her business now what Ethan and Joyce do. SHe can advise, warn, plead, or beg them not to make such a stupid mistake; but attacking them is unacceptable. Her emotions at this point are understandable; but she is dead wrong to be out of control like this, and it will only ruin the few good friendships she has to help her endure her situation.
Friday’s comic: Amber sees Dan with Sal. The campus is mysteriously flattened by a shockwave of rage. No-one survives.
I think we can all agree that Amber’s life is going to hell in a handbasket.
Amber’s life has gone so far downhill so fast that I was honestly worried she’d just start literally beating Ethan while shrieking wordlessly. The girl is at a psychological breaking point.
Oh Gawd what a horrible image you have planted in my brain.
Now I want to see it draw..
It probably looks something like the last panel of this.
You. I like you. You are so right. And you’re Batman, which makes it even better.
Because being incredibly upset/insulted by somebody’s actions and then confronting the perceived cause of those actions while emotionally compromised is equivalent to years of physical and emotional abuse. Clearly.
Are you fucking kidding me? ‘Amber is little better than her father right now?’ Do you have the slightest idea of what it’s like to grow up with an abusive parent? Particularly one who’s both physically *and* mentally abusive, like Blaine? Amber is angry, and being unreasonable. She is NOT, however, tearing down and abusing people for her own sick power games. She is not betraying and attacking a child. I – just – making a comparison like that is ridiculous and offensive.
Yes, I know exactly what it’s like, thank you very much. I had my own childhood ruined by such a parent. She is using her anger, and violence, to intimidate her best friend and his girlfriend into submission to her whims – to control his life to what’s best in her eyes. How is that not absolutely detestable? It’s exactly what an abusive parent does to their child.
I’m sorry, but I think you’re wildly, hugely off base here, and seriously misreading Amber’s actions.
Well, even if you disagree with my argument completely, I hope you can at least understand the logic that led to me comparing her to her father. I was not trying to be offensive by suggesting in any way that an abusive parent is a trivial matter or something – I just see the traits of her father coming through, but perhaps I am off base in that regard. However, comparison to her father aside, even if what she’s doing isn’t as bad, it’s still really, really bad.
No, actually, I agree with you somewhat. I was reading it and thinking I see a LOT of her father’s rage in Amber here, that she never reminded me more of him. Is the rage JUSTIFIED here, not abusive? I think so. Even so, this is not the right way to do this. Prediction: this is going to end with ETHAN getting between the two of them and telling Amber to BUTT OUT.
Causing Ethan and Joyce to retreat further into their fantasy-relationship and causing Amber to feel even more betrayed.
I feel sorry for the next target of Amazi-Girl.
I agree with your initial statement. Amber even looks (to me) like she is drawn to resemble Angry Blaine in Panel 1.
I also grew up in an abusive situation and I never behaved like this. Amber is her father’s mini-me. She is an abuser herself.
Okay let’s back up a second here.
She is NOT an abuser herself. Get the hell out.
I wouldn’t go at far. There is a long way to go to from Overreacting a bit on an issue that should have a bit of a little bit of anger around it and Emotionally and Physically Abusive Dick.
Her father, an abusive father and husband, makes up reasons to take stuff out on others.
Amber’s approach may be wrong, but is actually for a good cause – let Ethan accept himself.
She’s actually in a mix of extreme emotional stress and mother bear mode.
She hasn’t actually laid hands on anybody and isn’t doing this to hurt others and make herself feel better. The hurt is just a by product.
I expect that later Mike’s earlier words will sink in and she will confront herself.
It doesn’t really matter what cause it’s for. She is using violence to control him. Ethan said in the last strip that it’s ultimately his decision to make, and she violently responded that no, it isn’t – and then goes on to demonstrate that she thinks it’s HER decision to make. That is nothing if not abusive and controlling, even if she thinks it’s “for the best”.
Sure it does, because having a real cause means that it isn’t happening all the time just for her own ego.
Yes, large elements of her own issues and outletting her own bad week.
But she doesn’t generally take things out on other people (evil-doers as Amazi-Girl aside) or control Ethan.
This is the one subject where she made tremendous sacrifices for Ethan, which he is now rejecting by going into closet. Non-abusers will get yelling angry for that.
Abusers like Blaine try to control and manipulate ever aspect of their victims.
I’m not saying Amber’s approach is right, but it isn’t right to say she’s as bad as Blaine.
That only works if there is no concept of extent and motives.
Am I the only one who’s realized/understands Amber basically just outed Ethan in public?
No, you’re not. I am super unimpressed with her right now. Outing someone against their will is *not* the action of someone who can rightly claim to be your best friend.
I do too.
SSssssssSSS… This is gonna escalate to the point of oblivion.
I honestly don’t know who to root for here.
I really dislike Joyce, and wouldn’t mind seeing Amber deal with her, BUT this really isn’t Amber’s fight. I could’ve dealt with her clocking Ethan, though that still wouldn’t have been right.
The thing that saddens me is in that third panel, she looks so much like Blaine, it’s kind of scary.
Our girl Amber needs help.
I really like Joyce, but she’s been totally in the wrong for a while now.
Yeah, same. Honestly, this relationship is and always has been a slow, slow trainwreck, and while they’re at least both aware of the facts, it’s still only got one way it can end, and that’s badly.
She’s “totally in the wrong” in the hypothetical universe where Christianity is wrong to condemn homosexual activity. I agree that hypothetical universe is also the *real* universe, but Joyce believes she lives in a universe where Christianity’s teachings are actually right.
So basically the only right thing Joyce has done is to believe Christianity to be correct. She’s not displayed an inch of “coercion” or of “teaching Ethan to hate who he is”. Her only flaw is believing in Christianity.
It’s a pretty big flaw, but we knew it of her since the beginning of the comic, not since her deal with Ethan.
“So basically the only right thing”
I meant to write “So basically the only wrong thing”
Didn’t we just a few pages ago see her challenge the christian view that it’s right to judge and act spitefully to others just for not sharing their faith? Did those pages somehow disappear? Did she turn into Mary at some point that I’m unaware of?
“Didn’t we just a few pages ago see her challenge the christian view that it’s right to judge and act spitefully to others”
Joyce has never acted spitefully against Ethan or passed judgment on him. What are you talking about?
And the teachings of christianity don’t say “judge and act spitefully to others”, they say kinda the opposite. But they do say stuff against gay and/or premarital sex.
“Her only flaw is believing in Christianity.”
Her iteration of Christianity. *My* iteration (the Episcopal Church) allows me to marry any gender and has positive queer role models, including one of our Bishops.
The idea that you can have your faith or you can be one of or support those falling in the QUILTBAG is the sort of false dichotomy I see entirely too often and find really frustrating.
Thank you!!! Not all iteratations of Christianity are against homosexuality or evolution and the steryotypical dichotomy between Christianity and more liberal views can be maddening! Thank you for saying this.
Exactly this. It is perfectly possible to be a Christian and a liberal – I certainly am, though I felt for many years that I couldn’t possibly be a Christian because I was also a left-wing bisexual feminist. I spent a long time denying not my politics but my faith, which caused me personally just as much confusion and doubt as pretending to be conservative for Christ could have done, and telling my left-leaning friends and family that actually I was a Christian left me feeling uncomfortable and wondering if they’d look at me the same for knowing it. I still haven’t told some of them. No matter what some representatives on both sides of the argument may say, though, you don’t actually have to pick one or the other. The idea that you do is both pernicious and damaging, and the damage cuts both ways.
“Her iteration of Christianity. *My* iteration (the Episcopal Church) allows me to marry any gender and has positive queer role models, including one of our Bishops.”
Yes, that just means you have the privilege of not having to choose between your faith system or modern progressive political views. Because they don’t come into conflict. I’m sure it’s convenient, but Joyce isn’t so lucky.
Joyce believes she lives in a universe where a real God actually considers premarital (and gay) sex to be a sin. What would you do if you shared Joyce’s belief of what the universe was like?
My trouble with people condemning Joyce is that they don’t understand they’re condemning her for her faith and nothing more. I’m *fine* with people condemning other people for their faith, but please be aware that that’s what you’re doing.
It wasn’t Amber’s fight with Ethan’s parents either.
Life doesn’t break along clean lines.
Oh, I agree, regarding it wasn’t her fight with Ethan’s parents as well, and life doesn’t break on clean lines. (Insert various chaos events from my past here.)
At the same time, I’d say it was safe to say she was in love/lust with Ethan when things didn’t go down at the end of prom night. Sublimate that, since that’s her thing, and she was protecting the man she loved. I’m not recalling it happening in canon, but perhaps she told him then that he needed to come out to his parents. Say that he did, and I could see where she could decide it was her fight (with his parents) since she’d presented the action for him.
I really don’t know, and I think it would break out the sads for me if Willis actually fleshed out that back story in detail, so I kind of hope we don’t find out.
Anyway, digression aside, I’ll throw out the viewpoint that Amber stepped in against Ethan’s parents as the parents were trying to get rid of the gay “lifestyle choice”, and a kid doesn’t quite have many choices regarding the actions of the parents. In the case of his relationship with Joyce though, as Ethan said, it was his (and hers) decision. At that point, I have no problems with Amber being mad at him, especially since she had spent emotional coin in defending him recently.
Her anger though is compounded with Blaine’s crap through the years recently added to during the universe’s yesterday, and Danny not being able to see through Clark Kent, so staying loyal to Amazi-Girl, and who knows what else.
Argh. I didn’t mean to write a small essay here. Let me sum up. I agree with your points, but I think there are compounding elements that make her actions with Ethan’s parents understandable, but this particular round of Tiny Thunder (I love that name) needs to be dialed down now.
Kay, whoa, Amber, how are you aware of Joyce’s plan? Did you read the comic when nobody was looking?
I think that based on what Ethan just told her, she’s pieced it together pretty quickly.
“Did you read the script too?” ~ Mr Plinkett
Well, I guess someone has to the be the reasonable one here, but it’s still kind of weird seeing Sarah doing it.
Sarah is always the responsible one!
There’s a difference between “responsible” and “reasonable”.
Protecting your adopted li’l sis from predatory sophomore B-words: responsible.
Doing it by decking one of them without provocation: not so reasonable.
Going to the party was more than responsible. Sarah wasn’t going to the party, she went to make sure Joyce was okay then saved her.
That was above and beyond.
Sarah was more than sick of her old roomie’s friends. Remember they were harassing her this year too. Not reasonable, but pushed there.
Tiny Thunder threats Joyce but Big Sis intervenes! So cute. ^_^
So I really dislike how Amber is going about this, but shit. This needed to happen.
She’s the hero Ethan needs but not the one that he deserves.
Is it just me, or do you have the reversed?
Because Joyce comes from a sort of closed off religious community and Amber is the one who is the reason why Ryan got away. I think the yelling is mostly okay because of that, but as long as it doesn’t go physical.
Wait, what? Someone tell me how to search the archives quickly. I need a reminder on how Amber enabled Ryan to get away . . .
Oh, never mind — someone posted it downstream already.
Because she’s a watchful protector. A dark knight…
And somewhere off camera Batman is frantically putting on his costume and trying to hit his cue.
Because that whole relationship has been a slow, awful trainwreck with a really shitty foundation that could only possibly lead to people getting hurt?
And now I love Sarah again.
The sheer amount of commas in panel 3 is distressing me more than it should.
I love commas! Every one of those commas is appropriate. A 2:1 ratio of words to commas! Well-played, Willis!
You could argue for a semicolon before “hands off,” but it’s not a big deal.
I wonder if Amber will ever notice/remember that Joyce was the target of the Mr Date-Rape she caused to get away.
She kinda came in late to that, might not know what even happened
commented w/o checking beforehand LIKE A BOSS
I dunno, with my attention span, I wouldn’t have remembered, but it’s possible she might?
Then maybe Sarah might. She’s smart enough that she might notice that Amber is Amazi-Girl
At this point if anyone notices the similarities (who are not Ethan and Mike) it will just make Danny look even dumber than he already does.
Then that will make many of us, and possibly Sarah, even happier.
I think Sarah actually has noticed. She just hasn’t figured out what she’s noticed yet. (That was the Monday after the party.)
Well Joyce does need to realise this charade shes playing out will only end badly so good on Amber for doing this
Yeeeess. And, if necessary, Amber will MAKE it end badly.
Nothing but a storm of tears up ahead. Hold on tight, everybody.
Delicious tears. Where’s my tear bucket?
A storm is coming…
“Winter” is coming!
Amber’s hair is starting to look a little like Amazi-girl’s. Hmmm.
Right on, Tiny Thunder. Right on.
I really don’t see all the hate for Joyce here. She’s not really “teaching” Ethan to hate himself. He doesn’t WANT to be gay, and in her mind she’s helping him. Yeah, it’s a fucked up situation, but Amber is attacking him before even trying to know what’s going on. If a gay person wants to date a girl, it’s no one else’s business but their own. If at the end of the day everyone is happy with themselves, that’s the important thing. And I don’t see Joyce trying to stop him from being happy. She’s not forcing that relationship. It was Ethan’s choice, too. Am I the one greatly misunderstanding something?
No, you understand perfectly. I think the frustration with Joyce comes more from the perception that she’s enabling Ethan’s decision. From Amber’s perspective, it’s also not true acceptance of Ethan’s identity, and as someone who stood by Ethan for who he really is when things were at their worst, that’s probably pretty aggravating.
Not to mention that Amber’s greatest flaw is her unbridled anger, which is probably the main reason this outburst is so… well, hateful.
Except Ethan isn’t happy with himself at the end of the day. Refer to every situation Ethan’s been in on his own with another guy, like Joyce’s transgendered sister.
Any Church endorsed by Mary will teach that being gay is wrong, a huge sin. Hellfire and Damnation, destroying the soul of the country sin.
Joyce is most certainly enabling Ethan to hide from himself. She does see this as a good thing, as she believes people can be healed from being gay.
At the end of the day, nobody is happy. This ends disastrously. The long it goes on, the worse it is.
Have you seen people who have run from themselves for decades? It isn’t pretty. The interior emotional damage is like a gutted building. Pressure cooker exploding – remember that little news story?
Let’s say Ethan can repress himself for a decade or more.
We’re talking divorce, huge amount of self doubt and feelings of failure on Joyce’s part, and kids left behind.
Remember that as a fundamentalist Joyce would see this as a failure of faith and would wonder what she did wrong.
The best possible outcome would be if this ended as soon as possible
Anyone remember this exchange?
Ethan: “No worse than lying.”
Mike: “And how do you feel about lying?”
Joyce: “I hate it.“
Any church endorsed by Mary should also be teaching that we are all sinners, and are all forgiven. Leaving this out indicates to me that someone is using religion to support their own issues.
I don’t think Mary’s all that big on the forgiveness part.
She is overruled by the forgiver.
I definitely don’t hate Joyce. To an extent I *was* Joyce.
My unhappiness related to Joyce isn’t about her personally, but the world view she subscribes to. Joyce is that she is caught up with -and highly representative of- a certain brand of Christian ignorance and idealism that can be hugely destructive and damaging for everyone involved. It’s very, very frustrating to watch someone else being set up for the same hurt because of their (relatively) rigid beliefs and values.
Sorry to be nitpicky, but: “if a gay person wants to date a girl.” You mean a gay man? Because gay girls dating girls is pretty normal. Not all gay people are guys.
While Joyce is not “coercing” Ethan into being straight, she is setting herself up to be in the exact same position Amber was on prom night. Though I doubt that Amber has put that much forethought, if any, into her current actions.
At Galasso’s she thought of it.
Can’t say nobody saw this coming
Suddenly, a wounded TinyThunder appears!
TinyThunder uses Moral Outrage for MASSIVE DAMAGE!
TinyThunder vents Unresolved Personal Issues for CRITICAL DAMAGE!!
Joycetaur takes 14 HP damage!
Joycetaur suffers Betrayal for -2HP/turn!
Tiny point is an understatement. But so long as Ethan isn’t forcefully and embarrassingly outed…
This would officially make me hate Amber!
…She kinda just did. She’s made a big commotion, aggressively approached Sarah and Joyce, and said something about her gay best friend.
Quick, someone throw a chair!
Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking.
As someone who has also punched my dad in the face (he had his hands around my neck at the time), I identify pretty strongly with Amber.
Which is why it saddens me to see so much of him in her actions. :/
I relate to that. I threw a biology insect collection at mine with jars of formaldehyde. I identify with Amber as an abused person who hurts, but not as an aggressor. The relationship between Joyce and Ethan is none of her business.
I just see that anger and the need for control, and it’s hard not to think it’s the worst of the behavior she learned from her dad on full display.
Personally, I use my dad as a metric for whether or not I’m handling something well. If it seems like something he would do on a bad day, I feel deeply ashamed.
I love how complex all these characters are. I love Joyce deeply and I think she’s great, but I also like seeing us explore the fact that she isn’t perfect or as nice as she thinks she is. I like that Amber is a superhero and a flawed person, with anger and jealousy and pain. Thank you, Willis, for making such a great comic. I really love reading this so much.
Have you been reading for long? He gets “Damn you Willis!!!” a lot, and for good reason.
For this story line it should be a whole heaping of thank you
Danke you, Willis?
We’ve seen since day one that Joyce isn’t perfect. Or is there some other reason Joyce told her rather tired mother that there were some more bags of her stuff in the car?
Being the youngest and the only daughter, I’d give a pass if she said that to her father, but her mother?
why would it be different to tell her dad?
Well. This is a clusterfuck.
I just hope Amber doesn’t do anything to make me hate her
Too late. She was already in a voluntary relationship with Danny.
I can forgive that. Especially if she tells him off at some point later.
to be fair, when her choices are more like this http://www.dumbingofage.com/2011/comic/book-1/05-media-rumble/creepy/ her choice to be in a relationship with Danny doesn’t seem as terrible.
Danny’s a nice kid.
He’s a good egg.
Amber vs. Sarah: Final Showdown.
Ending in the most glorious of anger fucks.
FINALLY, confrontation! Go, Tiny Thunder!
Did Amber just loudly out Ethan in the middle of the cafeteria?
I really hope that’s not what’s happening. I guess she didn’t call him by name or point to him or anything.
It’d be hilarious if she did out him, basically doing more damage in four panels than anyone else since page one.
She just tossed his table and yelled at Ethan. It should be apparent.
This has come up a lot in these comments, so I’ll say it: She may have noticed that everyone figures it out right away anyway.
Mind, that wouldn’t necessarily excuse outing him, but there’s a question of when it stops being “outing” that gets all grey and gooey.
So, is it just me or does Amber’s whole flipping out on Joyce scene here have less to do with Ethan’s continuing trouble with his sexuality, and more to do with the fact that Danny, a boy she’s secretly been meeting as AmaziGirl, didn’t really see her in the same light as her Superhero alter-ego. Not to mention the whole kablamo that she recently had with her father. I think the girl’s been under a lot of pressure, and she may have snapped.
It seems to be a build up of all the crap she’s avoided dealing with lately: the issues with her father, the residual resentment she may still have for Ethan, Mike pointing out how she’s not so different from her father, Danny being a dumbass and her inability to come clean to him. All of that and probably more are all coming out right now and with Joyce and Ethan being the unfortunate targets of that rage. Fortunately Sarah is there to keep things under control.
Christ, Sarah’s having to act as the reasonable one again… That can’t end well for anyone.
Oh fudge, I just realized that there’s a parallel between Ethan not being able to come out and Amber not being able to admit she’s AmaziGirl. The girl’s not mad at Ethan for not being honest, she’s mad at herself.
Mother of Viridi, you’re right……
Wait, Viridi has a mother? What’s she the goddess of?
(Also, when did you learn to talk, Cragalanche? Or type, I suppose.)
I’m getting really irritated by everyone saying how Joyce’s and Ethan’s relationship is their business and that Amber shouldn’t interfere. Don’t get me wrong; fantastic story though it makes Amber is DEFINITELY reacting to this too strongly. She was much more in line with her behavior when she was prodding Ethan to tell Joyce that he was gay.
The relationship between Ethan and Joyce is INCREDIBLY unhealthy. For Ethan it’s rooted in a hatred of his sexuality and for Joyce it’s rooted in a fear of sexuality. Not to mention that they both deserve to be in a relationship in which a mutual attraction is actually possible and present.
If Ethan was making some other unhealthy decision – like binge drinking or self-injury – Amber would be a bad friend if she DIDN’T interfere. So why doesn’t that apply in this situation? Seriously, if someone could offer me a valid reason, I’d be open to listening to it. Her methods may be in the wrong, but she’s completely well-founded in her intentions.
That being said, I do think there are some situations in which a relationship between a gay man and a straight woman actually IS their business and it shouldn’t be interfered with. One such situation would be when the gay man’s safety or well-being would be in danger if his sexual orientation was revealed (that’s really the only time I get behind someone having a beard in the metaphorical sense.)
However, this is not the case for Ethan and Joyce. It is a relationship based on fear and self-hatred and it’s not one that they should perpetuate. If I were ever in such a relationship, I would probably not be happy with a friend who interfered with it while they did so but you can be damn sure that I would appreciate it in the long run.
I didn’t say she shouldn’t interfere I was just pointing out that her temper and reaction was a bit over the top, which might be because her abusive father showed up and she clocked him once, having to come to terms that she has anger problems of her own, and the fact that the boy she’s been basically going out with only considered her superhero alter-ego potential date material. Said boyfriend then goes and starts gettin’ close with Sal. It’s a lot for one person to deal with in such a short time.
THANK YOU. This is a perfect summation of my concerns with what I’m seeing others post…
I think we need to have a Kelly contest to see if your name is accurate
Really, though, nice to see another Kelly.
If I was able to take this and push it all the way to the top of this list of comments, I would.
And there’s that. Someone has to do the socially awkward task of calling bullshit on the whole thing, and Amber’s pretty much it – doing it this way is a bad move but after everything Amber’s been through recently, she’s going to be angry anyway and now here’s her friend saying “yeah, I want to stick in a toxic situation and will never change on my own initiative”. Expect explodo.
Man, it’s a regrettable college romance. They’re allowed to be unhealthy.
Admittedly there are some extremes where friends and family might get a little more forceful in their help than usual without it being an awful thing to do. Binge drinking for example might become a concern if they failing their classes or inflicting lasting harm upon their body or if bills stopped getting paid.
By and large though, people are allowed to be unhealthy. You wouldn’t forcibly recurl Sal’s hair. You wouldn’t tie down Sarah and drag her from one social event to another. So on and so forth.
There are multiple reasons for this. The first is that people need to be allowed their independence. Just because you’re their friend doesn’t mean you’re entitled to make their decisions for them. The second is that people want to make their own decisions. I know that’s a fine distinction, but if you respond to your friends’ problems the way Amber is responding eventually they stop bringing their problems to you, possibly stop being friends, and then you’re no help at all. Possibly most importantly it generally defeats most of the benefit of the changes if they have to be forced. Sal’s not gonna magically get over her feelings towards her race because you snuck into her room with a curling iron. That’s the symptom, not the disease. You want to bring them to a point where they want to do this for themselves.
Ethan is in a regrettable college romance. It’s not great, but he should be allowed to fuck up and work through this on his own terms. While somebody who would be willing to help guide him towards a healthier path would certainly be a valuable thing in his life right now, full-blown interference is uncalled for. I mean what even is the lesson he’s supposed to take away from this, “Don’t kiss around Amber”?
Etan and Joyce are not intended to be permanent. They are both buying some time to adjust to what is a different world for them (the outside for Joyce, dealing with being attracted to the same sex for Ethan). This is not acute physical danger like cutting or binge drinking, so although Amber may express her opinion to Ethan or Joyce, she absolutely does not have the right to use violence to make them do what she wants!
I don’t see Blaine as consciously playing mind games; he just wants his way and is willing to use monetary or physical force to get it. Amber is doing the same thing, and having a bad day nor other issues is an excuse for initiating violence.
Where am I coming from? Partly the experience of a stepfather who would sincerely apologize, then repeat the behavior, lather rinse repeat. But the excuses commenters are giving fictional Amber worries me about the real people behind the comments.
Well to be fair, in terms of intended permanency Joyce does have long term plans here. That’s not really saying much though. She was planning out how many kids she was gonna have with Joe before their first date, and we saw how quickly she was able to scrap those when it didn’t work out.
I don’t think anyone believes the way Amber is handling it is acceptable. What I AM seeing is people saying her concern is valid.
Sadly, I have to point out that no one can save another from their own inner demons. No matter the comparisons, the slipper slope analogies…you CANNOT force another person to behave in a way YOU think is healthy/better for them.
I am not gay, and I don’t hate or fear gay people. Just putting it out there because usually a straight person is defined either as an `ally’ or as a `homophobe’.
Being gay does not make you perfect or immune to making stupid mistakes. Neither does being straight, bi, left-handed, bald, Christian, or any other label. We are all people, and people do stupid things.
Amber is currently doing a very stupid thing….in line with her recent character issues, perhaps, but a very bad, very stupid thing. She’s trying to force Ethan to be what SHE believes he ought to be. Not every gay person wants or needs or is interested in being out of the closet, flamboyant, operating a hair salon, or whatever the current stereotype is. Gay people are just PEOPLE, and Ethan has a perfect right to handle it as best HE thinks. It’s his life, his issue, his problem, his…whatever. Amber is NOT involved, as only ETHAN can decide what is the right method for him dealing with it.
I personally don’t feel Ethan is handling this well, but then again…I’m not Ethan and it’s not my call to make. Using force to take charge and guide him in a direction AMBER thinks he ought to go…that’s no better than his parents.
And there is a LOT of hostility against religion in many comments, as if there is absolutely no way a Christian such as Joyce could EVER accept or care for a gay person without maliciously intending to pray the gay away or whatever. Completely overlooking the fact that there are many Christian sects that have gay and lesbian ministers. Joyce is portrayed as an innocent, naïve young girl who somewhat mindlessly spouts dogma, but with no real malicious intent; she has shown she is capable of separating herself from the dogma when and as necessary…and still maintain her belief system. There’s nothing WRONG with believing in the divine by whatever name; Joyce isn’t cutting friends cold because they don’t share her beliefs. At most, she’s stated her beliefs, and defended those whose beliefs differ.
I have to give Dave full credit for creating characters with layers of personality. Ethan isn’t the one-note-here-&-queer-gay-stereotype. He’s a complex young man who isn’t really sure what he’s doing or how to go about doing it. A great many people, gay or not, struggle with this very thing. One might even say all of us do. You can insert any serious issue in place of Ethan’s gay orientation and it would be just as meaningful and important. The gay cause is immediately recognizable and understandable, but it could be any huge life-affecting issue…and honestly, at the ages of these characters, aren’t ALL issues huge lift-affecting ones?
But ETHAN is the one who has to deal with them because it’s his life in question. Amber needs to back WAY off, offer support and advice as necessary.
And am I the only one hoping Joyce will manifest her Walkyverse agent-self and beat the living crap out of Amber? I love Amber’s character but in this situation…sorry, Amber, but your issues don’t mean you get to take them out on other people. You go hard against the wrong girl, you get what you get.
Agh, thank you Amber
I gotta agree with Batman on this one. While she technically can run around hurting and yelling at people, it’s not the best decision and it isn’t her right to out Ethan to a bunch of people he hasn’t chosen to out himself to. Though Sarah already knew this Amber is YELLING this in the cafeteria where anyone can hear. There may be classmates he knows there, professors who can mistreat him etc etc. I dunno. Just doesn’t seem right. Amber is being abusive right now and it doesn’t sit well with me that so many people are cheering her on for taking the situation into her own hands when the only reason she is doing it is because she is simultaneously jealous of Joyce and trying to “protect” Joyce without her permission. Like Amber’s original excuse was that she didn’t want to see Joyce hurt like she was. When she finds out both Joyce and Ethan are happy she decides to go drastic? That isn’t helping anyone. I mean it adds realism to her character because people aren’t perfect but Amber in particular is one person I would habitually seek to avoid at all costs.
I am honestly shocked by how many (ok not *that* many, but still) people are rooting for Amber here. I understand that the relationship that Ethan and Joyce are in is something that honestly needs to end as soon as possible, but it is not Amber’s place to end it.
Let us remember, way back when, Ethan was making concentrated efforts to get Amber to hang out with him and Mike, but, for understandable (yet unsupportable, if you ask me) reasons, she repeatedly declined. She definitely was not acting the way a person should in regards to their “best friend.” And she has certainly lost the right to consider herself a friend of Ethan’s at this point, considering her behavior in the previous strip and in the confrontation at Galasso’s.
Furthermore, if anyone is coercing Ethan into doing anything, it is Amber herself! She forced him to out himself to Joyce despite the fact that he clearly did not want to do so, and if that’s not coercion, by God I don’t know what is.
Again, I understand that Joyce and Ethan’s charade needs to end, and Ethan needs to come to terms with his sexuality, but that needs to happen at his own pace. If Amber is as good a friend as she considers herself to be, then she should understand that.
I’d like to give Amber the benefit of the doubt, but you kinda’ hit the nail on the head with the hammer(is that how that saying goes?). Amber kinda’ treats Ethan less like a friend dealing with his sexuality, or at least coming to terms with it, and more like a teammate on a sports team that’s not playing the way she wants. She’s being controlling in a situation that doesn’t need that. Once again though, she herself has been through a lot of shit lately.
Needing time away from Ethan after a summer of fighting his fight seems reasonable.
Especially when that happened immediately after his sexual rejection of her. She still hasn’t had peace and time to process that emotionally, yet still fought for him.
So asking for some space is reasonable.
It’s fully within her rights to want some space, but as soon as she sees something she doesn’t like about what Ethan’s doing, she decides to get involved in the worst way possible. She’s simply making things worse for herself and for everyone around her because she won’t get help.
Amber, you’re letting that part of you that you hate show again…
I was so focused on the wrongness of Amber literally attacking Joyce that I missed the significance of her outing Ethan in public. Wow. Just wow. Amber has pretty much gone through the worst of any character so far and I’ve been feeling really bad about how everything was going wrong for her, but she’s descended to being my least favourite character. There isn’t a thing in the world that could excuse what she’s done.
Agreed. She’s being extremely judgmental….with emphasis on the “mental” part.
I agree she’s not going about this the right way, but she didn’t name him. Granted, it’d be reasonably easy for anyone watching the whole scene to draw conclusions, but anyone who just looked over when she started shouting might not have a clue.
Yeah I do think she was being cruel and her actions disturbed me before this point (wow using your anger to intimidate people like that, wow amber- yeah the situation is awful and she should voice her displeasure but you YIKES) but right now the outing without Ethan’s say so is really over the line for me. If Ethan decides to never be friends with her again over this it will be pretty much justified.
Sadly, I feel the same way.
These are college freshman. They lack the capacity for correctness; they’re figuring things out. What Joyce is doing is an indication of her naîveté, what Amber is doing, or more importantly, the way she is doing it, is an indication of her anger at being betrayed by Ethan in her most vulnerable moment( even if he couldn’t exactly help it), or in general, the festering type of anger which comes from being abused, at home or otherwise.
What Joyce is doing is pretty despicable, objectively speaking, but I can forgive her in as much as I know she really does not know better. Amber is probably doing closer to the right thing, but doing it in such a loud, self-righteous way that it almost nullifies it’s rightness. What’s needed is an adult conversation; however, the very childishness of the actions involved makes such a conversation unlikely to impossible.
Pretty much. Two 18 years olds handing a situation badly without the benefit of experience? THIS IS UNHEARD OF BEHAVIOR.
Especially in this story. We expected better from you, Willis.
Joyce is scared of sex, so this isn’t entirely naive.
Gay man less sexually threatening than boy band. She can lust yet never have to have sex.
Shit’s gettin’ real!
In Joyce’s defense she doesn’t know he’s Jewish yet
Fairly sure Sarah pointed that out to her (and the fact her previous date was also jewish) when she said his name was Ethan SIEGAL.
And she said Joyce might be one of their new plagues.
It’s been pointed out to her that Joe and Ethan are Jewish.
Her best friend from home reminded her that their preacher warned them against dating outside the faith.
Joyce rationalized (lied to herself and others) because both are handsome and she gave in to her hormones.
Now we will see whose kung fu is superior! Will it be Tiny Thunder’s “secret daddy issues” style, or Sara’s “I have a baseball bat on me at all times, don’t ask where I keep it” technique?
Oh, crap, Sarah’s name is spelled with an h. I am ruined! RUUUUUUIIIIIIIIIINED
can´t help but see that “prom night” with Amber on top, with an animal grin in her face, scaring the beejesus out of Ethan….
I’m really surprised there are people claiming Amber has no reason to be angry/no business being angry. Honestly? That’s what you take from this?
Oh she obviously can be upset- even if it’s Ethan messing up his own life she did try and help him before, and it’s understandable that she’s mad, disturbing as she’s being. It’s her actions which, while not entirely like daddy-kins are disturbingly in that territory. Also she simply has no right to out someone without their say so. At all. Even if she helped them out before with those issues. You NEVER get the right to out someone without their say so, no matter what you do. You could find the cure for cancer for someone and it would still not negate the fact it’s a crappy thing to do to someone- good actions don’t make bad ones okay after all or cancel them out. This is the sort of thing where Ethan would be justified in ending a friendship over. Yes she helped him a lot before obviously and in the end maybe Ethan can later decide he still wants her in his life despite this, but it wouldn’t be out there for him to say he never wants to speak to her again really. Personally irl I don’t handle confrontation well and I would probably just quietly remove this person from my life. I could maybe never trust them again unless they proved themselves somehow. How could I? My secrets, even ones which would be DANGEROUS for some people to know are free game if they’re angry apparently. It’s not cool to out someone.
Amber’s anger is understandable on some level. Her actions are what is unacceptable right now.
He’s already outed himself. She’s going over there to put a stop to the pray-out-the-gay. So, yeah, bravo on a long comment that basically goes nowhere.
There’s a difference between Ethan letting his parents and a select few trusted friends (three, by my count) know the truth and being outed in public by someone else. It’s the difference between the Justice League knowing that Superman is Clark Kent and Batman deciding to tell the world.
Steve C is definitely in the right ball park. Though Batman would be out of line if say he decided to tell someone Superman didn’t want to know- even if it’s just one other person and not the world. Even if it was just a random citizen and not some villian.
There’s rarely one single outing process in a queer person’s life. I mean I have friends who know about me I am out to THEM in real life (just them) and also online (because hey people can’t physically harm me here for one). My family? Don’t know at all. If a friend blabbed…?
Yeah it isn’t going to end well. Even if my parents were more understanding then I thought I couldn’t trust them again.
I’m not going to take it well if they blab to other people either come to that without my okay. There’s trust involved. Even if someone (luckily) turns out not to be bigoted, or knew already before they said anything in Amber’s case, that was just that- luck. They gambled with my potential safety. A gamble and call which is not theirs to make. It’s mine. Because it’s my life, and my personal safety which is at stake. Not theirs. I can take their consul of course- they can mention oh hey- this person you’re getting on with is cool with it, you can probably tell them if you want! Or yeah- I wouldn’t, they’re nice but a bit too… biblical. But still in the end- my call.
Ethan and Joyce are fucking up completely don’t get me wrong. It’s toxic as shit and she should say something- like the fact they’re probably not going to be happy in the long run, like at all. And Amber’s anger is understandable. This doesn’t make her actions justified however. At all.
(Another big ass comment I guess haha. Whatever. I’m done with this now though.)
I agree with what Amber has done. If someone doesn’t do something and soon, they may find Ethan with his head stuck in the oven, or something.
People live lies all the time, but his lies are two really big ones: homosexuality and religion.
No one should be made to feel that they should go to another church because theirs isn’t pc.
No one should be made to feel they are not as good as others, because of their sexuality; that it can be cured like a disease or something.
People say that ‘there is no excuse for Amber”.
Just because she’s been abused by her father, seen him beat the shit out of her mother: been informed that the boy she’s about to give her virginity to on Prom night is gay, that was Ethan, by the way. Ethan told her at the motel as they are preparing for the big event.
Just because her boyfriend is a meathead who walks over what remains of her self esteem by wanting her alter ego instead of her: and then backing out of supporting her -as a friend-when she needed him most…
Yeah, there is no excuse for her using her sadness as an excuse for what she is doing now.
But, I don’t see her doing that. I see her seeing a person she cares about destroying himself. Maybe she see him in the same light she see herself being destroyed, but she’s not stupid and knows she’s contributing to her own anger problems by not getting help.
What she is saying to Joyce is one hundred percent the truth. Sarah sees that. Joyce very likely never will. But if there is any hope for her seeing what she is doing, this is the only way she will see it. Get in her face and scream at her, or else she just turns you off.
Why is Joyce beyond blame her, because she is so cute and has big blue eyes and is all innocent? She isn’t, not really. She is extremely self assured about her Religion being a non-arguable proposition…she is right and you are not.
Joyce knows that marital hanky panky is wrong and that’s end of story.
Joyce knows that homosexuals can be ‘cured’, and that’s the end of that.
This does not make Joyce cute and innocent. It makes Joyce cute and guilty of doing a great deal of harm to a person she supposedly cares for.
Why is the fact that Joyce has a bad time with Mr. Rape make her more ‘aww worthy” than Amber’s problems?
Amber is too violent. Joyce is too self-righteous. Ethan is lying to himself in a very damaging way.
Sarah is probably the most level headed of the crowd, and she has her own issues too. And Sarah stepped in and made herself an outcast at school, she saved her roomies life by calling their parents and clueing them in the fact that their kid was killing themselves with drugs. She is pretty moral in the real sense of the word.
So, if Amber thinks she is saving Ethan’s life (maybe not literally) by outing him, then she is going that route.
I don’t think anybody has ever said Joyce is perfect. At any point. You are arguing a strawman.
It is not within Amber’s right to out Ethan NO MATTER WHAT she thinks she’s doing, and beyond that, she is trying to control his life with anger and violence – how much she’s suffered through is “awww” worthy and I’ve pointed it out on multiple occasions, but in no way does it somehow justify… this.
Except people HAVE used the argument that Joyce is innocent because she “doesn’t know any better”. However, her naivety isn’t a good enough excuse and absolutely no one would accept that excuse in any serious situation. She has to be accountable for what she is doing knowingly or unknowingly or else she will never change. That, I think, is the point that Gottawonder is making when talking about Joyce.
Except Joyce wasn’t the one who initiated the idea of Ethan going to church with her. If I express an interest in your macramé class, does that equate to you `forcing’ me to take macramé and deny my inner love of knitting?
Honestly, if Ethan is as smart as he has been portrayed, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that more exposure to religion might help him better accept himself. Not the froth-at-the-mouth-burn-in-hell stuff, but the concepts of forgiveness, acceptance, let he that is without sin throw the first stone stuff. Even the most rabid anti-religious person would be hard pressed to oppose the Golden Rule. Who can say where or from whom Ethan will receive that one nugget of wisdom that helps him find peace and acceptance of himself? Is it somehow tainted if it comes from a priest or minister or a homeless person or hooker or soccer mom? Is there some officially sanctioned dispenser of wisdom for gay acceptance?
I like happy endings, and I like to believe Ethan is smart enough to make his own decisions without falling for a load of crap.
But come on, those eyes are like… really blue. I could drown in them.
I get where you going here. Don’t worry.
Joyce has big blue eyes.
She has generally been as flawed as everybody else, but she has big blue eyes.
You agree with what Amber has done? Which is: physically and violently attack her alleged best friend while screamingly asserting that he has no right to make his own decisions, then follow that up by equally-screamingly outing him in public and slandering a near-stranger while attemting to physically assault said stranger.
I do not agree with what Amber has done.
I definitely understand why Amber is so upset, but she really IS being a bit of a nutbag about it. Ethan decided right away that he’s going to go back to the closet, because he feels it’s easier, and college has given him a fresh start.
There is nothing wrong with settling into a new home before coming out again (knowing how terribly it worked out with his folks AND with Amber). And Joyce isn’t forcing anything. She’s not shoving her values, she’s just nudging them. Her best friend at this school is an athiest, and she defended the crap out of her. Joyce believes that she is opening the opportunity for them to be ‘saved’ (if they want to) by taking them to church, but she doesn’t hate anyone, so she’s certainly not forcing Ethan to hate who he is.
The dating is a game for both of them. Let them have their fun, and let the pieces come together in time.
I think part of her reaction has less to do with the situation and more to do with all the shit she has had to deal with over the course of a few days. Not that the situation is irrelevant.
“Hate the sin and not the sinner” is the motto I always heard, except you can’t separate a person from their sexuality because it literally is a part of themselves, and demonizing a person’s sexuality is no better than demonizing that person. It doesn’t condemn someone directly, it just “casually” plants the idea in one’s mind that who they are is something filthy and disgusting, and should be suppressed.
So while she is certainly not aware of it, instead of Joyce forcing Ethan to hate who he is, she is merely perpetuating his fear that his sexuality isn’t “right” and is something that he has to correct or else society/his peers won’t accept him. And no matter how I look at it, I still think it’s wrong and that someone outside of their relationship has to point it out.
That saying is just a cheap cop out to let the various Churches demonize gay people and still pretend they’re all about love anyway. In a way I almost prefer Westboro and their ilk, atleast they dont bother pretending that they love everyone, and just dont “approve” of their sins, whatever that may be. Sexuality is part of you, and denying it can have very serious psychological consequences
I think Amber is pretty much just assuming that due to Joyce’s religious beliefs Joyce probably shares the same hostile views of Ethan’s mother or other religious groups or people Amber have had to defend Ethan from. Remember, Amber has never really spent much time with Joyce and she wasn’t there to see her challenge her parents. Joyce is undeniably ignorant of how sexual orientation works however and has an unhealthy attitude that seems to consist of “If we just ignore it, it won’t become an issue.”
Putting aside the fact that Amber is being violent and inserting herself into a relationship that she’s not a part of, how about the fact that she’s loudly outing her friend in the middle of the cafeteria in front of a lot of people, including at least one that Ethan explicitly didn’t want to know. That is never okay, ever.
…Ironic gravatar is ironic.
Who doesn’t Ethan want to know, besides Jacob (who left) and the world at large?
Joyce already knows.
Sorry, I derped and forgot Jacob left.
Who’s the one that Ethan explicitly didn’t want to know? Both Sarah and Joyce know he’s gay and have interacted with him on that topic.
I just had a thought.
If Ethan needs to be in a relationship with a girl to feel normal… does that make Joyce his own personal brand of heroin?
Oh god I’m gonna barf.
Reading the comments for this comic. I hold this will not go into a horrible direction. That it will not bring forth, the being of terrible destruction. It… The base breaker.
So now Joyce is dead. Wonder if Manny will be born from her blood like Aphrodite.
I am happy that Sarah is there to serve as a buffer between Joyce and Amber.
Enraged Amber is really scary.
Way scary. Her compartmentalization strategy doesn’t seem to be holding up very well.
On a completely meta note, congratulations David Willis. Seems you’ve succeeded in creating characters that people care about. 250 comments, mostly heated discussions of situational ethics, within 2.5 hours at midnight = pretty stinkin’ good fiction.
love your work btw
…I don’t think you’re really Batman.
I’m Batman….and so’s my wife.
I was just about to post something similar. I hope to have fans of my work someday that are as passionate as fans of Mr. Willis’s work.
He’s earned it.
You should see how heated things get when it comes to discussing race.
Oh Amber, no. This ain’t the way. It’s better than taking Ethan to the floor and gnawing his leg off before beating him with the Yappapi Indian Strap, but only by like…a tiny margin.
Everyone here is behaving badly, except for Sarah.
(let me note that I hardly blame Amber for behaving badly, her everything is fucked up right now. Or Joyce, really, who thinks she’s doing the right thing for someone in need. Or, hell, even Ethan, who doesn’t know what he really wants or how to elucidate it.)
I want to interject here on Joyce’s behalf and, i hope, in Ethan’s.
Joyce didn’t force this Ethan and while her upbringing is certainly stinted she has been becoming more and more open minded but this is a pretty big thing.
But I more want to talk about Ethan; this guy has had his whole recent life be dictated by the fact that he is gay as opposed to the fact that he is a person. Even Amber regards a lot of who Ethan is by the fact he is Gay. Joyce on the other hand just wants a relationship with him, she asked and he said yes, she hasn’t tried to brain wash him she has just enjoyed his company. Yes its pretty messed up but ironically Joyce is the only one who sees Ethan for Ethan not gay Ethan and her motive while naive and not exactly good are founded on the want for both of their mutual happiness.
I hope I’ve made a well thought post and it isn’t too jumbled.
How is trying to “cure him out of his gayness” a way for Ethan to be happy?
And no, Amber doesn’t regard him as “gay Ethan”. She regards him as her best friend who broke her heart and then basically spat in her eye by starting to date another female.
Now I am remembering the previous parts of the comic correctly (and if not I humbly apologist and will agree with you completely) but didn’t Joyce ask him if he wanted to continue being in a relationship? No to cure him, oh there was that bit about controlling lust but i mean i cant fault Joyce for preaching what she knows when Ethan accepted it. Also I’m not talking about this instance, there has been previous times when Ethan’s ‘Gayness’ has been a sticking point for Amber.
As for Ethan, he didnt do it to spit inher eye he did it for control over who he was which i cant blame him for. Amber has a similar issue with her anger she wishes to control who she is can we really fault Ethan for wanting the same thing?
What my main point previously which got lost is Amber isn’t in the wrong and Ethan isn’t in the wrong.
But Joyce isn’t the bad guy either, she does want him to be happy even if she doesn’t fully understand the situation.
If someone is “willingly” in a relationship with a SO that abuses them physically, it’s still wrong, no matter what the partners think of it. This is the same thing, except both are doing clear harm to one another long term.
I don’t know if she really wants to cure him. I thought she was dating because he won’t try to have sex with her, thus she can control herself better. She’s still a bit messed up but for different reasons.
As for Ethan he’s questioning his orientation to a point, or at least tired of how people around him are treating him, whether or not Amber treats him as her gay friend. This may end (or if Walkyverse Ethan is an indicator WILL end) with Ethan deciding he is in fact homosexual and being fine with that but he’s exploring who he is right now and attempting a straight relationship is how he’s doing it. Nobody’s lying to anyone so at worst this may end as an understanding and equitable ending.
If anything it’s Amber trying to decide Ethan’s life, well-meaning as she is. She may well be right but assuming he’s not in this relationship of his own free will is kind of insulting to Ethan. Plus he just blurted out Ethan’s secret to the entire cafeteria, which wasn’t her right to do, which is only going to make him further withdraw from his homosexuality and affect how he’s perceived in school but without him deciding “this is who I am and I don’t care what you think of me”. Instead of helping, she may be making things worse.
I assume the people who think Amber has no right to do this are the same people who dislike Sarah.
Or just Americans. What do I know.
This is the first time I actually like Amber in this universe. She’s slowly making up for that ultra-cringeworthy comment she ade back when she met Danny in that intro to comp sci class. Go girl, live up to the name of your Shortpacked self.
What “ultra-cringeworthy comment” are you referring to? All I see is a snarky, computer savvy girl.
If it takes an American to speak against violence and outing a gay person against their will, I am proud to be an American. But, really, American-ism has nothing to do with this and you’re just taking pot shots at people.
In Amber’s defense, both Sarah and Joyce already know he’s gay, so that’s not really outing anyone. But yeah, no one comes out of this looking good.
She didn’t know that Sarah knew, and she’s screaming this out loud in a very public place – even if it ends up that nobody else finds out, it’s still completely wrong.
I agree that she’s doing a shitty thing and it’s not ok.
I don’t think she’s screaming, though. The font’s not bolded enough. Doesn’t make it right, of course, but you don’t need to accuse her of screaming to make it even shittier.
She’s not screaming out loud though? She’s talking in the normal speech bubbles as opposed to the pointy which implies she’s not being that loud. I mean, I could be wrong, but seeing as this is text on a page and not something we can actually hear, there is no way to definitively conclude at this point that she’s “screaming.”
Her mouth is open so wide she could swallow her own boobs. I’m moderately sure she’s not using her inside voice.
Of course, she also may have gotten people’s attention when she flipped that table and then ran off to start manhandling people. You don’t have to talk all that loud when people are listening.
I could also be wrong. We’ll see where this is going. I’m concerned though.
Yeah, I was going to ask, what the fuck? o_O;; Today is some of Amber at her absolute worst, screaming insults and threatening violence.
How is saying she could code an OS from scratch before the class was over more “cringeworthy”?
She’s just finally stepping it up. Joyce’s intention is purely to transform a gay man straight just so she can fulfill her “I’m gonna get a nice husband at uni~” fantasy. That’s selfish and totally wrong to begin with. If anyone then it’s Amber who has the right to tell her to finally pipe the fuck down. Amber loved Ethan for who he was and didn’t try to change him even though it crashed her when it runed out they’ll never work as a couple due to him unexpectedly jumping out of that closet.
And about those comp sci comments; those are on the same level of irritating as every “lol immagamergurrrl xDD”. Forced IT jokes are my nightmare.
It doesn’t matter WHAT the circumstance is, what other people are doing wrong – at no point was Amber getting physical and violent, screaming, and outing a gay guy in any way acceptable. How do you see this as behaviour to be encouraged?
I don’t think people have denied that her behaviour is wrong, and that way she’s going about confronting Joyce and outing Ethan is wrong. Those are both very wrong. But behaviour and outing aside, I believe that Amber is not in the wrong for trying to stop this ultimately poisonous and self-destructive relationship from continuing. It may be a happy illusion, but it is still an illusion.
Exactly: what Joyce is doing is selfish and ultimately harmful. Now what Ethan is doing is _also_ selfish and harmful and the whole thing is mutually toxic on Ethan & Joyce’s parts, but Amber is naturally assuming her old friend is the one being a victim.
She could do it better but she’s not actually wrong that what’s happening is Ethan is being taught to hate & hide who he is.
How do you know that she ISN’T capable of coding an OS from scratch? At what point were you given the impression that she was making a joke?
She was indeed not joking. Not sure why a girl being incredibly tech-savvy is “cringeworthy.”
I worded it wrong. It’s not about her trying to make a joke, it’s the pure act of saying it. It’s just humblebragging, seasoned with a tiny bit of feeling superior. Anyone flashing their skills like that is just annoying. But really it’s just me being overly sensitive to these kind of comments, I admit.
Well, if I were forced into taking a required Intro class when I should’ve been in a more advanced class, I’d be pretty irked too.
Because the concept of women being highly tech-savvy is still unorthodox to the point where people would consider it as part of the comic’s punchline?
I would’ve cringed if it was said by a guy too.
But it wasn’t. And you followed your complaint up by saying ” those are on the same level of irritating as every “lol immagamergurrrl xDD”.”
So… yeah. Doesn’t sound like gender is irrelevant.
Because by most modern definitions of “OS”, they are large and complex enough that the portion of it that any one person can code in an hour is vanishingly small, even if you were just typing code and not also designing (the latter being implied by “from scratch”), so, whether joking or serious, it comes across as ignorant.
And you are coming across as incredibly self-righteous right now in suggesting that anyone’s problem with it had anything to do with her being a girl.
In other words, either she’s joking, or the joke is that she thinks she can code a significant portion of an OS in an hour. The idea that she actually can never entered my mind, not because she’s a girl, but because it’s impossible.
Or she’s bored and killing time.
She didn’t actually say anything about a “significant portion.” And when I was reading it, I certainly didn’t interpret it that way. In fact, I don’t know why anyone who is familiar with how time consuming writing code is would interpret it that way unless for some reason they suspected the person who was talking about it was ignorant.
I guess you could have read that linux crack as serious rather than tongue in cheek. But in order to do that, you must first assume that she is ignorant enough to think she could code a “significant portion” of an OS inside of 50 minutes. Which brings us back to what I was saying before.
I think the formulation “I wonder how much of X I can do in an hour” implies a choice of X that you can get a significant amount done in an hour.
Then you are clearly not a software dev.
I should probably explain that since chances are good it won’t make sense to you: it’s very common to not get a “significant amount” done even in a full 8 hour work day. So if the only time anyone wrote code was when they were expecting to accomplish a significant amount, no one but script kiddies, visual basic programmers, and web devs would ever write code.
Forced? They were in a computer sciences class. Not like she awkwardly segued from Nic Cage to Con Air to Hey Let Me Tell You About That Time I Met A Celebrity On A Plane.
I don’t think that loving someone gives one the right to interfere in his/her life. Btw, I love Sarah. Amber has never been one of my favs.
And yes, anyone in the cafeteria would have seen this row. Nobody has the right to out someone else.
You know, I see a whole bunch of words, and yet all I seem to be able to read is “please let me continue to pretend that women don’t exist as people.”
I love Sarah and am Canadian. Amber is still wrong to do this.
My remark about Americans was half-serious, just to put it out there.
Yes, Amber shouldn’t have done this in front of all those people and shouldn’t have outed Ethan to Sarah even though she already knew. But her intentions are good, it’s just that she can’t control her emotions after all the shit she went through with being betrayed by Ethan, having an autistic (boy)friend who dumped her, her father suddenly showing up in her dormroom and being blamed for turning Ethan gay. I can really understand her. Either I have way too much tolerance or other people lack it but I can’t be mad at her for doing this at all. Everything she does is entirely justified and can be understood.
I don’t get how you can start a post saying that Amber “shouldn’t have done this” and end it saying “Everything she does is entirely justified…” Understanding someone’s motivations–and even agreeing with one’s intentions–does not mean I have to accept one’s behavior. Besides, I still say (yet again, sorry) that Ethan is really the one Amber should be confronting, not Joyce.
Is it really that hard to understand.
What Amber is doing is globally regarded as something wrong – you really aren’t supposed to tableflip and out your gay friend to someone. But in this situation her actions are of a nature that can be absolutely understood and accepted. What she’s doing is justified. It’s wrong on the big scale, but it is justified.
If you don’t want to accept it then don’t. Nobody told you you have to, it was just my opnion about it.
So after being abused, she turns around to abuse someone else.
As someone who was abused, I think this just perpetuates the cycle. There really is no excuse.
You’re an idiot, oh my god. NO.
Tonight in this very ring the Unstopable Rage meets the Unconqurable will.
It’s Amber “Tiny Thunder” vs Sarah “The Luoievile Slaughterer”
in a no holds bar Joyce on a ploe match!
Let’s not forget that Amber just had to deal with Ethan’s mom accusing her of turning her son gay. This is the shittiest of shitstorms.
and we will love every second of it
Ya I guess this does suck for her, with her exboyfriend (who is supposed to be gay) bumping her then going out with a nother girl 2 months later after she spent two months standing up for him to his parents.
And if thats emotionly stressful enough, she has a dumbass boyfriend who is doing everything in his power to stay away from her, and a scumbag father who is trieing to force his way back in her life so he can control her.
She going to end up brakeing down, but all she really needs is a shoulder too lean on.
last time she confided in him, he told her that she was going to end up an abuser like her dad. Not really the best shoulder.
And he was right.
This. Mike might be the best person to get through to that enraged brain of hers.
Problem is that he’d probably say something that at this moment would result in Amber attempting to beat him to death. Then we’d see that creepy-ass smile of his again… DO NOT WANT!
I think you misspelled “DO WANT” there.
it doesn’t matter that he was right, it was still a shitty thing to say he knows is having a hard time, which automatically disqualifies him from the running of possible shoulders for Amber to lean on.
the shitty thing he said to Walky got him to grow up.
Mike is the shoulder Amber deserves,but not the one she needs right now.
Also fuck mike, I love him he’s a really original character but I hated pairing I always did
There is a really morbid part of me that wants her to break down already, to stop fighting against it all and just lash out at the world indiscriminately in utter despair of her life. It really is torturous to see people in such immense suffering; I sometimes feel like they be better off they just went crazy, that they may enjoy the destruction of everything that made them feel like they were worthless, and feel vindicated for doing so.
The possibility of her breaking down violently is really what I’m afraid of, and realizing that I’m concerned for a web comic character, I’m going to finally give in and throw out a DAMN YOU, WILLIS!
I would love for her to break down in a wallow of tears, hit the bottom, and get some fucking help. Once you hit bottom, it feels like a relief and the only way to go is up.
Indeed. Girl needs to see a counselor, stat.
She needs to see all the counselors.
OH IT IS ON
It is on like a large ape famously known for throwing barrels and later fighting bipedal crocodiles and having a strange fashion sense by only wearing a tie.
All the way down these comments folks are just handing out reasons Amber is right to flip out, regardless who on. Explaining away all the various WHYs for her anger is not going to make the WHAT okay. WHAT Amber is doing is aggressively vilifying Joyce without any regard for the consequences of her tattered friendship with Ethan. No matter how wrong Ethan is or how wrong Joyce is Amber is crossing a line that she won’t be able to just step back behind.
First off most of the comments here are saying she’s going over bord, and Maybe your rite, maybe she directing her anger at the wrong person and maybe she’s not mad because it LOOKS like Joyce is brianwashing him but she’s mad because Joyce has the life that Amber thinks deserves and she’s the is the Texbook definition jealous.
But think about it like this, after everting Ethan put her through, and after everything she put up with and sacrifice for him so he could live with new found sexuality, All this just piss her off to the point where she can’t think strait
These flawed individuals who fuck shit up with the best of intentions? Yeah, they all get my love. Because they’re just kids. And kids royally screw up. Complex, intricate, fucked up, amazing characters for the win.
Yeah, I think it should be said that for all the arguing that goes on in the comments, we should thank David Willis for one of the realest cast of characters that people can be divisive on, relate to, and actually CARE about. Thank you, Willis!
Soooo Is Amber’s mom and Joe’s Dad still going at it?
I will merely hope for a conclusion where in the end, everyone is happy with their lives, and their friends. Because this is a comic strip and not the universe, it’s possible!
Nobody is bothered that Amber is attempting to exert ownership over Ethan and his life? Simply put: it’s Ethan’s life and Ethan’s choice. If he wants to explore other avenues to decide how he really feels, who is Amber (or Joyce) to tell him different?
I’ve known gay friends who had questions about their orientation. Some turned out to be bi, some turned out to be gay, some were just exploring. I don’t think it’s fair to force Ethan to be any orientation at all; it’s HIS choice. True friends would support Ethan as a person first, and his sexual preference not even making the list…unless the person in question is in bed with Ethan at the time.
Amber is wrong in this situation. Lots much extremely so; every bit as much as the rabid religious person who tries to send him to `camp’ to train the gay out of him. He has to be comfortable with himself and his orientation, not feel like he has to please Amber or Joyce or anyone except himself (and his eventual partner, of course). In the previous comic, he said it best: it’s my choice. Amber’s response? Yeah, now imagine those words, that attitude, coming from one of Joyce’s parents. How many posters would say, “They’re just trying to protect him!”
Ethan has a right to discover his own truth. While Joyce initially reacted badly, in time she came around and is trying to be his (girl)friend without beating him over the head, giving him space and comfort to reach his own conclusions. Amber isn’t giving him that freedom; she knows best and his sexual orientation is HER cause for which she will fight to the death and treat him like crap if he dares rebel against the role she has chosen for him.
As far as we’ve seen in this arc, Amber is acting like she has a personal stake in Ethan’s sexual orientation. And honestly? It’s none of her business. Her job as a friend should be to support Ethan whatever he decides is right for him…just make sure he knows she cares about him and supports him. Gay, straight, bisexual, asexual…that’s all any of us need, all any of us can do. If more of us did that, I think we’d have a lot more happiness.
I definitely am. Amber is totally wrong here and I hope Ethan stands up to her.
While Amber isnt right exactly, Ethan isnt exploring or questioning his sexuality, the comic has already established that he’s gay, he just decided to wuss out because dealing with being gay was too difficult, and he’d rather be in a false platonic relationship with a person who thinks his homosexuality is a thing to be cured, further poisoning his mindset. He needs to be jarred out of his denial, not coddled
Sorry…his life, his choice. There is no `proper’ way to be gay. It’s up to each individual to decide how he or she wants to express it. Saying he needs to be jarred out of his denial instead of coddled is just as offensive as saying he needs to have the gay beaten out of him. It’s HIS life to live as best he can see to do. He’s not under any contract to exhibit his gayness in any particular way.
Condecending apologies aside, Yeah, it’s his choice. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t making a -bad- -one-. Amber’s behavior here is not okay, Nor is Ethan’s, nor is Joyce’s. They’re all handling this badly, and while their motivations are all complicated and understandable, that doesn’t mean that they’re not DOING THE WRONG THING.
Joyce has lived a sheltered life and is hopelessly naive. She doesn’t know how or why or possibly even -that- her behavior is damaging to Ethan, but it is.
Ethan is pretending to be something he’s not for short term gratification. He clearly isn’t capable of suppressing his sexual urges towards guys, and he doesn’t actually feel any attraction towards Joyce. She is obviously looking for a long term serious commitment ending with marriage and babies, and I’d be exceptionally surprised if he could hold out for that. If he doesn’t end things willingly with her, it seems really likely that he’ll end up cheating on her with some guy, or just being miserable and unfulfilled until he -has- to break it off. Either way, it’s not fair to himself, or to her, or, yes, to Amber, who he already DID THAT TOO.
Amber spent the summer after a painful breakup straining against her ex-boyfriend’s horrible mother’s hideous prejudice. She buried her own heartbreak underneath the task of defending somebody she loved, and probably never actually dealt with it in any meaningful way. It burned her out, it weakened their relationship as she spent so much energy trying to fight on his behalf, she had nothing left to offer him as a friend. she withdrew, left him alone, and now, when things have gotten to an area that leaves her original pain raw and exposed, she’s lashing out physically, and that is NOT OKAY.
Moral of the story, nobody’s behavior here is okay. They’re -all- doing something wrong, and pointing out that one person is doing something wrong does not cleanse all others from responsibilities.
To those who seem to be arguing along the lines that Amber’s interference in Ethan & Joyce’s relationship is unacceptable largely because it’s a concious decision:
Ownership over your own mistakes is highly overrated.
Sometimes you need to be able to rely on friends to help protect you from yourself.
Taking the keys is a lot different than this.
And where does that end? If I don’t like your drinking, can I take you to the desert to dry out? (That’s called kidnapping). If I think riding is a motorcycle is too dangerous for you, can I run over it with my Jeep in the driveway? (That’s called property damage). If I don’t think you should be having sex with that person, can I put you in a chastity belt?
Friends are there to help you make decisions…not make your decisions for you.
Bullshit. If one stays in an abusive relationship, it is not wrong for others to “exert ownership” trying to get them out. The idea it is leads to damaged people,broken homes and dead and bbattered spouses.
Joyce and Ethan are not in an abusive relationship.
Even if I agree with you on “abusive relationship” (and I’m not saying that I do or do not) that at best leaves them in a “destructive” one. I stand by my point on “Exert ownership” etc.
I disagree. I would try to help someone who was in danger. In this case, nobody is getting hurt. I could see potential hurt down the road, but maybe not. Amber is full of rage and jealousy, not helping motives at all. And as far as “ownership,” the only behaviours I have ownership over are my own. If I try to own others, I am being a controlling bully.
This line of thought is predicated on the assumption that someone who `knows better’ than you is therefore free to force you to operate by their guidelines. I’m sure many Christians or Muslims sincerely believe they know better than you; can they exert ownership over you? If not, why not?
I believe the worst thing a person can do to another is remove their right to choose. I can tell you not to stick a fork into a light socket, it’s gonna hurt…but I should not break your fingers so you can’t ever hold a fork.
While she may ultimately be proven right, I wonder if she still isn’t hurt about the fact that their romance ended once Ethan realized he was gay. And how here he is questioning that (for the wrong reasons, granted) and dating another girl. Since Joyce is already aware of Ethan’s orientation she won’t suffer the same torment Amber did, imagine if in this universe Ethan wasn’t actually gay but wasn’t that into Amber. How would that affect her?
Frankly, I’d be surprised if Willis didn’t make Ethan gay in this reality instead of just questioning his orientation. It’s just a possible thought in Amber’s head I haven’t seen explored.
Amber does have a personal stake in Ethan’s sexual orientation. She was his serious long-term girlfriend, and he came out to her in the middle of (not) taking her virginity. That’s about as personal a stake as it gets for anyone but Ethan himself. If he weren’t gay, they would probably still be dating, and looking at getting married someday. And banging regularly.
And then she spent an entire summer defending him from the consequences of coming out, and now he’s trying to crawl back into the closet with another woman.
I’m not shipping, I just want to diffuse the tension.
Hot wet irony
Still a possibility. Remember what Alternate Reality Fax said. Amber is a 3 on the Kinsey Chart.
I passed in two different respects for most of my teenage years. I really could have done with a friend like Amber. Someone who was smart enough to see that my attempts to suppress who I was and try to be ‘normal’ were only going to wind up with me getting hurt.
I’m not saying that Amber is going about it in the right way in this instant, nor that her own troubles aren’t feeding her outbursts of anger, but ultimately she’s right.
Amber’s intervention in Joyce’s and Ethan’s relationship isn’t automatically unforgivable just because they’ve both consciously opted to go down a certain route. If I had firmly decided to do something stupid, I’d still retrospectively appreciate the friend who took pains to tell me so.
Sometimes outbursts like Amber’s -while unpleasant and uncomfortable at the time- are exactly what’s needed. They can often bring things to a crisis point much quicker. That can let you know if the thing you’re doing can withstand heavy pressure and endure. If it can’t, chances are that it wasn’t worth pursuing in the first place.
Unforgivable? No, they’re just both willingly partaking in mutual denial because dealing with reality is too hard, and when it all comes crashing down, theyre both going to be worse off than before. Its incredibly frustrating to look at, I really want to give Ethan a good smack over the head.
You weren’t shouting at me right? I essentially agree with you :-S
It could end badly or it could end positively as Joyce accepts having sexual urges doesn’t mean she has to be…well, Billie, and Ethan accepts who he is. It could also end badly, but we don’t know for sure right now.
Saying “we don’t know for sure” isn’t the point. Almost nothing is known for sure. Experience and human nature tells us that the overwhelming likelihood is that Joyce’s and Ethan’s relationship will end badly. I don’t see many posters here disputing that. Sex and sexual orientation aren’t *everything* in romantic relationship, but they are integral to the degree that almost none will work without them.
you know Amber’s claim there and Sarah’s response to it are getting awfully close to religious bigotry
Oh yes, the poor Christians, its so hard to be the majority and have the people you demonize call you out on your crap.
That’s a problematic statement because such behaviors are, while generally true of a sizable percentage of Christians and generally true of the loudest and most visible Christians in public life, not universally true of all Christians. There are many of us who identify as Christian who are just as put out with such behaviors and such generalizations put us to blame for those behaviors even when we call those who exhibit them out on acting like that.
Joyce is an individual, not Christianity itself, and as such is entitled to the same respect and to not be demonized the way anyone else is.
Amber knows nothing of the church Joyce and Ethan attended, or what the sermon was.
By the way, I’m an agnostic so this isn’t my religion speaking
Considering that the only reason the two are even dating is because
Ethan is a selfish coward and Joyce is so intimidated by sexuality she can only
date someone with no interest in sleeping with her, Ambers reaction is
both justifiable and understandable
Understandable, yes. Justifiable, no way. There is a difference.
I would just add that we’ve seen Joyce in other situation going out of her way not to act like a stereotypical Christian. She stood up for Dorthey (how the hell do you spell that name?) in front of her parents and she has tried to be tolerant of other belief systems–even if it hurts.
Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Jason’s comment
That is unfortunately the nature of situational ignorance. When one has only such minimal information to act on as they do here (Ethan, whom they know to be gay and Jewish, retreating back into the closet and dating and going to church with Joyce, whom Sarah knows to have exhibited some fairly ignorant and intolerant views as rote in other regards) such a reaction is understandable.
Close, but I don’t think either of them are bad at her for being a Christian. Sarah doesn’t like her on principle (she just doesn’t hate her and may be warming up) and she said Amber had a tiny point. Amber is just mad at what she thinks Joyce is doing without knowing anything about her or her relationship with Ethan. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt at least. Which is more than she’s giving Joyce and Ethan.
then she shouldn’t have listed taking him to church as one of the things Joyce did wrong
Actually, there’s little to no wrong in Amber’s view of things, it’s the way she projects her personal issues into action. She’s calling out on a potentially jarring relationship between those two, based in delusional ideas for both. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But also, Amber is handling it like a bulldozer. Despiste her good intentions, that’s not gonna help.
Everyone’s just trying to do what they think is right and it is all going so spectacularly wrong.
I really love Dumbing of Age.
That is life in general.
When did Ethan tell Joyce he was gay? I don’t remember that at all.
At galasso’s when everyone met up there. Amber and Danny walked in just as he was kissing Joyce and calling her his new girlfriend. She dragged him outside and they argued and then he confessed to Joyce.
Looks like I’m gonna have to do some back tracking to refresh my memory, thanks.
Yes, Amber, out Ethan to all and sundry when he’s already struggling with his sexuality. Surely that is the action of a dedicated best friend.
And go ahead, lay hands on a stranger currently committing no crimes to the point another must hold you back. Surely these are the actions of a bona fide super hero.
I am super unimpressed with Amber here. I struggled a ton with my sexuality in college. Consequently, I mostly didn’t date, and I remained incredibly grateful for my understanding friends who only gently nudged me and let me know they were there to talk. At this point, more centered in who I am and how that affects my relationship with others and how I want things to be in my life, I can look back on it and say, yes, I was sometimes putting myself in a terrible position and I’m glad to be where I am now instead. But chances were also pretty good that if I’d been forcibly outed, I’d have tried to kill myself. (I know I came near enough a few times early on already.) (Also, for the sake of clarity, considering my previous comments: those struggles of mine were borne more of cultural pressures and expectations than anything religious. As previously stated, I was fortunate to be part of a religion that accepted and encouraged who I am.)
While things don’t look near that bad for Ethan right this moment, being a gay teen is *hard*. There are reasons we have disproportionately high suicide rates. And there is no one, right way to finding and coming to grips with one’s self.
However much Amber may not agree, this is Ethan’s path to take. He chose whether to break up with Joyce or be honest about his sexuality, and he chose to captain this ship right into the oncoming icebergs. It’s tough to watch your friends do that, and you can do your best to urge them to man the lifeboats or choose another course, but Amber doesn’t get to choose for him. Yes, she’s been through some shitty things on his behalf. But she’s still a straight girl living in a world best catered to straight people. Furthermore, the second they reached college, she dropped him except when she could find time convenient to her to lecture and rage at him. (And dude, I fully support her getting some much needed distance, but.)
Honestly, as much as Joyce is enabling some of Ethan’s poorer choices, she is also the one to hang out with him and watch silly cartoons and listen to his concerns. She may not be giving him the best advice, in huge part because she herself has erroneous ideas about how things ought to go and actually are in life, but she’s there and she’s not judging and she’s trying. At this point, she is acting the better friend than Amber. Considering she is actively aiding him in his efforts to suppress his sexuality, that is really, really not a good thing.
I like Amber, and I feel for her, but agh, all the comments about how she is doing a good thing here make me feel like I am from some completely alien culture.
I don’t think that how she’s voicing her concern for Ethan is even remotely the best possible way to do things, but the message itself is wholly in Ethan’s defense and I support that sentiment.
But I do see an unfriending coming down the road after all this, which will ultimately put Amber even further towards the edge of sanity. She’s just an emotional trainwreck right now, and this confrontation will most likely not end well for her at all.
Yes, I can completely understand that support and that concern. She has some very valid reasons and would likely not be nearly so upset if she didn’t like Ethan and have invested a lot of herself in him. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean what she’s doing is actually going to help Ethan at all. Each person is different, and who knows, maybe in this storyline it will – but Amber’s actions here (while I get her motives behind them) are deeply horrifying to me.
Even while I’m horrified, though, hey, no teen has a monopoly on stupid, emotion-driven behavior. Amber’s having some major troubles here, and I, personally, am rooting for her to have a “take advantage of the free college therapy” storyline at some point, because she really does deserve better than to fold up and fall over into her rage. Therapy is awesome, and after this storyline, I suspect it will be something she can use even more than before.
One of the great things about Willis’s characters is that I can be frustrated with characters and disagree heartily with their actions even while overall liking them and feeling, depending, a great deal of sympathy or empathy for them and what they’re dealing with.
With the exception of Sarah, everybody’s wrong in this strip. Amber isn’t going about this the right way and it’s obvious to everyone this isn’t even about Ethan. And enough has been said about Ethan and Joyce. There’s nothing good about what’s happening here. This is the trainwreck we all know has been coming for awhile now. Or at least the begining of one of them.
All of the characters are competing to really make the Dumb in Dumbing of Age shine.
you are my new favorite
Eek. I am delighted.
Yes, and when a woman stays with a guy who beats her with a baseball bat it’s “her path to take” and not a bit of disgusting self hate manifesting in dangerous ways. The concept of “leave it alone, it’s their choice to be in the relationship” has some limits.
That’s a very far cry from what’s happening, though. (Honestly, when you see Amber flipping tables, yelling at her friend, and forcibly trying to fix his life by making decisions he’s entirely opposed to, who’s seeming abusive?)
(I know it’s not exactly like that, but Amber is treating Ethan terribly as a person, while maintaining that a part of his identity is so important that he can’t in any way suppress it. Joyce is the opposite right now, treating Ethan well while thinking a part of his identity is unnatural/sinful/bad. Joyce, being Joyce, is trying to ‘help’ him by getting rid of these urges. No matter how much she tries, and how encouraging she is, that won’t happen. Ethan being gay won’t change, but Ethan’s obviously not comfortable with his sexuality, and Amber forcing him to embrace it is definitely not likely to change that. There’s a lot of contrasts between Amber and Joyce right now.)
I worked at an abuse shelter for a while. Even in that case, it is that person’s path to take. There’s a reason people must enter the shelter on their own free will. You can’t force someone to end their relationship, no matter the situation. The best you can ever do is gently offer your advice and, more importantly, let them know you are there for them as they need it.
“and when a woman stays with a guy who beats her with a baseball bat it’s “her path to take” and not a bit of disgusting self hate manifesting in dangerous ways.”
Physical (and even verbal and emotional) abuse has nothing to do with people colluding in self-delusion about whether they are complementary to one another’s wants and needs (and if they can create a fulfilling, long-term relationship together) in order to ease their transition into figuring out this strange, wacky world of love, identity, and adulthood.
Best post ever.
I meant that to Nym’s first post. Yes I wonder what kind of world we are living in.
I’ll say this in amber’s “defense”. Ethan was basically his first love. Even if she came to accept that it wouldn’t work between her and Ethan, it still hurt, but she was able to accept it and remain friend with him by rationalising that he was gay.
But now, she sees a girl managing to “get over the Gayness” of Ethan (I insist on the quotes) and and to obtain what she had somehow wished to have with him at some point.
Seeing this happens shattered her rationalisation of her original break up with Ethan and add to that her recent “break up” with Danny (plus her confrontation with her father) and You can clearly see in Amber’s fit a unconscious/sbuconscious Jealousy reaction.
“How dare she get what I was refused to have? And with the man I loved first?!??” Of course, she is in denial of those feeling and so her mind will try to rationalize her sudden hatred for the girl as perceiving Joyce being an evil girl trying to “convert back Ethan into a straight man”. And because of this hidden motive even to herself, jealousy, it inevitably come that she also subconsciously want to hurt Ethan too.
Seeing the emotional roller-coaster she has been through this is an understandable meltdown. That being said, it being understandable doesn’t stop it from potentially creating a lot of damage and hurting people that shouldn’t be hurt. See it as a natural catastrophe, the catastrophe of Human nature.
Hooray! A sane poster!
I know, right?
This is everything I wanted to say and wasted a lot of words not saying.
Amber & Sarah … the Titanic Team-Up!!!
Now all we need is Danny & Sal to walk in together … like right now
Oh god, then it would just turn into tragedy porn.
I can really relate to Amber’s anger issues.
Amber’s not wrong to be concerned, she’s wrong to be violent, which all flows from her recent past and not Joyce / Ethan.
People do choose and maintain long term gay/straight relationships – which don’t turn out well. I have friends who maintained it until their kids were in college.
Amber’s actions have more to do with her feels than with right or wrong. Sarah needs to calm her down, even if she has a point. And then Amber needs to come out of the closet to Danny and deal with her anger issues.
And all the things that should happen and that would resolve matters happily – will not happen. Damn you Willis. Well done.
Hey, maybe some or all these things could happen!
. . . Of course, these issues would immediately be replaced by new terrible ways the character’s figure out to screw up their lives.
Even if you agree with Amber’s sentiments, this is not the way to go about it
I dint buy into Amber’s “sentiments” at all – she’s just butthurt Joy has a chance she dont. She’s mad at Joy cause she has power over Ethan she doesnt. Amber is a power-trippin bitch, more concerned about Ethan’s feelings ONLY cause Joy is in his life? WTF
Nym just blew my mind
I am stuck here wondering what kind of sanitized, bloodless world most of the commenters live in if one teenage girl grabbing another’s arm and calling her a bitch is ‘omg so violent.’ I see worse ‘fight’s than this at the movies. Amber is 100% justified! You’re gonna let some fundie take advantage of your friend’s insecurities? After you just took all kinds of shit from his family for supporting him? Hell no.
the last thing she did before that was flipping over a cafeteria table. They’re taking the whole experience in
Amber, Bruce Banner would like to give you some tips on managing your anger issues.
even the fucking HULK seems to care more about her friends feelings and lives than Amber does……………………………………
And Joyce replies “At least I spend time with him, b-word.”
Hey Amber, projecting your anger at yourself onto other people much? Ethan wouldn’t be doing this if his “friend” who swears she’s totally supportive hadn’t abandoned him when he came out. Just like his parents.
I’m seeing a theme here. Amber needs to be in control of every situation, even though she keeps fucking up. (See her attention-stealing at the party that let the rapist get away.)
Except she didn’t abandon him when he came out, she fought for him to the point where she became exhausted and wanted to focus on time for herself, which isn’t necessarily wrong to do. However, she can’t just walk back in and expect their friendship dynamic to have remained the same, because Ethan has been changing and maturing ever so slightly, even if he’s letting himself be misguided.
And yeah, the whole theme here is control, and the loss of it, especially where Amber is concerned. She’s been losing control of her whole life recently, and her being confrontative with Joyce is just her trying to take control of an aspect of what she considers as part of her life, Ethan. But Ethan, whether she likes it or not, has moved on beyond her control and is able to make his own dumb decisions if he wants to. She set herself up for failure as much as Ethan is doing so with Joyce, by trying to control things in very unorthodox ways, like being in a relationship with Danny twice by using her superheroine facade and herself at the same time.
Can I +1 this comment? Can I do that 50 times? Well reasoned, well supported by the text, and calm! Thank you, very well said.
DUDE. dude. Control issues are so, so hard to tackle. Ethan is relinquishing his, Joyce is quite healthy – about issues of control is all I’m referring to – and Amber, well, Amber’s life is just spinning out and she is flipping out. I mostly just feel bad for all the teeeeens in this strip. It gets better, guys! Just wait for your frontal lobe to close!
It is weird when you realize that Amber is the one with the least control over her own life. Everyone else seems to have a handle on things, even if it’s for dumb reasons.
dear ninja_jesus, I mean support in my comment, and there is not an invisible “… idiot!” at the end of each sentence, the way that it looks now that I’ve read it out loud. I LOOOOVE your comment!
The theme here is that nobody is right, and everybody is wrong.
Except Riley, who just wanted some goddamn cereal.
Riley is a true sage. An adorable, tiny sage.
Well no shes quite annoying but Sarah managed to deal with her (Sarah is always right)
And then Danny an Sal walk in macking….
50% of the female characters need to get into therapy stat. Also Ethan.
Questioning your sexuality is one thing but being in a relationship with a girl who’s hoping that you’ll end up liking lady parts when every other indication is that you like boy parts isn’t the way to do it for either you or her. Did he even try the on campus queer groups to make new friends?
Willis once remarked on his tumbler that Jeph Jacques ruined things when he let his characters have therapists. Maybe this echos Tolstoy, “All happy families are the same”, i.e. booooring!
Agreed. Jeph Jacques is terrified of putting any of his characters through any kind of serious conflict that doesn’t end in an apology after three strips.
I said he ruined things for *me*! Meaning, another webcomic guy who writes emotionally distressed youngsters. The idea that you can’t have a good comic about a world in which therapists exist has been ruined. That nobody goes to see a doctor is kind of an accepted conceit in much fiction. Damn Jeph subverted that.
Ha. One of my characters IS a therapist. The good kind, too, not Counselor Troi. Jeph and Speedball, trailblazin’!
Have I noticed Amber’s capacity for anger? This is a question?
Now would be the time for Ethan to grow a pair and step up. Obviously he won’t, but eh.
Either Ethan has to grow a pair and fight for Joyce, or grow a pair and accept his identity, or grow a pair and fight Amber and break the news to Joyce.
But any which way, he HAS to fight.
What he has to do is grow up and accept that whether he wants to be outed in public or not, he shouldn’t be stringing Joyce along in order to make her his one chance at a normal life.
Ach, finally. Now Joyce can be exposed for the irritating little tyrant she really is .
Still one of my favourite characters, though, weirdly.
dude I knooooow it is so hard to square! I LOVE joyce but augh! I knew (way less kind) versions of joyce my entire young life (haha isn’t that a church thing) and they were SO. IRRITATING. duh, and mean, that’s at least 20% of her characterization, and just waaaaah I have no way to end this comment waaaaah
Tyrant? Yeah Joyce is anything but that!
I hope Sarah says something wise that will make Amber snap out of it.
Maybe people should be paying more attention to the fact that although,yes Joyce is coerceing Ethan into not being outwardly gay, Ethan doesn’t seem to have a problem withthis and what Amber is doing is outing Ethan against his own wanting. It’s not for Amber to decide whether or not Ethan is open about his sexuality. Also, Ethan could be anywhere on the spectrum of sexual identities and him dating Joyce could just be a different part of this and Amber’s asserision that Ethan needs to be open and say he is gay is telling him what label he should be using.
This cannot end well for anyone.
I am against this meddling because of two reasons:
A) it really IS his choice as to who he dates, regardless of his sexuality, provided both him and his partner are aware of the obstacles. Not that it’s a good idea, but it’s their mistake. Their fuck to up, if you will.
B) I think she’s meddling out of a desire to hurt, not help. If there was someone else to meddle, it’d be less bad.
Again: Ethan and Joyce are in a relationship that ain’t healthy or a good idea, but it’s their mess to clean. I’d r rather see Sarah meddling, if someone wanted to kick that particular wasp nest.
The thing is, there’s no way Ethan can expect this to end well. You know, like the last time he pulled this shit. With Amber. It’s certainly understandable that she’d flip her shit. I’m just thinking this is totally directed at the wrong person, since Joyce is really a victim here.
this has turned into a social sciences and ethics discussion and I’m really amazed at the quality of discourse. Some smart peoples up in here!
Yes, Willis, it hasn’t escaped us that Amber is well supplied in the anger department.
Also, she’s making the classic mistake of assuming it must be the “other” girl’s fault. Even though Ethan has just told her otherwise.
Granted, it’s out of brainwashed ignorance, but Joyce is engaging in a behaviour that is utterly despicable. Amber is totally correct not to let this abhorrent situation go unchecked.
Joyce has no reason to think this couldn’t work. She should have been flipping out on Ethan for completely taking advantage of a naïve young girl.
Sarah did call Joyce out on this, said that Dorothy wouldn’t stand for it and this would ruin their relationship. Joyce did have a good reason to know that this wouldn’t work out.
Eh, she’s also got years and years of being surrounded by people who tell her it can, and while college appears to be slowly cracking the facade of her naivite, I find it hard to direct any real anger towards her.
Interesting. Quite a bit of passing judgment on the various actions and motives of the main characters relative to a standard social/moral model, ’round ‘ere. To clarify using a different model: Chaotic good – “I’m going to do what I think is right, and anyone who doesn’t like it can suck it”. Most of Willis’s characters (and probably Willis himself) have an internal locus of control. In fact the ones that don’t are somewhat asses, to the extent that the locus of control is external standards. Trying to apply moral standards based on a model that does not at least have some subjective referents to the characters in question misses much of the point. But it is, ironically, rather in keeping with many of these comics’ sub themes. In any event, it is the characters’ extreme – if quirky – individual convictions, that makes these so intriguing.
Fucking Sarah though… hahahah
Of course Amber is correct Sarah, she’s a very intelligent individual, indeed it’s very possible she could make excuses for most of her actions and most of them would be correct even if there were better ways of handling the situation or even need for her to be involved at all.
One day maybe the world will be ruled by her Amizi-might but until then she’ll continue having difficulty handling her issues such as her ridiculous Super “Hero” persona.
She’s not really that correct though, she’s blaming the wrong person. Joyce has in no way coerced ethan, andin her worldview she’s doing the right , even righteous thing. Ethan, on the other hand, is using her to run away from himself, and try to go back to ‘normal’ . Basically he’s having a lapse. Yes, she is enabling it, and yes, to a sane viewpoint that’s wrong, but you can’t get too mad at joyce here, she’s doing what she was programmed to do. She still needs help herself.
Now that I disagree with. You can’t just put Joyce out of the blame for this just because “she’s doing what she thinks is right” or “she’s doing what she was programmed to do”; it’s as irritating to hear as someone using the excuse “I was just doing my job” when they’re committing something morally reprehensible. If she thinks what she’s doing is okay, then it should be the job of a friend to correct her and put her right; certainly not in the way that Amber is doing, and most probably not Amber doing it, but someone that Joyce trusts and confides in that does not have the same biases as her. In other words, Dorothy should be the one to tell Joyce that what she’s doing isn’t right.
Joyce certainly isn’t in the right in this situation, but she’s certainly not in the wrong either. It’s Ethans choice and other than enabling it she’s really done nothing wrong. She’s still growing as a person and maybe, hopefully, one day she’ll be able to look back on this and realise her mistakes but she has not coerced Ethan in any way and I think regardless of Joyce, Ethan would still be trying to be his definition of “normal” which apparently just means “not gay”.
I think Ambers realised getting angry at Ethan hasn’t worked so she’s just turning that anger to the next closest person, which considering she’s Ethans “girlfriend” who is aware of his sexuality and is helping him to control his urges, it makes it very easy for Amber to pretend that all of this is her fault and justifies, in her mind, her anger and actions, however violent.
So…it’s okay for Amber to commit assault because of what she thinks is right, but Joyce can’t allow a friend to accompany her to church when he asks because she thinks it’s right?
What about what Ethan…the gay person in question…what about what HE thinks is right? Or doesn’t that matter?
“certainly not in the way that Amber is doing, and most probably not Amber doing it” was definitely included in my comment. I never said I approved of her methods; in fact that statement was really against them.
And no, I don’t think that Joyce should be taking gay people to church with the intention of turning them straight, which is essentially what’s been happening. Joyce thinks that being gay is a choice, like a switch you can turn on and off, like an “urge” that you can fight, and the idea that going to church can help Ethan deny his sexuality is entirely wrong wrong wrong.
In the end, Ethan gets the final say in what he wants to do, because it’s his life, but I personally think that different perspectives should be heard before making those decisions; one from his best friend who’s done a hell of a lot for him should rank high on that list, too.
So do you think mentally ill people should go to prison ? What about brainwashed people ? Where do we draw our line ? Joyce’s religious fervor is very similar (of the same type even) as that of a cultist. Punishing someone who does not understand their crime is, and always will be, unjust. If it’s necessary it’s necessary but it IS unjust.
Introducing Amber’s newest transformation: Tiny Thunder the greatest frog superheroine! She is well known for her power of jumping to conclusions.
If Amber does anything to Joyce when Sarah is around, well, I think the next comic will be her funeral.
Amber’s, or Sarah’s? I’m not sure who I’m backing in that fight.
Amber, of course.
Two wrongs can make a right. Of course, I’d like to point out that “gay hating church” isn’t nearly as universal as people make it out to be. It’s possible to go to church and not be taught to hate oneself. Likewise, I’m not sure that Amber realizes that Joyce WANTS Ethan to be gay because she’s a victim of sexual assault.
Ethan is “safe” and she’s not trying to convert him from gayness as opposed to Christianity. Which, bluntly, is perfectly appropriate even as the reverse is true. Freedom to proselytize is something all religions should have.
That includes the Assassin’s Creed. “Nothing is true, Everything is Gameable.”
I’m not so sure about Joyce wanting Ethan to remain gay. She has fantasized about him a couple of times.
I get the feeling Joyce would like Ethan to remain gay right up to the wedding night
… and then hit her like the fist of God Himself.
(and be fantastic in bed, despite his utter lack of experience up to that very moment.)
It is entirely appropriate for Amber to talk to both parties about their foolishness, but really, it is a problem that Joyce and Ethan are going to end up having to work out on their own. It’s painful, but probably will end up resulting in healthy growth for both of them–they will achieve a kind of self-understanding that they won’t achieve from Amber shouting at them and threatening a physical altercation.
It is not at all helpful for anyone concerned for Amber to lose her shit over the situation. I think it’s a combination of subliminal jealousy, outrage at Ethan’s brazenness, and . . . tendencies toward being a control freak–a reflection of her screwed up relationship with her dad.
Anyway, I’m joining the popcorn set on this one.
Also, nice juxtaposition of last panel of previous strip with this one. Poor Joyce is a wise fool.
i like this stuff..
did ethan ever say he hated himself? nope. did joyce ever act as if she was teaching him to do so? nope. does someone needs to chill the fuck out? yep
Hah! Finally Amber says what I’ve been dying to say.
Though I suppose it IS his right to dick around and find himself or try to be straight if he wishes.
Oy. Nobody can be right when everybody’s wrong. This won’t end well.
Why did my comment get removed. . .
BECAUSE YOU FUCKIN’ SAID HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT RAPE VICTIMS YOU JERKASS
+1 for Willis as proactive moderator
+2 for appropriate use of all-caps
+1 A good reason.
Thank you, David. You are an awesome moderator.
hey i recognize that avatar, your KS books (all four of them) are in the mail tomorrow morning
Woohoo! Awesome! ::happy dances::
Ah, man, now I really want to know what you said. Maybe you’d understand why he’d delete it if someone could explain to you WHY it was a horrible thing to say. I actually do not even understand how talk about rape victims could even come into the discussion about this particular strip.
so vile i don’t want it on here even paraphrased, sorry
Yeah, I figured anything so vile that Willis would actually delete it and then respond to in all caps is something terrible enough that I don’t even want to be able to guess what it was really about. o_O
It’s not like anyone but Sir-or-Madam Brando has any responsibility to teach them how to behave around other people, anyway.
Yes. It’s about time someone does something about this.
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July 24-27 - Comic-Con International San Diego, CA
Which future strip should I show Kickstarter pledgers?
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