Yes, a skin care regime called Spirinolactone.
Type too fast and suddenly a nice beauty regimen becomes the jackboots of transition… 🙁
(sorry) (not really)
Yes yes yes
(Was going to say something, but will never top that first comment.)
Cerberus is top comment! All dreams are coming true!
Yip. Might as well get the best comments out of the way first.
Spiro … I kinda wondered the same thing. 😀
This wins all my love, cause I was pretty much thinking the same thing
OK, I’m commenting on this comic for possibly the first time ever, to say that your comment really confused me until I read the replies.
I literally, genuinely took spironolactone for acne (prescribed by a dermatologist; I am a cisgender woman). So, yeah, it is.
omg I love you
dang, this strip is all B-listers
oh hai I survived Standing in Lines: The Ride
Sounds like a fun ride!
Yeah, but to get to the line-standing you need to ride a roller-coaster.
That’s why I always go to theme parks when they aren’t crowded. On a busy day, even the bathrooms and hot dog stands have roller coasters in front of them.
I don’t mind that as much as having to puke before I can get on the coaster.
If you were sober enough to remember MAGFest at all, you’re doing it wrong.
More like… Ana Chron-take-me-with-you-next-time ;~;
Oh, hey, Bulmeria.
Surely the home of Bulmers cider
and the tag…?
So, when can we expect Scrappy to show up??
I’d rather look forward to Scrappy’s departure.
What do you mean? Mary makes pretty regular appearances.
Mary is more like Old Man Jenkins, trying to scare the kids away from his property.
Faz is the most like Scrappy-Doo, as is clearly indicated on this chart, for his defining characteristic is the reason his character is so beloved by all.
Fazio is a coward; Scrappy’s entire gimmick is being one of those small, overexcitable and remarkably aggressive small dogs, and he is quite willing to fight absolutely anything. Scrappy is more like Walkyverse Robin.
Yeah, it would make a twisted sort of sense for him to show up around now, though David might have to do some explaining about why he was there – in DoA he’s still in high school, and I’m pretty sure he and Blaine aren’t even in this part of the country. Also, I’m pretty sure Amber has already warned every woman on campus about her stepbrother by now, which would change the dynamic somewhat. (http://www.dumbingofage.com/2013/comic/book-3/04-just-hangin-out-with-my-family/warning/)
That would require Amber to have communicated with other people, which I’m pretty sure is not happening.
More looking forward to Velma.
Velma was always the best, except for the part where she never told anyone that she had already solved the mystery.
So… that happened.
but not really in any way at all.
Except for being a female named Alex.
Same Alex, just better.
Better, but not in any tangibly-affecting-student’s-lives sort of way. So, in many ways, not better. Just, the same.
Except, quite possibly, more approachable, less detached, more focused on the class, more helpful, etc.
There are already hints of it, just in today’s interaction. Hard to say much of course, since we’ve seen so little of Alex before and only one strip here.
“Alex only gets to show up once every odd-numbered book”
-HTML, last sighting of Alex, book 5
Well, they also now have a teacher who will break eye contact with their monitor now, which is an improvement.
For one frame, at least.
Did you just stick Shaggy in this comic on the downlow? You sneaky…
Norville has, in fact, been in many comics before now.
C’mon, guys, only his MOM calls him ‘Norville’.
7 as background, today is his big moment as he has a speaking line! I hope he practiced hard… “Okay.. and you are?” “Okayand you aRE?” sounds like he got it right.
First repeated page title? http://www.dumbingofage.com/2011/comic/book-1/03-men-are-from-beck-women-are-from-clark/alex/
There’s been a few here and there. You can usually tell them by the -2 in the url.
Oh, huh, this has that too. Interesting.
It’s apropos. No tangible changes, including strip titles.
I’m glad someone had the decency to link to a previous page so those of us who don’t spend their times obsessively tracking every microsecond of events in a webcomic have a chance of knowing what the hell is going on. Thanks!
Did Alex get a sex change?
It certainly looks like it.
Nah, I went back and looked. Shape of the Jaw and Nose is wrong.
Both those things can be down with surgery. She was getting work done below the waist, maybe she figured while she’s under the knife get the some plastic surgery
You can be a trans person without getting surgery.
Of course you can, but the fact that this Alex has a noticeably different facial structure would seem to hint that she *has* had surgery, assuming they’re meant to be the same person.
Not really. The chin is hard to tell in the old comic, because well, beard. Beards have a tendency to hide facial features like more feminine chins and the very act of shaving will make it look dramatically different.
As for nose, well, yeah, it’s drawn a little bit different, but not dramatically so, and most of the time, Alex’s nose was obscured when shown from the front and looked more like now when in profile.So, it seeming slightly different might be more due to the slight change in the glasses than the nose itself being different.
Plus, one’s whole face looks dramatically different when you shave a long-standing beard. That I can say from experience.
I think if she’s trans, this would just be a big social transition moment for Alex, trying out some new presentation and some makeup to change her facial contours a bit.
People keep mentioning the beard, but if you go back and actually look, his beard is too thin to obscure the shape of his jawline.
I don’t think the jawline is actually that different, though.
The nose, I think, is the more dramatic difference.
There has been no mention of Alex missing classes or anything, and that’s not something where you can just be back to teaching after just a couple of days like nothing’s happened.
Alex’s students could just be really inattentive. Especially if her classes were at like 8am, (or at least Amber’s, since we’d wouldn’t necessarily hear about it otherwise)
IIRC, Willis has said before not to take nose shapes TOO seriously, as they’re often inconsistent. And I wouldn’t be shocked if jaw surgery was a thing for trans women as many feel a broad jaw looks too manly and will out them.
That said, I think it’d be more likely she’s just started presenting as female now and is looking into transition surgeries for later, as that takes quite a long time. She may have been on hormones already though, and some are starting to kick in.
Estrogen is kinda magic and massively changes the fat distributions in the body. Some people go for facial feminization surgery, but it’s pretty rare, because usually a few months on Spirinolactone and Estradiol is enough to change around fat distributions and show a great increase in how feminine it appears.
Plus, just getting rid of a beard and no longer slouching can do a lot to make oneself look dramatically different.
I will say this Alex’s build isn’t the same as other Alex. Male Alex seemed a bit stockier. Is that a word?……whatevs.
Earlier Alex hunched a lot, it’d be hard to tell what that build was when standing straight because of it, as that stance will make anyone look stockier.
And well, that shrugging hunched style is not uncommon among trans girls before they come out.
I’d agree with you, but if you look at old!Alex’s arms you’ll see they’re decently big, enough to suggest that the seems-to-be-chubby-belly is actually real. Meanwhile new!Alex is clearly very skinny so unless they got liposuction and went on a starvation diet while they were on new hormones and possibly recovering from facial feminization surgery, there hasn’t been enough time for this extreme of a body change.
Whoops sorry looked further down in the comments, and apparently Alex is based on a real girl (though presumably one who’s transition took slightly longer than a week.) Real cool of Willis to update comic!Alex to fit her current presentation, I know some artists wouldn’t take the time.
I am not surprised at the apparent loss in mass. Dude!fashion is all about creating the illusion of bulk. Femme!fashion is all about creating th illusion of an hourglass figure. When I am in guymode, (fyi: no T and no change in my build), I pass unless I open my mouth (I have a high pitched voice. Voice makes them read my androgynous face as feminine and then all the embarrased apologies. I hate my voice.) and people usually think I am heavier by a good 30lbs.
If you know how to play with silhouette, clothes can do magic.
I should also note: That kind of long blazer jacket Alex is wearing a is an excellent way of emphasizing what curves you have and creating the illusion that you’re more feminine in build than you might actually be. There’s a reason tall, banana-shaped girls love those coats: By cinching in at the waist and flaring at the legs and shoulders, it’s a ready-made hourglass silhouette for your body. And almost everything in how you’re perceived is in the silhouette you create. If you want to look dudely, go for an inverted triangle, or for a rectangle. If you want to look femme, classically you want to try for an hourglass, but regular triangle also works.
Not to mention the muscle dieback.
It absolutely is, among other things. “Facial feminization surgery” includes the jaw. Hi! I’m trans, I know things.
But do you drink?
Alcohol? No. Autistic sensory issues, I find the smell overpowering and unbearable.
Makes sense, though again, probably not what happened. I’m guessing they’d need longer than 11 days recovery time.
*That’d need more recovery time.
Clever use of makeup and hair framing can really alter the way your jaw is perceived and there’s really no other way to show that in this cartoon style than by outright drawing a different jaw shape.
That too. Hair tied back versus framing the face, will make features look very different, as would switching up the glasses and shaving the beard.
For those with resources to do so, jaw surgery is one of the more common procedures.
Left up to interpretation I think. Considering how Alex was in Walkyverse, him being run off by the authorities is very possible in this continuity.
Me personally I don’t think they are the same person. Posture seems a bit different, facial shape is a bit too different (That could be artistic change though) and the electronic device preference is different as well.
That and I think Alex 2.0 is left handed, while the other Alex was right handed.
Look at the tags. And also Willis’s tumblr.
So the guy wanted by the FBI for cybercrimes is the same asshole who gave Amber a hard time for overachieving?
The fuck, dude.
It’s different when I do it.
Amber had too much self-esteem for using computers in the real world. Yes, Amber.
Maybe he didn’t want her on his turf.
–or, running with the “they’re the same person and Alex is trans or nonbinary” possibility, Old!Alex might’ve been hella stressed out from being closeted, jealous of Amber for getting to present as a computer science lady with clear skin, or just cranky from insufficient hair-flowers. Look how much happier New!Alex is.
Insufficient hair-flowers is a dire condition.
Or she just thought “cybercrimes” sounded like a cool way to discard her former body
Hi Alex! I look forward to not seeing you again for another 6 months to a year, maybe more.
What are the politics of the United Republic of Bulmeria
They’ll accept anyone who has a triangle-shaped grin.
It’s a walkyverse fake nation set in Africa.
The FBI said they accept missionaries, and now they’re taking in cybercriminals. The name is a dead ringer for the United Republic of Tanzania, itself formed of British Tanganyika and Zanzibar. But other than that, it hasn’t come up, but if they’re taking in cyber criminals from the FBI then relations with the USA may be strained at this time.
Presumably they also lack an extradition treaty to the US.
Okay we’re going to need last names for them then.
Or we can just call this one Alexa. Or Alexis.
Alex and dude-Alex
Why not follow the Rachels’ example and have one be Alex and the other be Other Alex.
Because there’s only one Alex. The real-life one popped in further down in the comments, too.
Or Alex II
Halex and Shalex. (From the examples of the Evelyns Waugh.)
Classic Alex and Alex 2.0 is my personal designations.
So, today we have a special cameo from Shaggy.
Haha, shaggy from Scooby-Doo’s real name is Norville. I wonder if we’re gonna see him walking a great Dane in the background in later strips!
a third instructor, Axel is on call, just in case.
Also available on short notice, Alexis, Alexi, Axelle and Aix
So the class is being by clones, and is now “The Computer” science?
Stay Alert! Trust no one!
If they are clones, I am assuming they are the Multiplicity kind, not the Star Wars kind.
Inconveniently, most of them go by “Sasha”.
did I forget a joke or why was the first Alex significant?
I don’t think you’re forgetting anything; this is as confusing as it looks.
Er, I assume the cybercrimes are a reference to Alex hacking into secret government files in the Walkyverse? Only I guess this time around instead of becoming the IT for a secret alien-fighting program, he just… had to run away.
…Or this was just Alex’s long and jokey way of coming out as trans? I’m… not entirely sure.
Looks like both.
I am assuming it is just a cover for Alex’s new look, whether trans or otherwise. Considering their previous reaction to Amber’s abilities, I don’t think Alex has leet skilz in the Dumiverse.
It would appear to be a bit of a retcon
I’m a hundred percent behind the latter explanation!
It’s a reference to the other universe David Willis created, where Alex hacked into a secret government organization’s servers:
http://www.itswalky.com/comic/whats-happening/ – The start of that plot.
The first Alex was a pretty dated character though, probably partly why he was replaced.
HOW COULD YOU GET RID OF ALEX!? Willis, I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! He was my favorite character! *pause* Who was Alex? 🙂
Hi, Alex was me. And now, still is. ^^
Congratulations! All the best on your transition and coming out.
Did you put a bow on your gravitar just to match the strip, or were you just already stylish?
Thank you so much! I always wear bows, it’s become a habit. ^^
Wait so are you real Alex represent of this Alex? If so that is so cool!!!
Oh hey, congrats! 😀 In that case, I like your hair flower.
Welcome! Autistic trans girl glad to see more trans girls about in general!
me muttering darkly I coulda been that cool nerdy transwoman character… stupid fear of making decision making and inconsistent gender identification always getting in the way of things… I hate me…
gives Noncommital Shrug followed by ten years of second-guessing the decision to shrug
Seriously, I think even Cassian (http://www.polyinpictures.com) is more on the ball than I am… at least xie eventually got top surgery.
Sorry? Personally, I’m stalled on my transition less because of fear of decision making or inconsistent gender identification than because I’m afraid of my Dad and still live with him.
And with a mouse avatar… perhaps a fellow furry, I hope? owo
Yep! Furry, and mouse(girl)-kin. I was really on the fence about the second part for a long time, but a friend pointed out I’ve long casually and seriously referred to myself as a mouse (such as calling myself a ‘strange mousie”), and that… wasn’t… really normal for people who don’t identify as a mouse on a significant level.
We, the emperor of the internet, bow to your bow. And We also offer ALL THE HIGH FIVES that you can take before it starts hurting too much.
Your new character design (real and art) is excellent.
Aw, cool! Congrats!
Mazel tov! Gosh today’s comic just got 451% sweeter.
Welcome to the comic as the real you! 😀 I’m so excited for more trans people, and more Trans characters. Willis has gotten so good at representation. If only certain comics about trans Superheroes could like take a lesson from him.
Alex is living in hiding with Dirk Lonestyle,
Concentrate on the swirling hand. You are growing sleepy. Your eyelids are growing heavy…
Take one of the assessment forms at the end of each row, and mark every category as ‘Outstanding’…
Are these all new characters? As in, none of characters here are from the cast, and I never have seen them before. Don’t know if they are part of the Dumbiverse.
Click the tags. The previous Alex and Norville have both appeared previously in Danny and Amber’s class, although Norville has never had any lines before.
Norville’s been a recurring background character, and since Alex doesn’t get a new character tag, it looks like she’s the same Alex having started transition. So…looks like one new character.
So Alex has been replaced by sexy female Alex…nothing wrong with that.
You can tell she’s sexy because… there’s a flower on her head? That seems less sexy and more (Warner Sister) Dot.
“less sexy and more (Warner Sister) Dot”
The Internet does not seem to see a distinction.
Back when only one of the Wachowskis had transitioned, I sometimes said “and the Wachowski sister, Dot.” Then they went and spoiled the joke. :p
…I’m trying to decide whether this is a transparently ridiculous cover story or a comically serendipitous truth.
Same here, also, is Alex transgender, or have they just revealed a new clothing preference?
cover story! the real Alex showed up above
holy shit is that alex from it’s walky
You’re a little behind there, buddy.
has anyone come up with a name for baseball hat?
He looks like a Murphy to me. Quick reply with a “+1” to this comment and maybe we can make it happen!
so theres 5 votes for murphy
Must be studying law then. 😛
*plays Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me ‘Al'” on the hacked Muzak *
So… I’m curious. Is there a story behind this change or did you just wanna make this gag?
Willis just changed the character of Alex to better reflect the real Alex that they were originally based on
I do not remember this character.
…I don’t get this strip.
I am assuming all will be revealed, in the fullness of time
Or it could just remain vague and mysterious forever! Wheee
Back in the Roomies!/It’s Walky! days, many of the characters were based on real people that David knew. Alex/DarkPower451 is one of those characters. The real Alex recently came out as transgender, and David changed the DoA character to reflect that. (if you click the “Alex” tag beneath the comic, you’ll see they’re the same person) Also, “Bulmeria” is the fake African country that Walky told Joyce’s parents that she ran away to, to become a missionary. (back in IW! when Joyce first joined SEMME)
Why Classic Alex was removed from the school is a reference to this I believe. In the other comics he hacked into government servers.
And also the “EDIT” comment on the page, where Willis references the real Alex coming out as trans
*sees flower in hair* I love her
“Plus I wear a pretty flower.”
So… forgive my sleepy brain, but is this Alex in a flimsy disguise, or actually a different person?
Same person, whether wearing a flimsy disguise or revealing a new clothing preference has yet to be revealed.
Ooh, that’d be spiffy, if computers think in binary, but Alex doesn’t.
(This is all the computer science I know, I hope somebody makes a better pun.)
There are only 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.
Nope, not a better pun.
I know Old Alex and New Alex are based on the same person IRL, but are they really the same character here? Their facial shape and nose seem to be different.
From later on down the page, looks like word of God is that it’s gonna remain vague as to whether they’re the same person, but either way, New!Alex is trans, and that’s neato.
In-universe it could definitely be either. Willis stated he thinks of them as separate people, and the writing seems to reinforce that (or that Alex wanted a new chance to complain about the curriculum) but he doesn’t mind people thinking of them as the same person and can see how the rationale would work out.
I fully believe Dumbing of Age Alex is the star of a sexy Deus Ex-style conspiracy thriller involving Aliens, Time Travel, and Cheese. However, none of the characters are involved in it. The absence of Robin and Mike also saves the world from being devastated and Galasso replacing religion with the martyrdom of the Second Eaton.
This was pretty much how my students reacted to my transition.
Fellow trans teacher high five!
*more high fives just because*
wooo! *high five*
What’s next, is her online nickname going to be DarkPower452?
…Okay, given the likely possibility that this actually is the same Alex, I’m kinda regretting my earlier comment.
But hey, as a trans girl, I’m certainly not going to complain about another trans character. And congrats to real-life Alex for figuring this stuff out for herself.
Plot Twist: It’s the same Alex…with a haircut and a supply of Clearasil!
OK I can’t see much of “old” Alex’s face because of the phone, but “new” Alex looks almost identical… We may have a second character “in transition”.
Jocelyne, Carla and now potentially Alex.
I think they consider Carla to be no longer “in transition” as she appears to be completely out (as female) to everybody.
If new Alex is a TA she could potentially be unknown evil.
Plays The Downeaster Alexa on hacked Muzak.
Y’all can say what you like, I’m rooting for trans lady Alex.
Alex is new best character
Ok, so Beerfest. Right.
Thank you so much, David. This warms my heart. 💙
omg its the real Alex.
Wait! You’re Alex? THE Alex?
Hey hi! 😀
Huh, I thought none of the DOA characters were supposed to be based on real people!
I’m pretty sure that’s been mentioned a few times when people ask about Ninja Rick. It’s probably a question of ‘how well does Willis get along with the real person?’
I broke that rule just this once, and I feel okay about that.
We think We can speak on behalf of all non-douchebags everywhere when We say that we all feel okay about that.
Isn’t buckets of blood guy also based on a real person?
So…the character I interpreted as a redheaded woman back in the black-and-white days of Roomes!/It’s Walky! turns out to be inspired by someone who is an actual-factual redheaded woman in 2016. Life is perfect, sometimes. 🙂
Er, 2017. But this storyline was written earlier, so I guess the year still makes some sense.
Based on her photo and the colouring of both characters/appearances of the character, she appears to be a blonde. >_>
But I’ve seen quite a few people other people have called redheads and I’d say clearly not, so… I may just have a weird form of colour blindness. >_>
Whether someone’s hair is red seems to be way more subjective than whether it’s brown. I’m with you there. I think people just draw the line differently – strawberry blonde’s on the edge, for example.
It’s a little rude to make fun of old Alex for having Acne, new Alex
Panel One: Oh, huh. A new teacher who looks passably similar to a feminized version of the old one. Meh. Probably means nothing. Except this new teacher is styling and looks kinda like Dorothy. Neat.
Panel Two: “Bulmeria”. Yes. This is totally a country that definitely exists. No need to look at Google. And yes, conveniently this teacher will be taking over forever! Again, perfectly normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. I mean, the cybercrime bit is new, but other than that, really.
Panel Three: OMG SHAGGY TALKS! But it is a fair question. You can’t just come in and say the class is yours with no name.
Panel Four: OH MY! And she has the same NAME. How convenient. Again, totally normal, not one too many coincidences at all. And she doesn’t look like she’s hoping the kids buy this at all. Uh uh. Nope.
Panel Five: Hey! No getting meta with us, kid! Shut up!
Panel Six: Ah yes. Skin care. That is totally the difference here. Uh huh. And she doesn’t intend to change anything at all. My!
….Fuck it, I’m dropping the pretence – I’m glad Alex is out. She seems much happier and more like herself. Yay for her! This is beautiful.
And frankly, I don’t blame her. Considering how the ‘nerd’ culture treats women and transgender folks, never mind trans women, I’d say Bulmeria too. Fuck THAT noise. There’s almost no way she’s paid enough for it. She’s so cute ! Not a thing I thought I’d say about Alex, but she IS! <33
I’m not sure “pretending to literally be a different person” qualifies as “out”.
But it’s awesome anyways!
To be fair, if I had an opportunity to pull Tom Sawyeresque shenanigans while painting my previous self as some sorta superspy hacker, I sure wouldn’t pass it up. 😛
Fuck, yeah. I mean, who wouldn’t want the fantasy of just side-stepping all the short-term bullshit in coming out and just skipping to the “just accept me already” bits?
Fuck, I think I’ve heard several trans people make jokes about coming out like this.
“Noooo, I’m not X, I’m X’s long lost sister who happened to be hired for the position they used to work in.”
Hell, I think I know of at least one trans person who basically was on order from her bosses to pretend she was a new person hired for the same position with new clients.
“You mistake, strange students. I am in fact the Duchess of Thingley!”
Now We have this strange urge to make Thingley a real place just so We can appoint someone to be Duchess* of it.
*used gender-neutrally, of course.
thingley is a real place
Of course it is. And it’s in Britain. I swear, Englishmen name their towns as if they’d just been visiting the local pub for the afternoon beer.
That’s how English towns were made. Some bloke made a pub, some other bloke made a house next to the pub and then they sat on the pub and realized they had to come up with a name.
(also all kudos to the emperor for going back in time and making Thingley a real place)
Think nothing of it. It’s what We do.
I suppose not all time travel shenanigans involve having a pint in a rural English pub and spitballing village names.
Actually it’s Old Norse for ‘a meeting place in a forest’, or so I’ve always been told.
Make sense. “Ting” means meeting place at least.
So Alex Zandra, if you are still reading comments… Wanna be Duchess of Thingley?
It’s mostly an purely ceremonial title, but it will grant you one free beverage of your choice if you should ever visit the pub in Thingley.
Why, that sounds wonderful! 😀
Then it is settled. By Our power as Emperor of the Internet, We bestow upon you the title Duchess of Thingley!
May all your thingleys be wingleys*!
*We have no idea what this could possibly mean, but We liked the sound of it.
It is a real place, but not a Duchy. It would properly fall under the domain of the Earl of Wiltshire (now a ceremonial position like most of the aristocracy.)
Heavily considered this myself. “Oh, yeah, I think you mean my sixteenth cousin!”
That is true. ‘Transitioning’ is a better word. My apologies, I’m under the weather today.
Haha, I’m not actually mad or anything, thought it was just kinda funny.
No worries, I took it as such, but it was a good point so apologizing anyways.
Trans girl Alex gives me strength!
The new and improved Alex seems awesome. At the very least she has a much better report with the students than the old.
And of course, much better skin-care regimen.
No prob. Nice avatar!
Snarky!Dorothy is THE BEST!!!
Even if you ignore the identical hair color and general nose shape, I think the everpresent phone is a clear signifier to the audience that Alex has transitioned.
I’m not convinced that this isn’t the same Alex in disguise, possibly due to being wanted for cybercrimes.
Or perhaps Alex has transitioned. One of the two, I’m not sure which.
alex has a better hairstylist than alex
Why not both?
I like New Alex’s hair flower.
“If you’re going to San Fransisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …”
San Francisco Indiana
when i was little, i thought shaggy was the coolest of the mystery gang
I thought Daphne was, but that’s only because I didn’t realize that Velma is clearly the best.
velma clearly is the best! fred is….fred, daphne and shaggy can get by, im not sure how good scooby is at solving mysteries on his own
I don’t remember the old Alex, but I already like new Alex better. Also, Bulmeria wouldn’t happen to be like the republic of Transnistria (little strip of land inbetween Moldavia and the Ukraine) would it? You know a de facto independent but not internationally recognized rogue state.
She still has that new Alex smell. Or maybe the custodian hasn’t made their rounds yet.
She has the same glasses as other Alex so hopefully an introduction to a trans character?!?!?!?!
The frames are different, they’re not the same glasses.
Very-likely-relevant Willis-RT’d tweet: https://twitter.com/havochq/status/818324900373000192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Huh, Willis’s replies are interesting.
I see, so New Alex shall be a woman of mystery.
Pearl: “THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS”
pearl’s interests: tea, swords, big women with pink hair
well yes, but she ALMOST KILLED HIM ON 3 SEPARATE OCCASIONS
But to be fair, all of them were interesting!
Now I’m starting to wonder what would be a boring way to almost kill someone on three different occasions.
Norton, try with a car. Killing someone with a car is only of interest to the person killed and their relatives. The media and LEO usually ignore it.
For all those wondering if this is a transitioning Alex, the last Alex had a clearly different nose and face shape.
Unless he had a LOT of money for the surgery that would be involved, I doubt that they’re the same people.
looking it up, nose surgery is between $3-$15 thousand, the last alex COULD THEORETICALLY have enough to pay for it
Cybercrime pays well!
(Or different people, or an ever-evolving art style, or mad makeup skills. Only Alex knows for sure.)
Something like this happened to me back in the day:
Roommate says, “Remember Dr. Something-ski from Eastern Europe?”
“Yeah, I had him last semester.”
“Well he came to class today and said, ‘I am very sorry, but I have to leave the country now.’ And then he just just walked out and the TA took over teaching the class.”
We never saw him again.
Huh. Social acceptance is completely indistinguishable from apathy.
Well, yeah. Social acceptance is when it totally doesn’t matter (whatever “it” is).
If anything, I consider this an upgrade.
I’m pretty sure Alex agrees.
I do! 😀
Wow, this just got incredibly meta!
All high fives for an awesome upgrade!
Oh, great. It’s Alex, the asshole who shot down Amber when she tried to show off and who is the teacher I enjoy least in the comi…
OK, this is a welcome change of pace!
Panels 1 and 2: Ok, it’s left to interpretation here whether this is just Alex’s attempt to side-step all the awkward coming out as a trans teacher questions or if Alex is telling the truth and there really is a country of Bulmeria in the Dumbing-verse…
But given the other nods to realism and our world-iness so far this comic, I’m leaning towards the former. And certainly for my own headcanon, I’m definitely going to be leaning to the former interpretation.
Especially as it would work out with Alex’s appearance. Same blonde hair, similar length (remember previously Alex wore her hair shoulder-length dragged back into a ponytail), similar glasses style, and that outfit would work well if say there weren’t many curves to show yet.
So why the obvious fabrication? Well, we know from the early comics of this class that it has a higher than average amount of really creepy guys in it, ranging in severity all the way up to the Buckets of Blood Guy who could pose a real and genuine threat to an out trans teacher. And, unfortunately for geekdom, there’s been a lot of harassment movements lead by toxic geeks who’ve targeted trans women in particular.
So, yeah, I can definitely see why Alex would want to sidestep that whole rigmarole, especially if she felt largely checked out the first part of the semester freaking out about her gender identity and what she was going to do. Much easier to spin an obvious bit of bullshit and make a fresh start. Especially as this audience is much more likely to appreciate a bit of Hackers style skullduggery over an earnest coming out.
Also, my personal headcanon is that Alex spent all night watching a Sense8 marathon last night and got the idea for her story from Nomi’s intense badassery.
Panel 4: And this panel offers a lot of support to the interpretation that this is trans girl Alex trying to spin a convenient story. That cringing worried eyebrow, squint, and fragile smile as she answers would not be typical if this really was a cis girl with a funny coincidental name.
Like, that expression is partially pained like she’s worried her cover story is about to be blown already and is having to quickly cover by appealing to her students apathy. Nope, name’s still the same and everything else is the same, stop asking questions please.
DoA is based on real-life Earth. Indiana exists, so no reason why Bulmeria wouldn’t.
How about “because Bulmeria, unlike Indiana, is not a real place“?
wait suddenly i’m no longer sure indiana is a real place
Oh it certainly is. Long ago, dark wizards opened a fiery portal to the realm of N’diana and allowed our VP-elect to come through to this world. Not only were the greedy fools unable to control the evil they had brought forth, the gateway to that accursed land could not be closed, and it remains to this day.
Bulmeria doesn’t exist here, but it does exist in the walkverse!
I have found no language or ethnicity named ‘Bulmer’, but there is a font with the name….
Um… do you realize you actually argued against your own point?
DoA is based on real-life Earth. Bulmeria isn’t in real-life Earth.
And every other sci-fi non-Earth element of Walkyverse has been fictionalized so far so it would be a real departure for Bulmeria to be real and not just something from a popular TV series somewhere.
Possible, certainly, but not very likely and certainly not more likely than a character based on a trans girl turning out to be trans.
Gonna no-prize the shit out of this.
“Bulmeria” was a real place on our Earth, but it was so long ago that it is completely lost to time. Nobody remembers it except for a vague recollection that the name “Bulmeria” was used somewhere.
The Dumbiverse, however, operates on a sliding timescale. And just as a single weekend can last for months and last year is always last year no matter how many years have passed, Bulmeria has endured far longer there than here.
Essentially, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but in a sliding timescale universe it takes ten thousand years for a nation to fall.”
Panel 5: Oof… this hits. If trans girl Alex is actually canon, then yeah, this wouldn’t actually tangibly change anyone else’s lives. It’s still the same person, with the same memories and history, just a girl now.
But that’s not how it usually goes. People feel like it somehow is something that happens against them that they have a right to feel aggrieved about or see as some major difference. And everyone tends to treat it as a much bigger deal where who you used to be is replaced by some new person who is entirely different in a way they have a right to object to.
I remember coming out as a trans teacher and having to send letters home to every parent about the change on my head of school’s orders, offering to answer any questions they might have as if my existence was open for comment and debate. Luckily no parents took me up on that and just sort of accepted it, but that idea still persists that that option for debate should still be open.
And the reality of the situation is how cap-guy says, it’s of no tangible change to anyone else’s lives. Not in a way that should matter to anyone but ourselves.
And that part?
Matters. Look at this Alex, smiling, happy, perky, able to focus without hiding behind a screen and practically disassociating. If this is trans girl Alex, being able to finally be herself is making her so happy even though this is scary. And of course it would be. It’s such a phenomenal relief to finally be yourself in your workplace, especially someplace like a state university that is much more likely to have real protections against anti-trans discrimination (though of course passive discrimination does still reign).
I want to believe in trans girl Alex, because I’ve been there several times, in front of a classroom, finally coming out, being myself, and being able to relax into just teaching rather than constantly feeling paranoid and hunching so that no one would notice all the little things that should have outed me as trans before-hand.
Panel 6: Heh. Still standing behind my spirinolactone joke.
Cause holy shit does anti-androgens do wonders for problems like acne and it tends to work fast too. I used to have terrible acne when I was younger and since ditching the factory-code T, I’ve never had to worry about it again.
But it could be just as simple as, well, Alex is finally out to herself and so it’s easier to look in the mirror again. Like, before I finally figured myself out, I similarly grew out a bit of a beard, cause no shaving meant less time in front of a mirror and not having to actually look at myself and my face in any meaningful way.
If this is trans girl Alex, she’s got an appearance which is rockin’, and that gender performance finally feeling more her would make it easier to focus on facial skin care regimens and the like. And one can imagine that getting things like the clip and finally shaving off the beard and being honest with herself or deciding to go through with this meant it was easier to do a lot of stuff as far as personal appearance that never would have felt quite right before coming out.
Previous Comics: And one of the strongest arguments for it being canon is that Alex’s old strips are still under her tag. Just like Jocelyne’s were and just like Rachel and Other Rachel aren’t.
And this changes the entire tenor of her earlier strips and why Alex has seemed like such a terrible teacher and so disconnected.
Like, of course, she was downcast and out of it in previous classes. Like, having to work in extreme dysphoria is really fucking hard and is like trying to function through a deep fog. Especially when you know what you are and are just freaking out about the mechanics of coming out or the fear of losing everything you built by coming out.
When I came out, both times I did so at teaching jobs, it was amazing how night and day it all was. It was like being able to breathe finally and things that previously took huge effort to push through became much lighter and easier to manage.
And of course she would be scared to really show much to Amber, for fear that it would out her before she was ready. Showing genuine pride in Amber’s over-achieving could be used against her. And if that sounds paranoid, then you’ve never dealt with the paranoia of feeling something like that is written all over your face and more obvious than it actually is (I freaked out a lot about being caught out in the early days of my current job, especially as I had been on several years of an all-estrogen diet at that point.
Turns out, though, that most people are frickin’ unobservant and tend to assume cis until proven otherwise.
And it would make sense that she would be disappearing behind her screen. Hell, she was probably spending most of her class periods trying to figure out what she was going to do, how she was going to come out, how she was going to get trans-related health care, how she was going to come out to her employer, what her options were if she got fired or simply not given classes in the next semester (they tend to throw intro classes like this to the lowest teachers on the pecking order or long-tenured professors who are running on autopilot and well, Alex isn’t old).
And it would make sense she would not be trying to overly make the material interesting or critique it too much, because all that would take free time and energy, the latter of which would be being heavily sapped by the dysphoria of having to get in front of a large class every day as the wrong gender (I had to do so much more self-care every evening when I was closeted and it really cut into my planning time). And the former might be additionally sapped by movements to try and at least address what she could and answer what questions she could.
And if true, it would suggest that her responses from now on are more likely to be engaged and responsive to her student body as she’ll no longer be stressed out all the time about being herself.
So yeah, I’m all in on trans girl Alex!
The trans Alex theory would have a lot more substance if their facial features were at least similar.
But aside from having similar hair colour and both wearing glasses, the two appear no more alike than Amber/Dorothy.
Sorry people, I’m not sure this is a valid hill to stand on just because they have the same name and one’s replacing the other.
Why make this comment? Does it headcanon hurt you in some way?
fuck i can’t type
Because it’s literally a theory with very little stable ground to stand on?
If this Alex WAS trans, great, I have no problems with it. But they don’t appear alike at all.
The character is based on a friend of Willis’ who is now out as trans and the change in her appearance in DoA is a nod to her real life transitioning. Real Alex has been commenting on this thread so maybe read that before calling bullshit based on minor artistic inconsistencies.
And the argument is whether or not THIS Alex is the same person as the previously seen Alex.
This Alex being trans (which has now been acknowledged) doesn’t mean that she is the same person as their last lecturer.
No, not necessarily, hence why I say it is a headcanon I’m all in for, because the canon is very open to interpretation either way.
And as for the canon, personally, I’m less convinced by the BS story and an entirely fictional country in what has otherwise so far been “like our world but with slight differences as to elected officials and cartoons” than that Willis’s art style has changed in 2 years and realizing that the person he was basing a character after was a girl and thus could use a bit of a redesign away from elements he chose when he was trying to avoid “confusion” about Alex’s gender and so exaggerated certain traits in that retroactively inaccurate direction.
But, your mileage may vary.
Oh yeah, I have no problems with headcanons at all – I’m guilty of the same. And I doubt this Alex will get much more storyline focus than the last one (who knows, anything can change), so speculation is free to run.
It’s possible that the new lecturer was just given a brief explanation as to what happened to the old Alex and she got some details mixed up in the retelling. A bit of a stretch, but no less plausible as of now. Maybe this week of strips will give more clarity.
My mental image of previous Alex was more heavy-set, so seeing this Alex my first thought was “no one loses that much weight between two class sessions” and that was a big check in the actual different people column… but then I just figured that could be an issue of artistic variance and erased that checkmark, and it went back to “I can see this going either way”. Then Willis (and realAlex) made the answer quite clear.
As for why people “assume cis”, I’m sure for some there’s malice or acceptance issues… but for most people, it’s probably just percentages, if they’re thinking about it at all. Same thing with “assume straight” — simply percentages more often than any malice involved…
…if it’s even being thought of at all.
“Us straight people” don’t actually walk down the street and think “straight person” every time we see a new person. Well, maybe other people do, I know I don’t. In most contexts, who a random other person might be attracted to doesn’t really matter.
Then again, being 43 and unmarried and childless does get me some strange reactions, especially from people even just a few years older than I am. I think I’m right at the edge of when it started to become less of a stigma for someone to choose a life other than “get married and make babies”.
I am taking the word of willis comments here and on twitter to mean that, in the specific case of new-Alex vs. trans-Alex, our headcanons ARE DoA canon until further notice. So for me, that makes trans lady Alex totally canon. (And adorable, but that’s just objective truth.)
Is it really so insane to think that there are two people named Alex in the world? Also you get a decent view of male Alex’s build in the other comics and he is totally a stocky guy. Combine that with the student reaction and this is a very sudden personnel change. Any surgeries that may have happened would still have signs of swelling. Additionally the details on this Alex makes me want to say she’s older. She’s got the smile lines Willis loves putting on older women.
Obviously this could still be surprise-trans Alex with Willis’ inconsistent adherence to reality’s rules.
Dude. Read the whole comment thread. Your ‘inconsistent adherence’ to reality ignores that this all and that Alex were both based on a VERY REAL trans woman.
Fortunately Willis left it to headcanon and I’m perfectly ok with thinking two different characters were based on the same person pre and post transition. If instant transition works for you, go for it.
They’re not dramatically dissimilar though and well, same hair color, same overall features, same quirks, and being based on a real-life trans woman? Yeah, I’d say it’s a headcanon with at least some solid foundations.
Also, Willis has made the joke that Dorothy and Amber actually look quite a bit alike, enough so that both Joe and Dorothy commented on the similarity in comic. So not sure that counter-example works very well.
Plus, same treatment as to tags as Jocelyne, heavily hinting that they’re the same person.
Not to mention the whole, they’re both drawings based on the same actual person, bit.
Headcanon is fine, people can believe what they want to believe, as long as they’re not stating it as truth without word of Willis.
I don’t think they appear similar at all. The old Alex has a different face overall – the nose is different, the face is more rounded. The glasses are also different, but at least those are easily replaceable.
Again, if Alex does turn out to be trans and there’s enough signs in-comic to see it (or if Willis states it to be so), I’m perfectly okay with it. For now, with just one strip of the new Alex, I’m not buying it just yet.
Regardless of whether the Alex seen before today and the Alex seen today are the same person, the Alex seen today is trans.
That’s great, always glad to see more representation.
Dude, stop. You are not the authority on this. Disagree if you must, but don’t be such a dick about it.
Besides, Alex’s previous appearance was over 3 years ago. Even if they were all that dissimilar, other characters’ faces have changed far more dramatically in that much time. A simple update to the character model could have resulted in as much of a change.
Just over two years, if we’re counting – Alex’s last appearance was in November 2014. And at least so far in DoA, nobody’s character art changed that dramatically – the basic features are all still there. This isn’t just ‘oh hey Mandy dyed her hair’, this is an overall huge change and considering the last in-universe appearance of Alex was still in the same semester, I think being skeptical of ‘this is totally the old Alex’ is fair.
“Nobody’s character art has changed that dramatically”
I’m not seeing the point. Assuming you’re referring to Becky, the nose has the same shape, the chin is the same. Other than the hair, 2010 Becky has similar facial features as 2017 Becky.
Her jawline, body shape, the shape of her head and the set of her eyes are all dramatically different. They’re recognizable as the same character., but the difference between then and now is far more dramatic than the difference between Alex’s appearances.
I’ll admit, I’m not seeing the difference myself, other than just an evolution of drawing style. I don’t see as big of a difference as compared to the two Alexes, but personal lenses and all that.
How about Ruth then:
Face is stretched longer, freckles are lightened, glasses are modified, face less blocky, nose shape extended.
Art styles shift. And basically if the only case is that slightly rounder nose when they were both long double line with curve is some pretty weak sauce, especially as it was the style of the glasses creating most of the round nose effect.
That I’ll concede on, Ruth’s clearly different in how she’s been drawn.
Old Alex has a clearly rounder nose, while this one is a bit longer from top to bottom.
The other case is the jawline – the chins are clearly different – this Alex has a pointier chin, and her face is overall more elongated compared to the old one.
Freckles remain the same color, actually! They’re just the same color as her hair. Same with Becky. I did shade with black back then instead of red as I do now, so that’s why they appear darker in the first panel. But in normal lighting, they remain the same color.
There’s been a notable shift in all sorts of little artistic details.
Even if we didn’t have “word of Willis” on this… we should have rejected minor differences of appearance as a firm indicator either way, which would have left the question up in the air.
We all put different emphasis on different features, but I definitely disagree with the statement “nobody’s character art changed that dramatically”—Ruth got different eyeballs. That, for me, is a more dramatic change in character art, especially when the proposed explanation for the two Alexes being the same person includes the possibility of hormone treatments, make-up, and changed posture due to improved psychological wellness.
For all that to have happened in the same semester without anyone else noticing is still… slightly stretchy.
Alex could have gotten arrested over the weekend with the university having to find a quick replacement. Alex having to go through hormone therapy and potential surgery without any leave of absence is trickier.
There’s been a lot of things happening this semester, admittedly. It’s not surprising if some things go unnoticed.
And I mean, Alex could have technically been on hormone therapy this whole time and it’s only started to take effect? Because, like, it’s not an instantaneous thing, it takes time, that’s why it’s a continuous treatment. But about the jawline, it could very well just be a change in art style, same as Ruth’s before, where she had a very blocky, square jaw and now has a longer, softer face with a pointier chin, and that never got commented on in-universe. Or, if Alex started a fitness regiment in addition to hormone therapy, it’s very possible she lost enough weight in the short time the semester’s been going on that her jawline looks differently. It doesn’t necessarily have to be surgery.
Yeah, the way so many people are defaulting to assuming surgery must have happened kinda lightly bothers me.
Like, no, that’s not a central and required thing for trans social transition and something as simple as a new wardrobe, removing the beard, and some makeup would show dramatic changes in how the face shape would look and other facial features, especially as the hair color remains the same and most major features.
Plus, if she started taking spiro and estradiol after the last appearance, which would be about two weeks ago, then this would be about the time she would start seeing some mild feminizing effects (slightly softer facial features, clearing up acne, lightening hair) that could be bumped further along by simple makeup and shaving.
Like folks really forget how much simply changing what clothes you are wearing and hormones can massively change your presentation and make you look like a whole-new-you.
I was thinking more on any work she might have needed to get done on things like her nose and jaw, if this was the same Alex.
Given shifts in drawing style and the huge shifts in perception that come from changes in style and from the lack of a beard, I find the whole idea of this kind of analysis kind of silly.
This is a setting where everyone has phonecams and no one has positively identified Amazi-Girl as Amber. And where the speculation as to her true identity includes Sal.
Some things, ya just gotta let go.
To some degree we have to chalk this up to the nature of the medium. Sometimes, certain things have to be compressed or moved along, or it will be 2020 before anything gets anywhere at all. As it is we’re years into the comic in our time, but the characters are only a couple months into the story.
fun fact, you don’t actually need to have gone through a lot of HRT or surgery to change how you present socially. most of us start going out ‘in girl mode’ long before any potential surgery, and very soon after or before HRT.
the only thing that appears to have happened that comic time wouldn’t really allow for is acne clearing up (which is a non-issue anyway since concealer exists, lmao)
considering the incredibly zany and obviously made-up story to be more believable than ‘got some concealer, a haircut, and some nicer clothes’ is just wilful bullheadedness at this point.
(i was resisting the urge to make a ‘ffs’ pun, but, here we are.)
Arguments against it being the same Alex:
1. the nose. Most of the facial differences are the sort you would expect, and it’s been 3 years since Alex was last drawn, but the nose really does seem different to me.
Arguments for it being the same Alex:
1. yes, the coincidence of it being someone with the same name in the same role;
2. but also the plainly bogus explanation for why it happened;
3. Alex herself admitting they are interchangeable, which is not the way most TAs I’ve known consider themselves;
4. the use of the same tag for both, something never done for different characters and not even for Amber and Amazi-Girl;
5. the presence of Alex Zandra in these comments and her linked twitter feed, thanking David for updating the character based on her to match how she is now.
This strikes me as pretty straightforward, Nono. At this point it’s much easier to guess why the nose might be different than to defend the hill that they must be different people based on it.
3. Yeah, this one especially.
Like, no, I’ve never sold myself as a teacher coming in to pick up the pieces of a class as exactly the same as the previous teacher. And I’d be especially loathe to do so if the previous teacher actually had to flee the country owing to criminal activity.
Fuck, if this story was true, this Alex would be doing everything in her power to stress how she wasn’t at all the same as the other Alex and to not hold the similar name and appearance against her.
The face shape is another big inconsistency, and it’s not one that’s as easy to explain. Possible, yes. From an objective point of view, not that easy to see yet.
Face shape? Makeup. Do not underestimate its power! One of its primary purposes is to create the illusion of depth–to make parts of the face look more or less shadowed and thus closer or farther away. By doing this in different patterns, the face can be made to appear to have vastly different shapes.
I would *expect* in an art style like this one for that illusion to be represented by different actual face shapes being drawn.
I wouldn’t even count the nose as a point for ‘different’…it really is as close to the same as I’d expect, given the widely spaced appearances. Her jaw seems more different than her nose to me, but even that is within the range of Willis’s style over that length of time (also, what other people said above).
This was so heartwarming to read. 💙 Congrats on making it!
No, thank you! You’re the one who made this awesome strip possible by being your awesome self!
Thought you’d want some of those today.
I have given Alex lot of crap for his treatment of Amber, in combination with any hint of pedagogic skill or interest AT ALL, but if those earlier strips were indeed in the process of transition, then it’s all understandable (I mean, it still didn’t make it a better treatment of a student, but I see better what’s going on.)
And cap-student is wrong – this Alex is a HUGE improvement. Just from this strip we see active engagement and banter with the students while the old Alex just stared at the tablet and made passive-aggressive remarks. Finally they might actually learn something.
…OK, so I missed a “lack of” up there. Also a “her”.
You know, I looked at the Alex tag and there’s only like 5 strips in there, one every couple of years. I could’ve sworn there were more than that. I mean, I know she’s always been a very minor character, but in my mind she still took up more space in DoA than she really did. Maybe since she’s a Walkyverse import and was slightly (though not incredibly) more important there.
Skin care. Hmmm. I should do more of that.
K, so i straight up forgot the teacher man person was a thing. But on the bright side we now have this new lady! So hey, thats neat
So, which voice actor do you guys read Norville’s dialogue in? Personally, I’m reading him as good ol’ Casey Casem. Don’t get me wrong, Lillard does a fine job, but I still can’t get that classic voice out of my head.
It’s a visual medium, I don’t really do voices for the characters as I read the strip, any more than I do voices for the characters when I read a novel.
Your name and icon are upsettingly fitting.
Bagge: *Spends half a week describing how awesome Dorothy is*
Slipshine: “And she is nekkid!”
Bagge: “….FINE. I’ll renew the subscription.”
come on peeps. That can’t be the same Alex. Look at that smile. That’s just not Alex. It’s like this person is… happy?
I know! Like some grand weight has been lifted off her and she is able to more fully participate in her work!
what do you suppose it could be?
I mean, this is cute and all, but this horrid web of lies is going to fall apart the moment that out-Alex has to actually recall details that closeted-Alex knew.
… and by horrid web of lies, I mean two strings kinda stuck together.
Nah, all she needs to do is pretend she’s seeing the lesson plan for the first time. Plus, it would make it easier to re-engage, cause she could sell it as “oh dearie me, what was this old Alex having you focus on (because she was too depressed to do more than follow an old lesson plan or textbook for the class)? Here, let’s go over slightly more relevant stuff (now that I can actually plan a new lesson plan instead of crying and self-caring of a night).”
And really the web of lies just has to last the second half of the semester. Once there’s a new class next semester, she can start from girl-mode from the beginning.
It’s totally the same person in disguise, isn’t it ?
*read other comments and theories about the Alex* Well uh, that sounded (unknowningly) super rude. My bad.
Alex’ previous reluctance to social interaction suddenly makes a lot of sense.
Wait, so I guess I haven’t seen his name before, am I allowed to assume the guy in the green shirt is literally Norville “Shaggy” Rogers?
I think so???
Also, judging by his tag, he literally only wears that one shirt to class. Gross.
You don’t understand guys, Alex being a guy was a really important part of the comic’s mythology!
I don’t know anything about this new female Alex but I feel like my childhood has somehow been betrayed.
*starts laughing, gradually morphs over several seconds into crying*
(laugh because probably parody, cry because thing being parodied exists)
It’s a parody, I swear!
Okay, accept that I’m slow and, maybe, Willis’s ironic sense of humour is a bit difficult for me to interpret sometimes. He’s saying that the CompSci lecturer has decided to transition; it’s the same person but out of the closet, yes? This isn’t DoA’s equivalent of the Edward Snowden case?
I think it’s meant to be left up in the air? Also a reference to Walkyverse Alex, who DID hack into the government and was hunted promptly.
From what Willis posted in a twitter comment chain (linked somewhere above) he considers new!Alex and old!Alex different people -since old!Alex had slowly become a villain while new!Alex is a good person- but the original concept of both of them was inspired by real-life!Alex who is in the comments above (and is a transwoman.) Also, even if they’re not connected in-comic new!Alex is a transwoman either way.
Okay, after sitting down and thinking about this, I think I know where this is going. This is the hook that moves the story towards addressing Jocelyn’s transition as well as Joyce and the rest of her family’s reaction to this. Basically, Joyce’s reaction to Alex is going to lead her to learning more about transsexuals (after an argument with Sarah on the subject) and is going to clue her in about what is happening with Jocelyn.
Joyce has no classes with Alex as the teacher, and rarely if ever talks with Danny or Amber, much less anyone else in that room. So is Joyce going to react to what, exactly?
It’s more likely Joyce overhears Mary being transphobic about Carla again than knowing that Alex even exists.
I’ve just got the gut feeling that this is going to be the biggest thing to hit the school for a while; bigger than Leslie ‘seducing’ (according to the tabloids) Congresswoman DeSanto. So, yeah, Joyce could find out about it by one or two removes.
However, as you say, this is apparently about a RL friend of Willis’s and I agree it’s unlikely that he’ll want to use a friend as a plot device.
Bit spoiler-y but you can read about it somewhere on Willis’s twitter; in short, he’s not even going to confirm or deny in-comic if Alex and Alex are the same person or not.
So no, it’s not going to be even commented upon later.
Yes, this Alex is trans. But that doesn’t mean she has to be the Alex who was teaching this class previously.
That’s… really twisty.
So it could be same-Alex?
Or it could be different Alex who looks reminiscent of previous Alex, but isn’t actually previous Alex, but is trans?
But it’s definitely NOT a new Alex who isn’t trans?
I need a drink.
Probably unrelated actually. This is a tribute to the real Alex, who transitioned in real life. Her comments are up above, and Willis has confirmed this.
Carla is enough of a hook for Joyce.
As a gal who transitioned and also kept her first name, I find this amusing.
Chelsea Manning cues. Nah, just me overthinking things. Anyway, why the joking lie to the classroom, Alex? They still need to pass the subject, no room for harassing there.
One look at the other Alex strips and it’s apparent what a joyous occasion this is. Congratulations to Alex!
Alex is ded. Long live Alex!
Dammit, ninja’d by the alt-text!
Is Alex from Japan? I noticed she pointed to her face instead of her heart when she addresses herself
Well, she’s talking about her face
This is my life, if I ever became a professor.
Ahh cool. A little bit of Twitter digging, and this is the “explain like I’m 5” version:
The original, male, Alex, was based off of a real life man named Alex.
Real Alex has since come out as transgender, and now identifies as female.
Comic Alex is NOT transgender, but has been replaced with a lady Alex who looks almost identical. I’m assuming this is because Willis wanted to update the character to match the real Alex, but didn’t want to make a big deal of it (there’s still that Jocelyne plotline on the backburner, after all).
Twitter quote from Willis: “In my brain they are distinct people, but enough transgender readers are hoping for same person that I won’t push on it.”
I believe officially it’s:
New comic Alex is transgender and based on the out Real Alex.
Old comic Alex was based on the closeted Real Alex.
New comic Alex may or may not be the same person as old comic Alex.
From a Willis comment earlier: “Regardless of whether the Alex seen before today and the Alex seen today are the same person, the Alex seen today is trans.”
Personally, I hope we don’t get clarification on whether Alex had reassignment surgery or the old Alex had to leave and a new one showed up. Because it doesn’t matter. In the dynamic of the class, the students HAD a male teacher. Now, they HAVE a female teacher. Conveniently, they don’t have to learn a new name. It doesn’t matter if new Alex used to be male because that has no baring on her current role, which is to teach computer competency to the students. This is the way it should be: “I’m female now.” “Oh, ok. Whatever. Teach me computers.”
I hope so too, because as a trans narrative it would be refreshing. Oh, we had a guy, now they’re a girl and nothing important has changed except for the person who came out. It’s often a way people hope things like workplace transition will go, that people will go oh ok and let you keep doing your job same as always. And it’s something trans workers rarely get.
Like in personal lives, this stuff matters a lot and we’re probably going to want to discuss that with loved ones, but at work just leave us be tobe the same as before but happier.
At least now all these nerdy boys can hit on their teacher more?
You know, all of my experience with transgender, beyond stupid salacious mass-media coverage, is from Questionable Content and Dumbing of Age.
I literally don’t know anyone who transitioned, unless they did so before I met them and I don’t know about it.
I guess my thought is that life is too short and the world is too painful to give people grief over trying to change a personal situation that makes them deeply unhappy.
wtf are u guys talking about its been like 2 in universe days (maybe 1) since we saw old Alex. This is a different person, they dont even look that similar.
oh wait nvm that last comic was from 2014 lol. Still though, even the amount of time the comic’s been running total wouldn’t rly be long enough for her to transition totally without the students noticing.
Possibly she started transitioning a while back, but only came out openly at work now. Possibly she’s just started, but the apparent physical differences are a matter of changed art style, different dress & hair styling, lack of a beard, makeup and artistic license.
Or possibly it’s a different person – Word of Willis leaves it ambiguous. The new Alex is trans, per the same Word of Willis.
I’m pretty sure its been literally one week and no that’s not enough time for this much of a physical change in real life but this is a comic not real life and Willis says he won’t confirm either way in comic to let people keep their headcanons (though Willis has said on twitter that he headcanons them as different people and that they’re definitely different character-wise as old!Alex had slowly become a villain.)
you don’t need to “””transition totally””” to come to work wearing different clothes, some makeup, and with a different haircut.
For those doubting Alex is Alex: how else would the skin care regimen line make sense?
Laughing a little bit on all the insisting that the jaw line is different, thus it *must* be an actual new person! My wife started transition something like two and a half years ago now, and her jawline *is* completely different. With nothing other than hormones. We were looking at a bunch of her old ID pictures yesterday and the difference is really striking, and it’s just from the way the fat was redistributed. Hormones are weird as heck. Also people are regularly guessing her to be at least ten years younger than she is, because apparently a sudden infusion of estrogen really can make your skin look freaking amazing.
Congrats RL Alex!
Thanks! 💙 Also the age thing totally happens to me too – I’m constantly guessed to be like 10 years younger and it’s the greatest thing. ^^
(It’s also funny to me how coincidental it is that I looked very different before coming out – transitioning can make us unrecognizable sometimes!)
I originally thought you were commenting here as the DOA Comic character New Alex, breaking the fourth wall. lol
Of course I started reading your blog/ twitter.
Which was really impressive. My Thought process was…
“Wow, Willis got one of his trans friends to set up a character blog months ago (?) just to punk us. But who is Alex , really?”
( a couple of hours of reading, later …. )
OH, Alex is Alex…
Haha that would’ve been quite a setup, considering! 😀
I cant have been the only person who read your blog, looking for plot
What deus ex medication is Alex on because I’ve been on HRT for *5 fucking months* and my physical features have hardly changed
One thing I noticed early on transitioning was that it was really hard for me to feel like I was really shifting all that much because it was happening slowly and I saw myself everyday and was super critical trying to see the changes.
It took other people noting how much things had shifted or showing me pictures from a few months back to realize, oh, wow there was a lot of change.
That said, I think the main trick this Alex is using is shaving. I looked like two separate people with beard and without and it was the most stark facial change when I was first coming out.
The issue is that my peers haven’t noticed anything, though. People I live with who see me everyday. I mean I think my own doctor didn’t really notice any changes. Literally the only thing that’s changed is that I have breasts now which is an awful thing to get without the rest of the body changing because it just looks awkward.
Maybe talk to your endo? They might not have it calibrated right.
I’m willing to believe that they’re two different people with the same name. One is now a wanted criminal, and this one is a trans teacher (via word of Willis on the latter).
Since this doesn’t require a miracle 1 week transition while losing what looks to be 50lbs of weight, I agree, though I am now headcanoning old!Alex as also trans and they moved out of Indiana to transition in a less conservative place where no one knows them (new!Alex is being nice and covering for another not-quite-out-yet transwoman who happens to have the same name.)
I’m very confused
I like to imagine that this is the same Alex as before, but that also the cybercriminality thing is true, and that the FBI is looking for the old Alex. That’s why she’s not coming out as transitioning (I know that in real life there can be a bunch of reasons for not wanting to come out, it’s just what I like to imagine for this story…), but pretends to be a different person, and that’s why she tells the story with Bulmeria: she wants the FBI to actually look for her in Bulmeria (supposed the place exists in the DoA-Universe).
The FBI is supposed to think “No, this cybercriminal can’t possibly be so stupid to stay in the same job with the same name”, so she would be pretty safe there…
Of course I hope that the FBI-part is not also true for RL-Alex… 🙂
If the guy in the green shirt is Norville, who’s the guy in the I.U. cap?
An unnamed extra. ‘Norville’ has his own tag, you can check the other strips tagged with him and see who it clearly has to be.
(also ugh is shaggy one of Those freshmen who never does laundry?)
I’m putting the pointy chin down to a change in drawing style — it’s been more than two years (our time) since Alex last showed up, after all.
Whatever, this is cute and makes me happy. ^_^
After reading the comments both pro- and con-, and Willis’ tumblr, I kind of want to headcanon that the two Alexes are the same, and that her transition was simply sped up by a helpful fairy godmother.
The fairly godmother in question is truly rockin’. She has a pink undercut and looks like she belongs in a roller derby.
(The above headcanon is in no way meant to detract from the struggles of real-life transpeople going through transition, which is sadly not as painless as I sincerely wish it were.)
I’d say our reality could due with that Fairy Godmother a bit.
I figured out the Alex/ Alex Mystery in comic.
The New Trans Alex is oldAlex twin sister. That explains how the transition seemed so fast. ( weight loss etc ).
Some Skeptical people will question ‘why they have the same name…’ ?
Joyce is generally a nickname for Joycelyn , but that didnt stop Joycelyn from using it.
( they could have been Alex and Xander , and New Alex decided she like Zendra… )
(( If they were teh same person, that means She has been been transitioning the whole time in secret. Maybe even using disguises to hide it ( pillows and fale beards ) so OldAlex can go “disappear” to Bulmeria . ) )
Why couldn’t my computer courses been taught by a cyber criminal?
Now I’m laughing at the people who posted before reading all the comments.
Okay, I’ve figured it out. It’s so obvious. Norville’s presence gives it all away.
Alex was Alex in a rubber mask.
She had disguised herself to scare annoying people away from the CS classes, but she’s now pulled the mask off to reveal her true, clearer-skinned, slightly-less-rounded-nose-and-chinned face. Because she figured out what’s scarier to guys like Bob Guy than an indifferent, elitist übergeek:
An übergeek woman.
Any moment now, Fred, Daphne, and Velma are going to burst in to explain this to the audience.
Please accept this internet as a token of my appreciation.
I’m wondering if, the way old!Alex was kind of jerky alpha nerd to Amber, All New And Improved Alex will be all about encouraging her successes and recognizing her talent in CS.
I find it fascinating that I completely accepted Alex’s story at face value.
My first thought was “It’s illustration!Willis in a blonde wig!”
…I’m replaying FF7, if that explains anything.
Sorry I was late responding to some people here! Had a weird, rough week. I hope you all see it?
Norville didn’t say “like” once; we HAVE to riot.
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
Who should be doodled inside Book 6?
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