When was the last time you saw a cafeteria lunch table that sat two?
Thanks to Shive's stealth name introduction last strip (people list off who they are with, always), I know the curly haired girl's name is Lucy. So I can now ask why Lucy seems so pleased with Rhoda being tormented in the third panel.
You know, most girls in highschool talk about how their teacher is a fucking dick and how they would fucking kill them if they had the fucking chance, and that classmate X is such a fucking whore, and how they were at this party and she had gotten fucking stoned and fucked Y and now has fucking herpes.
Don't get me wrong, they do talk about how people are fat bitches and what else have you, but this is just generic and lifeless. Also, popularity isn't always so overwhelmingly one group. Then again, I went to a school with 2,000 kids, where it was impressive if you knew everyone in your grade, so more diversity is a given, I suppose...
Shive, you are trying WAY too hard to make Rhoda a woobie. Lay off, geebus.
The first two panels.
This might take a while.
Warning! Upcoming REALLY SUPER NITPICKY AND RAMBLING Straw Feminist Rant
So, lets start with the simple fact that what both Diane and Nanase say are total bullshit, and not for bad characterization reasons or plot reasons but because of real life and meta reasons. Now that we have that out of the way, I begin. Since the day females are born, they are advertized and given everything they could ever possibly want to look attractive. Make-up is just the tip of the iceberg. Stores upon stores of designer niche clothing, formal, casual and everything in between. They...we... have entire rows of shelves devoted to types of shampoos and conditioners. Oh sure, men have it too, but not like we do. Just going off of wikipedia, the entire list of cosmetics is: Lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lipstick, concealer, foundation, face-powder, bindi, thanaka, tilaka, cleanser-toner-moisturizer, eye liner, eye shadow, kohl, mascara, shampoo-conditioner-styling cream, nail polish, anti-aging cream, body powder, cold cream and sindoor. We have comsetic treatments: Cosmetic surgery, botox, facial, bleaching, manicure, pedicure, hair removal (waxing-threading-shaving) and hair styling. I'm not done. Jewelry: Anklet, belt buckle, belly chain, bracelet, brooch, chatelaine, crown, cufflink, earring, lapel pin, necklace, pendant, ring, tiara, tie clip, collar pin and a pocket watch. Note how all the male jewelry are almost ONLY for formal occasions. We can't forget the accessories, can we? Belts, purses, handbags, scarfs, legwarmers, sunglasses, and leggings. There are 100 or so possible pages for fashion magazines on wikipedia. 16 of them are for males.
Now, that we have this long long long list, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Females are just as ugly as males. If you are a male, I have a question. Do you think you are ugly? Unattractive? Congratulations, you're normal, most girls think so as well. That's not the point. The point is when you guys assume this, you decide it's somehow not your fault. You can either lose weight or...or find a girl uglier than you. It's always about weight. Blame the weight. All its fault. That or shaving, usually. But it's usually the weight. You're too fat, you're too skinny, you don't have enough muscle, what else have you. Or maybe you assume you have an ugly face, and there is no way to escape it. But you see, that is not true. The truth is you're self victimizing yourself and you're also lazy. Do you want to look attractive? Really? Instead of waking up ten minutes before you need to go to work or class, wake up an hour before, take a shower, take care of your hair if it's long enough to flop it around, and then go into your closet and pick clothes that look nice. No, not the shirt with hilarious internet meme on it, I mean an actual nice shirt, and not one meant for formal occasions either. If you managed to find one, try to find one that doesn't clash pattern or color wise with your complexion, build or other clothes. Stumped? Wait, not done. Since males don't wear makeup, you obviously don't have to do anything of the sort, but you better have concealer ready to cover any type of acne or those bags under your eyes. Wearing shorts? Better shave your legs. Wearing short sleeve shirts? Shave your armpits. If you actually have stylable hair, it's time you learned how to use some mousse and a comb. Then of course the deodorant. Make sure to keep it with you at all times, I know your pockets are deep enough to hold them. Then you need to take care of your hands and your nails. No nail polish needed, just a nail buffer. Now, you are ready to leave. Seems like a lot of work right? That's because it fucking is.
You're bullshit idea of natural beauty is a myth, got that? Fucking nonexistant. "Oh look at me, I'm a male, I don't like girls with makeup!" Guess what, shit for brains? Chances are, those 'natural' girls you ogle ARE wearing makeup. Unlike the ones that you derided though, they know how to use make up correctly. They know how to style their hair so it doesn't look like bed head or full of hair spray. And you know what? They don't do it for you. They never have. They never will. Girls do not. look attractive. because of males. Do they WANT to be attractive if they desire a male's attention? Yes. But that is not why they dress like that. That is not why they wear make up. They go through all this trouble to get ready and look nice because it has been hammered into our heads since day one that this is how women are supposed to look. Go take your pants off. Now go to the store and buy milk. What? You don't want to do it? Is it because you think girls won't find you attractive? No. And it's similar logic for the whole fucked up morning process girls go through. Hell, they usually do it more for other girls than they do for males.
And let me tell you, girls who don't care how they look? They are "ugly." And no, I don't mean "I'm gonna dye my hair pink! I don't care if it clashes with my green middrift!" I mean "didn't take a shower, I have six inches of frizzy hair, and no clean clothes. Oh well. Headband and over sized sweatshirt FTW." Of course, what's really sad is that headband is probably more effort than what guys do.
Now that I have ranted about ALL of this, I want you to go back to this strip. I want you to reread this strip. I want you to keep this knowledge in mind and read it. Now I want you to pretend the situation is with males instead of females. Imagine a guy is wearing an oversized sweatshirt, hair untouched (ponytail is not high on the levels of attractiveness. Ponytail usually means bad hairday or jock.) and is being told he is attractive by someone dressed like this◊.
This is all such bullshit that I want to strangle Shive. She would not be so attractive in a state like THAT, to the point that they would want her to join them so badly, even though they hate each other's guts! Beauty does not work like that! People do not work like that!
And as for that lovely second panel, just keep pushing those messages, Shive. As I said before, girls don't try to be attractive because they want to get deep dicked. They want to look attractive because it's what's socially mandated. Not only that, but there is nothing wrong with putting effort into how you look. I don't CARE how nice someone is, if they don't shower and stink up the locker rooms, they are not someone that should be hung out with. You don't need to look like a model, you need to look like you actually give a damn about yourself!
You know, the fact that Melissa outed Justin is a non-issue. The real issue here is how deluded she is. And because I'm just off a gender rant, if Mel was convinced that Jane the lesbian was actually straight and was just going through a phase and stalked her constantly, it would be criticized of being cliché and stupid.
But girls are never this obsessed with a guy, so it's not nearly as rapey or bad! It's just funny!
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I don't even have the heart to say it anymore. But, here we go.
Fanservice with humor does not make the fanservice ok.
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Every time I promise myself "I won't insult Shive anymore! I'll be a good and rational critic! One people can listen to and not dismiss as a raving lunatic!" Shive does something that severely tests that promise.
I mean, wow Shive. You're a douchebag! No, I don't care if it's based off of Rule of Funny. This is just like your Q&A session from before Painted Black. You are not supposed to be the one getting the better of your characters. It. Is. Egotistical.
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...JUST GET RID OF THE LAST PANEL! IF YOU HAD JUST GOTTEN RID OF THE LASTY PANEL. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO ADD THE LAST PANEL. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN THE JOKE? WHY DO YOU MAKE ME HURT SO MUCH INSIDE?
We have gathered here to mourn the loss of the lines. They have been with us for a very long time, and struggled through quite the few shitty arcs with us. It's presence will be missed.
The dots, however, can go fuck themselves with a rusty knife.
Grace's squirrel angst is weird. It's somewhat subtle, and somewhat interesting, but the resolution is...really sudden and crappy. You'll see what I mean in May 2005.
And would you look at that Tedd, angsting it up! Although, this line of thought really doesn't correlate with what his angst problem is, at all. Heck, if anything, the problem is the exact opposite of what he just thought. He's afraid of loving Grace too much.
Backgrounds will only exist when the characters are tiny sprites and that is final!
In a "normal" world, we get genderbending, shapeshifting, evil lord Tedd, sentient goo and fairies. In a world populated by aliens and anthropomorphic pigs, we get a standard romance plot.
The disappointment. It burnses us.
I mean, why couldn't THIS be the world EGS was set in? Don't get me wrong, it'd still suck, and still be boring, but it would at least mean there was something interesting to look at. Wouldn't it have been a way cooler plot if Ellen dreamt of OUR world (or close enough to it) instead, while living in an alien world? As long as you didn't overplay it and made it subtle it would be kinda cool...
...Although I think I lost Shive at 'subtle.'
And of course, since Ellen is the main focus of these dreams, it will all revolve around romance romance and more romance. Wasn't Kaoli supposed to visit her at some point? Why did we need the romance at frikkin 6-8 years old?
Gotta love how Shive has enough sensitivity to understandingly have Ellen stay female. Because if anyone is gonna have gender issues with switching, it's gonna be her. The one who was originally male to begin with.
Whaddya MEAN if she wants to be male she should stay male?
While the surviving dots migrated to Susan's shirt, some disguised themselves and pretended to be part of Elliot's shirt, but the wise and powerful AHR was not fooled. —cocks gun—
So you admit she is transformed, and not just female by default due to being a product of the magic gun / dewitchery diamond thing?
So she is Elliot. Transformed.
And you are making her stay female.
Like, I would consider this Complete Monster territory. "Sorry Ellen, you have to live life as a gender you are not comfortable with because otherwise we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between you and Elliot, and we just can't have that, can we? I mean, sure, there was that time when Elliot stuck his neck out for you and refused to admit you were clone, but that was just for show. You're the clone. We need you to stay that way. Forever. And if I have to tell you why, you clearly have not been listening whenever Nanase is featured in this webcomic. I mean, come on, you don't want all the boners to go to waste, now do you?" —dangles transformation gun out of reach—
Oh. Yeah. We're also going to completely lie to your face, because YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. DO YOU SEE HOW MUCH WE CARE ABOUT YOU, DAMMIT?
Logic still has not made ONE point as to why she should not do it. It's official, Shive simply cannot comprehend not wanting to do this, or can't come up with a good enough argument against it.
This is so...mono-moralalistic.
Well, that and the fact that Shive is pretty obviously bending the characters and everything around it so the plot would work. You can't depict gender bending as "really weird" and have everyone end up being completely OK with it at the same time!
You can't have these things go both ways! This is just another case in a long line of incidents of Shive wanting to keep his cake and eat it too.
Don't worry though, more plot benders await as we see Nanase and Justin say yes against their will!
3rd Mar '11 1:39:42 PM flag for mods
Also, I honestly have a hard time imagining that this was Grace's idea. It seemed like Shive decided to force some character growth on people and this was how he chose to do it... for a year.
I remember back when this came out. It was such a disappointment after Painted Black, in which, say what you will about the execution, THINGS HAPPENED. I somehow missed the message that Shive didn't want to do more Painted Black style action, so I kept anticipating more DBZ flavored action.