Forsyth (forsythferret) wrote in snarkoleptics,

Wait, what?

Today's Questionable Content.


(Okay, first off, props to Oh No Robot, which let me find the links for this. Though I might have overdone the gratuitous links.)

All right. Once again, by procrastinating on a snark, events have overtaken some of what I was going to say. So now, before all of my speculation is proved completely wrong, I'm going to speculate, so I can at least be wrong on the record. This was going to be a bit broader, but in light of the events in QC, I'm gonna focus it on that.

One of the comments people've had about QC since like, strip 12 is "Why don't Marten and Faye just hook up already!?!?!!2" Well, now they're talking about it. Kind of. Aside from in drunken confusion and things involving imminent physical harm. Faye has issues, obviously, which have been made clear lately and she's maybe sortakinda starting to deal with. Until now, she's pretty much always reflexively made it clear she doesn't want to be involved with Marten, yet she's freaked out and was close to killing people any time there was mention of somebody else being after Marten. Except Dora. (Well, sort of.) But Dora's her friend and boss and I think Faye suspects Dora won't go through with it. (Which, admittedly, she didn't.)

And I've drifted from my point. I do that too much. One of the reasons QC is popular, besides the excellent writing and ever-improving art, is frankly, wish fulfillment. Marten is living the indie rock nerd dream. Well, every nerd dream. Marten hangs around with a bunch of attractive women, and at least two of them are interested in him. Maybe more. It's almost like Tenchi Muyo. But despite that, many many nerds can empathize with him, because for all he's surrounded by hot women, he hasn't gotten anywhere with them. (Hell, Pintsize has gotten more action than him. (Gratuitous link.) ) I doubt there's any nerds out there, male or female, who can't identify with hanging around with somebody they find utterly hot, but have no chance with. Or at least think they have no chance with. And that's hardly limited to nerds, even though we are still the primary webcomic audience.

Which makes any forward motion on their relationship risky for the strip, because once you lose the sexual tension, not only do you lose the sexual tension that drives a lot of the plots and jokes, you also lose some of the attraction to the audience. There's still plenty of both Story and Funny to be gotten from the comic, and I have plenty of trust in Jeph Jacques to pull things off without it seeming forced or hokey or wish-fulfillment, with the characters still being people, not just caricatures. But assuming Marten and Faye do hook up, it's not going to resonate quite as much with a significant part of his audience. NOT getting the hot chick, everybody can understand that. Actually getting her? That's not nearly as common, or as likely to win instant reader identification. Much like Dave, from CRFH, who's not nearly the everygeek he was, now that he's got laser vision, a relationship (if rocky) with Blue, plus everything else that's been going on with Margaret, but that'd require a whole post of its own to get into.

I'm not saying QC will die or lose readers because of whatever happens, just that it's a major change, and those are always risky. But 500 strips in, there's already a dedicated fanbase who're invested in the strip, and plenty of archives to get new readers into it. And if things DIDN'T change, it'd get old. Like the turkeys said, just let the story happen as it happens.

Frankly, it's about time they actually talked! But it's not "OMGWTF! It's been two years!" It hasn't been. Oh sure, for US it has been, but in the strip, no way. I don't know exactly how long it's been in the strip, but it's set in Boston, which gets snow in winter, so that gives a maximum of like eight months or so, I'm guessing. It's probably not even been that, but we don't get any real specifics of time in the strip. I'd put it more at two or three months max, but that's just gut feeling, based on character interaction and the general pace of things. Lately, the strip has been moving one day at a time as best I can tell, with many strips devoted to that one day. Morning, work, then hanging out various ways in the evening. I suppose I could email and ask to settle things, but I didn't get around to it before I decided to write this up. So yeah, they've been avoiding the issue for a while, but it isn't like it's been two years. If nothing else, the frustrations of miscommunication and other things would have ended up with one or the other of them giving up, I'd bet.

And I was going to use that as a springboard into a discussion about time passing and pacing in webcomics (and comics in general), but it ended up being long enough just being about Questionable Content, so I'll leave it at that for now. And because it's gotten to be 12:30AM.
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