I hope you'll forgive me, but something I feel the need to point out is that Rick is still being crucified by some people as unforgivably rude, so much as to justify a beating, for not saying hello to one guy, one time. And that guy, it's also worth pointing out, didn't say hello to him until he was already yelling.
My thoughts: Rick seems like an alright guy. However, he did rather pointedly ignore Sam when he first met him. Christo was a dick, and Sam definately wasn't much better after the first meeting, but rick didn't give him much ground to stand on... Sam actually tried to start a conversation with Rick a couple times the first time they met before giving up.
So... Sam was wrong after the first meeting, but he gave rick a fair chance then. Rick completely blew Sam off the first time they met, and appears to have done so again at this party. Of course, Sam was rude as hell first thing he said, but Rick once again was, or at least appeared to be ignoring him.
Sam should trust Lauren. Its true, he was extremely possessive of Lauren. Lauren, however, was very uncaring of Sams feelings. Her only response to Sam being possessive was to tell him he was wrong. which, just seems like a bad way to handle it overall.
Truthfully, Christo definately screwed the situation up more than was needed by being such a dick to Rick every time he saw him, but:
Rick should have put more time into meeting or talking to Sam instead of ignoring him. Being friends with someone means you are going to know and hang out with their friends, especially the people they are in a relationship with.
Sam needs to stop being so possessive, though its somewhat understandable given how Rick blew him off, and he's under stress from the Art thing.
Lauren needs to be more understanding of Sam, and really needed to work it out between Sam and Rick, maybe take them out to coffee together and get them to talk instead of just saying "oh, I wish you guys would be friends" and then putting no effort into it whatsoever.
Gib, I understand that you don't like how people are reacting to your comic. Lots of people are overreacting, but thats expected, its the internet. It does, however, seem like you intentionally portrayed Rick in a bad light in order to get people riled up, then tell them they're bad people for misunderstanding a very badly skewed situation.
@Dethdukk: As I've said many times, my issue is not with people perceiving Rick to be any particular way. My issue is with people inventing elements into the story and omitting things that happened when it's inconvenient to their own narrative, treating those things as fact, and clinging to their previous notions in spite of what is on the pages. I have other issues that are even greater than that, but those come later.
I'm looking forward to the showdown between Lauren and Sam, almost as much as I am dreading the showdown in the comments. People are seeing stuff that they want to see because of their own screwed up ideas on men and women.
The Tree Poem
I once had a college prof who had a poem published in a national collection. He told us that the poem was about the tree in his backyard. The reviewers wrote about this fascinating work that connected heaven and hell through branches and roots... yaddayaddayadda. Prof said: "It was just about a tree."
Long story short, I like your poem about the tree...don't get too worried about it if people make (or invent) their own connections...
@Seagull72: That is good advice. I have tried to follow it, because it is good advice and I always want the work to speak for itself. I suppose I speak up because I think some comments are colouring the way other people are reading the material. It is good advice.
@Seagull72: This sounds like every critic of anything considered artistic ever. The difference between an artist and an art critic is, while the critic will try to disseminate the statement the artist is trying to make and come up with a whole bunch of malarkey about nothing, the artist just goes, "Eh, I thought it was cool." Da Vinci did a pretty good job of painting the Mona Lisa, but without all the hype it receives from art critics and historians alike, it'd just be another old painting.
@Gibson: Digging the Archie references. Plus, Christo as Jughead needs to happen. Hearing Lauren talk about it kinda makes me want it become an actual thing.
@Everyone else, in regards to Gibson's Comment: As it was said in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie, "“It's a huge mistake to theorize before one has data. Inevitably, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy to sympathize with Rick.
I've been on the business end of the punch, I played in a band a few years back with a girl who was seeing a rather possessive guy. Of course me and the other bandmates were all good friends and I was comfortable talking with them.
Outside of my friends, I suffer from social anxiety and sometimes can't talk to people I don't know without a panic attack. I got invited for a few beers with her and a few other friends. Her boyfriend came that night and we spent more time talking about music then involving him. Being nervous as all hell, I was more comfortable talking to my friends then strangers, so he was offended by the end of the night. He ended up cornering me outside and accusing me of wanting to bang his girlfriend. Of course, I responded with "Dood, she's an awesome chick..."aaand got punched in the face before I could say. "She's with you, and I don't sleep with bandmates"
It sucks to be the Rick, outside eyes would see one thing, while inside could see the situation differently. Of course violence never solves anythng, just get's me punched in the face >.<..
I'm pro Rick here. Sam and Christo have been rude, unfair and hostile to someone who has tried to be pleasant. It's up to Lauren to maintain the trust in the relationship and she has - she's not sleeping with him or cheating on Sam in anyway and can deal with this without the others sticking their noses in. Sam has been vile.
so let's say i counted my chickens before they hatched
however you cannot help that certain storylines would cause your audience to react strongly
i personally enjoyed my reading experience more when i could freely "react"/relate to the story, and wait until the actual facts were unfolded in the story itself
let's just say i liked seeing the story unfold and prove me wrong rather than being told i shouldn't feel the way i am currently feeling, i cannot help but feel that way because i am reacting to events in the story
i realize it's inevitable, and i suppose it's inevitable that i would end up feeling this way, oh well
your story is still one of the best i have read but events during this storyline that didn't actually happen in the story are disturbing me and honestly are ruining my experience of your comic
nonetheless i am only one person, rest assured you have not lost any readers, perhaps just gained a disappointed one
So since we're sharing, here's my Rick experience:
1) I made an incorrect first judgement. Partly because of Alexander (who I defended till the bitter end lol) and partly because of his goatee. So sue me. It's a pretentious beard-style.
2) Due to comments, and maybe paranoia, I started associating this whole storyline with a very bad point in my life. Where I had a bf and a second guy. Long story short the second guy was Bad News. I never saw it coming. Bad stuff happened. That bad. So I stopped reading for a bit.
3) I cam back to see how the storyline went. The comments started going sexist. Rick started to make a better impression on me. It was almost a correlation: the more sexist the comments were (and there are still people putting full responsibility on Lauren which is hilarious) the less douchy Rick got.
4) Sam did the thing. I went off Sam a bit.
5) Rick showed emotional maturity, and I gained a lot of respect for Rick.
It isn't the first time I've made a shitty first judgement on someone. It isn't the first time I've done it in this /comic/ even. I've had lots of long lasting friendships that started with me thinking, "ergh that guy is a prat" or "geeze that girl is really annoying".
Kudos to Gibson for making characters that we /do/ react to like real people, with all the crazy misunderstandings that entails.
But there is nothing, /nothing/, you can do which will make me like Mulligan. I'm sorry XD
Looks like I'll have to wait for the fight to see if Lauren's gonna have her bite of humble pie. I hope she does, otherwise I've basically lost interest in the character, at least for a while.
I look back at the other female characters and their story lines, and she doesn't stand out much by comparison already. Michelle had the thing with Christo and stripping, plus attitude; Melanie has the sibling bond/rivalry with Patrick, the Devon debacle, and now Andy; Kara seems to float in and out sometimes, but she has the sex appeal/presence, the past with Andy, and now a fling with Peter (which I still want an update about how that is going for them post-tour); and then Lauren... She had a thing for Peter, that failed and then she got with Sam, and now this drama with Rick. Otherwise she just seems to be there, in the group but off to the side.
If this story line is one of her big moments, I just hope there will be some sort of growth for her after all this. I understand the overall even consistency is probably why she makes it through the story so long, but without those sparks, an interesting character those qualities do not make. So take a damn bite of your pie, Sam had his outside the bar and Rick was chewing his talking to you.
@Marscgm: As I mentioned earlier, Kara and Andy already had their thing when they were in High School. I don't see that happening again, both seem quite passed that.
@yayness: I'll admit, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wondering why you dislike Mulligan, so why? I'll admit I don't agree with everything he's done, but I still find him hilarious and a well made character. If I was limited to liking only the characters I found whose actions were agreeable, I wouldn't like any of them and wouldn't be reading this comic. Not that I intend to put any words in your mouth, I'm just interested in the words coming out of it on why you don't like him.
You can't just tell people how to see your story Mr Twist, people will see it as it appears to them.
Trying to change that in comments is cheating. Whether or not you find him to be rude, and whether or not you intend him to be rude is irregardless. People will perceive what, to their minds, is shown to them.
If fictional characters were all only interpreted as the authors intend them there would be far less interesting debate in the world. Just let it go, in all likelihood his personality will become clearer as you progress with the comic anyway.
So... Lauren doesn't stand out, because she is not a stripper, in a abusive relationship or fucking Andy, or a Gorgeous sex goddess.
Let's all reflect on that bit. Are female characters only as interesting as their sex lives? Really? I feel sad for you...
Lauren for me is a good girl. Friendly, she loves intellectual things and collage. Of course she is going to not fit in with the drunk potloving sometimes assholes of a group around Peter and the rest. Ofcourse she is going to need some friends who do like going to collage and do feel inspired by the things they learn. Someone who they can trade booktips with. Doing that with Sam would not be enough. Because Sam likes other stuff as well and at the moment is more busy with art then collage. She has been honest with him. All he needed to do was LISTEN to her and not to Christo.
Man the fact that Sam & Christo are NO LONGER right doesn't seem to matter when they were right in the first place, and Ho behavior changed to indicate they weren't right anymore. I mean, if Rick had went and told Sam "hey I know what you think and, you know what. You were right, but its not like that anymore." Things would've been cool. Not that Rick had any obligation to do that, since Sam isn't his friend, but Sam and Christo were right, and nothing changed to make them change their minds. (also, on the guys backing Sam up, if "the Sam" I'm friends with punched a guy in the face, I'd assume he was a shotgun dude who deserved it, no questions asked."
@Gibson Twist: Went back and reread the first meeting of Rick and Sam. Chris is being a total prick. Rick seems uninterested in talking to Sam, but that could also be Rick reacting to Chris and not Sam. Lauren's reaction to Chris's behavior I can understand, but she blames Sam just as much as Chris, which seems like an over reaction. I guess Sam is guilty by association? I am wondering if Lauren had problems with an over possessive boyfriend or parent in her past?
Not sure if that is a subtle flirt from Rick in the second panel or not. This kinda did stem from Rick being ignorant of Sam in the first place. If he atleast made the effort to try and befriend Sam or get to know him instead of just blanking him...
Also, don't fight with him, have a proper mature discussion about it. Fighting just makes things worse.
My best friend is a girl, and we have been that way for years. The reason why we have lasted that long is twofold; I have talked to her boyfriends, and I never had feelings for her.
At the beginning of any of her relationships, the boyfriend was suspicious of me and how familiar I was with her. Each time, I called the boyfriend to chill, we hung out, and I made it perfectly clear I had no intention of attempting to ruin their relationship. It is not a trust thing, its that a man who attempts to ruin relationships for their own goals are the scum of this earth. If I knew someone was trying to ruin my relationship, and the girl was protecting him, I would also be suspicious and upset. Rick did not make it clear to Sam of his intentions, rather he hides behind Lauren. He knows that HE is causing issues in his "friend's" relationship, and instead of trying to solve it, makes it worse. He can end the fights, simply by talking to Sam and letting him know his intentions are pure. But he chooses not to, and causes his "friend" more and more pain. This sounds like someone who is intentionally ruining a relationship for his own ends, and purposefully being part of the problem, rather than the solution.
Feelings don't just disappear. It isn't a light switch you can just turn off and on. You can hide it all you want, but it will always be there. In fact, pushing it down often makes it stronger. Get Rick drunk, and guaranteed that guy is gonna start getting flirtatious with Lauren. Feelings don't make friendships, they make problems.
Sam is acting irrational, but that's what happens when you have strong feelings for someone. I would be more worried if Sam just did not care what Lauren did. That would mean the guy is either trusting to a fault, or really has no feelings for Lauren. When you really care for someone, you never want them to leave. Even the smallest threat to your relationship becomes blown out of proportion. That's what feelings do. That's what drives a man or woman to act crazy sometimes. Sam ain't Spock. Expecting him to take a step back and objectively view this situation is asking a lot. People act nuts when they care about someone.
It's not that I hate Rick for not saying "hello" to Sam and thereby showing him the same respect that was shown. I hate Rick because I've known his (seeming) type before, and they are slime. They are the ones that will stop at nothing from getting what they want. The worst part is that they never actually lie, per se, to achieve their goals. They just take the facts and twist them to support their ideals one way or the other. It's a sales tactic, as well as one most commonly employed by lawyers. At the end of the day, he strikes me as a slimy wanker.
And Rick still trys to get Lauren to go to his house.
As to the first time Rick and Sam have communication all Sam ask in "where are you from" and you can almost hear the sneering in Ricks voice when he replies "Newfoundland".
@Gibson Twist: I agree that nothing justifies Sam's violence (or Lauren's, for that matter).
However, I feel the need to point out that we, as readers, don't have the luxury of knowing the entire story as you do. You know it. You have the complete picture in your head. You know where this is heading. We do not. As such, all we have are our own perceptions and life experiences with which to relate to your story. As everyone has had their own unique experiences, their opinions are naturally going to vary.
My life experience taught me to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is what I did when we were initially introduced to Rick. As the story developed, Rick seemed to focus only on the negative aspects of Sam, based on his limited knowledge of him. As such, my perception was that Rick was not giving Sam the benefit of the doubt, which is a big no-no for me. As a result, my opinion of Rick took a hit.
You say that you are bewildered many of us readers understood why Sam got so pissed at not being acknowledged by one person, at one time. My opinion of this is that it's much more complicated than that. If things were perfectly fine and dandy between them, not acknowledging someone one time wouldn't be a big deal. However, ALL parties involved knew there was tension and each reacted very differently. Rick and Lauren had talked at length about Sam, each being aware that his behaviour was worrisome. Sam and Lauren had already talked about Rick, both in a calm fashion, then more explosively when Sam yelled at her, which was admittedly negative. Therefore, while the only people who hadn't really had contact with each other were Sam and Rick, everyone knew something was up.
With that knowledge, would it be so far-fetched to think that Rick should've at least tried to engage with Sam? If he chose to avoid speaking with Sam due to his opinion of him, despite the latter's relationship with Lauren, does this not make him somewhat immature as well? All I see is someone forming an opinion of someone else without really knowing that person, and then letting their behaviour colour their actions. Interestingly, this is exactly what Sam is guilty of as well, not giving Rick the benefit of the doubt, though he dealt with it in a much more dramatic and negative fashion. As I've said before, either one of them could've reached out in an effort to get along better, but both were seemingly too entrenched in their own opinion. Hell, pretty much all of us are entrenched as well, and we know more than the characters do. However, again, we do not know as much as you, Mr. Twist.
In my opinion, this entire story arc is a perfect example of what can happen when people chose to stick to their own views no matter what instead of considering the other side. What makes this even more poignant is that this is such a relatable issue that it spilled over to the comments. While I understand your concern over how some people are reacting, I think this is a good thing. We all get to see various viewpoints and explore other ways of seeing things. Some we find good, others bad, but they help us look at our own opinions and add depth. That's what's so great about this webcomic: everyone's free to share and challenge their views through an immensely interesting story. Not a lot of other comics can boast that achievement.
@Hornet: I don't see it as Rick trying to get Lauren back to his place, but rather as a genuine concern for her safety. He's asking her whether she has a place to stay, not whether she'd like to stay with him.
Wow. I almost went on a really angry rant against Mr. Twist.
It was blindingly obvious to me that all of Rick's rudeness was completely uninstigated; all Sam had done was ask (possibly innocently) where Rick was from.
I had to re-read that comic three times before I saw that the word "dildo" was in ITALICS.
And THAT TINY DETAIL changed THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION.
I maintain that Rick overreacted, was being paranoid about Sam and Lauren's relationship...but it is clear that the initiation of hostilities was Sam feeling a twinge of guilt and taking a random stab at Rick. Everything since then has been depressingly predictable escalation.
And I would also point out that, though it might not be easy to see in retrospect if you DID notice the italics from the get-go (or, ya know, if you were the one who WROTE them), if you omit that miniscule detail, and assume even a possibility that Sam's question was innocent, the tone of that conversation changes DRAMATICALLY.
I guess what I'm saying is, Rick is...neither good nor evil, but I don't blame anyone who makes the mistake of thinking he's the latter. I reiterate-I had to reread a strip from months (years?) ago 3 times before a single tiny detail exonerated him.
@Amgodtic: Oh, I noticed the italics, which definitely suggest that Sam's tone was deliberately provocative (Christo's reaction definitely fueled the crap outta that fire, as well). However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this exonerates Rick's subsequent behaviour.
What's ultimately tragic here is that while there wasn't any interaction between Rick and Sam between that first meeting and the recent bar scene, their interactions with others in between apparently made them entrench themselves even further in their own opinions. As such, what was sparked initially had grown exponentially by then. Again, either one could've gone that extra mile to put that first impression behind them and start from scratch, but none of them did. The fact that Sam's reaction was open hostility definitely makes him the bad guy in Lauren's eyes.
I realize now that my focus on Rick's lack of respect may seem like I'm siding with Sam, but the truth is that I'm not siding with anyone. I'm disappointed in everyone more or less equally.
@Gibson Twist: I gotta say, reading the part where Rick meets Sam, with a new filter on my brain, makes it look totally different. He says hi, Sam replies with a simple "Rick," which to me suggests Sam was the short with him from the beginning. I am still amused by the fact that so many of us assumed the worst of the guy based off of so little information. I think maybe we were jealous to see a new guy encroaching on our group of friends, or maybe that was just my reason. Either way, I think love it, but I've always been able to laugh at my mistakes. Way to go, Mr.Twist!
I find it really fascinating how many of you turn around now that Rick seems to be just a friend to Lauren, and not interested in getting into her pants anymore. I have two questions on that:
1. Why would you just believe that he isn't still interested in her, just because he says so? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he is or isn't, but I'm wondering how your perception of one person (character, to remain with the story context) can change so easily and profoundly in the course of three pages.
2. What is with that possessive, blaming crap that so many of you dish out on this relationship? How can anyone be "a lousy girlfriend"? Are there rules to measure that by? Or the earlier topic of many comments that Rick didn't "respect" Sam or his relationship with Lauren. As Mr. Twist correctly commented on that, respect is earned, not owed. Or the tons of comments on how Sam was right to hit Rick. As if violence is the only answer, or ever a good choice to dissolve a situation.
It seems to me that a lot of people in here are rather quick to point a finger at someone, based on your own experiences or appearances. And this to an extent that the author of this story has felt it necessary to step in a couple of times now to try and set things right. And I have to say that the views on relationships expressed in those comments make me feel rather depressed.
Eh, taking into account Sam's tone, Rick's actions at their initial meeting become ambiguous, which I'm sure was the intent all along; it could have been an over-emphasized cold shoulder, or it could have been Rick feeling intimidated by Sam, which I seem to recall Mr. Twist explicitly mentioning as a possibility at some point. I'm not saying Rick behaved well; I'm saying that, if you caught that detail, the conversation comes off as it was meant to, leaving the reader unsure of Rick's intentions.
It's really interesting that so many people missed the fact that Rick was the first one to acknowlege Sam and not the other way around, and was fairly polite to Sam, considering his experience with Cristo. Bias is a curious thing. Can't wait for this to unfold.
Firstly, he is a wonderful character. Well written, incredibly realistic and indeed very funny. But as an actual person, he's a tool. He uses copious drugs, he had objectionable opinions which are expressed badly, he shouts and swears and belittles people.
Nobody in this comic is perfect. And Mulligan is indeed some pretty hot shit at times. But I just know that if he existed as a person the two of us would Not Get On. It's not that I find his actions disagreeable, I actually find *him* disagreeable as a person.
It really isn't to do with actions but personalities. I love the hell out of Patrick and he's done plenty of objectionable things.
As far as Guests challenge goes, I *suppose* if he was viciously hacked in half while nobly attempting to rescue Wiley and Michelle from some horrendous danger I might *grudgingly* start to respect him...
@yayness: YUP. Mulligan IS an ex-boyfriend of mine, to a tee, it was mind-boggling to read. The drugs, the anger-issues, the intense objectification of women as property (He once told me if a girl wanted to have sex with him, regardless of whether he was in a relationship or not, he would totally do it) , the yelling, screaming, swearing (though, I had an awful mouth as well) All there. To boot he even looks like him.
Despite all that, I think it is possible to make him appear likeable, or do something admirable--sounds like an idea for a Snap Shot short maybe??
@Kagan: They were both introduced at the same time, and Rick just happened to speak first. Not sure how that counts as acknowledging someone first. Then again, I see acknowledgment as something that happens outside of formal introductions, but maybe that's just me.
Also, while Rick's answers to Sam may have been polite (especially when compared to how Christo treated Rick), they struck me as needlessly dismissive. Again, Christo's earlier attitude and general behaviour most certainly had a big impact there, putting Rick in a less engaging state of mind.
@jodie: That disappointment is the feeling you get when you know you acted the fool long after everyone else stopped. Don't worry, a couple others are still being foolish even now.
Blaming Mr. Twist is just shifting the blame. He just wants to help people who are aggressively confused by pointing out scenes they missed.
Just get over it and start enjoying the story again and stay away from the comments for a while, like, don't read them, either. If you comment and say something is fact, you set yourself up to be wrong. If you can't handle that, just chill, don't get mad at the truth for making you wrong.
Out of all the mind blowing strips of late, this is the one that finally made me give up my lurker status to comment. There's just something that's eating at the back of my mind. If we're portioning out the blame, everyone involved gets some. But that's how life usually is. No one's perfect. But in the grand scheme of things, at this moment?
Lauren is really being pretty disappointing. She -was- perfectly correct in saying that she should be trusted to know how to handle relationships, so go her. But rather than say a single kind word to Sam to reassure him (which, given Sam's personality? Would likely have solved a lot!) She just seemed to say, in effect 'screw how you feel, I don't deserve jealousy'. While it may be true, it's hardly helpful. And now she's admitted she knew how Rick felt about her. So she's sitting on all this knowledge, and did nothing to head off either Rick's advances or Sam's insecurities. Considering the minimal effort it would have taken to dull both of those? It seems a little unkind to just sit back and blame others.
Don't get me wrong, I usually love Lauren, so don't take this as a 'dump on Lauren' post, but there's another thing that's irking me. Sam punched Rick. He immediately felt remorse, went peacefully and realized he fucked up. So he did a bad, and now seems to want to atone, at least a little. Lauren, understandably angry (at a situation she did little to derail, mind), has to walk up to him with violence in mind. Sam snapped and had one moment. Lauren had that time to think about maybe -not- hitting him. She did it anyways. After saying that Sam doesn't deserve her being calm. Now, in today's strip, she's revving up for a fight when she gets home, and saying that Sam won't be sleeping in what is clearly the bed that they both share. So, she gets to start fights, kick a man out of his bed and more or less have everything the way she wants it? I know people get angry in fights, but she's not even -trying- to temper her own reactions. Nevermind that, as someone pointed out, she struck a loved one, where Sam struck a (to him) antagonist. So we're left with someone who struck out in a moment of anger at someone he's predisposed to not liking (bad move, Sam. No, not just that you screwed up, but morally bad. No one deserves that!) But Lauren had more time to think and still chose violence against a loved one. Now, having had more time to talk with a calming influence (go Rick! For the first time I think you're not totally worthless!), she intends to go home and pick the fight again. Am I the only one who's seeing Lauren as the common escalating denominator here?
Sorry for the wall o' text, and I'm sad that I'm picking on one of my favorite characters. But man, she really, really isn't handling any of the situation well from beginning to end.
@Granite: I think that slap happened in seconds, about the same as the punch. It was wrong on both accounts.
I hate that she did it, because I wanted her to keep the higher ground, but I can't fault it. They are both stressed and are acting out in bad ways. I like that this is shown, how bad feelings so easily turn into bad actions.
I can't get on board that this is all Lauren's fault, when Christo has been the instigator in all this. Also, Sam is responsible for his actions too, and turning to The Dark Side by listening to Christo and not Lauren.
@Jeffko: Hmm, I concede to some degree, they were introduced at the same time, but judging by some comments it seems as if Rick didn't even utter one single word to Sam and was just blatantly ignoring him which is obviously not true. If I were in Ricks' shoes I would probably act similarly, Cristo was extremely annoying and pushy from the start and Sam kinda jumped the bandwagon.
@Kagan: Christo was most definitely a negative force right off the bat. In fact, that's what irked me the most at first. He definitely got into Sam's head, though what Sam ultimately did was all on him and him alone.
@Lleyn: 1) It's not that I don't believe he's not still interested in her... I'm just willing to give him the benefit of a doubt that he's not trying to manipulate himself into her pants or steal her from Sam. I believe he still wants her, he certainly admitted the attraction is there and if the opportunity were to arrive, he'd pounce like a male on a female in heat. That's not to say he couldn't just opt to be her friend and hope she sees potential for more. After all, since being a friend is no consolation prize, he's still happy one way or the other being by Lauren's side.
2) I figure a person can be a lousy girlfriend the same way one can be a lousy... sister, friend, brother, mentor, role model, etc. People can be lousy anythings. And yeah, I think there's a rule for that. Relationships have rules, generally unwritten. I still think Lauren dropped the ball there.
For the respect thing, yes, it's earned, not owed. But here's where Lauren gets my irritation. We can assume that since they're a couple, they respect each other, yeah? So going with the argument that Sam as earned Lauren's respect, then she, respecting Sam and all, should maybe get a little irked at her friend being rude to her boyfriend. If nothing else, she could have tried to bridge the gap on both sides instead of sending all her disapproval towards Sam like Rick wasn't the least bit culpable for his own actions.
@Jeffko: Absolutely, the way Sam handled this situation was awful and that's on him, Lauren wasn't much better at it, to be honest(slap and stuff)...but I dunno for some reason in my mind Cristo was the one to make Rick cautious and distanced from the rest of the group, or Sam (to be exact). Though it can be taken in consideration that maybe he simply wasn't interested in others, didn't want to waste energy to fix relations with Cristo and Sam and chose just to focus on a person, Lauren , who is warm, welcoming, understanding and pleasurable to talk to(they have same interests).
I honestly hadn't given much thought to the fact that she slapped him. I've mostly just been reading the story and wondering what will happen next. Now that I've been reading the comments and thought about it, though. I can agree that hitting a loved one is never acceptable, regardless of the situation at hand. I will now go back to my happy world of just enjoying the comic as it comes out and just wait and see what happens.
@Guest: Oh, it's by no means all Laure's fault. But while Christo hasn't helped, he's only talked. Sam and Lauren are the only ones who've gotten physical. And of the pair? Lauren seems the most keen about the fight and round 2. Even if it's not a fistfight, she seems out to get a pound of flesh.
Thought about it a while
In addition to Lauren's violence being directed at a loved one, not only wasn't in a moment of passion (as I take Sam's to be... ie lashing out in frustration), but someone tried to talk her out of it (weasel boy Rick). She deliberately walked over xx feet, and hauled off and smacked him. That's premeditated, regardless of reason. NOW she's spoiling to go home and render some more street justice on ol' Sam.
That's serious screwed up.
Can't wait to see how that pans out.
and Rick's still a pompous weenie... just not as much of one as a few strips ago. Just as Mulligan is a misogynistic dopedealer... (and sometimes it isn't as apparent....)
personal past experience
I've been quiet on the forums on this issue. I've been waiting to see how the story unfolds.
I have been reading this arc with interest, because my ex was in much the same position as Lauren once... except her Ricks didn't have good intentions. I use the plural of Rick intentionally.
In my ex's case, she was for some reason incapable of telling men the word "no". She would often come to me to help her to get these individuals to stop contacting her.
It was always a pleasant affair, calling someone she met through facebook, and having them let me know they've been to jail, they wanted to meet up and fight about it, etc.
I'm glad that Lauren is clear-headed and "strong" enough to make her own decisions.
For me, I suppose this comment is meant to express how much I wish that my ex had been as intelligent as Lauren, so that I didn't have to go through the stress and pain of fighting (not physically) her battles for her. Had my ex been as loyal and independent as Lauren, we may have broken up on better terms. I don't like fighting. I never have.
In short, this isn't the first time I've felt envy for a character in a story, but it's the first time it's really hit home in this way.
Has anyone ever stopped to consider for a moment that maybe Rick is just shy? I mean he doesn't really know Sam or Christo, and maybe he's just not the confident outgoing guy who will just start talking to them, and is just waiting for them to make the first move.
I must admit I always read him as a dick, because I thought Christo was supposed to be telling us the truth here, that Rick was a pretentious douche, but one thing did surprise me was the fact that Rick admitted to having feelings for Lauren, because never did it come across to me that he was being leery or hitting on her - in fact I often wondered what the big fuss was about, as he didn't seem too intense.
If I can be influenced to think ill of a new character who enters the scene of one of my favourite webcomics by one of the old standing characters, wouldn't it be so much more of an influence if one of your flesh and blood friends (Christo) started talking this kind of shit to you (Sam)? If you're already insecure on some level, and most people at college are, it will probably grind your trust in your significant other quite a bit.
Also, I think a fair point that seems to be revealing itself is that Christo is in a shit place. Whatever he seems to be running from, I can hypothesise, has probably nothing to do with Michelle, but started well before (does anyone else remember the Spanish/Greek bit?) and as much as friends, weed and good times turned his gaze away from what he was dealing with, distraction is not a solution to your problems.
His blatant focus on Rick, makes me think that he's unhappy with himself, otherwise he'd focus on his own crap instead of meddling where he shouldn't.
Also, I remember the little rant he gave about Rick being pretentious; as long as nobody is shoving anything in your face and being a pompous twat about it, I don't see a problem with being vegan and listening to indie music.
I get the point that Christo is trying to get at, but what he seems to misunderstand is that taste is not a god given natural gift, and that most people create themselves and start creating themselves in college. If Rick wants to create himself into something that Christo dislikes, that has nothing to do with him.
College is the place where you're free and encouraged to create the person you want to be, to move with your interests and meet people who like the same things as you do, and to 'find yourself', even though it's less finding and more doing what you like consistently until you come out who you are. And even then, you're never done, because you're always evolving, always adding new things, and cleaning out the old stuff.
I'm in my third year of my bachelor of arts in university (don't know if that corresponds in the US, I'm in England), and all of this stuff resonates pretty strongly with me because they're all my age, more or less, and I know what they're going through, and it's pretty goddamn scary, shedding your old identity and building a new one. That still doesn't excuse you being a dick, and I'm sorry, Christo is really being one and has for a while actually, well before he and Michelle broke up.
I really don't think Rick is the dick anymore, especially if you consider him having feelings for her. If you got to know this girl who had a boyfriend, got close to her and started to develop a crush on her that grew and grew.. ask yourself honestly, wouldn't it be VERY difficult at first to be able to be entirely happy and relaxed around him?
Consider the guilt, the awkwardness, the wanting, the sadness etc? Especially if there's actual feelings involved, because so far, everyone has been talking about Rick wanting in on Lauren's pants but here it turns out he probably really fancied her quite a lot and is doing the decent thing by trying to stay friends with her because he thinks she's special etc. It's a bloody hard thing to do, if you've ever tried.
He's doing it remarkably well.
All of his concerns have always been toward Lauren, because he's friends with her and because he has feelings for her, she's special to him, she makes him feel all fuzzy inside. He's worried about her, but is always hoping that she might be interested in him. That's what unrequited love does to you, you're always hoping, somewhere in your mind, that they'll come to you at some point. Of course he wants her to come to his house, he wants to spend as much time with her he can, cause he likes her. And even though he said he 'had' feelings for her, I'm pretty sure he's still a bit soft on her. That doesn't make him a slime ball.
He doesn't know Sam.
The only way he's ever known him, is aggressive, confrontational and possessive; we know him differently, we know him to be chilled out and quiet, and that these are extraordinary circumstances, that he's worried and anxious and insecure.
One other thing that bothers me is the fact that Lauren didn't tell Sam about Rick's feelings for her; she probably thought nothing of it because she didn't return them and she probably thought she had a good reason not to tell him, but if you're in a relationship with someone, you owe them loyalty and honesty, and by not telling him, she was leaving him out of the loop. I know she probably had very good intentions, as this is Lauren we are talking about and I don't believe her to be a manipulative person, but her actions were not very respectful of Sam.
She should have been more upfront about everything and that's probably what bothered Sam; then they could have dealt with any insecurity that would have arised together. Provided Christo would have left them alone.
Ok sorry for the essay.. Just it irked me that so many people were being so judgemental about everyone and not putting themselves in people's shoes.
@Gibson Twist: I love it when you comment on these things. An online letters column is such an interesting medium in that it allows for immediate explanation of authorial intent. Can't think of too many other venues that make that possible, short of live performance. I hope our ramblings and misapprehensions don't bug you too much. Thanks for all the good work -- it's much appreciated.
@Joe: I agreed with you that artists should not interfere with how people view their work. But I don't think Gibson was, as he clearly stated his beef was people taking comments as canon, therefore obstructing the work he was trying to display. If anything, I've found his participation in the debate awesome, I respect anyone willing to participate with their fans. I think you're referencing when he reminded us of specifically what behavior we've been debating over the last few weeks. He didn't say we're wrong and make any of us change course, he just added another viewpoint to the debate. Sometimes you fight long enough to forget why or how it started, so that reminder wasn't a bad thing.
But seriously dude, "irregardless?" You just torpedoed everything you were trying to say with one word. You can't expect anyone to take you seriously or as intelligent with such a blatant slip like that...
@sandra: I think you oversimplify my reasoning for feeling bored with Lauren. I tried to come up with highlights of each female character's story lines for comparison. This is a story that is built heavily on the relationships of the characters, and clearly doesn't shy away from sex. Combine that with I'll admit lackluster effort, and I had a small pool to fish from, my fault. I didn't intend to appear to have such narrow focus. Basically all I meant to say was yes, she's the homely one of the girls. No, that isn't always a bad thing. But that does mean she isn't always as exciting as the others, and now that she is in something exciting, I hope some sort of character growth comes from it.
@yayness: Thank you so much for indulging my curiosity :) I find myself agreeing with your logic. I think I like him because he reminds me of an actual person from my life. However that person and I no longer "get on" like we used to, partly because of some of those reasons you listed. So I get where you're coming from ;)
@DemonicMRX11: 'Irregardless' was a poor choice of word, I imagine you saw my meaning though. Perhaps a better line would have been 'despite your best intentions, people will react to the story in ways you hadn't intended. Let the comic do the talking.' Or something along those lines, I can't quite remember all the points I was trying to make at the time. You make a very valid point. Although, by being quite vocal earlier on his views of Lauren and Rick, Mr Twist had set me up for a scene where we see him as slightly less of an antagonist. As a result, I couldn't enjoy the revelation quite as organically as I'd have liked to.
@Joe: In the future, you may want to read the comic BEFORE reading the comments. Or just don't read the comments during story arcs, or at all. I only read them when I feel a need to post, which has been a lot lately. (Enough that I finally decided to join if for no other reason then to stop having to type my guest name and get right to my comment. I admit I do like the avatar option too :P) Otherwise, I only care about the comic.
Besides, I wouldn't put Gibson above playing a little gag on us and leading us one way via comments, then catching us off guard with the story. Some of us would deserve it with the state of the comments at times during this arc.
Not sure where his comment was that "spoilered" you for a lack of a better term, so Idk, link it if it's important enough. I can't think of anything off hand that ruined any coming pages for me...
And it just struck me how brave it is, really, for an artist to put his work out there on an ongoing basis, to commented and judged. I, personally, am very anxious and tend not to let people see things until they are entire. But I'm glad we are following this saga and the comments and discussion are interesting.
@comicgirl: 1) It's not about whether or not people think Rick is still trying to get into Lauren's pants. It's about the many, many previous comments readily bashing Rick that suddenly seem to have converted now to many, many comments reconsidering him. All this because another side of him has been shown. So I wonder why people allow themselves to be so guided by general perceptions of how or who a person / character is.
2) I beg to differ. If relationships have rules, it is solely those that have been agreed upon by both (or all, if more are involved, think polyamorous) parties involved in the relationship. No outside rules exist or are valid. Especially not those that are meant to tell a person how to behave. This whole "stand by your man" reasoning is making me sick.
3) If Sam has earned Lauren's respect, surely, Lauren has earned Sam's respect as well, going with your "since they're a couple" argument. So, if you're irritated at Lauren not admonishing Rick for his behavior towards Sam (and what has her failing to do so got to do with respect at all?), you should be equally irked at Sam not respecting her choice in friends. But really, her actions are not a lack of respect, just a lack of diplomacy, and that goes for all of them.
And Sam deserves someone who gives care and consideration to his feelings rather than disregarding them and stomping on them. Yes, his feelings may have seemed silly to Lauren but he felt them and that's what matters. She invalidated him and left him out. No he shouldn't have hit the guy and yes he did over react but both parties are at fault here. I don't like how Lauren thinks her shit don't stink. When you're with someone their feelings should MATTER to you.