At least the story-arc is winding down. Nothing against you or your writing Gibson, I love the comic and all, but this is the first story-arc I was hoping would end soon. Not because it was written badly, just because I'm quite indifferent to these characters the chapter has focused on. The same way I didn't like Sansa chapters in A Song of Ice and Fire.
If you care enough to read this, let me just tell you how saddened I'd be if you truly shut down the comments. While this story-arc has brought out the worst in people I feel it's only appropriate seeing the characters involved (such as Rick who was pretty much hated and Christo who has been acting like a dick), and the topic at hand. It's an uncomfortable topic as many of us have lived it and are very passionate about it, as are you or a loved one apparently.
I sincerely believe that once the story moves on to something else the comments will return to the norm. The internet has always been pretty divided when it comes to feminism and defensive male syndrome since well, the two seem to be pushed down throats in many places. Yin and Yang.
Nah, I feel like I would've gone on enjoying this comic for what it was without the SotU and all of the comment wars going on. Now I can't help but look at what other people are saying and get pissed off whatever I see something I don't agree with, considering all the drama going on.
@BloodyGem: haha probably a bit unfair. It's just that I'm put in the same situation where I am reading them quickly. Maybe later on these characters will reach the level of the good Sansa chapters, but that mainly didn't happen until the fateful dinner that will happen this or next season.
Shoot. Commented on the wrong page. If you already read this at the end of 4.13.34, sorry for the double post.
The comments section is invaluable. It'd be a damn shame to see it go. People are working their shit out in real life as a result of the discussions you're generating. Look at all the people who have written in to say that they now realize they were wrong. Had a conversation with someone today about how your comic and the comments were providing me with the chance to do some self-reflection. It's an absurdly wonderful and rare opportunity to receive from a comic.
@LittleBoyBlue: I feel the comments in the last year have done more to sway people's reading of the material than they have in providing a place to discuss ideas presented in it. Books, paintings, movies, albums, and so on don't have comments sections attached to them, yet people are still influenced by their messages. If they did, no doubt there would be no end of people calling Hester Prynne a slut.
I would also ask, if you consider the arc the comic has taken since its beginning until now, do you believe the story is more likely to become calmer after this book?
But before everyone starts chiming in, although I doubt I could stop it with a shotgun and a Bible, this isn't a vote on whether I keep the comments alive or not. I suspect the people who comment would be generally biased anyway.
@seanc: I appreciate that sentiment, it isn't wrong, but if people are going to use this comic as an influence to sort out their real life shit, and I know that some have, I would rather they do it based on the material itself, not the potentially misguided opinions of a handful of readers, or on any external editorials I feel the need to make in response to them.
@Gibson Twist: I don't suspect the story to get calmer. And truly thinking about it, seeing how the comic deals largely with relationships and youth and all the terrible things that happens to them either by their decisions or bad luck I suspect topics might actually get worst.
At the end of the day it's up to you to make the decision. You must've imagined that the more emotional and less light-hearted the story got the more serious and emotional the readers would react. That's a sign you're doing a fantastic job as a writer.
Now as to your comments on other artistic media not having comments section that's very true. Other online comics seem to have gotten around this loophole by having a forum dedicated to the fans and the area below the current page reserved for comments by the author. That's always an option as you wouldn't have new readers get scared away by the comments right below the page, and those who frequently comment can discuss somewhere else.
If it helps, though it probably won't haha, the webcomic Sinfest is dealing heavily with the topic of feminism recently and it's getting quite the negative attention by some as well. So it's not only reserved to your audience.
She nibbled the humble pie, good enough for me if the story is moving on now...
Since I just recently made a Smack Jeeves account purely for all the commenting I've been doing here lately, I'd be bummed to know it was pointless if the Comments go down. A lot of the time I'd see comments and just laugh at how idiotic the logic of some posters were, and by extension they probably were. But now I see the same stupid comments and I feel something beyond that schadenfreude, actual attachment. That's the downfall of really enjoying something, I suppose.
My first thought would be stricter guidelines on posting. But in addition to being extra unnecessary work on Gibson, that would be censorship, which I am against. So then the hard-ass in me stepped up, "If some are fucking it all up, let them bear the weight of ruining it for everyone else." Then a third revelation within me: this story arc has very likely been the most divisive and polarizing one yet, is it so surprising that the comments reflect that? If only we could have handled it better...
I'd like the comments to stay, as they were once a great way to interact within our readership collective. But I understand if they have to go. This was our biggest, if not first, test so far, and we fucked it up. Instead of berating posters of dreck, we not only tolerated it but propagated it in some instances. If they do go down I only hope we get another shot somewhere down the line.
FYI the tone I'm trying to set here is speaking to everyone while blaming no one. So I hope this has some merit, but don't waste your time defending yourself. I'm not calling anyone out, I know I don't have that right.
@Gibson Twist: I've already invested too much time in this not to accept whatever decision you make on the comments. As long as you keep on delivering the quality story you have been, I'll keep enjoying it like I have been. Even if I can't express it here ;)
I probably shouldn't even comment, because I know for a fact a great many people will strongly disagree, but his has been eating at me for the last few days and I'm really rather sick of it. So. Since this may well be one of my last opportunitis to do so, here is my opinion;
Rick screwed up. Period. Once you find out that someone has a partner, you make an effort to get along with them, at least while they are there. Its a matter of respect for your friend, more than anything. He not only failed to do that, he was outright rude to Sam for no reason. Doesn't matter at all his opinion of Sam or Sam & Lauren's relationship because he hasn't been around long enough to see what it is really like. It really, really comes across as him trying to drive a wedge in between them, even if that isn't the case. *shrugs* If I'd met him in real life I'd think he was a douche.
Sam over reacted. Honestly, he let his jealously control him when it wasn't necessary, and reacted poorly. He probably should't have hit Rick, but he did. Can't undo that, so it is what it is. He screwed up, and he regretted it, problem solved.
Lauren...needs to get off her high horse. I've been her...man does that suck to admit...and she's got some issues here. She should have handed both of them better, but as those arguments have already been made I'll leave that alone. But just now, she's wrong. You want to go off, fine, that's your right. But you don't walk off without giving your partner a chance to defend him/herself. That's bs and highly selfish. And I understand wanting space, but you don't threaten someone to get it. All it would have taken is a "give me some time and we can discuss this". Sam would have respected that. Kills me to see her be so childish when she can so easily fix this whole thing, but like I've said, I've been there and realize its easier to see in retrospect.
On the nature of relationships, men, and women. Ho boy do I have some...opinions. I've been abused in just about every way, so bear that in mind when replying please. But...really? Instincts are just that, instinctual. They don't disappear because they're inconvenient or old fashioned. They're programmed into your psyche long before you had an inkling of personality simply by virtue of being born human and male or female. Yes, in many cases you can subdue them, but they don't go away just because you don't like them! Not to mention, instincts aren't always bad, either. Ever heard of a mother lifting a car off her baby? They're there for a reason, for good or ill by today's standards, and they will not go away. Sorry to disappoint the feminists out there. Women are not property, nor are men. We are not slaves to be bought and sold with pretty baubles and wedding rings; however, when you are in a relationship there is a certain amount of mutual respect and understanding. You put that person before anyone else (save, perhaps, yourself ON OCCASION). That's why the relationship exists in the first place. If that isn't something you are interested in, then perhaps you should be single.
I am very happily married, and I have a great many male friends. Some of whom my husband has not, and probably will never meet. They simply wouldn't get along. I have made clear that as an adult I will remain friends with them, and he is okay with that because he trusts me. However, if ever he feels insecure or jealous or simply wants my attention, I do everything in my power to help him with that. (That is where Lauren failed). He takes priority over all of my friends, always. My friends know this, too, and respect it. And because he knows this it almost never comes up.
@CassandrAlys: I agree with your first 4 paragraphs, and most of the other two. Other than possibly swapping instinct for adrenaline in that exact situation, and the difference of being happily married (good for you (: ) vs. still dating like they are, you're right on the money.
The comments are going to be taken down? And here I was thinking of getting an account to have a nice avatar next to my comments... Oh well...*makes a sad face*
Soooo... as a feminist who has been abused and is also in a loving relationship I do not see any need to hold the hand of my beloved when he becomes insecure or jealous or simply wants my attention. If you are talking about mutual respect and understanding it should come from both sides not just the womens side. That's my feminist side talking. Where was Sams Respect when he hit Rick? Where was Sams mutual understanding when Lauren told him she didn't wanted to be in a fight and wasn't interested in Rick that way? I still feel it should have been Sam who should have made a better effort to get to know Rick better if Rick makes him uncomfortable and slightly jealous and insecure, not Laurens job to hold her boyfriends hand and tell him she is not going to fuck Rick at every meeting they have.
I do not see Lauren failing here because she didn't do everything in her power to help Sam with his jealousy and insecureness. I really don't why she should be doing that. It's Sams problem right? More so when the real problem isn't probably Rick. Yeah, you heard that right, the underlying problem most likely isn't Rick. It's the stress Sam feels with the exhibition in my opinion. And that he feels childishly ignored.
I can even understand Lauren storming off when she was done saying her thing. Yeah, perhaps it would've been better if she stayed to see what Beavis and Butthead had to say for themselves, but they have been out, they are tired and a little drunk and since when have people been able to get a good deep relationship conversation about their relationship problems when they are tired and drunk?
My guess is that it would get out of hand really quickly. It is probably better to wait with such a conversation till both parties are fresh and rested and WITHOUT Christo.
whatever else happened in this arc and however else the 'direction' of the story was explained to us, it cannot be helped that some of us believe very strongly in some things, mr twist, as do you
some of us fight for those things, not physically or in verbal war, but as a matter of principle
it is not just probable, but most or even highly or COMPLETELY likely, that each of us has been affected in a way with a similar situation, if anything although its hurtful to read the comments, you must realize it's a big thing that your audience connects so well to the story, no matter how discombobulated our views may be somehow
It would be sad to see the comments go, but given the recent rise in spitefulness and its proximal 'tainting' of the comic, that may be for the best. It would be terrible for commenter toxicity to disenfranchise Mr. Twist with his own work, especially when he's placed in the bind of being perceived as endorsing the virulent misogyny when he stays quiet, and forcing his viewpoint on the audience if he speaks up.
However, I have to agree with some other commenters in being glad this arc/part of the arc is reaching its close. It's been the first one I've had little interest in, and this has been a function of the story and characters, and not vehement entrenchment in one side of the 'who's wrong?' camp. To me, Lauren and Sam are easily the least developed part of the core group, and the figures I would struggle to come up with decent descriptions for if I was relaying the story to a new reader. Unlike any of the comic's prior or current relationships, I have a hard time imagining what exactly they do together or talk about, and while we've been told about their relationship, I don't feel I've seen enough to be invested in it (compare and contrast the superb handling of Peter/Kara and Michelle/Christo).
Enter Rick, and we have a nicely ambivalent figure on the margins - but like Lauren and Sam's relationship, I just don't feel the Lauren/Rick friendship. Who is Rick? What are his interests and passions? He comes across as more of a plot device than a character - we're told about the great chats he and Lauren have, but we've barely ever seen them conversing, and when they do, it's always with another part of the group adding suspicious or defensive commentary. Again, compare and contrast with Kara's introduction - it was really hard to know what to make of her, but her characterisation and place in the story were so strong that the early uncertainty was fascinating.
As such, I think we've had an arc about a plot device's intrusion into an informed relationship between the comic's two least interesting 'regulars', and part of me is wondering if that's the real source of the recent problems. By accident or design, it's much harder to know what Lauren, Sam and Lauren/Sam are about, and their beigeness has allowed parts of the audience to force their own experience onto the characters, in a way I doubt would happen for deeper figures like Michelle, Patrick, Peter or even Wiley. As such, we've ended up with countless scenarios of readers not responding to Mr. Twist's Lauren, Sam and Rick, but audience-created caricatures of them.
Though I appreciate that many will disagree with my assessment, I hope that this perspective might prove food for thought. I also hope that my statements about this arc are taken in the constructive manner intended - while this part of the story has not worked for me, I still have the utmost respect for Mr Twist as a writer, and have no doubts regarding "Pictures of You"'s continued excellence.
Link a Separate Forum
I may be rehashing what some people have already said, but consider a solution to comments highjacking the tone of the comic by disabling comments here and simply linking a separate comments forum at the bottom of each page. That way, you separate your comic and your casual readers from any unfavorable comments and ideas. Plus, having to go somewhere to comment on the comic would most likely whittle out a few nasties because of the extra work involved. In theory, only the dedicated would go somewhere else to discuss this art. Now, there is a possibility that some people might become even more visceral or offensive due to them being taken from the more public eye and being left to their own devices, but I believe the shift would be more positive than negative.
@Gibson Twist: The reason why I enjoy the comments is because your comics are that good that they inspire debate (even if some of the commentators get a bit venomous). And a lot of the debate is quite interesting and entertaining to view. I like that people want to talk about the story and the characters.
But I also understand that some people are biasing the view of others who are reading the comics. So perhaps you could find a compromise and move the comments to its own dedicated forum, away from the strip itself? That way, most people won't be swayed by someone else's viewpoint, while those who want the discussion can go looking for it. I don't know if your hosting service would allow it, but it's something to consider, and it works for other comics I read.
Hey, I'd just like to throw my voice in on the "Keep the Comments" side. I've always liked the little community here, even if everyone's been angry lately. I'm sure it will cool down when we get to another arc.
I love how we got into talk about ASoIaF :) Personally, I wasn't a fan of Sansa at first, I only looked forward to her scenes because I'd get to read more about the Hound!!!! but she has since grown on me, and her chapters and her character are much more developed now--but I won't derail the comments too much, but I had to voice my thoughts, the greyjoy chapters for me were always a bit harder to get through, tbh.
Anyway...as far as comments go, I think they will stay--though I haven't had a comic on SJ in a while, is it possible to block anon comments? That way they would need to set up an account? It takes like two seconds to do, and since people are coming back and commenting under the same guest name, why not?
I think the comments probably need to stay, or at least like someone said, host a forum or something? I don't know... :|
edit: Also, SeanC's comment on the previous page has some excellent points. Thumbs up.
I rather enjoy the comments, and it's easy enough to avoid or ignore obnoxious posts. If you wanted to create more of a separation between the art and the discussion, you could always provide a forum. Many sites do the same, and it would create a degree of separation without removing the community.
Once this arc is over, the rude comments will probably die down, true. But as soon as something else happens that people don't like, it'll start up again. I'm all for you trying to connect with your readers and have a community feel, but the blatant disrespect toward the artist and the other readers is embarrassing.
Personally, I think a forum is a much better idea. Then the people interested in discussion can go there and argue about feminism Sinfest-style to their hearts' desire without making me angry.
I think the timing of this was not ideal is also part of the issue. Wiley was presented to have some pretty big demons and then we have no mention of him for how long? I think this arc has it's place and overall is solid but like was already mentioned the lack of investment in Sam and Lauren and especially Rick along with the weird timing of it made the whole thing seem like a way to get Sam and Lauren back into the story.
@I TOO HAVE AN OPINION: Keep in mind that this arc is not that long if you're reading the comic in chunks and not just one page per day. It's the nature of webcomics that it can feel like you've been with a certain story for much longer than it would seem if you were reading a book.
That being said, I don't feel that way about it anyway.
And I, for one, have really enjoyed this arc. I like stories about "normal" people. It's interesting that at the same time some are decrying that this arc is boring, others are (I think rightly) pointing out that discussion would "calm down" if we got back to sex, drug & rock 'n roll". Tomfoolery may be fun, and I enjoy that aspect, but arcs like this really hook into you as a reader.
Considering Peter's narration from the prologue, I feel it safe to say there's no fucking way things are calming down. God, who knows what monsters are hiding right now, that we'll look back on in a year and go, oh, OH...
I agree with everything @Sandra said on the Subject That Won't Die. High-fives and cookies forever, Sandra!
As to the comments, I use them when they're there, and don't care when they're not. And I'd say, like gambling, I generally lose more than I win by engaging in them.
I'd also like to point out that forums take a lot of management to stay good. If that's what Mr. Twist wants to do, cool, I'll be there. But I think I'd much rather he spend his time creating than deleting spam and banning abusive posters. SmackJeeves DOES have a forum, with moderators and rules in place, maybe people can migrate there?
Last thing I'll say is, I'm happy Mr. Twist spoke out. I know everyone has differing opinions on it, but the truth is, it's his right to express his opinions as much as anyone else. If you don't want to know what the people who create your entertainment think, that is TOTALLY FINE. It's on you to avoid what they say (and there are plenty that I do my best to!), it is NOT on them to be quiet.
One more thing....
I realize that this is not a democracy and that I'm giving unsolicited advice here, but not having comments or at least a forum for interactivity is contrary to the point of Internet media. What makes the Internet different from TV or books or any other medium is that it enables active participation and the building of a community around the content. If you don't want comments influencing the story, then that's perfectly understandable. In that case, I think having a forum that is separate from the main page would be a great solution. That way, casual readers and new readers don't get chased away by mommy and daddy fighting in comments or have their opinions swayed by hate and nonsense spewed a couple hundred pixels below the content, but die-hards like us still have a way to interact with Gibson and with each other. Having a place for readers to discuss the work is essential to fostering the community of readers.
All that said, Mr. Twist putting cameos of readers in the work is also something that helps build this community and is not something to be taken lightly. I'm sure it's a lot more work than we realize and I've never read any other comic that even comes close to showing that level of respect and appreciation for its readers. I think we get spoiled.
Tried to leave this comment yesterday, but my internet's been shitty. Here's attempt #2.
Gibson, what upsets me is that it feels like your story has been changed by all of this drama, and the last week (or longer) has just been you lecturing commenters through your comic.
It's just... this no longer feels like a story about flawed, complex human beings engaged in the drama of young college relationships, and feels more like the author bitching us all out on a daily basis. I'm a sex-positive feminist with a raging hate-on for victim blaming, but I still think Lauren has made her share of young-person mistakes in this arc, even after reading you arguing back and forth with commenters and having Lauren, Sam, Michelle, and Kara all yelling at all of us for who knows how long. I hate to say it, but your take on the characters rightness/wrongness is just another opinion in the crowd, even as The Author. Just because C.S. Lewis intended the Chronicles of Narnia as a Christian parable doesn't mean that I agree with him that Christianity is right or best, and I don't agree with you that Lauren didn't fuck up in a few places. And the thing is, that doesn't make either of us wrong. If these were people in the real world, or characters in a TV show we both watched, we'd probably still disagree. That's opinions for you.
I'm genuinely sorry that people's comments have made you miserable. It sucks that writing/drawing your story can't be a more enjoyable experience for you as the author. I wish there was a solution, but I don't know if this is it. This is just confusing the personal drama of the characters with the drama between you and the audience, and I don't think it helps your narrative.
I, personally, am probably going to try to stop reading the comments and just skim the comics until we're back onto an arc without so much author/audience drama. I'm way too goddamned sensitive for IRL drama, that's why I stick to the fictional :P
I JUST started reading the comments again (including, on re-reads, ones I hadn't initially read), it really REALLY messes with the reading of the story. Some people can get a lot out of it, some can parse it well, some can't. If you can't, the solution is so damn simple: take RESPONSIBILITY for your OWN happiness and DON'T read the comments.
To me, and others, this story reads as perfectly real. I've had those discussions with friends, I had these fights with lovers.
You have every right to have your opinion, and you can disagree with me that this story arc is awesome. But for God's sake, if you know something is ruining your reading of the story, it is NOT the creator's responsibility to make sure you don't do it.
Sorry for the rant, I just see this entitled attitude friggin' EVERYWHERE.
Aww Christo, you didn't get out of there in time.
I think what really brought this fight to its apex is that Sam and Lauren didn't talk this out more. It seems like they tried a few times but one or both of their senses of pride and offense just stopped them from staying in the conversation enough to gain a sense of understanding. They were both too butthurt about getting the result they wanted, without actually taking their other's concerns into consideration.
Sam and Lauren, yall need to chill out and talk about this.
And Sam seriously needs to apologize/talk to Rick. I think having an actual conversion between the two of them would have done this whole situation a world of good.
Also I vote for keeping the comments section as well. I always like it when comics have a section for that. I like seeing what people think about the page I'm readin.
I agree with the people who are noting that, all this fighting in the comments section is pretty circumstantial to one story arc about one hot issue. I mean, when you look at the temperament of the comments section from the rest of the archives, its much better.
I say, leave the comments at least for another story or two to get a more solid measure of the state of the "Pictures of You Comment Community"
Well, I can't say everything is hunky-dory (and after what's happened, who could?), but this strip loosened what I belatedly realize is a big ball of tension somehwere in the gut-al region. Am I ecstatic over how everyone is acting? No. But Lauren, for all that she didn't leave much room for talk tonight, did say she was sorry for the slap. Sam and Christo maintained silence and listened (I hope) to the richly deserved tongue-lashing. Now that everyone's had a chance to let out tempers (which is is not an edorsement for doing so, but it undeniably lessens the pressure on the dial), I hope the next morning will bring calmer talks. Serious talks about what every person involved needs. And honestly? I think Christo should be there to hear it as well. If hears where Lauren is coming from, and how a now-calmer Sam feels about the situation, maybe he'll realize he's likely letting his biases and recent history taint his actions. With any luck at all, this might bring some growth and introspection to all three. But...given the tone of the prologue, I'm honestly afraid. Why, oh why, is this a Friday strip, Mister Twist?
Regarding the comments, I'd like to say I hope they stay as well. This is the only comic (and recently, at that!) that I feel strongly enough about to comment on. And while it's been quite divisive at points, it has also exposed me to different viewpoints as well. I'd be sad to see it go.
My question in all of this is, when is this going to swing back around to Christo. I'm not saying Christo is the bad guy here. If anything I still hold that a lot of this was Sam not being able to separate his artistic anxiety from his relationship anxiety, and Lauren really not clearing the line with Rick earlier on.
The reason I'm questioning Christo is because ever since the start of this, even before the band went on tour, he's been on a tear. The Morning After with that one girl really was an eye opener. Its obvious there is a lot of trust and anger still left over from Michelle but his way of handling it (One-Night stands and increasing chauvinism) is spilling out onto his friends.
Gibson, I enjoy the story as you present it, and try not to go "What If?", but in this case I do wonder what if Christo hadn't initially acted the way he did towards Rick. What if Christo hadn't spoke to Sam and suggested that Rick may a threat to the relationship? Is Christo's own anger and grief over his break up with Michelle causing him to subconsciously destroy the positive relationships he sees around him? Up until this point Sam and Lauren were some of the least drama-prone characters.
Obviously Sam, Lauren, Rick, and Christo all could/should have done many things to avoid all this pain, but ever since the start Christo's behavior has been a point of worry.
Either way, good story and I can't wait until Monday.
Also, I think that it is very insulting to the author to imply (or flat out say) that he has changed his story/dialog based on what people have been saying in the comments. You may not like what he has presented, but to question his creative integrity is very bad form. :(:(:(
@Diana: in case you meant me (or maybe its the other commentors i didnt read much of them because theyre kinda long) i have not felt that mr twist has changed dialogue in the story because of the audience, what i didn't like in particular is being told off as an audience member that my 'reaction' is not the correct one
like i said it may not have been the correct one but you cant blame people for having certain reactions, in fact its a good thing they connect so well to the story, even if their reactions arent the ones we hope for
Don't do it
Glad to see Lauren (somebody!) said something that needed to be said to the right person, even if while walking away.
Sam, do not open the door. That will be just the breach of respect that will kill what may be left. She seems she is asking for space even if in a less than positive manner.
For GOd's sake, leave a note on the door telling her "I love you, I'm sorry and come talk to me when you are ready" or something that shows trust. Show us the thoughtful Sam.
Do NOT let Christo speak to anyone.
And I'm still wondering what Peter is going to do about the emotional bomb he ran across on their tour....
Damn it, now I have to wait until Monday to see what he does....
I just realized something else Mr. Twist. You mentioned noticing the trend in the comments changing, did this change happen around the same time you changed the way you did the chapters? A big thing I noticed from everyone including myself throughout the commenting debacle is that many people forgot what happened a week ago in the story line and many didn't seem to have back tracked to check themselves before making some claims of what the characters did and didn't do. Maybe, at least in the case of this situation, the slow pace for everything coming to head threw some off from seeing the point in what was happening. I am not saying you should go back to the old way I like both, and both have their drawback and it seems this might be one of them. Of course it probably wouldn't change things either way with the trolls and genuine masoginists that commented.
I think the worst thing about the comment section for me was that I didn't even know it existed until this arc. The comment section was a revelation because I thought it was another comic without any reader feedback (I have since checked every comic I read and turns out a few of them also have a comment section) which meant I could run through the comic without anyone elses opinions influencing my own ideas as they are forming.
I am probably going to go back to not reading the comment section (or replying to anything for that matter) as I don't like the amount of aggression that both the arc and comments incites in me. I also would like to form an opinion before reading someone elses.
Still going to read the comic of course. As much as I have issue with certain characters I am still aware they are not my characters and that I cannot influence their behaviour. Like telling a friend not to do something because you can guess the result; and then they do it anyway. It's frustrating but there wasn't anything you could really do but watch.
I will probably like the next arc better after watching the train wreck that was in both comic and comments. More drama or less drama doesn't really matter. Seems like people don't want more drama but we all know that Sam and Lauren aren't quite done yet. More drama might even be better.
This too Shall Pass
I rarely comment or read comments, so didn't know what I was getting into and am probably just reiterating what's been said. I've been surprised by this arc for the fact that I've found myself on the opposite side of the argument than expected. Logically, I agree with Lauren's position. But as soon as her friends pointed out that the guy may have ulterior motives, she should have thanked them for their concern and then told Rick in no uncertain terms that she wasn't interested and, Sam or no Sam, he didn't have a romantic future with her. It would have been the only fair thing for everyone (including Rick), and the only way to clarify his motives. Because she didn't do so, everything Rick has done can be construed as a dickish attempt to bring Sam and Lauren to this pinnacle.
What the whole arc illustrates really well, is that there are always two sides to the issue; you can not say that either party is completely faultless.
Lastly, I believe that works like this set people to reflection, but it takes dialog for most people to really pin down their thoughts and come to any revelations. So it's my personal opinion that the conversation is worth the controversy.
@Christina & jodie: *sigh* And here I wasn't going to comment on the comments anymore... But in Mr. Twist's defense, I have to say that although he berated the readers in his SotU because of all the flaming against Lauren, he wrote his rant mostly for a different reason, not because he wanted us to read the comic in his sense.
The thing is that he had noticed that the (truly and really) misogynistic comments on how all of this was Lauren's fault and her fault only, had started to affect how his comic was read, as if those comments were canon in addition to the comic. However, these comments were (deliberately, in some cases) ignoring a lot of things that had actually been written in the comic (e.g. Lauren trying to talk to Sam about her friendship with Rick), and thus influencing other readers in a way that was not what Mr. Twist had ever wanted, even going so far as to claim that this was exactly what he had wanted.
At any rate, Mr. Twist's hint that this arc has been written well before this whole discussion in here started, should be an eye-opener for you. Would you have read the whole arc differently, if he had kept silent? Probably, but then again, probably not.
Just hoping this is seen
I've come a little late to the comment party for today's page, but nevertheless. I never comment, but I always read the comments even when it gets a little heated. I suppose I might have to go back and read the comments again (I won't, though), but I didn't really feel as if people were getting really out of hand. I guess I haven't been seeing what you and others have been disturbed or bothered by. Sure, sometimes I don't like what some people have been saying, mostly just because I don't agree with them, but I guess I just didn't really feel as if the comments were so bad.
The author of another long-going (and close to ending) relationship and drama based comic I read has chosen to no longer read the forum posts regarding the current pages because some people just cannot be nice. I believe they have some mods around to handle it if it gets too out of hand (people insulting each other, for example), but there you have it.
When it comes to the story arc that has people so riled up, I get it. I really do. However, I don't feel as if people's comments and interpretations (no matter how incorrect they were or weren't) affected how I perceived the comic. I didn't like Rick from the get-go purely based on his actions and behavior. I'm not sure what to think of him now after it's all blown up in everyone's faces. When the Rick thing blows over at least a little bit, I plan to re-read the story from the point Rick appears so that I can have the full picture all at once. It's difficult to read something as complicated as what's going on one page at a time. It's also easy to forget things like the first time Sam and Rick met face to face and what was actually said, etc.
I would hate to see the comic section taken down. In my opinion, even if people get a little heated, it can still be a stimulating conversation with valid points from many sides. I'm in a class in school where we're going to be discussing such topics as surrogacy, abortion, dying with dignity, and others. Our first discussion became somewhat heated (I was yelled at by another student for offering the only opposing opinion on a surrogacy case discussion), but even despite that it's still intellectually stimulating. For me, most of the problem comes from people being disrespectful of one another.
People do forget, though, and I appreciate you, Mr. Twist, for occasionally stepping in to remind us of what happened many pages ago. I'm sorry that I seem to be missing what is bothering you so much about the comments, but I'm putting in my two cents and just saying I hope you don't close the comments down. That's all.
Thanks again for all your hard work in the comic. Your writing it's brilliant. :)
You know what this whole arc reminds me of? Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown". I heard it on the radio a little bit ago and, through sheer fridge brilliance, connected it to this arc. (I bet thats what Sam's been listening to while Lauren wasn't home.).
No, Lauren, no :(
I think she might be over-reacting by saying all those things. I believe Sam really DOES care about her and doesn't simply see her as a possession. I'm hoping she'll rethink what she said ,but...I don't know.