I have to say...I don't think I've seen many other webcomics with a dialogue so intense among its readers as Pictures of You has had over the last several weeks. Our audience may not be the biggest on the web, but it sure is the best.
An Eye for an Eye
I like that Peter told Devon why he's getting punched, to put himself in Melanie's position. Perhaps that'll make him realize how painful it is to get helplessly beaten up. I do hope that somewhere in Devon's brain are parts that'll make him realize just how fucking wrong he acted toward Melanie. Way to go Peter, now stop beating x_x Devon's an asshole but I think he'll get it now...or?
I love it...
This is epic. I must say that is the best scene so far man.
Devon's line is good, "Y-you can't do this."
I love Peter's dialogue. Best line, "I hope you had as much fun beating her as I'm gonna have beating you, you sick fuck..."
What appeals to (or even inspires) me the most is the intensity with which Peter values his friendship with Melanie. His loyalty is not something to shake a stick at and scorn, and I like the way that ideal has been presented in this story arc.
Something I just noticed,
In the 3rd, 4th and, 5th panel, Devon's word bubbles seem to get(what I can only describe as) Quiverier.
I know that a lot of webcomic artists have pre-loaded word bubbles in their drawing program that they use. My question Mr. Twist is, do/did you draw the word bubbles by hand, or do you have a separate type of pre-made bubble for just this type of occasion (the mentioned Quiverieness)?
Yup, woman-beaters are all straight-up cowards at their core. I do however agree with the above sentiment that there will be more to this and I'm getting rather worried about our man Peter here.
Right back at you, Mr Twist.
We sure are glad to have an author of such skill that he is able to involve us in his story that much. Today's update is again an example, unbelievable intense.
I share the view others already have expressed: "It is not the right way, still I enjoy seeing it". One of the advantages of watching fictional people.
@yayness: I agree, it is kind of uncomfortable to watch. On the other hand, it should be.
@leyleg: Well, one can hope. When looking back at the pages where we saw him hitting Melanie, he actually seems to be genuinely (sp?) shocked at what he did.
Well, at least for a moment. Than the creepy program reboots. "Sorry for hitting, let's have sex."
That's actually what makes him not a good person, but a good character; he has more personality than" he is the antagonist", and to be honest, I can empathise with an out-of-control jealousy.
@Jeremiah: I thought about that, but I think Mel's story(I don't think of her as the person to make it up) and Devon's own mumbling make it quite clear. Of course, Beenjammin has made me paranoid now, which was the intention, I think ;-)
As enjoyable as it was, I think now would be a good time for Mulligan(called by Christo) to step in.
Although it is an interesting point now: Despite his alarmingly short fuse, I'm not sure Peter is the kind to keep going when the other person is lying on the ground.
I do see what you're saying, and Mr. Twist is a writer that could throw in something like that, but if you look at Melanie's explanation on this page: http://picturesofyou.smackjeeves.com/comics/869513/3-ii-05-run-and-hide-10/ There doesn't seem to be a disconnect in her breaking up with Devon and her getting beaten. In fact, there isn't much room in her explanation for her leaving or anyone else being the culprit, from what I can see.
I think this is going to be more of a case of Peter not really understanding the consequences of going to someones house, breaking and entering, and straight up beating someone within an inch of their life out of a sense of revenge.
its been mentioned that all might not be what it seems. I'm not sure about that. I think Devon hit mellony, and she ran to her support fallback of smiling andy, as is depicted. however I agree that something is comming and I dont think Peter will like it. Remember, Devon is manipulitive, as well as a right bastard. Could be that he wont tell the cops about the asswhopin' hes getting, but i have a feeling he'll hold it over Peters head. Or maybe even mellony's. Force her to comeback to him? Maybe. just me thinking aloud.
PS. FUCKIN SWEET! i love when literature provokes such emotion from readers and creates intense dialog among them. lets you see all kinds of view points.
Call me a sadist, don't care. I like that he's begging, I especially love the 5th panel. I think he's getting all he deserves. Even if by some odd chance it wasn't him who beat Mel, he still earned it in my eyes. Hope he just doesn't beat him so hard he forgets why he got it.
GO FOR HIS LIVER.
I'm getting a bad feeling about this.
I hope it's just because I have never really been able to deal with blood (since PoY has become real enough to pose a problem for me) and not because something bad is going to happen to Peter...
I'm also still trying to figure out how the karmic retribution thing is going to pan out after this.
Bbad feelings for Peter's consequences aside ( again Devon might be too scared and humiliated to say/report anything)I going to admit that this is magnificently violent and great all together. True violence solves nothing, but damn, it feels soo good to see an abuser get his ass kicked like we can all probably agree they deserve.
@mirandamarquez, as it could be possible I dont think that scenario its the case. Its been pretty clear that Devon is the one that hurt her, there might be some twist, but doubt its gonna be to point a different culprit.
Peter Peter Peter NOT IN THE FACE doh dont leave staying marks.
@amish keeping assault as blackmailing material would be quite hard IF one doesnt go to the police right away as evidence does go away. if there doesn't happen be corpse around :)
Kotire, Rei Davidson is correct, the lettering is all done digitally, but where normally I use an ellipse shape tool to make the balloons, with those as well as Melanie's from a few pages ago, I did them quivering by hand to give the effect that the voice is shaking.
<Tipping hat> Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Twist. I don't know if we're the best audience on the internet, but I think you' deserve at least one of the best.
Ah, so Devon did mean "You can't do this." So sadly typical indeed. But then, as Dormitator pointed out, he didn't react like a bully would, all "serves you right" and stuff. Indeed, his whole demeanor in the "A Wise Investment" chapter is that of a victim. First he acts like Melanie is bossing him around (while it's really the other way, I agree, but we're talking his own behaviour and point of view). Next he's setting her on a guilt trip for leaving him alone at home while going to Donnelly's. (Which she doesn't do, but see above.) Then he's sure she's cheating on him. (Which may be truer than I initially thought, based on page 11. Speaking of which, I'm wondering if Michelle wasn't uneasy back there because she had seen Peter leave and didn't know how to put it forward.) And then, once she's locked herself in the bathroom, he goes on to explain how this is all really Patrick and company's fault for working him up.
Which, of course, makes me think Peter will have little to no influence on him by beating him up. Since it fits in with his worldview that he is a victim. (Of course, right now he would probably like to be a little less right, but there you go.)
Now, I have a little story to tell. You see, back when I was in primary school, there was only one other boy in the class the same age as me. (Small village school; there were actually three distinct grades in the same class.) That boy was two heads taller than me and two arms stronger. And I was the second-tallest boy. So he enjoyed lording his physical superiority over everyone else, particularly me. (That's the guy whose nose I remember punching.) Which, of course, angered me to no end, to the point that I would even jump at him when he annoyed a little one. (Which had no concrete result, but well, I had to do it. Peter-style, except I never even came close to drop the opposition.) At some point he infuriated so much that I decreed him out of my world. I never spoke to him, never looked in his general direction, never so much as acknowledged his presence. After one week, he let me know through his parents and mine that he was sorry and prepared to try to be nicer, and I relented. But that gives you an idea of how I could feel mad at that boy. And still, there were times when he seemed to befriend me. (After all, I was the only other boy our age in the village.) And in one of those instances, he said he was no coward and asked me to confirm. What did I do then? I knew that he was a coward. I had seen him attack and abuse much smaller children and gloat over their inadequate response.
And then, in the face of his need for a supportive answer, I found I didn't have it in me to rub his face in his own shit in such a moment. I confirmed he was no coward.
That may help you understand why my reaction to this page is like yayness's: "Oh God, poor Devon". Because he's clearly having the lower hand here.
Now, even if, like reidavidson surmises, he truly was a victim of abuse beforehand, this excuses nothing. We are all given free will and we have the responsibility to exercise it. (By the same token, Melanie's light does not make Peter right here.) I encourage anyone interested to read up on psychological resilience, notably in the works of Boris Cyrulnik.
Now, to pick up again on Dormitator's remark about "A Wise Investment", I do not fully agree with the "creepy program reboots" interpretation. To me, it looked more like he was genuinely sorry, then, faced with Melanie's distress, denies it all and goes all victim again. ("You know I'd never do anything to hurt you." That isn't bad faith, it's denial.)
And about Peter stopping, if his clenched fist is any clue he doesn't intend to. (Last two times he snapped, he didn't stop yelling at a downed opponent and the offenses were much lighter.) Though I'd appreciate it.
Funny how so many people seem to think there's more than meets the eye here - but what? We'll see soon, I suspect. (By the way, I may not be here to comment next Friday. Long week-end with a southern country trip.)
mirandamarquez, I doubt Mr. Hogan would brutally beat up on Melanie like what we've seen. He's mean all right, but beating up on a daughter is just too twisted even for him. (Besides, he seems to enjoy verbal abuse more.)
I agree once again with Laura. Peter's "fun" line shows a very darker side of him than we had seen before. Not only that, but the elbowing he gives in panel 7, besides sparing his already bruised knuckles (by the way, I was wrong to assume he had bruised them with only one punch, as they were already marked in the second panel), makes me think he is perfectly in control. If only because he didn't knock out Devon at once, which he is perfectly capable of. Which would indicate he is making it last longer that it could take.
I just re-read parts of "A Wise Investment" and Devon said then "I'd just die if I thought I might lose you". Now he's lost her. There's another what if for you, mirandamarquez: what if Peter beats him almost to death, and then physical pain, psychological grief, and fear combine to make him back away - through the window?
And seeing how Devon has been beat up so far, I'd say Peter might have to stop even by his own standards. After all, Devon has been delivered a beating far worse than any he has ever inflicted on Melanie. (Then again, there's all the psychological pressure, but Peter does not know much about it.) Compare, if you can stand to go back there, Melanie's gruesome face in page 9 ( http://picturesofyou.smackjeeves.com/comics/867246/3-ii-05-run-and-hide-9/ ) to Devon's here. To me, he's receiving a worse beating than he gave. (Remember than in past occurrences, one slap was enough for Melanie to run away, and rightly so.) So maybe he does not deserve so much more ...
There's very few comics on the web that have such an intense story line as Pictures of you (this being said I also read Our Time in Eden, which is just as compelling.) I eagerly await the next update, because it's just that, intense. I think someone said earlier about the dialogue being real, I know what it feels like to be in a relationship like that, and it's almost uncomfortable to see it so well put together in a webcomic.
Thanks Jess! No joke, the best compliment anyone can give me about my work is that its realism makes them uncomfortable. There's not two of us on this title, though, it's just me.
Derf, the line isn't really meant to be reminiscent of Trudeau, though I am a big fan from way back, so there may have been a subconscious influence. Tune in next page when Peter declares martial law on Devon's skull!
Karl, Peter has a lot of old fashioned sentiment in him, but I never saw his outbursts as gender-motivated. He sees it as a man's place to look after his friends, even if he does look after them with extreme violence.
reidavidson: I certainly didn't mean that you meant - ah, I'm getting tangled up already. I didn't think you meant to excuse Devon. I was just clarifying for everyone that *I* didn't excuse Devon despite pitying him.
... Actually, we seemed to be in perfect agreement on this point. Has to happen too, I guess.
By the way, did you draw your new avatar yourself? Sure looks more detailed than in your Snapshot.
@jd_singer - Yes, I did the Snapshot in a hurry, part of why I kept saying it was no good. I knew the art wasn't up to my usual standard but I get a little stumbly working on new characters and adjusting my regular style. Maybe I'll do another one for him to make up for it. ;)
Dang - you're good!
Excellent 'movement' in your art! I love how your art as well as the story raises as many questions as it answers. Very good writing. Like several others, I was very uncomfortable today, & immediately felt Devon had had enough. I do believe he deserves his comeuppance, BUT I also love wondering if he really was the one to beat Melanie so badly.
I love reading all the comments as well! As always, looking forward to the next posting.....
Sorry to say, if Melanie were to show up, she would make Peter stop, and immediately begin ministering to Devon, because she loves him. All toooften, people in abusive relationships are there because they really want to be. As a Pastor/ counselor for many years, I have seen it all too often. It is a form of mental illness.
We have seen Melanie return to Devon a number of times after being abused.
Peter's reaction as the Knight in shining armor shows a depth of feeling for Melanie, that may not be returned.