The State of the Union

This is not directed at everyone, though I hope everyone can take something away from it. This is not directed at any one person in particular, but at a range of confounding and dismaying opinions expressed within the comments of Pictures of You. I love my readers, I am humbled by the dedication shown by so many of you, and I'm honoured that so many relate to these characters as they would do real people living real lives. Saying that, I cannot continue to be quiet in the face of a mindset that I feel is deeply, deeply wrong, a mindset that I want little more than to see changed in the world. I'm a big fan of Gandhi, you see.

I've avoided voicing a lot of my thoughts on the comments throughout this book. I didn't want to guide the reader through the story or colour interpretation of the audience. But now, whatever, fuck it. This isn't even about how people are interpreting the story, but their attitudes about men and women. I've grown fairly disgusted with the obvious thread of misogyny, and all this Stand By Your Man bullshit I've been reading over the last year has made me pretty nauseous.

My problem with the comments lately isn't, as has been suggested, that anyone has perceived Rick as being after Lauren, not whatsoever. It is the attacks on Lauren as being various levels of pernicious girlfriend because she refused to let men, underline men, dictate who her friends were, and sanctifying Sam as a done-wrong martyr who was completely reasonable in their eyes, even justifying an unprovoked fist fight because someone didn't say hi to him, and turning the blame for that back on her as well.

Rick is decried often for being rude to Lauren's boyfriend, though the rudeness shown to him by both Sam and Christo (in exactly the same manner in one case) goes overlooked, forgiven or edited in their minds. Some fine folks even went so far as to praise them for this rudeness from the very first chapter onward. Also overlooked, however, is the rudeness shown by Mulligan toward Lauren throughout the series, unchallenged by Sam at any point. I'm especially impressed by the notion that Lauren is a bad girlfriend for not disavowing Rick after he 'bad-mouths' Sam (despite her actually telling him to stop,) and that Sam is justified in his attack on that basis, but that Michelle's far tamer reaction to Mulligan trashing her friend is deemed by some as deplorable. The double-standard here should embarrass anyone guilty of it.

Lauren is berated endlessly for not respecting Sam's feelings, while no care is given in those comments that Sam is not respecting hers, not to mention that his feelings are unfounded jealousy and the perceived slight of being snubbed. Blame has been placed on her shoulders for Sam's reaction to stress, to his jealousy, for Christo's territorial behaviour, for not providing a full-throated indignation at the suggestion that a man who yelled at her may have abusive tendencies (check your local battered women's shelter for more information,) and even for not telling her already jealous boyfriend that the object of his jealousy may indeed have feelings for her. She's even been branded for being friends with a man at all.

Despite her protests to Sam that her feelings for Rick are purely platonic regardless of his, despite her announcement to Rick that she is in a committed relationship and her defense of her boyfriend in that same conversation, despite forgiving Sam for exploding at her, Lauren has become the focus of scorn, simply because she doesn't adhere to repressed hang-ups against platonic relationships. Even still, in the wake of Sam driving Lauren away, with her still professing only feelings of friendship toward Rick, her motives and her actions are still under scrutiny, she is still painted with infidelity.

Also, the frequent suggestion that Lauren led Rick on, despite affirming to him her devotion to Sam at least once, is repugnant. There's no shortage of comments that Lauren should have talked about nothing but her boyfriend and how she would never have sex with Rick, because the first and most important thing a woman should say about herself is whether a guy can fuck her. I'll point to Andy's encounter here where a woman is clearly hitting on him and at no point does he mention that he has a girlfriend. Not a single admonishing comment from the audience there.

If the simple act of a woman not telling a man she isn't interested in him, and that is the flavour of many comments, equals in anyone's mind that she's leading him on, shame on that person. To think that the onus is on women to police men's affections, that a woman is responsible men's actions in this area is reprehensible. The further thought, as was ludicrously expressed in these comments as well, that a sexual assault resulting in Lauren's behaviour is absolutely horrifying. Beyond anything else said in the comments, that belief is the most putrid.

Add to all of this the erroneous claims that Lauren's friends have all warned her against Rick's intentions. It is ignored that Melanie expresses a fondness for him, that Kara offers nothing more than perspective, and that Michelle doesn't like either Rick or Sam, and advises Sam to back off. The opinions of these female characters are brushed aside or morphed into a condemnation that aligns with the male characters' views.

This all goes along with the shaming during this book of both Michelle and Vivian for daring to transgress their men. The stink of misogyny in the comments is difficult to miss, though miss it, many have and keep doing. It's becoming harder and harder for me to read the messages left on the site, and more to know that this is a characteristic of at least some of my readers, both men and women. I am sure there will come no end of offense and dissent that this is untrue, but I am unconvinced by those arguments.

I can't change anyone's points of view, no matter how much I would like to do, and to bring everyone on board, but I'm not going to pretend I find them acceptable, no more than I would with racism or homophobia. I'm not interested in providing free entertainment to have people expound their man-centric views about it, and less to have them whine about how terrible my writing is when it doesn't line up with the male power fantasy some readers clearly want it to be. That's my view and I'm entitled to it, as everyone else is entitled to believe I'm full of shit and am pushing a radical feminazi agenda.

This comic is not anyone's forum for bashing disobedient women, and I'm well-done with letting it continue. This is not to say that the women in this comic or in life are saints and do not behave badly or that their actions are above scrutiny, but the psychology here is that they are behaving badly by not acquiescing to the desires of the male characters, and are at times treated as worse for doing the same things men do.

I pride myself that the Pictures of You audience stands above the immaturity and regressive litter box that is most of the internet, but lately, that level has dipped. I'm not looking for a comment field filled with platitudes, and I reject the inevitable accusations that I am. This is not an issue of the quality of my writing or the perception of that quality. It is a sure statement on the efficacy of my work that people become embroiled in my work to react so viscerally to it. There are frequent criticisms against my ability here, and I don't speak out against them, and I will continue not to do. That's not what this is about.

I want to encourage discussion and debate, but the dialogue in the comments has grown hateful, and I've noticed if no one else has that many previously frequent posters have stopped commenting, while new ones have shown up every day to disparage the female characters and nothing more. I'm not okay with that, neither should anyone else be.

I'm not here to call anyone anything, and no one should feel the need nor the inclination to defend themselves. In fact, perhaps, in lieu of defending yourself, if indeed you feel these thoughts are aimed at you, take a moment and consider them instead of casting them aside. No one ever thinks bad things about themselves or their actions, but nobody is so perfect as to be above reproach. The world might be a little better if they did. I still pride myself on having the finest audience in webcomics, I just hope we can all start acting like it again.

-Gibson Twist
April, 2013
posted by Gibson Twist @ April 8th, 2013, 12:54 am  |  39 comments

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Xasswuwe (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 1:39 am

Thank God You Posted This I read the comments pretty religiously, and I've always admired the balance you've struck between keeping your mouth shut and trying to point out your readers' distorted worldview.

We respect you, both as the creator of this webcomic and as a person, and so I hope the rest of the audience reads this thoughtfully. I did, and could have jumped up and down clapping the whole way through.

Of course, I am an avowed feminist. (Before anyone leaps up and declares that they're "not feminists, they're humanists", please know that all feminism means is that both men and women are hurt by sexism against women. It's actually not a scary concept- I promise.) I'm happy you brought up the comments, Gibson, because I read them religiously and comment almost every day.

The comments add to the experience of the webcomic, and I don't feel right if I don't look at them. But when I read new pages of this comic, it's a mixed experience for me because I'm sick and tired of reading the comments. They're actually managing to hamper my enjoyment of the comic!

I don't want everyone in the audience to be gender studies majors in order to "meet my standards", or whatever some people may think. All I want is for my fellow readers to ask themselves what Mr. Twist is getting so worked up about. What is this white, straight, "normal" dude doing caring so much about misogyny?

Is he just another "crazy feminazi" or will anyone here realize that if Gibson has such enlightened views on women, that maybe a feminist worldview isn't inherently threatening to men?

If any of you don't want to do that, try looking at it this way: Gibson Twist created this world in the webcomic, and his word is law. I'm sure you guys probably read comics with different laws of gravity and magic and the like. So maybe some people should pretend that in the comic, Gibson set up this imaginary law of nature that men and women are equals and should be treated with dignity. Crazy, but hey, he makes the rules, and the author's word is law! At least, in the webcomic they are. ;)

Thank you, Mr. Twist, for standing up time and time again against homophobia and sexism. If there were even just a handful more men and women like you, the world would be a far better place.

Jubi (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 3:47 am

I applaud you, good sir.

Sandra (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 4:30 am

Thank you good sir.

Lleyn (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 6:19 am

Actually, I was more concerned about the possessive, outdated views expressed about relationships than about the misogyny, but perhaps that's because I read a few yaoi comics and compared to the rants against "interfering" women (and men) there ("bitch" is really one of the nicer words used, the hope of rape is frequently expressed), the comments on PoY seemed to me more of an expression of a general view on women (and relationships) in our modern western society. Which, of course, doesn't make them any more acceptable.

Or perhaps it's also because I am so used to women bashing women. My gender does not get the solidarity that so often seems to prevail among men (and I know I'm generalizing here, but still).

So, what really troubled me, were not the macho, misogynistic, stereotyped comments, but rather the general concept of relationships that seemed to emerge and what is "correct" to do when in a relationship ("stand by your man"), and what is "allowed" to do in a relationship ("hit the bastard hitting on your woman").

Of course, those views are in themselves misogynistic, since they claim that in a relationship, the female role is the supportive one, while the male role is the possessive one. But that, too, is misandric, so what bothers me is these rules that are being set up for everyone (men as well as women) how to behave, how to feel, how to act. And although much has been made in these comments about trust and respect, it always only seemed to be one person entitled to it, while the other one was solely to blame.

So, what about trust and respect in a relationship? It's simple: They only work when they're mutual.

Leona, April 8th, 2013, 6:46 am

It really sucks that you've had to post this Mr Twist...

It actually made me feel a bit ashamed, as I never read Sam as having abusive tendencies, I just assumed he was being an asshole due to stress, and still maintained that Lauren should have been honest with Sam (and expected him to do the same) about Rick's feelings for her because that's how I would have done it, because I believe that the truth is something all of us need, always, in relationships.
That being said I guess it's easier being said than done, especially if you're in a relationship with someone who's possessive and doesn't trust you.
I know Sam's obviously going to learn his lesson, otherwise he and Lauren would never work past this and get back together, but man this situation really sucks and I wish I could say 'Onward, to happier times!'
but I haven't forgotten Wiley.. :(

Leona, April 8th, 2013, 7:07 am

also, @Xasswuwe:
Before you leap up at us 'humanists', please know that sexism is just terrible in general, and any kind hurts everyone. Any kind of violence is abominable, yet perhaps I don't see the distinction because I'm a Buddhist, and I do have a problem with someone saying such a sentence, because it is divisive. Most of us want happiness and security for both sexes, that doesn't mean we are unaware of the effects of violence against women or believe it isn't important to fight against it.

Whilst I agree that it's awesome that Gibson Twist is taking a stand against misogyny, I think that that there's a sadder truth that lies in his action, which is the fact that he is forced to take stand at all.

I think one of the good things about the webcomic itself is the fact that it does talk about inequality, and it should be talked about.

MattB (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 8:40 am

Thank you I am a racist, I am a sexist, I am a homophobe, but trust me, I really don't want to.

My philosophy is extremely open to other people, to the point that I believe in absolute relativity, that there is truth in the actions of all people, I never side with any groups in a confilct, I'm always a one-man party in every confilct.

I'm extremely oversensitive, I always try to understand the people around me, I listen a lot, I observe, I feel compassion. But sometimes I feel lazy, and then I make mistakes, the animal, that we all have inside us, starts controlling me and I become a horrible creature.

I hate being a man, I find it hard to be a rational male, our primal insticts are destructive - pride, jealousy, competetiveness etc. I think women, by nature, are better suited for society.

I believe we all have the right to make equal decisions, live our dreams, pursue our own goals.

Thank you Mr. Twist, sometimes I put myself in the position of specific characters when reading the comments, sometimes I get lazy and treat the comic purely as entertainment, and I forget to analyze the situation in a broader context.

Rocco (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 9:31 am

I like this Gibson dude. He's a good guy.

three, April 8th, 2013, 10:07 am

This was an excellent post. I applaud you for not only setting out to communicate your issues clearly to your audience (writing is, after all, all about communication), but for taking the time to write up a such a well thought-out argument. It shows real commitment to your craft. And who knows -- maybe the people making the misogynist comments weren't really aware of what they were doing. Sometimes we don't recognize our mistakes until people point them out to us. Goodness knows I've said insensitive things in the past without recognizing them for what they were.

Keep up the good work, sir!

JH (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 10:16 am

I admit I kind of thought at one point that Rick was the real ass, but as I read further, I can see parallels to my own life in this situation. I'm happily married with children, my best friend is a woman whom I've had a crush on, and my wife is occasionally annoyed with it.

Akebobo (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 10:30 am

Hear hear! I've been reading for a long time now, but never have paid any attention to the comments. I absolutely will not start now. It really is a damn shame you had to write this in the first place, but I heartily applaud you for presenting yourself and your opinions here in a concise, logical, and professional way. it is an understatement to say I agree with you completely.
Thank you, for everything.

pfmoi, April 8th, 2013, 10:39 am

Brava, Mr. Twist If I didn't love you as an author before, I absolutely would now. I am so grateful that you have made this post, because I don't follow the comments as closely as some do, and what I have seen has been making me feel more and more ill, for exactly the reasons you've listed here. It's only been because of your authorial commentary on each page that I've been able to set aside the bulk of the comments and continue, and now that you have done this big thing, there will be no tearing me away as a reader. Thank you. So much.

Bonnie (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 10:44 am

thank you Recently the U.N. had a two-week conference trying to ratify some women's rights initiative from 1956. One of the detractors claimed that it would "destroy society" if some of the proposed resources were made available to half the world's population. I find myself all for destroying a society that disincludes so many people. :-)
I find the gender balance in this comic very realistic and believable, and I imagine that "triggers" some folks. I do hope they learn recognise those incidences, and figure out why they react so strongly.

outersquid, April 8th, 2013, 11:33 am

Huge applause I rarely even skim the comments here; from this, it's probably just as well. You have, however, confirmed why I love this comic.

There's not a lot around on the web or off it that explores human lives and relationships (warts and all) with the honesty and integrity that you do.

Asher (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 11:37 am

Thank you, Mr. Twist. My already high level of respect for you has just grown tremendously.

Christina (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 12:07 pm

fair enough! You raise a good point about the fact that gender-swapping these characters would probably elicit a different reaction from the audience. It's hard to say for sure, because when I imagine Lauren and Sam switching places, I still feel like some of my gripes would remain. On the other hand, I do think a lot of people would start calling Lauren 'hysterical' and 'possessive' and 'bitchy' if she was acting like Sam about another girl entering the picture.

I do want to say that I stand by my earlier statements about jealousy being a human flaw that can be changed and defeated in a person. If it were Lauren being jealous about Sam's female friend, I would definitely still say this: it's okay to keep loving a jealous person. You can love them and help them overcome jealousy. It works in real life, and I'm living proof. No one should tolerate abuse, of course, but regular jealousy can be put down.

Anyway, none of that changes the fact that you're right about people being unfair to Lauren in this situation. I still think everyone involved could have done things a little differently, but I agree that people put far too much blame on Lauren. There were one or two places where I would have liked her to have said different words, but there are far more places where Sam or one of Lauren's male friends needed serious attitude adjustments.

I'm sorry it's been so frustrating and upsetting to read your own comments. I hope you'll be patient with us - I know for me, despite my raging feminism, I still have some inherent, programmed biases that I don't recognize in myself until someone calls them out. Take care of us :)

Dawn (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 1:14 pm

Ashamed I can't say that I've been one to read the comment section very consistently, but i HAVE been a follower of your comic for many years. With that in mind i am pretty appalled at myself for not quite having the mindset you describe, but definitely the thoughts on certain characters, their actions and their situations. You are entirely correct in your assessment of me, and although i don't post comments it still occurs in my thoughts.

That being said, reading this made me realise, TRULY realise, the second side of the story. I sympathised with Sam, Michelle, definitely Kara and even Rick a little bit. But only very briefly did i try to understand Lauren's point of view. It may be because i'm a man, a young one... I may not have a lot of experience with these sorts of situations and my opinions may blaze a little hotter because i don't have the life lessons to temper them with. It may be that i just am having a very difficult time putting myself in a her shoes. Maybe i was a little blinded, i overlapped the story with things that HAVE happened to me... Maybe i wanted to be vindicated for all those times when i would watch a relationship crumble because my friend trusted someone who wasn't worthy of that trust.

As it stands, i've probably spent too long on this comment, and i feel i have become very introspective with it. (After having deleted half of it twice over.) I pride myself on my empathy and i can honestly say that this 'State of the Union' has caused me to reconsider from who's point i was looking. Thank you for the thought provoking post Mr. Twist, I will try and do a better job policing myself, even if no one else can see.

Orange (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 1:22 pm

Thank you.

Comy (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 2:41 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. Reading the comments is something I've always enjoyed, but I haven't been able to stomach them during this whole Rick situation.

Xasswuwe (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm

@ Leona: I think I did a bad job getting my point across. My point is that people treat feminism as this dirty word when it's not.

I'm a feminist. That means I care about women's issues. It also means that I care about men's issues, and the bullshit pressure they have to be stoic and breadwinners. I'm concerned that in the United States, men are less likely to graduate college and more likely to do so with lower GPAs than their female counterparts. Most of the people in our jails, especially for violent crimes, are men. Most of our homeless are men. Feminism doesn't mean you don't care about men.

If you think men and women are inherently equal, and sexism hurts men and women in many ways, you're a feminist. The "humanist" label is a copout by people who have been brainwashed into thinking that feminism is something that it's not- and that was the point I was hoping would be more obvious than it was. The single best thing that can be done for the movement of equality is for people to call themselves feminists with pride.

Pale-Suzie (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 3:33 pm

Thank you First of all, I love this comic, you have shown such genuine insight and created such relatable human being and interactions, that I would probably have accepted much worse (than this unintended misogyny) before I quit reading.

Because, although I wouldn't say the tone lately has made me downright uncomfortable, I have to much faith in you as a storyteller, the Rick plot line has at times made me rather wary... it has also, after reading this post, made me uncomfortably aware that, despite the fact that I myself would probably react in much the same way Lauren did, I've found myself buying into the narrative of Lauren being the more guilty party.

This is not because that is the position I would normally take, but simply because the way that events and interactions have been portrayed in the comments led me to believe that that was indeed the story you wanted to tell... and I figured, you knew your characters better. I'm so relieved that this isn't the case.

So thank you, thank you not only for setting the record straight but for writing full fledged characters (females as well as male) that are all the more likable for their flaws... and boy they do have some. Besides that, thank you for insisting on not holding women to an unfair double standard... and finally, thank you for reminding me that you need to be critical of a story and its message (even if it isn't the intended message) no matter how much you may like or trust the author. :)

Seagull72 (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 3:54 pm


Topi (Guest), April 8th, 2013, 4:07 pm

Thank you for posting that, sir. A good post about important subject.

SoupCandy, April 8th, 2013, 9:11 pm

I pretty much stopped scrolling down to the comments lately...

Thank you for posting this. Keep up the good work.

Jason (Guest), April 9th, 2013, 12:52 am

It's all real Mr. Twist, I like to think I know you in some other life or time, as I've mentioned before. I can imagine that the people in your story, either imagined or echoes of your own past...perhaps even each one a small splinter of yourself, are dear to you, and I stand behind you in defending them as you are. The world is a much darker place since the onslaught of the open anonymous forum...perhaps it's age, perhaps times really were better then, who can say?
No matter what, your story has moved a great many people, and I for one support you fully in your endeavor to bring it to light. I pray that success follows you as you weave your tale, and that some wise studio or publisher will help you take this to the next level, and that through your words a great many more people will share the spark that you have ignited.

Lurker (Guest), April 9th, 2013, 1:22 am

Right on. Right on, Gibson.

Lee (Guest), April 9th, 2013, 1:25 am

It's cool to see such intellectual honesty on the web, makes me glad to keep coming back to this site time and time again to check up on this microcosm of a world you've built here.
I appreciate all the effort you put into this Mr. Twist, all the best to you

overlordrae, April 9th, 2013, 6:41 am

Thank you! I'm usually the type to let my work speak for itself as well, but I applaud you for speaking up.

Antitime (who is not logged in a (Guest), April 9th, 2013, 11:01 am

I'm really happy to see this from you, Gibson. It's sad that a lot of time creator intention is lost, and while we could sit back and take people's interpretations of the subject matter as they give it, I applaud you for standing up for something that is quite frankly bullshit and has nothing to do with your ability to tell the story. you obviously aren't looking at these characters through a biased lens, and that can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to reader interpretation- on one hand you'll have people that come to accept the characters for their flaws and merits, and on the other you'll have people who bring personal bias into the commentary when the intention was clearly not to create that kind of response. I've found it to be an alarming commonplace that when telling a story, any amount of flaws a man displays make him more realistic or 'human.' but a woman can only be applauded for her strength and merits, and ultimately the 'best' female characters are often uncontroversial and inhuman as a result, because readers will look for any reason to hate on a female character, even if there's a male that displays the exact same qualities. and it's bullshit, and it should be called out, and I really respect you for doing so. Bravo, man.

towel (Guest), April 9th, 2013, 4:49 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. The levels of misogyny and the amount of disgusting comments slandering Lauren, shitting on Rick and defending Sam and Christo were really getting at me. One comment about how men "can't control themselves" regarding violence struck me as particularly disgusting. If a man can't control himself when punching another man unprovoked, does that mean he cannot control himself when he hits his girlfriend? Are men then selective in their supposed lack of control? :s It was extremely disturbing, especially considering Mel's story arc early on in the story.

I'm so glad you posted this. I have a question though, will trolls get banned?

Thanks again for your great work and your wisdom.

Adeilla, April 14th, 2013, 6:04 pm

Thank you! I'd just wanted to hug you when reading this. It's everything I've been wanting to say in the comments for a long time but just haven't been able to. Again: thank you!

Tanuki (Guest), April 15th, 2013, 4:22 am

Principles and stories Thank you for writing a great story Mr.Twist. Thank you for also taking a stand about the comments that can happen in the forums. Some people will read those comments and feel shame about what they posted. They will realize that they spoke from a place of hurt or anger in their hearts. Some people identify too much with the characters in the stories they read and feel that the challenges visited on their favourite characters are a personal attack on them. Some are just a--holes who have an agenda of hate and will try to hijack your work to get their point of view across. Good luck in keeping haters out and in keeping us fair-minded, inclusive and tolerant.

Zynkei, April 18th, 2013, 2:59 pm


fallenpoet (Guest), April 18th, 2013, 3:41 pm

Thanx It is unfortunate that you should need to point out the asshole comments, as they shouldn't be there to being with. Thank you for saying something and taking a stand against attitudes becoming more common with the youth today. I frequently travel and speak to kids at job fair like events, and it is sad to see fewer girls show up, and the little who come to my booth be treated so disrespectfully. I wish more people could read this comic, and this post, and spread a little more open-mindedness in the world. Thanks again, Mr. Twist, for the comic, and your comments.

Dee (Guest), April 19th, 2013, 6:00 am

Don't entirely agree I get the main point that you are trying to make, but I don't entirely agree with it. For the record I am female and I have been on both ends of this situation a number of times. The base idea of a person (male or female) being able to maintain an friendship despite one person initially having feeling for the other (who is taken) - I agree with. The comments you made about maturity, human equality and respect I applaud you for.

The comic has blown the situation passed that simple idea of friendship for the purpose of story telling (a good thing). In reality anyone who came out of the gate that jealous and offensive is wrong, any "friend" who purposely puts himself so clearly between a couple is wrong, and anyone who maintains a relationship with some new friend who is both actively and passively trying to cause issues in thier relationship is wrong! I understand this is for the story, but personally I think they are all being idiots :)

We have all been idiots at one time or another.

Natalie (Guest), April 21st, 2013, 6:39 am

first time commenting I've been reading these comics from the start but today's the first time I scrolled further down to read the comments. It's a sad reflection of the readership that the people who commented with a misogynistic mindset are making the biggest impact. Gibson Twist: I love your work and it is refreshing to have your enlightened perspective.

Dean (Guest), April 24th, 2013, 12:47 pm

@Dee I think the fact that they were all kinda wrong and being idiots is the real point of the issue, as has been the point of the comic all along. Everyone in this comic is an idiot in some way (as is true in life :D ) and we've been watching them finally get past their collective "honeymoon phase" with each other.

Terrador (Guest), April 25th, 2013, 4:17 pm

Back I've been reading and loving your comic for years, but I haven't read it since Lauren slapped Sam. Despite having gone through an abusive relationship, I was able to keep reading through the emotional turmoil of Melanie's story. However, I just couldn't face what I was seeing with this story arc. Apparently I wasn't the only one. I cannot speak for the other regulars who went away or at least became silent, but I thank you for standing up to the trash going on in the comments. I read Rori's previous comic and can imagine what those kind of attitudes would mean to her and to you. I imagine they are similar to my own. Thank you.

Torabisu (Guest), April 26th, 2013, 1:31 pm

Amen It's rare these days for people in a position such as yours to speak in a truly unbiased manner regarding such issues. I've been reading this comic for a long time now, and have noticed many of the things you speak of. I applaud your efforts and your perspective. Well put, Mr. Twist. Well put.

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