Wha…sane ppl don’t have strength? :/ sorry copper made no sense….
He’s somewhere between panic and questioning his own sanity. No one makes sense in that state.
She lured him into a closer relationship by exploding a patio grill. Some part of his brain may associating this as a similar prank, which would not be sane for her to do. Plus, wearing teeth and talons. That has to be crazy deliberate, right?
At least his lungs aren’t punctured.
Wonder if he thinks this was some sort of an over-the-top prank? Explosives in the bag and all that.
Yeah, that was something I was thinking as early as Friday. If this is Punk Yoga, this is where they met, so it has connotations of spoiling those memories for him, too.
Ooh that’s good. i like that 😀
that comment suggests a coping mechanism at play here.
I believe that Justin may have witnessed the ‘Wapsiverse’ before with less than happy outcomes. If anything, that suggests that Justin is ‘crazy’.
It’s his own version of saying “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT YOU NUT JOB?!?!” He did just get massively swiped by some nasty sphinx claws.
A former co-worker told the story of when he use to work at a state hospital. A patient took one of those little paper cups that his daily medications came in, and through it through a plate glass window, leaving a perfect hole.
Most people are stronger than they think. But pain stops us from exerting our selves to that maximum. Many of those that go insane, even if temporarily, will ignore those pain signals. Some are even pushed further by that pain. Others feel no pain due to drugs or alcohol, or massive adrenalin in there system (see yesterdays discussion).
Police train to deal with these individuals differently than they do with the general public. One crazed individual can successfully take on a dozen well armed cops, ignoring what ever they throw at them. The use of Tazers have proved to be one of the few non-lethal ways of stopping such individuals.
Justin, I think, is falling back on his training to try to explain to himself what just happened. The closest thing he can come up with is that Shelly just went berserker on him, given that she just used levels of strength and lethality that he has only seen in the insane.
He could have, should have, realized that he had come in to this when Shelly was at that hyper focused combat mode that the well trained martial artist can sometimes achieve. He is well aware of her physical strength, and should know that as a martial artist, she has trained to overcome that pain threshold, not through the means mentioned above, but discipline. That, in that moment of focus, with that focus placed on the bag as her “opponent”, that when a blow falls to (on) her rear, her reactions should be trained in such a way as to dispose of the opponent to her front, and then engage the one to the rear.
His mind, though, is not ready for rational thought.
I know exactly what you’re talking about. you know those lab desks they have in science rooms in high school..the ones with the tops about 8 inches+ thick?
in the 7th grade I threw one. about 20 yards. one handed. just picked it up and THREW it. afterwards I went across the room and was fully intent on tearing someone limb from limb with my bare hands. I was told that I had at least 15 people on me trying to hold me back and it barely slowed me down. I don’t even remember it. I don’t even remember WHY. I look back on those years like I wasn’t even human. I was a rabid animal stuffed into a human-shaped sack and was desperate to get out. I still don’t know how I got through those years without killing anyone.
my time in the military, plus my 2-3 day “walks to nowhere” where all I did was walk and think cured me of these impulses. i know myself and who I am now. could I still do what I did back then? at 41, I really don’t know. I do know that the “animal within” can be harnessed and shown the path, where the energies once wasted can be put to good causes, and with good people.
I do know if someone were to hurt my family or friends, they’d REALLY wish they hadn’t. wild animals don’t tame easily, and they REMEMBER being wild.
You’ve met The Beast. Combat soldiers and experienced martial arts types know their Beast. They’ve made the effort to meet it, greet it, and learn how to guide and use it. Everybody has one, but most people do all they can to keep it subdued rather than trained. It cannot be your servant that way.
We rejoice in our abilities to feel joy, sadness, delight, and all the others, but very few know how to handle rage. That’s where The Beast lives. With time and effort, you can do more than just open the stable door and let it sniff the wind. You can learn to let it out to trot around the pasture and become comfortable riding it. You do this so that when the day comes that you need to gallop, you can.
Shelly has met her Beast and has been trying to ignore and subdue it. She’s just now learning what it can do, and has to learn to guide it. Whether or not she likes it, it is part of her. And all of us, too!
Interestingly, I think Shelly is being accurate, open and honest in the last panel. She knows her Beast’s rage; hence the precision she took down the racists with.
I don’t think the Beast knows her. That imbalanced fear is at least partially coming from being trapped as a small mortal prey animal. Sphinxes aren’t unintelligent either, so there’s that dying incarnate god angle struggling as well.
Someone has to tell the Beast it has to die one day.
Beast Boy: That thing, that beast, it came from inside me and it’s still there, I can feel it.
Raven: Good. If it wasn’t for that beast, I might not be here right now. Having that thing inside doesn’t make you an animal. Knowing when to let it out is what makes you a man.
Beast Boy: Hmm. Maybe you should call me…Beast Man from now on.
Raven: We’re having a moment here. Don’t ruin it.
— from Teen Titans episode “The Beast Within”
You, my friend, must have read Poe’s “Metzengerstein”…
Couldn’t have said it better myself… The things the human body is capable of, especially in one so provoked, can be staggering. Between the ages of 15 and 19, I threw a riding mower, broke a pair of “handcuff” zip ties, ripped a wrought iron storm door off the hinges, and ripped a cemented fence pole out of the ground. My TKD training helped me to focus and channel the power and emotion that I had no control over. Now, at 32, I’m a lot more at ease with myself. I do, however, have a loving wife and a daughter who means more to me than life itself. I would almost feel sorry for someone who suffered from the astronomical stupidity it would take to mess with either of them. Almost…
I call virtual holodeck training sesion in the library!
For poor Justin, his rational mind (poorly equipped with no reference to explain what just happened) is trying to assert control over emotion and instinct (both running wild and basically unhindered).
Also, there’s the still obvious fangs and facial alterations his subconscious may see even without the glasses, but his conscious, rational mind doesn’t.
Basically, there’s a war going on in his head as he’s trying to make sense of what just happened. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the needed information to resolve the battle.
What are things Justin needs to hear?
Magic is real and I was afraid to tell you before because I didn’t want to drag you in. On top of that about a month ago I spent 80,000 years ALONE in a timeless void trying to get a grasp on my genetic heritage of being a mortal/sphinx hybrid. When I finaly got back after watching the deaths of 56 alternate versions of me, I just couldn’t figure out how to tell you because I was scared that you would leave me and I would be alone again.
Something like that. 🙂
Oh, and I have a “companion” who is the conjoining of all my demons, and a friend who is an indestructable golem and has the power to destroy the earth and flatten the sun. She’s a real sweety though. Still, you don’t want to go slapping her on the butt either. Then there’s Tina the undead barista and …
Well, alone except for a ghost of my prepubescent self who I created on a vision quest when my mom died, out of demons from an eternal void who I crushed into that form by will alone. She really helped me calm down over the eon. She gets along with most people, except my best friend, who’s a Mexican leprechaun that demigods look up to because she stopped the end the world happening in 2012, years ago!
Because I plunged a knife into her head.
You make it sound so simple and straightforward…
Look, it’s okay. The ghost I made showed me how to stab my friend safely.
And she watches us make love.
Yamara, that last was kinda over the top. I mean let the girl have some secrets…
Doesn’t Justin deserve to know?
To switch away from sarcasm suddenly, really, doesn’t he? She didn’t know she was a sphinx when she hooked up with him, but what about having an crystallized amalgam of timeless beings ever nascent in the room, attached to your lover? ‘Cause Creepy was around from the start, and she knew it.
Personally I would care a lot more about that than her discovered supernatural heritage.
Yamara, yeeaahh, I think it operates on the need to know basis. He needs to know about the sphinx part because of just what happened. He doesn’t need to know about Connie. It could come up eventually, if they talk about the 80,000 years and how she survived it, but it’s just not something he needs to know. Like the Billy Joel song, some masks you never take off.
Or… more intrinsically, not sharing Connie means Justin isn’t really all that close to her. With Heather, Shelly’s conversation with her elemental went like this.
Regarding Justin, it was some kind of a rape joke with Connie providing her own annoyed punch line. Tina’s been warning Shelly about the danger of romantic superficiality since ever.
And Tina knows having sex with even one extra demon in tow makes “coupling” an oxymoron. The issue is On The Table.
And, just to be clear, no, I don’t believe Justin needs to hear it now, that was part of the hyperbolic snark.
Though if Connie suddenly gets “protective”… well, that conversation may just start right up, mightn’t it?
Yamara, the question is: Can Connie be seen by those that aren’t supernatural in some way? Everyone who I recall interacting with her is supernatural in some way.
That is a really good point that hadn’t crossed my mind until after that last post. Since most of the main cast are spooky people, I confess I hadn’t noticed much about the visibility of demons. Obviously, it’s a given that most humans cannot see Mon’s entourage. Though Kevin and Alan know their girls have them, and this hasn’t dampened their passion.
And there is this parallel moment, which reminds us that Tina’s eyes are only visible to the world by her will alone–it’s a demon looking out of empty sockets, a la Judge Doom.
Does this apply to Shell’s creepy passenger? Demons have rules, but Conscience has her own. We’ll have to stay tuned.
OK. Now can someone tell us what Shelly needs to tell Justin, and how she can say it without being consigned to the looney bin??
At this point, I think she’s going to have to tell him the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Nothing less is going to work (and even the truth may not, if it’s too big for him). If he’s about to file Shelly as just one more crazy chick, there’s no way back to their earlier situation as casual lovers… it either ends here with a “crazy chick” label on it, or the real truth comes out and they rebuild their relationship on that basis.
As to avoiding the loony bin… same way Monica dissuaded Amanda from calling in the rubber-room boys, when Monica decided bring Amanda into the know. Show, rather than just tell.
If Shelly can talk Jason down to a calm enough state, maybe she can phone Monica to come over, and they can arrange a gentle-enough intro to The Real Supernaturalists of Minneapolis to keep from frying his brain.
Otherwise… either Shelly lets him walk away (probably forever), or it’s Shellinx time. Fortunately they seem to be alone in the gym, and it has a high ceiling (and the punching bag isn’t so much in the way anymore).
I can see her, assuming Justin calms down, calling Monica and asking her to poit her over to Monica’s.
Sorry, I meant to say “poit THEM over to Monica’s”.
Who’s going to assign her to the looney bin, Justin ?
Have you forgotten that Monica still has the MIB as a backup which she could call upon to help the Shellster 😉
Not saying that they would, but they could either make Justin shut up or simply “disappear him”.
Again, not saying that they would do that, but those are two of the options available…
What Shelly needs to say:
I’m sorry for not being honest with you.
I’ve kept some things secret that you need to know because words are hard, and I was afraid you wouldn’t listen or take me seriously. I should have given you more credit than that.
I love you and I respect your thoughts, and I didn’t want to jeopardize our relationship by making you think I’m just like every other looney in 4-North.
I’m sorry I over-reacted.
I’m sorry for slicing you.
Will you forgive me?
Getting Justin to hear that could be a real problem, though–because “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” and the trust he had in her is now gone.
Slipping in a Simon and Garfunkel reference, I see. I’ve had that song stuck in my head all week.
I did a Simon and Garfunkel marathon via yourtube this weekend.
I’m not crazy.
I’ve been put through a lot of changes recently that don’t show on the outside. I’m still learning how to cope with them and that’s why there are rips in your shirt.
The truth here is simple to explain but hard to believe. All I ask is just enough trust to let me explain.
Because if you can’t give me that trust I have to let you go and I do NOT want to let you go.
Neither one of them is making a lot of sense right now.
No kidding. What does she mean by not wanting certain parts of her teased?
Either “no more spankings” or “never grab a tiger by the tail”, I think… snerk snerk…
Well, I think you can read a lot of sense and meaning behind their words… but due to their shock it’s coming out in a sort of jumpy mental shorthand.
For Justin: I think what he’s saying shows evidence of a somewhat narrow view of the world, now under extreme stress. To him, “sane” and “normal” and “regular real people” are the core of things… and outside of that is everything that’s “abnormal” and “crazy” and supernatural. By saying “Sane people can’t do that” is (I think) shorthand for “People who live in my sane, normal, explainable world can’t do that.”
He almost lacks the language to describe things outside of his normal experience as anything other than “crazy”. To him, “supernatural” and “inexplicable” equate to part of “crazy”.
His “cosmic egg” of a world view has just been cracked open by a very large hammer, and his mind and vocabulary haven’t yet caught up with it. That could be as much a part of his shock, as his pure physical terror at being attacked.
Shelly… well, I do see some real sense to what she’s saying here, and I actually think it’s very very important… shows some signs of serious revelations, actually.
Shelly’s always been a self-doubter, with a fear of alone-ness and abandonment, and she’s apparently pushed herself into relationships of casual intimacy in order to relieve herself of this fear.. but she wasn’t really willing to open up and share her true self with her partners (or at least not with Justin, a fact Tina confronted her with).
What she’s saying now (in her shock-addled jumpy way) is that she’s changed and grown. She’s no longer afraid of being alone… but she’s also come to understand more of who she truly is, she’s come to terms with that, she actually appreciates who she is, and she wants to share herself with someone else on that basis.
That’s not a small change for her. She said, a while back, that she was afraid that she hadn’t really learned anything from her Time Forest exile experience. I think she has – it just took a while to sink in.
As to “parts I don’t want teased” – that’s obviously a reference to not spooking her sphinx, of course, but I think it means more than that.
I think she’s saying “OK, I am willing to truly show up here. I’m now willing and able to show you who I truly am, as a person. I’m not going to hide me from you, the way I did before. And, in return, I insist that you deal with me as I am… you must learn who I am now, and respect the person I have become.”
I think it’s not just the cat that has come out of the bag here, folks.
I think it’s Shelly’s heart and soul.
I hope Justin can open his eyes and spirit enough to see what he is being offered, even if he can’t understand it yet.
What Dave said. I think there are two coversations here. Shelly is baring her soul and explaining that she wants a closer relation ship, that she’s ready to be close emotionaly. The parts not being teased bit? Well, you don’t go around spooking lions or tigers or Sphinxes.
(now I’ve got Buck Owens stuck in my head)
Justin is on a completely different wavelenth. He’s rationalizing and shoving events back into the box that is his world view. Several folks have made salient points about freakish levels of strength when people are operating in some sort of altered state; insane, adrenaline rush, rage, or hopped up on drugs. Our boy is figuring Shelly is one of these. The claws and teeth and slightly feline countanance aren’t really registering with him, and if they are he’s dissmissing them as makeup and plastic teeth or something. I think Justin is going to go on rationalizing as Shelly keeps trying to explain. I think the only thing that will cure his cranial/rectal inversion is seeing Shellinix in her full glory.
And even that may not be enough.
I know it’s not the normal fare for Confusion Corner but your more than welcome to join me here. I’ve no idea what’s going on either 🙂
I am only praying that things get better from here.
Absent large amounts of blood (major paper cuts nonwithstanding), both parties are stumbling about defensively trying to understand just what happened, while dealing with the shock and denial.
Overall, this isn’t that bad of a start.
I’d think that Justin would take some time off from ther relationship to thihk stuff over.
And maybe decided that Shelly is worth the trouble. If Shelly is going to divulge/demonstrate the sphinx-thing (which seems a good thing to me, hinesty, and all that), he will need some time, and has to be honest to himself.
Seeing her in Sphinx form will probably be better than a dunk in a frozen lake.
Or a knife rolling up like it’s tinfoil.
Why are blonde Caucasians so hard to convince of anything?
To parafrase an esteemed bar-keeper
“they’re talking, they’re talking”
*does tiny shuffle*
You mate, deserve kudos for that reference.
Yes Justin…let the hate flow through you! Mwahahaha! (Yeah, I don’t like him to the point of becoming Palpatine.)
What is your problem with Justin if you don’t mind telling us???
I wish I had a better idea of why so I could tell you. Lol. I just…I guess it’s because he was originally brought into Shelly’s life just so she could get some. Which was fine at the time but then there was this connection we never actually saw happen and suddenly we were supposed to care about him…..
I don’t know. I think I’m just nuts. I have it out for the poor guy.
Even if Shelly dumps him she cannot go out with you hun 🙂
Unless you bribed Paul…a lot.
WHY MUST YOU SPOIL MY DREAMS?!?!
This little bit may be my favorite segment of comments…at least in a loooong time. 😀
Trying to convince Justin you’re calmer now than you were is gonna be a tough sell right now, Shelly.
Not really the venue for debate club, is it?
The fact that Justin is standing there yelling at Shelly and not run off screaming into the night is a plus.
Hopefully they’ll begin to calm down enough soon, to start making sense to each other.
As long as she still has the fangs, he won’t listen, probably longer than that. He’s already starting to rationalize what happened – “She must be insane! I didn’t really see her start to become a monster!”
I still think she’s better off without him.
Which is why, at some point, she needs to show him her full sphinx form (I hope, I hope). Of course then he may think he is the one gone insane.
I’m pretty sure he already thinks he’s going insane and is simply projecting those thoughts onto Shelly, but yeah, if she went full sphinx, his reaction would be… amusing I mean a horribly depressing freak-out.
Yeah, I mean, the claws are going in and out before his eyes, taking the art literally and assuming he can see without his glasses. Velvet, Shelly. That would be a good place to start practicing.
As a reformed avid glasses-wearer, my first thought on this comic was, “Why hasn’t he fixed his glasses? They hurt and annoy when half-off like that and it would take a half-second to bump them back into place…”
Then I read the dialogue.
The real reason he hasn’t fixed his glasses is because that would mean he’d notice her fangs and facial markings.
I think they’re going to take a bit of frame straightening as well, so it’s more than just a quick adjustment.
Yeah, that’s true–the left side is bent way out of whack. It’s like she hit them in the middle of the nose bar and bent the lenses outward towards each other, and then scrunched them both down some. Justin should invest in those elastic frames; then he wouldn’t be out a pair of glasses now.
I agree, she’s going to have to bring him fully into the loop about who and what she is. It’s going to need a long tee-up, though, and probably some prep-work by some of the other Wapsi Weirdos to educate Justin gently to the fact that there’s a lot going on. Doing it right now would probably make things much worse.
I cannot wait till Justin gets introduced to Bud by Shelly
Justin: Oh NOOOOOO!! The OTHER crazy chick..aaarghghghgh! There’s a loony-bin with the doors wide-open somewhere. Gotta call the collegues…
I’ve been looking forward to that moment for quite a while. If things don’t work out between Shelly and Justin, just the loss of that moment will be enough to make me sad.
Right. It’s time for full disclosure. If she holds things back and they come up later, like CLG, then Justin will constantly be waiting for the next ten-ton shoe to drop. That’s no way to live. Not that it all has to come out right now, but soon. Shelly must be fully truthful and forthcoming with all her associations if she is ever to win back Justin’s trust.
OTOH if it becomes clear Justin is not going to be “the one” then she needs to drop it, and him. Otherwise he will be a loose cannon out there. Someone with too much knowledge of the other side and not invested enough to keep his mouth shut or go prying further where he should not. That would be very dangerous for him.
We must remember he is now being dragged, kicking and screaming (well, screaming anyway) into this. It’s not his choice and it would be unfair to place him into further jepordy.
The hell of it (for both Justin and Shelly and everyone else) is that in this sort of Wapsi situation, there is simply no way at all to get full, well-informed consent from a “new player” before dumping all of this exotic knowledge onto them. Even if you say “I have something very strange and weird and wonderful and scary to tell you… should I?”, they cannot possibly understand what they are consenting to learn (or refusing to learn).
yep! it all comes back to Tina’s comment about not having plans in place if the “wrong” persons find out… this may be the start of that avalanche…
wasn’t he bleeding last page?
She said he was, but we have yet to actually see any blood.
Are we PG-13 today?
“I’ll be careful.”
“You’ll be dead!”
Who knew sphinxes had such sensitive butts?
Probably just that she was in fighting mode and he came into a defensive area. Basically she is not good with surprises right now until she can get better control of her sphinx responses. This would be one reason why Phix did not teach her to transform in the forest because her human side is viewed as weak by the Apos.
Its all the tail-pulling Sphinx had to experience, they get really sensitive to surprise butt inspections.
Gotta be careful when you want a piece of sphinx, uh, “tail”.
you know…i grew up with my father and brother scaring me (quite deliberately) on an insanely regular basis. the LAST time my brother scared me (jumping out at me and trying to grab me as i was walking through a doorway), i was putting on my belt at the time.
his luck shattered. i jerked the belt out of the beltloops, and began wailing upon his little narry ass, chasing HIM as he ran away screaming for mama to rescue him and punish me. she heard what had happened, and said “well, i guess you should better stop trying to scare your sister, shouldnt you, you think?”
i was 17, he was 15. i’m 48 now. that lesson TOOK. he scared me accidentally last year, and backed off fast while apologising.
shelly has a highly wound trigger at the moment, she isnt fully in control of the sphinx side of her, and justin inadvertantly pushed her buttons. they’re both in for a very rough ride, and no guarantee of a happy ending.
Sometimes the quiet ones have the most effective rage, or the purest and most effective anger.
Innocent Bystander: “but she was ALWAYS so Nice, and Quiet!, I just never assumed….” under the breath comment by a News Reporter: “they never do, do they?”
Its the idea of somebody BEHIND you that you didn’t know was there. Of having some hand reach out and SMACK you and you didn’t see it coming. To someone on a hair-trigger, that’s almost like a gunshot. To someone with an easy scare reflex but unable to react effectively, its enough to send one into a nervous breakdown.
I used to have a couple of dudes in college who thought it was such a bloody LAUGH to poke me in the lower back and watch me scream and cry. to this day, I can’t have someone I don’t trust behind me. my back muscles start to clench up and I get anxious. If I was a Shellinx, those two dudes would come down with a severe case of peril.
Right now he is thinking that she is crazy dangerous where he just saw her as eccentric. Now she is like the crazy girlfriends that he had in the past. Crazy is fine as long as it is safe crazy.
I think that this can only end well if at some point Phix brings them to the library and shows Justin about Shelly and her family line.
Justin in reverse silhouette is a powerful image. It’s practically nothing, yet holds everything. Who knew?
Dammit, dammit, dammit. Justin is losing it. I’m not sure I’d do any better if I’d almost been accidentally vivisected, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing he’d handle this better.
Wow. This is not going as I expected. Justin will come around, just watch!
IS it just me or is the dialougue a bit strange? Jumbled is the word I’d use. And not “I’m emotionally unstable” jumbled.
It flows in sort of an “S”shape. read it like that and it is quite logic.
Shelly’s third balloon in panel one follows Justin’s line in panel two. The silhouette is panel three. Shelly’s lines in panel four could be read in either order, but it’s likely the upper right followed by lower left. So an S-shape.
Good panelology considering the chaos of emotions, talking past and over one another.
The ‘panel jumble’ works right for the incident.
As a person who ‘got spanked’ then ‘did the slicing’ in reaction a couple times… I well agree with the jumble. I would remember an incident in one way (until I come to something that doesn’t fit), and the another (which also has a scene that doesn’t fit).
In such situations, words tumble out and are remembered without sequence. In such times events run parallel instead of linear and sometimes even out of reference.
Justin and Shelly are in for some rough soul-searching. I think it’s time for a certain top-heavy midget rune-reader to get involved.
Looks like there is some spilling of guts after all.
We have a cat and I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not safe to touch Pete’s rear area. Band Aids were required. Otherwise he’s a good cat and most affectionate. But he had to teach me his boundaries.
Reminds me of that Gary Larson cartoon with the old prospector (with a hook for his right hand) and his pet grizzly. “Yep, we just had to get a few things straight between us. She don’t ask to come up on my lap no more, and I don’t try to take away her food before she’s done eating…” or something like that.
Army ’87-97, ’05-current I’ve had that exact conversation, minus exploding bags, claws and such, and helped freinds, including cops, and their significant others work through such more times than i can count.
Its just part of the life.
Orrrrrr … he’s an MIB who is watching over Monica and the golem girls, but thought Shelly was normal(ish), and is now terrified by the thought that she is an adversary of those he is charged with watching over …
I think we may need to abandon all hope of him being an MIB guy. He’s not reacting like I would expect someone who knows about the existence of the supernatural to react…even if you factor in the false belief that his charges are threatened.
Now…if everything somehow works out between these two, then I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he gets recruited by the MIB folk to help keep the odd stuff hush-hush since he is a cop. 🙂
I’ve been wondering today if, assuming that Shelly and Justin reach an understanding (whether as lovers or just friends), Justin is going to try to recruit her to the police — given the speed of her reactions having her as backup does have advantages.
OOOOH! Wait! That! I like that idea!
This webcomic has definitely changed from its beginning format.
I’m glad I didn’t know of it last year (I didn’t even know webcomics existed).
Welcome Aboard!… this is one of the very good ones out there. among my favs are: Girl Genius, Sluggy Freelance, Schlock Mercenary, Freefall, and Goblins… there are many MANY more to suit everyone’s tastes. i hope you stick with us here in following this one. and don’t be afraid to comment here, either.
Interesting body language here. First Shelly is making a shoothing posture, so is Justin in a questioning way. Both palms open facing one another.
Then comes the Crazy accusation bit and Shelly is hiding her hands. What she’s saying and what she’s showing are making different statements.
Baby steps, baby steps.
Interesting point…though I think that Shelly’s “hiding her hands” should be trumped by the fact that her posture is self-protective. Hugging herself like that suggests the need for comfort and trying to protect herself (at least emotionally). She’s preparing herself to be hurt by Justin.
Yeah, I think she sees the endgame and is bracing for the worst. Poor girl finaly gets to a place where she can get close emotionaly and this happens. Of course if Justin IS going to bail out on her, better now than later when she’s really gotten attached.
Yeah, the crazy card is a bit of a sore subject for the Wapsi girls.
I still don’t think that’s him. I think it’s Phix and Nudge using Shelley’s fears to force her to learn control.
We all can hope
I think it’s Connie.
I don’t know Justin well enough to gauge whether he’s even listening to Shelley. And I’d really be afraid to see what Shelley does if he just flat out dumps her right here…
Well, if he completely shuts her down (“You’re just as crazy as the other chicks… I give up… Goodbye”) and turns and starts to walk away, Shelly does have one drastic trump card to play. She could go full-sphinx, right there and then, and say “JASON… LOOK AT ME… I AM NOT CRAZY.”
It would be very risky… she’d have to keep her sphinx-self from striking out at him or being otherwise aggressive. The second shock might just send him running for his life, or for a gun or a platoon of tanks, or kill him right there on the spot.
Doing this might be the only way to shatter Jason’s closed-mindedness. Or, it might not… he might go into fugue, and completely reject the evidence of his senses, or even blank out the whole traumatic experience. Even if he survived, stay, believed, and understood, there’s no guarantee he’d want to be with Shelly after this.
Shelly isn’t the only one at risk of being badly broken by what is happening here.
If he gets too government-threatening (guns, tanks) she could have Creepy to make him doubt his own experience of events. So she has many options, but few of them are good, and none are painless.
And, I think that with that last statement about “I am NOT crazy,” she should continue, “. . . and I LOVE you and NEED you.” That affirms that she’s being honest, and vulnerable, which will help Justin find his balance again.
Very good point… and I think she’s finally gotten far enough along that she can actually say that. Before her Time Forest time… I doubt she could.
It would, of course, help if she calls him Justin rather than Jason 🙂 – I need to be careful about posting comments before my second cup of coffee kicks in!
No I’m not gonna cry for sad Shelly…
(T_T) DAMNIT PAUL!
*Hugs consolingly* There there, Bucc-i. It’s going to be alright.
Things are going to work out between Shelly and Justin. -_-
If strikes me that the majority of comments are quick to declare Justin “close-minded” and talk about his “narrow world view”. We should keep in mind that as readers we know a lot more about the setting than the setting does. To the best of my knowledge, sphinxes and calendar machines and world destroying chimeras are not known outside the MiB circles. It is not unreasonable (at least to me) that a normal person would be in a less than stable mode at this time. What he thought was a playful show of physical affection has suddenly turned into bleeding slashes down his chest and his girlfriend taking a different appearance than she had a few moments ago. It’s important to remember that this is playing out through their eyes, not ours, so declaring Justin to be a horrible jerk for not just saying “oh, you’re a sphinx, where’s the coffee?” isn’t the best approach here, I think.
Apologies for the rambling, headache is messing with me.
Gotta side with you.
And no need to apologize.
Agreed – good points. Justin is a product of his environment (as are we all) and is used to the normal world.
Even within “normals” there is a wide range of mental and emotionl flexibility. Some of us are more able, and others less able, to stop and really listen, and realize that what we are encountering is something which doesn’t fit well into our mental model of the world.
This doesn’t require the supernatural to be involved. It happens frequently when we spend time with a person of another culture, whose world view is based on different assumptions than ours. It often happens with our loved ones… we learn that the relationship we thought we were having, really isn’t all that’s going on in the other person’s head and emotions, or that we were interpreting things very differently.
It’s all about change and growth.
Some people are mentally flexible and adaptive. Others less so… they see the world through the same set of filters and interpretations, and refuse to (or cannot) change them.
We have yet to see Justin ask Shelly anything about what happened. So far (and I agree it’s early moments yet) he has simply put his own interpretation on what has happened, and we don’t yet know if he’s even really tracking what Shelly is saying.
That’s what I was really referring to, earlier… not just his awareness of the supernatural (none prior to now, really) but the question of his ability in general to deal with new and unexpected experiences. Can he “stretch” or will he insist on interpreting everything in the same way he has always done?
If their relationship fails now, it won’t be entirely because of the supernatural aspect of Shelly’s change… it will be at least as much about the simple fact that she did change, and Jason wasn’t up to dealing with that.
That would not make Jason a bad person, by any means… it would simply mean he’s better suited by nature to be with a more predictable / stable / simple partner (choose the adjective you prefer).
I don’t know that they are saying he’s close minded so much as they are jumping to the defense of Shelly. She is, after all, the one we’ve grown to love not him.
But you’re right, this response is totally reasonable. It’s a freaky situation he’s being thrust into and, people should probably remember, that it’s still his knee jerk response right now. We’re still in the seconds after he was ALMOST KILLED.
Haha…sorry. “You’re a sphinx, where’s the coffee.” Funniest thing ever.
I think that everyone getting angry at Justin needs to seriously take a step back and look at what you’re saying… Look at the third panel in particular, the “like you’d tell me!”
People have kept assuming that at some point, these two made a major connection together, but what if they haven’t? Shelly has kept herself walled off, and Justin still thinks that he’s viewed as nothing more than a giant dildo – her words – and that she’s been feeding him nothing but lies.
All of that is grounds for a breakup well before you bring the sphinxes and demons and bloody furrows clawed into his chest into it.
Now would be a good time for either Monica or Phix to show up.
My call for what will eventually happen:
Justin informs Shelly to take the time to get control. Once she’s done that if she still wants to be with him to call (but he can’t guarantee how long he’ll be free.
As for Bud, he may go with her on the rebound and then there’s awkwardness all round when they realise who everyone is. I hope that doesn’t happen but it is possible — people tend to do stupid things when they’re they’ve experienced strong emotions.
The way I see Justin is steady. Once he calms down, listens to her, maybe takes a few days to think over things, he’ll eventually come back.
He seems very much the “I’ll be there with you through this,” kind of guy. Or it’s my hope.
I totally get what she says. I think I’m awesome, but I know people perceive it as things to tease me about or just plain don’t appreciate. Or worse, dislike. It makes one feel more alone when you open up those parts and no one seems to think they’re as awesome as you did.
I just want to give her a big hug and tell her she will be ok.
Expecting: Justin freaks out more tomorrow. Understandable, as Shelly’s line at the end doesn’t explain nada.
Shelly spazzes out, and rage modes… which causes her to sphinx out.
Cut to: Phix outside the door, wondering why it’s gotten so quiet, and whether ‘Head First’ works as well for relationships as for learning to fly.
Floorman, you hit it on the head.
Monica’s boyfriend had someone he’s met slowy guide him down the rabbit hole. They talk over coffee for the complete picture.
Don’t recall how the scene Jin brought her boyfriend into the mix. I think it was the crazy I can’t be stabbed by a knife thing and so the blunt approach can work. Don’t recommend it.
So now we have the bleeding trauma quick drop approach to the supernatural. Not the best approach, not that it was chosen but both are trying to get a mastery on what just happened.
So yes Justin while not closed minded is trying to put things in his frame of reference. He simply has not experienced something of this nature before and the WTF factor is off the scale in a hurry. In going with what he knows, it doesn’t fit. There simply isin’t time to processs it. I’m getting heart palpatations reading this and I’ve had almost week to go over this. He’s had less than a minute.
From Shelly’s perspective, she’s been alone since her mother died. She packaged up that experience, with her demons into creepy little girl. Instead of trying to keep CLG bottled up inside, Shelly has let her out to play. She accepted the aloneness, then and now.
This new sphinx self is not something she has had a chance to contain, accept or interact with, except through brief accidents. It scares her too.
So you have all this 80k experienced, quick moving, raw power sphinx. Shelly is trying to resolve who she is. Now, a driver of this raw power, inside, is still the little girl who misses her Mom.
This reminds me of another instance when a Wapsi character was trying to say something about strange events to someone very close to her… and it took an undeniable act to get her attention. When Amanda was trying to (quite reasonably) interpret Monica’s behavior in most-likely natural terms, and fit it with what she already knew (Monica’s adolescent “visit” to the hospital), Monica metaphorically grabbed her by the lapels …by poiting her 20 feet above a lake.
Justin is in shock, experienced with crazy people confrontations, and is hammering this experience peg into the closest matching hole he has on hand. He doesn’t even see her fangs and talons and face markings as they are. Only showing him in an undeniable way that he’s wrong will get him to stop and look.
I predict a full-blown sphinx in that gym by Friday.
I hope no passersby look in the windows.
I must admit, the detail and thought that go into these comments are something in themselves. Considering that a great deal of what I have seen on the Internet is effectively crippled by bad language and cruelty, I find myself fascinated by the almost beautiful reasoning that goes into understanding these wonderful plot lines. Sorry for divulging from the general threads, but I simply couldn’t resist. Personally, I hope that they do manage to understand each other but while they are both in shock and distressed by Shelly lashing out and injuring Justin, I have a suspicion that mutual understanding will not be reached in the gym.
I do hope they manage to reach an understanding, however. I feel so sorry for them both.
Fossegrim, I have noticed that those who comment on webcomics seem to be a little more reasonable and thought-out in what they say than some other sites. This is not always true, of course, but there seems to be much less name calling and profanity. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy webcomics, especially this one.
While it is true that the comments here are almost 100% reasonable and respectful, this is not true for all web comics. Some can get downright nasty – such as Doonesbury on goComics. Even a non-political strip such as Luann has its occasional flame wars.
It’s funny that this thread started. For the past couple of days I have been thinking about how this strip has developed into a venue for intelligent discussions among a disparate community of readers. A lot of us migrated from goComics’ Pibgorn but not all. A couple of years ago there would be, at best, single digit number of comments, frequently none. Now typically there are hundreds of daily comments – many extremely insightful of human nature – almost always interesting and entertaining, and sometimes exhibiting mind blowing talent for word play that rivals the best professional writer or comedian in existence.
I think it is mostly the depth of character development, plot complexity and self consistency, attention to details (such as connections to historical real life events), and Pablo’s skillful creativity that elicit our interest and engagement with the story and characters that he has brought to “life”. Witness the frequent emotional connections of the posters with the characters that is so evident in these comments.
Mid last century comics had a pretty bad name. Although reading them wasn’t supposed to grow hair on your hands, it was thought to be as bad an influence. Funny how we didn’t seem to grow up to be such deviants after all. In fact it looks we’re mostly fairly stable, intelligent, tolerant and aware human beings.
Indeed. Interestingly, there has been a flurry of retroactive posting all the way back to the very first installment. Almost all of it from this past year. I assume it’s from those going through the archives for the first time. I’m not sure who the posters expect to read their missives though.
I do NOT believe this! she hurt him, and you’re being sympathetic to her? would you be the same about HIM if he hurt her???
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