Ohhh…. no not the quiver-lip, I can’t hold up to that.
More than just the lip – her whole body is trembling.
Yes–she sure looks like she’s dealing with some major issues here.
Hmm. PTSD, or actually missing Nudge?
Either way, Monica is likely gonna be reading the riot act to one or more super natural beings soon.
I would say neither. It’s more a case of Tina keeping it as together as she/they (s’hey) could in the face of danger, and now that the danger is gone s’hey is releasing all of the energy and emotion s’hey had at the library.
I’m assuming Tina’s body works as they s’hey was still alive as s’hey has been to the hospital for broken limbs and has not been held over for disection. This implies s’hey would have an adrenaline rush to cope with.
PTSD can result from a single, sufficiently traumatic event.
I’d say having your face slammed into a counter by a gigantic human-form sphinx, having a part of your being ripped away by said sphinx, and not knowing whether, when she finishes with that part, the rest of you is next would be sufficiently traumatic enough for most people.
I don’t see PTSD. PTSD is when I react to a common event in the way I’d react to a moment of past stress. I think Tina’s reaction is perfectly normal.
This was a case of the natural fear prey feels around a predator when escape is impossible. Tina and all the demons that make her up know very well what sphinxes (sphinxii?) do to demons inhabiting humans. Apparently death-fear comes along with inhabiting a human, because the demons, IIRC, aren’t destroyed, just returned to their plane of existence.
OTOH, this is the sort of event that can *cause* PTSD.
Right. PTSD (by whatever name you use) comes later, long after the actual event; this looks like the post-combat shakes of an adrenaline come-down, which is functionally much different.
S’hey…I like that. I may use it occasionally (if I can remember anything post sleep).
“They” would have worked fine. She, if still in there somewhere, is part of the they.
PTSD may be a bit too extreme a description. Simply the recovery after a stressful situation can leave you drained and vulnerable.
*points up* What StJason said.
I dunno, I’m inclined to agree that it is mainly the recovery from the stress and shock of what happened, but remember Nudge was the one who got them up and out of the morgue, allowing them to live on outside the demon realm with no memory…they might have appreciated her for at least that and aree a bit sad that she is now gone…
OTOH, no more anchovies! YAY!
I wouldn’t call this reaction PTSD. This is more the adrenaline crash after a stressful situation ends. PTSD is what happens later. I don’t know that a demon collective can actually get PTSD, having never dealt with one personally. I do have PTSD and it took a lot longer to develop than a few hours…
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
And boy does Tina need a friend right now! Nothing like having the hand of death pass right through you….
For a bunch demons, they seem to be very “human”.
Indeed. Makes one wonder if they will, eventually, turn into one entity a la Shelly. An entity who will die when Tina dies, as it is with Shelly. Though who knows what “die” means in that case. Perhaps just separating back into the individual demons again.
Demons are human. Well, sorta. They are in many ways just reflections of aspects of our personalities. From what we’ve gathered so far, they have their own emotions and thought processes… is it really that surprising?
Wait, what? “A la Shelly?” When did we discover that Shelly was a collection of demons made one person?
Oh, geez, you would ask. I think the “little girl” made the comment about it in the strips just before the Calendar Machine adventure.
No, Shelly is a regular person who has a soul, but she combined all of her demons into one entity, which claims to be her conscience. Apparently, that came from Shelly battling her demons and in the process shutting off communication to the demon realm.
IIRC, the Tina’s demons were already wondering what would happen when Tina’s body dies. They had already noticed that demons don’t normally work together as a team to the extent that they way they were doing. Would they cease to exist? Would they go on to new hosts, but develop more independence? Would they continue on the way they are now, just in a new host?
@Fatuncle: She seemed to have been acting more human even with Nudge, I think. Of course, we wouldn’t have expected her to not be human at first, except for the swirling eyes, so maybe we’re seeing what we want to see.
I was thinking that early this morning – that Tina’s reaction was more human, sans Nudge. I wonder if the optimism so much a part of her character was more Nudge than Tina.
If you look back at Nudge’s behavior after Phix’s nudgectomy, she does seem like a natural optimist and one concerned with welfare and justice…
She reminded me of an anarchist. Impulsive, self-righteous, potentially very destructive. She seemed to actually help Monica and probably helped Tina 2.0, but I suspect that she was more of a neutral force. Having said that, she might have been why Tina tended to bounce back quickly in the past, but also might have been why Tina tended to switch subjects.
Chaotic Neutral, i tells ya!
Nudgectomy… that’s a good way to put it.
And the shock wears off.
…and the aftershocks hit! Poor Tina!
Good one! Especially regarding the earth-quaking experience Tina’s been through.
MUST HUG TINA! D:
Awwwww… *hugs Tina* Poor girl…
I’ve felt like that. I’ll be upset but I can hold it together… then someone asks me how I feel and I just lose it.
It’s been revealed that the pack of Demons aka Tina is turning very human… they broke Tina’s arm, and now know fear, anger, and stress.
Can’t wait to see what implications this has on the search for a decent bandaid for Jin’s brain…
That’s true. This is very telling. Normally the demons would not care all that much when the host dies or even what happens to her, since they just move on to another one. Having done it thousands of/millions of/god knows how many times, they can’t form any great attachment, either to the host or each other. This is different. Very different and very interesting.
Ah, but Tina’s demons are under what amounts to sentence of banishment – it may very well be (or they may believe it may be) possible that, since they are Tina, rather than shadowy presences on the edges of her psyche, that they die when she dies.
Right. They weren’t sure what would happen. Also see the page before that one.
IIRC, demons stay together as teams when they are assigned different hosts. That came up when Tina stopped the fight in the Cerberus club. I think Tina means that they don’t normally work so closely together, though.
That banishment seems to make them even more human… what do people do when banished *checks Exodus* they stick together, they get stronger and then… Holy Cow!!
The trembling and crying may be a mostly physiological reaction – Tina’s body still seems to be functioning (there was some discussion about that yesterday) so regardless of what the demons controlling her feel, her body is likely to react to a life threatening situation by first flooding her system with stress hormones, and then crashing.
On the other hand, demons in the Wapsiverse seem very similar to human, and have similar emotions. So why shouldn’t they cry?
Any minute now, we’ll see them all skipping arm in arm towards the emerald city. XD
Demons always knew fear, anger and stress. That’s them! They always feared Phix. That’s instinctual. IIRC, we haven’t seen Tina cry before, but we’ve known for a long time that she can have her feelings hurt. I don’t know if this represents much of a change or not.
OMFG I LOVE TINA SO MUCH NOW!!!
grr @ phix..even if i dont think she would have expected tina’s proper demons to cry..
That’s a good point. Would a “proper” demon cry? Be fearful, yes, since Phix can kill them. We don’t know for certain they don’t cry, but we have yet to see it. Which also makes me wonder, is there a demon of fear as well? I would think so. But would the demon “Fear” be afraid of anything, or would it be afraid of everything Maybe being afraid of everything Panic’s job. There is a contradiction in there somewhere, but I’m not quite sure what it is.
In any event, it’s clear Paul really knows how to tug at the hearts of his readers.
I don;t think there is a fear demon in Wapsi square, it’s pretty much covered by panic and doubt.
Actually, Phix _did_ apologize to Tina, right after dislodgine Nudge. Poor Tina, though, it’s still a hell of a scare.
Well, if a cop beat me to the ground with a stick and then kept going for an hour, and then apologized for 2 seconds once he realized I’m not the actual perp, yeah, I’d be a little stunned too.
I’m not all that mad at Phixy anymore but I hope they can come to terms with each other beyond simple tollerance.
This is slightly different than the scenario you proposed though. Tina was not hurt by Phix (aside perhaps from the mega-hand squish to the countertop). Phix’s real physical attack only hit Nudge (going through Tina), and once that brief interaction was over, Tina was not subjected to any physical abuse from Phix.
Tina suffered what probably amounted to 5, maybe 10 minutes of emotional distress…which Phix apologized for. Yes, the apology was brief, but keep in mind, Monica’s questioning began pretty quickly, forestalling any further concilliatory interactions Phix might have had with Tina. We just don’t know how much Phix would have done to try and make things right.
Ah, but did having a part of herself ripped away – because Nudge was a part of Tina, whether she was one of the demons or not – hurt?
I still don’t think that’s necessarily what Phix apologized for. Based on what she said, she was apologizing for not getting Nudge sooner. In any case, it was more of an explanation of her actions than an apology.
As a predator, I’m not sure that she would be inclined to pay much attention to any harm she would cause. She might also be somewhat of a “stiff upper lip” type of person.
Fangs + biting lip does not make for comfort.
You see I have an awful bias against demons but darnit! I want to kick Phix’ arse for making Tina cry!
Phix is going to need more than a cute “I’m sorry, I was after Nudge hiding inside you.” :'(
Aw! Tina’s more human than she knows. Hug her tight, M.
My poor , poor , tina .
I feel bad for Tina (can’t handle it when friends cry either), but I disagree with all of the negative feelings towards Phix for this.
Yes, Phix scared the poo out of Tina, but people seem to be forgetting that Phix has scared LOADS of people before. That’s what she did as Librarian. Heck…she made Katherine pass out! Then, it was okay for her to just apologize, and everybody was amused (or at least Monica wasn’t giving the stink-eye). This time someone’s reaction is the post-stressful-situation-cryfest, and all of a sudden Phix is going to have to bend over backwards to make up for it??
I understand that what she did to newcomers when she was the only Librarian was in large part posturing (though we have been given reason to believe it wasn’t entirely that way), and what she did this time involved an actual attack on an entity that frightened the Collective into thinking she was going to kill them. However, how many people have thought she would kill them, only to find out that she didn’t plan to?
*sigh* Maybe I’m being too detatched for Tina’s suffering, but I don’t like seeing people get all riled up to ostracize a person for something they’ve essentially done many times before without punishment.
I agree with what you said. Also,people seem to forget that there is a thousands years grudge against Nudge by Phix. Considering that, it went pretty well. Tina was an innocent by-stander in a take-down of a ‘dangerous criminal’ by ‘law enforcement’. How else could Phix have caught Nudge? I don’t see any other scenario where Tina wouldn’t have been traumatized. As tricky as Nudge is, Phix couldn’t have given her any chance at all to escape. Phix considered herself trapped at the Library. Animals and people have been known to sacrifice their limbs to get away from being trapped like that. All the same it is still awful that Tina had to endure that.
But what about the other times Phix went out of her way to frighten Tina? Those didn’t seem to be about Nudge at all.
Tina herself has said that demons are EXTREMELY dangerous beings who – normally – have to be dealt with harshly to be kept in bounds. Phix does this. Although it seems that the Tina Collective is becoming ‘domesticated’, and perhaps doesn’t need such tactics.
Right. That’s a point I was about to make. People seem to think that it’s a bad thing if Phix scared the crap out of Tina. They also seem to think that trying to make things better would have been the right thing for Phix to do. That might have frightened Tina even worse!
Tina seems to think that she needs to fear Phix to control herself. She might be even more frightened of what would happen if she didn’t fear Phix. I don’t know how much self-control Tina has, but Tina is probably afraid of finding out. In any case, now probably wouldn’t be a good time to face that. I don’t think that Tina wants to have a better relationship with Phix.
Phix knew something was different about Tina, and she suspected Nudge was hiding in the collective. She was “poking with a stick” to see if she could stir something up or out. In fact it worked. It caused Nudge to blow off to Monica and then: WHAM! *busted*
That’s not the way I read it. Tina seemed to defend Phix’s behavior as if there wasn’t anything unexpected about it. Nudge just seemed to be explaining things to Monica that Tina’s regular demons’ couldn’t explain because their memories had been wiped. Nudge didn’t seem particularly upset. If anything, Phix’s visit should have made Nudge more cautious, not less.
I agree that Phix made Monica curious which lead to Nudge explaining things while Phix was listening. That’s the only thing that I can see that Phix did that lead to her spotting Nudge.
True, Nudge disn’t seem upset, but “murderous bitches” is a little harsh and judgemental. This comic made it sound like Nudge’s escape was also intended to punish the sphinxes for being so violent and wrong. She may have had a grudge, and therefore Phix’s involvement would invoke a little venting.
heehee…a Nudge with a grudge. That’s just wonderful.
Nudge with a grudge brought before the judge …
I think we can all agree that Nudge didn’t like Phix. The comment about using her for target practice kind of gave that away.
The differnt in this case is as being related to the demons as she is Trina had more to fear from Phix then everybody else. Or to say it better more to fear about a Sphinx there it was said clearly that Phix did rejected the Killing. For the other vistors it was just a short scaring and then they saw her as the friendly being we had know her so far. For Trina is was like she was inside the same room with a big tiger that just for the moment decided to ignore her. So it is no surprise that she has a brake down after she got out of that situation.
A tiger that took time to apologize to her after the removal of Nudge…that’s less being ignored and more having the prior scare explained in a “you’re not my target” kind of way…hence less caged-with-a-tiger feelings (IMO).
You are right in so many ways, a person who has been taken hostage at gunpoint by a dangerous criminal, then had a police sharpshooter blow the criminal away by shooting right past the hostage’s head would have exactly the same reaction. And that’s pretty much what happened to Tina. Phix blew Nudge right out of her.
Yes! That’s it exactly!
Not at all. Nudge wasn’t dangerous and had no hostages. A sharpshooter wasn’t used. An out of control cop used a shotgun to blast both the person who was wanted (who didn’t resist arrest) and an innocent bystander unnecessarily. The the cop kept beating the criminal after they were in custody. IRL, the criminal would go free and the cop would face charges.
I’m glad you brought up the analogy of the police, because similar things happen there. Sometimes police get so caught up in the chase that they loose perspective and innocent people get hurt. One of the most frustrating things they have to learn is when to back off. Phix is a natural predator. She would be even less likely to back off.
It made sense that Phix poited Tina to the library before Nudge knew what was going on. Once there, Nudge didn’t show any signs of even wanting to get away. If Phix had merely asked Nudge to leave Tina, she probably would have. Tricksters are like that.
Phix didn’t have to worry about Nudge doing anything. I can’t believe that Phix would have been so weak and incompetent that she couldn’t handle Nudge once she had Nudge in the Library. If she actually had to force Nudge out of Tina, she certainly could have told Tina to not worry first.
Nudge may not have been dangerous, but to Phix, she was an escaped criminal. Plus, while she may not have been holding hostages in the traditional sense, she was hiding behind a collective of demons who would have reason to fear the approach of a sphinx and could therefore better mask her presense. Additionally, it was sharpshooting because the shot that took Nudge out went through the Collective/Tina’s body, and only made contact with Nudge…i.e. narrowly missing the not-quite-hostages. I think the analogy still works.
As for forcing Nudge out vs. asking her to leave…well, I think Phix has thousands of years of pent up anger issues that she was finally venting. While not the rational and logical way to approach things, it’s certainly understandable (and Nudge doesn’t seem to be all that phased by it in the end like some sort of souped up Wile E Coyote).
Of course, we tend to expect people in positions of power (police officers, politicians, sphinxes, etc) to show reason and control when exercising that power, but those are high expectations. Usually personel who have been on duty for too long are relieved from duty so they can recharge in the hopes that no emotional breakdown occurs that leads to physical tragedy. Also, there are frequently personality screenings that keep unstable or heavily prejudiced people out of the roles they could abuse. Unfortunately, no system is perfect, and we end up with a lot of what you see on the evening news.
Phix never was relieved from duty (big stress point), and sphinxes apparently have extreme prejudice against law-breakers. The end result we saw was far more positive than it could have been.
I still don’t think that Tina was physically harmed…just scared beyond belief. Plus, while you maintain that Phix didn’t apologize for her action, merely for taking too long to locate Nudge, her apology still served to say to Tina “I wasn’t after you. I was after someone hiding within you.” Therefore, while “police brutality” may have occurred against Nudge, no “innocent bystanders” were harmed in the making of this comic.
Wow, I think that was longer than any of mine!
I think we are pretty much seeing Phix the same way. Are you still upset that people were mad at Phix? Are you annoyed at Monica?
Personally, I’m not surprised that some people were mad at Phix. Paul turned Phix into a darker character than she used to be. Also, we have contradictory information about Phix, so she’s going to be a hard character to understand.
Going back to your original post, I don’t think that Phix frightened visitors to the library nearly as much as she did with Tina. I think a lot of people miss this, but, unlike the legendary sphinx, Phix didn’t demand that people answer her riddle. The threat of death was only for giving her an incorrect answer. You had to answer it correctly to stay. The third possibility was to leave. Monica simply refused to take part until Phix removed the threat of death. Phix made sure that Shelly accepted the challenge before Phix gave her the riddle. Katherine fainted while Phix was still asking her if she was ready to face the challenge. Phix didn’t look very threatening that time, and it came across that Katherine was just being weird. Apparently no one had ever fainted before, so Phix was surprised and she did dropped everything and did everything she could to make things right, so there was no need for Monica to giver her the “stink eye”. (It was probably more Monica’s fault, anyway. She should have known what to expect from Katherine better than Phix.) Of course, Katherine never answered the riddle and Phix told her that the library had nothing for her, so she left, but certainly didn’t stay upset for very long. (Monica got some bizarre message out of that that I never understood. I think that just confused things.) However, before Shelly’s visit, I think that Monica concluded that the riddle was just a test to see if you were worthy of Phix’s help. You passed just by being willing to try the riddle and giving a reasonable answer. If you weren’t willing to try, then you weren’t worthy to use the library or have Phix’s help.
To me, that’s very different than what happened with Tina.
Busty mom hugs, the cure all.
But Monica’s not a mom, so, at best, this is just a busty babe friend hug.
IIRC, when Shelly had a nightmare after something involving Heather, Monica gave what she called a “Busty Mom Hug” to Shelly. Technically you’re right, but if Monica did it to me, I wouldn’t complain about what she called it.
One thing that’s probably upsetting Tina is that she had been living with Nudge for over 10 years, which is as long as she can remember. Now Nudge is suddenly gone. Nudge didn’t even say goodbye. Except for the physical pain, this must be something like being in a being attacked and injured and waking up to find out that some part of you had been amputated.
“Where’s the rest of me?”
Notice where Tina is looking. I’m thinking another problem Tina is facing is that this experience reminded her of what happened to Tina 1.0. That was another time when Tina suddenly lost a part of her. I suspect that was where Tina was going with what she said, “I mean, like…”
Even after reading all the comments, I still can’t shake a sneaky suspicion that we are misreading what’s going on. Tina may be reacting to Phix’s attack and the fear she went through–but it could also be a reaction to the realization that she’s been living for ten years with a bunch of demons, and was in danger from them for all that time, but never realized the depth of her danger or her burden–until Phix relieved her, albeit in a more obviously frightening way.
The demons are all that’s left now, besides the body. Tina is still the same way as she thought she was The rats are still running the ship. A trickster stowaway, Nudge, is gone, but I don’t think the demons were ever afraid of Nudge — just annoyed at times.
Another possible component of Tina’s reaction just occurred to me. Since the entire collective suffered from amnesia, they were functionally complete strangers to each other at first. Nudge was pretending to be in the same boat, and they had no reason to doubt it. They may have started to suspect that there was “something off” about her, but that was mostly speculation.
Then, all of a sudden, they learned that Nudge was not one of them; she had her full memory the whole time, was on the equivalent of the Ten Most Wanted List, and was using the rest of them as a hiding place and not warning them that her mere presence put them all in greater danger.
Indeed, since it seems to have been Nudge that got the body restarted and made it possible for Tina 2.0 to exist at all, that means she was just a pawn in the Trickster’s game from the get-go.
The rest of Tina must be feeling pretty betrayed right about now.
Thing is, she IS the demons. There is no “she” apart from the demons. So it can’t really be said she is living with demons as such. Without them she would be simply a body. A dead shell.
Or it could be each of the demons simultaneously realizing that the others are still there. “Gaah! I’m still stuck with all of these demons!”
JK, but it’s strange to think that the demons probably would miss each other.
Let it out girl, just let it out…
After being yanked around as much as they have, the Collective deserves a good cry. Then a hot bath. Then hot chocolate. Then a good classic movie like Casablanca, or To Have and Have Not. With freshly popped pocorn, a bowlfull of favorite theater candy, and a nice tall cup of soda.
“Pretty in Pink”. At Jin’s place.
I just happened to have this open in another tab:
I would think a happy or funny movie would be better, or perhaps one which shows the world as being a beautiful place to be. Given her entrepreneurial outlook, maybe a couple of good motivational videos.
I used to like to watch They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? to feel better when i was depressed.
The thing that occurred to me is related to “the collective deserves a good cry”. I had the impression that specific *physical* acts needed to be done with a specific one of the collective in charge They can fluidly change who’s in charge, but somebody has to be. Part of what gives me that impression is her shifting appearance as various demons come to the fore, for one example, when she was Nudge in appearance for a scene a while back. Another part is the abrupt shifts in her word balloon shading in mid conversation, as occurred now and again. Which leads to my question: which *member* of the collective is crying?
And followon question: is this a sign that there’s starting to be a real person again, in there somewhere? Can piloting around a body make it slowly grow a soul? “You listening Bog? Is a zombie one of your creatures?”
Good question. Did the collective come to the conclusion crying is the proper response at this moment, or is just one crying? Perhaps there is a demon “Sorrow?”
YES! Enough analyzing who, what, she, they, what ever. We need a mug of Hot Chocolate, STAT!
I SAID NOW, PEOPLE!!!
Hmmm…I would think more Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s…but I’m an Audrey Hepburn fan.
Those were the first to pop up in my big ol’ head, seemed appropriate for the moment. Personally, I use Casablanca, Life of Brian, Escaflowne, or Back Door Sluts 9 to pick myself up when I’m down.
DAWWWW poor Tina
Poor thing … er … things? I mean they are “A conglomerate of emotional and psychological elements with an entrepreneurial spirit”, after all…
That’s why “… us, er, me …”
A bit off subject but it has been asked/speculated many times if Tina’s “choker” was a tattoo or physical. It is real. While looking thru the archives I found this. Then look at the next day.
Thanks, we already knew that (Pablo acknowledged it on the old archives at BLC).
Actually, he confirmed it here, too.
@Paul: I think we used to have permalinks for all comments. Now only the “#” signs show for the depth-1 comments. Was that intentional? (I manufactured my link just now.) I don’t really care, but am just pointing it out.
There are two web comics that I read the comments daily, then come back later to read the replies and new comments. This is the other one.
This is the ONLY comic I read the comments on and then come back to read more comments.
[hugs Tina too]
Out of the entire run, this one is probably my favorite strip.
Tina is probably my second favorite character (after Bud) and it was somewhat depressing to me to watch her become gradually less and less human seeming as her “demonic” nature was revealed. I felt badly for her, as the story line progressed up to this point, she seemed less and less of a person, and more and more of an … object if you will.
This strip, more than any other, shows her humanity.
Noooo! Don’t cry, baby girl. C’mere. *shoves Monica aside and comforts Tina*
No, Cass. This calls for a group hug. You, me, and Monica.
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