The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Payoff

An important point which must be understood from Questionable Content.

Ok, there's been a lot of talk about Questionable Content lately and I've done my best not to comment for fear of being seen as having a "me too!" mentality. However, I feel like I have to comment on today's strip because it's the most important strip of the two week "Faye's Confession" story arc and it's also probably the one that no one else will talk about.

That's right, today's strip was the most important strip of this story arc because it's the payoff. Sure, the strip where we find out that Faye's dad mysteriously committed suicide was dramatic, shocking, and probably the emotional climax of the affair, but did it have any effect on the world of Questionable Content? Not really. This is something that happened in the past. Years in the past. It's certainly not any new revelation for Faye, who's been grappling with it for some time, and while it probably came as a shock to Marten, he knew something major was coming.

But take a look at the second panel of today's strip. Marten says: "Okay, I don't PROMISE. But I will try my BEST not to keep my romantic life in a holding pattern while you try to get yourself back on track." And that tells us how the strip is going to change as a result of this little chat. That's the payoff of the storyline: that Marten's not going to sit around waiting for Faye anymore. He's going to pursue other relationships. Most likely he'll pursue them intentionally to try to prove to Faye that he's not waiting on her and make her more willing to go into therapy and whatnot. This opens the door for Dora (and, dare I say, Sara???) to reenter the game which they had eliminated themselves from out of deference to Faye. It opens up possibilities for any number of humorous and dramatic misadventures.

The amazing thing is that Jeph Jaques managed to bury this major change in the potential relationships of the strip (and remember, the strip is based entirely on relationships) in so much drama and emotion that most people probably don't realize that this last strip was the intention of the plotline all along. And that's good work.


At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Robin Z said...

Oh, good call! Especially when the romantic tension between Marten and Faye was such a big part of the strip (so big, in fact, that Eric Burns devoted a whole snark to it), the news that Marten and Faye are officially not going out is huge. And almost no-one noticed, because everyone was looking at the "Blam!"

(Well, I actually misread the panel and thought Marten was going to keep himself available, but that's irrelevant.)

At 8:16 PM, Blogger grant said...

Hey Matt! I have a web cominc now, too. check out My Life in Records

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Gilead Pellaeon said...

Ah, there's always the random friend who reads your blog and shouts out your real name to the rest of the world, thereby defeating any pretense of an online persona. Why do I even try?

By the way, Grant, you promised me some MiSTEam guest art, which has as of yet been undelivered!

Oh, and I'll keep an eye on your webcomic. Because that's the kind of friend I am. ;-)

At 6:22 AM, Blogger grant said...

sorry gilead. . . you look dorky in white facial hair anyway


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