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Boy it is hard to replicate websites in Photoshop. Enjoy this double page! I think this chapter will be a fun one.
Been there. Poor Marigold. Glad Will finally came to his senses though.
November 2010: National Webcomic Characters Break-Up Month
man no kidding.
Next month is International Webcomic Characters Drunken, Regretful Hook-up Month.
So Marigold's one of those girl's whose never lived for herself, just her boyfriends. That makes sense.
How can you tell? Breakups are hard even if you don't live for your boyfriends.
Its that every single one of her pictures is her with a guy (and a different one).
I disagree…I think it's more that a breakup, regardless of any insecurities or whatever, tends to make people flash back to other earlier breakups – either in a "what's wrong with me?" way (which is not in and of itself a marker of insecurity in a person – it's common to think that briefly after a particularly bad breakup) or in a "looking for a pattern" way, or even just in comparison, or in that new hurts dredge up old ones. Or it could be an indication of a pattern with Marigold to have the same sorts of boyfriends/breakups over and over, as so many of us do. It does not necessarily mean that she "lives for her boyfriends".
Heh are you referring to Questionable Content? If any of you haven't been up on QC I don't want to spoil anything so things have picked up speed suddenly, you might want to check it out.
Ugh, I know.
Yup, those first five panels are ridiculously powerful. Especially the jump from hard copy photos to digital ones. Will my hardest moments and greatest achievements be chronicled through a series of abandoned accounts on different websites?
Love the progression of marigold from teen to 20s, from polaroid to facebook.
Aww Marigold. I'm sure she looks much better without dreads anyway, it's for the best.
ok, not to be the doofus here, but I'm kind of lost on this one.
I originally interpreted the dialogue in the first 5 panels to be between… will and marigold? but then i looked back at the previous storylines and now I'm pretty sure it was will and eve's conversation outside the arcade place. but then why would it be over all those marigold pictures? and "we have to help her forget him…" who? what? when? where?
am i supposed to be this confused?
yeah, I'm a bit confused as to who is saying what too. someone, clarification please?
i think your lostness might have shed some light on my lostness, actually.
i thought the conversation was supposed to the breakup between Will and Eve, too, but now that i go back and look at it, it sounds a lot more like the conversation between Eve and Will that you mentioned, and makes more sense that way.
but Marigold still needs to forget Will, since they've just broken up.
oh, hell. now that – that makes sense. oh… oh god, i feel my heart breaking right now. ;___;
doh, i meant to say i originally thought it was the breakup between will and marigold, but it's actually the conversation between will and eve.
Yeah, that's definitely Will's conversation with Eve, and it shows an interesting complexity in their relationship at this point. I'll have to mentally unpack it later- for now I'm comfortable guessing that Eve lied to Will in that fifth panel because… she didn't want him to stop being a drug dealer for her sake? I'm a little fuzzy on that, too. But Eve's facial expressions back in the previous comic make me think that, if there wasn't something between them, there wasn't exactly not nothing, either.
As for juxtaposing their dialogue with photos of Hannah and Marigold… well, I'm not sure how long you've been reading this comic, but if you've read most of the stories, you'll notice that Gran tends to blend two not-immediately-related narratives together throughout each story- for example, "Skate or Don't" is both about Eve's complicated relationship with skating and her parents, and Hannah getting insecure about her friendship with Eve when she realizes how little she knows about Eve. Here it looks like Gran is foregrounding two of the major threads from the beginning, which she tends to do from time to time- "Tag's" first two comics set up the major threads for that story too.
And if you think I'm getting overly analytical about Octopus Pie, just be grateful I haven't brought up the (ridiculously deep) way the comic uses tropes. I could write a post twice as long as this one on the significance of a twice-mentioned restaurant in the "Dumbo" storyline, and how it applies to Eve and Park's relationship dynamic.
It's very fun when she makes fun of the blends/themes of a story, like Hanna on the phone after Park and Eve break up, saying "I mean the baked goods, but it could apply to many things. …yeah, I don't know either." Or Eve in the shared dream storyline wondering "why is everyone trying to define home to me?"
That kind of thing could be dangerous in many comics, but it's like OP's fourth wall is made of elastic, so when you have stuff like Will literally eating a fine kettle of fish, it doesn't break, we just bounce right back.
I'm with ya on all of that.
I too think that, in that case, Eve lied to Will. I'm not sure she fully realizes that she lied, but lie she did. There is very clearly something between them – if Sad Face Eve in the last serious comic didn't make that clear, then Shaking and Unable To Pour Tea in this comic sure does.
Or it might be shock of knowing that someone ended a relationship out feelings for you that aren't reciprocal. Especially considering Eve's self esteem issues, it's likely killing her inside that she's unwillfully in the center of another couple's turmoil. A couple that just happen to be close friends. She knows its completely Will's fault, but Eve will likely can't help but lay blame on herself too.
I don't think so but am only basing that on a few scant clues plus my own experience (and therefore bias).
The drunken Eve/Will kiss when Eve was with Park and Will was with Marigold is a clear indication to me that there's chemistry there. The fact that, until Eve found out how Will earned a living, they had such good chemistry. The fact that in this panel she didn't answer his question directly, and then hesitated (see the panel of no dialogue, then the ellipses). All of that coupled with the fact that my love life trajectory was similar (not exactly the same) with both me and my now-husband insisting to everyone, before we got together, that there was nothing between us and we were just good friends. The phrase "now-husband" shows you how that one panned out!
So I do think there is something between them and I also think that, deep down under all the self-esteem and complicated twentysomething *issues*, Eve knows this. She may not know that she knows it, or realize she was lying…but as I see it, she was.
Wow, good job. I like that you you've put some thought to this. It's nice to hear some literary analysis and deep thinking outside of english class. Thanks for posting.
Are we so sure it's Eve? She didn't look like she had a word in edge-wise outside the Arcade… This could be Marigold's last words to Will, couldn't it?
Waaaaiiiit I take it back, I can't believe I never noticed Eve's hand on his shoulder. I take it all baaack!
Didn't realize I was the second Laura to comment on this comic…
But to answer your last question, I'd say that the reason Marigold is crying is because Will broke up with her. Eve's thinking back to the conversation she had with Will while Marigold's trying to get her dreads cut.
I'm thinking Eve said there wasn't anything between them because she didn't want to sabotage the relationship between Will and Marigold. Hope that was helpful!
I thought it might be because she didn't want to sabotage Will and Marigold, too, but then I remembered their drunken "cheating" kiss and I think…no…there's something more there, probably psychologically tied to Eve's obvious intelligence, and yet inability to handle more responsibility than being a stock girl at work, or to summon the will to even search for what it is that she wants in life.
I think it's a mix of those things. Sabotaging them, I'm not so sure — remember their kiss — but Eve has this old sense of morality that slowly is changing. I think if she were to get with Will, she'd feel like "that girl"; both to Marigold and to Park.
She is struggling to keep everyone together and push them away at the same time, even if it takes lying to herself, imo. I'm interested to see where this goes. We'll maybe be seeing more of Aimee?
Exactly, Sela. I think it's some mixture of Eve feeling responsible for Will and Mar's breakup, and part of her that still might want to pursue something with Will later- and the best way to assuage her guilt and make room for that possible future something is to have Marigold "get over" Will. It's self-interest dressed up as altruism, and if you haven't felt similar things, you are young in the ways of the world, and should enjoy the innocence you have left.
The most interesting thing here, to my mind (and the thing that I think will eventually force Eve to confront her reasons for wanting to help Marigold) is that Eve's never had a single conversation with Marigold in the comic. So far as I can remember, there's only been one line of dialogue between them ("Even dreams!"). So Eve probably isn't too concerned about getting the cold shoulder from Marigold, but she might be worried about losing Hannah as a friend.
If so, Eve's pretty much done a complete 180 w/r/t her relationships with Hannah and Will: she didn't like Hannah at the comic's beginning, now Hannah's a close friend; she hooked up with Will despite not really liking who he was, now she's stopping herself from starting anything with him because she likes him. I wonder if the comic's going to address these gradual character changes in this arc?
Thanks, everyone, for clarifying that the conversation was Will/Eve, not Will/Marigold! Now, the way I see it, Eve DIDN'T say that there's "nothing between them". She only answered the part about whether changing would be worth it, hence the "that's not what I'm asking". Maybe she's getting to the point – not there yet, but on her way – that she wouldn't NEED him to change. Hmm? Hmmmmmmm?
I dunno, maybe I'm just a fan of being very careful about what I do/don't say! At least when I'm not busy having mouth diarrhea!
Panel 5, bottom right….
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I too can't figure out if that was the convo between Will and Eve or a later one between Will and Marigold.
the long post above cleared it up for me! I have been reading for awhile but kind of drifted away during the "full storylines instead of 3x a week" period before coming back (I tried but could never remember to check back to see if a new storyline was up) and so little things like a tendency toward storyline blending had been…forgotten.
I looked back at the Eve/Will comic, and I totally think it was between those two.
Look again: http://www.octopuspie.com/2010-09-29/401-karaoke/
Hannah's combination of facial expression + scissors in panel 9 is making me concerned for the well-being of everyone in her immediate vicinity.
Don't do it, Hannah! There's no guarantee you'll find more ghost bullets!
How much do I love that opening sequence? Answer: MILLIONS!!
MARIGOLD IS MEREDITH.
Aww, i liked her hair.
wow… Heavy =(
Yeah, well fun…
I'm kinda glad we're back to more serious storyline. I miss seeing actually character progression. And THANK GOD that thing with Marigold and Will is over now. Now I think the two of them have room to grow, separately.
True that – though their relationship while it lasted was a near-perfect illustration of "seems like a good idea" relationships that are really based on scant foundations and iffy feelings or uneven chemistry that are so common in one's twenties…I remember when Eve found out that Will and Marigold were dating, and said 'Oh…that kind of makes sense" or something similar. Because it did – on paper. Just not in real life. I know I've been through that!
Also: I love how in this strip you can see Marigold' old boyfriend's faces are removed from the pics. Like she's always going thu the same sorts of break ups, her history gets repeated, and she always is left with bad memories to try and cover up.
I loved that too. I don't have many pictures like that (I tend to throw those photos away rather than obscure or tear out the exes) but I know *exactly* the feeling of having all these memories of smiling and laughing in younger years, with the shred of a torn-out memory of the guy I was dating at the time hanging on the periphery.
Especially how she has freshly done dreads at her college graduation – it's hard to make out but you can see the tiny ties, and then the dreads getting longer through MySpace, Facebook and then live in the final panel.
wow, wtf happened? last scene they were on that halloween party and now they break up all of a sudden? i don't get this
Will chose to run after the murderer rather than saving Marigold from a PBR-y death. And then ignored her ghost. She was not pleased.
The Halloween party had nothing to do with the main story. No one actually died, none of that actually happened.
What a powerful strip. This is a great comic.
I love the website panels great attention to detail. I can't wait to read the rest of this chapter.
High school freckle-face bookworm glasses Mar
Totally adorable, just sayin'.
I personally like the Mets fan / glasses / bang cut Marigold. Even tho I hate the Mets
I really liked the Polaroid -> 4×6 -> WinXP Pic Preview -> MySpace -> Facebook progression, especially with the b/f of the moment cut/blocked out of every pic. I think, sadly, the biggest laugh I got was when I had to go back & reread it to figure out what the myspace one was supposed to be, b/c I had forgotten what myspace looked like, lol. myspace is a joke all on it's own now, i guess.
Oh no…I hope she didn't find out she was single by SEEING that updated status on her facebook. That is the worst way to get dumped. Poor Marigold, I wish the couch sitter had dated her, but such things as the heart cannot be tied down (even by muffins).
Wow. This one really hit home for me.
The only problem is that, no matter how hard you try, you can never fully erase your past. (The closest thing to doing that is maybe getting some crazy amnesia.) Marigold's probably going to be really, really drunk in the next couple pages.
Also, the "We have to help her forget him", presumably Hanna saying that to Eve re: Marigold who is right there, who needs to forget Will, but it could just as easily apply to Eve, who also wants (not needs, but may think she needs) to forget Will, as well.
Nobody puts together a more real, and beautifully crafted webcomic page than Meredith Gran. Beautiful work, very powerful stuff.
Meredith, I'm so entranced by your storytelling. You have such a wonderful insight into people, and you don't even need words to express it. I can't wait to see what you do with this chapter.
man, mar's gone a long way from that one-shot character who could make soap out of ANYTHING
Meredith Gran, you are an incredible storyteller. You really have a grip on human nature, on how confusing and funny and awful it can be, all at the same time. And you put it in the form of a comic, which is just… I don't know. It's so beautiful. I recently wrote a paper on webcomics, and I cited Octopus Pie as an example of just how deep a webcomic can dig into human nature. (I got on A on it :D) Thank you for this comic, it has served as an inspiration to me since the day I found it.
Also, I just noticed how in every photo, the male she's with is always obliterated out. That is so telling of Mar's emotional past. Looks like she's never known an easy breakup.
…just when i thought a comic could no longer break my heart, it happens once again.
Two comics at once going through a messy break-up and both make me sad. I get so upset at things like this. Q_Q
TWO comics?? D:
who'd have thought the quiet girl knitting in the corner in this comic
would turn into such an emotionally dynamic character? I wonder which (if any) of the guys in those pictures is the nerd. The way she says "we broke up" leads me to believe that this is something she's gotten over before, and now it barely bothers her. Or maybe she just really didn't like that nerd.
This is what I have been waiting for. I was also I little confused on the dialect but I think I've pieced it together..
Man! I feel so terrible for her. But I also love the lead-up and getting to see younger versions of Marigold.
First Marten and Dora, now Marigold and Will… what the fuck?
They always say bad news comes in three's, so who's the next couple to fall apart?
Wait, no, it can't be… NOT GABE AND TYCHO!!
No, that will never happen. Gabe and Tycho are living a bromance to last the ages.
I feel bad for Mar, but I never really liked her being with Will in the first place. I'm glad it's over because like others have already stated, there is something between Will and Eve and I can't wait to see it come to its full climax. On a lighter note, I loved younger Hanna in the two pics lol.
Dang, that's some serious mood whiplash from the Halloween story.
Looking at all those pictures, they are of mar with a guy cut out of the frame in the last of which will is barley out of picture. I think that they are all of past relationships and it's actually the conversation between mar and will. Just my thoughts though.
Ugh. This is just so good. The structure and pacing of the opening in particular, but really the whole. This is why I missed OP so much when the updates were more sporadic and why I'm convinced this is one of the strongest webcomics publishing right now. Just really solid storytelling. Nice work, Gran
ACK! Sad face at Eve shaking and pouring tea all wrong
I'm lookin forward to see more of Marigold. I never really liked her, mainly because all I knew about her was that she liked Avatar. But man. Powerful opening to the new arc.
This is why I love comic strips as an storytelling method/art style. Dang.
marigold with glasses + bangs = the exact type of girl i used to be into in college
Haha me too
When I realized (thanks to my much smarter fellow readers) that the conversation in the beginning was the one between Eve and Will back in "Kareoke", I think my heart just broke and threw up inside of me (in the best possible way). You know how to cut us real deep, Meredith.
Man…i feel you *points up*…
Ms. Gran, genius as you are, you can make us feel the most remorse for characters of a webcomic…because we can actually relate to these people. i think..idk if im making sense, it's late lol
Whoa, was I the only one who misread panel 10 as "Or I'll cut my self" and started freaking out?
She needs to hook up with Victor
I have just spent the past 5 hours reading from the very start, awesome comic! Adding to my favs so I can keep up to date now
Great layout, feels like I'm watching a montage from a movie.
Everyone is so sad though…..Hanna is more upset about wasting time on the dreads but still….
…I love you and this comic so much.
; _ ;
so very, very much.
I really like Will, but I hope he goes away for a while now. To get a handle on his life.
First QC, now this. It is sad breakup week in the webcomics world apparently.
True, must be a November thing.
The worst breakup I've ever had happened the week before Thanksgiving.
THAT was a fun holiday season…
omg thats just so jlshdvbqkhjvhjkjrhgbkjhktbj mih like you know i feel the comic is about love and loss forgive and forget it rocks but it tears up your heart
i no its like hohohoh so funny but its not
I have the strangest feeling that the conversation up there wasn't had by Will and Marigold but by Will and Eve.
Yep, that's the general consensus.
All I can do is echo the praise for Meredith's storytelling. If hadn't met her at cons I wouldn't believe someone so young could produce such sophisticated work. I guess that's what genius is all about.
About the story itself, I just can't picture Eve saying something like, "Cause if there is, I think it would be worth changing for that." This is definitely Marigold's voice, so the conversation is between Mar and Will. HOWEVER, we could also be seeing Will's side of the conversation with Eve in strip 401. Which supports the whole theme of Eve and Mar both suffering from separation with Will, and each doing it in her own way — Mar produces all the external drama, Eve keeps it bottled up inside until something sets off an explosion.
That's my theory, anyway. Can't wait to see how this plays out.
You've got it switched. Will's the one saying "'Cause if there is…" and Eve is the other person.
poor marigold. will is a sweet guy, but he really has no idea what the hell he's doing, does he?
Editted 2010-09-29 comic with the text from today's inserted.
Also, hooray for my second comment on here, ever.
Should probably mention I put the URL in as my website for the comment…
…Or include it in the comment text!
Wil is in a career he's not crazy about living with a friend he's outgrown but who's still a good friend, and dating a girl who's nice but not the one for him. His life is saturated with ambivalence and he's also wishing he were different. This was coming even if no one could understand it. I love the montage of excised boyfriends and the conversation outside overlaid–way to set up those brewing feelings. Meredith I'm sure you know how much better you're getting at this, but I wanted to say that the more you do the more I get to see of my life.
Oh Everest Ning, why do you do this to me?
Hot damn, Ms Gran. You are channeling the year I've had very closely with that snippet of conversation. This comic is fantastic. It kind of hurts to read.
Ctrl-F "Irfanview"… Nothing
Thumbs up Meredith/Marigold
Omg i just recently wnt throuh this it was hard i miss them and my hair is short now :/ took four hours to try and keep a little length
daaaannnnngggggg…. that's sad…..
Staten Island represent!
Break up, cut hair. A very Korean way of dealing with a break-up.
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