#432 – everything was a possibility

January 16th, 2011

#432 – everything was a possibility

The end! Oh well. Thanks Puget Sean.


Discussion (64)¬

  1. SamDoug says:

    Okay that went totally in the opposite direction i expected

  2. nalem says:

    HAHAHA aww well A for effort.

  3. Rezmason says:

    That'll learn her, Puget Sean!

  4. Algebralikemad says:

    either he has massive ADD, or he is teaching her… something

  5. Angie says:

    it's ALL TRUE.

  6. jjackle says:

    i just got the TETRIS! Sadly, I was already ball$-deep into computers at that point and didn't do much writing on paper. I was hoping that computers would advance quickly enough to help my cartooning. Maybe that's why I got out of cartooning for 15 years! As always, excellent work Meredith! I like the subtlety that your strips contain and the emotional "subtext" (a word I hated in college and much as "ergo").

    I hope the new year is being kind to you!

    • jjackle says:

      BTW, when i say "by that point", I am refering to late '80's/early '90's. I was already a computer nerd by the time Tetris came out! If I could go back to that time and do anything different, I'd probably still waste my life and skills! Let's here it for low self esteem!

  7. Bwernard says:

    He got mad because Hannah was complaining about her realized potential? Anyone got any other interpretations? That doesnt feel quite right.

    • SecretlyASuperhero says:

      no, Meredith is trying to give the impression that he's determined to set things right and tell off that CatPoopCookies dude, but then Sean disappoints us by playing Tetris instead 😛

      • StJason says:

        I think it's a little more complex then that. Hanna pretty much spent all of two strips ago saying how she's tolerating him, that it's white guilt (or something…) and to pretty much sit down and shut up while the grownups talk.

        Last strip, she finds out that people really like her favorite recipe… after it's been passed through the alimentary canal of a cat.

        This strip, depressed(?) from her findings, she tells Sean that she appreciates his ideas, then in the same breath describes it as 'scribbles in a book' and from 'simpler times'.

        Frankly, I know my ideas are shit, but even I'd give her the finger and stomp off by then. Comparisons to Sean's ideas (a bit vague on what he is doing in the moleskine. Drawing? Writing? Pressing flowers?) and Hanna's cookies could be made.

        • John I.G. says:

          Yeah, i agree, sh's basically saying his ideas are crap enough to be pipe dreams, although she doesn't really mean it to insult him, she's actually just having a super-selfish moment and just knocking him in passing.

          Also two comics ago, it was mentioned that if it wasn't "a mandated holiday" he'd be "playing Nintendo right now", so I figure he just got sick of trying to support his assholish friend and ditched her.

        • Steph says:

          Hmmm… I didn't think she was looking at Sean's art but some of her own doodles, since it was her sketchbook that she loaned him. I think I was projecting a little too much of myself though and somehow thought that Hannah also drew in addition to baking. I didn't see the obvious dig on Sean here. Ugh, I feel like a turd now.

          • asdasdasd says:

            No, no! I'm with you and Secretly Superhero; I can't see anything in the comic that invalidates this reading of it. Sean is inspired by a flash of heroism that pretty much pans out by the time he's done exerting himself in crappy weather.

            The link with to him doing Tetris and what Hannah says a few comics back is down to the succinctness of Hannah's judgement: without some kind of extraordinary mandate or excitement, Puget Sean's revert-to-type default behaviour really is just playing Nintendo (as is mine!).

            I do like that there are lots of (equally valid!) interpretations flying around, though. A welcomely confusing installment!

  8. NextChamp says:

    I don't get it.

  9. Rufus says:

    Well, that sure worked…

  10. velderia says:

    Oh my god… I can totally relate to this. And people would give me weird looks for telling the truth.

  11. lily says:

    REALLY, Puget Sean? Really?

  12. Linx101 says:

    You know, I really appreciate Hannah's honesty in this three part series. We always see her in the strip as this happy-go-lucky kind of girl who's practically invulnerable; it's nice to see that she has the same amount of doubts that others in the strip have. That being said, I totally sympathize with Hannah. It sucks to have to cater your dreams, creativity and ambitions to others. You lose part of yourself I think and I'm pretty sure that's what Hannah is feeling.

    Or maybe I'm wrong! Either way, suck it Puget Sean. No amount of Tetris will make your daddy love you.

  13. dood says:

    I was really expecting an out-of-character expression of kindness from Puget Sean. But… I suppose that's too much to ask.

  14. srhshl says:

    Before now I always kind of wondered why everybody hated Puget Sean, and I even sort of liked him. Or at least sympathized with/pitied him, shoved in a corner to draw his anger away.

    But now I see he's just a dick.

  15. Dell says:

    I know that Meredith herself expressed Sean's intentions as flimsy and that that's the joke, but when you read the comic itself technically he could have actually set things right and cheered up Hannah in between panels 8 and 9, they're so far apart. Just a little comic theory. It might just be the desperately good part of me that wants happy endings, ha.

  16. jjackle says:

    I took it as a two-fold thing – 1st: Meredith may be commenting thru Hannah about her 2nd commercial book deal disappintment and possibly having to return to the job market (we're bummed too). 2nd: I also took it (as stated above) that the only time that when everything WAS a possiblity, as Hannah said, was when when we were kids. So Puget Sean is playing Tetris as a way to get those Glory Daze. I kinda do that thru listening to 80's music. Back when I had no money, no car, and high school really sucked. Now life sucks, but i own it, and I can do what i want (sic!).

    I'd like to hear Meredith's opinion.

    • StJason says:

      I'm fascinated by all these different takes on this. People 'siding' with different people here.

      Important note: While some comics (books, art, etc.) have specific people correlate to specific characters, ultimately they all are the author. Being so ('ergo', just to needle ya…) all the characters are Meredith. So she could be Sean being told to sit in the corner and be quiet. She could be Hanna being told that her hard work and effort is cat crap. And she could be Sean stomping off to go play Tetris.

      • Ian says:

        This method of interpretation is basically how I got through high school English.

        • Sebastian says:

          It can be a challenging technique, venting your conflicts and frustration into a writing or drawing piece. I never actually thought about Octopus Pie being extensions of Meredith… You know, some comics make/made it obvious, like KC Green's Horribleville (and sometimes Gunshow), and I'm sure a large portion of XKCD.

          That being said, inserting authors' lives into their work is precisely how I'm getting through high school english.

          • Sebastian says:

            EDIT: Challeging technique *without making it obvious or pressing people for laughs, i.e. misunderstood cartoonist's schtick*.

      • jjackle says:

        I don't totally agree with characters being versions of the artist -except in this case. Many times they are based on other people (firends/family/enemies/celebs, etc) that the artis likes or whould make a good blend. You need both conflict and harmony to make a balanced strip. But, in most characters could be found a PART of the artist.

  17. Steph says:

    As an artist turned burnt-out social gaming illustrator, I feel you, Hannah. Oh, I feel you.

  18. Zonath says:

    Maybe Puget Sean simply feels empathy for Alexey Pajitnov, who created Tetris but had the rights to his creation yanked out from under him by the Soviet government.

  19. Naktarr says:

    Procrastination, I understand its addiction too Sean :( (It looks like that sort of thing to me anyway).

  20. Sarah says:

    I am real good at Tetris.

    I have nothing else to say, though. :(

  21. Sela says:

    Fuck, I would have done the same thing. That's whatchu get!

  22. damien walder says:

    Seems to me that this goes back to supporting Eve's notions about Hannah's group of (everybody but Marek/Marigold) stoner buddies. Hannah had best let go of a lot of stuff – hmmm – just like Eve. Her success (on many levels) depends on that.

    Tres subtil, Mlle Gran.

  23. Neda says:

    I sometimes my life was a comic that people could overanalyze and give advice on!

  24. Blamma says:

    Hannah is still a horrible bitch with control issues who's not happy if she's not in charge, bossing everyone around and generally being an unlikeable shithead.

  25. Ironica says:

    Whee, no one else has the same interpretation I had!

    When Puget Sean says "Wait here!" he turns everything back into a possibility for Hannah. As long as she's waiting, it could be *anything*.

    Then he goes and plays Tetris, because he doesn't want to resolve that feeling and take it away from her.

  26. Josh says:

    I think he's not only just being a dick and tricking her into waiting there for a while, but that he's also been inspired by her comment about everything once being full of possibility to go recapture that feeling by playing Tetris. He may even want to go back and tell her how it made him feel (doubtful, but funny.) So it's revenge AND solipsism he's manifesting.

  27. Bucky says:

    Dammit Puget Sean. You idiot, you nearly did something.

  28. StephenM3 says:


    I don't understand Sean's intentions here (and realistically, someone doing something this strange usually doesn't understand their own intentions very well), but that was the funniest moment I have read in a long, long time. Excellent, excellent subversion of a serious moment!

  29. Fady says:

    I looked back at the past page and I just saw "Fuck my life" and drawings of fire on the other book page in the last panel.

    That was Puget Sean who wrote that, right? Oh man. Seeing that helped explain a lot about why Sean reacted like that.

  30. Sebastian says:

    Sean's face… I just love the expressions he makes. I thought he would actually do something productive or helpful, only to storm off and play Tetris on his NES.

    Of course, there's Hanna's little bit, "Y'know, no one ever cares as much about your ideas…" I think it's more inward than an insult to Puget Sean.

  31. Grey says:

    The punch line doesn't seem ambiguous to me. Hana's complaining about her too-much-success problems after consistently putting Sean down. What was supposed to happen?

  32. Garfunkel says:

    I thought Puget Sean had good intentions but just got distracted by Tetris. It's like trying to get work done in front of the TV.

  33. Dr What says:

    guys guys i have a radically innovative interpretation of the major themes and message of this strip, i contend that meredith made a funny joke and then drew it, the end!

  34. CLR says:

    This story arc threw me off guard because it was so short. Other than that, I love Hanna's quote here. It is priceless.

    • dood says:

      I know right? I expected wacky hijinks of harvesting Manuel's poo for weeks to come. This is a suitable ending, though.

  35. Mister Tambourine ma says:

    U mad, Sean? U Mad?

    Yeah, he mad.

    I don't blame him, though. Besides, Tetris is awesome.

  36. IGuess says:

    Wow I can't believe how strong the Hannah hate is on this one. I don't even think she did anything wrong this time — pretty sure when she said "No one thinks your ideas are as good as you do" she was talking about herself and her own sketches.

  37. MerchManDan says:

    I swear I left a comment RIGHT HERE a couple of days ago.

  38. Bluebell says:

    I don't really care "How" the joke was supposed to be funny or all the different stories and take speople are putting on this strip.

    I laughed because I saw that his hair is longer than mine.

  39. Bryy says:

    This comic is almost a response to my earlier comment about how I don't like Puget Sean.

    Because now I love him.

  40. David says:

    Interesting to note the two main strains of interpretation here seem to hinge on two gendered perspectives:

    Ladies are disappointed that Sean failed to be "heroic" and ended up playing tetris.

    Dudes feel that Sean is offended by implicit criticism, and plays tetris as self-medication.

    This says a lot about our own (heteronormative) romances, doesn't it?

  41. Benjamin says:

    Y'know… maybe I'm just tired but what if, since she's saying that she misses the days when everything was a possibility, his going home and leaving her alone was his way of setting her up for something and then leaving it as a possibility? I dunno. Like I said, tired.

  42. W. von Badface says:

    I think when Hannah sees whats written in the notebook what he did will become much clearer. If I could venture a guess it is probably something rather rude that he kind of felt a little bad as she reflected, having been humbled, but not bad enough to mean what he wrote.

  43. Confuzzled says:

    It's a good thing Hannah didn't stand there long waiting for this big revilation.

    I'd be pissed.