#597 – that’s not what you are

Hey dudes. I'm still recovering from MoCCA (thanks to everyone who came!), and this week has taken a turn for the difficult, but with any luck there'll be one more update this week to wrap up this story. I also did a guest strip for Scenes From a Multiverse that will be running on Friday. So keep your eyeballs on that!

62 thoughts on “#597 – that’s not what you are

  1. Go? go… ? Where's he gonna go? :'(((


    1. I was going to write this post but then you wrote it for me.


  3. I just showed my good friend Octopus Pie today, and he told me, "Man! It's hilarious! It's "the fukken shit!" I love it! Ha ha ha!"

    And I was all, "Ohhhh dog, you just wait. It gets DEEP." And see? I was right. I'm always right.

  4. Wait, wut?!
    Did I miss something? where's he going to, or rather, why's he going at all?

  5. Going? GOING? What did I miss?!

  6. No. NO. What are you guys doin to my FEELINGS?

  7. Oh no no no, this is just heartbreaking.

  8. No… NO! Nonononono.
    (deep breath)

  9. Wow. I am blown away by how amazing this page is.

  10. Oh my god no no no no NO.

    This is why his thesis is taking so long. When he finishes college, he'll have to go back to Poland. Every day he waits is an extra day with Hanna.

    You just made me sad.

    1. Ah, I was really confused by panel 2!

    2. Really ? Even though apparently his family moved to America when he was a kid ? (as is implied by the previous page)

      1. That may be more accurate. I remembered he had a scholarship from the PNA—forgot that was an American organization. Still, without employment, I don't imagine he'll be able to maintain his current living situation. Maybe he'll have to move back in with his family. Whatever the case, that thesis is a ticking plot time-bomb. When Marek finishes it and graduates, things are going to change for him in a big way.

      2. I don't think that's what the previous page was implying- Eastern Europe generally gets a lot of American television, just a few years later than it comes out in the States. He and Hannah would remember many of the same things from childhood, just a few years apart.

        But if he has to go back, why hasn't Hannah green-card-married his ass already?

    3. actually if he actually is fully foreign and graduates in the US he can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) and do paid work (relating to his major) for 12 months extra.

    4. Oh man, I thought they were referring to when they'll eventually have to break up because he wants kids/a family/etc, and she doesn't. My adrenaline spiked, but then I said to myself "well, of COURSE they know"

      But what if YOU'RE right! aaaaa

    5. hey! I don't usually jump in to clarify plot points, but citizenship is not the reason Marek is leaving.

      The reason has been addressed in the comic before, and a few other commenters here have nailed it. Here is context from the archive:

      Carry on with further speculation 🙂

      1. I never expected them to be so upfront about it, it took me off guard. Most people, I'd think, would dodge that elephant in the room until it squished them. Though I guess, in their own Hanna/Marek way, they have been avoiding it… Man, it's really tough to see the trappings of continuity tearing away at these characters we thought were so permanent. My heart, Gran, my heart!

  11. ugh god this arc is great. i love this take on the whole 90s nostalgia phenomenon.

  12. Hey, if his studies are funded by PNA, he is an American national with polish ancestry? Isn’t is how it works? If not, than all i’ve got to say is NOOOOOOOO, not Marek! That’s my favourite character!

  13. Holy pants…I thought he had citizenship, or at least a permanent residency…and he could have those things if he married Hanna, so I guess the question is, does he WANT to return to Poland? I thought the two of them had a duck farm in their future! 🙁

    Beautifully done, as always! Even if this makes me have feelings!

  14. Technically, if Marek is here on a student visa, he has at least a couple months after he graduates to look for a job that will sponsor him. Depending on what his thesis is in, though, that could be unlikely… but since he doesn't seem to be considering it, it seems like he must want to go back to Poland.

    My boyfriend is also an international student here on a visa, so this was pretty much the saddest page ever for me : /

  15. I can't imagine Octopus Pie without Marek and Hanna together… oh geez… oh man…. well done.

  16. good work on this strip meredith. im gonna go lie down in the corner for a while.

  17. Cap FancyBritches

    Or just a depressing thought; He has a terminal illness.

  18. OHMYGAWD. I've never been so heartbroken reading a webcomic before! Meredith, WHY?!

  19. I think you guys are over-thinking this. I suspect that when they first hooked up, they might have both agreed that the relationship was not going to be a long term thing – no committment, yolo, etc. The assumption that they would both be free to move on.

    What if Hanna has been too proud/afraid/stuborn to admit to herself that what she wants has changed? What if that's what's been trying to squirm out of her subconcious? Go back and look at panels 4-6 of #593 (Dick Pulp). She listens to Will's rationalization and goes – BANGZAPHoleesheet, that's the inside of *my* head!!!

  20. Marek, just… don't…

  21. Oh God this sadder than Anders loves maria, you cant break them up-things end- but this cant,it cant

    1. Sure it can! Don't be a weiner

  22. I'm casting my veto to whatever's going on here. We all get one, right?

  23. Goddamn, Gran. I know you probably get compliments out the wazoo, but your comic continues to impress. Not just in comparison, but on its own standing.

    Good job, dude.

  24. Or maybe it's because she doesn't want kids 🙁 can we keep Marek in a story anyway?

  25. Oh my god, no!
    Must admit I shed a tear or two, this just surprised me. I mean the nature of their relationship has been hinted throughout the comic, like when Hanna said she wouldn't care if Marek saw other people (even though that's not how she really feels), and when Hanna and Marek admitted their stances on having children, but I guess it was wishful thinking they'd stay together and have that duck farm one day.

  26. Waaaaaaahhhhhhh noooooo!

  27. Right in the feels. =(

  28. Don't take away my favourite character!

  29. But their love is so real! D:

  30. Oh god oh god oh god….

    This isn’t everything you are – Snow Patrol

    :< oh gooood marek nooooo! The duck farm!! What about the duck faaarm!!??

  31. Could it be that Marek is a true anarchist, as evidenced by his passionate commitment to the Occupy Wall Street movement? That might explain why he never felt the need to seek gainful employment, if he has been planning to go home to Poland to live simply with his family after graduation this whole time.

    I mean, the kid's writing his thesis on discarded protest signs. What job will that qualify him to do? (Aside from teach a college class about the history of discarded protest signs, which I have to admit would be a pretty kickass class.)

    What Marek needs to do is go to ten MORE years of school, become a therapist, and dispense that duck wisdom at $300 a pop.

    1. uh he wasn't writing it ABOUT discarded protest signs….it's just all he had to hand. no laptop, yknow.

    2. I entirely concur when it comes to the sweetness of the beginning of this scene. I also loved Hanna's reaction god knows how long back, about the purpose of relationships, to be fun and for companionship. I think this whole scene now not only enhances those statements, but dives deeper.

      Now what is Marek Wrote his thesis on Ducks, on carboard signs shaped like ducks written with duck feather quills!?

  32. Cut to Will and Eve having sex and/or a conversation about kittens, please! I would like to deal with this melancholic revelation by never thinking about it again until it goes away, thanks.

  33. This page was like getting sucker punched right in the gut. I love that the scene started with a very sweet depiction of how wonderful Hannah's relationship with Marek really is, making the news of their coming separation all the more painful.

    Seeing as their schism likely flows from Marek's desire to start a family and Hannah's refusal to do so, this page also ties in with the ongoing theme of this arc – namely, that Hannah's free-spirited lifestyle is leaving her increasingly isolated as the people she cares about mature.

    Oh man, I was hoping a nerdy analysis would dull the pain, but it is just making it worse.

    marek, please don't go

  34. Fuck me, this hurts!

    But don't you dare to not see this through Meredith! You started it and now you must see this through till the end!

  35. Woah this is exactly 100 pages after Hanna realizes that she and Marek don't agree on having kids 🙁

  36. Dammit Meredith! This is the 3rd time this month I've gone to the doctor with a case of severely swollen feels! My insurance will NOT cover this again!

  37. Wow.

    Marek is better than all of us.

  38. There had better be a good fucking reason for this or I swear to God I'mma be really upset.

  39. Poor Hannah. Every now and then we see why you have to pretend you know so much.

  40. Is Marek getting a job after his thesis is done, maybe? If he's going for a postdoc/lecturer/professor position, it'd explain why the end of his thesis seems closer and why he'd have to leave. That might also be the ultimate "growing up" move, going from pot enthusiast and activist to academic.

  41. I… I have something in my eye…
    (I went through this with my tourist visa last year, if that is whats going on)

  42. Dear God, it did it again! This one section is an oily mirror reflection of my life!
    Let me explain this instance;
    I live in the south and I will be moving to Chicago for grad school. I am in a fantastic relationship with someone and face leaving him this August. This comic is reminding me of the heartache; those moments when everything is wonderful but you both know all too well that the time you have together is quickly disappearing. It taints the sweet and incredible moments, but you can't let go of the person because you have right now.
    It's a horrible twister of emotions, but you can't help but get caught up in it.


  44. Dude, I've been storming thru the archives the whole week.

    There's something about watching Marek -the only character so far who was never been down or depressed- tearing up, that made my eyes go watery.

    I really hope this turns out okay.

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