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48 thoughts on “#642 – yes, it is”
Oh, Eve. You should know that by now.
“What did she ask?” “It is a rhetorical question for us to agree with”
Yeah, thanks for translating! ^^
Wow, that just rotated the joke into a whole new dimension. Marek's parents misunderstand the meaning, but still manage to give Eve the best possible response.
Eve's face in panels 4 and 5, so good.
EVE, Quit cruisin' for a bruisin'! This ark ain't gonna end well for you if you keep this up.
– Noah, to his wife, day 38
Oh, poor, Naive Eve…
Marke's mum only has one eye 🙁
Is it just me, or is anyone else getting the impression that Marek's parents don't see his relationship with Hanna lasting?
Well, isn't the expectation that he's going to return to Poland? I believe his student visa will expire VERY soon, since he's done with school. Long Distance Romances CAN work, sure, but they are very hard for everyone involved.
Once again, this student visa plot device a lot of readers seem to believe is in the storyline has never once been mentioned. If citizenship was the only issue separating Marek and Hanna, there would be a bunch of simple ways for Marek, a citizen of the first world with an advanced degree that he earned in the United States, to get citizenship here. The first and most obvious option being marriage.
Marek wants kids and Hanna doesn't. They have different values and a different vision for their futures. That is why their relationship is ending. Not due to some silly visa macguffin.
Marek has mentioned at least once that when he's graduated he's returning to Poland.
Getting citizenship in the USA is not that easy, even for someone with an advanced degree living in the USA. The myth that US citizenship is easy is a really harmful myth. Even a fiance visa can be difficult to get and has a lot of criteria which can be difficult to follow.
Whether Hana and Marek want to continue a relationship or not, whether they intend to try to compromise on their goals and desires or not, one half of a party leaving the country is a big deal in a relationship and not just "a silly macguffin."
I think Steve is suggesting that it isn't the difficulties of becoming a citizen which are the main issue. Marek wants to go back to Poland at least partially because of the mix-match of goals & desires between him and his long-time partner in America. I don't get the impression that Marek is without options and forced to go home, and the comments I see positing that I think are a little bit insulting. The implicit assumption is that he'd want to stay in modern and cool America, but can't, because of his backwards nationality. (I'm not accusing you of that at all, but I do wonder if that isn't part of the quick rush to "he has to move" comments I keep seeing whenever his future is referenced in this comic.)
I haven't seen his citizenship listed as an issue yet in the comic, but I have seen a lot of relationship issues between him and Hanna. The comments almost solely focus on Marek going back to Poland because of visa issues, so I understand Steve B's somewhat frustrated response.
The issue I have with your original comment–and I expect Steve has too–is that you and a lot of other OP commentators put so much emphasis on the idea that Marek has to go back. I think it is more likely that Marek doesn't see his relationship with Hanna going anywhere, doesn't have many friends we've seen in the comic in NYC, and misses home. Without a strong reason to stay, he's going home.
Poland is a modern nation; a member state of the EU, and a good launching board for a young person with a prestigious degree. Marek could conceivably work in any EU nation, and be a train ride away from his family. Poland is a modern and thriving nation, not a backwater.
The focus of Octopus Pie seems to be relationships and the strains they feel as people reluctantly grow-up and start adult lives. I think that the large number of comments that I've seen talking about the visa issue is missing the real theme and heart of Octopus Pie.
Sorry, last point:
It IS a silly macguffin if he is leaving because of a visa. There are so many more reasons for him to go back to Poland, and break off his relationship with Hanna, that is makes no sense for it to ultimately boil down to "I can't get a visa." It isn't to say that it is easy to get a work visa, but it is a bit too simplistic to just say that Marek goes home because immigration is hard.
To reduce the real problems in their relationship, and the actual distance between them, to a matter of paperwork would absolutely be a macguffin, and not build on and explore the much deeper themes that Meredith is working with throughout this series.
The way I see it is, yes there probably is a visa and it's expiring. No, it isn't the reason Marek's leaving, he'll probably leave before his visa goes away.
Marek is a person looking for a family and a calm life. His values and childhood where very different from the other characters, he does not come from a urban background and his upbringing and values are very different from the other characters. Though Poland is very much a first world nation right now, it went through some interesting events in the late 80s and 90s, transitioning from a communist regime to a capitalistic democracy.
I think that Marek wouldn't mind staying in the US for Hanna, but it would have to be to have a family with 2.2 kids and a dog. He and Hanna already had this discussion, and they both decided that it was a deal breaker. Marek, with nothing to keep him, decided to return to Europe. Given that he was staying here for a while, and he and Hanna still had feelings for each other, they decided to stay together for at least as long as Marek was staying in US for grad school. I don't think that Marek tried slowing things down (or at least see no evidence) his thesis took a while, which is normal.
I think that there is a lot of backstory out there, but I also have a feeling that actually seeing it would reveal a lot about Will, Mer and a few other characters as well. I hope that we'll get a lot of this backstory, but we still have to see so much more about Hanna now before it makes sense to learn about this.
TL;DR: Marek and Hanna realized that their relationship wasn't going to last, but decided to keep it going as long as Marek remained in the US. With his thesis finished and graduation over, Marek has no reason left to remain and therefore their relationship will end as planned. Marek is leaving the US because he wants to, his visa is not getting renewed because he's leaving, not the other way around.
People have been saying that these chapters feel like they are building to an ending. I've felt the same, but not the the ending of OC, but to the ending of Marek's and Hanna's relationship, and the end of an "era" for our beloved characters. At the very least it's keeping me on the edge of my seat.
Can we declare a moratorium on using the word "MacGuffin" until at least one person on this thread actually looks up the definition of the term? I'll give you a hint, to start you out: the term was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock to explain certain plot elements in his own films, and was not a pejorative characterization.
Thanks for such an incredibly condescending reply. I've read the definition of MacGuffin before, and you're correct; Hitchcock did not see it as a pejorative.
That doesn't stop the rest of us from thinking that an otherwise meaningless plot device is a pejorative, however, and I think that the heavy usage of MacGuffins in Hitchcock's work comes as a detriment to the otherwise accomplished narratives.
I'm not sure why you used the tone you used in addressing me; I think we can each disagree on something despite both being aware of the history, etymology, and meaning behind it. In this case, we don't see eye to eye, but it doesn't mean you need to assume I'm an uncultured and ignorant cretin.
I'm not sure if you have anything to add (re: Marek & Hanna and the story we're all commenting on here), or if you just wanted to criticize my use of language; I'd rather not be part of the second conversation, so I'll take my leave now. Thank you.
Were we disagreeing? I just noticed that you and some other commenters were using the term as a general synonym for plot device, when it actually refers to a very specific type of plot device that does not fit Marek's immigration status. That was the interesting part of the conversation. Everything else is speculation over which of two factors weighs more heavily on the theoretical mind of a fictional character whose narrative has not yet given us enough solid evidence to make a determination one way or the other. Just wait a few weeks and you'll probably find out what the break-up is about.
Why does it matter if we disagree on a factual level? You are, factually, incorrect about what a macguffin currently means in criticism; it refers to any poorly explained or shoddily implemented motive, goal, object, or ambition. I'm sorry that the current accepted term is more broad than the one you prefer, but I'm not sure why that means I should welcome your rude response to our conversation.
Between the first condescending and patronizing post, followed up by explaining that we are not talking about anything you find interesting, I'm a bit at a loss.
Why are you writing us? If what we're saying is uninteresting, and the only point of interest is your chance to insult our intellects and boast about your knowledge, I'm a bit confused as to why you seem to expect this to go over without any raised eyebrows.
Typically, it isn't very graceful to enter a conversation only to condescendingly tell others that they are ignorant, and give them "hints"! to learn how you use a word. Thank you, Professor, but I'm not interested in picking up your class for next semester; I'll take my books and leave, now.
I think you need to take a step back and chill out. No one is insulting you (or Poland). No one is calling you an uncultured and ignorant cretin. And who the hell cares about being factually correct about a word like macguffin? I love this comment section. I have laughed my ass off many times because everyone is so fun and creative. I have never read a comment here that was incredibly condescending. I think we could all learn to be a little more graceful.
Woo! Yeah, agreeing with all that. Also applauding your ability to articulate it very nicely.
Also, "moratorium on MacGuffin" is just too good to pass up for some more alliteration. Carry on.
omg no it is not about the visa it never was
I'm pretty sure Marek's whole family immigrated to the United States when he's young as he and Hannah talk about the isolation he felt growing up speaking english as a second language and being disconnected from pop culture in the 90's – referenced in the do you remember the 90's story arc that ends with Hanna's head head through the painting
It's about them realizing they want different things out of their relationship and there's no way for them to reconcile that.
1. http://www.octopuspie.com/2011-11-02/489-your-ide… <- Marek states he wishes to have children
2. http://www.octopuspie.com/2011-12-06/497-thats-a-… <- Hanna states she doesn't, and there's the first open acknowledgement that their relationship may not last because of it
3. http://www.octopuspie.com/2011-12-13/498-i-should… <- Hanna talks about how she should have been there for the protest breakups, but due to the previous comic the underlying subtext is that Marek understands and accepts that she doesn't want children ("You would've hated it, why would I want to do that to you?") and of course "Stay as long as you want"
4. http://www.octopuspie.com/2013-04-03/595-the-90s/ <- Marek talks about the disconnect of growing up an immigrant in America ("We didn't have much, the shows didn't make sense until I learned english, etc")
5. http://www.octopuspie.com/2013-04-10/597-thats-no… <- they discuss their eventual breakup and Meredith STATES IN THE COMMENTS "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: http://www.octopuspie.com/2011-12-06/497-thats-a-….
Carry on with further speculation :)"
So please everyone stop with the Visa/going back to Poland thing??? that's not it??? It's about Marek and Hanna wanting different things and loving each other too much to force each other into a situation that would make either of them so unhappy
argh why do I care so much about being right about the context of a webcomic internet what haVE YOU DONE TO ME
Well said 🙂
Thank you for these snow! I just read them in order and now I'm so sad… Meredith is a genius.
Streever, I feel like you are reading a lot of hostility into other people's posts that just isn't there. Just because a lot of people mistakenly had the impression that immigration issues were a big part of Marek & Hanna's relationship problems does not mean that any of them think Poland is a backwards country. The one really has no relation to the other.
Except I don't think anyone is being hostile at all? I apologize if I've been unclear or failed to make my case. I assume it is actually an unintentional prejudice against other nations, because I know that we (myself included) hold them, and I see them echoed and broadcast in our national media on a nearly daily basis.
It doesn't mean anyone is hostile for having these impressions in their brain; but, in analysing art, it's important to evaluate our own subconscious biases. (For instance: my bias where I'm assuming that many of the people commenting are Americans like myself.)
I don't think it's an act of hostility or intentional nastiness at all.
Could someone direct me to the comic where they discuss having kids? I have a very hazy memory of it..
I'm sure a simple re-read of the entire comic could answer this, unfortunately I just don't have the time for that, but I do not recall any mention of a student visa being in the comic at all. I do remember Marek mentioning at one point that he came from Poland with his family while he was still young, and essentially had to learn how to live life all over again since he was in a different land with a different language and culture. That does not imply a student visa situation to me. I could be recalling this all wrong though. If anyone who reads this can respond with a link to the page confirming or refuting my claim I'd appreciate it.
I think the relationship started to deteriorate long before the "I'm beginning to see the cracks…" chapter.
I agree with you; I think Meredith was stating that by using the phrase "I'm beginning". It isn't that the cracks are forming, but that they are already well-established, and Eve is finally seeing them.
This is an excellent and really classic story about growing-up. What makes it contemporary and relevant is the older age of the protagonists.
You know nothing, Jon Sn- uh, Eve Ning.
oh holy crap! so many thoughts/feelings! You guys summed up pretty much all of them already but jaysus, poor Hanna and Marek. I don't know what's going to happen to them, but I have a bad feeling 🙁
also, Eve. *Duuuuuuude*. Stop!
I think the "wisdom bitch" thing has gone to Eve's head.
I asked about that about 4 pages ago, and got 11 minuses!
Curious. :-/ Well, perhaps for some people, seeing Eve make kind of an ass of herself in front of Marek's parents has driven the point home.
a lliitle more than 4 pages ago. I didnt recognize Eve in "We'll hang tho" http://www.octopuspie.com/2013-11-28/635-well-han…
and asked if she was doing Wisdom-Bitch.. ?
< At this point, that is a Giant Obvious yes. But without comic updates for a month, and unsure if it would continue, i thought it might be a poignant ending I didnt get. Now i think she was just whimsically poking fun at him. >
I was a little shocked….but it appears my 11 minuses have suddenly become 5. I thought maybe the fandom wasnt approving of a dude saying "wisdom-bitch" . I am glad that you made it OK.
yeah. I dont really get "wisdom Bitch" mode. Is she being passive-aggressive, ironic, ironically sincere? Im am unsure of the social function of it.
I can't believe more people aren't freaking out about it
Eve lookslike a teenager compared to them….Asians
Also Meredith: YOU FUCKING RULE GLAD THE PIE IS BACK IN THE OVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I can tell who Marek inherited his eye-concealment from.
wow look at Hanna, she looks like she's about to be hit by a truck.
i am so glad that Octopus didnt End. I was sad when i thought the pie was fully consumed
I like how this is the first time we see Hanna and Marek looking into each other's EYES (with Marek's eyes showing). Seems symbolic of how they're having to acknowledge each other fully, as full, real people who aren't necessarily 100% compatible.. oh I do hope they work out!! but OP never disappoints no matter where it goes – even when it's sad
Marek's parents are adorable, surprising no-one.
If you want a positive response to "but life really has happy endings with a free Pony and everything, amiright?" DONT ask the Eastern Europeans.