#730 + 731 – malignant

57 thoughts on “#730 + 731 – malignant

  1. WHOAAAAA! Truth slam from Greg! Aww, he's doing much better, isn't he? Meredith's character development is the literal best.

  2. Oh SNAP I just got that Hannah is dressed like a princess because she was singing like a Disney princess about nothingness earlier on I only just now realized this because she's talking about nothingness on this page god damn it's all coming together but at the same time I am SOOO SLOOOW

    Also that sartorial interloper got hella snubbed right there like damn

  3. Ohhhhh~ snap! Greg has you put out like a scrub!

  4. Somehow I'm currently both Greg and Hanna.

    Also, I really like the coloring in this. A sort of maroonish red for Hanna's background really emphasizes how jarring her attitude is.

  5. Greg respect +100%

  6. Wow, I'm surprised by how much I'm liking Greg this storyline. New challenge: making me love Puget Sean. Or worse, Donovan.

  7. As much as I want to cheer for Greg's truth bomb…snapping out of a depression like that is crazy difficult and I definitely feel for Hanna. She's got some serious self-image issues, and that just takes time.

    Now I has the sads.

    1. I agree. I was the perpetual dark cloud of my friend group far too long. Even with a dose of truth like that, it took me being fed up before my life changed.

      Great character development in this story, though.

    2. There is no such thing as 'snapping out of depression'. as 'snapping out of depression'.

      It's more like trying to swim your way up from fifty feet underwater. Sure, the pressure may lighten up as you get closer to the surface, but you're also running out of air.

      Let's just hope you're not in Loch Ness, where the water is so black with peat that it's impossible to know which way 'up' is because all sunlight is blocked out.

      Moral: don't dive in Lock Ness without a line.

      Also: maybe monsters.

      1. I definitely agree that one cannot “snap” out of depression, but I DO think a lot of people (who are not depressed) do not let themselves be happier. If that makes sense?

    3. Seriously like some "truth bomb" from someone you barely know doesn't fix anything, much less depression, which Hanna obviously has from the break-up. Imo Greg was a huge dick here. :/

  8. what is greg's costume?

    1. As JennyB said, he's Rocky.

      1. Is he, "Gonna fly now" ?

      2. Is Greg gonna do what the Rocky theme song says? Is Greg, "gonna fly now?"

  9. OMG Hannah is so real 😮 your characters rock!

  10. Jane approves. Good to see Greg gettin his ducks in a row

  11. Parallels to pretty much… well, everything. Hanna is looking for that "one-punch solution" as Strong Female Protagonist would put it, and now she's disillusioned by its non-existence.

  12. I identify with Hanna's bitter depress-o disenchanted breakup narrative 10000%. Her speech bubbles are my thought bubbles. Probably not great to relate so strongly to someone with such a crappy worldview, but I have to say, it's really comforting just to see it represented and voiced so perfectly. Very curious how she'll take things from here re: Greg's malignancy call-out.

  13. Damn ._.
    It's like… I feel where Hanna is coming from (especially recently), and it's kinda comforting, but at the same time it's like "Shit. I'm not wallowing too, am I?" Heavy stuff.

    1. Same here. Except I know I'm wallowing, but too lazy to do anything about it. (though I do try to be less of a downer about it than Hanna)

  14. Oh Greg – I applaud you. Most people would have just shrugged unhappily and left.
    Also, I think he's Rocky Balboa.

  15. So… The way for happiness is basically… The way. For happiness, regardless of which way. And the same for any emotion? Most emotional states got recursive side effects that can stick with you, and also Hannah walks around herself to avoid processing her breakup?

  16. Ouch, poor Jane stumbles into some SERIOUS awkwardness.

  17. Wow, is Greg actually acting like an insightful adult?

    And yet he still doesn't have a girlfriend, poor Greg.

  18. The most uncomfortable truths come from the most unexpected characters in the comic.

    1. It's because often good friends don't want to tell you big truths because they don't want to hurt the friendship. Casual acquaintances can sense those types of things and be honest, because what do they have to lose?

      1. I think you have those two backwards.

        1. Greg is givin the hard truth to Hanna, where Eve is just taking it. I'm much more willing to call bullshit on someone I only kind of know in comparison to a lifelong friend.

        2. She doesn't. I CAN tell a life long friend this stuff but in many cases it strains the friendship or injures them in some way. It's as if our friendship made them vulnerable to said truth bomb. I can say it, but there is risk.

          With a casual acquaintance I'm less reserved or aware. I'll drop this kind of stuff on folks who I've known for a grand total of an hour because, eh, I'm just their good friend's dark asshole buddy. I'm free from accountability and they are less wounded by me.

      2. I would say that mediocre friends are not willing to tell someone big truths because they haven't REACHED closeness yet, but are no longer acquaintences.

        To scale it down so I can metaphor, you don't tell your ~good~ friends the dress make her look fat because they don't know whether you're being honest or spiteful, but you tell your absolute best friends "You look a hot mess" because they know you want them to look their best because you care about them.

  19. Never have I ever identified more with Hanna during this story arc.


  21. Whoaaa, wtf.

  22. Is malignant the right word here? Self-destructive, maybe?

    1. I think malignant works, like an infectious disease. Like the reason he can't be around her is because she doesn't want to be happy, and she's bringing everyone down, "infecting" everyone around her.

    2. Self destructive would work too, except I think he's calling her out on bringing others down with her…given how her conversation with Marigold went I tend to agree

    3. It's more her effect on other people. I suppose she isn't thinking about how toxic she can be to others, which is perfectly understandable. Maybe this little dose of extrospection via Greg will do her more good than harm! I certainly hope so!

    4. "I can't be around you" suggests that Greg means destructive to others (too?) (which would indeed make malignant the right word).

    5. No, Greg is saying that if he spends time with Hannah, her unhappiness will spread to him like a cancer, and the same goes for anyone who listens to her for too long. Greg is being kind of mean, if you couldn't tell- but he's probably been listening to Depression Hannah for some time now, and snapped.

      Eve is obviously the counterpoint here, but maybe being a sufficiently high-level Wisdom Bitch gives you a saving throw against Cynicism.

  23. Oh my god, Meredith, I am sure you get this a lot, but I connect with this story immensely right now. It's a very good reflection of my (and probably many, many 20/30-somethings') situation and the problems we run into when we realize that no one ever taught us how to be adults, really. I'm pretty sure I had this exact conversation a few days ago (minus the awkward third party gal in there). I felt pretty badly afterward, but it made me start trying to get some of my shit together. Technically, I wasn't getting shit together of my own accord, which would have been better. I was doing it because this dude is someone I'm trying to convince to come back into my life, but yo, the reality check totally worked whether he wants to be around me anymore or not.

    I hope Hanna and I both sort our lives out for the better soon.

  24. *continues to wait for someone to shake my hand*

  25. While I don't necessarily agree that believing (or pretending) something will work will make it work or that Hannah necessarily "wants" to wallow…..

    …there is a big difference between saying "this doesn't work for me" and implying that its niave for anyone to think anything will work for them. I mean her criticism of Mer ("miley with a job") and even perhaps Eve's and Will's relationships is very…"malignant". She thinks anyone who isn't miserable (post breakup) is just kidding themselves. She's implying anyone who is trying to better themselves via exercise, drugs, therapy or sex is being niave and falling into perhaps a capitalist trap?

  26. I think malignant is right. She might be self destructive as well but, for instance, her anger and bile at anyone’s good fotune or precieved “irony” is hard to take. I have had to walk away from friends who could only spout bile and misery all the time because my mental health couldn’t take it. And he’s right, Hanna right now does not want to heal…possibly because healing means letting go of Marek and she can’t do that yet. Still it’s not right that she’s a dick to others because of it.

    Depression can explain certain behaviours, but it doesn’t excuse them.

  27. Sounds like Hanna needs a taste of Buddhism.

    1. The duck seeks only bread..

  28. Yay for Greg and all on being on the other side of this conversation, but I wish he would have remembered his past experiences with this type of self-wallowing and maybe reached Hanna through empathizing with her.

    Kinda hypocritical of you, Greg.

    1. Greg wasn't nearly as cruel a depressive as Hannah. He isn't calling her out for being depressed, as a lot of Hannah's defenders are implying. He's calling her out for actively trying to tear everyone around her down to her level.

      1. I remember on the last comic someone was questioning whether or not Hanna was going to try to make Greg her new Marigold, as right before this Greg did seem to be a bit of a personal mess himself. Though I don't believe they realized that was what was even happening, I'd like to think that Greg taking a stand was a firm, "Nuh-uh" to the possibility of it.

  29. Greg seems on his way to becoming a well-adjusted, responsible young man.

    I've never disliked him more.

    1. …we place value on different things, I suspect.

  30. I just want to link the comic where Greg was on the other side of the conversation –

  31. My man, Greg, you've come so fucking far. http://www.octopuspie.com/2008-11-17/221-still-un

  32. I want Hannah to be happy but I’ve gotta say, I’m glad the storyline wasn’t just “Hannah gets productive and it fixes everything” cause that would have been too simple.

  33. I identify with Hannah a lot too here.. I know there's no "quick-fix," but I've gone to a lot of therapy and done a lot of self-exploration, and I find that a couple things help:
    (I know I'm young and silly and these may seem trite or unhelpful. I'm learning too! But they help for me.)

    1) Mindfulness and gratitude. This goes with the "duck seeks only bread" mentality in a way – or Buddhist mentality – really heightening your senses and truly appreciating the taste of something yummy, the heat of a warm mug, the feel of grass under bare feet, the softness of a pet's fur.. and so on. I know it sounds trite, but it's like a healthy, appreciation-building form of escapism. Not letting your mind wander with weird, existentialist thoughts, and realizing happiness doesn't have to be anything glamorous. It can be a ray of sun or the crunch of snow, or a warm blanket.
    Also, gratitude. I think of things every day to be grateful for. Hannah, you have clothes on your back and Eve as your friend, a roof over your head and a mad talent for baking. Those aren't nothing! Those are wonderful.
    [I get she's a fictional character.. hoping maybe some readers can identify here]..

    2) Setting goals. I've noticed Hannah doesn't seem to have goals with her business, or anything right now. Working towards long-term goals (instead of escapism like sex or drugs) is really self-affirming. Doesn't have to relate to business or work.. can be travel, or something interpersonal, or owning something you've always wanted.. who knows?

    When I started feeling like Hannah here, I began to seek professional help. I wonder if the comic might take this direction or not?

    Sorry for the ramble guys!

  34. Yes, Jane, you indeed came in at a bad time.

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