#785 – not you

54 thoughts on “#785 – not you

  1. I'd say she's taking it well

    1. Over the fucking moon.

  2. Poor Will — nowhere to go but down…

  3. Fuck. OP has been consistently saddening for about eight months now. I hope that, following this strip, Will goes on his own espionage-laden, coffee-based adventure.

    1. I've been wondering about this for a while now… The comic seems to be deliberately veering away from the magical realism it used to exhibit. Even Hanna's magical 90's adventure was ultimately drug-induced, whereas before we had the Rock Lobster diving back into the ocean at the end of that storyline.

      Things are getting more "real" it seems, but it doesn't feel unconscious.

      1. this is what growing up feels like.

      2. I think it's because the comic doesn't have much more time. I just hope and pray we have some more fun before it's time to say goodbye

        1. My assessment is that this is a natural progression of the story as the characters grow up and mature. OP has always been about young twenty-somethings fresh out of college figuring out how to make it in a world wrecked by the baby-boomer generation. It starts off light-hearted and goofy, because they are all still basically kids who haven't figured out they are adults yet. By now they've grown up, more like early 30s at this point, and are starting to realize they need to find real and meaningful relationships, think in terms of careers instead of jobs, and figure out where they ultimately want to end up in life. This is why Mar is my favorite character. She's figuring it out fast and embrassing it fully. All of this is setting in on Hanna and Will, but they aren't fully realizing it or wanting to deal with it. Both Hanna and Will have made hard life choices because they know they can't stay semi-irresponsible, living hand to mouth, hippster/stoners forever, and this is stressing them out considerably. They're both trying to figure out who they are and it's not easy.

          Of course, this is just how I read it. I'm sure next week they'll all be on a whacky adventure in space trying to score tickets to some obscure band's concert. Thus illustrating that I'm reading too much into this comic.

        2. Yeah, pretty much this. Not every comic keeps the characters perpetually young. Even back in the days of syndication, you have things like… what was it called, For Better or Worse? I think that might still be going, but I sure haven’t picked up a newspaper in ages.

        3. I think the kids have had grandkids in that comic by now.

  4. man that panel of her taking a drag with the all black background. so alone and isolated. even the color scheme for this entire conversation is so cool and detached, especially compared to the awesome mix of colors from will and hannah's previous conversation. there was a lot of warmth there.

  5. The breakup is pretty telling of how imbalanced their relationship was, with Aimee feeling she's put all of herself into this relationship, open-ended status or not. The fact that she lays this breakup all at Will's personality as being the problem and that her mistake was believing in him seems to be a classic breakup trope that I hope Will doesn't buy into. He's working on himself, too, and after the last strip were he was able to talk down Hannah's insecurities with the maturity he was able to muster, I hope this only pivots him to something better (EVE!) or at the very least doesn't make him feel even worse about himself.

    1. Yeah. "It's not you, it's me. For thinking better of you." Classic breakup thinking.

  6. I always had the impression that Aimee just kind of saw Will as her cool NYC boy thing she could brag about in her weekday life upstate. This page reinforces that to me and that she had hopes to move in with Will and get her foot in the door to actually living in the city.

    1. That's what I didn't get. Aimee seems to be so remote to the story that's gone on. Almost forgot about her, honestly.

      I mean, what has she done to keep this going?

      1. I dunno. This story centers on a particular friendship group, and she's not part of it. Just because she doesn't have the hundred year history everyone else does, doesn't mean she doesn't count.


    The line under her pupil really says it all, though, doesn't it.

    1. I noticed that too! Almost world-weary. I think she's always had that, but I'm not sure. Really good art.

  8. One last shot of our old, blue atmosphere, before it was incinerated by the heat of Aimee's burn.

  9. I still think she's being manipulative and playing the victim. In his prime? And she's not? Aimee didn't put her whole self into the relationship. Will constantly felt left out and alone because of how busy her life was. The relationship failing is both parties faults, trying to guilt Will into feeling that he's the only one to blame is bull.
    I think that Naomi Maria is right – she had high hopes for them – but she didn't put effort into making it a reality. Aimee was just hoping things would just work.
    That's how I see it, anyway.

    1. I’m not buying what she’s selling. I want some kind of synopsis breaking down what she’s saying by another character. I would normally assume Hannah would be that person, but possibly not the case anymore. The idea of her saying all this and leaving it without comment in the comic would be disappointing.

      1. bring back mustache-hipster-never-says-anything guy!!!!! nvm just looked him up, BRING BACK VICTOR!

    2. Remember that Will told her he didn't want a serious relationship (by way of talking about his breakup with Marigold) the first time she came down to NYC to see him. Her expressions there show she read between the lines and was disappointed. She tried not to put too much effort into it because of that conversation; maybe it's unfair to be so resentful that he still managed to leave her feeling let down even with the more "open" terms, but it definitely seems to be how she genuinely feels, and I think it's sympathetic.

      I know where you're coming from, I like Will too, but you can't let "Will's the male lead and I like him, so he can't be wrong" cloud your thinking, you need to look at the evidence. This whole time I had a feeling that things weren't quite what Will had led himself to believe and felt that him seeing Eve on the side would get ugly, as Hannah tried to warn him back then by saying he wanted the impossible. And that definitely seems to be how the comic is going.

      Aimee may be acting cold and harsh, but it's not without reason, and it's absurd to assume some kind of calculating motive behind it. She's trying to keep her emotions under control while still getting her point across, not making some Machiavellian attack on Will's self-image. I feel like people try to label behavior as being passive-aggressive or dishonest in an attempt to dismiss it or marginalize it, but people who deal with things that way are still acting out of genuine feelings, they're not psychopaths. It's important not to lose sight of that.

      1. "…it's not without reason"

        Seems to me, the reason is that she wants to hurt him as deeply as she can. I like Aimee generally, but this reads as deliberate malice on her part. I don't think I'm absurd for thinking so. She's shielding her own feelings by ensuring that she hurts Will more than he hurt her – so she can come away from the breakup with a narrative of victory in which she was the stronger party, instead of just a sucker who got dumped.

        She's bitter because she thinks she's better than him, and that doesn't jibe with him being the one choosing to end the relationship, so she's lashing out. Doesn't make her right. Just makes her insecure and willing to bolster her self-esteem at another's expense.

    3. This isn't someone being manipulative or playing the victim. This is someone thinking, "let's find out the exact number of different ways the English language can express the sentiment 'Go fuck yourself.'" I'm sure Aimee would be happy if any of this stuff really got to Will, but he just broke up with her at a point where she was feeling very good about their relationship, so now she's just going to use him as a rhetorical dartboard for a little while.

      1. oh man, been there: when you're hurting so bad but you're trying to keep yourself still in 'talking not crying' mode, all of the glorious, incinerating and blistering ways to say 'fuck you' come right on out, and you wanna try 'em all on for size. I feel for Aimee in this conversation; it will take a long time for her to open up again to someone else later, having talked herself into this worldview.

    4. Makes sense.

  10. Oh my gosh, dat third panel! Coloring is… whoa… I feel like just been there. Meredith, your art is awesome!

  11. guys I know will is cool and an interesting character but we don't need to insist that Aimee's the one who's more in the wrong and invent some stuff that the comic doesn't show us to justify that

    1. its kinda gross

      1. If anything, Will's past relationships in the comic (while left purposefully vague) kind of imply that this is another case of Will being kind of a douche when it comes to relationships. Like Will isn't a bad person, but he's not sure what he wants and he isn't sure what his significant others want either.

  12. The amount of Aimee hate in the comments is baffling to me! I love Will as a character, but his fatal flaw is constantly thinking, "If only I make this specific change, then everything will be better" (which is also kind of a flaw of Marigold imo but in a totally different way. But ANYWAY)

    So here is a guy that is basically saying to his (casual or not! It is still possible to get hurt in a casual relationship -it does not mean you're 'playing the victim') girlfriend, "I'm making big changes in order to become a better person, and one of those changes is breaking up with you." Which is valid, but still harsh! Imagine being dumped that way, just… bleh.

    I'm assuming that's where the "In your prime" comment is coming from. Will is daring to be optimistic and mapping out a future for himself as a serious adult with a career he wants, and more serious relationships that are based on honesty. Maybe she'd hoped his growth would include settling into an exclusive, serious relationship with her, and now she feels silly.

    That's also valid and doesn't make her a baddie. Just someone who maybe made a mistake and has a somewhat dramatic turn of phrase.

    1. UGGGGH, I've been on the receiving end of "I'm making changes in order to become a better person, and one of those changes is breaking up with you."

      It totally, always and forevermore, sucks.

  13. Isnt it Aimee that wanted an open relationship?
    …chose to live in 2 places , divide her time, and see people in both places?
    ( there is nothing wrong with that, but it had consequences )

    I think If it wasnt Eve, New Eve, relaxed Eve, Wisdom Bitch version Eve that happily took up Aimee scraps, at this point in Wills life he would have told her it was not enough anymore. Then Aimee could have chose. But we dont know she would have chosen a more serious relationship with Will.

    We only have Aimees implied word here that she would have changed the terms If Will wanted to.

    The Problem was partly will. Will admitted that felt like he coundnt ask more from people.
    That explains why he didnt ask to see Aimee when he got beat up.

    Will has emotional needs too. Lots of them.

    Unfortunately for Aimee, she should have left the party she was at and came to see Will.
    Unfortunately Eve took that exact moment show up in wills life again with zero expectations.

    Eve also knew that she could.
    I think the person most likely to get hurt here is Will.

    ( Note please delete/ dont approve previous comment.. WordPress was being weird)

    1. Reply to Self:

      Aimee was giving Will exactly what he said he wanted .

      Or Maybe she didnt put her all into it, because Will basically told her thats what wrecked his last relationship.

      So Aimee has a right to feel cheated. From her perspective she give what he wanted, believing it was what he needed.

      The real problem is that both characters were using each other to grow as persons.
      Aimee wanted outside validation , while holding onto her old life completely and keep will apart from that. http://www.octopuspie.com/2012-05-02/534-dangling

      When there was growth, they both poorly communicated how they changed and what they needed.

      I think Aimee is a much better match for Will than Eve

      1. Oh no, that's so sad reading that. He literally said to her "I needed to date more people", and she asked him if he was done with that, and he didn't answer. This was foretold!

  14. maybe it's just because I totally empathize with will re: my personal life, but I don't think aimee really knew what will was going through. long distance relationships are kind of fun insofar as whenever you talk to your SO you are very excited to do so, but totally awful when it comes to understanding another person.

    so maybe will didn't take the terms of their relationship seriously because a long-distance open relationship is not really a relationship at all. it's was just a placeholder… it was never going to be something more.

    but yeah breaking up sucks, for everybody, always

  15. i cringed at that e-cig

    1. It makes everything she said seem self involved and pretentious rather than poignant.

    2. How is smokers being LESS disgusting cringe-inducing? Just curious. Remember that the alternative is cigarettes full of shitty tar and horrible smells, which get all over everyone in the vicinity.

      1. I think it's more because it's associated with vape culture? and because she's taking long dramatic draws from it when it's essentially vapor

        1. E-Cigs can still pack a ton of nicotine. Some folks just want the nicotine without any of the tar and CO.

    3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was an e-cig! I had the same feeling.

  16. You know these rare moments when you see a work of art or hear a song and you are struck by how the artist does exactly what you deeply like/what you need in arts//what touches you/etc? During these moments, you feel like you have found Alibaba’s cavern, and strangely you feel less alone.
    To me, this is exactly what happens when reading Octopus Pie.

    1. That is such a lovely thing to say to a creator.

  17. What I don't get is where this is coming from. I honestly feel like I missed a page or two because the last time we see Aimee talking to Will (after he got beat up) she seemed somewhat dismissive (in part because Will told her to stay at her part iirc). This sudden 180 into this bitter cynicism is surprising to me.

    1. how was she being dismissive? she offered to cut her trip short to be back with him.

      If anything, it was will being dismissive.

  18. …..ow…..

    on all counts.

  19. I love that, without the colouring, we'd never know that Aimee vapes…

  20. I love how she's smoking an e-cig. For me, it makes her passive-aggression less badass, thus more amusing.

  21. I'm not sure if anyone will see this or get much out of it, but I just remembered something that might be a lil precinct to Will and Aimee's breakup.

    Remember when Will got the crap beat out of him not too long ago? http://www.octopuspie.com/2014-06-10/675-just-a-p… After that, he calls Aimee and she says she'll come back early (on Sunday).

    This is also right before Will and Eve hook up and start a friends-with-benefits type relationship after making plans the night before and leading to the (hilarious) coconut incident. http://www.octopuspie.com/2014-06-19/677-678-whathttp://www.octopuspie.com/2014-06-24/679-theres-n

    It's also important to note that in 679, while getting ready to go out with Eve, he's rehearsing a conversation that one can infer is personal and about where him and Eve stand. Instead of hanging out with Larry, who is conveniently out of town, he spends the day with Eve and they end up in a FWB kind of relationship (which Eve even says she doesn't want it to get in the way of Will and Aimee) http://www.octopuspie.com/2014-08-06/694-this-can

    And while Will and Aimee have a "when they're together, they're together" sort of arrangement, it does become a little suspect if we assume Will's beatdown was Thursday night, Friday was when Eve and Will spent their day/night together, and Saturday night was when Larry came back, with Aimee expected to come in Sunday morning. http://www.octopuspie.com/2014-08-23/698-699-it-c

    (This is sort of encouraged because we see Will with a laundry bag, assumedly to take care of dirty laundry before Aimee gets in)

    And there's the rub. We don't know how much this event and timeline has to do with Will and Aimee ending things (on pretty bad terms), but if it does, it's not too hard to at least feel some sympathy for Aimee. While they have something of an open relationship, Aimee does want to reach out to Will and get closer to him emotionally. Her heading back to NYC early is clearly an attempt to comfort him after a pretty bad event, where he clearly needs some kind of companionship.

    I personally can't fault Will for finding that comfort and reassurance by spending the day with Eve and sleeping with her, but it would definitely have some effect on Will and Aimee's relationship, especially since it's not just some dalliance or hookup, it's a bit more emotionally attached and happening within 48 and 72 hours (being generous) of Aimee saying that she is going to see Will again.

    Also, we don't know how much their relationship has changed between initially agreeing to an open-ish relationship and now. We don't know how both of their feelings of it has changed. Over time Aimee could have grown more attached to Will emotionally, and Will started to push away again, like with Marigold.

    Basically, there is a lot for the reader to infer as to what happened and I would really want to hear some feedback on what is basically a damn treatise on this webcomic breakup and fallout.

    (Very sorry to anyone who did not expect a drawn out comment on this)

  22. richard schumacher

    The cigarettes they turn… blue, tomorrow
    And shine their emptiness down on my bed
    The tiny island sags down stream
    Cause the life that lives, is dead

    And the wind screams, "Aimee"

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