#856 – plastic palm tree

It's a pretty serene page, though I had something tense to convey here. Smoking is entwined in Mar's social behavior and ability to manage stress, and she doesn't know how to stop. Jane has either not been made to understand, or is trying not to understand, how important it is for Mar to stop. Either way Mar is left alone to fight her addiction when she'd like some help - not a great way to feel in a relationship.

15 thoughts on “#856 – plastic palm tree

  1. i missed this aspect of Mar's struggle at this stage. I knew this scene felt awkward but I couldnt pin why. I dont think I understood the limits of their relationship abilities yet, _I_ was still in the gilded phase, even if they were moving on.

    1. You know, I did too. But it does feel like they’re all at the end of one thing ready to start the next.

  2. Last comic, Marigold told Marek there was "no one reason" she and Hanna don't talk anymore. I felt like there was one pretty clear reason, when Hanna flipped the fuck out at Mar for trying (in an unfortunately clumsy and overbearing way) to comfort her. Did I miss something? Or is Mar just trying to spare Marek all the dirty-laundry details?

    1. Very fair question.

    2. I think Hanna flipping out at her was the breaking point, but their friendship was always one where Hanna was on top and Mar was beneath her. Note the Brownout Biscuit arc, for example — Hanna things she knows best for Mar, even going over Mar's wishes and attempting to (hypothetically) wipe her memory. It's a shitty place to be, especially long-term!

    3. I feel like Mar going "when have you not felt sorry for me" after Hanna's flip out implies she's known for quite a while Hanna doesn't respect her, but tried to ignore it because their friendship was important to her. I think that altercation isn't the reason they broke apart, just the inevitable end to their friendship that they knew was coming.

    4. Seeing Hanna and Mar's long history, I think that flip out alone wasn't enough to finally break the bridge between them. There's no doubt that it was a very powerful sledgehammer smack to it, but Mar is shown over and over to be looking for something to rely on, and I think for a long time it was Hanna, who thrives off feeling matriarchal. More recently Mar found comfort in the office worker corporate "I have a career that affords me comfort" lifestyle, but that more recently seemed to be falling apart. Before that, her relationship with Will and, undoubtedly originally from Hanna's influence, weed. As each of these coping mechanisms have proven themselves to be more hindrance than comfort, she's shed them, and each time become closer to what she really wants – independence and the confidence to embrace that.
      The cigarette situation above is awkward, I think, because it symbolises Jane's lack of understanding of that goal. And the underlying worry is that, through her casual encouragement to continue to rely on unhealthy comfort mechanisms, will they be able to last as Mar continues to progress on her journey?
      A bit rambling, but hopefully you get what I mean is that her separation from Hanna isn't just from Hanna's one action, but also from Mar changing what she wants from both others and herself.

    5. It also seems pretty clear from the outside that Hanna and Marek broke up because they couldn't agree on kids and Marek's graduation was the cut-off point. But it's always more complicated from the inside, Marigold is reminding Marek not to make such glib assumptions about her when he knows full well it wasn't one simple reason for him for him either. Some relationships can compromise on life choices, and some friendships can withstand an ugly tantrum under stress, but not if there are too many other problems already accumulating. We don't see a lot of the other reasons because this comic is mainly from Eve's perspective.

  3. Why is Eve doing flips?

    1. Eve can't perform her superhero moves when needed if she doesn't occasionally practice them.

      1. lol…It wasn't until I read your reply that I noticed that Jane and Eve are on a playset, and Eve is just doing flips over one of the bars. Guess it's another one of her episodes of showing off muscle memory of childhood skills no one knows about (like her ice skating ability a long way back).

        1. I want to know how she changed her grip so quickly.

  4. I fucking love Jane, but this page illustrated a mistake or (forgivable) lack so clearly that it’s informed my treatment of loved ones’ addictions ever since. Like, you can be a GREAT person and also say hold on, wait, really? even when you know it’ll hurt short term. Meanwhile also one of my favorite Eve scenes, and Eve/Jane scenes, just so pure and happy for a sec!

  5. this is the page i bought back when Meredith was getting ready for her wedding! It's beautifully rendered, I'm glad I grabbed it. I could feel the story starting to wind down.

  6. I know from reading your comments alongside this that Eve playing on the high bar is supposed to seem childish, but I just keep on reading this as "holy crap she's so athletic"

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