#873-875 – traveling back and forth

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32 thoughts on “#873-875 – traveling back and forth

  1. God damn, Meredith. God DAMN. I'm in a mental place where that past panel just kicked me in the chest. You're too good at comics (Valerie, you too).

    1. Can you explain the significance to a non-New-Yorker?

      1. Eve is wandering around Union Square. In the last panel, she's looking up at a public artwork called the Metronome. The numbers tell you how much time is left before the end of the day. Maybe that's part of the comic's symbolism?

        1. Thank you!!

        2. Thank you! I was just as lost as Kat.

        3. Overthinking It

          Either for symbolic reasons or because it's a dumb public art installation and doesn't deserve this much attention, the readout given isn't correct. Only 14 of the 15 digits are shown, but we know it's the first 14 digits because otherwise the readout is impossible (it would indicate that it was either 1:73 AM or 11:73 AM, which you may recognize as not real times).

          According to the readout, it's 5:38 PM (and 14.82 seconds), meaning there are 6 hours, 25 minutes, and 45.2 seconds left in the day, so the readout should be 17381482245250[6] (the final six is hidden). This time of year, that time is a couple minutes after sunset in NYC, but before full nightfall.

        4. Why assume it's this time of year? If time in the comic ran as time in the reader's world, that would mean it has taken Will days to continue talking to his therapist–nobody has that kind of insurance, certainly not Will.

        5. Why assume that Will's conversation and Eve's wanderings are taking place at the same time?

          Fwiw, _Overthinking It_ didn't say that the scene definitely was taking place in the middle of February, just pointing out what part of the day it would be if it were. (And the lighting in Eve's frames seems to jibe with that observation).

  2. Panel 7, Eve crawlin' over the divider–take note of that reflective effect on the water on the ground. IT'S SO GOOD.

  3. Just bought a book, so excited to own OP in its entirety (eventually) finally! I've bought the books here and there, but don't have all of them for sure.

  4. andthenthereweretwo

    Stop. Wait. Nope.

    Okay, so I've never commented here before, so I can't say for certain wether or not I'm supposed to add to any conversations or add to the comic at ALL, but…

    I'm literally speechless??? I mean, not like I was writing any speeches, much less giving any, but like holy fuck, this is the first time I've actually been able to feel every emotion going on behind every single one of the characters. I can't exactly explain what I'm feeling as it's literally four in the morning over here, but like holy shit.

  5. so Will was talking about how the romance with a person contrasts with your daily life and ambitions (I thought)… is there a connection to this "divergence", or did they change the topic?

    what's loving somebody uncertainly anyway? is this about distancing yourself emotionally before you get close? sorry, this strip was above me.

    1. I think loving uncertainly means to love someone even though you are not sure if it will work out or not…at least that's how I interpreted it.

  6. Can someone explain to me in more detail the feeling Will is trying to get across? I think I've had too few relationships or something, cause I have NO IDEA what he is trying to say. Is he saying he doesn't like to end relationships cause he likes being comfortable?

    I've reread it about 5 times, the first 3 were to try and figure out the enigma that is Will. The last 2 were for the art.

    1. I am only speculating, but I think maybe Will is exploring why he runs away when he starts to care for someone. He already compartmentalizes the feelings and wants he has, so it seems he's already closer to the door than inside at any point in any given relationship (and stepping in is huge, something he hasn't been used to, or even tried, because leaving seems to be where he has made himself comfortable). But I could also be inserting personal projections. :p

    2. Maybe it's because I went through something similar recently, but to me it reads like he's talking about the way a relationship sort of shifts in his head from this perfect exciting thing to something mundane and flawed. But even though he feels like maybe he'd prefer to be somewhere else, he can't take that last step of ending it because even the uncertainty is more comfortable than making that decision. So he bottles up his feelings and doubts and just sort of waits until things decay on their own. Of course that creates a ton of stress on the relationship and only accelerates the end. He's started to realize the toxicity of it which is why he actually took the step of proactively breaking up with Aimee and also is going to therapy.

      …I could also be projecting.

    3. Yeah, I'm a bit confused as well. Is Will scared to be honest about his feelings, either way? As in, at one end of the spectrum when a relationship needs to end ("cutting someone loose") AND at the other end when a relationship needs to be taken to that next level of real, serious love ("loving someone uncertainly")? Does "loving someone uncertainly" mean falling in love and not knowing you'll be safe in that love because it's not something you can control? There's no guarantee when you're putting your real feelings out there, no guarantee of not getting hurt, whereas in his "doomed kings" relationships at least he had the upper hand of not really being in love with those people? Or.. am I.. just projecting as well o__o

      "Reservoir" part — So.. this is like.. Will keeps his real feelings to himself and wants to keep them separate as a way to protect himself. But in not letting those feelings out, he neither gets to be in real love and get those wants and needs met (cuz he won't let anyone in on them), nor does he ever let himself honestly, openly tell someone if he doesn't think a relationship is working out, cuz that would mean he'd still have to let his partner in on understanding that his real needs and wants aren't being met (cuz he hasn't shown them as much!)..

      1. Right, except I think for Will, that this issue extends to more than just relationships. His job(s), his life, are all split between things he wants deep down, and what he thinks is a safe reality.

        The fact that he's baking with Hanna and in therapy means that he's trying to reconcile the two, since both are way out of the comfort zone he was living in. I think Will is hoping for the best and trying to plan for the worst at this point.

        The fact that I can psychoanalyze a character in a comic is a testament to the work done by the author and artists, by the way.

        1. Ahh, you're right, it's a total life issue/change for Will.. very scary. But good on him. Man, the fact that I'm so nervous for Will is a testament to the artists as well! Oh my goodness..

    4. Simply put, because of the divergence (whereby two people split up, despite attraction), Will has come to fear or at least be very wary of that attachment and attraction. So much so that he takes all the stuff that he feels (like how he likes Eve, for instance) and stores it in a place that doesn't have anything to do with how he acts or reacts.

      His statement about "It may as well be for NEVER" really drives this home, if I'm interpreting this right. He sees the break up, the "inevitable" failure or tragedy, as not so much a tragedy but a simple uncontrollable fact of life. He can't control whether things will work out or not, ultimately, so it makes sense to separate the irrational hopes and desires as much as possible from his reality. The downside is that those feelings and desires are still there, and it is a chore to continue to travel back and forth between what he feels under his mask of smiles and happiness and his desires for something more profound and real.

      Just my take on it.

    5. i keep coming back to these panels and the previous ones because i feel like i should understand it….maybe not with the same words, but, there's something that feels heartachingly familiar.

      after reading everyone else's comments, i think he's talking about vulnerability. i've been in relationships where i'm so in love and then i'm so ready to break-up… but i've never been ready to be ok with something in between because it would require me to be more vulnerable and more honest about my wants and needs and their wants and needs and where those things meet. i have definitely gone into myself to try to reconcile those things, but ultimately it's never enough. as much as i have to be vulnerable with myself, i have to be vulnerable with them.

  7. First panel is so brilliant. Hannah and Marek seemed like a tragedy, but time has made it less painful. How much less painful, though? I love the ambiguity of it.

    Also, sorry if this is stating the obvious, but does this comic confirm that Will still has feelings for Eve? The fact that his dialogue bubbles about his "general" love feelings over Eve's gorgeous walk seem to imply yes.

  8. OK, not being a New Yorker, I had to look up the whole Metronome thing. Then I went a bit nuts, trying to make sure I understood how it worked, because the sign above does not add up. Dang that's brilliant! Awesome!!

  9. I see that last image and just think "man Eve, I hope you figure out what you want"

  10. This arc feels kinda like you've reached into my chest and scooped something out and looked at it without judgment and said, "Hey, we have this stuff, too." This page made me cry this afternoon… the narrative content, dialogue, light touch, really thoughtful accounting of really well-dimensionalized characters, beautiful rendering of a Union Square wander I've taken a lot recently. Thank you for writing with such tenderness and careful attention to space (internal/external).

  11. I'm so happy I discovered this comic.

  12. I thought that Will was gonna make another mistake and try to get with Hanna before I saw this panel. Thank God! I am still holding out for Marek.

    1. And see, I looked at the first panel and my instant reaction was "oh, thank GOD, Marek and Hanna definitely aren't getting back together". Ah life.

      I mean, obviously Will and Hanna won't get together either! I think by the end of the comic it'll be Larry, or nobody (or nobody we've met yet).

  13. wow. wow wow wow. well that strip just completely articulated something i've been going through/thinking over for a while now. beautiful as always, meredith!

  14. I would say that it's about how Will is in love with Something New and Unfamiliar, and then he starts getting comfortable and it scares him. I don't know if Will is a child of divorced parents (apologies if that's already been discussed, I don't have the best memory) but it wouldn't surprise me if he is. I see a lot of this behavior in people who had parents have a messy divorce when they were young. I'm not trying to open up a can of worms discussion, just my opinion! ^-^
    Plus, isn't this why we all read this comic? To get out of it what we understand/learn?

  15. or perhaps the 1738 on the clock as one of the super sneaky and witty references meredith throws in… a fetty wap easter egg if you will; a moment of humor within a moment of poignance

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