#417 – jump in a lake

Oh where will this go. Well, I know where. But ask yourself that maybe! Just a heads up, I'm going to be running some guest strips next week while I drive cross-country to my new home in New York. So check back regularly for some comics by friends that you will totally enjoy!

67 thoughts on “#417 – jump in a lake

  1. good luck on your trip 🙂

    1. Yes, I second the good wishes!

  2. This is good coping advice for a lot of things. Distract the hell out of yourself until the nowness has dulled enough for you to properly deal with things.

    Course, having friends to help you get through things makes it a bit easier. Need some folks to help you stop the distracting.

    grnklgsjgwklhbgn hope Marigold's gonna be alright.

  3. God, that pause in the fourth panel is perfect. I am ridiculously jealous of your layouts.

  4. I like Hanna's hair 😀

    1. Me too. It's kinda sad, I feel so terrible for Marigold, but as I read this, I couldn't help but think how much I enjoy the return of long-haired Hanna.

  5. Manuel is indifferent to everyone's tears.

  6. There better be a karaoke bar in this "Times Square." Otherwise there is no hope for poor Marigold.

  7. The sweater curse strikes again. Passive-agressive knitting FTW 😀

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT? She knits socks and sweaters but doesn't know about the CURSE? Poor dear. Now that sweater will go to Goodwill, where no one will appreciate the lovely wool and effort that went into it. :(:(:(:(:(

  8. whats going on here, this is the first time that i can remember that Hannah has delt with a situation with such seriousness.

  9. I love sleeping Manuel – it's so true how cats can seem indifferent to you, but if you're lay-on-the-couch-and-sob sad, they'll creep into your lap or on you while you're sleeping for comfort, small as it is.

    And, oh, Hanna. You can't make things go differently. First you tried to break up Eve and Park (didn't work, at least not immediately), then Eve and Donovan (bad idea all around) and now you're implying that you helped set up Will and Marigold?

    And I see The Sweater is back; even if it's a different sweater, it's still a Sweater.

    1. Yeah, I agree with you about Hanna. She also set up Will and Eve in the first place. I was rereading the comic over the weekend, and I was kind of surprised to realize that she's kind of controlling and manipulative.

      1. Really? I always figured that was the premise of her character. :-/

      2. "Controlling and manipulative" implies she's actively trying to hurt people (or at least not caring if she helps) toward her own nefarious ends, though. I think Hanna is manipulative to a degree when it comes to her friends' love lives but I also think she has the best of intentions when she does it: as in, she has a fantastic, drama-free relationship with arguably the coolest guy in Octopus Pie and she wants everyone else to have that, so she keeps trying to set them up or tinker with things. The most actively bad she's been was trying to get Donovan to break up Eve and Park's relationship – even there, her execution was awful and intentions deeply misguided, but I don't doubt that she wanted to help, not hurt.

        Some people really do have that matchmaker impulse, and I think Meredith rather expertly lets it play out in Hanna.

        What Hanna needs to learn is that there's nothing wrong with creating situations in which two friends you think might work well together have the chance to meet and hang out. But that's all you do. From there, either the spark develops on its own or it doesn't.

      3. Hannah is always trying to break away from the way society tries to apply its image of what's right for her to her but she can't stop doing the same to everyone else around her.

        I think it will be hard to forgive Hannah if she dumps Will as a friend over this given that she led him to here as much as she led Marigold, or as much as they brought each other.

    2. Cats feed on negative energy. It's the only explanation.

  10. it's going to times square, you just said. no im just fucking around. where will it go is a good question.

  11. Shut up, Hanna! You don't know how Will feels! ;-;

  12. Hanna is a true friend!

  13. The panel with sleeping, tear-stained Marigold breaks my heart.

    1. I KNOW. I've so been there. More than once in fact. Each time, sleep was a blessing.

  14. The alt-text is priceless.

    But I'm a Keillor fan…

    1. When they find the stiff in the lake, they'll call in Guy Noir to solve the case.

  15. Hanna means business and that is awesome. =]

  16. I am definitely digging marigold's short hair. I mean, If you're gonna be depressed and lonely, you might as well be depressed and lonely with a badass haircut, amiright? very rad.

    1. Man, I agree, Marigold has nice hair. New hair seems to happen during breakups. Without fail, it's happened with every girl I've dated.

      To be honest, I've never been able to really sympathize with Marigold, which is odd, cause just about every character seems to represent a different characteristic one can find in oneself. Marigold has always struck me as a little defeated, oblivious, and needy. That said, I think we all suffer from that from time to time too.

      I really hope Marigold doesn't have luck with boys any time soon. A little time alone may be what she needs to really show us what kind of a person she really is.

      1. It's supposed to be a traditional thing for a girl to get a haircut after a break up although I've never anyone who has actually done this. :O

        And it's nice to know that I am not the only one who can't really sympathize with Marigold. Not that I dislike the character or anything. And I really hope this means Eve and Will will have another shot soon >_>

      2. Man… kinda says how little we really know about how Marigold is as a person. We don't know her story. That's a good point you made: frankly, I also find it difficult to scrounge up sympathy for her.

        And now, Will seems to have made a few enemies; him and Eve didn't work out, and now him and Marigold, plus Hanna is characteristically enraged in the last few panels. Oh, Hanna.

        On a different note, I'm looking forward to their mind-numbing Times Square comic(s).

  17. Love this side of Hanna.

  18. OH Nooooooo

    Is Will gonna date Aimee?

  19. Oh noes the boyfriend sweater! I've never understood why anyone would knit something that time-consuming unless the item was specifically requested. Socks and hats, hey, sweaters whyyyy

  20. Guest comics, yay! Have fun driving back home! My boyfriend and I did that move from our home in California back to where I lived in New Jersey, and it's quite nice. 🙂

    Hmm. I don't know much about Boyfriend Sweaters, but I'm guessing they do not bode well for anyone.

  21. I love that Hanna and Marigold look so dykey in this one! I'm ok with them being sad, as long as they keep putting on that sexy plaid and cutting their hair short. 🙂

  22. Oh, on another note: wow, I can't believe they were together 2 years. I dunno if that's crucial to the story at all though. Maybe they would have broken up much sooner if the storyline didn't already have so much ground to cover.

    When a story that takes place over the period of one (for them) night takes weeks to unfold (for us), the idea of time as canon gets a little warped.

    It is just a comic, so I guess it's not somehting to think to hard about or take too seriously. But still, 2 years is a pretty long time.

    1. They were together for two years? I didn't know it was that long a time. I kept thinking 6 – 8 months tops.

  23. Oh.. oh god.. not times square

    1. Anywhere else. Anything.

  24. I like Eve's gesture in the second panel. My chin always seems to itch when I'm wearing soapy rubber gloves.

    1. Oh god, yes, it sucks

  25. Times Square? Are we gonna see the Naked Cowboy?

  26. …I still feel worse for Will than I do Marigold. She's my least favorite recurring character. I guess she just never grew on me. Doesn't help that she did the ultimate no-no: the sweater.

    Oh well, keep up the great work!

  27. Lots of no-nos in any relationship worth talking about.

    One Xmas I was given sweaters, watches, yet we had another 3 good years. Eventually, we accepted that we had different careers and visa requirements.

  28. I've never really liked Marigold, but she's such a sweet-hearted girl that seeing that second-to-last panel makes me sad

  29. In times like these, you discover whether or not Marigold can turn her ex-boyfriends into soap. "I want you to knit me as hard as you can!"

    1. I know this because Willarry knows this.

  30. Why is Will simply my favorite character?

    Sorry, Mar. I like him more. But I hope your hair grows back quickly.

    Also, Eve and Will together? Pleeeease?

  31. We need Victor 😀

  32. Victor, to the rescuuuue!

    Actually, we really do need Victor, then Eve and Will can get back together and Victor can help Marigold.

    Oh, and this is kinda scary but i had a break-up on the same day the last comic came out….weird. Sorry if my break-up jinxed you, Marigold >.<. If it makes you feel better, you're still my 2nd favorite character.

  33. Honestly, I can't get over how so many people can NOT like Marigold; ever since she was introduced, I've liked her to bits. What are you people seeing that I am not?

    1. It's that she's too similar to many real-life girls with a similar history; seeking happiness in a guy without the right skills to manage a healthy sense of self either in or out of relationships. Notice this isn't part of basic school instructions (for boys or girls)?

      1. I think you touch on a good point. Marigold to me represents a lot of the narrow-minded, semi-plastic, coddled girls I've met. They are smart, basically, in a book sense, but zero life-experience. They are used to being the center of attention, and can't begin to comprehend if they are into someone, why that someone isn't into them. Generally speaking she is a very nice girl, with pretty good intentions, even if her intentions are a means of getting things to go her way, and pitching a fit if someone disagrees with her.

        I still stand by my theory that Marigold was raised in a very affluent household, and would have fell into the plastic mold of the Real Life Housewife of New York, except somewhere along the lines, someone or something caused her to rebel against the idea. Her problem is that while she disdains the idea of such a materialistic lifestyle, she is still a princess at heart and feels it should always be her way or the highway.

        Marigold isn't a bad person, and I guess in a world filled with truly psychotic woman (i.e. Snookie, Paris Hilton, etc.) she is fairly sensible. Again though, so long as anything you want to do doesn't clash with her own ideals.

        1. There's no evidence for that, though. Never in the narrative has it been revealed that she's spoiled or prone to "pitching fits" or anything else. It seems weird to me how people are so bent on projecting negative backstories onto her. Not that people can't make their own conclusions and whatnot… it's just that so many people jumping to this particular conclusion is sort of curious, I guess.

        2. *fistbump*

        3. I was thinking along the lines of when she threw a little tantrum about Will and going on his drug deals.

        4. Heidi, if you're referring to this – http://www.octopuspie.com/2009-05-08/287-google-m… – it hardly counts as a tantrum. If anything, it demonstrates that she's more self-aware than some people give her credit for.

  34. Not that school solves everything : P

  35. Wait a minute, "Times square"? Location, or mathematical formula?

  36. Marigold really needs to stop wearing makeup and crying at the same time.

  37. Last panel needs to be made into a movie poster.

  38. I for one like Marigold…because to me, she is a great rendition of so many people, without being a sad stereotype.

    If she were real, and I were her friend, I'd probably find her vaguely annoying, though. She's not terribly smart – she's not dumb, but she's not real-world smart or even all that book smart (though maybe…bookwork Marigold…perhaps that's a side of her we haven't seen much of yet). At least compared to Eve with her Sartre-like introspective, gloomy and yet painfully sharp assessment of the world – which I feel like she's engaging in at all times, and Hanna with her assumption that she can bend reality to her will and do so while high, and Marek, who takes everything as it comes with no judgment or backlash, or even Will who is at least skilled in the ways of off-the-books income, or Park with his school-smart-Asian-kid life trajectory.

    My theory about Marigold is that she grew up in a household with bookish, absentminded parents who encouraged life experience without providing quite enough guidance – and so she was kind of geeky and bookish in high school, was drawn to the allure of the hippie-hipster (you know, the personality that exists on the line between skinny urban hipster and pot-addled hippie which so many high school nerds – myself included – realized they could be once they hit college), stopped being bookish, but never quite established herself as a distinct entity or grew the maturity she'd need to navigate life after her early 20s. I suspect that other than dating lots of boys, she's had precious little life experience. She clearly hates her job (remember that comic?) but isn't even sure how to get out of it or find something better, she has no idea how to detect a man's lack of interest in her or to handle a breakup, and she knows weird facts but has no context in which to put them. She thinks that having dreads, knitting and hanging out with Hanna more or less are a personality and she hasn't thought to introspect more deeply (whether that's her nature or the result of a lack of life experience, I don't know).

    Notice how in the last comic, she changed "image" every panel through her teens and college years. Sweet, slightly nerdy Mari; hipster straight bangs Mari; hippie dreads Mari; hippie-hipster Mari. Compare that to Hanna, who other than changing hair lengths has remained more or less the same, as herself and secure in herself (more secure in herself than Eve is, anyway).

    So I think she abandoned her bookworm nature before she could become truly well-read, she never quite developed the life skills she'd need to handle relationships and she's either going to sort of drift along for years like this with nothing to shock her out of it, or she's going to grow up a lot as we watch this comic develop.

    For her sake (even though I know she's fictional), I hope it's the latter.

    1. This is the most insightful, well-thought-out comment I've ever seen on this website. Beautifully done.

  39. Ahh man, that last panel. So damn true.

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