#796 – an external force

20 thoughts on “#796 – an external force

  1. NYC in a nutshell.

    1. LIFE in a nutshell

  2. Beautiful colors.

  3. Gorgeous gorgeous colors.

  4. The main panel at top — dead to rights awesome. From colors to mood. That's basically every urban venue's outdoor backyard (?) dining area in one blow.

  5. She's become an adult, he's still a big kid. Neither of them seems really comfortable with their role.

  6. goddam i love jane's jacket

  7. The thing that I love but also intimidates me a bit about octopus pie is that it's able to articulate a lot of abstract thoughts, issues situations that humans face (I mean, jeez, look at the internal struggles Hanna is dealing with right now). Unfortunately, I feel like if I haven't exactly faced or hit the same challenges that OC illustrates, or maybe just not in the right mindset to receive the message, it completely goes over my head. Case in point: This page right now.

    "Giving him the satisfaction"? "An External Force"? "The rest is not my problem"? Why's Jane new uniform a big deal? Who's/why are they clamoring for the "sky?" It's sort of times like these that make me feel like I'm not as mature as others, or like I'm very inexperienced with the world and "adult problems" or something ._.

    1. Something you can always guarantee when the comic becomes focused on Mar, currently in the story, is it will be about that difficult transition from the aloof young adult to the scheduled adult adult with limited free time, working from home/hourly job to a salary office job, ect. We learned in the Spa story arc that Mar is doing everything she can to try and act like an "adult," even going as far to just blurt out about how old she feels even in the presence of actual old people.

      Mar has associated ALL, yes all, her past problems with immaturity and lack of "growing up." The turning point was her argument with Hanna since she now see's Hanna as the embodiment of all her past failures. Mar is under the mistaken impression that by adding the word "adult," to everything she does and acting as "adult," as she know the word to be, that she can somehow solve all her past problems, something that Hanna realized and worded very poorly when they broke up. When Mar sees her older boss acting like her old "not adult," friends used to act, seeing how "happy," someone like Will is even though she thinks of him as another "not adult," and speaking very unnatural sentences like "Everyone is clamoring for the same little piece of sky," are all very confusing and frustrating to her resolve that focusing on being "adult," solves your internal problems with yourself and your life.

    2. I don't think understanding or not understanding this page is a function of age or maturity.. maybe experience, but experience isn't a linear thing. There are plenty of things you understand that your peers don't because you've had that particular experience or vantage point and they haven't. Unfortunately so many people are afraid to reveal that because they don't want to be seen as immature or inexperienced, so they perpetuate that misconception by not speaking up. So thanks for breaking the silence!

      My understanding (for what it's worth) is that interacting with Will like friends, without attraction or antagonism, feels weird to Mar, and she's bothered that Will is closer to Hanna than she is, but she can't change how Will feels about that. She expresses a really practical approach that she might not actually believe in, and Jane is gently making fun of the profitability of that talent. Jane's coffee shop is taking on a corporate feel to stay afloat, which means it feel less like her space and she kind of resents that. "The sky" is both capitalism's race to the top, doing everything you can to have more money than everyone else, which is starting to feel really stupid to Mar now that she's settling into her corporate reinvention, and I think also literally the sky, which is in short supply in dense cities. People fight for open space, plain air and there's so much available just outside of the city, if she were willing to leave.

    3. Not gonna lie, I've read Octopus Pie pretty much from start to finish and I still have no idea what's going on much of the time. I find a lot of the dialogue confusing.

    4. I think part of it is actually the pacing. As a webcomic, it takes a story a very long time to unfold, so by the time you get pieces like this, you've forgotten part of the backstory. This comic in particular does a lot of implying. You're shown something and then you have to put together all the pieces. I didn't get this one at first, either. Other people have explained well, but I also think that Mar's trying to put her past in her past. What he feels doesn't matter to her now since he's no longer part of her life, so he's an "external force." The rest isn't her problem for the same reason. I often feel like I have to drop everyone I knew and start over again. It's like having a new life. The old one didn't work out, let's try again. Sometimes it's the people you knew, and sometimes it's what you did, but either way the people know what you did, so it's best to start over.

  8. Hey Mer, do you plan out the little details, or do they just come as the story progresses? Like the fact that Marigold pays with a card and Jane with cash, did you do that purposefully, or did it just seem in character? Just curious!

    1. The two happen together, and are often the same! Sometimes I agonize over an idea for weeks, sometimes I come up with one for the day\’s page on my lunch break. Writing is fun!!!

      1. Like Mar being a lefty? Or has that been stated before?

      2. YOUR writing is definitely fun. It is also MIND-MELTING AWESOME. Please never stop. <3

  9. I think these two are great together – whether they stay friends or become romantic doesn't matter. They seem to be supportive and understanding "adults" to one another, and I'm happy for that.

  10. the BACKGROUNDS! such details! everything looks very alive and real, theres such a strong feel that this is a REAL place

  11. This looks exactly like my favorite brunch place in Brooklyn…

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