#902 + 903 – congrats

Something that felt natural but I didn't think about much at the time: throwing a drink is an act of anger, yet in this sequence Eve looks completely fearful of what she's doing. She doesn't have the confidence to back up her aggression, and most likely would've crumbled in apology if Park hadn't reacted the way he did. Up until he reveals his lack of cultural awareness, she still holds him in high regard and can't walk away. It's sort of a gift that she gets it out of him, for both of them - they finally have their answer.

The final visual was mostly lost in the bigger, more enticing discussion of their roles, but I still like the duality. Eve is either laughing or crying, and the $50 is either pathetic and irrelevant, or the basis of a formal, transactional meeting.

14 thoughts on “#902 + 903 – congrats

  1. I posted like 9,000 words on the previous comic, so my only comment here is I can't believe it's already been (slightly more than) four years since this one originally ran. Time is a relentless bastard.

    Wait, I lied – Meredith, I was living in Paris in 2016 during much of the final run of Octopus Pie. It was an incredible time in an incredible city, and yet I still have extremely fond memories of waking up each morning and hitting this site for the latest updates. That really speaks to the quality you were delivering on a day-in, day-out basis here. I said it then and I still believe it now: you were doing some of the best work in comics and you deserved all of the recognition you got, and more.

    Thank you for this commentary run. It's been awesome. I can't wait for Perfect Tides.

  2. I also like how "God, these FUCKING contacts" could double up as such a clinical, transactional way of describing how Park views friends and relationships, and how when they let them down, there's zippo human connection to shore them up. They're just contacts. Such a good final line to flame out on.

    1. Between the consistent problems he's had with contacts and his poor choice of shoes for walking around NY, it's a nice reminder that his idea of being a Successful Adult Man Who Gets An A+ At Life involves looking right, acting right, and being mildly uncomfortable at all times. No wonder he's so irritated!

  3. Park showing his ass to the world was the closure we all needed

  4. I know this comic kind of frames Park as the bad guy in this scene, and I'm not going to claim he's NOT a jerk, but I'm also personally of a mind that you get to say pretty much whatever you want to somebody right after they throw a drink in your face at a busy restaurant.

    1. It's true!
      I'd only add that what you say at that point is very revealing of how you think and how you see the world.

      There's miles between "WHAT THE HELL WAS *THAT* FOR?! What's WRONG with you?!", and what Park says here.

      By the same token, he didn't call her the c-word or spitefully stick her with the bill, which would probably have been a hardship for her and which he easily could have done. Obviously paying it was also a loaded gesture shaded with contempt, but better than the alternative.

      He thinks he's better than she is, but not in a misogynistic way, only in a 'moneyed' way. And he uses that money to show off, but not to control.

      Both of these things make him a garden-variety asshole rather than an abuser. Which isn't nothing. Makes him a more interesting and complex character, too.

      1. Very revealing indeed. It's a somewhat liberal use of the logic "if you give someone power, then they'll show you what they're made of". The martini assault gives Park all the power, and this is how he elects to use it:

        To launch into an angry, impulsive rant and list all the petty, not particularly accurate reasons he thinks Eve is beneath him and a less valid person and unworthy of his attention. Within seconds it's completely clear what choices Eve have for her future with Park – a) stay away from him or b) accept his superior taste and money making skills and social standing and reduce herself to someone he feels safe being around.

        Park, I believe, wanted to reduce the amount of complications in his life by extracting the last tangles of Eve's from it with his sense of superiority intact. Eve wanted to know for sure if she could have a future with Park or not. I think it worked out well for all involved.

        And it clarifies my analysis of Park I've been trying to work out since the breakup: I think he's not some big jerk, maybe one of the lesser jerks in the cast, but the problem is he's a jerk in ways that makes him especially unsuited for any intimate relationships.

  5. Something about Park's "My WHAT?" after Eve laughs about how old his insults are. He is clueless to how they are, yes, insults and just thinks that he is just stating facts. As if he was mad that Eve had the nerve to call his truths insults. Park sucks.

  6. I like that Park doesn't ask *why* the drink was thrown in his face.

    The facade of him being oblivious to the situation from the previous page is gone. He *knows* why, Eve is upset at him treating her badly how callously casually he brings up the wedding. (Did he even notice Eve was missing? Did he care? He didn't ask anyone?)

    She's just another thing on her list. She ranked last right before he catches his flight back – "bang Eve". Below "go to the botanical garden" and "hang out with my 5 cousins."

    And from his demeanor you can tell he thinks she should be grateful. He's made something of himself, he has MONEY. He's doing her a favor giving her this hookup.

    Even though you can read between the lines of his raging that he is secretly envious of her life.

    Anyways, good riddance! Great comic Mer! I've been loving the commentary!

  7. It's odd to me that Park's lack of cultural awareness is the thing that finally breaks the spell for Eve. Is it seeing him act absurd when she idolized him for so long that does the trick? If it's the absurdity, I can see that. But if it breaks the spell because he no longer seems cool, it kind of confirms what he's saying. To be fair, I also never quite understood why Park decided to attack the trappings of her lifestyle rather than her actual underlying issues, like a lack of focus or investment in her own life. I still love these pages and emotionally they hit really well, but on some level I can't quite figure out where the characters' heads are at.

    1. He presented as someone who had managed to integrate his nerd origins with a successful adult life, but this exchange just reveals him to be the same dork larping as a boomer.

      In other words, he didn't invest in anything either, he just got money.

    2. I don't think it's that he no longer seems cool, but that he has revealed himself as having a shallow disregard for anything that doesn't strike him as important. He doesn't care about Hanna or Eve for that matter, and therefore doesn't really know much about either of them, but he still feels comfortable dissing and writing them off as the empty hipsters he perceives them to be. On another note that I believe was pointed out by another commenter here on the original run, his insults really are old in the sense that he is talking about an old version of Eve and Hanna that don't really exist anymore. Coffee and bikes were an important part of past Eve's life, but that isn't who Park is talking to right now. Because his head is kind of up his own ass, he doesn't seem to consider other people's depth and the fact that everyone else is also moving through life and growing and changing. This was foreshadowed with the churros – his perception of Eve is based on a past version of her and he doesn't seem to care enough to have considered how she may be different now.

  8. "congrats on doing nothing to defy my expectations" is such a pitiful thing to say, his head is so far up his own ass! but would also be so painful to hear if she still respected him. I don't often see Eve as a role model but her reaction here, breaking down laughing and then just staying, sitting with her feelings whatever they are, is SO good.

  9. What gets me is that he thinks she has to live up to his expectations AND that this is so obvious it's implicitly understood by them both!

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