AAR 81: "Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe" #3: 2:171-175

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AAR 81: "Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe" #3: 2:171-175

Postby jeffk on Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:41 pm

Next: AAR Week 82
Prev: AAR Weeks 79-80

<edit: Added "Next" link>

Secret Agent Girl, Secret Agent Girl...

Intelligence gathering.
Phoebe's out...but is it just the flu, or is she trying to avoid everyone? Or both; she's probably more susceptible to catching something in her current state. Perfect timing for Ceilidh (insert diabolical laughter here). And enjoy the change of expressions from here...
...to here...
...to here. I agree with Joe. That line's just too good to waste.

I don't think Ceilidh realizes this yet--otherwise she'd be even more embarrassed than she already is--but she just blew her own cover. She didn't tell Joe what she's doing, but now he knows she's about to do something...and he can safely assume it's Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe. (I don't think she spills all the beans yet.)

Ceilidh sets the bait.
I love the "peering around the door" look on her face.
A thread many, many moons ago talked about Josh's desire for an Avalon TV show, pointing out some of the "TV camera" tricks evident in the strip. Here's a perfect example as the "camera angle" builds suspense by moving from the shot of Ceilidh writing something on a note on a book (camera right-and-slightly-higher-than-desk)...
...to Ceilidh leaving the room, leaving the book--which we now recognize as an Avalon High yearbook--on the desk with a just-legible note (camera moving up and toward the desk)...
...to a close-up of the book, with "Phoebe's" note clearly visible (camera over the desk, zoom on yearbook title and note).

A little diversion from the suspense of yesterday's strip.

Two layers of signatures...and no matter what you may think about her wisdom in clinging onto Alan, you've got to admire Helene's cleverness with green ink. :-)

Phoebe's yearbook has made the rounds, apparently with no one suspecting any outside influence. Yet.

Ceilidh apparently didn't tell Joe about the yearbook after 2:171; he's genuinely surprised to hear that the yearbook's been circulating despite Feeb's absence.

Wonder if Joe and Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor ever swapped guy-grunt tips?

Comprehension dawns. "Interesting" indeed.

Ceilidh's worst nightmare. Someone just figured out Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe. And not just any "someone", but the someone with the rockiest history with Phoebe (excluding that X Todd, where X = "your favorite string of colorful adjectives for describing Todd"). And he feels pressured to write Something Appropriate.

Ceilidh's slip of the tongue in 2:171 is returning to haunt her.

The yearbook returns to Ceilidh. Oops, I mean, the yearbook comes to Ceilidh for the *very* *first* *time*, because she hasn't seen it before, and she certainly didn't realize it had been circulating. Nope, not at all, no sir.

And let the acting commence:

J: Hey Ceilidh, I know you've already had the book since you're behind all this, but you signed Phoebe's yearbook yet?
C: Um... shields up No, not yet. Have you?
J: Yep, just did. Took a while to come up with something suitable for your little scheme, too.
C: God, I hope he didn't write anything stupid. God, I hope he didn't figure out what I meant by "That's perfect!" OK, gotta play it cool now. Oooh, can I read it?
J: No, actually. I'd rather it stay between her and I.
C: Oh sh*t.
J: So I guess you can sign it and pass it on to Phoebe.
C: Sure, um...WTF? I'll do that.

Ceilidh's clearly worried about what Joe wrote to Phoebe, but I'm not completely sure why:
  1. Because Joe wrote something to his former best friend, but didn't want to share it with his current girlfriend (her) even though he told her the truth about Todd's "accident" on the stairs,
  2. Because she's afraid Joe might have written something to make Phoebe's condition worse,
  3. Because she just realized that Joe figured out Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe, compelling him to write Something Appropriate, resulting in (b)...and whatever he wrote, it must have been a doozy because of (a), or
  4. All of the above.

Definitely (a), and possibly (b). I'm doubtful about (c) because she doesn't berate herself over blowing her cover, and as insecure as Ceilidh is, she would berate herself if (c) was in play. In fact, she seems pretty confident that everything's on track until she gives the yearbook to Phoebe.

But that's secondary to the real questions this strip generates. What did Joe write in Phoebe's yearbook? And given his less-than-stellar track record in saying The Right Thing up 'til now--especially to Phoebe--how badly is it going to screw Operation Cheer-Up-Phoebe?

Something I've been meaning to ask: When was the strip numbering corrected? I know the numbers were off by five for a while; for instance, the first forum thread below refers to 2:176 rather than 2:171.

Forum diving time:

9040: 2:171: Usa-chan is suspcious about Phoebe's absence--sounds more like depression than the flu. She doesn't think anyone cares, she doesn't think anyone will listen, and she doesn't think anyone will talk to her--even after (especially because of?) the Cherry Kool-Aid incident. It looks like Ceilidh--who wasn't around in Grade 9--is helping Phoebe "start all over again" like Ryan suggested earlier in the school year. Most of the isolation seems to be initiated by Phoebe, but Josh confirms that by now, Phoebe's depression has become self-fueling--making it nearly impossible for anyone to break through--and says he's been there more than once himself. "So if you're feeling frustrated about the whole Phoebe storyline, then I must be doing something right. ;-)" So will the yearbook be enough? Is Ceilidh going to all this trouble for Feebs because she went through a similar phase herself before moving to Avalon?
9041: More colorings from Hai-Etlik, from 2:96 to 2:104 (except 2:100 since he wasn't sure how to color Great Big Sea). (In-thread links broken; I'm linking to the Lynch Vault.) Branches into discussions on GIMP, multi-window interfaces, GIF support, and GIF royalties.
9042: 2:172: This is a Master Plan? But aren't yearbook signatures usually token gestures?
9043: 2:172: Looks like a full class yearbook signing. Did the lynchers' crystal balls finally get something right for a change, or is Josh setting us up? But why did Ceilidh sneak into the room? Did she semi-hide it so one particular person would sign it, or was she simply trying to hide her involvement? Looks like Quasispace calls it: Ceilidh's hoping for honest, unforced messages. Either that, or Feebs shows up at the yearbook table with receipt in hand.
9044: Electronic Transcendence update from lostfactor.
9045: Reader (not a lyncher) (yet) spots a typo on 2:172's date.
9046: Ollie introduces himself, and mentions (between pokes) that Ceilidh, Deirdre, and Helene (who's innocent, not stupid) are his favorites.
9047: "Alison's common sense vs. Helene's bright optimism. Who wins?" (Partially inspired by Alison's yearbook-signing difficulties in 2:173.) Alison edges out Helene in the discussion, but plenty of good theories either way--or it could be a draw.
9048: Einlanzer and Folken-fanel return from a visit with Chanilye.
9049: Dumas found another webcomic called "As If."
9050: Does cloudhibiki have the inside story on the upcoming summer storyline? No...but we get a number of hints from the only person who does. "Revelations regarding roughly 90% of the current 'mysteries'." (Although folken-fanel wonders how many revelations will simply reveal more mysteries.) "Avalon's 3rd Volume is going to be a lot like B5's 5th Season (and similarly, this summer is going to be like Season 4...)." (Mzacher: "...you mean you're going to personally blow up (the town of) Avalon in the very last strip?")
9051: Signs Your Day Is Going To Be Bad--The Competition. Dynonychus wins by a blackout and open sunroof.
9052: Fink's going off-line for a week...but coming back with a CABLE MODEM!
9053: So, what's a Power Streak? Power Streak provides a self-portrait (link broken), and SEM Critter channels Ray Stevens.
9054: The initial sighting of "Lara Croft" DeeDee fan-art, courtesy of negZee, with colorings by Tae and mzacher. Damonk hasn't been able to see mzacher's web site, but that hasn't been a problem ever since he found his very own mzacher art pusher. One newbie, inspired by all the red-braided goodness, asks for drawing tutorials; steveha supplies a couple of http://www.polykarbon.com links.
9055: Quattro provides a fanart preview. [final @ the Avalon art section, maybe?]
9056: "Rough day"? Is Josh OK? (Yes--but he got hit with a combination of house-hunting bad luck, becoming lost, a Newsbox that's due a few hours ago, and a computer crash.)
9057: Nick Pavlovski and Harlenna touch base with each other.
9058: Black_mage displays a self-blinding image of something. Link broken, so I don't know what. Which is probably for the best.
9059: The new Newsbox is out, and it's not a good omen. (I don't have a link to it AFAIK, so I don't know what it was.)
9060: 2:174: Is Joe going to write something that makes Phoebe feel even worse? And if so, will it be intentional or accidental? Or will Joe write something that makes Phoebe feel better--maybe he can express himself better in writing--but makes Ceilidh feel worse after sneaking a peek? Or something that both Phoebe and Ceilidh misinterpret?
9061: "Avalon 5" group fanfic.
9062: Avalon 5 C&C/tech thread
9063: Last game of the playoffs (and hockey pool), coming up.
9064: Coota comes back after being off line for a few weeks.
9065: The Avs win the Cup, and there was much rejoicing.
9066: 2:175: So...why did Joe write something to Phoebe, then ask Ceilidh not to read it? Does he really expect her not to read it? Or is he using reverse psychology because he really does Ceilidh to read it? Maybe he didn't attach a name so few people other than Phoebe would know who wrote it, but knew that Ceilidh would spot it too? AAAGH!
9067: Ceilidh and Joe fanart from mzacher; in-line link works. Very nice.
9068: Who is your Avalon soul bond--the character that makes you think, "That's me!" or who seems to take up permanent residence inside your head? Ryan wins the vote, although Deirdre shows up a lot in the discussion. (One soul bond, two soul-bond mixes with other characters, one who wants to be bonded to her, one "Ryan minus hot girlfriend", and one "Ryan with hot girlfriend". Plus extra credit for The Incredible Hatboy's description of her: "lickalicious college-age goddess with hair down to *there*".)
9069: "Winter of Phoebe's Discontent"--fanart from Ucchan, with colors by mzacher.
9070: OT discussion about the Japanese Beetle.
9071: Josh's Anime North report. (Sitting, catlike, atop a dresser?) Several reports on the money pit that is the dealer's room--books, posters, DVDs, and "95% naked drawings of cartoon girls" (or maybe I should say "books, posters, and DVDs of 95% naked etc.").
9072: Does Ryan look like Tsuyoshi?
9073: The book's out!

You know, someone--MarcusN, I think--commented on the challenges of forum diving, especially if you're going through all the threads. It's even harder if you weren't around the first time, because of all the stuff that goes right over your head...but then you stumble across things like the "how to draw" or "how to use graphics programs" threads, predictions that proved to be true, speculation on the characters, well-turned phrases, or really, really nice fan-art. And when fan-art links are broken--as they usually are--I enjoy the challenge of looking through the assorted art sites and identifying the right picture based on thread comments.

And speaking of predictions and speculation, I can't wait to get to the summer strips--assuming RL doesn't intervene, of course....
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