12-13-06: "Sooner or later..."

The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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12-13-06: "Sooner or later..."

Postby Kate on Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:05 am

Uf. Helen needs to reconfigure the filter between her brain and her mouth so that she keeps the socially awkward jokes to herself and starts to communicate her feelings about what she needs (and doesn't need) from the people around her. Right now she's got it backwards.

I love panel three (especially the coloring change-- how cool!)... but what is that in the center of the vortex?
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Postby Yuko no Slayer-Dryad on Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:08 am

Well, they do say the thief has the most locks in his house.
If a man is right about something, and no one agrees with him and he is unable to put his truth into benificial action beyond mere principle, does it really matter whether he's right or not?
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Postby Catnik on Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:19 am

Boy, hypocrite much, Helen?

I bet if Tharqua were more popular/charismatic/powerful, Helen wouldn't find any problems at all with her morals.

Personally, I'd like to actually see an arc focusing on Tharqua. I'm not sure if I care for the grotesquerie going on with her right now. A lot of the humor seems to be a bit "Fat girl in a swimsuit! Hurr Hurr Hurr," which is disappointing after Fans! when Kath and Tim were Normal Characters That Were Fat, as oppossed to Fat Characters. I read and like S*P, but I think Randy's art is only adding to the ick factor I'm getting from her right now.
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Postby cookievore on Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:40 am

Hypocrite what? Last I checked Helen wasn't a psychic. Beings that she's not, she likely has no idea about Karen's little 'wicked witch' escapades. Unless you're referring to Aggie, which is equally 'wtf' since Aggies been nothing but nice to Helen. Come to think of it, I have yet to see Karen act malicious in front of Helen too.

Sooo funny how a severe lack of psychic abilities and only being able to view people as they are shown to her would give Helen her hypocritical opinions.

As far as Randy's art work goes Image.

Really, sometimes comics do this craaaaaaaazy thing where they have 'guest strips' to give the original artist a 'break'. But woah, silly me, I totally forgot that all web comic artists were secretly slaves chained to their desks and are allowed to do nothing but sleep, eat, and piss their comic.

But really, that was directed at everyone that can't stfu about Randy's work. Like it or not, it's just damned rude to continuously whine.
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Postby betsynoire on Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:56 am

I for one think there haven't been enough posts about the repulsiveness of Randy's art. I mean, how dare someone have a different art style than Giselle? And those exaggerated features! In a comic! Unacceptable!
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Postby Catnik on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:24 am

Um... no?

I fully understand the whole guest artist thing - and, like I said, I read S*P, so Randy's art hasn't managed to put me off it yet. Generally, I like it. Randy's Helen is still the one I first associate with the character. There are plenty of things that his style is very good at. I've not been whinging about how "OMG Randy isn't Giselle!" - what I am talking about is the combination of art and writing to make Tharqua into a big, fat stereotype. Call my comment a whine about the artist's style if you want, but that was not my intent. Apparently, it was concurrent with a lot of Randy-hate on other threads, but it was just a statement of disappointment with the direction of Tharqua's character.

I'm disappointed that she's being used for an easy villain. I'm disappointed that the first way her "nastiness" is shown is by her having the temerity to inflict her fatness on innocent bystanders. Making people see her rolls! How mean! Why isn't Tharqua being a well-behaved fatty and covering that offending body? In a lot of ways, the art in this arc seems to be heavily emphasizing the "wrongness" of Tharqu's body, while the rest are drawn in the standard S*P house style. That is what is bothering me - not the style itself.

And since I seem to be in clarification mode - Hypocrite: Helen commenting on somebody else's lack of a moral compass. Being a passive, non-offensive sponge is not the same as possessing moral rectitude.
Last edited by Catnik on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jgt7771 on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:27 am

Urg. I had a friend like this in High School. (I'm sure everyone did.) He was always trying to be funny, but was more often than not just mean. But in the painful game of "being accepted", we frequently take on passengers we shouldn't want or need. Helen's sorrowful "Sure" cuts clean to the bone, T. (Not really that clean, either...)

Growing up outside the "beautiful people", I always felt I had to take what I could get. Resulted in a somewhat wallflowered HS existence, and being the Court Jester to a crowd of other groups' Court Jesters. It wasn't until college (when REAL life begins to permeate SCHOOL life) that I found my voice and taught myself (painful!) that I did NOT need people like that in my life any more, now that I could finally find the people that I did.

Here's to Helen figuring out she's worth it.

Nice work, T and R.
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Postby atristain on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:28 am

Youf forgot:
Who dares to take the time to put colors in a P&A comic!
P&A MUST be done in B&W!
This stone say it!
And how does RK DARES to draw something besides the sweet curves of the more attractive females!
And how does he has the nerve to draw characters with FIVE digits in a comic strip!

OK: Your order was a Big Mouth with a glass of bile. Would you want fries with that?
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Postby oenone on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:31 am

Catnik wrote:Um... no?



And since I seem to be in clarification mode - Hypocrite: Helen commenting on somebody else's lack of a moral compass. Being a passive, non-offensive sponge is not the same as possessing moral rectitude.


um, that's not fair. the reason helen isn't chillaxing with tharqa and charlotte now is because of charlotte being an evil bitch who wanted to frame someone for a bomb threat, and tharqa going along with that.

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060601.html
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060628.html

and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.
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Postby Catnik on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:47 am

oenone wrote:
um, that's not fair. the reason helen isn't chillaxing with tharqa and charlotte now is because of charlotte being an evil bitch who wanted to frame someone for a bomb threat, and tharqa going along with that.

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060601.html
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060628.html

and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.


True enough, to a point. But I really think that if Tharqua and Charlotte were alphas, instead of the omegas, Helen would have found a way to equivocate it away. Heck, part of me wonders if her balking at going along was because of who they chose to attack - somehow, I don't think she'd stand up to any of the popular crowd talking smack on Tharqua.

ETA: Then again, it has always kind of bugged me that Helen is the only "Good" Omega, and she's the one that wants to break out and be part of one of the popular crowds - whether that be Penny's, Aggie's or Karen's.
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Postby atristain on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:59 am

Those calling Helen a hypocrate, are forgetting how the other two Omegas are hypocrates too. Tharqa gladly will say awful things about people when they turn their back to them and Charlotte... well, I think all you know Charlotte.

I think all the characters in P&A had shown some degree of hypocrisy, and just because Helen is scared to death to tell to her friend from a lifetime that she dislikes her, doesn't make her worse than any of the characters. Even when she's an Omega, she's human after all, and sometimes silence is the best option.
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Postby Epik High on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:59 am

There hasn't been any proof that Helen would choose to be an alpha over retaining her morals; after all, she doesn't necessarily think that Karen is an alpha. All she thinks is that Karen is a cool girl that's nice to her and respects her opinions, something that Penny certainly didn't.

The further we get along in this arc, the more I think that Helen's focus isn't on rising up the social ladder. All she really seems to want are nice friends who understand and accept her, and can build up her confidence in herself. Though I agree she does need to talk to Tharqa, someone as mean spirited as her may or may not react rationally. She might just lash out at Helen, or take revenge in some other way.
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Postby oenone on Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:12 am

Catnik wrote:
oenone wrote:
um, that's not fair. the reason helen isn't chillaxing with tharqa and charlotte now is because of charlotte being an evil bitch who wanted to frame someone for a bomb threat, and tharqa going along with that.

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060601.html
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060628.html

and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.


True enough, to a point. But I really think that if Tharqua and Charlotte were alphas, instead of the omegas, Helen would have found a way to equivocate it away. Heck, part of me wonders if her balking at going along was because of who they chose to attack - somehow, I don't think she'd stand up to any of the popular crowd talking smack on Tharqua.

ETA: Then again, it has always kind of bugged me that Helen is the only "Good" Omega, and she's the one that wants to break out and be part of one of the popular crowds - whether that be Penny's, Aggie's or Karen's.


i'm really wondering where you're getting this idea that aggie's group is a popular crowd... i mean, duane's a poet, lisa's a pod girl activisit, and aggie has had major flip outs at school. so i don't think this is a case of her wanting to trade up. and even if she only helped katy because katy was an alpha, why would she do that when the reason katy was a target was because she didn't quite fit in, because of her weird opinions on dating, etc?
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Postby Richter on Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:34 am

I don't see Helen as that much of an opportunist as that she'd abandon Tharqua to the bashing of alphas (whom, by the way, I haben't seen bash Tharqa yet - merely ignore her).

I also don't see why Karen is evil because she slimmed down, paints herself something stylish and takes care of her hair, as well as what she wears. Honestly, where IS the crime in that? If Tharqa wants to hate her for that, she's both more superficial and more rude than either Alphas or Helen or Charlotte are. Tolerance works both ways.

I CAN understand Helen abandoning the Omegas. Charlotte kicked her for not participating in a very rude 'prank', and Tharqa appears to have much in common with Charlotte, in spirit, even though she's more passive than her. They're more and mroe becoming people Helen doesn't like.

How can you blame her for distancing herself from them?
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Postby iRobot on Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:10 am

oenone wrote:and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.


Oh? She's a bitch. So far, she's the only bitch in the comic that's fat. So, is the fat bitch a "stereotypical fat girl" or just a bitch that's fat? Does merely presenting a character with "x" attribute in a negative light make that character a stereotype? And is she a stereotypical "rude white girl" or a stereotypical "fat Westerner?"

Just feces for thought.
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Postby CharSol on Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:36 pm

oenone wrote:and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.


That's a stereotypical fat girl? As far as I was lead to believe all overweight girls try even harder to be nice and unasuming almost like they are excusing themselves for what people percieve as their faults ie being overweight.

Following this then in order to be a 'stereotypical fat girl' should Tharqa not be overly generous and apologetic. That is after all what everyone expects from us.

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Postby Catnik on Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:37 pm

Well, there's that one (No-spine wallflower) and then there's the Fat Bitch stereotype - coarse, butch, and spiteful towards those of smaller body types. I mean, love or hate Karen, she's at least three-dimensional. Charlotte and Tharqua just seem to be flat stereotypes - the hypocritical "fundie hag," and the nasty burly mama.

P&A has always taken the time to show the humanity of various cliques - finding a great balance of both positive and negative with the alphas and the weirdos (for lack of a better term). With the omegas, though, it seems to be a constant drum of "All these people are just nasty and mean."
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Postby missMagdalena on Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:17 pm

Catnik wrote:
oenone wrote:
um, that's not fair. the reason helen isn't chillaxing with tharqa and charlotte now is because of charlotte being an evil bitch who wanted to frame someone for a bomb threat, and tharqa going along with that.

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060601.html
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060628.html

and you're right; i think tharqa's being put up as a stereotypical fat girl.


True enough, to a point. But I really think that if Tharqua and Charlotte were alphas, instead of the omegas, Helen would have found a way to equivocate it away. Heck, part of me wonders if her balking at going along was because of who they chose to attack - somehow, I don't think she'd stand up to any of the popular crowd talking smack on Tharqua.

ETA: Then again, it has always kind of bugged me that Helen is the only "Good" Omega, and she's the one that wants to break out and be part of one of the popular crowds - whether that be Penny's, Aggie's or Karen's.


I'm really confused as to how you're getting this from Helen's character. When have we ever seen her go along with immorality just because of popular people? I'm not trying to be nasty about this, because my memory is not encyclopaedic and I really might be forgetting something. Do you have a specific example in mind? (As has been pointed out, she has no way to know about all the many legitimate moral reasons to avoid Karen.)

Also, Helen is not trying to "be part of one of the popular crowds". She is just trying to make friends. Remember the loneliness that drove her to organize the Omegas in the first place. And Aggie's crowd is not popular at all, so that argument hardly applies.
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Postby Freemage on Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:45 pm

I think it's a fair critique of the comic up until now that we've only seen the worst sides of Tharqa and Charlotte alike, without the explanatory background that we have on, say, Karen. Thus, they get fewer defenders and sympathizers, and more critics.

It's also a fair cop that other than Tharqa, the strip doesn't have ANY other truly fat characters, despite the prevelance of obesity in upper North America. Thus, when the only character of a particular subset is painted with such a broad brush, it tends to come across as a bit unpleasant.

That said, I firmly believe this is just something that will work out over time--if the Omegas are going to continue featuring in strips, I think we'll start to fill in the characters and round them out some more, to make them pretty much what the rest of the cast are--flawed human beings trying their best to make it through the hate-fest of high school.
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Postby atristain on Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:55 am

oenone wrote:and even if she only helped katy because katy was an alpha, why would she do that when the reason katy was a target was because she didn't quite fit in, because of her weird opinions on dating, etc?

I think Helen didn't want to be a part of such a nasty "prank". (even when she was cowardly forced into imitating KA's handwritting) I didn't see Helen doing it to help Kathy Ann, but as a rebellion against Charlotte, showing her she didn't like to be pushed into doing something that was wrong.

Richter wrote:I also don't see why Karen is evil because she slimmed down, paints herself something stylish and takes care of her hair, as well as what she wears. Honestly, where IS the crime in that? If Tharqa wants to hate her for that, she's both more superficial and more rude than either Alphas or Helen or Charlotte are. Tolerance works both ways.

I think you got that wrong: Remember that Karen is still overweight, but has learned to hide it better. When she excused herself because she couldn't face somebody with a worst overweight problem than her, (Who BTW had not problem being overweighted) Karen became the target of Tharqa's hate, since she noticed Karen's face had a "Oh God! Gross!" expression. No one would be happy with people putting that face when they look at them.
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Postby isobel on Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:36 pm

Yeeeeah, I'm not seeing Helen's impeccable moral compass here, at least not yet. While it's true she spoke up about Charlotte's prank, it was at the eleventh hour and after she'd already played a part in it. Yes, she did do it, I'm not saying that doesn't count, I just feel the need to note her uprightness was late in coming. I still don't see Tharqa as openly evil, either, since the two times we've seen her be mean were right after someone had seriously insulted her. She might be too easygoing, and who knows, she might be mean, but I'm sitting happily on my fence. Lord knows I wouldn't like it either if someone looked at me like Karen did at her, then ran away.
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Tharqa versus Helen

Postby Papuasblya on Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:57 am

Tharqa's miles above Helen in terms of development as a human being.

So she froths a bit at the mouth to Helen on the topic of other people. She even burned Helen to Charlotte at the end of last year's Omega Girls arc. Nobody in this comic directly says nasty things to other people's faces -- the closest to honesty we have seen is the early Penny and Aggie, who seemed to enjoy it more than be hurt by it. Almost everyone is nice when faced with someone they don't like, then abusive (either silently or voiced to someone else) when the antagonist is gone. The only thing that differentiates Tharqa is (a) she's a little more vicious and graphic with the abuse and (b) she is exquisitely painful to look at when she makes the remark (few people become MORE attractive when they are vitriolic and, let's face it, folks, Tharqa isn't working with a lot here). But she's loyal to Helen -- maybe she doesn't have a lot of options, but she's still loyal. And she's also, underneath a layer of rage, at least constructing a sense of self-acceptance.

Helen on the other hand is just lost. She's an emotional prostitute who sells herself to anyone who will accept her. Her internal dialogue is chilling -- she truly believes that her only social value is being used, briefly, for minimal return other than a very brief change of social environment. Even her near-Tourette's quality outbursts of oracular truth ('we're judgmental bitches!') are primarily aimed at herself. Of everyone in this strip, she is by far the saddest human being I have encountered. I can't even figure out who comes second -- even Charlotte, with that medieval religious masochism, oddly embraces her self-loathing with vigor and zeal.

But Helen? Helen's looking at a Squeaky Fromme story arc that ends with a grainy picture on the front page of some newspaper and a headline that terminates in "comma self." I just hope that high powered firearms aren't easily available in this town....
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