I am still so happy that Tedd is confirmed trans! Also I’m a university graduate now so that’s a thing.
Anyway we’re still in the Squirrel Prophet Part 2 sub-arc. There’s a magic tournament, Sarah’s learning Magic (rather than magic), Tedd’s trans, two guys perceived Tedd as a cis girl and are trying to hit on them, there’s a guy called Luke who has a magic mark from Pandora and is trying to get in touch with Justin who also has a magic mark and the two have ended up flirting a lot.
Sarah manages to beat Tensaided (video store owner) in 2/3 games of Magic and is proclaimed Not A Fake Geek Girl or something. Obviously the whole question should never have come up but I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to read Tensaided as a total jerk anyway.
While it’s not made clear if Luke uses magic-o-vision on George (Justin’s comic store co-worker) or if it’s catching Tedd in the corner of his vision, it’s unquestionably Tedd. And confirming it, Pandora refers to Tedd as her ‘grand godson’… Tedd’s not your son, Pandora.
Grace rather unhelpfully clocked Sam, the trans guy who spoke to Tedd earlier, and it was a mess but that’s why she knows about trans stuff. I kind of wish Grace had just like, naturally come across it online? Poor Sam.
Sadly, shortly after introducing a transfeminine character, we’re getting a “creepy men have trans panic” storyline as I mentioned earlier. This goes as far as referring to Tedd as “tr*p” and with “it” pronouns and this is not fun to read as a trans woman, let me tell you.
Well, shortly after, Pandora somehow causes Tedd to switch to a normatively-female body, overriding their hair enchantment. This is must be the ⚥ mark we saw earlier. We learn Pandora basically gave Tedd the mark to be nice, and made a mistake in not realising they’d use it immediately?
Plotlines continue to develop, I’m not going to narrate every detail…
This bit is #relatable:
that said I’m finding it a bit questionable about how it’s primarily Dan Shive’s gay characters who are so often quoting statistics about how people are mostly not gay or bi (though Grace at least is bi). IME it tends to be the other way round.
To be fair Justin’s feelings here are elaborated on and are a decently realised character point and while his justification for realising Luke is gay is pretty contrived, we move on quickly.
Also there’s a joke where Grace mentions change blindness and then over the next few strips is slowly expanding her boobs with magic and idk. I feel kinda :/ over that.
ok so like this is a bit where this guy is hitting on Tedd and Tedd imagines him being involuntarily transformed. And while this is Tedd’s imagination, I feel like it does neatly illustrate an issue with the comic: men are drawn with a variety of body shapes and some of them can be fat but all the female characters are slim and normatively attractive. In some ways such as the ‘V5′ form engineered by Tedd that’s an explicit plot point so it’s at least lampshaded, but lampshading only goes so far.
It’s kind of good to see Sarah rake the other guy over the coals. Dan Shive kind of does a ‘if this isn’t about you then it isn’t about you’ thing in one of the commentaries which suggests he got angry men.
Dex shows up - the lonely guy who was possessed by a magic amulet in a previous arc and eventually defeated and revealed to be all right, sans amulet.
So Grace starts realising how many people have marks. Here are the so far known marks that I can remember:
- Justin: fighting powers, super saiyan look.
- Dex: summoning creatures (particularly, a fairy).
- Luke: detecting magical abilities.
- Luke’s friend on the phone: unknown.
- Rhoda: resizing things.
- Catalina: (newly revealed) turning into a catgirl.
- Tedd: changing themselves into a normatively-female body.
Susan previously had a mark for summoning weapons and other objects from a box, but subsequently Awakened and no longer needed it.
We saw eight marks at the start of this sub-arc, so there’s either one we haven’t seen or I’m forgetting one.
The characters (well, Grace) catch up with what we’ve realised. So it turns out Tedd’s new spell has a lot of potential power, changing clothes and hairstyles quite significantly!
But more dramatically: Tedd realises that the first transformation was not an enchantment (temporary magical status effect) but a permanent transformation! Dan Shive cites precident in the comments. (Also: kinda envious right now…) Anyway, more magic mechanics.
Tensaided is getting some kind of character development? As in, sticking up for Sarah against one of the misogynist comics guys. To be honest though he should be reported and kicked out on his face. Including a person like that obviously makes a space inherently unwelcoming to women, and nobody is entitled to play Magic in tournaments. I know Dan Shive’s thing is redemption arcs, but I would rather he make clear that some behaviours are entirely reasonable grounds for exclusion.
We get some more reveals about What’s Up With Tedd: they have an inherent magic-sensing ability not unlike Luke’s spell.
So Luke also thinks Justin is straight. “Obviously” so. What is with this recurring plot? I generally assume everyone is not straight until they say otherwise (and even then)? …admittedly just about everyone I know is introduced to me by friends who are neither straight nor cis so that is a pretty good reason to assume.
Lots of whispering as characters share information and figure out how to approach Luke. Luke, meanwhile, starts wondering if they’re aliens thanks to the Misogynist Gamer Guys.
Squirrel Prophet: Final Battle
Finally getting near the end of the tournament. I am imagining the Pokémon RSE Elite Four battle theme here.
The Misogynist Gamer Guys keep showing up. Turns out Blonde Mullet Guy is less homophobic than Blue Sideburns Guy?
Sam (the trans guy) gets into roleplaying with Sarah over their Magic game. This is adorable.
Yeah, I’m really enjoying both Sarah and Sam’s game and Tedd and Luke’s game.
Reference to the Star Trek episode Darmok, which I’ve heard interesting things about on Tumblr - particularly that post that was going round comparing how we use memes to the Darmok thing. I should watch that episode.
Luke finally discovers Justin is gay. Larry is possibly realising some things but poor Justin for having to deal with that shit.
Aww Sarah and Sam have hit it off and may be going on a date. Sam has ascended the cast ladder really rapidly, but I like him so it’s cool.
You guys, just initiate Luke into the People Who Know About Magic circle already. You’re clearly going to at some point.
We hit comic 2000!
It turns out Justin is ripped. Justin has an eight-pack.
Good old Pandora reveals that Justin doesn’t have a mark because he has now Awakened, thanks to her.
Also HOLY SHIT all that transmisogyny from Mr. Verres? Is actually acknowledged in the comic? And the impact it’s having on Tedd is shown? oh my fucking god thank you present dan shive you are so much better than past dan shive
Ahahaa Luke‘s face here.
And at the very end, the eighth mark… belongs to Sarah.
So we’re at the end of Squirrel Prophet. That was a really good storyline, which is not something I’d ever expected to say about a story about a Magic: The Gathering tournament! Obviously we had Tedd figuring out they’re trans as like, the absolute best thing that’s happened in this comic, but there was lots of good stuff. The only thing I thought there was a bit too much of was the Misogynist Gamer Guys. Like, yeah, it fits with the comics’ themes of redemption and character development, but I didn’t really care about either of these guys.
So that’s pretty long, and I think I’m going to just post this and do another post for the next storyline.