Playing With Dolls
We open with a canon storyline featuring Susan and Nanase and Tedd working together to get Susan a fairy doll that looks like her. A lot of explaining reasons for this and that takes place.
But yeah it’s good old fun with thinking hard about all sorts of ways of transforming different characters into each other, and elaboration after elaboration on complicated magic rules, so precisely traditional ground for EGS.
Teasing Grace/Tedd/Sarah OT3 here. I guess that’s why it was brought up in the Q&A.
Oh apparently this storyline takes place right after the MtG tournament so Tedd has figured out their ability to find out details of magic spells just by looking!
The overall result of this storyline (which takes up about a fifth of EGS:NP to date!) is that Susan is getting a large suite of fairy dolls she might be able to summon and even inhabit!
There’s a little elaboration on Grace’s ambiguously brown design. It doesn’t really add much.
All together now: awwwwww. :>
Well that was a nice storyline! I can’t wait for the next story, EGS:NP is really on form and oh ok it’s back to one-shots.
This may be the first non-skinny normatively-female body drawn in the comic?
One of the Misogynist Gamer Guys is back. Susan knows exactly the right response.
Unfortunately some people took issue with… idk. Dan Shive the poor suffering gamers? so we get this… idk. very awkward comic and painfully liberal comments. Like I believe there are good reasons why people might be wary of “feminism” as it exists (c.f. transmisogyny, white supremacy, colonialism), but it has fuck all to do with “associating it with women controlling men” as Dan Shive wrote.
I think this comic reflects some character development on Susan? Or perhaps greater clarity in Dan Shive about feminism and shit.
As I’m Sure You Know, zombie films have their roots in anxieties over race and class, and perhaps an excuse to shoot people without consequence. I feel like headcanon!Susan might be able to articulate that, but Dan Shive just has her say some non-sequitur about science.
I didn’t feel very strongly about it in the past and probably participated at some point, but nowadays I find devising ‘zombie survival strategies’ just about one of the most boring possible nerd activities? You can reasonably call me a hypocrite because I read ShootAround, but that’s mostly on the basis of the character interactions and the zombie shit isn’t taken too seriously.
So apparently the mystery of Sarah’s new mark is EGS:NP rather than main story territory? All right, sure. Sarah trying to figure out her spell is pretty cute and lighthearted fun.
We get to see Carol (Sarah’s sister the news reporter) again, so that’s nice too!
So Sarah’s ability is… a sort of prediction power?
She can simulate time passing without actually doing the thing (instead, just standing there)?
OK so more like… she can imagine stopping time and experience interacting with the frozen diorama even though nothing’s actually frozen? And she can transfer into different bodies while in Diorama Mode? And the time this takes outside the simulation is much shorter than the time inside it? Righty ho then.
And Pandora shows up to actually talk to Sarah! Oh snap, as Dan puts it. Interesting conversation ensues.
Basically we can expect Sarah to use this simulation power an awful lot now.
Assorted 2015 02
More one-shots. Not too many about computer games, at least! We’re addressing various loose ends.
The way Dan Shives draws muscles looks really weird with the rest of his character designs? I think it’s that they look like body builders for modelling rather than like, actual athletes so the muscley characters have incredibly over-defined muscles.
Tedd is transforming even more casually and it’s cute!
oh yeah and something about computer games
Assorted 2015 03
So this section has some really boring comics about writer’s block as a protagonist of an action movie?
Then on to some comics about Elliot and Susan and movies! Hey I like that one too. Also given how much he evidently dislikes them (deservedly, from the sounds of things), I wonder why Dan Shive keeps ending up watching Adam Sandler movies?
These aren’t very exciting, actually. I guess Dan Shive’s opinions on movies don’t really mean a lot to me?
The absence of Noah is mentioned. The comic just has so many characters now that it can’t really fit them all in? Clearly what you need to do is put most of the cast on a three year journey on an asteroid and the rest on a three year journey on a space boat and then introduce 16+ new characters before they all reunite, yeah.
Hey look Dan Shive can draw a muscley person without making the muscles ridiculously defined.
I’m getting pretty tired of ‘and then her boobs get really big’ as a punchline.
Another canon comic. Sarah and Grace want to make a ‘male version 5′ that is as exaggeratedly gender-coded as the ‘female version 5′ form was.
I think the most important note is that Sarah’s having kinda gay feelings for Grace.
This small error on her part, however, only lends credence to the notion that this is simply trivia she happened to have heard, and that she is not, in fact, a true expert on elephants in general.
So while this arc is nominally about the ‘male version 5′ it’s actually about Sarah questioning her sexuality a lot. Oh yeah, and, the Kinsey Scale shows up. *eyeroll* The Official Science Take On Sexuality is “on a scale of 0 to 7, how gay are you”
Honestly like for all its obsession with gendering of bodies, the reticence about showing nipples is like, kind of weird? I’m reminded of some post on here about the patriarchal double standard exemplified in some TV show about a trans guy’s top surgery where they blurred out his nipples until like the exact moment he’d had the surgery or something.
But actually Dan Shive comments explicitly on this and generally has reasonable things to say! So that’s something. And to be fair, I find his reasons for sticking to the double standard make a fair bit of sense.
Unfortunately whenever Dan Shive says any basic feminist thing he gets people on his case for ~misandry~ so we get a comic ‘addressing’ that. Contra Dan Shive: it is all men’s fault. Women may have a hand in perpetuating patriarchy but the ultimate blame always lies with men.
Oh hey acknowledgment:
Really, I’ve never been satisfied with detailed muscle tone in my style. It looks abnormal given a style that favors fewer lines, and generally looks odd unless dealing with someone like Aludrakrala. Lines are generally there for high contrast spots, so when they’re supposed to be there to show abs, they looks odd in my style on anyone who shouldn’t have REALLY prominent abs that are capable of grating cheese.
This is pretty much the happiest I’ve been with drawn abs on a non-bodybuilder body I’ve drawn. As I’ve gone on about before, it’s difficult to narrow down muscle details in my style without throwing in too many lines, and even abs on most really athletic people are subtle enough that they don’t call for each ab to be individually highlighted (unless possibly flexing, possibly due to a guest spot on Game of Thrones or something).
It’s nice when my issues with the comic are answered a few strips later like this.
Anyway Dan Shive won’t talk about dicks. After all we’ve had in the comic so far, this is where you draw the line? No doubt people have written fanfic to address this oversight.
The sexual tension is getting unbearable here. So saying that I half expect them all to end up fucking in a few strips time but I think Dan Shive is sticking to imagine spots here.
OK now for a meaty topic. Grace says “gender’s not binary, why should the sexes be?”
So first off, intersex people exist. And it’s uncomfortable that this has never, to date, been acknowledged.
But also, the thing is I feel like, reading this, my trans woman body would be judged ‘androgynous’ or ‘nonbinary’ or whatever and I really balk at that. But I can’t see what else Dan Shive is probably thinking of apart from ‘boobs and a dick’ i.e. what trans women have.
Because the point is, sex is just gender in doctor’s clothing. Nothing about my body is ‘inherently’ male, sex categories are just as much a socially constructed and forcefully imposed construct as gender ones and inseperable from them. I, a trans woman, (currently) have a dick (not that I like to call it that but you know, for the sake of this discussion); this does not make my body partly male; on the contrary, it’s my body and I’m female so it’s a 100% female body including the dick.
Oh no, I thought we’d said goodbye to ponies.
Anyway we wrap up with confirmation that this took place before the Magic tournament.
Back to videogames comics. This time centring on good old Fallout: New Vegas and a topic that I have a bit of a bugbear about: the fact that almost all story-heavy videogames revolve around fighting and mass killing. (Obviously there are exceptions, such as adventure games, visual novels, and certain puzzle games! Nevertheless it’s a pretty frustrating thing and something that’s put me off games a lot to be honest.)
I have a soft spot for F:NV, so this will be an interesting subject to visit I hope.
…and yeah, it’s not a bad string of F:NV comics.
Now, some people might be used to people being a little quick on the draw when it comes to accusing people of misogyny, and might reflexively assume I’m blowing that aspect of things out of proportion.
Anyway yeah her pacifist run ends in failure when faced with the Legion. something something Hegelian dialectics that I used to think was a lot more clever than it probably actually is.
I don’t think I’ve ever read/watched a non-parody film noir/hardboiled detective story.
Anyway this is not-particularly-funny Zany Antics. I think Hussie does the hardboiled style parody better.
Assorted 2016 Alpha
So topical comics about recent media: Fallout 4, that Ghostbusters movie that just came out, “the Discourse is bad in a nonspecific way”…
ok I guess we can Discourse about that. all i want to say is ‘this is an oversimplification’ and ‘your analysis should include power’
I don’t really have anything to add to the rest of these. Dan Shive has, inevitably, caught the Overwatch bug. Everyone’s already talking about Overwatch.
So yeah a bunch of strips about videogames. DXHR gets a going over. Undertale is briefly mentioned. (I did an almost-entirely-nonlethal run of DXHR, even saving Malik when your helicopter crashes. At the time I was too ignorant to pay attention to the godawful race shit. Like Grace, I messed up nonlethality during the tutorial, assuming it wouldn’t count.)
and that brings us up to the present!