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mj6373
October 12th, 2018
Oh, no! Who could that voice be!? That threatening, terrifying, deafening voice, crying out for blood... It’s... It’s a *weekend cliffhanger*! Nooooo!
Heh, Annie’s laying it on a bit thick here! Not that I blame her, given that what she’s really trying to say appears to be “Yes, I saw the note, but also, I know you weren’t in a clear state of mind when you put it there and I’m not going to treat it as real,” but still, at some point the subtext can get so heavy that I have to wonder if they wouldn’t be better-served just talking about it explicitly.
mj6373
October 4th, 2018
Hrm. I guess this is reasonable, but it’s also really context-dependent. From my perspective growing up, having “pure vile” on the opposing side and only “supportive but with intrusive questions/doubts” on my side didn’t make me “balanced” or “stronger,” it left me completely devoid of anyone I could rely on when I was too young and too broken to figure out how to rely on myself. If this were Annie’s revelation earlier in the year, before Harper’s self-destructive idiocy caused most everyone to turn on Annie and she was beaten nearly to death over the course of multiple days, then sure, I could certainly agree that constant unflinching support can’t be one’s only feedback into their life and that they need some deep questioning to keep them grounded and improving. But when your life is on the line on a day to day basis, the part that’s going to save you is when they’re blocking the punches and convincing you that you absolutely don’t deserve to die, not picking at you over infractions that are comparatively quite minor to either the evil you’re opposing or the good you’re trying to do and spinning that into “well I guess we could entertain the argument that you deserve it.”

That’s my two cents, anyway.
mj6373
October 1st, 2018
“They won’t have to”... Is Annie quitting swimming...?
mj6373
September 27th, 2018
Is she actively ignoring a metric ton of calls right now, or just looking at the record of everything she’s missed over time?
mj6373
September 26th, 2018
Well I love your work! But I also hate everything I’ve ever written, so I understand the feeling. And hey, you have a goddamn thirty-four week buffer, it’s not idiotic to occasionally flip the order of a couple of events around in your head so long after creating the strips in question.
mj6373
September 26th, 2018
... Did I miss a strip?
mj6373
September 26th, 2018
This is an incredibly powerful moment, and I’m only doing this because you’ve mentioned in previous pages that you like it when readers do, so:
In panel three, the first “now” should probably be a “not”
In panel 5, “there is only so much that I can be done” should probably be either “there’s only so much I can do” or “there’s only so much that can be done”, or perhaps “that I can be doing,” but even that is odd.

Anyway... this is an amazing emotional triumph. It feels a bit sudden, narratively speaking, but from a human perspective, it’s much more common that epiphanies like this come on suddenly, from a build-up of small and seemingly-unconnected large things that’s finally coalesced, rather than from some big transcendental moment in life.
mj6373
September 24th, 2018
You know, for a non-action writer, you’ve certainly applied the fundamentals of crafting a good fight scene well. Not in terms of choreography or anything like that, but in terms of narrative framing; the stakes are very immediate and given the fair balance of awful things Annie has and hasn’t been able to prevent throughout the series, I really have no idea how this is going to turn out.

... I hope this rapist bastard slips on ice and breaks his neck, which means I’m also invested!
As an incidental side note, this blonde guy who keeps getting pointed at girls and raping them on command like some perverse attack dog from hell must be making his parents *real* proud. I wonder if he plays fetch with the bones of orphans, too.
Oh, no, I wasn’t trying to say it would be against Bree’s character to change; the intention of that line was 1) Bree is not the “evil laugh” type, and 2) while she has the ability to do so, your page blurb and the current story direction show she *hasn’t*, which means a reading that she’s dealing with internal conflict about her actions was probably incorrect.

Anyway, thank you for clarifying! This has all been very enlightening.
Rather than focusing on the surface-level content of this page, I’m just going to look over the last few pages and say... What’s up with Bree’s eyes? They’re going dark occasionally. If I’m to read into that as important to her facial expression, combined with body language, the only interpretations I can think of that make sense are that she’s either fighting with herself about doing this, which doesn’t really fit with the message about Bree’s inability to change, or struggling not to laugh, which just doesn’t fit any of the prior characterization of Bree at all. So I’m mostly just confused. Is there artistic intent to the shadow effect on Bree’s eyes and its timing?
mj6373
September 20th, 2018
She didn’t strictly get away with killing Dallas, if this is any indication. She appears to have avoided jail time in exchange for preventative measures being applied to try and deal with her mental health issues, which is fairly common for children with mental health issues. Hell, I figure “making sure there’s evidence if she does something like this again” is the entire point of the recording restriction.

I’m not saying she’ll get put away for murder, necessarily, but *something’s* gotta happen, if she is in fact being recorded, this is the easiest open-and-shut case for a potential prosecutor.
mj6373
September 20th, 2018
... Bree, I know this is sort of your Bond villain reveal moment and all, but you *just* said you’re being recorded full time, and badgering three people to kill themselves, with a success rate ranging from 1-3 no less, (the court would probably have a fight over whether Cindi is part of this total, and Annie’s fate is still up in the air) is super definitely illegal in Canada. And you have history with this sort of thing courtesy of Dallas, so you should *know* that. Speaking of which, said history is not going to do you *any* favors when they’re deciding whether you’re a menace who needs to be removed from society long-term. If nothing else, I’d expect your complete lack of a conscience to give you a clear enough head to remember that and not be a complete idiot.

My patience and tolerance for Bree has worn away completely, as you may have noticed.

... Stay strong, Annie. I know it seems impossible right now, especially with your friends being mad at you, but... dammit, I wish I could support her from here. You can apologize to the guy whose finger you broke, and to Oscar, and I know that won’t fix what happened in either case but it’s the best first step you can take, and Flint is awesome so he’ll be willing to forgive you if given time, and those texts from Wendy were falsified but you probably wouldn’t know that but if you just talk to her about it or go to lunch once she’ll be able to tell you, and... Oh, there’s so much I wish I could do to help from this side, but I am a mere fly on the wall. Annie...
mj6373
September 19th, 2018
... I’m not even surprised at this point. I knew Bree would probably (try to) get Annie killed at some point. But to trick Annie into painting herself in her own worst light and then show everyone... That’s low even for her. Fucking bitch. If this were a fantasy story, I’d hope for karmic retribution in the form of her being magically granted a sense of empathy so that she can find herself suddenly crushed under the weight of everything she’s done.

Annie for the love of God, you did not kill Cindi! You went above and beyond the call of what 99% of high schoolers would do to try and save someone from the amount of weight that was crushing down on her! Yes, you made *one* very poor decision, which was still an effort to help, and which only exacerbated the situation by being convenient! With the amount Cindi was under, even if she didn’t have those pills, she would’ve found something else! You’ve done a number of things wrong since Cindi died, that’s true, but you didn’t kill her! Annie... :c

Sorry I’m rambling, I’m just emotionally invested, lol
mj6373
September 18th, 2018
Flint, Annie gets hurt all the time. She’s only just recovered from her entire body being covered in horrifying amounts of bruising. She did ONE thing to stop the situation from once again escalating to that point, because let’s be honest, she can only gamble on surviving that amount of violence so many times. You’re being a dick. Now I’m prepared to forgive you for it, because you’re being a dick this once after a history of being awesome, but that’s contingent on you giving Annie the same chance for the one time she’s gone on the offensive after such a long history of only fighting back when she’s actively being beaten down.
mj6373
September 14th, 2018
Oh and, I know that this won’t do anything, because Annie is fictional and can’t hear me, and the author who can already wrote this shit months ago, but, solely because it lets me feel better for trying:

Annie! For the love of all that is good and pure in this world, call Andrea and tell her EVERYTHING! You know goddamn well there is a person who will never stop supporting you and can help you come up with workable solutions rather than kicking you away like Wendy or poisoning you like Bree! Also, it would give my favorite character more screentime! DO IT!
mj6373
September 14th, 2018
For some reason, I can’t remember if we’ve ever seen a Wendy text before. I didn’t realize she was the ungrammatical type, not that it’s particularly surprising either.
mj6373
September 13th, 2018
I mean it’s monstrous if Lexi or Annie’s subconscious did it too, but it would be a lot more of an outstanding catapult off the deep end on Julie’s part.
mj6373
September 13th, 2018
Does this relate to the broken picture of Julie last page...? I’m wondering if this is either a flashback or a dream sequence. I’m leaning on flashback, though, tying into the rotten fruit attracting flies and the broken picture of Julie.

... Also for some reason there’s a small part of me wondering if Lexi is the one who set that up. It just seems very un-Julie to act so spitefully. I mean, I understand that she’d be at her limit with trying to help Annie when she just won’t stop being self-destructive, but... She just lost her best friend too. I thought Julie would be the last person to ever blame someone for someone else’s suicide.

Though it’s only uncharacteristic for her, not in general for people. I’m no better. After all... If Annie offs herself at this point, I’ll probably blame Julie. As a mental health professional and the only person who has Annie’s complete trust to attack her so deeply like that and give her the means to kill herself, even jabbing at her about it... Yeah, if this isn’t Lexi’s doing or a dream, this is monstrous.

... Damn.

Keep fighting, Annie. Please.