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Subtle, heartbreaking, cruelly effective. Another fine as heck job, Doc Bing.

Oh Blanche, hun, if only it were so simple. You can’t fix everything by deprecating yourself. Poor Tony needs some time to think things through. :c

If only it were that easy to say all the right things, Blanche. It sounds like such a small thing, such a simple few words. But the smallest words are usually the hardest to hear.

Hang in there bud. I have a feeling Tony will come ’round. The Stockholm Syndrome has to get to him at some point.

As much as I feel bad for Tony, he is being abit of a heartless git, Blanche came out to him and only him as his best mate, and yes Tony seems to be blaming him for what happend. Blanche sees this and is trying his best to get in Tony’s good books. Just Tony cant see ths and is acting like a twerp. (I’d have put something somewhat more crude that expresses what I think he is being like, but keeping it civil)

It might not be too long before Tony realizes this, I hope and says sorry to Blanche.

As nice as it is that Blanche felt it was important to come out to Tony, the events that happened, if this was a ‘coming out’ story in the sense of homosexuality… this would be equivalent to the straight friend coming to a gay event out of solidarity, being violated in the worst way by a total stranger, and not being able to really get over the fact that this life shattering event only could have occurred because his friend wanted to introduce him to the subculture.

It isn’t fair to the friend, or even the subculture. But I expect it will take all of Tony’s goodness to feel even slightly OK with this. If this transformation has ANY benefits, it might be a huge stepping stone.

Yeah, I see what you mean. Totally unexpected negative effect for everyone: Those already in the culture, those outside of it, those who like the culture and those who have no clue it exists (I feel for Tony’s mum, I’d be freaking out if my son (or brother) disappeared for this long and only talked over the telephone. I’m going to laugh if she thinks her son has found out he’s gay or something, compounding the running gag).

I’m all for an anarchistic subculture with no leaders, but it’s unviable…. shouldn’t there be some person in charge of… contact? An ombudsman, perhaps? Or at least someone in charge of accidents, for when … I don’t know, one of the larger people treads on a human, or gets drunk and grows ears/hooves/beak in the Outside World? I mean. Accidents. They happen. And usually you need someone to sweep up the broken pieces. Or the the broken feathers, in this case.

If by “anarchistic subculture with no leaders” you mean the Avalons, I wish to point out that they have their Elders. You know, the guys who bust Jon when he misbehaves. I am assuming the Elders act as the government, but we have not seen their government at work because the comic has not been about their government at work . . . yet.

I’m just going to summarize some of last week’s discussion here. Tony is a teenager whose life has been turned completely turned upside down. He can’t go back to school, he has no idea how his mother is going to react to this, and for the foreseeable future, any dreams and expectations he had for his life going forward are shot. Generalized anger at the world is a completely normal reaction to this situation. Since, from Tony’s point of view, it is clear to trace the sequence of events that led to his Turning back to Blanche, directing some of that anger back to Blanche is also normal, if rather unfair to him.

Yes, Tony will need to grow past this, but it isn’t reasonable to expect that to happen quickly. At the very least, it isn’t likely to happen until Tony tells his mother what happened and has time to deal with the fallout of that. Considering that Tony and his mother are almost certainly at least part of the “Reunion” of the story title, it’s not like we’ll have long to wait for it, so it’s best to try to be as patient a reader as Blanche is a friend.

Somebody needs to send Tony a copy of the “Homecoming” chapter. It’s not like he’s the only one who’s had to deal with these things.

Yeah, but Michelle can hide what she is and blend in amongst the species she grew up believing she was a part of. Tony can’t. It bares pointing out that, between the two of them, he drew the short straw.

Good point. Tony’s going to need more than a big hat over his ears, and as far as we know an amulet isn’t even part of the picture for him.

I thought all of these episodes were more or less in the same timeline. Is there a FAQ telling what’s happening when?

Most of the stories start with a timestamp, and we’ve jumped around the timeline a good bit, though everything so far have happened within a little less than a year of time, mostly 2004.

I just updated the Timeline page on the wiki ( http://skindeep.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline ) if you want a quick reference.

What Lynx-eye and I worked out is this:

August date unknown
– Start of Orientations
– Michelle moves into her room at College, finishes unpacking, then Merial arrives.

August Monday 16
– Classes start at college

Friday September 3
– Michelle writes the email to her mother
– Merial, Greg, and Jim go to Merial’s cabin for the long weekend

Saturday September 4
– Michelle’s picks up the Medallion, has her Turning, learns about the others, and the four of them fight the MoMo.

Monday September 13
– Michelle and Greg disagree over her complaints.

Sunday September 19
– Michelle’s first flying lesson

Monday September 20
– The four visit the local Avalon

Saturday September 26 or Sunday September 27
– Nixie Spit

Saturday October 2
– Flying lesson and Bloodcarver

Friday October 8
– Michelle emails her mother, asking about going to visit
– Merial, Greg, and Jim go to Merial’s cabin for the long weekend
– End of Orientations

The thing is, both are rather young, and Tony comes form a obviously less accepting background when you think of it. His entire universe has been turned sideways and set on fire, he’s acting like a di** because that’s his likely safety mechanism. I don’t blame him in that regard and too little time has passed for him to cope with what’s happened. A rough but comparable life altering chance would be if one lost both their legs tomorrow. You would be to busy focusing on the/being mad at the cause, and what you perceived as lost to be focusing on what you’ve gained and your new opportunities.

in short this arc is just a few pages old, stop condemning tony he’s had no time to grow yet.

While it’d be nice if Tony tried to be less passive-agressive towards Blanche, he doesn’t seem to be angry at him as much as at his situation, at least in this chapter? His look on the last panel suggests to me that he wants Blanche to back off a bit, but doesn’t know how to say it.

Blanche’s a sweetheart, but he’s been a tad tone-deaf about the situation, which is understandable. I mean, he was born and raised a white stag, so that’s his parameter of normalcy. He’s in familiar territory – the same territory that alienates and befuddles Tony.

I do hope they remain friends, though. Poor guys. :C

Pardon me for pointing this out, but Blanche is just doing what he was born to do. White Stags in myth and legend are perennial guides and messengers; for Blanche to stop guiding and messengering would be to deny his birthright, his reason for being. He’s not tone-deaf, per se, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do in this situation; he sees someone in need (one of his best friends at that)and he’s trying to guide and show the way.

Every time Tony shuts him down like this, it’s… i dunno, it’s the equivalent of throwing water on an immolating phoenix.

Hm, do we have on record whether “personality traits associated with species” is in effect here? I mean, in a way that isn’t tied with culture more than anything?

I’m just sayin’, I think saying anything is a species’ raison d’etre is a pretty bold claim. That’s an interesting angle, though.

Well, the Wonderlanders act weird. I assume it’s kind of like races in our world: different bloodlines aren’t actually fundamentally different, but culture comes from parents, so it doesn’t really surprise people too much when a fifth-generation French American descendent of a great chef is good at cooking, especially if his parents and grandparents liked to cook, too.
Overall, though, I think this is less a case of the character acting like his patents and more a case of the author using symbolism and/or irony.

Geez Tony, stop being such a chicken. You just keep grousing about the situation or trying to duck out of it. Makes me wonder how much longer until he ends up eating crow, or his goose gets cooked with an attitude like that.

Considering the un-Pheasant-ness of Tony’s situation, I find these puns kind of hard to Swallow. Here’s to Swift vengeance on you and no end to whatever l-Eagle problems you might face in the future. (Just kidding! I’m an inveterate punster myself.Stuff like this makes me h-Owl with laughter…)

I don’t know whether to clunk your heads together or give you both medals.

While I can agree that Tony can give Blanche a little slack, I don’t think the whole argument stemmed from the residual resentment of his change. It’s also in part that Tony now must completely rely on someone else for nearly every simple task. He can barely brush his own teeth for crying out loud! Offering to buy the guitar on Tony’s behalf may have been a kind gesture, but Tony has had enough. Of the situation, his friend, and just plain TIRED of being confused and useless.

Oh Tony :T Hurting blanche isn’t gonna fix your problems sugarbeak. It’s just gonna hurt your relationship with your best friend and the only one who’d give anything to make it right again.

Also I noticed that Blanche has his hands in a fisted or scrunched position a lot of the time, maybe it’s a hoof thing.

I think one of the biggest problems Tony is having is that this whole situation has yet to be confirmed as permanent.

I’m quite certain if Tim had told him there was absolutely nothing he could do about it, he could start the difficult process of adjustment. But since he’s still holding out hope that he can turn back. it’s a lot harder for him to deal with all these situations which seem to be pushing him further into the mad world of the avalon.

Hark! Do I see our comrade of old, the Ellipsis Poster?!

Glad to see they got ’em in the other side of the Atlantic!

Yeah, Maurice.
Looks like it’s the only one still surviving in that alley, from the 5 posters and a banner that were there in page 29 of Exchanges. There were 3 posters on that wall of Cere’s including The Ellipsis poster, and there were 2 other posters and the banner on the wall of Greensleeves.
As for the ones that were seen in Orientations, what’s the betting Jim had some with him when he went to college in the US.

Just thought of a question, sorry if it’s already been answered somewhere else. Do the non-humans have a greater level of strength or agility than regular old humans? I know the Nemean lions are really strong, but are they the exception?

It depends. Some will have capabilities beyond the human norm, some won’t. And the precise details of their relative physical capabilities, or any additional abilities, will vary – Bugbears are one-tonne killing machines. Satyrs are no stronger than an equivalent human being. Griffins can fly. Satyrs, again, obviously can’t.

What I suspect you’re really asking is whether such abilities are available to them regardless of their current form. To which the answer is; Usually, and as far as is logically possible. Kory has stated that Nemean invulnerability is always in effect, and the same apparently goes for Jack’s ability to jump two or three times his own height.
Please though, remember the caveat ‘logically possible’. Jim might be able to fly, but trying to do so in any form that doesn’t have wings is probably not the best idea he’s ever had. . . .

don’t worry about it, dude. Most people would kill for legs that skinny.

Eh. All they need to do is have the self control to eat like a bird.

….oh.

;p

i was wondering what has happened to tony’s dad is he dead, did heleave his family, but mostly is he a monster like tony he has to be doesnt he? i also wonder when will he tell his mom ? i also wonder if his mom already know blanche is a monster already, like before tony did. it could be so seeing as blanshe and tony have been friends for a long time
i hope tony talks to his mom soon and then feels better ; /

I’m not sure, but I think they stated that he was a sailor or something who either ran off or died at sea. Someone may need to look into this.

The sum total of current knowledge regarding Tony’s father is in the last panel of this page; http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/heartaches-24-the-problem-with-humans/

“All I know about him is he was a sailor. He left a long time ago.”

Anything else is speculation.

Maybe he is a monster, and Tony was raised without knowledge of him so Tony could have a less complicated life. Maybe Tony’s father just couldn’t handle raising a family. I’m happy to see the information come to light in the way Kory deems best for the narrative.

Here’s a twist of irony for you: Perhaps Tony’s mother is the monster and belongs to a species of natural shape shifters. Maybe if Tony were to confide in his mom, she could lay some Shape Changing 101 on him, enabling Tony to resume his human form.

Yes, I do realize I’m stretching things quite a bit.

Completely in love with this comic!! Just read the whole thing one day.. I’m a homestuck fan and was checking paradox space when I saw this. Perhaps Tony is a Roc? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc_(mythology) heres the wiki.. I was wondering if he was a crow or raven but by the color of his feathers I’d say no.. theyre more brown then black. :D anyway.. got to say the quality of the comics really improved.. then again since his father is a sailor maybe hes a male harpy?(a little romance between sailor and harpy) XD

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