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Tony no! Don’t be all grumpypuss again! D:

To be fair, this is only a short while after Tony changed.

On the other hand, it WOULD be nice to see him start to grow beyond his anger. Maybe that’s what this storyline is all about.

Alec is obviously pleased with himself. >:3

Grow the hell up, boy.

Theres folks out there who got it much worse than you, and they don’t whine about it.


what is “worse” exactly? these things tend to be rather subjective

Hes got all his limbs, both eyes and he isn’t paralyzed.

Hes not in pain, he has a place to stay, and friends who care about him.

He has a community he can fit into after whats happened to him.
He isn’t alone, and what family hes got will still talk to him.

A lot of folks aren’t that lucky.

(Sorry- Cranky badger, as my shoulder is acting up again and no pain meds available at the moment.)

“and what family hes got will still talk to him.”

He’s staying with a friend and hasn’t -seen- his family in weeks by this point. We don’t know what kind of reaction his mum will have when he finally meets back up with her. It might not be pretty.

Let’s also not forget that he’s trapped in the Avalon, completely separated from everything he ever knew (possibly permanently) and the only source of stability he has is Blanche and his family. Which is at least a support network, granted, but it’s pretty thin reassurance for having his entire life abruptly torn away from him and having to deal with an entire change in his perception of the world.

I think he has a pretty damn good reason to be grumpy.

Not to mention his only source of stability happens to be the one who caused Tony’s world to turn upside-down in the first place.

I imagine the last thing Tony wanted after all of this was to spend this much time with Blanche, and now he has no choice but to live with the person he blames for his sudden and painful transformation into an inhuman monster.

… Plus this “stable” best friend just turned into a half-deer-half-human thing. From Anthony’s perspective, this is a NIGHTMARISH experience.

yea but if he didn’t have all limbs, both eyes or was paralyzed, at least he’d know what was going on with him.

he may not be in physical pain but he might be in psychological/mental/emotional pain, and a place to stay may not be the best thing when it’s an unfamiliar place associated with, and a reminder of, all that is going wrong with him. and really, he has one friend, who is hard not to blame for this happening to him.

the community that he can fit into he clearly stated he doesn’t want to, because he just wants to reverse what’s happened to him. and well in a way, he kind of is alone, there is no one else like him and all these people that he is still freaked out by don’t even know what he is. also we have no idea how his family will react, we haven’t seen them.

and besides different people can handle things so differently. I mean I’m not saying he has it the worst or anything, just that you can’t really judge how well a person can handle a certain situation. because your or anyone’s idea of “worse” could be totally different from theirs

God bless you, this is so damn important.

Also, if we can avoid using disabled people as the gold standard for Justified Angst that’d be pretty swell. :/

Inspiration Porn while we’re at it, too.

“If this guy can live without a leg you can truck through your problems, too!”

Same concept, different wrapper. Gross. We’re not the moral of some story or whatever–we’re bloody *people*.

Yes, I also think comparing Tony’s issues to other, random people’s issues is not a cogent argument, as one has no impact on the other and it is really rude. People are ignoring that:

A) Tony is not an adult, he is a teenager (16) and it was proven more than 10 years ago that the teen brain does NOT work like a fully-formed adult brain; it’s still developing, and

2) MORE IMPORTANTLY, Tony and most people in similar situations DON’T CARE how bad someone else has it, or how much better their situation is than someone else’s: TONY HAS BEEN TRAUMATIZED by his plight and is focused solely on himself.

It is the rare teen, let alone any person, who can be grateful that things are not worse so soon after a ‘tragedy’. Give the kid a friggin’ break!

This situation is taken a good deal better by the 2 people we’ve seen affected with sudden, unexpected change than it probably would be by people in the real world by at least half. Tony can’t go home and his body has radically physically altered itself; frankly, it’s a small miracle he’s not a gibbering half-vegetable.

Also, Oppression Olympics never make for a good argument.

Agreed 100%. Frankly, I never got why Michelle’s situation was better simply because she could change back (with the help of a piece of jewelry that she now can never part with). Blanche at least was understanding towards Tony; Michelle was told she was being whiny by her three new friends on separate occasions and then turned out to be in the crosshairs of a political game of the magical underworld.

So Michelle’s situation includes, you know, the demons trying to capture her, and her Turning is all bundled up in her mind with a giant skunk ape trying to grab her and almost killing Jim. People who complain about Michelle’s attitude seem really willing to brush off just how traumatizing that would be.

To add to the point about Michelle, all of the incidents you describe will take place chronologically over the next several weeks, while she is only a couple of years older than Anthony.
Exchanges only finishes with the START of the fallout those traumatic events.
We get to see how things are, a bit later on in Homecoming. Not brilliant, but she has had some time to start to recover.
Right now, we are seeing Anthony before he has really started to recover.

Tony’s reaction is interesting and nicely multilayered.

On one hand, he knows it wasn’t Blanche’s fault, but he can’t help but associate the guy with his troublesome metamorphosis; there’s no one to blame as far as he knows, but Blanche keeps trying to cheer him up and it only makes Tony stew further instead of trying to regain emotional stability.

He probably also resents Blanche for not only being his only Rock of Gibraltar in the Avalon but also a very nice person. He can’t be mad at him, he’s trying his best to help, but he can’t NOT freak out; and since this is the Avalon, he’s pretty much the only one freaking out to that extent – it’s gotta be an isolating feeling.

Unless Tony is able to find catharsis, I guess he’s gonna be spiralling further and further into a cycle of shame and anger and feeling bad for getting angry. I kind of hope he and Ike bond a little; if anyone *gets* anger and isolation, it’s gotta be him. Blanche could use a break too, poor guy.

Another facet to it is having to accept Blanche’s charity, as yet another ongoing reminder of what happened. I’d put it as odds on, Anthony’s finances are worse than Blanche’s.
Anthony was in a fairly reasonably good mood when he and Blanche left Pwyll House to go to Stereophonic. Alec’s usual attitude last page soured things, and Blanche’s offer of more charity this strip pushed Anthony too far, yet again.
How can Anthony gain any semblance of calm and reason, when things are never giving him what he can see as any real break.

My only problem with your take on it is that, so far as I remember at least, Tony has not shown any sign of feeling bad about getting mad.

This is not going to be pretty for a long time. I understand Tony’s reaction to everything, but his blowup over Blanche introducing him to the Avalon alone could’ve ended their friendship without some dealing with issues and apologies. Then Tony’s inadvertent transformation gave no one time to deal with anything before piling an actual crisis onto the mix.

On Blanche’s side of things, I’ve a niggling suspicion that he’s actually a little bit envious over Tony’s wings. His attempt to cheer Tony up? Suggest he tries flying. Reaction to Tony’s wing-clipping? Point out Tony won’t be able to fly. I think some part of Blanche is a bit disappointed he didn’t take after his mom as a peryton. On top of his norm including all sorts of races most humans have no idea exist, he sees this whole thing as “Okay, weird but adaptable, AND you got awesome wings out of it, which totally equalizes everything else!”

So he continues to completely miss how life-destroying this has been for Tony, and be boggled that Tony isn’t adjusting as quickly as he thinks his friend should.

There’s another bit from Blanche’s perspective that I’ve been suspecting for a while. It took Blanche years to tell Tony he wasn’t human. For most of that time, his main reason may well have been a worry that Tony would end their friendship over it. That it would just be too much for him to handle. When Tony left the Avalon the way he did back in Exchanges, it was a scene that Blanche may well have been fearing for ages.

Tony not being human solves that problem for Blanche. Tony can’t logically hate and leave him for being a monster when he’s one himself. This leaves Blanche with this uncomfortable mix of relief crossed with guilt over how obviously unhappy Tony is with this. Blanche wants so badly to be absolved of that guilt that his grasping at any hint that Tony is starting to cope so Blanche can still have that friendship that he’s valued so much even as he worried over how fragile it might be.

Hot damn yes, this is spot on IMHO! Blanche is on a helluva tightrope too, let it be clear that I didn’t mean it was his fault or anything. The idea of having a friend be pissed off at you can be pretty scary, and Blanche sounds like the kinda guy who cares a lot about friends.

I’m loving all this character analysis. Sorry if I’m posting a lot, I just thriiiive on this stuff. :)

Don’t apologize for taking part in a discussion. :) This is what fans do, and we do this in the comment section here for a couple of weeks once a story or so. That’s not even getting into what goes on during Reader Questions stints. One of the reasons I love this comic is because Kory has created so many multi-layered characters that can be analyzed this way. One time I even wrote this long analysis of Jim’s character arc so far and posted it on my Tumblr.

You’re in the right place.

Good point. Though unfortunately for Blanche it is quite possible for someone to hate and try to walk away from what they are themselves. Every anti-gay politician and religious leader who’s been caught doing the things they condemn attest to that.

It’s sad when you think about how all this started – Tony thought Blanche was going to say he’s gay, and he was prepared for that. But the actual truth was something else entirely, and almost everything since has been the worst sort of coming-out nightmare.

There’s an interesting mental exercise, actually. What if Blanche’s secret had been that he was gay, and this whole thing had followed a parallel path? Tony doesn’t know what to make of it so tries to take it at face value. Blanche is so excited about acceptance that he takes his friend all over, introducing him to a culture that Tony never suspected because the people who are part of it keep it quiet due to justified concern/fear of how the ‘normal’ people will react. Tony hits his limit for how much he can take and storms out on Blanche. Except Tony also discovers that something in that culture resonated with him, so he has to deal with stuff he never realized about himself because it was buried so deeply under societal expectations of ‘normal.’ And no matter what he does, even if he finds a way to slip back into that appearance he had before, it will never be the same, because he will always know it’s just a facade. The truth will always be just under the surface, and one inadvertent act can bring it out for anyone to see.

How do our views of their behavior change, if applied to a different background?

It’s got to be hard for Tony, but he’s taking it amazingly well all things considered. He’s been transformed, effectivly kidnapped/stranded, he has nobody he knows or trusts except Blanche, who in his point of view got him into this mess in the first place. The fact that he is talking and is out and about at all is a miricle. Someone who has been through that much trauma would be justified in curling up into a little ball for weeks while trying to process it all, or screaming and yelling at anyone within earshot. What’s even more amazing is that to him, everyone else besides Blanche has been practically indifferent to his plight, like it’s just an everyday occurance, so he is more alone then ever as he is dealing with his basic view of the world being flipped, his body becoming something strange, unfamiliar and inhuman, isolation and uncertianty about his life and future. Being merely snarky at this point shows a lot more innerstrength then people give him credit.

Anthony has some pretty weird priorities here. He’s only got the ripped clothes on his back and the first thing he thinks to buy is a guitar? I’d go to a good talor stat!! The musical instrument can come later….

Exept music is a really important anchor point for him. He want to be able to at least try to gain back this ability the earliest possible. It would be an important step for him to go back to “normal” as being able to do what he was able to do before.

On the other hand, the clothes? if the centaures are any indication, it is not That important;
(althougt they will hit you if you laught. Hard.)
beside, anthony can still borrow blanches clothes.

Tony obviously doesn’t want to feel helpless and dependent upon Blanche and others; and Blanche *is* trying just a little too hard. Still Tony, ease up on the stag. :P

I also like that, once again, Alec goes to politeness and customer service when asked. He can drop the jerky mode when prompted.. which makes one wonder how much of that jerky mode is just ‘being a bugbear, gotta be spooky, insult my friends so I’m the cool guy’ attitude.

It’s understandable that Tony is angry but Blanche didn’t think this would happen, he really does need to get over it. Still it’s probably even worse for him than a normal person in this situation because they don’t even know what species he is. If he was a harpy, he would be a women and he don’t look like no womens…. that being said I do love gender bender….

I am actually kinda hoping that Blanche gets angry here. He has been bending over backwards to help Tony get his life back in order after his change. And while Tony’s predicament could be said to have been initiated by the white stag its still not fair for Blanche to always be on the receiving end of Tony’s vitriol.

Perhaps Tony needs a lesson on what it would be like WITHOUT Blanche there to help.

I don’t think that’s really fair. It’s not Blanche’s fault, no, but as I (and others) have pointed out in the comments above, the fact that Tony (and Michelle, for that matter) aren’t drooling psychological wrecks after what’s happened to them is nothing short of a deus ex machina in and of itself. I realize it’s necessary for the story Kory wants to tell for them to be able to handle it better than they almost certainly would in real life, but at this point I don’t think it’s fair to hold Tony to *any* standard of behavior. His entire life has been radically and potentially irreversibly turned upside-down to a degree to which it is impossible to relate.

He is surrounded by people raised in this culture for whom all of this is standard. His best friend has relatively recently just revealed that he is a deer-monster, that the world is full of monsters, and that he himself may be a freaky bird monster. All of this happened to him right after Blanche revealed himself, so even if it isn’t Blanche’s fault, that’s a fairly natural connection for Tony to form in his mind. He doesn’t know how he’s going to tell his mother, he doesn’t know *if* he’ll be able to tell his mother, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to return to normal or to his old life, and he’s got Blanche acting like everything is hunky-dory just because Tony is talking about guitars and hasn’t frowned in the last hour. Pretty much anything he does shy of murder in terms of acting out over this is, imo, justified or at least understandable.

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