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contains strong language and mild sexual content

0614: Girl Germs in Blow Up 17th Dec, 2020
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0614: Girl Germs
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Author Notes:
Mel Cormac edit delete
Mel Cormac
I agree with Seth, but also with Ken.
User comments:

Squirreltastic-Blue
Tuesday's gonna be insane!
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Tuesday night baybeeee
mitchellbravo
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mitchellbravo
OMG SHES SO INEBRIATED
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Oop for some reason that never occurred to me. Would you believe those are cola bottles and she's at most on a sugar high orrr...
mitchellbravo
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mitchellbravo
Omg you know I posted and then was like maybe that's not the right interpretation but SHES INEBRIATED ON LOVE
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
HAHA YES drunk on ~love~
Microraptor
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Microraptor
Ken is clearly conflicted if he should use the fire extinguisher as intended, or if he should just swing it against Seth's head...
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
I guess he could still use it as intended after smacking him in the head with it...
anonymous coward (Guest)
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Better yet, if he performs his percussive, preventative maintenance correctly he may not have to use the fire extinguisher as intended. Filling those things back up and pressure testing them to make sure they won't blow up isn't cheap and easy unless you know the right people.
Echo (Guest)
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Girl germs. The next pandemic.
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Thankfully not as deadly, they just give you a fever if you're susceptible...
LinkyBoy
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To quote a famous strip: "That's love?!? ... I figured it was cooties!!"
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Easy mistake to make! Very similar symptoms!
anonymous coward (Guest)
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I tried to research what exactly "cooties" is once years ago, and I vaguely remember reading that it was a lice infestation. Not quite exactly the same thing. :)
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Yeah I almost used "cooties" because that's what we called "girl germs" at my school, but it meant too many different things for that to be a safe option :)
Matt Jones
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Is it completely awful of me to expect the worst from Tilly? Like, did she drug the cola? I guess I'm of that age where we were warned so often to watch your drink when you were at the bar or the pub, even as guys.

She also reminds me of a girl that I dated when I was in college. She was that kind of manipulative as well. Broke both my hands getting into a fight over her. Rather than getting arrested for beating a guy half to death (I did nearly break his nose...whoops!), I punched a wall instead. She manipulated it so that she took care of me so that she wouldn't be thought of as a bad person because of how she set it all up. Granted, my own fault for being a smegging idiot, but I should have known better.
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
In her first appearances she made a less than good impression on most readers, so while she's not exactly sin incarnate, I think it's reasonable to be a little suspicious of her (though that goes for most of my characters to be honest, bunch of sketchy degenerates)
Matt Jones
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Agreed. I do quite like how you haven't fallen into caricature for your characters in the strip here. It's almost like they're people!

But I just feel like she's got a very specific agenda that will not bode well for Jon at all. I know you know what's going to happen, but it's fun for us to see it unfold.
Echo (Guest)
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Well, characters (by which I mean well-put together characters) /are/ people. In fact, they often disobey the writer (in my experience, at least). So once you build up a person like that, it's easy to keep them realistic, because they do it for you. The trick is getting them to follow the plot.

(This speaking as a novelist/short story writer (and also writer of other things, but those aren't applicable to the situation). I don't know about comic writers, but I can assume.)
Matt Jones
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Thanks Echo! I do some writing myself, but it's histiographical types of papers. Historical people don't generally argue with you...because they're dead. :D One question: what happens when they don't follow the plot though? Do you just scrap and start from that point again, or do you shoehorn them into the situation and hope for the best?
Echo (Guest)
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Well, it depends on how far they deviate. If, for example, a character just picks a fight with someone they were supposed to be forming a connection with, I can still sweep them into the direction I wanted to, more or less. If they decide to jump in front of a spear for someone when they weren't supposed to die yet, and a chunk of the plot was hinging on an ability that only they had *cough*Conlatiyoubastard*cough*, /that/ requires some replanning.
anonymous coward (Guest)
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Specific problems call for specific answers. If you want general advice though, here's some I've given before:

What to do about a mismatch between characterization and plot intentions varies a lot. Some stories are driven more by events and perspective focus, others by character and setting, and others mostly by emotions and relationships. Consider shifting the mood or drive of your story between different weightings of those three things if you ever get stuck. As long as you're mostly consistent it can be a good thing to suddenly change mood or direction for a bit in order to add more supporting detail you can use or reference in the main thrust of the work. Filling out the transient characters and background details instead of the main thread(s) can be useful to enhance the realism of the work. You should do some of this background detailing in every fiction work because everybody misses or ignores more information and details than they see, but the world still has all that stuff in it. A brief perspective jump, an uneventful moment of rest or simple activity, a bit of partially obscured supplemental detail, or a few out of focus events can go a long way to figuring out a plot in danger of being boring, getting incomprehensible or unbelievable, or bouncing off of the act structure and climax curve.

There's lots of other online suggestions on what to do about writer's block and characterization problems. Here's a list that's as full of usable, bad advice as any: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/11/13/25-ways-to-unstick-a-stuck-story/

I could ramble about this for hours even though I'm more of a programmer or musician than an editor or author. Refine your query with additional parameters for more specific answers. :)
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
They DEFINITELY start to write themselves after a while and I usually push against that, because to me it means I'm writing on autopilot and not really thinking things through. Sometimes it makes for some interesting developments though!
Echo (Guest)
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I normally let mine deviate. Trying to force them into actions that they wouldn't naturally do makes it feel... wrong, and it gives me awful writer's block to boot. Not to say that I write on autopilot - I put a lot of effort into it, I just also don't force them to do anything.

And yeah, definitely makes for interesting developments.
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Oh yeah, I guess "push against" isn't the right phrase, it's more that I interrogate why they want to do something so different from what I planned, basically take them aside and ask "okay, what's really going on here?" and work from there. That tends to lead me down the right path, without making me feel like I took the easy route? I dunno, it's hard to explain the process, and everyone sees it differently
Echo (Guest)
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Oh, that makes sense. I have a pretty good understanding of my characters (most of them incubate in my brain for years before I get the chance to put them on paper), so I don't normally need to interrogate them. I can see their motivation and then cuss at them for a little bit before rolling with it.
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Seth in particular keeps surprising me lol like I've been writing him for years and I think I have him pinned down and he's suddenly like "oh by the way I'm gonna react like this for some reason" and I'm like HUH?!
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
I'm glad my characters come across as realistic! Sometimes I think I either don't characterise them enough, or I exaggerate them too much! A balancing act to be sure haha
Matt Jones
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Thanks Mel and Echo! Again, I'm no writer in that sort of sense. I can write the ever loving heck out of things that would bore most people to tears, so no real need to work against character. I will mention this though...sometimes when I write and I find a source that goes against EVERYTHING that I had been working on in my thesis makes me sort of take a moment to think about where that person who wrote it was coming from in their point of view. I guess that this is similar to what happens with characters in stories. But the good thing for me is that if I can't find any other supporting documents to that dissenting view, I can usually just ignore it, or put it into the paper as something to mention in passing (i.e.: this person says "blah blah blah", but in essence, they're wrong. :D ).
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
Haha I did that in an essay once (I was told to include opposing viewpoints, if only to disagree with them), it's kind of weird roasting someone who's dead, though
Matt Jones
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Well, that's the best kind of people to argue with though, isn't it? They can't argue back! :D
anonymous coward (Guest)
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Ugh. A crapsaccharine, twee-blast PDA by an embarrassingly obvious, manipulative girl working over a hapless shmuck can be really painful to watch. On the other hand, it usually isn't an improvement to see a couple exhibitionist perverts literally going at it instead. Either way, I feel like the right response is to fake an American accent and yell out, "Get a room you two loveboids!" You know it's bad when Anna's sense of restraint and decorum is a higher standard.
Mel Cormac
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Mel Cormac
I feel like "get a room" is appropriate even if they're not being obviously sexual - save it for when you're alone, ya creeps!
Echo (Guest)
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You know, I've lived in America all my life (unfortunately), and the only time I've heard an accent like that was when someone else was imitating a New York accent. Never heard an actual New Yorker talk like that (though I do suppose that I've only talked to, like, two homeless people and some guy I was apologizing for being in the way of in New York and that was it).
The southern types of accent and an accent that I don't typically register as an accent because it mostly matches my own so I can't describe it are the ones I hear more often. So I'd probably pin one of those as the American accent, if I had to.
anonymous coward (Guest)
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Have you seen the original version of The Producers? The Nazi playwright's landlady in it is my reference for this, which is admittedly another fictional reference.

In my experience with, "Nu Yawkehz," there is more than one actual New York area accent. They vary, but most natives tend to speak with a flat, Canadian-Californian accent thanks to decades of childhood television teaching everyone in AmeriCanada to speak like that. The ones who don't are as much copying and affecting an accent, like Ebonics, as anything else. Into the future as people watch less television I expect more of us to start having noticeable regional accents again.
shibazoid!
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shibazoid!
my family's New Yorkers and they all have super super thick accents.

the thing about the New York accent is that there's not really a single New York accent, not even in the city. People from Brooklyn talk differently than people in the Bronx, people in Manhattan talk differently than people in Harlem. the Brooklyn accent is a lot more nasally than the Bronx accent, the Manhattan accent is a little more posh, etc. i know the Bronx accent has a lot of Italian/Puerto Rican influence, but im not sure about the others.

no one there pronounces err sounds like oi, thats a New Joisey thing, just like the Boston Hahvahd Yahd stereotype.

New York accents place heavy emphasis on T and D sounds and tend to forego consonant blends. they talk from the front of their mouth, behind the teeth.

Canadian accents are shared a bit more by Midwesterners than New Yorkers, from what ive noticed.
anonymous coward (Guest)
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This was mostly beyond my knowledge, except for the part about New Jersey accents. Wikipedia says that most of NJ's people are in the urban-contiguous area of NY city though. I counted it among the NY accents because of that. :)