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Hidden Agenda Part VI


150 thoughts on “Hidden Agenda Part VI

      1. While she is clearly yanking his chain now, I suppose it will depend on whether she yanks on something else later that will classify her as naughty or nice.

      2. I’m having difficulty feeling sympathy toward either of them – they’re both treating it like an adversarial game of getting as much out of the other as possible… Much as I liked the idea of Ellie with Blind Guy, right now, these two deserve each other.

      3. I don’t quite lose sympathy, but she’s laying it on a little thick here. My degree of sympathy will depend on her end goal here. If she’s decided she is interested and just wants a slower pace, then I don’t consider that particularly negative. She’s only 19, so not as mature as being clear and upfront with him, but that level of maturity would be well above average for her with her age & life experience.

      4. He was the one who went out and got alcohol to inebriate her and probably initiate sex. As far as I am concerned Ellie is still on higher ground here.

      5. Actually, I believe that I an of the impression that Ellie had some degree of an attempted menagé et Danny before the “Captain Cleavage” remark was uttered. Perhaps a 3 D6 + 12 sensing ability when it comes to the opposite sex by watching her sisters combined with her high school experience. As well as gaining 32 experience from the Alex affairs.

      6. The guy was basically trying to set up a situation where saying no wouldn’t push him away at the end of the night. While there was nothing wrong with the date situation, requesting two rooms with a broken lock between them and his apparent desperation to hopefully booze her up indicate nothing remotely good about him. As such, I say he is getting off somewhat easy.

    1. Don’t be- I think Rusche gets a kick out of yanking our chain- perhaps even doubly so by proxy of his characters.

      Let’s be honest here- Ellie is often more inexperienced than we imagine, but smarter than we think.

      1. Rusche did say that she was basically Tarra with a lot of laziness added in. I suspect her social intelligence is higher than Tarra’s with some of her other capacities being lower to compensate (and be more realistic of a character).

  1. Pumpkin’s face in panel 2 was priceless… Funniest thing I’ve seen in a while!… not including actual sight gags, of course.

    1. I like irritation at not being recognized as a woman the same day as chagrin at ending up bustier than she wants to be. Good to have balance in a day.

      1. A slight V-neck & spaghetti strap tank top isn’t terribly common for men/boys either. I’d also expect voice to be a give away, as she’s old enough for a voice change to have happened or be in progress if male.

      1. Yes, I’m just not sure why she’s yelling in panel 4. She must think Danny has bad hearing. What could have happened that we didn’t see between the last several pages that might have led Ellie to think Danny can’t hear I wonder?

        1. That would be kinda’ weird for him to be attentive, responsive, and not losing the chain of conversation while she was in her booth babe outfit but constantly be losing track of what’s going on from a lust haze when she’s in normal clothes afterwards.

          Not unrealistically weird, just the kind of weird you expect to happen sometimes and shake your head at.

        2. Temporal proximity to anticipated sex can be pretty deafening too, but more likely one of the places they went to earlier was just noisy.

      1. Social circle might or might not keep her safe from jocks even after she busts out. I certainly remember a few impressively stacked ladies that the jocks seemed to still consider beneath them.

  2. Any sympathy I might have theoretically had for this creep went right the window. “Effeminate brother” is not exactly a polite thing to call someone to their face. It’s so full of assumptions, judgements, and dismissal that it would be nearly impossible to rehabilitate one’s image after its utterance. Especially considering that in this case the utterer has no understanding of the inappropriateness of the utterance.

    Also, it means that he is functionally blind. Pumpkin, even at this early state of her physical growth, has more fully realized contours than many adult women do. And having his sense of scale being thrown off by Ellie position on the bell curve is no excuse. This guy is skeezy, tactless, *and* incapable of observing his surroundings. If he suddenly disappeared from the storyline, everyone’s lives would be richer for it.

    1. Going to have to agree, he seems awfully dense if he can’t tell that’s a girl in front of him. Maaaaaybe a guy could have those curves, but the obvious breasts? If he said brother, could have thought he didn’t notice the body at all and just the face/hair.

    2. Au contraire! The fact that Danny is a very flawed individual is precisely why he should be in the story. What character growth could he possibly have if he starts out as Mr. Perfect? Who would have paid any attention to Quinn’s relationship if Alex had been a respectful gentleman who would never entertain thoughts of other women. And hey, if Danny hadn’t been such a jerk there we never would have gotten Pumpkin’s adorably crestfallen look.

      As it is, I can kind of understand why Danny might not be in a particularly considerate mood, since it’s pretty clear at this point that Ellie and Pumpkin set him up. He and Ellie were out for hours. What was Pumpkin doing all this time? Since the hotel was a last-minute idea, Pumpkin would have had no reason to make plans to stay in the area unless Ellie rushed to tell her–conveniently neglecting to tell Danny about this change of plans. She could have said something like, “Oh, my sister would LOVE to stay here for the night, too!”, or she could have had Pumpkin meet them in the lobby, so that it’s less of an ambush, or she could have called Pumpkin while Danny was present. No matter how you slice it, what Danny said was rude and he shouldn’t have said it. But considering the way he was blind-sided here, it’s no surprise that he might not be as polite as he should. After all, Ellie had plenty of opportunity to tactfully slow things down if she wanted to. But instead she chose to make the situation as uncomfortable for Danny as possible, and then immediately started leading him on again. And unlike Danny, Ellie knew a fifteen-year-old would be present, yet she apparently didn’t see any problem with sticking Pumpkin in a room with a bunch of alcohol and a person with a creepy ice cream truck that Ellie has only known for a matter of hours. Both Danny and Ellie are making mistakes and not being at their best.

    3. This is cartoon land. A girl with a “big” chest means breasts the size of her head, and a normal-sized woman is essentially flat-chested.

      1. But, but, a cartoon is low art. Where a painting of a cartoon is high art. But a cartoon of a painting of a cartoon, is by the transitive process inverted, low art and must be squared to the Nth factorial to be made into a polynomial of high art again, right. Or have I mixed up the geometric trigonometry with my philosophy of Calvin, Hobbes?

    4. Seems more a joke by the author at Pumpkin’s expense than an error in Danny’s judgment. No need to get worked up about it.

      My guess is that his inability to distinguish gender among boys wearing pink pajama pants and young girls with short hair is unlikely to be relevant later in the story… but I could be wrong.

    5. Actually…that mistake is more common than you might think.

      Take it from a short-haired, large-chested tomboy. People were mistaking me for a dude well into high school and even college. Baggy clothes and posture can hide a lot. People see what they expect to see.

      Besides, Danny is distracted, he likely didn’t pay much attention to Pumpkin, because he had other things to focus on.

    6. Well, if his requests for “one of those things with sleeves” and “rooms with the door all broke off between them” were indicative of his eloquence when somewhat excited, that could certainly play part in his observation and word choice here too. It’s not like his manner this evening has evoked the image of a suave gentleman in a smoking jacket semi-reclined with a pipe calmly moving a chess piece.

  3. Yoiks. So Ellie is either testing him hardcore or she genuinely is oblivious or she’s using him… none of those are very good options. And I suspect his investors will be less than pleased with how he spent his money, so unless a madcap comedic summer movie occurrence happens, I foresee a sad, sad ending to this tale.

    Of course, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, so time to sit back and watch…

    1. As a guy who was embarrassingly late on even kissing a girl, I can say my first girlfriend was somewhat surprised and even occasionally upset at the pace I was comfortable with at that time. Throwing in a little more immaturity and being used to guys doing her favors simply because she’s hot (such as her moving assistance), this doesn’t seem necessarily bad to me. Quite easily could be a bad sign, but it also might be her falling back on the power she’s adept at exercising to put the brakes on things a little bit.

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  4. Will Danny’s self esteem please pick up the white courtesy phone? Danny’s self esteem, please answer the white courtesy phone.

    1. Don’t you two hamdingers have a movie to watch? And where’s the carbon lump that’s supposed to be handling you two?

        1. You know how gets when someone mentions hamdingers. He’s probably trying to build his own escape craft from the washing machine again.

        2. Crow! What did we say about your attempts to tunnel back to Earth through the hull? I think I finally got rid of all the pickaxes on board but you have to promise me you are NEVER going to try this again!

          Oh, sirs. Umm, we didn’t find a way to bypass the movie watching, really.

  5. I honestly cant tell if its innocent or not, though I feel bad for Pumpkin lol I noticed that she got a haircut since we saw her before the convention started, that or its another art shift. Almost feel bad for Danny…stupid sexy Ellie lol ^^

    One important question though…why is Ellie’s speech bubble a different color in the third pannel? She’s spoken in blue for as long as I can remember. Is this to show a difference in her voice/tone, or is it Ellie once again in ‘Danny-vision’ that we are seeing? If its the second one, then you have a very cool little trick there for showing the difference between reality and fantisy, simple but totally effective.

    Something odd I have noticed, just being a numbers person, but I think someone is messing with the poll. The Blind Guy has had a 15 vote lead over Quinn for the last few days. Every time Quinn gets a few votes, Blind Guy gets the exact same number of votes. Call me paranoid, but I’ve rigged enough *cough* I mean, I’ve been involved with politics enough to notice things ;P

    1. I haven’t messed with the poll, haha. It’s running the same as the Tarra/Ginger poll. Typically neck and neck. I’m just glad the “Me the reader” isn’t winning, cause I’d have to draw like 200 something people on a date with her.

      Ellie’s speech bubble is only a different color to give an impression she’s speaking more sweetly, or yeah, different tone.

      1. I hope to see a breaking the fourth wall comic where those who lost the poll are talking about the results. Danny and Alex lamenting over how badly they did lol

        Ahhh that makes sense, I was confused because back on Hidden Agenda I Ellie was speaking in blue, but every word other than what Danny wanted to hear was replaced with ‘blah’. I couldnt tell if the difference in bubble color was her doing or his doing. Thanks for clearing that up ^^

      2. I feel like the poll is missing quite a few people, like Ian, KK, Barrel, etc. Or is this your way of telling us the story has moved on and we’re never going to see any of them ever again?

        1. I’m still pulling for David as who Ellie ends up with.

          I’d give it even odds of if the poll includes whomever Ellie will end up with or not. Rusche does like his red herrings, and considering the “vote if Danny’s a creep” poll that goes with it, I don’t think he’s taking it particularly seriously.

      3. Ah, that’s how that would work? I thought you would do a POV type strip if the readers won. Meh… I voted for the Blind Guy like any sane person.

        1. So did I, but I confess I would probably still be super happy if Quinn managed to win, since Quinn and Ellie together are just adorable. But Ellie and Blind Guy are obviously better, and Ellie and Quinn can just have a nice bromance on the side.

        2. I was just the opposite actually. Joking aside, I like Quinn and Blind Guy both quite a bit, and neither is a standard choice for a relationship. But in the end, I’ll always side with Quinn.

          I see Blind Guy as a great friend, a wonderful and trusted advisor, and without a doubt a good confident for Ellie. But to be honest, I don’t think Ellie would be good for him.

          I have family that is handicapped, so I know from experience that its a lot of work, it takes a lot to care for them. Ellie is still learning how to get and keep a job at this point.

          Blind Guy needs more than just a relationship, he needs more than just one friend. Ellie can help with that without being in a relationship with him.

          Besides, I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve shipped Blind Guy/KK since this comic: (bottom left corner)


          KK would be a GREAT choice for Blind Guy as she has proven herself to be a very strong, independent, thoughtful young woman. She also showed interest in him from just a glance, and as far as we know she is single and looking.

          Both of Ellie’s mentors married, it would be like having a second family she gets to mooch from lol

        3. Well now I’m shipping these two…

          I totally want to see Quinn end up with Caz.

          Because I think they would be good for each and I think her snarky humor with his more optimistic outlook would be a good mix. And I like pairings that seem random at the outset but with more thought leave you thinking “that doesn’t seem so strange after all.”

        4. Blind Guy and KK would be a good match. I’d also come to the conclusion that Ellie wouldn’t be a great match for Blind Guy, but I hadn’t thought about KK as a match for him.

      4. I’m disappointed that the poll didn’t include “None of the above” or “Some person we haven’t met yet” or something to that effect. There’s frequently too much pressure for lead characters to end up with one of few known candidates; what if after the story is done, THEN she meets her true love? Like that show, “How I Met This Lady Who Turned Out To Be Your Mom But You Wouldn’t Even Know It Because I Mostly Hook Up With Other Chicks Throughout The Entire Story” – great show, completely changed the way I watch television.

        I used to watch sitting up straight, but now I usually lean on the arm of the couch or on a pillow.

        Anyway, maybe I am mistaken and this story was supposed to include “Ellie falling in love while we watch from a distance” all along? Or is the poll non-canon / just a feeler to see who’s shipping who these days?

        1. I think the poll is a tease due to the Danny creep poll that went with it.

          I’m still taking the called shot of Ellie ending up with David, though. I like odd called shots.

        2. I do wish the poll included characters we haven’t met yet.

          Like, will Ellie end up with Octavio, or with Lord Reginald Von Worcestershire the Third? I’d be curious to see how many people engage in speculation and debate over which suitor she should choose without having any idea who these people are. Might be a fun experiment?

          Also, Octavio all the way – Reggie-boy doesn’t even stand a chance.

        3. Tired Guy. It’s TOTALLY Tired Guy. He’s terminal and wants to spend his final days with a sexy blonde before writing her into the will.

        4. No more than an instruction manual ;P

          Still even if the polls arent serious, they do give a good reading on the followers and fans. Sun Tzu says there is no such thing as useless information lol

        5. Granted if you had any of those details, but you have to admit that just the fact that I saw it is pretty worthless and haha man are we way off topic or what?

        1. I was just playing on the word “poor”. It wouldn’t surprise me if Danny tried to expense the evening though.

  6. The gag is, Danny expected Ellie to open the door. Instead he got a shrunken less curvacious version. He’s generally a dope and got himself overly and superficially sexed up about Ellie that ‘relatively speaking’ he’s like “Who’s that small boy over there!?”

    1. I was wondering how Danny could mistaken Pumpkin for a boy. Compared to Ellie Pumpkin probably does look a bit like a boy if you, you know, squint and are none too bright. I guess after some time with Ellie he just can’t register anything less than a c cup.

      1. It’s that montage, man. Stuff’ll mess up your perceptions of reality, make things seem more or less intense (situation dependent) and because you skipped over most of the details, you can’t remember exactly what happened (sucks if you montaged studying for a test)

        1. No, it’s like the difference between a road flare at midnight and one at high noon. When it’s just Pumpkin in the room, it’s clear she’s all lady. When it’s Ellie and Pumpkin, it’s kind of hard to notice that Pumpkin is, in fact, female.

  7. Y’know, this makes me remember when we first met Quinn. Ellie used her body to get free cable and many other things from the men around. She’s on her home turf big guy, you’ve lost.

  8. HA. HA. HAHAHA. HA.

    I like being right.

    Also he keeps starin like that Pumpkin might find another person to clobber pretty fast. It’s not like he has a golden track record here.

    1. I believe I discussed this phenomenon in one of my earlier works. Perhaps you should refer to my earlier discography for the reference.

    2. Pumpkin wouldn’t ruin Ellie’s game here. She may or may not know Ellie’s end state, but I can’t imagein Pumpkin missed her tone, implications, references, and pretty well posing for him to stare “without her noticing.” Pumpkin knows to pretend not to notice either.

  9. And then suddenly – like at the end of a heist movie – his mind runs back through the events of the night and finds all the points in which he was played…

  10. Danny, boy, you’ve only got one shot left here. You’ve got to put on your game face and do your d@&#edest to spank these two in Monopoly. Win, and Ellie might be impressed. Lose, quit, walk out–you won’t be spanking anyone.
    Until you’re alone again.

  11. The kicker is:

    “I figured the bed woujd be big enough for two people. And I don’t mind sharing it with someone.”

    But that someone isn’t Danny!

      1. I wouldn’t call Danny a player. He’s just too excitable about everything to be particularly smooth. I think I like Rusche’s description in previous comments as an opportunist a bit better.

  12. Thing is, she’s not freezing him out, she’s inviting him in. The sexy butt thing means she’s still willing for him to play Monopoly and have conversation, not “you lost the game, hie thee to thine own room”. Either that or she figures she can still squeeze him a little more. I like Ellie enough that I’m hoping for option 1.

  13. Wow. Pumpkin’s build on the last few pages reminds me of a girl that was a swimmer. Very nice girl, but she had a buff look to her.

  14. AWW! where is the panel where the “effeminate brother” brings due pain onto Danny for his comment? :-D the first panel was awesome along with pumpkins expression! poor her!

  15. Why does Danny have to be a creep. His active desire for sex doesn’t make him a bad guy. Still Ellie played this well, personally i think she knew what was going down and threw a monkey wrench in the master plan on purpose. And pumpkin should get a solid hit in for that comment Danny made, very uncool

    1. Well, there’s the fact that he asked for a suite with a broken door between the bedrooms. He bought illegal drugs to get him through a date faster. Now he’s got a boatload of liquor with which he would have tried to ply Ellie. Creep? Nudging that way, it’d seem.

      Oh, and don’t forget the first thing we heard about him, and how Ellie should meet him by the loading dock. As naked as possible.

      1. I was just about to mention that til i saw your comment. I think elie knew his plan was to get into her pants from the get go. At that point, everything he does is sketchy and shes fairly justified in getting what she can out of him. It may not be super nice but its certainly understandable. The guy is a creep who has tried to play the “ive been nice so you owe me” card. She realized it and let him run his game. Was pretty obvious a few pages ago, to me anyway. Incidentally, to avoid the inevitable, i am male and still think elie is right. I mention this only to forstall the inevitable moron who tries to paint me as some jilted catty girl who hates men.

      2. Some creep tendencies do seem likely, but someone mentioned that his commennt about rooms with the door broken off between (which I admit I took as extremely negative when it was posted), was shortly followed by him describing a shirt as that thing with sleeves. So that’s a possibility. Additionally someone brought up when he was buying the liquor that we heard him say he was going to get beer and ask her if she wanted anything but didn’t hear her response, so we don’t know that Ellie didn’t request alcohol.

        All that being said, if I were making a judgement by the standards of a civil court (preponderance of evidence) then I’d call him a creep. If I were making a judgement by the standards of a criminal court (beyond a reasonable doubt), I wouldn’t.

  16. The fact that he was trying to ply a girl with alcohol makes Danny here extra punchable – issues of consent and the like come into play here. Long story short? If an individual is drunk, then they are in an altered state of mind – ie: not capable of consent.

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