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The Elephant in the Grill

Herb knows. Dad's aren't dumb. Rosemary suspects he knows. Wives aren't dumb. Uh yeah, sometimes life happens. And sometimes life doesn't stop happening. I won't unburden any personal stuff on you this round. There's been some really good things, but also really troublesome things. I'm managing it the best I can (which, judging by uploads, could be poorly.) I've gotten an earful this last week. Your concerns aren't falling on deaf ears. Trust me. I've literally just sat in my chair and been comicking for over 36 hours to get this and Patreon done. $2 is up... I need a nap.. and then I'll word bubble the $10 and post it. Thanks, and sorry for testing anyone's patience.

84 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Grill

  1. Wow so am I to understand that Herb invited the “Good looking” kids because he knows that Pumpkin fancies ladies, and he’s hoping to curtail that? Cause I don’t know much about him, but that’s kind of a sucky move

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda sucky. But it’s also to be expected from someone of his generation, so I think it’s probably not-inaccurate characterization.

      Also, I think Pumpkin is supposed to be written as asexual, but that doesn’t mean Herb realizes that. He could, as you suggested, be thinking she fancies ladies, as opposed to “doesn’t fancy anyone”.

        1. Same way I did … “wow, so am I to understand” is not said by someone who isn’t just a biiiit perturbed.

        2. Sorry, meaning I believe WheelWell23 was talking about the original commenter and not you, but I guess I could be wrong.

        3. You do realize you’re coming to the defense of a fictional character, right? Just checking, not that you wouldn’t be justified to call out this hypocrisy if they were, say, real human people.

        4. It’s not stereotyping when his actions and statements support it. It is stereotyping re Pumpkin because she has NOT made any overt displays of interest in women. ABSENCE OF INTEREST IN OPPOSITE SEX DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY EQUAL GAY. As others pointed out, Asexual is possible, or hetero attraction is possible but just hasn’t blossomed yet, or it may be she is gay, as many in the audience are assuming (as Dad is!). Pumpkin’s Shroedinger’s Sexuality is still in the box, undefined, until the box is opened and we see the actual state of what is inside!

    2. I read it more that Herb is dissatisfied with Pumpkin’s hobbies, more than the “likes other girls” thing. The whole spiel about the fact he thinks her cosplay hobbies are “dress-up Japan crap” and “regular hobbies” as well as “real world responsibilities” are more important. He just mentioned it doesn’t have to be all girls, because in the past, sweet sixteen parties were purely mostly all-girl affairs.

      I think the fact that the guy is “good looking” is inconsequential. He’s the son of the fire marshal. Someone with a “real” job like Herb. Who may or may not be popular, which is what Herb actually equates with not being anti-social and on his phone all day. Although Herb may be disappointed to find out the kid is an aspiring “musician” which (if I’m reading Herb’s mindset right) is also another “fantasyland” hobby that won’t actually lead to any productivity.

      Granted, I understand the mindset. Older folks (the boomers as most of us refer to them) don’t have confidence that anything that isn’t a 9 to 5, Monday through Saturday, in the office with a suit and tie job isn’t worth pursuing as a career. Anti-Liberal Arts degree mindset. Like people his age, he didn’t evolve with the digital age, so he’s concerned (only partly rightfully so) that kids spend too much time on that damn Interwebs thing and them vidya games and Asian cartoons.

      I also understand his reluctance purely because most of his daughters are a downright mess, so he’s trying to protect/do right by the last one in his household. Even if he’s wrong, which he is.

        1. Hmm, what?

          I’m not defending Herb as much as I understand the motivations, especially in the boomer generation. They tend to be overly negative and less supportive of anything that is too new for them to understand. New societal norms, new technology, new ideas. “When I was a kid,” is a common statement we hear in sociological studies when someone goes over 50, and it’s even more prevalent in the Baby Boomer generation. When they were kids, they did not have a lot of access to technology. TVs, VCRs and digital watches were all the craze, and to some, all the technology they needed.

          Let’s take socialization for example. In the late 50’s all the way through the early 90’s, socialization happened in person, in public places, where people didn’t have a smartphone. There were no chat rooms or bulletin board services, and phones were limited mobility-wise. So most people had to talk to each other. Granted, the ones who couldn’t do it were ostracized, mostly because you were expected to balance your social life equally with your private and professional life. That was just the way it was. Nowadays, most of the ones who don’t adapt to the new technology and understand social change don’t believe there’s any value to those things. Chat rooms, social media and forums are for kids, and a waste of time. They don’t see the value because it’s not what they understand (or want to understand, which is typical as people get older).

          He’s partly right in one aspect – not having any social contact can be bad, especially since humans are social animals living in a society that requires at least one conversation or contact a day. Granted, there are ways to get around it, and it’s acceptable to be introverted. Herb – if I read his mindset right – hates “anti-social behavior” of not being popular or having “regular” hobbies. I’m quoting him, btw.

          The hardest part is that it’s one generation that seems to be stuck there, and that is unfortunate. It’s also unfortunate that they are in charge of society/governments right now, and they try to shame the other generations who have adapted or understand the reality. Their view of what a job is, what a marriage is, what a hobby is …

        2. I just don’t think the generation that pushed college degrees as mandatory for any decent job is the one that claimed you need a 9-5 suit job. You sound like a Boomer complaining about the Silents or a Gen Xer punk (the fashion\music kind) who got hassed for gig work by their Boomer dad. Lots of liberal arts degrees lead to suit and tie 40 hour a week jobs, at least traditionally. Boomers led the deformalization and rudification of American culture, what with the casual Friday, “Mr. was my father,” and bra burner memes.

        3. “I just don’t think the generation that pushed college degrees as mandatory for any decent job is the one that claimed you need a 9-5 suit job.”

          This seems like an oxymoron to me. My Boomer parents certainly expected college and an office job for me, and my sister, and I know it was the same for many of my Gen X peers. In fact, part of the reason our country has both a crushing student debt crisis, and a shortage of skilled labor is because whole generations had college shoved down their throats while looking down at anyone going the Vo-Tech blue collar route.

          It’s only now, that so few can afford a home or to start a family because of this student debt crisis that buisinesses are starting to admit, “Yeah, we don’t actually NEED a degree for this position,” when interviewing candidates.

        4. “I just don’t think the generation that pushed college degrees as mandatory for any decent job is the one that claimed you need a 9-5 suit job. You sound like a Boomer complaining about the Silents or a Gen Xer punk (the fashion\music kind) who got hassed for gig work by their Boomer dad. Lots of liberal arts degrees lead to suit and tie 40 hour a week jobs, at least traditionally. Boomers led the deformalization and rudification of American culture, what with the casual Friday, “Mr. was my father,” and bra burner memes.”

          Actually, that’s what I am saying. During World War II and before that, a lot of jobs were all over the work week and all over the day. Other than banks, a lot of stores, construction and office jobs ran anywhere from 7:00 AM to midnight. Part of the change after WW2 was due to the next generation demanding what they called regular work hours aka the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, both days of the weekend off. They also corralled a lot of work back into the office – a lot of jobs were done via what was called correspondence work – phone or letter – working remotely from either home, a satellite facility or a set site. However, since a lot of new jobs were coming from the government, banks or larger companies in the 1940’s in the wake of the Great Depression, working in an office became the model of most workplaces.

          If you watch the reactions of the generation before me (I am a Gen X’er) about working non-standard hours, four days a week – especially in the US – it becomes unfathomable for them. For them, dressing formal or semi-formal and always reporting for work via some sort of punch card in a regular office is the norm. And most of them believe you had to have a “real college degree” that translated into a good job. Not that it is true – it’s what they came into and built after a generation of people who fought in several wars against the enemy of Capitalism basically dropped responsibility in their laps. Nearly all my parents and their friends all think that me working from home 2 days of a 4 day, 10 hour work week is the most abnormal, non-American thing someone who has a job can do. My dad’s brother blames Globalism – he thinks the US having a healthier, less stressful work regime is a Socialist, European bad thing.

          Liberal arts degrees have been seen as a double-edged sword by that same generation. Some are okay with it, since that’s the degree they went into another job with. Some see liberal arts as that time when women burned their bras and something that purely works only in California. Come to the Great Plains or the Midwest, and people roll their eyes at your liberal arts degree. Is it Ag? Is it Math? Is it English? What is your degree solely focused on? My grandfather (pre-Boomer generation) thought that if you’re not getting a degree in either engineering or economics, you were probably going to dig ditches the rest of your life. He was a farmer – farmers didn’t need degrees (although nowadays, I laugh when I think about how wrong that is – you can get a degree in Agriculture and do so much better).

          I’ve only paid attention to the mindsets of older generations because the evolution of workplaces and the type of work that our society does now compared to 90 years ago was part of my minor in college. The acceleration of technology and the replacement/change of jobs is a hurdle for a lot of older people. People who work in finance, for example. Then, they filed actual papers and did work on 10 key machines, writing sums in ledgers. Today, they import files from Oracle into an Excel spreadsheet that does all the math for them (or they build the spreadsheet and make it standard for others). Then, they counted money expenditures in a singular method, understanding tax exemptions at a basic level. Today, they operate on Cap Ex and Op Ex, letting machines do the taxes and exemptions automatically. And as we move into mobile phones and laptops, no one needs a desktop anymore. They basically work wherever they sit down. Money is moved via a touchscreen (you don’t even need debt/credit cards anymore).

          I see Herb as part of that similar group of the left behind older generation. They can’t see the positive part of a modern tech or progressive society, so they bag on it (or try to steer their kids away from it).

        5. Interesting thing about the college degree required part. One of my professors was an Austrian Economist (school of thought not actually Austrian) one of the big things they focus on is unintended consequences. This lead to a discussion in our course on economics and ethics in policy. Where we talked about where some of these things came from. For college degree required it used to be that corporations could have you take an IQ or other similar (and biased) tests it was made illegal by the supreme court as I recall, and as a result they looked for another way to screen employees towards the same goal. The result of the time was requiring a college degree. Now since then it has become more of a tradition, and statement of quality of work they want from someone or the level of training, and also just a way to limit how many applicants they have to look through since they can now setup a tool to eliminate any applicant that doesn’t have keywords in the resume associated with either the degree level or type they want.

        6. It’s really distasteful when someone resorts to the candy shell of a meme instead of analyzing what the factors may be in the underlying causes.

        7. I think you’re dead on. As an example, once I had my degree in programming, I started working in IT, though not as a programmer. My dad (boomer, and I’m a millennial; they had kids very late) kept trying to get me to work on base as a secretary, even though it was a massive pay cut and a dead-end job. I was low-level IT with tons of room for growth and advancement and already better off than the jobs he wanted me to take would allow.

          It took over ten years for him to finally see that what I was doing that was foreign to him has merit and is still a growing industry. Secretaries in his day were well paid and well respected because they were educated, but now a lot of those skills are basic ones required for most jobs in any kind of office environment. And when I say secretary, that’s exactly what I mean, the stereotypical secretary. not an administrative assistant or executive assistant. He thought I should answer phones, take messages, and greet people walking into an office, and maybe update a calendar, nothing more. And working on base meant the perks of being civil service, which I can’t ignore, but they just didn’t outweigh what I already had going for myself.

        8. What seems rather weird to me is that a generation that grew up with their mothers working the same hours as their fathers – in a capacity of replacing labor displaced by war time – now see women having equivalent jobs now as some sort of threat to men having decent jobs. So they continue to push what they see as typical feminist employment (secretaries, flight attendants, clerks, etc). A lot of the older generation I interviewed were turned off by most progressive thinking in the workplace. Some were downright racist (but they were fearful of getting fired), but the real issue I encountered was the blatant sexism that seemed to be considered “harmless” and “acceptable.”

          For example – my sister is a Director at an IT company (I am as well, just different companies). My dad and her father-in-law are both like, “Why don’t you stay at home and take care of the kids and feed your husband,” or, “Being a director … isn’t that more of a man’s job?” My sister has stopped talking to her father in law for now. I don’t like that attitude either, but I understand the mindset (mostly) that created it. That’s what has to be changed (or let it die out) – the mindset.

      1. Just FYI, whenever someone goes on about “Boomers this” and “Boomers that”, my Boomer friends and I inevitably look at each other and go, “who the heck are they talking about, that doesn’t sound like anyone we’ve known.”

        Any broad generalization about any category comprised of 70+ million people is almost guaranteed to be pretty inaccurate about, well, most of them.

        1. Here’s a problem with generations as a whole –

          The baby-boomer generation is technically two groups of people. People born post war (1946) and people born during the … more progressive years of the late 50’s/early 60’s. Most of the negativity you hear about “boomers” is the earlier portion of the spectrum. They had more stringent upbringings and most of them had to basically take over when war took their fathers and brothers, leaving them in charge. They also had to rebuild the system in the light of a New Deal. A lot of what was acceptable as work and workplaces, as well as hobbies and social norms, was re-established by that group. I’ve noted a majority hate the re-arranging of their lives and expectations. Which is nothing new – we’re creatures of habit. Not all early boomers are stuck – most are, but some actually had the opportunity to get over it.

          The later half of the boomers are more progressive in many ways, but I sort of consider them the bump to Gen X. There is a lot of rebellious behavior by late Baby Boomers. Music, social norms, the break down of segregation racially and sexually, drugs, etc. The problem is that right there is when things start to change faster. Technology becomes a huge focus of society. We go to the moon and everything else in that decade (well, the late 50’s is a huge push to tech). In previous generations, the length of a defined generation occurred usually on a turning point in civilization. Well, since the 60’s, we’ve had basically 8 of them. But only three generations defined.

          The reality is you have technically 6 generations. Early baby boomers (or Boomers, as the Internet tends to label them), late baby boomers, early Gen X, late Gen X, early Gen Y and late Gen Y. They are all based on basically the change of social norms and the leap in technology that changes how they interact with each other and their jobs. Early Gen X, for example, flow into the late Gen X right when the Cold War begins to decline and computers and phones change. Late Gen X changes/transitions into early Gen Y when the Cold War is ending and everything goes more digital. Early Gen Y transitions into late Gen Y when the Internet becomes prevalent and there’s a huge change to family make-up/greater acceptance of alternative life styles and economic technology changes.

          So the line is blurred in the later generations because the change of society and technology is accelerating. If you grew up in tech and evolved with the tech/social revolution, you are more tolerant of change and the later generations. If not, well … that’s where some of our problems are with the so-called “Boomers” that younger people despise.

    3. If anything, it’s Pumpkin’s mother who isn’t cool with the “likes other girls” portion. She’s the one who said, “THANKFULLY.”

      Again, that’s more realistically true today. Out of all the homophobic reactions in parents, more mothers react negatively to their daughters being lesbians than fathers do. It’s actually quite surprising that there are a good deal of stories out there where the father ends up being the most supportive element in the family to their daughter’s coming out. Now, it actually happens in reverse when the son comes out. Fathers seem to have more issues with it than mothers do, and more mothers are supportive of their son being gay.

      1. “Fathers seem to have more issues with it than mothers do, and more mothers are supportive of their son being gay.”

        That’s because straight guys like yuri and straight gals like yaoi.

        1. You know, you’d think that something like that would be a weird thing to say, or very dumb thing to say, but there is research out there that proves that people of the opposite sex in families tend to be more supportive of what is considered “deviant” behavior in their siblings/children if that child or sibling is not of the same sex.

          So yeah, you could be on to something there. A lot of guys love lesbian porn, and hate boy love (BL) type things. And women tend to accept BL and feel uncomfortable with girl on girl love.

          Also, note the type of language that you’ll see when researches talk about how women react to vs how men react. Men “hate” and “love” things in pretty straight-forward fashion. Women “prefer” and “feel uncomfortable/dislike” things in a more broad and nuanced fashion. I find it fascinating how “male” or “female” we identify things by the language one “gender” (or the perception of gender) uses. It’s why I have a sociology minor to my psychology degree.

        2. On the case of the fathers, I’d guess it comes down to a simple…

          “The guys who get with my daughter, likely want to do to my daughter, what I like to do with my wife/gf/mother of my child.”

      2. Not surprising at all, when you consider what most dads think about their daughter coming out as lesbian:


        THAT is a dad’s biggest concern: some dirtbag knocking up his daughter and then is nowhere to be seen when daughter has the baby she now has to support. This literally becomes moot when daughter falls for another girl.

    4. If that’s how you choose to understand it, then yes. If, however, you take Pumpkin’s dad at face value, in that he wishes to see her introduced to influences h considers ‘effeiminate, electronics up their ass, cartoon fantasyland’, that’s also your choice. If I may be allowed to apply my own biases, what I see is a hardworking and traditional dad, maybe a little frustrated by what he views as a useless hobby of his daughter (and ignorant of the possibility that it may, in fact, turn out to be extremely lucrative in the long run), is trying to introduce other influences into her life that he construes as more useful.

      tl;dr, until he comes out and says “I DONT WANT NO DAUGHTER OF MINE MUNCHIN’ CARPET”, maybe just give him the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Ugh, this is why i can’t be an editor. “in that he wishes to see her introduced to influences OTHER THAN THOSE he considers … etc etc

      2. Or, rather, he see’s her hobby for what it is and perhaps see’s it for exactly how it generally plays out.

        “Look at me! Trying to live off my looks.”

        Cosplayer. Good looking girl. He may not care for his daughter turning into a Jessica Nigri, while also not caring for the Japan crap.

    5. While I can’t say that I know from personal experience, “keeps mouth shut about hoping it were otherwise and just tries to play off being clueless for making sure there’s exposure to see if hormones prove otherwise” doesn’t seem like that horrible for parents hoping a child’s sexuality might be other than it is (which I think happens to be asexual or demisexual for Pumpkin as opposed to lesbian as I recall).

      Frankly a parent who misses “absolutely perfect and ideal” but still hits “is clueless here or there but loves and supports once things are clear” seems like a win to me (though granted, I’m not a parent either).

  2. Looks like Dad invited the wrong “masculine influence” to the party. Kid is most likely a red piller/PUA who thinks he’s the Goddess’s Gift to all females. I hope Pumpkin sees thru all that and tears him a new one.

    1. I think Pumpkin will remain immune purely because he’s a combination of everything she dislikes in society and some of her more … popular sisters. Also, Pumpkin prefers other women, so there’s that as well.

      1. That’d be pretty funny if Pumpkin is really just jealous of Mr. Cool Guy and secretly wishes she could be a smooth teen rebel like him. Not that she isn’t attractive and well liked, but there’s being cool and then there’s being the coolest. The distance between them can seem vast to a teenager. Apparently everyone attracted to dudes just turned into goo upon seeing him and everyone who views him as competition is scowling up a storm. Maybe he *is* a douchebag, but so far all hes done is say “Hey”.

      2. It has NEVER been established that Pumpkin is a lesbian or even has romantic interest in anyone at all. In fact, one of her first big talks with Quinn alluded strongly to this in this strip: http://shotgunshuffle.com/comic/for-those-who-wait/

        That is one thing Chris has tried to hammer home in his commentaries if you have had a chance to read them: he originally intended Pumpkin to be either asexual or at the very least demi-sexual. That does not mean that it could change; but I think he wants to use Pumpkin as an example of how people wrongly come to asinine conclusions about a person based solely on looks, interests, or lack of a “significant other”. Funny that many of the people commenting on Pumpkin are making the same kind of knee-jerk conclusions about her; so in that respect Chris is succeeding even better than he thought.

    2. You might end up being right about him, but it’s pretty judgemental of you to come to that conclusion based on a couple of panels of what is mostly other people gossiping about the guy. How about letting him at least say a few lines before making assumptions eh?

      1. ^^^This. We are taking this at (literally) face value. We’ve had a month (welcome back btw) to analyse the effect of his entrance, and no time to see how Chris writes him. For all we know, the class president of the swim team wishes he could put his ‘flying’ skills to use with the nerds in the Star Trek club, but they all seem to know so much more than he does. Dunno. It’s a trope for a reason.

        As for the conversation between Herb and Rosemary, as a boomer myself, I say bring it. Married people talking about a surface issue, with an obvious build-up of fragments of past conversations and bitten tongues informing what they’re saying, is damn good writing. It would not be appropriate for them to launch into full analysis at this time. (Save that for Thanksgiving or Christmas for full trope value.)

        1. I’d like to point out that Chris tends to want to make his negative characters not be irredeemable and his positive characters not perfect.

          Likely this kid has some degree of redemption value based on Chris’ tendencies and his introduction, it’s more a question of if it’s minimal or maximal.

        2. “As for the conversation between Herb and Rosemary, as a boomer myself, I say bring it. Married people talking about a surface issue, with an obvious build-up of fragments of past conversations and bitten tongues informing what they’re saying, is damn good writing. It would not be appropriate for them to launch into full analysis at this time.”

          That is a great point, and a point where you start to see the change between two very different generations. Since there was such a large change in the social dynamic between early and late baby boomers, for example, biting one’s tongue in public while having a husband/wife discussion at the grill/kitchen is actually typical. One generation disagreeing with another and possibly desiring to try to get along developed because the more rebellious portion of the generation was still invited over for holidays, so avoiding arguments or being disruptive during the “truce” periods meant not talking about opinions.

          What makes me chuckle is that a lot of kids of that generation saw this, and began to understand what was going on, so it became the subject of a lot of movies and/or TV comedies. King of the Hill type behavior – grouping of like-minded individuals of the same age to try to talk out what is going on at home, hoping they don’t seem “wrong” because their opinion differs from the young’uns, so to speak.

        3. Again that was me, hitting POST COMMENT before I noticed the browser had only caught half of my creds. LOL

  3. Let the man grill. I have dibs on the ribs when they’re done.

    Also, this converation reminds me of the old Death Note “now I behind you” meme.

  4. Heh. Classic dad. He *didn’t* think about his decision that much. That’s kinda the point. But classic mom just can’t believe someone wouldn’t obsess over such a decision, because she would. He didn’t even know the kid. He knew his dad.

      1. It’s true that she didn’t stop to think “What if my daughter doesn’t actually like some of these people?” but she did research her daughters friends list and probably looked at all their profiles. She was so thorough, in fact, that she recognized immediately that a kid (Mr. Cool Guy) had shown up who she hadn’t checked.

  5. Herb wants Pumpkin to spend time with a popular guy who does what Herb considers “real man” stuff. Probably thinks he’ll be doing her a favor if he can get her interested in boys. What’s going to happen (has already started) is Pretty Boy will steal Pumpkin’s spotlight at her own birthday party. She won’t like that, and it will end in tears and/or anger.

    1. With the entirety of the population of the party being a crapshoot from parents since Pumpkin wasn’t specifying preference, I think you might be overstating impact simply due to the fact that Pumpkin’s already anticipating things being not as she would prefer (with only seconds to resolve herself to that, granted).

    2. Wow, that brought back some memories! A friend called her brother “the friend stealer” for a couple years because he was hanging out with her and her friends at her birthday party. They were talking to him, and she got mad and sulked in her room for part of the party.

      She might be upset because her friends are gushing, or she might just dislike him for other reasons. But if Herb is lucky, Rosemary will take the fall for his invitation.

  6. Welcome back and take your time. Thanks for the work.

    My family is a complex and mixed family as well. It takes a lot. You inspire me. Good luck.

    How the hell ya’ll can hold all this backstory and recall it, like. . . . no. I just can’t. I am thankful for your almanac brains all the same.

    1. *patpat* I get that. But ‘almanac’ (would that make him almaniacal?) is also somewhat appropriate, as there is always a lot of pattern analysis and prediction going on in a fandom, never mind its creator.

  7. He lives. Glad y’all survived.

    And it’s not that some of us don’t want to know what’s going on, or don’t care. We just don’t want ya to shoot your dick off by having it up on the net before it is well and truly handled

    And by we I at least mean me.

      1. Now we just need Chris to make a picture of Herb asking Freakazoid if he wants to get an Orange Julius and all will be right with the world!

        1. Its okay, Steve has to say his three times in front of a mirror so he’s safe. Wait, I’m thinking of Candyman, not Candlejack m

  8. Now for something less deep and analytical – is ‘The Chief’ with the pizza on Herb’s apron a specific reference, or just a twist on ‘Kiss the Chef’? (Or both, insert ‘Both is Good’ meme?)

  9. I mostly see Herb as not wanting his daughter to become a shut-in otaku which isn’t that unreasonable in my opinion. Getting her to socialize with people outside her small bubble of friends might be good for her.

    1. Could be lifestyle. I know a lot of comic book artists that have many of the same issues that web comic artists do, and it’s lot to do with lifestyle of an artist expected to put out a certain amount of material to keep the pay coming in. Lot of folks also ignore their health until it goes sideways.

  10. Welcome back, and don’t feel you need to explain everything. Just glad to see you’re okay.
    As the recent lessons of Carson King have reminded us, everything posted on the internet comes back to eventually bite you in the ass. Don’t feel that you have to explain the recent delay in the comic with personal life tales. The fact us those that have followed you know the kind of (ex)family you’re dealing with and that it’s in your best interest to NOT explain where you’ve been.

    Let just say thanks. If you’re going to be gone for a while, just drop a quick note in the comments from time to time to say “yes, I’m alive” (learned that from a friend who DIDN’T die in the towers on 9/11 and didn’t let us know where he was until weeks later). People worry when we don’t hear anything, big guy!!

  11. Glad to see you’re alright.

    Agree with Rick above, specifying why life’s being a pain can cause problems at time and isn’t expected, but a note here or there that you’re fine and life’s just being a pain and will be back later is greatly appreciated.

    In one of the long dry spells for feedback in the past I did actually search for obituaries in Grant, Alabama area (where you were living at the time) to try to verify that you hadn’t been the victim of a tragic accident or something. This one was still a week or three from that point, but a note here or there to avoid that is appreciated (details not at all needed, just “I’m ok but things are a pain” sort of message).

  12. Boomers come in two flavors, those who supported our troops in Vietnam, and those who spat on them and called them baby killers. I would call Herb as a member of the supporter faction. His motivations would be for his daughter to have a “normal” life, and would be much less accepting of the whole social change bit.

  13. Kind of hard to believe that this is the same guy, who just a while ago, was telling his wife calmly that “it’s just the movies.”

    1. I’m a boomer mum and my daughter is bi, and I support her wholeheartedly. The people she has dated are good folk, even though some of them have made her sad for a while. (Actually, my husband falls on the LGBT spectrum as well, and that was always okay with me too. Simply a larger pool of potential partners he’s not married to.)

    2. And with the serious answer out of the way….
      He mows the lawn, he cleans the grill, he likes a beer or two,
      Dress up in a novelty apron, and set up barbecue!

      1. Thank christ you wrote that followup. I was desperately trying to read your first reply to the lumber jack tune, but after straining to rhyme wholeheartel-eye with “my daughter is bi” I got so completely lost in the subsequent text that it took me a solid minute to sort out that you didnt mean for the tune to continue and to comprehend it by just reading it normally.

  14. I’ve read this comic like I always do. Several times, once for the dialog, again for the art, and third time to enjoy it. What I see from Herb is a father that wants to expose his youngest daughter to what he considers normal hobbies, and masculine figures, who are not distracted by fantasy, and imagination and are grounded in the real world. This not an attempt to change her but to show her what else is out there that she may have to deal with in the future. Also it’s his misguided way of trying to do right by her. I mean the guys got seven kids, I don’t know how many of you are from large families but I’m the eldest of six. I can tell you from my experience that after the first three or four, parents of a certain age get tired and don’t parent as well as they once did. Things slip through the cracks, mistakes are made, and they let it weigh down on them.

  15. Parents gonna meddle, it’s in the job description. Not shown is the molecular fine print detailing ‘with each other’ as well as their kids.
    Looking at the Patreon clips on the side the irony that they both have men on their backs with females over them is noted.
    For completely different reasons of course, but the parallel is funny.

  16. I think Herb’s actions are more reflective of him just not understanding Pumpkin than anything else, so he invited an influence he (thinks) he can understand. IIRC the whole fishing trip thing didn’t go well and the bigger issue might be connected to that.

  17. With the story branching out onto all the female characters and working through the sisters, I’m curious if we’ll ever find out for sure what Pumpkin’s issue actually is. That chapter with the cosplaying bull-dyke was way too close to a potential statutory rape situation, in my mind.

    Besides, Pumpkin was interested in Quinn. Even if she’s only “curious” Pumpkin’s taste in slightly older women is already alpha level. If she does goes down that path, I hope she keeps her game up and never settles for some dumpy ugly fat chicks. The world’s got enough ugly lesbians, let’s not import them to indy web-comics.

    1. I wouldn’t call Pumpkin’s attraction to slightly older women, alpha level.

      Quinn is 2-3 years older than Pumpkin. That’s not exactly alpha level.

      As for the dumpy ugly fat chicks, my first thought is, they don’t show up in web comics. Most are made out to be hotties. Time to change it up and start making them all fat and ugly.

  18. Heh, I just noticed he’s using a nonmetal grill brush, smart dude, the metal bristles can break off, lodge in food and cause harm if ingested.

  19. I know it’s just me, and that it’s not relevant, but I find Rosemary’s submissive stance in the last panel… enticing. Especially considering how just a few panels back she was all boss mom casually wielding a knife while ordering her daughter around.

    The confounding part is not knowing if she really is submissive to the Chief, if she only acts submissive when it suits her purpose, or if it even matters, ya know?

  20. … (about to say something in the comments) … (about to say something else after he reads a little)… (considered saying something he thinks will be sensible) … (ponders… then walks the fuck away)
    Interesting game… the only winning move, is to not play… -Wargames

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