Published On: January 10, 2018

Parental Advice Hour

Incident 284 Research Notes – 023: A. Fairchilde: Come on... we're pretty late into their development here and there's been no sign of influence or contaimination A. Fairchilde: Shouldn't we get back on the move? M. Winsaia: A little patience. This may be relevant if you're forced to actually interact with them. A. Fairchilde: In my experience, people don't like it when they know you've spied on their past. M. Winsaia: Perhaps... just don't let them know that you have? M. Winsaia: Maybe? A. Fairchilde: ... They also don't like it when you lie. M. Winsaia: Obfuscate better? A. Fairchilde: Wow. ---------- Welp, it's a new year and we're back! Time to deal with the aftermath of the previous. They're still technically moving in, so it's pretty bland in there right now. I didn't get much of anything done in that last bit of 2017. Full on crash mode, meaning there's still a commission or five to wrap up. It'll be interesting to see what life will be like on the other side of that being done.

11 thoughts on “Parental Advice Hour

  1. Dotted lines on the walls? “Install window here?”

    Sarah thought her mom didn’t know she and Ash were schtoinking, but Ash’s mom knew about it? Not gonna happen. Equally unlikely that Ash didn’t eventually tell Sarah that her mom knew; if Ash kept that FROM Sarah for that long I’d be worried about THEIR relationship.

    I think it’s interesting how kids think that they can keep a secret from one parent but can tell another.

    “You know that ‘talking’ thing? You know we do that occasionally, right?”

    1. Ryan Gindlesperger

      Actually, yeah, on the dotted lines. xD
      This conversation is going to be the subject of the next couple of pages, which should help clear things up a little… and I never said that this relationship started off as the healthiest.

      They’re kids and this would be their first serious relationship. Stuff gon’ get messy. That’s actually most of the focus of this arc. I love a good “build the tension and watch a couple become a couple” story, but it always bothers me that those stories always just… end there. Assumed happily ever after. Relationships take work… and good ones are a complete joy to experience. When it comes to the romantic aspects of Mastery, I am hoping to focus more on the evolution of relationships already in progress than all those first times and awkward beginnings.

      As always, I’m excited to hear your take on the story. I was actually talking to Ari last night about how much I enjoy having people who have raised kids being vocal in the audience (naturally referring to you). Since I’ve got all the spoilers, it lets me know that I’m getting things across fairly well <3.

      Good parental relationships also seem to be pretty sparse in comics. This ain' gonna be one of those... at least with Sarah and Ash. Kenji could stand to up his game a bit and Cheng... well... I guess he's doing pretty well, all things considered.

      1. And here I thought it was the classic cartoon visual shortcut for “This is the outline of where an item USED to be!” Someone stole a painting off the wall, and they just haven’t noticed yet. =)

      2. I’m really glad you take my incessant ravings so well. I love these characters, and yeah, sometimes the whole Mom/Dad/daughter/son thing makes you want to rip your hair out.

        Even with the best of intentions, and from a basis of love, sometimes these things kinda get… …strained. Goin’ through that right now with one of my spawn, so I can relate.

      3. The thing I keep seeing in your comics is you can see that Kenji cares about Rei, and ESPECIALLY Cheng about both Xiu Mei and Min Hua. I think he really feels guilty about giving Min Hua the short end of the stick and it took Kenji kicking him in the butt about it for him to figure out that he had to deal with it. I’m *really* big on the evolution of Xiu Mei and Min Hua over the prequel arc, it seems so… authentic.

  2. One other thought. HUGE points to Jane here for handling it like she did. That’s a GOOD relationship between mother and daughter.

  3. Hey there!

    Just a thought, I might be full of it, but I thought I’d bring something up I just noticed.

    I think you’ve created yourself a “Star Wars moment”, and not in a good way. You and George Lucas.

    On Page 54 of Act 1, there is a big reveal, on the order of “Luke, I am your father” when Sare “comes out” to Jackie. This is enhanced in the next page when it becomes obvious that Jackie and Jane knew all along but were “keeping quiet” about it.

    However, here you have gone through what is essentially an Anakin-becomes-Luke prequel reveal here in this *ahem* prequel.

    The problem is, just like Star Wars, the reveal in Act 1 is MUCH more potent than the eventual “Mom, we fucked” reveal you get here. Especially since Ash pretty much hints her plans in the previous comic. Then, the next couple comics spoil the whole “the Moms knew” angle.

    As a result, you’ve positioned yourself that if you put the Prequel BEFORE Act 1 you know that Ash and Sarah are having sexy times BEFORE the big reveal in Act 1.

    Now, it’s not as earth-shattering of a reveal than the whole Anakin/Vader thing (Lucas pretty much hit us all with a baseball bat, and you sorta hint that Sarah and Ash are an item BEFORE it become obvious) but it’s uncannily similar– I guess I’ll have to go back and read it again once you’ve completed this prequel. (oh, dear.)

    Just like the Machete order (, maybe the best thing would be to either leave this prequel where it is– maybe if you thought you needed it you could wrap the entire Prequel in a couple “here comes a flashback” and “there goes a flashback” bumper comics so the continuity isn’t disturbed.

    Just something to think about– the comic is OUTSTANDING either way. Hope you’re doing better after battling the Wrath of Con.

    1. Ryan Gindlesperger

      xD I always love hearing from you. This story is legitimately better because of all of your input.

      I’m with you on this one for the most part, except that the focus on the reveal wasn’t intended to be a surprise for the reader. The intention to show that they were in a relationship early on was always the plan, normalizing it a bit. The “will they, won’t they” is for Rei and Min. These two? They’re to be solid from the get-go, focusing more on the challenges of maintaining a relationship and enjoying all that comes after the almighty ‘get together’ moment that so many love stories end at.

      The reveal in act one is intended to show where Sarah is emotionally at that point in time, that after years of keeping all of this on the down-low, that secrecy is no longer as important to her, particularly in the wake of all the woomidy woom. It’s definitely not the usual method of playing keep-away for the big reveals. I’d like to think I’ve been pretty blatant about showing how close these two were physically (sneaking kisses in the hallway at school) without bringing so much focus as to overshadow the main plot bulldozing into their lives.

      Having the parents know beforehand, particularly Jane, is a big part of showcasing Ash and Jane’s relationship, how Ash handles herself around Sarah’s feelings early on (which becomes more relevant as time moves on), and to display the competency of their parenting in the wake of such a potentially disastrous situation. This will make more sense as time goes on.

      Again, it’s not the points that are usually focused on in stories like these, but that’s intentional. We’ve all read those stories before. It might not always be the most dramatic or impactful way to go about it, but I’m just tellin’ the story the girls are telling me. <3

      Also, almost recovered from the convention. The work week was insane as well. It's always crazy when I come back from any days off. This week has been nutters enough that I haven't been able to even touch the fanfic I've been writing!

      1. Ryan,

        Imma have to probably revisit this later– I’ll let you build out the story so I can get a better idea of the flow.

        Now, please understand, this is YOUR and the GIRLS’ story– it’s great either way, and I think the story will be fine one way or t’other.

        I’m just sitting here throwin’ popcorn at the screen occasionally, don’t mind me if I don’t have it right.

        1. Ryan Gindlesperger

          Oh, I totally agree with you on the ‘leaving the pages and stories in this order’ front.
          It kinda stinks that there’s like, fifty pages of Act 1 and then this prequel arc…. the first intermission arc wasn’t supposed to be for quite a bit yet.
          I legit appreciate the popcorn. I would be lying if I said it didn’t help to have those other viewpoints to help me figure out where I might not be conveying the points I’m trying to. I hope you keep chuckin’ it!
          Remember Rocktopus? They used to throw out art critique pretty often. I kinda miss that too. xD

        2. All-Purpose Guru

          I think you’re OK with the story being somewhat nonlinear, keeps the audience interested. Now, if you get to the point of Game of Thrones with each chapter being a different slice of the story for a particular character, it will get confusing– but your story does seem to be flowing pretty smoothly.

          One of the reasons why I like going back and re-reading arcs of the story is it’s very hard to get a feel for the story when it’s delivered a-page-at-a-time, so it’s good to do that once in a while so you can see how it all sticks together.

          I need to do that for Megatokyo, it’s gotten to the point where I have NO idea what’s going on in the story.

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