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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 27

796 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 27

Woah.

We had our thirty-second bonus page in a row on Wednesday and over the weekend while I was gone, y’all triggered TWO more bonus pages! That meant that in addition to our regular Saturday updates, a bonus page (page 28!) on Wednesday, February 26th, a bonus page (page 30!) on Wednesday, March 5th, and a bonus page scheduled for Wednesday, March 12th, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, March 19th and Wednesday, March 26th! And now, look below! We’re already at $227 towards the bonus page after those!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters James P. & Holly W. (both making their second generous donations to The Young Protectors!), Monty H. (who makes their fourth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their sixty-sixth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Melissa H. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Robert B., & Stephanie C. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Stephanie’s twenty-third, Robert’s fifty-fifth super-generous donations to this comic!

Superhero-strength hugs go out to long-time super-friend gregg H. for their amazingly generous $50 donation, their third amazingly generous donation to this comic!

And ZOMG, deeply grateful and very warm hugs go out again to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their stunningly generous $100 donation, their forty-sixth stunningly generous donation to this comic! Thank you so, so much, Christopher! Your very generous support and keen insights in the comments are very much appreciated!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Spooky’s got his own tale to tell about an experience in Hell. What more will he reveal? How will Kyle react? And why is he choosing to share this now?

Tune in this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there! 🙂

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 2/22/14 1:09 AM: You’ve done it AGAIN! 😀 Mere minutes after the page was posted, you yet again tipped over the donation bar. That means that in addition to our regular Saturday updates, a bonus page (page 28!) on Wednesday, February 26th, a bonus page (page 30!) on Wednesday, March 5th, and bonus pages on Wednesday, March 12th, Wednesday, March 19th and Wednesday, March 26th, there will now be an additional bonus page on Wednesday, April 2nd! February is not even finished and you’ve triggered a bonus page for April! WOO HOO! You all TOTALLY ROCK! Thank you so, so much for your amazing support! Hope to see you there!:D

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  • Sapfo

    Vojne, Vojne. Lets hear what Spooky have to say ^_^

    • Okay I have to ask, what does Vojne mean? I tried Google translate, but it said it was War, but it wasn’t in Swedish

      • Sapfo

        Vojne is kind of hard to explain. It is Finnish and is a complaint cry. Don´t really mean anything.
        (Finland and Sweden have a lot of history together. I think that is one of the reasons to why sister Sweden and Finland have at thing in Satw)

  • o_o THIRTEEN! omg.

    • That seems about right.

      • Holly

        13 is a very powerful number.

        • True

          • Holly

            Better than 7 or 9…

          • Sapfo

            Better look out, 21 is coming up soon for him.

          • SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Holly

            21 IS a power number 3×7.

            Next power number is 27 because it’s 3 cubed. but i don’t think much happens at 27.

          • Spooky has already spent a year in hell when he was only a kid, I don’t want to see anything bad/worse happen to him on his 21st.

          • Holly

            Bad? no. But he could ascend powerwise, or literally. So yeah…

          • That would be pleasant, I just don’t want any more bad things to happen to Spooky…..I mean Kyle has had it rough…..but Spooky…..Spooky……that….is a LOT for a kid to go through….he seems fine now, but just how long after coming back it take?

          • Holly

            That depends on if Time moves differently in Hell.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Like for Illyana Rasputin in X-Men?

          • b3nc0

            Don’t you know about the 27s’ club? (Hendrix, Joplin, Cubain…) But, hey!, nothing to be afraid of, Spooky ain’t in the rock industry

  • Holly

    I officially give up.

    • Sapfo

      Good night?

      • Holly

        I’m not going to bed… Last week the page went up 2 hours from now. This is SO EARLY.

        No I just…can’t deal with the spooky feels. Plus virgins…

        • Yes, this is very early. I was shocked when I saw the tweet come through.

          • Holly

            Yeah I was saying on the last page I was going to bed probably before the new page was up, because I need to be in bed in like an hour. And last week the page wasn’t until until like 2:30 my time. Shockingly early.

    • EyeDontNo

      Night Holly.

  • Not even a glimpse of Mitch on this page. 🙁

  • silibub

    Nngh! Ohhh, my god, Spooky…

  • jreed3842

    Whoa…. That’s some heavy stuff (I think I said that last time too)
    Wow! Poor Spooky…. A Whole year?! God, that’s awful.

    • b3nc0

      & remember how loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong a year was/felt when you were 13?

  • Holly

    “To make me believe I liked it”

    My heart is shattered for Spooky now. Just Shattered.

    • I’m with you on this one 🙁

    • I wanna cry. How did he make it through without going insane???

      • Holly

        Spooky is AWESOME!?

        • SofiaT

          Sheer willpower?
          Our boys are survivors, all of them.

  • Woah is right. I have no other words.

  • FOR A WHOLE YEAR????? AT AGE 13!!!!!!!!!!

    • Holly

      HAPPY FOURTEENTH BIRTHDAY! FREEDOM

  • SofiaT

    I remember reading somewhere that after you’ve faced your worst fears, you don’t fear anything ever again.

    Staying in hell for a whole year and living to tell the tale, is probably the reason Spooky is so laid-back about everything. Not much can stress you after that.

    • Holly

      Good point. I still want to hug the hell out of him and knit him into a sweater.

      I mean knit a sweater around him, not like turn him into one…

      • Maria White

        Oh, wool sweaters, nice and comfy and itchy, can be helping him scratch… oh my yes. *mumbles incoherently*
        …………..now would he like cables, nah, nor fair isle hmmm… maybe a vest, not a whole sweater. I’d think something to do with magic, so intarisa is a must, blues, greens, and a little red and gold for contrast. No buttons, just a pullover, but attachable hood? Maybe, he might like that. Gonna have to reinforce the neckline so that it doesn’t pull any stitches with yanking, cause boys. I think a fetching swirl pattern, with runes spelling out protection spells would be good. Along the waist of course to have the most available space. Probably want to do cotton, rather then wool, as cotton can be nice and warm during winter, but breathable during summer. Sport weight or less for yarn. Maybe even lace weight to make it lovely, using fetching variable color greens, blues, and red to make an almost wave like color scheme.

        Wait… was I thinking something perverted awhile ago? Hmmm… nevermind that! I need to look up patterns to use! And buy yarn! LOTS OF YARN! *evil laughter*

        ((I… yeah, I can knit.))

    • Derkins

      exactly.

    • Steven K.

      Well, I suppose you’ve got a point there for sure.

  • mogoskier

    Please tell me I am interpreting this wrong. please please 🙁 :'(

    • Holly

      I WANT TO MOGO BUT I CAN’t! *hugs*

  • SofiaT

    So how did Spooky end up in hell? Was it as part of an induction? Part of him “becoming a man” or “coming into his powers”? Was it a test? And if yes, who would subject a child to something like this?

    • It’s possible he was messing with magic and accidentally sent himself there.

      • silibub

        Truuue that, although he did say he “was sent” to hell, which implies someone did it for him.

        • Of course sometimes a person speak about it, saying well I sent myself to hell. Though it’s most likely someone else. Just a thought.

      • A little bit like Full Metal Alchemist?

        • It could be. It’s not an unusual scenario with children and magic.

      • SofiaT

        That’s a possibility. The way he says that lots of spells make use of the power of birthdays makes me think it was deliberate though. Was it someone else or was it himself? Got himself into a situation he knew nothing about because he was confident he could manage?

        • It most likely wasn’t him, unless he saw that birthdays have power. And as you said, he might of thought he could manage. At 13 one would want to prove they were growing up.

          However it happened… I don’t want to say poor Spooky because that would seem like I felt pity when I don’t. I just…want to hug him, but he might not want such emotions either.

  • As always, thank you all, A, A & V. Stunning in the truest sense of the word.

    I’m definitely going to have to sleep on this one… and ponder… OH, A WHOLE LOT. I love that.

    Great twists, wonderful surprising turns and… always a thrill. Thank you all.

    • Sapfo

      I feel the same thing. That is hard stuff Spooky is telling. Don´t know what to do with this information. It´s like knowing to much and to little all at the same time.

      • This is a perfect comment, Sapfo. Sums up my feelings exactly.

    • silibub

      Oh, are you going to bed, or sticking around?

      • I think off to eat and sleep. This page needs soaking up. Alex has left us too much to think about. I’ve read too many books about people sent to hell who survived, but were forever changed by the experience in many good and bad ways. I need to clear those images from my brain, and see what Alex is saying about THESE guys in his world.

        I love it. Even in its extreme pain. That’s a story I want to hear know about and maybe someday see as a book of it’s own.

        What a stunning idea and how well it suits what we know about Spooky’s inscrutable character.

        Good night friends. More anon!

        Best,
        ChrisD

        • silibub

          All very true — have a good night, Chris! It is a lot to absorb, and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it!

    • I look forward to your thoughts!

      Goodnight, Chris!

    • Thank you, Christopher. As always, I look forward to reading your analysis. 🙂

  • silibub

    Am I off-base in thinking that, if Spooky was as young as thirteen when he was sent to hell, Sircea might not have been involved after all? And if she was, it certainly wouldn’t have been through a seduction like Duncan’s (I mean, come on.) Maybe she lured Spooky in by pretending she’d be his mentor, but used him as a kind of offering to the demons instead? *shudder*

    I just keep thinking of her line, “most small children do [seem sweet] at first” — it was a dig at Duncan, but could she have been alluding to Spooky, too? The only doubt I have is that Spooky’s warnings about her must have been fairly vague or Kyle would have nope’d the fuck out of there as soon as she showed up — you’d thinking being sent to hell for a year to be a plaything for demons would inspire a little more vehemence, even if Spooky didn’t want to get into particulars.

    And if Sircea wasn’t part of it, then (like SofiaT’s asking) how in the world did he wind up there?!

    I feel so fucking terrible for Spooky right now I can’t really organize my thoughts, sorry!

    • David Welbourn

      My best guess now is that Spooky went to Hell because of a trap.

      For example, suppose there was a 14th century evil wizard who booby-trapped his grimoire with a spell that would send the caster to Hell, but he purposefully mislabeled it so that anyone who stole the book would be strongly tempted to cast the spell; that way the wizard could punish any would-be thief. Except the book was never stolen and got handed down through the centuries from wizard to wizard, but never read, because the new owners were on guard against the original owner’s evil reputation. But maybe, Spooky somehow was the first to find the grimoire and not know any better.

  • silibub

    OH, BUT!! (addendum to my previous comment) Supervillains supposedly have understood rules against harming minors, which Spooky definitely was. I can’t imagine Duncan, who is a known enforcer of that policy, would be friendly with Sircea if she had sent a child to hell. (Unless he doesn’t know…oh god damn it!)

    • SofiaT

      Since I don’t believe that Duncan used lies except when he absolutely had to, I do believe that he wouldn’t harm children. And, even though I love to hate Sircea, I don’t think she would either… not if the two of them are friends (or whatever it is they are).

      The scariest scenario for me, is that Spooky could have been sent there by his own family. For training purposes. o.O

      • silibub

        Eeeek, the idea that his family might have had a hand in it didn’t even occur to me. What if that’s why he goes by the name he does, the very generic “Jones” — he doesn’t want to be associated with his family anymore?

        • SofiaT

          It would also drive home to Kyle that he’s wrong: it wasn’t his fault. Sometimes those you trust the most can hurt you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

          But it’s just one of many theories.
          Once again Alex gave us a lot of information that created more questions than the ones it answered!

          • silibub

            Yeahhh, that seems to be Alex’s specialty. This is a lot to take in — I pretty much have to reconstruct my view of Spooky as a character. (Which is cool, but I wish it wasn’t for such awful reasons!)

      • OMG! *covers head*

        Now I have to leave. G’nite.

      • Holly

        See that just makes me think of this scene that was in a Captain Marvel book. *shudders*

      • Adam Black

        You are conveniently forgetting the fire he started.
        —-Just to get a date.

        • SofiaT

          I’m not conveniently forgetting anything. I said that Duncan only used lies when he had to, not that he didn’t lie at all. The rest of the time he used half-truths and ambiguous statements that -in hindsight- hinted that he was not to be trusted.

          Kyle directly asked him if he set up the fire so he could meet with him, Duncan could hardly reply “yes” there and continue to hope that his plan of making Kyle trust him would work. So that was a necessary lie, one of the few direct lies he’s used.

          Him saying that minors are not to be harmed on the other hand, was unrequested and voluntarily provided information -which means he was telling the truth.

          • Not necessarily. Firstly, there’s no rule saying Duncan only lies when asked an awkward question. He has a motive to lie unprompted as well. Which leads me to-

            Secondly, remember, he was trying to get Kyle to see him as a loveable rogue, someone who has done bad things but can be reformed, as there’s some goodness there. The “never harms children” bit was key for Kyle starting to see Duncan as a flawed human rather than a wicked villain.

            And let’s not forget Duncan also voluntarily provided the information that he proactively imposes the “don’t harm children” thing on other supervillains, that he goes out of his way to punish those who do. We know that that was a lie, or at least extremely extremely misleading (i.e. the intention not being to protect all children but to protect one specific child up to the point of his 18th birthday because they needed him alive for the ritual then).

          • I always thought of him telling Kyle about the not harming super children under 18 as a sneaky way of telling Kyle he wasn’t safe anymore. Which also gives him an out. A legal rider of sort to cover his ass.

            Basically: “Hey, I told you it was the supers under 18 that are safe, that I protect. You were no longer under 18.”

          • That’s why I think the whole children spiel was a lie or a sneaky misrepresentation of the terrible truth.

            Someone who is so deeply committed to protecting children that he goes around threatening his fellow supervillains with nasty horrible revenge (and I think Duncan implies he’s done it at least once)…someone like that isn’t going to start hurting a person the very day that person is 18. It shows a complete lack of commitment to the moral ideal behind it all. No respect for it. He may technically not be cheating it, but it’s a clear violation of the spirit of his “rule”.

            That’s why I think Duncan’s comment was either a complete barefaced lie, or a sneaky (and with hindsight PAINFULLY sneaky) misrepresentation of his efforts to keep his victim safe until 18.

          • It’s quite possible. I’m not excusing him at all. But I think either way, he was stating it as a way of trying to cover his ass.

          • Does Dat Ass need to be covered?

          • He thinks it does. 😀

            Probably knew shiny and sharp pitchforks would be coming after him. Granted something like that can’t really protect him, but he gets a rusted star for trying.

          • SofiaT

            I have no doubt that the “no harm children policy” information was provided as a way to make Kyle trust him, so I agree with you there. I’m sure Duncan has many reasons of why he does the things he does and he always uses his actions in the way that will give him the greatest benefit. It fits his M.O. that he would use this little piece of information to further his cause.

            But how do you know for sure it was a lie -or that it was only meant to keep Kyle safe till he was needed for the ritual?
            At this point we’re all going on hunches -my hunch tells me he was being truthful and that he does avoid using lies when the truth will work just as well. Which seems to be the case here.

          • Because someone who is genuinely committed to protecting children from harm (to the extent that he inflicts nasty punishments on his supervillain colleagues) wouldn’t suddenly strike at his victim almost the very second the victim turns 18.

            It makes me think a bit of a dirty old man saying they are appalled by the idea of having sex with someone underaged, that they’re still children…and then waiting in bed with a girl just before midnight, staring at a clock, literally counting down the seconds to her 16th birthday.

            It may be “technically” in keeping with his no harm children vow, but it grossly violates the spirit of this vow. Grossly. Not to mention that all the grooming took place while Kyle was still 17.

            That’s why I believe Duncan’s no harm children vow was either a complete lie. Or he was distorting the truth, which is that he had to impose this law to stop other predators picking off his prey before he was ready to pounce himself. And he said it, whether a lie, or a misrepresentation of the truth, purely to make Kyle think better of him.

          • SofiaT

            I heartily agree with you. Those who don’t understand the difference between something being illegal and something being morally wrong irritate me the most -they completely miss the point and can be extremely dangerous as well, because they don’t even realise the damage they can inflict or how hypocritical their statements are. Laws change -if the age of consent was lowered to 12, would it suddenly be ok for an adult to bed a 12yo child? No. But those who only follow the letter of the law would see no problem in that.

            That said, you have to consider what constitutes harm in a villain’s mind. Their moral code -for those who have one- is not the same as that of normal people. Again, I’m not excusing it -what Duncan did was horrible, did hurt Kyle in a deep way and I don’t mind you giving him a poke or two-, but by understanding how Duncan thinks, you can predict what he would or wouldn’t be ready to do, what are his limits.

            As far as he’s concerned, Kyle is unharmed. He’s kept his promise and kept him safe, even though he was the one to place him in a dangerous situation to begin with (villain logic -go figure). Duncan hasn’t (in his mind) broken his rule of not hurting children, even if you consider Kyle to still be a child.

          • I think also, and I may be misinterpreting it, that Adam didn’t bring up the fire as an example of Duncan lying. I thought he meant it was an example of when Duncan did harm children/put their lives at risk. e.g. the baby that was just saved in time by Flyboy.

          • SofiaT

            I hear what you’re saying but for me there’s a distinction between someone (at least in a work of fantasy, such a superhero comic) who would actively hurt a child and someone who would create a situation where there is a possibility that children might get hurt.

            Duncan set that building on fire knowing that the team would get there to save the day. It was a calculated risk -and did he even know if there was a baby in the building? Did he care to know? For villains, such things are details that are beneath them (I’m not excusing that way of thinking, just saying how I believe this villain thinks).

            Sometimes, even for heroes, such things are details. We see superhero battles in cities taking place in the movies all the time, creating such destruction that makes the city look like it’s been bombed. Yet nobody ever mentions the human casualties, everyone gets on with their life. It’s part of the superhero reality.

    • mogoskier

      I don’t think that Sircea did this only because Spooky has told the team about her and I think he mention the sending to hell thing. Kyle smart, he would not go though a gate she created if she sent his best friend to hell.

  • Hi All, Sorry I didn’t camp with everyone tonight. Exhausted from a tough day at work and needed to spend my last bit of energy on writing. I have to say these terrible revelations are not something I can handle right now.

    Poor, sweet Spooky. ;_;

    Kudos to Alex, Adam, and Veronica for imbuing Spooky with such depth and surprise. I would not have expected this.

    I will be back when I’m better rested. Until then have a good night, everyone.

    • Thank you, Gryphongirl2. I look forward to reading your thoughts later. 🙂

  • Sapfo

    It is kind of amazing now knowing what Spookey´s been through, and still he is a very easy going guy. Now that is! Don´t really like to think of kiddy Spooky alone (if he was lucky) in hell.

  • Steven K.

    Oh FUCK – Spooky being the underage victim of demonic sexual child abuse???? THAT just might be more than I can take from something that I thought was supposed to make me feel good and be affirming, etc. Kyle’s betrayal and use and abuse was bad enough emotionally – but THIS??? I really didn’t want a story where there’s sexual abuse of an adolescent boy by monsters from Hell – that just takes this work into a very dark and terrible place – 10x even worse than the worst parts before – and veers toward quadruple-X child-porn category, even if it’s just mentioned and not depicted.

    • Steven K.

      I mean, I damn sure wish I could have been having sex at 12/13 – I sure wanted to – but at the hands – and Satan-only-knows-what-else – of terrifying monsters that I did not consent to touching me – without consent and obviously not liking it (or no need to try to convince the poor kid he DID like it) – and this being, again, an example of rape in some form or another (at 17 is bad enough, but at 12) that’s all just waaaay too abominable.

    • Steven K.

      Not just child porn, but non-consensual rape child porn (though even by law consent by a minor is not legal consent).

      • silibub

        All child porn is non-consensual and therefore rape.

        • Steven K.

          Well, as I was just editing – EXACTLY!

        • Holly

          exactly children don’t have the cognitive reasoning needed to consent.

          The ONLY example of “child porn” that could not be viewed as rape is adolescents who are in the Age of Consent, but not the Age of Exploit.

    • SofiaT

      That’s quite an accusation. There are no such pornographic depictions or even descriptions and the way this is being dealt with is -in my opinion- the best possible way and light in which such an issue can be discussed. These are sensitive emotional waters and Alex is navigating them with great artistry and sensitivity.

      One would argue that just the fact that Spooky is now a man -a hero- with solid principles, good friends and a positive attitude towards life, is a story of victory in itself.

      • Steven K.

        Sorry – I’m just a pretty emotional fellow – just stating how this is making me feel.

      • Steven K.

        I didn’t say it was, but veering into that direction – now we know and can imagine that happening. It was not depicted, but described. I know depictions in pictures have more weight than descriptions in words. But then we get into the very slippery and labile definition of what is pornographic. I have nothing against porn in any way obviously. But what about a story that describes sex and sex abuse with minors. Some may not even say that that is pornographic – just depictions of real life. I’m not one for censorship, but there are things I choose to stay away from. What about erotic fiction – with stories that describe forced sex with minors – is that OK? I don’t know. I might like reading about sex with minors – when I was a minor I wished I could have been getting some – so maybe I would have liked to read a fantasy novel like that. But not really forced sex on a minor by monsters – physically and psychologically abusing a newly-13 year old. All I can say is that, in exploring SUCH an emotionally and psychologically mine-laden topic, Alex must have known that he should be prepared for all types of reactions.

        • SofiaT

          Erotic fiction is meant to create certain reactions and sensations.
          This is not erotic fiction. This is dealing with a taboo issue -that for all the silence around it, is no less real- in a responsible way and with great sensitivity.

          So while I wouldn’t ever read about sex with minors -because that would be sexualising children, something I’m firmly against-, I have no problem with seeing a character with depth and substance discussing such an awful experience. Because it’s not an experience meant to titillate but to create sympathy and cleanse. And even, maybe, educate.

        • silibub

          I agree, there’s bound to be a range of responses to this topic. Maybe Alex might feel compelled to expand on his page notes after he looks through the comments.

          I would think a piece of erotic fiction that focuses on a minor forced into sex is deeply troubling, because it eroticizes rape and makes light of the trauma actual survivors experience. But that’s not the kind of thing we’re looking at here with Spooky, so I don’t think this takes the story in a pornographic direction.

          • Steven K.

            Well, I don’t think “pornographic” is even a bad thing. I love “porn” – I have a ton of it – and even some hardcore stuff (bondage, S&M – but all with consenting adults, though sometimes it’s not depicted as consensual). I would not think less of this work to admit that it IS a type of porn – just not too graphic. To me, pornographic is something that describes or depicts sex to a great extent – and I don’t judge that negatively. But, on the other hand, sex is not THE focus of this story, but the times where it has been involved so far have been very painful. This page is just as painful and emotionally traumatic for me as those after Duncan’s spell – maybe even worse, since Kyle at least consented to the sex part, if not the bondage and taken-to-hell part and the use and betrayal. Spooky obviously didn’t consent to being sexually abused by monsters. And, even if he did “consent” – and even if he DID like it, it would have legally still been rape. And being raped by humans is bad enough – but being the victim of it by horrible terrifying entities – to a just-past-12 tear old? There are a FEW things more horrific that can happen to someone (this kind of abuse along with physical torture or mutilation then murder, etc), but this is kinda getting a lot closer to those. And obviously Spooky intimates the psychological torture the entities put him through.

          • Steven K.

            So maybe this is NOT porn in that the sex is not the main focus, but it does involve erotic fiction – but so far nothing fun – just terrifying and abusive.

          • silibub

            I think the fact that sex isn’t the main focus of this story means it isn’t pornographic — and oh, you just commented saying that! We’re on the same page there, it seems.

            I’m actually very critical of porn (specifically the porn industry, not the actors themselves). I wouldn’t be reading this comic if I considered it a kind of porn — in this case, though, the sexual elements play into the story at large, and while drawn in an appealing way, the scene between Kyle and Duncan serves a purpose beyond getting people’s rocks off.

            The fact that sex isn’t a simple thing here, and has some serious emotional consequences for our protagonist, makes the story seem more grounded in reality. But that’s my opinion, and I definitely agree that it’s difficult and painful to see characters we identify with and care about suffer.

      • Jamie Dutton

        sofia, this just triggered every bad thing in my psyche and i’m a mess right now so i understand where steven is coming from. I really can’t read this right now. You should warn ppl about this one, please. sorry for the messey grammar i can barely see through the tears

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I am so sorry, Jamie.

        • SofiaT

          I’m sorry, Jamie. *hugs*

        • Holly

          I wish there was something i could do to soothe your psyche Jamie. It is always painful to just have our triggers thrust on us unwarned.

        • Steven K.

          Yes – I’m sorry as well, because I’m feeling the same way and knowing what you are going through.

          • Jamie Dutton

            this one is bad steve I can’t stop crying or shaking can you warn ppl on the last page to be careful if they can be triggered cause i[‘m barely holding it togetherr

          • silibub

            Jamie, are you going to be ok? I’m so sorry about this and worrying for you — do you have someone with you, or that you could call for some support?

          • Sapfo

            It is hard to know when something is going to be a trigger or not. I hope and wish you will feel better soon.
            Warm thoughts from me to you, Jamie.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Is there anything we can do to help? I mean, I’m guessing not and I’m really sorry for that, but if there’s anything at all we are totally here for you

          • Jamie Dutton

            i'[m talking to steve right now

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That’s good – I hope that you both feel better. I know that my wishes don’t really do much here, but please remember that you have people who care a lot about you, even if they’re just webcomic comment friends.

          • Sapfo

            Good!

          • Steven K.

            If you need to, you can call me. I don’t know if we are allowed to post such things – but, under the circumstances – 517-325-3690.

          • Jamie Dutton

            got it steve you can edit it out now
            thank you

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Steve, you can go back and edit your comment to remove your number now that Jamie’s gotten it. I hope that you both feel better, and please know that I care about you both.

    • Airboy Obsessed

      Saying that it veers anywhere near that is absolutely ridiculous. Read some books by V.C. Andrews, this is nothing.

      • Adam Black

        too late.

        cant unread
        ( *edit* referring to VC andrews )

        • Sapfo

          true.

    • silibub

      Well, it’s not as though Spooky’s traumatic past is going to take center stage in this arc, and I think it’s important to note the distinction between approaching the topic in a tasteful manner, as part of a character’s history, versus exploiting it purely for shock value. Alex is nothing if not sensitive and respectful in his approach to difficult topics like this.

      I know what you’ve given us in your comment is your immediate emotional reaction to the page, but Spooky’s discussion of his abuse and “quadruple-X child-porn” aren’t comparable.

      • Steven K.

        Again, I said heading off in that direction – it may still be a far ways off from that, but certainly takes the mind in that direction as well. The story will not show it, but our minds are thinking about it and imagining it and the terror and the horror, etc., etc. As for doing or not doing something for shock value, whatever the intent may have or may not have been, this really shocked me. So I’m sorry for my visceral reaction, but my reaction is my reaction, and I think it’s valid that Alex know that some people are having such reactions, and I don’t think we should be penalized for having them – or writing about it – and being upset emotionally by it.

        • silibub

          Trust me, I understand where you’re coming from — I’m not objecting to your emotional response at all, since it’s perfectly valid. This is an extremely sensitive topic, and I do wonder if some kind of trigger warning could be implemented because it clearly hit you and Jamie very badly.

          • mogoskier

            I have nothing against trigger warnings but I don’t see a way of doing it in this story that would would go with the flow especially when it comes out in paperback.
            I don’t want to say that to be mean and I do anything for Jamie and Steven to feel better right now and not go though the horrible things there going though; I just don’t see a way that it could work.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I don’t know…I think that helping somebody avoid a traumatic flashback or panic attack outweighs the concern of disrupting the flow for a single page of this comic. I can’t speak for how it might be handled in book form, but that’s how I feel about the online version.

          • mogoskier

            I can see your point in that but if you just put trigger warning over the top of the page it could mean a million things and if Alex did go into details of what that means it can still mean different things for different people. I once had an attack after seeing the dark knight and othello, and while my trauma has nothing to do sex so I can’t talk about it on that level, I had no idea after the first time seeing that movie it would do that. If there were trigger warnings there would have to be up for half of the second ch.
            Trigger warnings are a very had thing to do because there no way of knowing what can trigger a person.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I think it could be pretty well covered here just by warning for reference to sexual abuse of a minor. While I do understand and appreciate your point that it is not always easy to anticipate what material will trigger someone, I think that there are times where there is a much higher chance. And given that some people have already been hit very hard by this page, I don’t feel like it’s unreasonable to request a warning here.

          • mogoskier

            It not unreasonable just hard to tell but now that Alex knowns that this page effect his readers in such a way he can put it up but before it would be very hard to predict such things from happening.
            Also I should go to bed, it 1 am over here and rereading the post I wrote before and there use of non-english I should go to bed.
            Jamie and Steven I hope you guys are okay
            (giving over the internet hugs )
            Have a good night you guys.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That is possible. Good night, and sleep well! I think I’ll be heading to bed myself, too.

    • fujoshifanatic

      This is a very inflammatory, triggering, and just plain irresponsible thing to say, especially about a work like TYP, I sincerely hope that you take a little time to think about what it is you are saying before you say something that turns this discourse into something that is truly ugly indeed.

      • Steven K.

        But, c’mon – the topic itself is inflammatory – or at very least “TRIGGERING”. Early teen sexual abuse of an adolescent by demons? And I’m not supposed to be upset that a character I care about was put through that? I know it’s fiction – but it just reminds me that such things happen (the abuse part) in real-life, and I don;t like it in the real world either.

        • mogoskier

          Of course you can upset for a charter but things like this do happen, that doesn’t make a work sad or dark story. Ignoring these topic does not a full real world make.
          Then aging I was supposing something like this would come ever since Kyle mentioned bring in the foster system. Did not expect it to come from spooky.

        • fujoshifanatic

          Yes it’s a shock, and sad, and might even be something that some readers may step away from for whatever personal reasons, but:
          1) I believe Alex would NEVER introduce a topic like this if it didn’t serve some important purpose to developing the plot or the character(s) involved, and
          2) Based on his impeccable sense of discretion, for you to even bandy about a word such as “porn” in the vicinity of this work is at best thoughtless and at worst a discredit to all the work he has done before this.
          3) Yes, Bad things happen in real life. Good stories reflect this. That’s why they resonate with us. If you focus on the end result of those events (a Spooky that is neither broken nor destroyed from them) rather than the events themselves, maybe you will understand why they were brought up in the story at all, and most importantly, why the statements you are making about their being brought up are unnecessary and irresponsible.
          I urge you please again to take a minute and think about what you are saying; the only conflict we enjoy here is the skillfully engaging stuff that Alex crafts for us on the pages of TYP itself, not here in the comments.

          • Jamie Dutton

            needs a warning at least

          • fujoshifanatic

            Yes, I totally see where this page might be triggering for some readers, and I am so sorry that you are having trouble with it right now. I am sending a cyber hug out to you my dear, and I am hoping that you can focus on the Spooky in the present, who is here, unbroken, and strong enough to be able to share his past with Kyle so that he doesn’t have to go through the pain that Spooky’s been through. *big hug and cookie*

          • Steven K.

            But I’m not against PORN – I like porn – it wouldn’t bother me if this work WAS porn – or even more pornographic – I might actually like or welcome that – you are MISSING THE POINT!

          • fujoshifanatic

            No, I am not. It’s one thing to call something porn. It’s another to insinuate that it’s like CHILD PORN. That is the language I think you should be careful in using. Please be thoughtful when you make statements like that, even if it is an emotional reaction.

          • Steven K.

            I meant to say it brings up thoughts and feelings of such things. I know that is not the intention nor the result that it actually IS that.

          • Steven K.

            I take the point about that, with the “child” part. But when one says “for you to even bandy about a word such as “porn” in the vicinity of
            this work is at best thoughtless and at worst a discredit to all the
            work he has done before this.” – THAT misses the point. I’m not against porn even if this WAS more pornographic overall. I might even enjoy it – I don’t think porn is bad – if I did call something pornographic, I wouldn’t think or mean that that is something bad and I would not be using the term in a negative or pejorative way.

        • No one here is saying you can’t be upset about it, Steven. I find it upsetting myself. 🙁 It’s just that a couple of the words you chose whilst expressing your reaction are also upsetting.

    • mogoskier

      While i’ll admit that this is a dark I don’t think it make the comic any less feel good. Yes Spooky was abuse and that is terrible but look how well his life is going now. He a victim who lived though the worst thing imaginable but he did not let that get him down or fear sex. I think that is a great thing because with almost any other story where there issues like that it become the thing the charter is most known for or mentioned once and never talked about again. With spooky this hurt him but he still finds the strength to be happy and open. That very inspiring

      Also I am positive that Alex will never go into detail of what happened to spooky. We had to pay the man 10000 dollars to get some uncensored nudity.

    • Hey Steven,
      I get that this page hits hard and you wrote from first thoughts, but you can’t say this is anything near child-porn when it’s nothing as such. It tells about child abuse, and I’m sure we’ll never be shown any of the backstory. There’s a HUGE gap between a story telling about abuse and something depicting said porn.
      Your comment comes off very wrong, and I’d edit it or something if I was you. Almost accusing Alex of vending into child-porn is the same as saying every author who mentions child abuse does the same. You’re indirectly also accusing everyone who reads about told child abuse of watching child pornography.

    • Jamie Dutton

      you do NOT need to edit your comment at all steven.

      • Steven K.

        Yes. Thanks for everything. Feel better soon and get some hopefully peaceful rest – free of disturbing thoughts or images. G’night.

    • Steven K.

      Author or mods – feel free to take down the above comment if you want, but I’m not going to edit of modify it myself. My point was not to be inflammatory or accusatorial, but just to state how this was making me feel. If an author cannot take good-faith comments from a reader relating to his or her reactions – good or bad – logical or illogical – right or wrong – then maybe the work should not be put out for public scrutiny. Feelings are FEELINGS – they shouldn’t be judged. They come unasked-for and often unanticipated (especially when faced with a shocking situation or revelation). If you are going to write about a very serious, dark, traumatic, horrendous thing – you gotta expect that some people will be upset by it. If an author doesn’t want to hear such reactions along with the positive ones, don’t write about such a subject. BUT ALEX – I’m reading a whole mess of negative “you” statements below directed at me for the good-faith expression of my feelings.

    • Steven K.

      I said “veers toward”. It may still be a long-way off. But, in my opinion, bringing up the subject in such a graphic way, with langauge of a newly 13 year-old the “shiny plaything” of a gang of demons or monsters – and the talk of the psychological manipulations and mind games they put him through as well – people – the page really is bringing up the subject and describing in no-uncertain terms gang-rape (and it is left to our very active imaginations what other types of nonconsensual sexual debauchery and “play”) as well as emotional and psychological torture of a 12/13 year old boy by a gang of demons.over the course of an entire year – I’d say bringing up that sort of subject risks bringing up very strong emotions and reactions. i know THAT part of the story is not meant to titillate – so thus not pornographic (NOT that I think there is anything wrong with porn itself) – maybe it is still meant to shock – and, regardless of that, does bring up for myself and a number of others here – very disturbing thoughts and emotions and feelings. Don’t do the whole “blame the victim” thing again. Why do I need to say – Gee, I’m sorry for letting it be known how badly I was just made to feel. My fault – sorry! This page reduced a reader to nearly uncontrollable sobbing and shaking and emotional disturbance (we talked at some length) – and nearly did to even me as well. I’m sorry for reacting so “badly”. OK – I’ve been told I should be ashamed of what I said. Noted. I think regardless of whether I feel ashamed or not, I do know that I am BEING SHAMED below for what I said.

      • Hey you, again 🙂
        I don’t think your comment should be removed, but I do still feeel it comes off wrong, and if you notice – Alex didn’t respond to it so it’s not him who was reacting but some of us other readers.

        As you say, feelings are feeling, and you got some bad feelings/reactions about how you brought the mention of child pornography into your comment -which was a shocking situation for ME. I don’t want to shame you but give my view on it. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough either.

        The page shocks and saddens me, but your comment triggered me more than the page itself because child pornography is something that can cause very strong reactions in me. So to even say it veers towards child pornography made me react this time.

        Edit: And now I step away from this. No more is need to be said.

      • Jamie Dutton

        Steven, thank you for standing up for both of us, but I think everyone needs to walk away from this particular discussion right now. It’s getting a little too heated ok.
        *hugs*

      • silibub

        I think feedback regarding how the page makes you feel is really valuable, and that you should feel free to say it without being ashamed of having the emotional response you did. I hope I wasn’t dismissive of your feelings at any point when I responded to you.

        I think the main problem most of your responders had with your comment wasn’t what you felt, but rather the statement that this comic was approaching anything near child pornography, which struck me and many others as extreme. Or in other words, it’s how you expressed your feelings, not the fact that they were there. But if I phrased my responses in a way that made you feel personally attacked, I’m sincerely sorry for that.

        • ^This

        • Steven K.

          No – you didn’t say anything that upset me. Thank you though for your concern and the way you expressed it.

          • silibub

            I’m glad to hear it 🙂

        • Steven K.

          I didn’t even say it was approaching – just turning in that direction – but I admit to mis-using that term. I should have just said that it is conjuring images of early teenage sexual abuse (and very severe and extreme examples of such abuse – in long-term and even greater-than-reality horrifying circumstances).

          • silibub

            That’s a good clarification, and I do see the nuance in your phrasing better now that I’ve had longer to think about it. My reaction to your comment was pretty instinctual, too, so I can’t cast stones in that regard!

    • Steven K.

      OK – sorry – I shouldn’t have used that term or expression. My sincere apologies – was first-moment angry/shocked/sad/disturbed/traumatic visceral reaction.

      • It’s oki, I got my first initial reaction to this worded wrong as well. Sorry for saying you should change your comment when it was how you felt after just reading the page.
        That was my reaction.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Oh no, I missed camping!

    • Sapfo

      Sticky, you where missed.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Aw, thanks.

        • Holly

          IT was an EARLY page tonight. It’s okay

    • Madock345

      Me too… I’ve missed these last couple of times, actually. 🙁

  • stickfigurefairytales

    brb, I have to go DESTROY EVERY DEMONIC BEING THAT EVER LAID SO MUCH AS A TALON ON SPOOKY

    • Sapfo

      And I strew flowers on their graves and give my brave hero Sticky a big kiss afterward.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Oh, I don’t think there’ll be enough left of them to bury. (And frankly, I would really, really like to extend this vow to anybody who’s abused kids in real life.)

        • Sapfo

          Okay, I skip the flowers and go for the kiss right away.

          (There are thing happening in the world that should not happen.)

  • Airboy Obsessed

    This leads me to believe that Spooky’s “First Time” Card may actually be quite sad…

    • Steven K.

      To say the least – and that just brings the pain and discomfort rushing all back over again.

  • mogoskier

    Three things this page bring to light and 2 theories it makes.
    1) Every young protector seems to have a tragic backstory. Kyle with his foster sister, spooky being sent to hell, god only know with fluke and his powers. I’m sure the others will come up in time.
    2) Spooky is even a stronger charter then perviously known. To survive something thing like that and still have a positive attitude towards sex and life speak to alot of inner strength. This charter could have very easily came off as faking attitude for outside appearances and had suffering on the inside; not having any other charter traits. The face that it not shows how good a charter writer Alex is.
    3) The three boys here don’t talk to each other about feelings or what going on with their life.
    The 2 theories
    1) Amanda is choosing these people to be on her team because maybe she suffered though something to. I always thought it was weird that she seems to have so many militant training and connects at such a young age. She might have been like black widow, trained from youth to become a super solder. One day she got sick of it and left but didn’t want to stop helping people, so she made YP.
    2) While Spooky now is getting innovations to join super hero teams when he was younger no one wanted to take him for the internship programs because of what he went though. That why he stays with YP because at least they choose him before he was really powerful and popular.

    • Thank you for the props and the interesting analysis, mogoskier. Good theories. 🙂

  • Jamie Dutton

    Um I oh damnint I can’t read this, i’m sorry I uh You need to put a warning on this one alex
    I wasn’t prepped for this one just kind of popped in and

  • fujoshifanatic

    *picks up pieces of my blown mind* Well, Alex, you have done it again; you’ve knocked me back and sideways with a curve ball I did not expect. Oh my God, you are good! I hope you take this as the total compliment it’s meant as, but I have the biggest lady boner for your creative mind right now! If I could, I would give you ALL my money for the next page right now, because waiting until even Wednesday will be torture on a level I haven’t felt in a long time. Bravo! *slow claps while wiping away a tear for Spooky’s past*

    • Thank you, fujoshifanatic—I’m glad you enjoyed the reveal. Yep, there’s certainly more to learn about our friend, Mr. Spooky Jones. Thank you for all the props. 🙂

  • yaoi fanatic

    Poor Spooky :'( he has literally been through Hell and back

  • fujoshifanatic

    Aaaaaad we have another bonus page! 😀

    • Sapfo

      What, so fast?!

    • silibub

      Wow, donors have been on fire lately! I’m amazed!

      • SofiaT

        I have a good idea whose handiwork this is. 🙂

        • Sapfo

          he is seaky 🙂

  • Madock345

    Holy Shit, Spooky.

    I really don’t have anything to contribute, but… damn.

  • Oh my.

    That feels as if it came out of nowhere — and yet it *is* foreshadowed earlier in the story.

    And I don’t think Paul could have had any idea about this. Or Mitch, and I hope little bird ears isn’t listening in to this conversation. Wanting to see the slash art on TYP fansites is one thing, this is quite another.

  • CH

    I’m joining the contingent that wants to smother Spooky in love and then go demon hunting.
    No wonder he’s been the voice that understands what Kyle actually needs in this.
    Can we all just hug it out?

    • Sapfo

      That is true. Spooky might be the only person how will understand what Kyle have been throught.

  • I’m still stunned here. When I theorized on the last page that Spooky could have been sent there as part of a test, or that his situation wasn’t similar to Kyles and he ended up there before he was 18, I was still not prepared for this at ALL! A whole year in hell..
    No wonder Spooky uses his time fighting demons, or that he’s an expert on the topic. He could have had experience with just about every type/level of hell-demon there is.. and in horrible ways.

    I get why Kyle was a bit nervous about their friendship, but also why Spooky had no issues or desire to judge him. Just the opposite.
    *Wants to hug Spooky forever* The level of Spooky’s strength, and I mean mental not abilities, just multiplied many times from where I’d already put him.. and that was already in a high course for me. The therapy hours this must have taken.

    How the hell was he sent there? Talk about spin that was sorta expected, but still took me completely by surprise. I did start to wonder if he was sent there earlier than 18 as a test when Alex liked my suggestion on previous page, but he often likes any kind of theorizing so knew I couldn’t put too much in it. Was it someone who did it when Spooky truly came to his powers at puberty? I’m prone to believe that one rather than Spooky did some spell that backfired on him. 13 is a powefull number, so for a hell spell that’s the time.

    Some things seems more ‘obvious’ to me about Spooky now (at least in my theories, and not knowing for sure).
    1) Spooky’s strenght in abilities. If he wasn’t strong before, I’m sure he got to either build up his powers while surviving in hell and/or afterwards when he got the chance to fight back.
    2) Spooky’s laid back atitude. It could be a defense learned while being in hell where he couldn’t show too much vunerability, but also.. there’s probably not a lot that seems truly disastrous now after surviving hell. Spooky is mentally and physically ready to handle it.
    3) Spooky’s hero outfit. I could be totally wrong about this, but he’s covered up pretty good. He doesn’t expose his body in a spandex suit. He sure doesn’t have to anyway with his powers, but he might not want to either. Who knows what is hidden under his clothes. In the begining it could have been a wish to hide himself from much notice, and now it’s (just?) his known outfit. His signature.

    About #2 and 3. I feel those coming from myself, and my own experiences, so who knows yet. Maybe it’s just me projecting the most obvious from my own views

    Cudos to you, Alex, for handling this carefully when you decided to let it take this spin. You must have been looking forward to the reactions on this page with anxiety – looking at how we all readted the time Kyle was sent to hell.

    • Sapfo

      You take up about his outfit. Want to bet that he have a lot of goodies to use inside that coat. For fighting, for surviving. He is not a “carpe diem”, he is a “carpe moment” guy. Every moment is precious, and he will live it in the way he want´s to.

      • That coat does indeed have a number of pockets…

        • Elrohir

          “What has it got in it’s pocketses?”
          Both Chris and Sapfo have talked about how the coat doesn’t behave/move as one might initially think. Not hard to believe that perhaps Spooky has spelled the coat (something like Harry Dresden’s spells for his duster).
          But that doesn’t mean that the costume, or lack of one doesn’t serve other functions too. Whether Spooky bears physical or emotional scars or a combination of both, it’s possible that the outfit is part of his coping mechanism. Or maybe it’s just part of his style and personality. Perhaps his personality really is that resilient. I don’t know…I hope to find out…

        • Sapfo

          Well, a more important question is… have he done something to his cap? 😉

    • Thank you very much, DanishWolf. This is a very incisive analysis and while I won’t spoil any future reveals, I will say you’re thinking about all the right stuff. This was fun for me to read. 🙂

      (And, in terms of anxiety, I did have some anxiety about the chapter 2 reveal, but since then I’ve learned to really trust y’all. Whether I’m trying for something very subtle or revealing something provocative, I’m continually impressed by the mature, thoughtful ways y’all respond to it. I’m not kidding when I say that I think I really do have the best readers in the world. 🙂 )

  • Jamie Dutton

    To Steven K:
    You are the most amazing person! Thank you for talking me down from that very bad trip I just took. I really needed that. Anyone trying to criticize you for your feelings about this page needs to just walk away, because I have your back. You didn’t need to post your number so a stranger having a panic attack could have someone to talk to through it, but you did. You, sir, are the bomb and I can never thank you enough.
    Btw, you were right about not putting the teddy bear down. It’s still helping. Thank you again!

    • Good that Steven could help you. It IS a very strong page and it was bound to have a load of reactions. It was truly nice of Steven and he needs praise for that 🙂

      • Jamie Dutton

        Yes, Steven needs LOTS of applause for this one! He’s got a million karma points from me, that’s for sure!

    • I just popped in here on the way to bed…

      My heart goes out to you for this completely unexpected panic attack you had but I’m so glad Steven was kind and caring enough to talk to you tonight. Kudos to him and kudos to you for sharing your feelings with us.

      I hope you feel better and I’ll echo what everyone else has said to both you, Steven, and anybody else who is having a tough time: we care about you and want you to feel safe here.

      *big hugs*

    • Steven K.

      Aww – Thank YOU – I was glad to help – and you helped me deal with it as well – don’t forget that (!) – cuz I was suffering as well.

  • Jamie Dutton

    I’m sorry I worried everyone with my reaction to this page. But thanks to Steven I am much better. I’m staying in the comment section because I don’t really want to be alone right now and ya’ll make me feel as if I’m not. I just won’t be scrolling up or re-visiting this page after the next one is posted…not sure if I’ll read that page either. We’ll just have to see.
    Thank you everyone for your concern and well wishes. I know some of you don’t really understand this, but thank you for trying nonetheless.

    • Sapfo

      Maybe you should have someone read it before you do. Just to tell you if it´s a bad one or not. The only problem is what your trigger is. Your trigger might not be someone elses trigger.
      Warm hugs to you. <3

      • Jamie Dutton

        Thank you, Sapfo. I think I’ll wait a few days after it’s posted to make sure my defenses are in place, before I attempt to read it. The problem was, I didn’t have any of my guards up. I was having such a good day that I didn’t even think about it. I just blithely came in, expecting to camp a bit. *sigh*
        Then *bam* nuclear fall out everywhere 🙁

        • Sapfo

          And for my it was the other way around. Had a crap week, so this page was not so bad for me. We are all diffrent and that is good.

        • silibub

          I’ve totally been there, and I’m really glad you’re doing better now. I want to send you a care package and Steven a big gift basket for helping you out!

          And thanks for sharing your feelings and discomfort with the subject of this page — I know it couldn’t have been easy to do, not just because you were very upset as you were posting, but because it’s hard to make criticisms when you know most of the other commenters aren’t seeing it from your particular perspective. I think it’s really important for creators — not just Alex, but others too — to get that kind of feedback so they can think about how they might protect their readers from this kind of thing.

          • Jamie Dutton

            Thank you, silibub. Steven and I talked about my somewhat miraculous typing even though I was falling apart. I could see that some people weren’t understanding how this was making him feel. i thought they would understand him more if they knew how it was effecting me.
            Also, I think there are more readers who are or will be effected just as strongly. But who aren’t comfortable putting their reactions out there for everyone to see.

    • fujoshifanatic

      I’m so glad Steven was able to help you. I may have seemed a bit harsh in my statements towards his initial reaction, but it’s only because I feel a little protective about this space and the work that Alex shares with us that brings us together like this. That in no way invalidates your or Steven’s feelings, however, and I am so very glad that he was willing and able to reach out to you when you needed it. That just reenforces for me how important he is to this little community, and how mindful we all need to be in order to protect it, regardless of how strong our feelings might be about the work that brings us here. I hope you continue to feel better. *feeds cookie to teddy bear for good job it’s doing*

    • I’m glad that you’re feeling better, Jamie, and that talking to Steven was able to help. Whether people have the same reaction to this page or not, you’re very much loved here. And your happiness and safety is very important to me.

      I’m going to say more in a minute, but I wanted to say that right now. That you’re very much in my thoughts. And that I’m sending you my biggest hugs.

      • Jamie Dutton

        Thank you, Alex.

  • Librarican

    Wow. I fell asleep early, and miss the drama both on the page and in the comments! There is a lot going on here and in my brain, so forgive the length, which I think I might break up into separate posts to make more manageable. Bear with me as I collect thoughts and disqus makes it difficult to express them.

    Firstly, no one should tell Jamie or Steven or anyone else how they feel or react about sex or this page or really anything. Our reactions are our own, and as we sympathize with Spooky who had no control over his own reactions while in hell, we also shouldn’t judge, devalue, or try to change how anyone else reacts. I applaud them both for recognizing (dare I say) a kindred spirit and reaching out to each other for the moral support they needed.

    • Librarican

      Secondly, we never know what will be a trigger to anyone else. I did not have sex until a very late age, after dating a guy for a very long time. I wanted to wait until marriage, and when I finally thought it was in the near future, I did it, only to have the engagement I had every reason to expect never materialized, and he unceremoniously ended relationship less than a year later. Sex is a touchy (pun unintended bu not missed) subject for me and I still wrestle with regret that I gave into his desires and didn’t stick with my morals.

      • Steven K.

        I feel for you.

    • Librarican

      Thirdly, (and forgive my somewhat strong use of the word) I find it somewhat hypocritical that we applaud past gut reactions towards pages, but then when something doesn’t match how we are feeling, we ask them to edit their thoughts. Do I agree with Steven’s analysis? I’m sorry Steven, but I don’t (and I’ll get to why in a minute). That being said, we have ALWAYS had civil, courteous, and thought provoking discussion in the comments section. That played a big factor in my joining this discussion, since I usually don’t put myself out there like this. To “gang up on” him like that and have several people aggressively urge him to edit his post was wrong. I understand coming to the defense of the creators, but freedom f speech is important and I would hate to think censorship has reared it’s ugly head.

      • silibub

        Yeah, I don’t think he should edit his comment, or that moderators should, either. The statement’s there, and now it’s our responsibility to be adults and discuss it rationally. If we can’t do that, we should step away.

        • Librarican

          I’ll agree with you silibub, but I’ll cautiously add that if someone realizes their comments are reactionary, regardless of if its towards the comic or another commenter, they also might want to step away for a moment to gather thoughts. I feel like this all started because in the moment gut reactions from all parties were not tempered.

    • Librarican

      Fourthly, I don’t agree with the analysis that this is porn. I don’t view porn, primarily due to my hang ups about sex. I occasionally read erotica, but for me personally it trends toward more romance novel variety then the “stronger stuff”. I have started getting into webcomics for my own personal exploration and enjoyment. But porn has historically been hard to define. Since disqus is somewhat behaving I’m not going to search it out, but I believe a judge in the US once said “I’ll know it when I see it.” That’s not vague at all now is it? If we can have an intelligent conversation about what different people feel constitutes virginity and sex, then shouldn’t we be able to have a similar conversation about porn. While the initial assertion I feel was a bit inflammatory in its phrasing, I realize it (along with the following comments) was voiced instinctually. It doesn’t excuse it, but I feel that it’s important during those times to take a step back and evaluate before responding, which I get the feeling Steven and Jamie just did.

      • Jamie Dutton

        Thank you so much for this very thoughtful comment, Librarican. You are very welcome amongst us.
        I did have to take a step back, as well as a deep breath, before I could comment any further. This hit me very hard, which surprised me. Not even our sojourn to Hell knocked me on my butt like this page did.

      • Steven K.

        We should talk sometime (if you might ever be interested, though perhaps away from this discussion forum). I also have various hang-ups about sex and related matters, though probably stemming from some similar reasons and some not-so-similar. I actually have very different feelings about porn (and yeah the definition of that can be debated) – but I find it VERY difficult to watch a lot of the graphic sexuality that is present in film and even television today – especially when it is under a set of certain circumstances or between certain types of individuals. If I want to view sex, I turn to porn, but I DON’T want to see it more blatantly in the more “mainstream” venues. If I want the sex, I want to decide to watch it – using materials that are produced FOR that. To me (and I’m speaking only for myself in this interpretation), porn is type of strong erotica, and I also view yaol as a subset of erotica – so it falls into something which is acceptable to me – since you sort of “know what you are getting” – and the sex doesn’t come upon you unawares – you can choose to watch i. And I choose to view gay-themed erotica – so there is a choice of the “variety” here as well, rather than viewing some other varieties that might bother me more. And there is a set of VERY complex reasons why other aspects of depicted sex in film and television upsets me, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand off-hand. But I usually also choose to watch people engaged in such things when they are making the participants happy and joyful and giving them pleasure, or even getting their thrills through consensual s&m, etc. – I don’t judge that either. What I choose to not expose myself to (when I have a choice) is depictions or descriptions of violent or nonconsensual or underage sex or rape/sexual violence/trauma. Sofia is correct in that it is fine to explore and write about things, but I’d prefer the discussions of it (for me) to be in medical/scholarly/academic/psychology and other journals, lectures, discussions, etc. Of course it may also be approached in drama and literature, and has been in countless circumstances through time. But that is something I generally choose not to read for my own amusement or pleasure. (E.g., I get upset when I read about certain sexual events even in the Bible – such as the daughters of Lot – incest and child sex abuse are triggers for me, though not because I have personally experienced them – since I have, in fact, not – it’s actually more complicated, and part has to do with my keen aversion to certain types of acts – including acts of violence – against people. I also get extremely upset with the story of Abraham nearly slitting the throat of his son Isaac.) When I view or read about sex, I want it to be about the types of sex I am comfortable with and under the circumstances I’m comfortable with. This is just scratching the surface of this for me, and I’m kinda rambling and not even being very good at explaining my feelings and reasons for them. It is SO complicated.

        • Librarican

          That conversation might be interesting and provide new perspective for both of us, to say the least, and I would be open to that, although I don’t know if you had a forum/method of communication in mind. Should I call you?

          I must say I am a huge admirer of Spooky right now. As I cautiously contemplate reentering the dating scene, I am beginning to wonder if talking it out with someone would help me wrap my brain around my past. However, I tend to be a very emotional person when discussing emotional topics (always made sense to me, I don’t know why more people aren’t like that.) and that tends to encourage trepidation when broaching sensative topics with me. I don’t believe my hiccups are the kind that can be cured with a sip of water and holding your breath, but I’m not quite sure if they need to be “cured” or if I can work with/around them once I find the right person.

          • Steven K.

            No worries about any of that – I’m kind of the same way in a lot of those respects myself. I was thinking that maybe talking about such things could help me with some of my own hang-ups as well – or at least provide me the sense that I may not be quite so alone with the stuff I’m feeling or have gone through. (And I think I might be better able to express things in a conversation than trying to put very complicated issues into some kind of a summary on here). So I can post my e-mail for awhile, and if you want to shoot me a message sometime I could then send additional contact info. skklans@yahoo.com

          • Librarican

            Got it! Wasn’t sure if you wanted to keep that or your phone number visible for the masses. I’ve got plans for the night, but maybe later in the week when I’ve collected my thoughts.

          • Steven K.

            OK – thanks. I deleted my number earlier, but you can keep it if you have it, since I was going to send it to you by e-mail anyway. I don’t know how much I will be here in the future. Actually, anyone can feel free to e-mail me with comments or concerns.

    • Librarican

      Fifthly (and maybe finally), from my perspective this is not porn in the same way Law and Order SVU is not porn or a Nightline special about child trafficking is not porn. The act of sexual intercourse and sexual manipulation is not handled in a way that glorifies or encourages the act. Spooky is providing character background in a matter of fact, non graphic, and in my opinion very mature way. Now, if Alex chooses to give us flashbacks of Spooky’s time in hell, that might border on what has been suggested is happening here. I say “might” because I have no idea what would be portrayed. It is actually a very enlightening post about his character and Spooky’s ability to empathize and relate to Kyle and it gives Kyle someone to turn to for support. As we have seen in the comments tonight, support is imperative to get through what I’ll generically and benignly call a “rough patch in your life”.

      In the future, Alex might warn people that content in forthcoming pages might be traumatic to some, but I feel any sort of detailed warning might have provided too much foreshadowing and lessened the obviously emotional impact Spooky’s revelation had on readers. Alex, might I suggest you look at Prince of Catsover there has recently given such vague warnings for the latest story line about transgendered people and body image and I thought it was handled well,

      • Jamie Dutton

        Sister Claire has started doing it as well and it’s very tasteful without being too spoilery.

        • This is actually very useful for me.

          Both you and stickfigurefairytales and now Librarican have suggested putting a “warning” on this page. I’ll admit, that while I’ve seen some discussions about “trigger warnings” on other webcomics, I haven’t ever seen them used in practice, even in webcomics with very provocative content, and so I’m not quite sure how I should implement them. But, as always, I’m open to trying something different if it’s a benefit for my beloved readers. And having some clear examples that I might look at is very useful for me.

          While I’m never going to go into detail about the kind of experience Spooky is talking about here, at various points in this comic, these characters will talk in a general way about the adversity that they’ve experienced and the impact it’s had on them. And sometimes it’s meant to be a surprise reveal. Something like this is meant to provoke strong emotion, but as stick points out below, if there is an accepted way to prevent a PTSD flashback or a panic attack, I want to hear about it.

          Right now, Jamie (and others who’ve had a strong reaction) I really just want you to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Hopefully, there’s something really nice you can do for yourself—you deserve to have some nice things right now. But maybe tomorrow or maybe in a few days, if you want to, you (and stick and librarican) could take a moment to respond to this comment and talk to me about how you think this should have been handled using a warning. I’m going to take a look at those other webcomics, but if it won’t be harmful to you in any way, I’d like to know specifically what kind of warning you’d have liked to see for this page.

          (And just to be clear to everyone, I’m just wanting to hear from the folks for whom the warning would have been useful. If you decide you have critiques of their suggestions, please hold off on them for now. I’m not inviting debate. I’m wanting to hear what might have been specifically helpful in this case.)

          • Librarican

            The reason I mentioned it is because other people already had, but I don’t feel the impact would have been as great if you came out and said “Spooky was demonically molested as a child, and that’s gong to be covered in the next page. If anything, that might have been more traumatic for people.

            This is the current plot thread where Kori posted a small disclaimer http://princeofcatscomic.com/comic/chapter-4-342/

            I also seem to distinctly recall a warning that the scenes following this page warned that it may be considered by some as NSFW, but that notice was not in the commentary below the comic but instead on the right side under notices, which seems to have been replaced by a more recent notice. Maybe you can talk to the author about what was originally included. http://princeofcatscomic.com/comic/chapter-3-310/

          • Thank you for that link. I was having trouble finding it.

            (Perhaps someone could link to the Sister Claire warning as well?)

          • Jamie Dutton
          • Thank you for that, Jamie. And also for your suggestion above.

          • Jamie Dutton

            Hope I wasn’t too harsh or anything with my reply. I can be a bit blunt myself, coming down from such an emotional place.

          • Jamie, I didn’t feel in any way that you were too harsh. You were just sharing your experience and letting me know what would have been helpful to you—which is helpful for me. I honestly appreciate you taking the time to do that. 🙂

          • Librarican

            Only for you Alex 😉

            Having never heard of sister Claire, someone else will have to volunteer to post the link. It is too late for me to weed through six years of posts to find the needle in a haystack! Can someone share the general premises of what it is about? Not that I need another comic to follow….

          • Jamie Dutton

            I’m going to go ahead and reply right now. The thing with this page is that I was blind-sided. The last page had no indicators that it would be as blunt, very specific, and to the point. Unfortunately, like a literal knife-point in my case. Not even your author’s comment on the last page contained anything that would let me know that I might need to gird my loins a bit for this coming conversation.
            Something as simple as “this next page’s dialogue might be a bit intense for some of my more emotional readers” or heck, even a “Buckle up, guys this might get a bit intense” would have worked.
            With the Hell pages, we had that even through the “date” sequences. Most of us were already wary about Duncan’s intentions.

          • Librarican

            I like your suggestions Jamie. vague enough for a surprise, yet it alerts readers to prepare themselves, although Prince of Cats allows for a little more detail without giving away the farm.

            One final thought, and then I’m going to try again to get a few more hours of sleep. Sometimes it is best to rip the bandaid off, because it causes less pain then ripping it off slowly. I might edit this next part later when I’m feeling less confessional, but I have only told one person the whole story of my first sexual experience, and when she didn’t react as expected I have basically internalized it. You never know how someone will react, who you can turn to for support, and it is a very lonely road when you feel no one understands. I completely get Spooky’s reluctance to tell anyone, but as bad as it is that they both went through those experiences, I’m glad they have someone to turn to instead of suffering in singular silence.

            Now I need to find my bear and some tissues.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            *hugs you*

          • steelie

            re: trigger warnings – The reveals are important as part of the suspense and flow of this story so specific warnings might get in the way of that. Perhaps just a general “the following page may contain content that is triggering” would act as a guard up to those of us that need to be careful. I know for myself I don’t need to know exactly what is around the corner, but knowing that I may need my emotional armor on helps me be prepared to handle whatever it is or to navigate away swiftly as soon as it hints towards one of my personal triggers.

            As for the warning mechanism, perhaps in your author’s notes on the previous page?

          • Jamie Dutton

            Exactly. Doesn’t need to be spoilery. Just a head’s up that it might get triggery.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I think that Jamie, Librarican, and steelie have already covered the suggestions pretty well, so I don’t have much more to offer myself. I guess the only thing I have to add is that if you decided to put a warning in the author notes section, it would make more sense (to me) to put it with the previous page as steelie suggests, since we don’t really see the notes for a page until after we’ve read it. If you were to put a warning on this page, I’d recommend something similar to the Sister Claire style that Jamie provided the link for, where it appears above the page. Thank you for listening, Alex.

          • b3nc0

            First, thank you for your caring words & concern. As already suggested, the best way, to me, is a word at the top of the page, Sister Claire style. (though you don’t always have a frame on it & it would be messy to write on Adam’s work) So, you should pro’ly go for the previous page comment solution. Here’s another example http://ensanguine.thecomicseries.com/comics/39 where Grace flatly announced what might be triggery (self-harm again) & that she didn’t know of a better way to warn readers.
            Last idea: a color code (green-yellow-red ?) square, circle, line above the actual page to announce safe-suggested-graphic matter?

      • Steven K.

        Well, what you mentioned in your first paragraph – about potential “flashbacks” – or some sort of depiction – even if moreso in words (even the language used in this page and the “nuanced details” didn’t seem that nuanced and was very upsetting to me) than in pictures – let alone the prospect of images – that’s what I was viscerally reacting to – and the fear and anxiety that such things MIGHT be to come – and might start bordering on that – as I said, things could be POINTING that way, even if never truly materializing – but it was the fear that was evoked that such COULD happen – thinking about such a possible portrayal and depiction and knowing that it would upset me even more. I’m not even saying it would have been remotely likely, or would be rational to think that Alex would show that (though even in those few lines where it was described it was ENOUGH to cause deep disturbance) – but fear is very often not rational. Again, I’m not stating this very well.

  • Vinny Gothika

    oh no Spooks 🙁 ah man >.<

  • Well.. in between eevrything else going on here.. *ding, ding, ding*

    • Sapfo

      You are late Wolf! How are your hunting insticts today? 😉

      • Lazy, I’m tired xD
        I did see you got a certain something while I was busy researching old pages for a reply to Sofia >.>

        • Sapfo

          <..>
          You saw me when I got the last cookie? Or was it something begining with V? 😀

    • Oh, look, that did happen! 🙂 You guys are awesome. I’m going to be responding for a bit, but then I’ll do a proper ding ding. 😀

  • Klaus

    Just one question: How is Spooky able to do this?
    http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-int1-page-10/

    • Jamie Dutton

      Therapy. Lots and lots of therapy. Plus we knew he was wearing a mask with all of his jokes and comments. It’s a defense mechanism along with hundreds of other little coping things people learn to do over the years.

    • fujoshifanatic

      It’s a testament to his strong will not to let his past define or rob him of the happiness to be found in his present and future.

    • Lots of therapy, acceptance of the past and handling mechanisms.
      I thought about the same scene + him telling he could summon a demon to eat the computer. Spooky’s psyche is strong and I admire him a lot more now than I did before – which say something.

  • Things seem to have mostly calmed down, but here is some nice relaxing calming music for people…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrqjqyH4ex0

    • Librarican

      Things have probably calmed down due to the late hour, at least on my end. I woke up inexplicably after falling asleep over my screen. Plus, emotional highs can cause exhaustion, and it’s probably good we all have a chance to take a step back. Good night everyone, and I wish everyone pleasant dreams, or at least an undisturbed sleep.

      • The music will also help get people to sleep….I almost fell asleep listening to it….

      • Jamie Dutton

        Goodnight, Librarican and thanks again

    • Jamie Dutton

      Thank you, doki. This will help me calm down. Doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight. Trust me it’s not a good thing right now. So I’ll wait til later and then sleep.

      • You are welcome. *hugs* I hope you feel better soon love.

      • steelie

        I’ll add to the hugs sent your way, Jamie. Hang in there – you will get through it.

    • Thanks for the music, Doki. Really needed it.

      I must say I’m having a strong reaction myself. Kind of a delayed thing, I guess. I went back and re-read the page and just wept (okay, I admit it, I’m still weeping).

      I’m fine though. I’ll hang out here for a bit longer and listen to some soothing music.

      Geez, Alex! I’m so proud of you, Adam, and Veronica for creating this story and these characters! It’s all about love and finding the strength to choose to become a better person for all those traumatic experiences.

      Oh yeah, and this is also about how your friends can save you, your life, your soul…Maybe even save you from yourself.

      • Jamie Dutton

        *big hugs from me and my teddy bear*

      • Thank you, Gryphongirl!

        (And I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that indeed all those things are important themes that I’m trying to explore with this arc. 🙂 )

  • Kiki

    So this just cemented Spooky as my favorite character. Poor baby. LIke everyone else I wanna swaddle him in hugs and feed him hot cocoa. On the flip side, I am also ridiculously proud of how strong he is and how he’s opening up about this completely traumatic time in his life in order to help give his friend strength. You go, Spooky.

  • Kiri

    I’m going to have to say, this made me profoundly sad. Sad for Spooky, that he has had this to survive against odds. Empathy is a costly emotion when it comes to this sort of thing. 🙁

    Also sad for Jaime and Steve that they have had experiences that make this such a strong trigger. You have my thoughts and prayers.

    Child sexual abuse is very sad, strong and triggering topic. And I’m sad that it exists.

    We live in a very sad world.

    (I apologise for the usage of the s-word so many times, but my ability to thesaurise, has gone down the drain)

  • Librarican

    @steven the next time I’m in your neck of the woods, (and going by the number you posted I am somewhat regularly around) I want to meet you, if only to give you a hug from me and everyone else here. And maybe some muffins, although they probably won’t be as good as the camping kind. Do you like brownies? What you did for Jamie was very generous and kind, and I feel like it should be rewarded somehow.

    • Steven K.

      Aww – thanks. But talking with Jamie about it helped me too, though it will take me a while to get over, and maybe a few more pointed comments/questions and whys/wherefores. No reward necessary. But yes – thank you so much.

  • hmm, I’m quite perplexed by the reactions to this page – to me it’s quite logical that demons wouldn’t keep their dealing with a 13 year old “G-Rated”, so that’s not the one thing that shocks me.

    With any author but Alex I’d panic about something else: one COULD read into Spookys “they made me think I liked it”-speach that he’d suggest Kyle wasn’t even gay on the next page – that would shock me.

    • I don’t think Spooky is going there. It was pretty clear that Kyle went with Anni because he wanted to.
      I’m waiting more on getting Spooky’s view of sex. The page kinda indicates that he’s had intercourse with male (and female) demons – or at least sexual acts. I want to know how that still effects him. Is Spooky straight or bi.. gay?.. or did he think he was bi/gay for a while because some demons made him like sex of think of love?

      Besides everything this page also open up to how Spooky handled emotions and sexuality, especially for a 13 year old boy who’d hit puberty.

      • fujoshifanatic

        I am also curious to see how much of this will be explored. In particular, what helped him make the decision not to become victimized by his traumatic experiences in Hell. While I get the impression that he is straight but not narrow, it would be interesting to hear how he allowed himself to make that determination despite what he’s gone through. But more than anything now, I really want these boys to ultimately find some happiness in a nice, nurturing relationship compatible with their orientation. All these trials and tribulations are tugging my heartstrings so bad; I just want to give them (and everyone on this board who was hurt by their histories) a big hug and tell them it gets better. :-

  • TwilightDreamer

    Spooky! :'(…….now I don’t know who I want to hug first out of Kyle or Spooky…
    The most happy go lucky of the group, but I guess everyone has something in their past that hurts them…I just never thought he’d have been through something so horrible….
    Curious to know if he’s going to end up facing one of the demons of his past…don’t know why I think that…but yeah…

  • steelie

    Wow – this page and the reactions to it are overwhelming. First, I’d like to add to the request for some format of warning for pages like this. While this is not a particular trigger for my PTSD, I can certainly see how it would trigger someone. Second, I’d like to say to Steven and Jamie and all of the more silent readers who may have been affected that I understand, I am holding a good thought for you, and I hope you recover from the effect soon. Steven – thanks for reaching out to Jamie that way.

    A good story and a well written character can really get to me emotionally, and I am overwhelmed for Spooky right now. Full gamut from protective “omg how could a child survive that and the adult survive the psychological aftermath” to pride and wonder at Spooky’s strength and generosity of spirit. Yeah, Spooky has become my favorite and his abilities are impressive, but this page illustrates why he is a superhero to me. Even if he were an average Joe on the street with no extraordinary abilities, his having worked through an abusive experience and then turned that around so he can embrace another’s pain so intelligently and compassionately – that makes him a superhero in my eyes (I’m also looking at you, Steven). I am simply not eloquent enough to express how I feel about Spooky and his situation right now. Extraordinary work, Alex!

    I’m agreeing with some other posters about his superhero outfit now. My first reaction was that it explained a lot about his outfit choices. Perhaps one way to cope is to cover is a way that feels less vulnerable.

    I’m not really sure I even registered any of the artwork on this page because the dialogue hit me so strongly. Will have to go back and look this page over again.

    • Thank you, steelie. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the work!

      (And there’s some discussion below about how warnings might be implemented. I am not looking for debate on this matter; I just want to hear what kind of warning specifically people feel would have been helpful. This story will have a number of reveals—both joyful and concerning adversity. It’s useful for me to hear people’s specific suggestions of what they would have found useful for them. 🙂 )

      • Steven K.

        Well, we’re at near 100% adversity so far and 0% joy (the joy of Kyle’s “dates” and romantic and physical interactions with Duncan – albeit with the “enhanced pleasure” – negated by what Duncan did to him afterwards – I don’t think Kyle looks back at those, at the time, “nice” moments with fondness – just feelings of regret and self-blame and stupidity, etc.). One of the most difficult things – I was just STARTING to heal and recover from what had happened to Kyle (along with the character himself), then Spooky reveals that something an uncountable number of times more horrendous had happened to him. Now we can’t even continue to feel bad for Kyle in light of or in comparison with Spooky’s account – what Kyle went through could be considered a fun amusement park ride in comparison to the unspeakable horror that Spooky was forced to endure.

        • fujoshifanatic

          It might be that that was the point of this revelation; it was the “kick in the pants,” so to speak, to make him realize that while what he went through was bad, it could have been much worse, and if Spooky could get through his ordeal the way he did, then he can too, and come out all the stronger for it. If you look at it that way, than it’s easier to see how all the adversity is and will continue to start being balanced out by better times to come. 🙂

          • Steven K.

            I sure hope so. I might be taking a break until things are less bad – I’m not sure. And it seems I’m inadvertently causing more problems than I’m helping 🙁

    • Jamie Dutton

      Thanks, steelie. Yeah, after tonight Steven’s my superhero too! As for a warning, Alex is working with some of us on that. He’s such a sweetheart when it comes to his readers.

    • fujoshifanatic

      I for one think you expressed yourself quite eloquently. 🙂

  • fujoshifanatic

    Awesome! We have enough double posts to take us through the rest of the winter! 😀

    • Jamie Dutton

      Good, with the way winter is taking it’s own friggin time leaving, we’re gonna need those pages.

      • fujoshifanatic

        LOL, true enough! I am truly glad to see you are doing better Jamie, and I hope that your and the others’ input will help Alex make enjoying this comic both safe and fun for you, as it should be. And if Steven is still here, I just want to say I am sorry if I came down on you so hard; you are truly a kind person for helping Jamie while in crisis–you didn’t have to, but we all appreciate that you did. 🙂 With that, I am off to bed; I had planned on popping in for my usual quick read and comment, and ended up staying for half the night. Can’t say I regret it though; it reaffirmed why I think this is the best comic (with the best readers!) out here on the interwebs. Good night everyone, and I hope tomorrow (or later today) brings much awesomeness to all.

        • Steven K.

          Thank you.

      • Well, this winter seems particularly unfair. I heared it is hell in northern America, but here in middle Europe, there was no real winter at all – it’s the first year I recall where the roses bud anew without loosing all their old leaves before…

        • Klaus

          And here in Northern Europe there has been a little snow and freezing, but that is weeks ago now. Not like last year, where it seemed like winter would never end.

        • We that that situation the year before last. At least where I live in the states. It never got properly cold and I think summer officially started in January, I was miserable. My allergies were so bad.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Whoa! This is a great page!!
    To be frank, I was never much impressed with Spooky, but now after reading that he spent a year in hell at such a young age I’m very much impressed by him. I want to know much more about Mr. Jones now.
    Great page Alex. 🙂
    PS. No triggers here.

    • Thank you, Jakk! I’m glad you enjoyed the page and have become at least a bit intrigued with Mr. Jones. 🙂

  • Megan Staples

    OMG, poor Spooky. Kyle didn’t know how lightly he was let off the hook! That must have taken Spooky a lot of years to get over it entirely. If he has.

    • Klaus

      You think you got it tough? Young people these days. You didn’t go to hell until your 18th birthday. And you were only there for an hour, if that. Now in my time …

  • bronakopdin

    sh1t… as if I knew this was going to be big I really did NOT see THIS coming… poor Spooky… now we could even speculate that all his easy-going behaviour is more like to distract himself from awful memories and push them aside…

    I always knew I like Spooky a lot
    but now that I learned this I admire him even more, many kids at that age would be totaly traumatized and broken for life!

    Kudos Spooky!

  • Klaus

    “I have only nice memories from my time in Mordor.” Headline in today’s newpaper: http://politiken.dk/kultur/musik/ECE2214957/dj-frodo-jeg-har-kun-rare-minder-om-min-tid-i-mordor/ (in Danish). DJ Elijah Wood is doing a gig in Copenhagen, and the paper interviews him.

    • Thank you for sharing Klaus. It was only made better by the very special and unique things Google Translate does with a Danish Newspaper. You have to smile. 🙂

  • Torkwase Ahua

    Always knew spooky had hidden depths. Now we get to peek behind that curtain a little bit. I’m really eager to see what he’s going to say next week. Keep em coming Alex!

    • Glad you’re eager to see what’s next, Torkwase! Thank you!

  • Toli Bera

    That’s it. Fucka the timeline. *Hops in his timemachine that he totally had all along, goes back in time, and rescues shota-spooky before any shenanigans can happen* (> o n o)> [ [ ] Toli’s Totally Time Thingy]

  • Yikes, what a shock. Everyone’s already said what I would have wanted to say. I’ll just add that I’m very relieved that after suffering so badly from the cruelties of full demons, Spooky doesn’t judge Kyle or think of him differently for having 50% demon genes.

  • Amy

    Wow, that’s quite a background. o_o I would put these two together in a relationship and when Duncan would show up Spooky would spook the hell out of him for hurting Kyle.

  • Poor Spooky 🙁 Love ya <3

  • David Frost

    I always liked Spooky but now I just feel like he is MY HERO. I know that what happened to him is a strong and triggering topic to talk about, but as a boy who was sexually abused himself as a child for years, it’s great to find a character that has overcome such thing, a character so relatable to me in such personal aspect. I am very grateful for what you have done.
    It makes me sad that he has experienced that sort of thing, but at the same time it gives me the courage and strength to keep moving forward.
    Thanks Alex, Adam, and Veronica for creating this incredible story. You’re amazing!

    • Derkins

      That was a lovely post, David Frost, so thank you for sharing that. Though I am not an abuse survivor myself, at least in the way you and spooky are talking about, my best friend (since we were 9 years old) fits that bill. So, I am in the “friends and family of abuse survivors” category. And I know that the way spooky is talking… that my friend would be able to deeply relate to what he is saying, as well. And it happened to my friend around the same age as Spooky, and for a similar duration of time, though not exactly in either aspect. Anyway, I was close to my friend before it happened, I was the first to know when they finally opened up about it later, my family helped them to escape the situation, and I watched them endure the impact on their life as a result of the abuse. The bad relationships, eating disorders, self mutilation, years of therapy, etc. (I know I’m being vague enough, this could’ve happened to anyone, but my friend *is* okay with sharing their story with people, just as a disclaimer). Now, my friend is the absolute strongest person I know. I marvel at their strength. It is remarkable, truly. They know that whatever comes their way, they can handle it, because they’ve been to hell and back and lived to tell the tale. So they face anything and everything that comes at them, honestly and head on. So, I feel like I have a new insight into Spooky’s character, and yes, I have a new incredible appreciation for him. To the creators, thank you so much for writing his story into the greater one. I’ve never come close to being able to see my friend’s journey through a fictional character, so I am honestly blown away at the awareness of the human struggle that it even takes to write a story like his, and the courage it takes to follow through with it. Bravo.

      • @disqus_Rpf2PDIuQm:disqus and @Derkins:disqus, these are both wonderful posts. Thank you for sharing so generously and reminding us how, even when harrowing and hard, art can let us view something precious with fresh eyes. Very much appreciated.

        • Derkins

          I’m honored to share. I wanted to also add that one of my friend’s remarkable qualities is her ability to see the positive that resulted out of what happened, and not feel guilty about it. She recognizes that it fundamentally contributed to the person that she is today. And that she wouldn’t want to be anyone else. She is certainly a hero of mine and has been a source of inspiration to use the heart instead of the ego over the decades. We both know we’re lucky to have each other.

          • Please let your friend know that they now have a huge cheering section of invisible unknown people wishing them (and you) well.

      • Thank you for that beautiful story, Derkins. And thank you also for the kind words about what I’m trying to do here.

        (And my heart is filled with warmth for your friend. She is now a hero to me. 🙂 )

    • Thank you, David. That means a lot to me. 🙂

      POTENTIAL TRIGGERING STUFF ABOUT ONE OF THE THEMES OF THE YOUNG PROTECTORS:

      There are many of us who suffered some bad stuff when we were kids. Whether we got therapy and help around it or not, whether it fits someone’s particular definition of “really bad” or not, it is not uncommon to think that those experiences somehow “broke us for life”; that no matter how much work we put in to try to heal it, or how many good experiences we are able to have after, that somehow, we would never get to enjoy life in the full, happy way of those who had not experienced that trauma. Particularly when we are young, it can feel like a life-sentence for a crime we didn’t commit.

      While I bow with respect to those whose experience is different, I personally believe that while the past can’t be erased, that full healing is possible. That even after experiencing great trauma, that love and happiness and ease free from pain and anxiety is possible. I’m not saying that it’s easy to get there or that those who haven’t yet are somehow lacking in any way. It’s just my personal belief and experience that with enough work, the right kind of work, we can and do get to lead full and happy lives and that eventually, it doesn’t feel like work at all to have that.

      And you’ll see that as a theme in my work.

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience, David.

      • Elrohir

        Alex, while I should have expected it, as most frequently one’s art is a better mirror of one’s soul than almost anything else, as I read this post I find myself thinking that in addition to being an exceptional author, you are also and exceptional and caring human being. The empathy and caring expressed are superb.
        I have talked before about what a rare community this is, and it’s true. Even when tensions arise you guys come through it.
        While my heart breaks for Jamie and any one else who ever went through that, it is also comforted by the actions of Steven and others whose first thought was to reach out and do whatever was necessary to help. And then to watch you come to a level of equilibrium of sorts when the whole thing could have just as easily spiraled out of control. And the undercurrent of concern and caring throughout…it makes me proud. To put it simply:
        You guys amaze me.

      • nightstigress

        This is my first time posting though I’ve loved both Artifice and TYP since I found them.

        THE FOLLOWING COULD BE A TRIGGER

        …. panel number 5…. I haven’t ever been able to really tell anyone certain things, but panel number 5…

        My sexual abuse started when I was 5 and when until I was 15 and ended up in a mental hospital for 2 weeks after I cut up about 70 percent of my body and tried killing myself. It came out at school and of course had to be reported … later I recanted my story because I didn’t want my little brother growing up without a dad (nothing ever happened with lil bro… everyone always thought dad was a saint)… but I was pretty much accused by some of the family that knew what happened that I had an affair because I let it go on so long… and in all honesty I went to him a few times (again, stuff I’ve never been able to say)… but panel 5… it just makes me feel not alone, yah know? Like it might actually not be my fault for enjoying the physical aspect of it sometimes? I’ve gotten past a lot of things, but the guilt of that one thing has held me back massively.

        Unfortunately as my mind and heart have been able to heal, my body has gone downhill. I have multiple herniated disks and fibromyalgia so I am in constant pain but I do hope that one day I can reach the magical place you speak of where it doesn’t seem like work to have a full and happy life!

        • First of all, let me say thank you for your comment. That took tremendous courage. I write fictional stories about super-heroes and then have the pleasure of hearing about and interacting with real-life heroes in my comments section. It is an unexpected gift of authoring this comic. 🙂

          POTENTIALLY MORE TRIGGERING DISCUSSION ABOUT ABUSE — NOT KIDDING ABOUT THIS

          And your reaction to Panel 5 — I don’t want to put too fine a point on it (and the Engaging the Enemy arc doesn’t dwell on it) but you are absolutely not alone in having that experience and you’re not misreading what Spooky is saying here. Some of us have suffered abuse that was 100% clearly awful all the time. But for some of us, there was more ambiguity, sometimes a lot of ambiguity—and that can be its own special Hell. One that makes us question ourselves, that despite our age while it went on and our powerlessness during the abuse, one that makes us believe that we have no right to feel deeply wounded or to ask for help or to share the real truth of our stories. As you say, there can be feelings of guilt, even feelings of responsibility for what happened. The ambiguity can make us feel especially alone because we can feel certain that no one will understand—not even the people who are supposed to (and, sometimes, as you’ve experienced, we have the direct experience of that lack of understanding.)

          This is the comment section of a webcomic. I have no training. I’m clear about the limits of what I can and can’t do to help fellow travelers in this world. But one thing I can do with my writing is help people realize they are not alone, especially those who feel they have every reason to think they are alone. One way I do that is by creating stories with gay heroes, showing that gay people can be real heroes too. But there are other, very human experiences that are important for me to touch on. And when I can do so within the context of my stories, I will.

          You are absolutely not alone in your experience. You are absolutely not alone for sometimes enjoying the physical aspect. You are absolutely not alone in initiating contact with your abuser. If you sometimes have ambiguous feelings when thinking back on certain events or aspects, you absolutely wouldn’t be alone in that either. Whether people talk about it or not, people do sometimes have this experience of their abuse and it doesn’t mean someone is bad, sick, flawed or anything other than that they were simply a young, vulnerable human being doing their best to come to terms with a very difficult, confusing and fraught situation.

          If hearing Spooky talk about his experience helps you let go of this guilt, helps you realize that it really wasn’t your fault, then I feel like you are understanding the truth of his story here and Spooky would be the first to give you the biggest hug hearing about your experience (after asking your permission, of course. 🙂 )

          And, while I can’t predict the future, it is my belief, that you can and will have the full and happy life you completely deserve. It is very much my hope, anyway, and I’m sending you my warmest, most respectful and positive thoughts.

          Please be good to yourself, nightstigress. You’re a hero in my book and you deserve good things in your life. 🙂

        • Wow. That is truly strong to come out of such a personal closet and share something so important.

          You are nothing but brave, and somebody here is reading what you wrote and cherishing every word, because it means they too are not alone.

          My up-vote x 1000 please. And everything Alex says so perfectly below x 1000 also. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nate

    OK, Spooky just kicked Kyle out of the “#1 Woobie” slot. He needs a hug.

  • twincast

    Whoa. Now that came unexpected. Although I guess it’s more surprising that such doesn’t happen to burgeoning heroes in the hellish planes of the Big Two, realistically speaking.

  • Falconfly

    People who smile the most truly are the ones most depressed inside.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      This is all too true…..I for one try to have a very “warm” smile /personality( No fire involved) but on the inside I hide a number of bad experiences which I manage to add to from time to time.

  • steelie

    Trigger warning – my comment here may contain triggers for some.

    This page and it’s implications have been going round and round in my head. There are so many hints and so much foreshadowing in this whole work that It makes me rethink what I’ve seen before each time a new page goes up. So…

    Laampros and his statement of it having been awhile since he had the chance to sample the joys of human flesh. I’m wondering if Spooky’s time in hell had him running into Laampros and what that might further imply about Laampros’ interactions with him.

    And the timing of all of this – Spooky turned 13 and spent a year in hell, and he’s 20 now? So the time correlation between his experience and Kyle’s experiences is too perfect. I would lay odds that Sircea had something to do with all this (hence Spooky’s reported animosity towards her) and that she (and Duncan) knew what to look for (keeping a watch out for unusual fire activity) because of the information they learned from using Spooky like some kind of hell guinea pig.

    And the whole idea of confidentiality around super heroes – maybe the whole hidden identity concept leads to a general not sharing information that is maybe important to know. If Spooky’s encounter with Sircea and the resulting horrible consequences were known… all I can think of is Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice” blaming herself for not exposing the truth about Wickham before he could take advantage of her sister (yes, Jane Austen freak here – eclectic tastes, what can I say). There is a blurry line here over what an everyday human might be willing to share about personal experiences and what a super hero should possibly share as it relates to the mission of fighting evil.

    Blah – my head is spinning with this. Gonna go distract myself with breakfast and housekeeping. This story is entirely too engaging! You are some kind of evil mastermind of comic literature, Alex; I think you need to come with a warning label attached! 😉

    • Heh. I imagine you wouldn’t be the first to suggest that. 😉

      Very glad you are finding The Young Protectors engaging.

  • SamuelDerek

    All I can say is, can we all just hug Spooks and Kyle? >:

  • Shella_Bluey

    Here some side notes to distract me from Spooky’s sad revelations.

    I especially liked the layout of this page, these six high panels with all the same size, it felt surprising and made me even more exited to read the page.
    The layout is always the first thing that catches my eyes when I read a new page on my mobile phone. And every page has its unique feel to it. I first see the page in its entirety and the dialog is too small to read, it makes me always giddy with excitement. I take a moment to enjoy that feeling, only then I zoom in and look closer and read the dialogue. Zoom out again, zoom in. I really like this process of zooming in and out. Oh, and doing that, I can even touch our heroes (and villains) ;-). Reading on my desktop computer gives me a totally other reading experience and I think I prefer to read on my phone.

    Being afraid of heights, the second panel made me really uneasy and my first thought was: Pleas Kyle, don’t fall into the abyss! I was wondering, if he fell, would Flyboy or Spooky be fast enough to save him?

    • I believe either of them would be suitably fast enough in action to save Kyle if he fell off the edge. ^_^

      • Shella_Bluey

        I hope so. 🙂

    • Very interesting to read about your reading process, Shella_Bluey, as well as your comments about the layout. 🙂

  • vessto

    Woah really!!… Surprising and genial as always, thank you so much, Alex!!!

  • Kit the Coyote

    Hmmm, I never thought of the birthday angle; add his virginity, sex and the blood relationship and that’s one big source of power going into that spell.

  • Valja

    OH MY GOD. That’s probably the scariest thing that could happen to, well anyone… Let alone a young boy!
    I knew that behind Spooky’s always-carefree attitude there was some kind of trauma… strong people use smiles and jokes to hide their sufferings and emotions. Being alone, in hell, for an entire year… Damn, Spooky. You and Kyle are already heroes.
    I’m kind of happy he’s opening up to Kyle here, probably he’s never done it before because he thought no one could understand him. Now Kyle can. Waaaaaah now I’m even more curious than before as to how it did happen! Did he develop his mystical powers in Hell? Or he did already have them without knowing it, and that’s why the “spell” which sent him in Hell was so successful? Awwww this comic is a masterpiece!!

    • John

      I’m also wondering (though I doubt this occured to Spooky; he’s not that manipulative) if Kyle could, one day, go BACK to hell and deliver some sort of justice to some very demonic demons indeed.

    • Aw, thank you, Valja! You’re a sweetheart! 🙂 (And you’re asking good questions!)

      • Valja

        *blushes* ^^

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Hmmm 2 Demon/children……wonder what the next revelation will be? 13 would be the beginning of puberty as 18 is “coming of age”……..I wonder if Anni also took Spooks there? Oh well these and many other questions will be answered in rime.

  • John

    A literal year in hell. I think I see where he’s taking this. Just because spooks liked bits of it, doesn’t make it ok, doesn’t make him complicit and doesn’t in any way change the nature of what ACTUALLY transpired. Rape is rape.

    And Kyle? Exploitation and Manipulation don’t change just because you gave the guy a chance.

    • Steven K.

      Spooky never says he ACTUALLY DID like bits of it. He speaks of or intimates mind games and psychological manipulation and even supernatural trickery to try to get him to think or make him think that he might be liking any of it.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Maybe like the spell that Duncan cast on Kyle which he said that it significantly enhanced pleasure.

      • b3nc0

        The most usual and less supernatural mind game from rapist is to take the boner or even jism as evidence than the victim liked it or wanted it from the start…
        Phew, never thought it would be so hard to type this & it’s not even posted yet. Well, obviously, if you’re reading it, I has had to post it… & not yet earased it…

        • Steven K.

          Yeah – that’s tough to read / think about as well. In similar fashion (but lesser degree in terms of sever circumstances) – Kyle being made/forced (through the spell) to feel greatly intensified sexual pleasure at a moment of mental and emotional and psychological trauma.

          • Elrohir

            A solid point Steven, in an already messed up situation, Kyle is artificially being held in a sustained orgasm. While being taken advantage of/used. The potential for the aggressor to use that to scar/control the victim would seem staggering…and horrible.

      • John

        Well yeah, nor did he say he didn’t. The fact is he has no problem with Kyle but has already asserted that’s not the way he goes.

        It’s fair to assume therefore (at least, I think so) that irrespective of how he was made/encouraged/tricked into feeling he actually DIDN’T like it.

        • Steven K.

          Well, yes – that’s my point. The sense is that he didn’t – and of course he didn’t – it’s so many kinds of horrible that I can barely think about it or consider what that might have entailed before feeling extremely disturbed and almost sick.

  • Kalynn Osburn

    *cries* SPOOKY! *runs to hug him*

  • Thomas David Hamilton

    Kinky

  • Feverfew_M

    Hi folks, haven’t been around a lot, lately. RL got a bit hectic, and I rarely felt coherent enough to comment on anything…
    But whoa, what a revelation! A whole year in hell, and at such a young age. D: How did Spooky ever come out of this as well adjusted as he seems to be now??? And who did that to him? And how did he get out?
    His face in the 5th panel is just heartbreaking. He’s always so easy-going and friendly. I’d never have thought he might be hiding that dark a past. He must be about the strongest person on the planet.

    Also, browsing the comments, I’ve seen that some people were having a very hard time with this page. It’s very sad (and quite a bit aggravating) to know that some of you lovely people had to live through enough shit to make this page triggery. *offers hugs to everyone who wants/needs one*

    • b3nc0

      Welcome back ;°)
      and thanks for the hug much appreciated

      • Feverfew_M

        Aww, thanks! *hugs again for good measure*

        • b3nc0

          Thanks, I’m taking the hugs right now…
          *sigh*

  • AuroraMoon

    Oh dear. I’m literally tearing up right now after reading what Spooky said about his own experiences… it’s really hard not to just break down and bawl my eyes out right now. It’s like.. that’s seriously some heavy, dark stuff right there.

  • Adi Zeller

    I don’t know what to make with the information here in relation to Spooky’s rather carefree attitude about his own depiction in those sex pics in the interlude. I must admit I’m no expert on victimology and psychology of sexual abuse survivors, but I would have imagined a stronger reaction to those images, given the circumstances.

    • SofiaT

      I get what you mean, but I don’t see how Spooky being abused by demons could have turned him homophobic. It could have turned him off sex, possibly, but that’s not the case here it seems.

      Some people have problem having sex after they’ve been abused and others are completely fine with sex but have trouble forming lasting relationships because they find it hard to trust others.
      Others, manage to heal entirely and go on to live full, happy lives, not constantly shadowed by the experience. It’s not easy, but it happens. There’s no such thing as a mold that fits all sexually abused people nor is there an instructions manual on how they’re supposed to be acting/reacting.

      While that website featuring Spooky in bottom positions, saying “no” a lot, could have been a trigger for him, it’s just as believable that it wasn’t. People who have gone through such an experience all deal with it differently -and you can never know for sure what will set them off and what won’t.

      • b3nc0

        There’s also the case of automatic protection mechanism(s) that are so effective that it (they) trigger(s) first and only after some time you thought again about that moment & the disgust/fear/hatred maelstrom feeling strikes (maybe harder) but at least you’re alone when you hurl/cry/scream.

        Alright that was the last comment regarding those matters coz I’m getting sick.

        • Steven K.

          Feel for you – can relate.

      • Adi Zeller

        Just to clarify, I wasn’t talking about homophobia at all. I was talking about facing his own objectification, in a manner that was less than entirely consensual, and especially with the phrase he used “Methink gay Spooky might protest too much”, and it also gives a rather eerie connotation to his joke about “bending over” in front of Kyle (a joke I didn’t like even at the time, and almost commented about it, but then decided not to post the comment), as if Kyle was some sort of sexual predator who can’t control himself. Now we see that this not only relates to Kyle’s homosexuality, but also to his demonic parentage. It’s a bit unsettling.

        • Steven K.

          Right – I thought that you hadn’t intended your comment to relate to feelings of homophobia.

        • SofiaT

          Thanks for the clarification. I thought you might have been talking about the objectification and apparent forcefulness on that website, that could have triggered an emotional reaction in him, or even just the sexual images being too much, so I covered that on my second and last paragraph. 🙂
          Apparently, for Spooky, there was no such trigger.

          Again, while I think his experience has made him who he is, given him wisdom and empathy way beyond his years, Spooky seems to have recovered well and to carry no open wounds from his time in hell -just some scars. The fact that he can make jokes like the ones you mentioned, proves that.

        • Let me reassure you that unless one is truly unfortunate to be sent to prison. That is the oldest gay joke in the world.”Don’t drop the soap (and have to bend over)” I value my non-queer friends who can josh with me so, because I can usually respond with something daft like, “You wish!”

          In total opposition to porn and Yaoi, anal sex is a big drama. It can be great, but it’s not quick nor easy nor is it easily comfortable. That is different for every man, but It takes trust and time and it’s very hard to do sometimes, even with a willing cooperative partner without being very patient. That said, when it’s good… it can be transcendent.

          Don’t make any assumptions. I’m gay and quick to jump on any inappropriate or homophobic joke. Spooky’s line in the interlude was NOT that. Rather the opposite of a man supremely comfortable with himself. I worry constantly that much of our audience has only the fantasy of Yaoi as the an education about what it means to be two sexual men together. It is a fantasy, often created by women and for women. Alex’s work is obviously a different ball game.

          Spooky’s joke is totally silly. Spooky IMHO was brilliant to use such a hackneyed line to make Kyle laugh. Both in the interlude and later in the warehouse. The idea that some bending over could allow you to take advantage of someone??? It is ridiculous, but I understand you couldn’t know that without knowing gay men in a couple.

          One of the most difficult things for gays and non-queer to remember is that there is no shame in being on the top or the bottom, at the right time both can be wonderful. The idea of fixed roles is silly and very rare. Preferences sure, but trust me that masculinity as nothing to do with what one wants to do in bed at any given time.

          I posted this on my Tumblr blog because people have so little idea from fiction the sheer amount of work that goes in to great sex between men who love each other.

          http://mrchrisdangerfield.tumblr.com/post/76255088549/why-do-gay-guys-use-so-much-lube-during-sex-whats-it

          Demons ARE unsettling, but men in love are not. If you have questions, it’s totally understandable. Please feel free to ask and if one of us CAN answer, I’m sure we will.

          All best,
          ChrisD

          • Adi Zeller

            I fail to understand how your response is relevant to what I wrote, to the point that I think you failed to understand my point entirely. My gender identity and sexual orientation are completely irrelevant to the points I made. I happen to be a gay man (cisgender, if you prefer), and so I’m familiar both with what gay sex entails as well as how it feels (and also not the one making assumptions). But even if I didn’t and wasn’t, your points would be irrelevant.

            The fact that a joke is old, does not mean it is not noxious or bigoted, in fact usually the opposite is true. Most people making that joke have only a vague idea of what anal sex entails, and so your lengthy description of how easy or hard it is is the farthest thing from their minds. The point of that joke (as well as its twin sister about wearing tin underwear around gay men), is gay men’s supposed inability to overcome temptation or keep their hands (and other organs) to themselves when they are not asked for. It is a joke that paints all men (including me and you) as sexual predators. True, it also may show vanity on the side of the person making it (he – I have never heard this joke from anyone who wasn’t a heterosexual man – is certain his attraction would be irresistible to the gay man before him), or they may assume that a gay man would settle for ANY man, and so a response of “You wish” or any variant thereof would be a good sting to that man’s pride, but it does not address the living core of that joke, which is that gay men are sexual predators who cannot control themselves.
            Now, I’m not blaming you for not rising to challenge that prejudice. It is so deeply entrenched in our popular culture that we sometimes just ignore it and take it for granted. But it is a deeply pernicious prejudice. Even in gay friendly TV shows, books or, as the case is here, graphic novels, this prejudice occasionally rears its ugly head. Just think how many times have you seen a gay man planting a kiss on a straight man in TV (the fact that these straight men often eventually come out is immaterial, at that moment in time, in the eyes of the gay man, they are straight – one example of this is the Oliver/Christian plotline from the German soap Verbotene Liebe, there are many others)? In any other circumstance this behaviour would be condemned as sexual harassment, but in the case of gay men, they get a pass, and a negative response from the straight (or closeted) guy is often treated as homophobic. But that is not the case. Anyone (even a straight male) has a right to not be physical with anyone he is not interested in. By giving these fictional gay men a “pass” on such behaviour you are reinforcing the stereotype that they are unable to control themselves, and so should not be expected to behave as others (“normal people”) do. This is a liberal bias, but bias nonetheless. And it is especially pernicious because non-liberals latch on to it as an ultimate example of why gay men should not be afforded the same respect and dignity other people are. You could see it in the reaction some straight males had to Anders hitting on the main male PC in Dragon Age 2. Even though Anders was not physical, hit on the PC rather benignly, was easily rejected, and if he was rejected never brought up the topic again (a legitimate behaviour IMO), many straight men were outraged and claimed the game was forcing them to be gay, sleeping with men, or molesting them (you can find these arguments everywhere you care to look online, and sometimes they are so preposterous as to make you wonder if the person making them even played the game). The main reason for this outrage and why people find it so credible, is the deep rooted belief in the predatory nature of gay men. And this joke is one embodiment of that belief.
            Oh, and as a final note, Chris, in the future, before making assumptions about who you are corresponding with, you might want to take a page from Steven K.’s book in the way he addresses people whose gender he does not know.

          • I take your point about making gender assumptions as very apt. I have done it before in the anonymity of the internet, on both sides, and have been wrong to my chagrin before… so I do apologize.

            I’ll respond once and then bow out. Your points are all well made. Yet from my point of view the issue of the joke of the over-sexed male is attached to MEN as a totality.

            As much as the myth that all women don’t like sex… unless they are sluts. Gays just suffer more because we are the minority fighting for respect on many fronts.

            The idea that all men want sex constantly, in all situations and with anything that moves, is an idea that many people joke about. It may unfortunately be more predominant in growing up American. Others would have to speak to it’s universality. I’ve just heard it so often that I can’t take umbrage at it.

            Confusing sexual desire of any sort with predatory pedophilia is an entirely different issue and there I would agree with you and come out guns-a-blazing.

            In the totality of the fight for LGTBQ respect, I do understand your points and respect them, and yet have my own views on them.

            IMO, finding everything offensive and taking umbrage does nothing to help the underlying issue of misinformation about men and women of any preference or the demonizing of minorities. Only a an ability to find comfort in humor and communication will help the LGBTQ community become understood and mainstream. Fear and the unknown is the biggest foe.

            For example, right or wrong from your POV view, a non-queer man in America would feel comfortable joking this way with his own no-queer friends… and female. Humor is a way of saying, “you are safe with me.”

            As with any humor, the individuals, their relationship, tone and delivery mean everything. Had Duncan said this to Kyle? Trust me I would have been all over it with vitriol. Under these circumstances with Spooky and Kyle, in this moment, it made perfect sense to me.

            I’m personally aware of DRAGON AGE2 as well as endless examples of gay prejudice both overt and subtle in mass media. We could both amass a list going back 50+ years of horrible examples. It’s only in the last 5-10 years that we can start to form a tiny list of positive mainstream examples and they are usually not yet found in television, film, or mass-market video games (that have a very specific audience of young non-queer boys) and mass media as a whole. You are correct, in those areas there is a huge amount of work to be done.

            However, regarding Spooky’s joke? I believe that only by learning to find joy and humor in ourselves and each other can we ever hope to find comfort in our differences, whether they be differences of culture, sexual preference or skin color. I tease my non-queer male and female friends just as fiercely about sexual desires, as they would me, but because we are friends, we know at heart this is not true and it’s a way of reaffirming our safety to laugh with each other. What can I say, at least in America, it’s a very non-sexual way of dealing with each other in safety and without tension.

            That said, all American sexual mores are somewhat backward and confusing, so this challenge is set against a bigger one of America’s foolishly puritan core.

            All that said, here is where I believe we may differ most, I find being offended by everything way too tiring. It takes away all the energy that I need to apply to things in life that bring me joy. I try not to let jokes, words, misteps etc… pull me into that sense of outrage that is, to me, exhausting and unproductive. That may also be a function of my age, as a man who has seen 40 and won’t see 25 again, I only have so much outrage to go around. Spooky’s joke, even if I disagreed with it (which I don’t) doesn’t make the cut for me.

            Thank you for your opinion and reply. Again, I’m sorry to have inadvertently offended with my misassumptions about your sex or preference. I’ll bow out of this conversation now, wishing you well.

            Best,
            ChrisD

      • Steven K.

        I don’t think Adi was saying that they would have expected Spooky’s experience to have made him homophobic – at least I didn’t interpret the comment to be saying that, but something rather different.

      • No I think you are very right. At least publicly, Spooky has learned to deal with sex and the idea of flirting and porn. This could be real or all front… IDK?

        http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch1-page-4/

        Again in the interlude, it’s hard to believe that this is not a man who has healed himself. I’m fooled if this isn’t genuine guy-fun:

        http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-int1-page-11/

        When have any of us, watching any sort of erotica on-line or whatever, seen the person on the bottom tossing their head back and forth saying no no no… and not known it’s just fun and theatre.

        People who create porn are pretty careful that they show partners who are “in to” each other. Comics vs. live porn is yet different again.

        Certainly there is an audience for Yaoi that (because it’s drawn) caters to people who like to watch the unwilling forced into sex.

        I find it a huge turn-off. IRL and in porn. There is nothing worse than a reluctant partner. Been there, had one, yawn!

        There are horrors like rape and snuff films but that goes beyond the bounds of porn in to the realm of torture/rape films. It is very clear that there is not hint of that here.

        What the boys were looking at in the interlude were Yaoi sex scenes “drawn by women” (they made that point). So Spooky saying “no” was part of the game.

        “Methinks gays spooky doth protest to much.”

        “Don’t. Stop.” vs. “Don’t stop!” If Spooky is hiding real damage after seven years, I cannot see evidence of it today.

  • Perverzak

    oh, Spooky!! I feel so upset about everything that happened to him… he was just a kid! But now I can really see how so incredibly strong he is…

  • Ali

    I absolutely hate and am heartbroken by what Spooky’s saying, but I gotta say, I love his eyes in the second to last panel. The pain and sadness there made me tear up a little. Very well done.

  • Oh gawd. I just came home after being gone ALL day, being picked up around 11am (it’s now after 11pm here) and I’ve been tripping for over 10 hours to make this comment xD .. of course the thoughts really came to me around half an hour after I couldn’t comment >.>

    ANYWAY.. it’s probably already been commented on by now, but it struck me that the timeline of a lot of events seems to close up to the same time – six years ago.

    Kyle’s powers manifested when he was 12, six years ago.
    Duncan suddently changed his criminal ways of living, again six years ago.
    Spooky is 20 = he was sent to hell 7 years ago, but he was there for a year, so now we also know that he somehow got away.. six years ago.
    This seems too much of a coinsidence to me that Spooky’s horror year also fit into this.

    Duncan’s change seems likely connected to Kyle coming into powers, as he said that he and Sircei had kept an eye on Kyle for a while… but possibly how connected is the events of how ever Spooky got out of hell to Kyle reaching his age of power?

    Is it possible that Sircei got Spooky into hell and possibly out again for some the same reason that Kyle was brought there? Who else if not her? I want to know so much how Spooky came to be sent there, but just as much I want to know how he got out. Hope we get some full answers on the next pages.

    I still wonder if Spooky is ‘just’ a mutant or he might be something more, like the son of a nephelim or a demon. We know Kyle is the son of ‘a king of hell’ which technically would make his ‘status’ pretty high, but we saw that Laampros didn’t show much concern about him except for a bit curiosity when Kyle showed promise in powers.

    Could Spooky be the ‘mistake’ that came before Kyle? Did Sircei (or someone else) try to make a deal with a demon – on her own? -seven years ago but failed?
    We saw that it was Duncan who went this time, while Sircei stayed home, and he made sure that Kyle couldn’t talk or move -so he wouldn’t make a presence of himself. As Duncan said, maybe Kyle would survive it then.

    Was that what went wrong with Spooky? Was he used to get into hell, but what ever demon was contacted came to notice Spooky, because he protested and tried to stop it, and they ended up keeping him there while who ever made the deal was sent back home/escaped with a denied request? The offer wasn’t deemed enough.
    Could it be that Sircei didn’t dare go back a second time? Has she really been that evil and scheming for years – or again, is someone else involved with this?

    So many thoughts and theories have been brewing in my head all day, and to not make this comment a mini essay, I haven’t even tried to put the more fluent thoughts into words xD I know there’s still plot holes in the theorizing I’ve already mentioned now.

    • Some very good questions, Danish. 🙂

    • Sapfo

      Make my brain think! Bad Danish! >.<

      The only problem I have with Sircei and/or Duncan using Spooky is the age thing. The taboo of hurting/touching minors. I can see that Spooky being gone for a year might have keept people from knowing, but he came back to our world. So if it was Sircei or Duncan how sent Spooky to Hell, what keept Spooky from telling everyone?
      Would not Sircei and Duncan been kicked out of the "bad boys/girls club"? 😉

      But thank you for reminding me of the timeline of things. I kind of forgot about that.

      • That’s one of the plot holes I was talking about in all my thinking 😉

        We only know that Spooky has told Kyle about Sircei and not flattering things, but Kyle didn’t react that angry when he met her, so either it’s because he didn’t know what he knows now.. or she didn’t have anything to do with getting Spooky into hell. Saying it that way, I’m still not excluding her from the part where he got out again.

        It could even lead to a whole other theory where Spooky was taught about his powers by Sircei (or someone else), and when a spell to conjure a demon went wrong he ended up in hell – until he got out that year later somehow. That it was an accident of a spell going wrong.
        This could be another good explanation to why Spooky aren’t a fan of Sircei… ooor since ther powers seem in the same type that Sircei tried to recruite Spooky after he got out. After all, Spooky has knowledge of hell that might have been of use to her.

        There’s still the whole getting out of hell around the time Kyle got his powers question that probably has to fit into it somehow. I’ve had thoughts around that too, but I want to know more to get a better clue before sharing all of those xD
        I love a comic that can have me considering a LOT of options all the time.

      • Librarican

        Mind blown and gears turning.

        Maybe that’s what happened? Duncan and Sircei messed with a minor and the reason he went “clean” was because the super villain world turned a cold shoulder to him and Sircei and wouldn’t work with him anymore. Hence the market scene where tweedle dee and dum refer to themselves as the real heroes, because they were trying to get Kyle away from Duncan since he was underage.

        Their possible banishment from the super villain community might have also have been a slap on the wrist type punishment. Like, we’re only kicking you out this time, but next time there will be consequences. OH! Maybe their prohbation on magic or power use ended and that’s why they could approach Kyle when they did!

        When are Kyle and Spooky’s birthdays? Runs off to find a calendar.

  • Thank you Alex, Adam and Veronica. The page is stunning and beautiful and so very well balanced. A real pleasure to absorb. I needed the night’s sleep and to really take in how well the subject matter, the drama, settings and characters all work together to really give us something special.

    I truly loved the long slim vertical panels throughout. So much information verbal and visual in each panel. Kyle is stunning in the first, and it’s a great composition over Spooky’s shoulder. Just when I think Kyle couldn’t be handsomer or his face couldn’t be more emotionally expressive you make it so… and… he is. Dayum. Just as when I think Veronica has done the perfect sky, well lookee here there are six more, each beautiful.

    In fact, let me just get it out and say the skies on this page are a character of their own, providing a sense of great peace. A quiet vast place that terrible hard secrets can be shared and maybe healing can be encouraged. Great choices. A vast location for a vast emotional subject.

    Sometimes when I’m hurting, either over something current or harsh memories plague me, being in the quiet and open can remind me of how vast space is and how small I am and it’s that old saying about remember that (cliché I know) we’re all just star dust and ephemeral. So, perfect combinations from all three of you. Thank you all for this effort. So many graphic novels can’t achieve this kind of work, or won’t. I’m grateful.

    I think there are balanced contrasts throughout this page that, even when not shown in every panel, we see it once and know it’s there. You give us a new POV with them on a precarious edge, skirting the warehouse. A place I don’t remember seeing before, and the nature of that precarious edge reflects the delicate edgy nature of Spooky’s calm gentle revelations. I think it’s a very subtle and wonderful collusion of subjects and location.

    I must admit seeing how carefully you’ve staged this did make me really have to work to separate MY emotions, those I bring with me to the page, and make the effort to separate myself from what the page is actually sharing with me.

    Again there is great contrast in #3. That half shot of just the right side of Spooky’s ultra calm face as he drops a huge emotional bomb. That one soulful eye tells you that, oh-yeah, Spooky feels this memory deeply. It forms who he is. We don’t know how yet and wont without a lot more information. What I loved is the utter peaceful calm he generates. He’s seven years away from his trauma. Kyle is 30+ minutes away from his time in hell… paralyzed and expecting the worst. Spooky is truly aware of what happened to Kyle and how soon this is. He gets what it means on every level, and so he says this big thing so calmly and gently. It’s like a verbal hug.

    Spooky saying to his dear friend, “I really DO understand. I DO know.” What more can we ask a friend for?

    I can’t imagine a delivery more gentle or a line that could have communicated to Kyle more clearly, that he is not alone. It’s love. Maybe a friend’s love or a brother’s love, but it’s telling your most intimate secrets to someone you care for deeply. A sharing of the most profound and effective kind. I can’t imagine that it doesn’t mean the world to Kyle. I was deeply moved by both David Frost’s sharing and Derkins’ sharing.

    The point is that issues of sex at any age are complicated, and those experiences involving abuse of any kind are so much more so. In coming out, I was scarred by sexual experience. Being best friends with someone who truly understands one way or another, and loves you unconditionally is a pure gift. Kyle is getting that gift now.

    Spooky shocked us, and I’m sure I’ll feel more as I learn more, but I was so grateful that now Kyle is even more NOT alone. He’s not alone with knowing he’s gay and saying it and having friends love and care for him regardless. As a gay man, there aren’t words to tell you how much that means.

    Then, to have a trauma expert, as Spooky so clearly is, gently hand you his secret heart and say I’m just like you. Kyle just had an extended magic orgasm of some sort under the worst possible circumstances, discovered his father is a nightmare, and with such gentleness Spooky says… “You are not alone with any of it.” (Yep it makes me cry to write it… but in a good way… IMHO, not all crying is bad).

    I remember reading somewhere that just because someone somewhere suffered more than you are doesn’t lessen or minimize the importance of your experience. However, in the best sense, it can help you remember that you are never alone in your hardship. It’s not an “easy” idea, but I liked it.

    I really liked the intensity of the side shot in #4. We don’t know exactly what Spooky’s words mean, and in some ways that makes it worse.

    Remember we SAW Kyle’s naked bound journey to hell. Some of you will remember how hard that surprise hit me five months ago, and how upset I was with people who I perceived as minimizing the seriousness of Duncan’s actions. That said, this may be more challenging in some ways, because OUR imaginations are filling in the blanks as to what actually happened to young-Spooky. And aren’t our imaginations so much harsher sometimes than being handed the specific details?

    I love the intent look that Spooky and Kyle are giving each other here. They are completely alone in this moment of shared pain, bonding and growth.

    Panel #5 is the ultimate killer in its impact. Adam and Veronica killed us with the sorrowful beauty of Spooky’s expression as he gives up the hardest part of his story. So generous and so giving to tell this to Kyle, he is truly helping his friend heal. But, boy oh boy, that expression is hard.

    The art is so beautiful and Alex’s dialog, as usual, is so intriguing. That’s classic Alex, and as much as I triggered hard about a lonely closeted gay boy in Kyle back around C-2, pg-30-ish, I have come to deeply appreciate the way Alex’s art allows me to deeply (and sometimes painfully) examine my own feelings about my own experiences of discovering gay… in the context of safety.

    I think Alex, Adam and Veronica’s work is uniquely special on many levels and this group helps a great deal by being so very supportive.

    The final panel is kind of wonderful as we see this intimate closeup of our hero truly realize he’s not alone, and we see him consciously connect to his innate empathy as he realizes that however bad his experiences seem to him, someone else understands. True empathy is what a great hero, a powerful hero needs more than any other emotion. Adam’s job on Kyle’s final expression of realization is perfect and Vero’s colors of Kyle and that sky behind him are stunning.

    Guys, this is a very special page. Alex I applaud your bravery for tackling such hard subjects with such sensitivity. There is nothing salacious about Spooky’s sharing of very hard subject matter. There are no giant visual dramatics, tears or hysterics. It’s a calm and beautiful page that allows us to see a healthy and wise Spooky helping his best buddy, Kyle, be a healthy and wise hero too.

    As a gay man I can say you are fully succeeding in giving me a comic with a gay hero. One that I would have given anything to have had as a young closeted gay teen. It would have been hidden in the secret box beneath my bed with all the world’s most precious things. This comic is truly one of a kind.

    • Thank you for sharing this Chris. Beautiful and articulate as always.

    • Just when I thought I couldn’t like your analyzing comments more than I already do, you bring this one.

      You say SO much of what I’ve been thinking in a much better way than I fell I could myself. I often suck at expressing my personal stuff/feelings verbally, and much of this you nail with your comment too. On top of that you bring things to the table with a POV I can’t put on it, me being a straight woman, which make me thinj more about it. Things that I hadn’t thought of (much) in the front of my mind, but I now realize are still important to me and some I notice – and you do it in a way where I can both relate so much, but the same time see the differences based on each of our backgrounds.

    • Thank you again for your wonderful panel-by-panel commentary. As part of a creative team that spends hours and hours on each page, it really is a delight to read. Insightful, thoughtful and touching. It means a lot to me that you take the time and put such good thought into it. 🙂

      P.S. You are right about the night sky being a “character” on this page. And for the reasons you said. Always cool that y’all notice even subtle stuff like that. 🙂

  • LL

    Aww, Spooky bb. 🙁 Are there any superheroes with non-depressing backstories?

    • SofiaT

      Trying to find a superhero with no hard back-story is like trying to find a Disney protagonist who’s not an orphan.

      • mogoskier

        I accepted this challenge.
        For superheros lets see. Wonder Women backstory is nice, at least the per-52 one don’t know about the new one. I believe the Flash is good. Umm.. who else, well in Marvel there umm..fantastic 4 no there the thing, Hawkeye maybe.
        Next challenge disney parents.
        I’ve got nothing.

        • SofiaT

          Ha! I’ve only read the New-52 Wonder Woman and there’s nothing good about her back-story. She grows up thinking she was made out of clay, feeling different from the other Amazons and being bullied, then she finds out she’s in fact the daughter of Zeus and then her mother gets killed by Hera because how dared she? I haven’t read any Flash comics, so can’t comment on that. But it’s not just childhood experiences, every superhero has his/her cross to bear. Somewhere, some time, something really bad has happened to all of them. It’s what makes them great and super.

          As for Disney, Brave is not an orphan and neither is Rapunzel, but those seem to be the exceptions that prove the rule. 🙂

          • You can add Mulan, Belle, and Aurora to the not an orphan category.

          • SofiaT

            Belle has lost her mom so she is an orphan.
            Aurora was taken and raised away from her parents (as was Rapunzel) but good catch on Mulan!

          • Kate G

            Ariel is motherless (in the original Hans Christian Andersen story she has both), Tiana still has her mom and Naveen still has both parents, Pocahontas has her father, Wendy and her brothers still have both parents, Hercules has two sets of parents, Merida has both parents.

            I know I am missing about eight others but I can’t remember them at the moment. <-Disney fanatic

            There is a running theme of motherless protagonists in Disney tales, but you have to remember, the fairytales Disney bases their stories off of (Grimms and Charles Perrault) tend to have motherless protagonists as well.

          • SofiaT

            The whole point I was trying to make is that you can’t have triumph unless you have obstacles to overcome first. Disney uses its protagonists’ often orphan status to express that, even in stories that don’t come from fairy-tales. You wouldn’t have Simba’s triumphant return if Mufasa hadn’t been killed. Lilo wouldn’t have found a soulmate on a seemingly evil (but in reality so lonely) creature like Stitch if she hadn’t lost her parents so tragically. Hercules wouldn’t have become the greatest hero of Greek mythology if his step-mother hadn’t made his life a living hell. 🙂

          • My Mom is pretty cool… so I’m kinda f*cked on the “developing super powers front” aren’t I?

          • SofiaT

            Yep.
            Unless you are not really her son but you were raised as her own after she found you on a corn field, after your real parents placed you on a spaceship to save your life, while they stayed behind and perished with the rest of your home planet?

            That’s always a possibility.

          • You know that make a lot of sense… lets work with that. 😛

            Edit: except mom is kinda an angel and I’m still a stinker. So this formula needs revision. Dang.

          • Takehai

            As a random out of the blue bit of trivia: Does anyone besides me know what The Lion King story is based on?

            Hamlet.

          • SofiaT

            Yep 🙂
            That Disney sure does like plagiarism!

          • Yes exactly. It’s true and it’s much written about, if you’re interested. Google can offer you endless pontification on the subject, but it’s true the creators had a form of that classic in mind.

          • I did not know that, but it fits. Thanks!

          • Soooo… Amanda (The Commander). What?

            Why isn’t she living with me in the trailer park and bringing me my chicken pot pie? Hey, woman where’s your tragedy and how’d you get to be leader of a super team of horny boys? Huh?

          • John

            I could see her with a very Calhoun (Wreck-it Ralph) backstory. Or something similar. 🙂

          • I guess that’s true, I tend to forget that orphans technically include those who’ve lost one parent and not necessarily both. I still wouldn’t consider Aurora orphaned since it wasn’t like she thought her parents were dead or vice versa… she was just raised by her godparents which really isn’t that different from kids who are raised by grandparents.

          • mogoskier

            Wow they really drop the ball for Wonder Woman. The old backstory was that her mother wished for a child so she made one out of clay. She greek goddesses (and mercury for some reason) saw this and decided to give the clay baby life and gifts such as wisdom, beauty, mercy and others. She grew up with the other amazons loved and was train by them. The gods called to send the island campaign to man’s world, to figure out who that was they had a tournament. WW mom didn’t want WW to fight because if she won she had to leave, losing her daughter. WW fought anyway in secret and won. Hence the start of Wonder Woman.

            But you know let’s change that to every other greek story with the child of Zeus. WHO NEEDS ORIGINALITY AND LOVING BONDS BETWEEN WOMEN. LET’S JUST FORGET ABOUT THAT.

            Bet they wouldn’t that to batman

          • SofiaT

            Probably that’s why they changed they back-story. The original one must have been to “happy-go-lucky” for a superhero. I like the New-52 WW though, she’s very badass and her heels are not too high 🙂

          • mogoskier

            The original Wonder Woman was a diplomat who wrote a best seller book.

          • SofiaT

            How very… 1970s.
            I like the kick-assery of the new one better 🙂
            She’s more Linda Hamilton in The Terminator than Lynda Carter.

          • Do NOT put down Lynda Carter. I remember her from youth, and those breast were barely held captive by their restraining devices and, we were convinced, that … ONE DAY … she’d do that spin (cue: Music) and…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-O2etMo_Yw

            and one of those bad-boys would come flying out and do some real damage.

            Like to see Linda Hamilton do that.

          • Maria

            This is the story backstory I a “few” years ago. It is the one I like the most. :3

      • You know it all started when the hunters killed Bambi’s mother… THAT was the spot!

        • SofiaT

          And then JK Rowling used the same recipe with impressive results!

          With great powers comes great responsibility but with great suffering comes greatness itself. 🙂

          Edit: Btw, I’ve never watched Bambi because I know I won’t be able to take that scene. Nemo was hard enough as it was.

          • Smart. I was a little kid and cried and cried. But then Bambi’s friends helped him out… (?) Sound familiar?

            Edit: Walt Woolfson… you’ve met?

          • You have discovered the original inspiration for all my work. Like a magical incantation your words have freed me from my bonds and I can now reveal the truth behind the truth.

            It’s all Bambi fan-fiction. Every word.

          • SofiaT

            Don’t even joke about that!
            Next thing you know, Disney’s lawyers are knocking on your door, asking for royalties. o.O

          • Weeeeelll I have noticed a distinct lack of mothers loitering about… I thought they’d just been eaten by demons, but now this is much clearer!!!

          • Bambi with a superhero twist. That’s brillant 😉

          • Sapfo

            There is just something very wrong and at the same time right about that 😀

          • mogoskier

            That okay Alex. Almost anything created is a fanfic /fanfilm of something.

        • The hunter who is actually one of the few Disney villains who killed another movie character 😉

          .. if not the only one?

          • SofiaT

            Don’t forget Scar!
            I’m on my way to watch the theater production of Lion King now so it just popped into my head 😀

          • Right! I can’t believe I forgot Scar. An important character villain that actually killed someone.

          • Klaus

            I saw a TV program about the Lion King, where one of the people behind said that it started when one of them said “Let’s do Bambi with lions.”

        • Klaus

          Was she? I have heard this several times. And it has been a very long time since I saw the film. But as I remember it, it was his father who was shot. His mother died in a forrest fire.

      • Ellen Harman

        Rapenzel, Megara, Mulan, Pocahantas, Sleeping Beauty all have livin parents. So not so hard.

        • SofiaT

          *sigh* I was just trying to make a point. 🙂

          But since you mentioned them, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty were taken and raised away from their parents, Pocahontas has no mom, and Megara wasn’t the protagonist/hero of the movie, so Mulan is your only valid example really.

          See where I’m going with this? 🙂

          • But she had a father so she wasn’t an orphan, neither were Ariel or Belle. Despite being raised away from their parents, they were still alive, so still not orphans. Wendy.

            There are quite a few single parent families in Disney.

          • SofiaT

            Anyone who’s lost at least one parent is an orphan. Wendy is also not the hero of Peter Pan -Peter is. And he has no parents -which is why Wendy is a mother-figure in that movie. Hercules was raised by foster parents because being raised by his true parents was to dangerous (I still can’t believe Disney butchered his story like that).

            The only two heroines who have been raised by both parents in Disney history are Merida from Brave and Mulan. Considering the amount of animation movies produced over the years, that’s quite a low number -even if you decide to include Rapunzel and Aurora or even Hercules.

            So again, the point I was trying to make is that while not impossible, finding a hero who’s had no hardships is like searching for a needle in the haystack.

          • So, since I haven’t seen my father since I was five I am an orphan?

          • SofiaT

            I was referring to story-telling tropes. Although if you want to go by the dictionary definition, “orphan, n.: a child who has lost both parents or, less commonly, one parent through death”.

            I wasn’t raised by my father either and have no relationship with him but I’m not an orphan because I don’t fit the dictionary definition (and also because I don’t consider myself to have lost much by not having him in my life).

            If I was a Disney princess, it would count, for story-telling purposes, I guess.

          • Eh, well to each his own, but I don’t define an orphan unless both parents are dead. As long as one parent is alive, I don’t see them as orphans. I never saw Ariel, Belle, or any of the others as orphans just because they were raised in a single parent house-hold. Real or story-wise.

            To me “orphan” has always equaled no parents at all. So as long as there is at least one living parent, I cannot consider them orphans. Despite “story-telling”.

          • As I like to think it, how can a hero deliver justice if the hero has never known injustice. It’s not perfect, but it works.

          • Adam Irving

            Exactly, and not just Disney either. In stories of all kinds, heroes are faced with adversity – part of the hero’s journey, if you will – and while a troubled childhood is not mandatory, it’s not an uncommon place to start. Very common trope. Parents, like children, can provide vulnerabilities to the hero. Great discussion!

          • There are two distinctions in the Disney type films we’re exemplifying. Rarely is the death of, usually the mother, but any parent an obstacle to be overcome, that leads the character toward heroism. It is just considered instant sympathy created for a less than sympathetic character.

            I love Lilo & Stich, but she’s an obstreperous little girl, but you forgive her anything because she’s funny and her parents were killed. Instant canned sympathy.

            The father’s are often missing or not active in forming who the lead character becomes. Not bad guys, just absent.

            It is a Disney form of the most obvious sort. In most of these cases it’s not a challenge to be surpassed, it’s just instant canned audience sympathy to explain ‘bad’ behavior.

          • Eh, I never saw them that way….not at all.

          • But then again, I often say that I am wired differently than most people.

          • Not at all. You are not supposed to “see it that way.” It’s just the hope that you see the character in sympathy due to understood hardship. 🙂

          • Eh. It is just a piece of information. If it never really develops into a plot point or something that has an impact on the story, it is just an interesting factoid.

            Kind of like the backgrounds I have made for my D&D characters. Interesting information, but unless the DM chooses to use anything from it, it doesn’t really serve any other purpose then giving me a guideline on how my character should act.

            ……Also for some odd reason, most, if not all, of my characters, regardless of which race, have always found the oddest things cute. Though probably the strangest are my halflings…one wanted to keep a spider/dog as a pet, one fell in love with a bug-bear which she called Teddy, and Athora…..has the godawfullest hat. It is a top hat, that almost doubles her height, has multicolored sequins, feathers, an octopus-bear, and it has eyes all over it. She enjoys asking people their opinion on the hat just so she watch them struggle to be polite, but she really does love the heck out of that hat (Think Jack Sparrow and his thing with his hat).

            I miss playing Athora, she was a hoot. Slips on an icy cliff and almost goes over, he reaction? “AGAIN!!!” Cranky old mean sorcerer/wizard, loves him to death and leaves him a present. Sent to talk to a supposedly friendlier one? Didn’t like him as much (he also turned out to be using us for bad things…freaking tricksy magic users). And at times she was a better rogue than the rogue…..

          • John

            That reminds me of one of my old Eberron characters (don’t judge me; I was young and rebellious)

            Griselda was a werewolf (whatever the faux-werewolf race was called. I forget) who was a druid with a ridiculously low charisma and intelligence score. As a result, while she could quickly spot unnatural influeces/magical mysteries/mysterious happenings her only way to verbalise it was “Thats not natural!”

            It became a running joke for the whole party. that and the fact Griselda ate a dunce’s cap when she was growing up (an example of when backstory, despite having no actual impact stat-wise really helped continually shape the character)

          • There seems almost always at least one parent dead, usually the mother (e.g. Ariel, Pocahontas, Belle). Definitely for classic disney. The ones that break the mould, such as Brave, are modern.

      • LL

        Let’s not forget Merida, guys!

  • Yukiness

    Here comes the feels train *gets run over*

    • I feel there a joke about seeing the light in the tunnel… and it’s the oncoming train, but I can’t remember it verbatim.

  • Kate G

    Poor Spooks. I have a feeling I’m going to need tissues.

    • Adam Irving

      You’d think we’d all have stock in Kleenex by now or something.

      • Heck. I missed out on Apple stock. I have Kleenex stock BIG. Problem is I’m the best customer… Humph.

      • Kate G

        I know, right? Or at least we would all have a horde of Kleenex.

  • Adam Irving

    Well, the dial on the “WTF?” Likert scale certainly got clicked up another few notches! Great exposition scene so far, in looks and in content.

    • Thank you, Adam! 🙂 (And thank you for getting me to look up what a Likert scale is…)

  • Shisoku

    Poor Spooky. I cried.

  • Anna Calloway

    Awww my mommy is kicking in. I just wanna hug him and tell him it’ll be okay! His face in that second to last panel just breaks my heart 🙁

  • SpookyDomme

    Wow. Wow.

  • Xalun K

    After trying and failing to log on to Disqus for two weeks, I’ve finally succeeded.

    This week is profound, disturbing, and triggering. I have no idea how you guys managed to convey so much emotion through few words and images, but you’ve done it… Very well. SO well. I’m gonna go sit in the corner and cry now.

    • *hugs* Good to see you back Xalun! I posted a link to some calming/relaxing music somewhere in the comments.

      • Xalun K

        *hugs* good to finally be back! I must say! I’ll go sort through the comments to find your soothing stuff before I get brain bleed. 🙂

  • Klaus

    I have just looked at some of the extra pictures on the Starfighters site. Several of them made me go “Wait! Is that Spooky in Hell?”.

    • That’s very observant. Thank you for sharing that shot. I like Starfighter, but dominance and submission, and the sex games that go with it, change their entire nature when we love the person(s) involved, When you realize the games you play are not of your partner’s desire, all joy is gone.

      As a young gay man, in an urban setting, I played lots of BDSM games of great fun… but let me tell anyone, that you IMMEDIATELY sense when something ceases to be a game or “fun” for yourself or your partner and there is nothing less sexy.

      Your observation is very apt. There is a lot of sexualized art out there that portrays the ‘unwilling sexual participant’. There are lots of people who find it intriguing. I don’t judge as that is what art is for. However, I am self-centered. I need my lover, in any circumstance, to very much WANT to be with ME and happily so. Selfish bastard that I am.

      And what may be most complex about the issue is I would still rather have Hamlet explore these sorts of ideas in “art” than for it ever to occur in real-life. So I defend art as a place where any idea, no matter how dire, can be explored. If the inside of our heads gets a bit mucky at times then FINE… that’s where our darker selves belong… inside our imagination to be explored in safety. And there is also for many of US just something about art that brings the dark and the light safely to us and lets us explore our own hearts.

      This piece of art made what followed very hard for me. Today, I wouldn’t trade that safe journey for anything… at the time… Heh… well…

      http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete-ch1-page-61/

      That said, you are entirely right. Humanizing a character into someone you like/love, as much as we care for Spooky makes all the difference in the way we consider such things.

      Anyone who’s read one of Cormac McCarthy’s darker books, like THE ROAD, certainly can understand this. It is literary brilliance and yet there are moments when events are so dark that one wants to turn away from a page of written prose, purely because his exploration of human nature is so harsh.

      And that is entirely without Veronica and Adams art work to pull our hearts about so emotionally.

      Thank you very much Klaus for a great thoughtful post.

  • Klaus

    Just three or four more pages and we are through.

  • Klaus

    Did you know that Spooky Jones has his own web site? http://spookyjones.com/

    • Ha! I did not. Well, if Veruca Salt can be a band, then certainly Spooky Jones can exist in both forms as well. 🙂

      • There is a bit of Willy Wonka about you Alex. I don’t think I ever quite put my finger on it before. Hmmmmm. I just want a golden ticket. That’s all.

        chris goes off to tell daddy he wants an Oompa Loompa NOW!*

        • Elrohir

          **Elrohir waits patiently for Chris to get to the blueberry pie desert part of the complete dinner gum…but he’s not sure if blueberry is really going to be Chris’ color, or exactly what the Oompa Loompas are going to do to Chris in the “Juicer”**

  • Pikinanou

    So, long story short: Spooky is saying: been there, gone through that, hang in there, man. You could had it worse :O
    I guess this explains that guy’s maturity, despite his age. But that goes a bit against my “Platinium Priestess tried the demon summoning thing with Spooky” theory… oh well. Is it Wednesday, yet? 🙂

    • Steven K.

      Yeah – here I was hoping that your theory wouldn’t be the case, as I was so disturbed at such a thing being the case with what happened to Kyle – I felt bad enough about that – but now it turns out it was orders of magnitude worse than that. Spooky himself may have recovered, but I’m not sure I will from that information – every time I see him in the comic, it will remind me of that history and that context and all those too-horrible-to-begin-to-even-comprehend images that start to form in the mind, and that bring pain, just for me as the imaginer – so to think what it would have been like to be the actual experiencer just puts me in a place of profound distress and disturbance. 🙁

  • Steven K.

    So it looks like *A* major theme of this work is shaping
    up to be recovery from teen sexual abuse, as that is now the case for 2 of the major characters. It also makes me fear that each of the team members have some tragic or traumatic back-story. It was hard enough with Kyle – this revelation from Spooky is even more devastatingly extreme/awful. And the task of ever making this eventually into a story with an ultimately feel-good outcome – something affirming and joyful – was also going to be hard enough after Kyle’s experience – but now that task, in my opinion, has just become indescribably more difficult – at least to include enough happiness and joyful circumstances in the future to ever be able to make up for the thoughts of the unimaginable horror of Spooky’s experience.

    • Well the whole team are ‘rejects’ from the certified hero teams, so there has to be reasons for that. With Kyle it was his past and the concern of his mental state after that.
      So they must all have something in their past that isn’t good, or maybe a concern for their powers. With the last I especially think of Fluke.

    • Steven K.

      Unless a fair amount of the story is actually going to explore just HOW one recovers or is even able to recover from such a horrendous and horrific experience, then I’m not sure why the DEGREE of this had to be so severe – or even if it does explore this, I’m still not sure what the motivation was for making the degree of the experience SOOOOO severe and extreme and horrific. Not meaning to be “inflammatory” again (and absolutely no pun intended) – this is stuff equaling or even going beyond holocaust-survivor type situations – when you start to imagine the most depraved and evil and awful things that the Nazi docs and other brutalizers may have done with young (or any other) concentration camp prisoners to satisfy their own depraved interests and urges and curiosities and their own perverted erotic desires – the most deep and dark and horrible that the human mind is capable of. And to start to imagine what an inhuman/demonic/monster mind might be capable of – without any regard for the commonality of one’s humanity – it just makes me literally shudder and gives me such a feeling of extreme despair. I know people lived through the human version (and so many did not – and many more likely wished they had died afterwards than to survive with the memory) – somehow – but some have never been able to speak about it – some never did recover emotionally/psychologicaly if when they did escape. When you really to some of the stories of those that did make it through, and could eventually bring themselves to speak of their experiences, it IS so profoundly disturbing. And when one thinks of other “crimes against humanity” – other atrocities in the Middle East and in Africa and Mexico in recent years/decades – the Savagery – the amount of (cliche but accurate) “man’s inhumanity toward man” – it is astounding. Actually, one of the scarier things to ponder is that maybe that phrase is not so accurate – dong all these horrible and horrendous things to one-another – that so many of our human brothers and sisters ARE capable of such things – and since it is so widely done throughout history AND even today – it is NOT *IN*human = it is very human – in the amount of prevalence of such acts through time – things which “ordinary” people think themselves incapable of – but still happen so routinely and often, is is part of our humanity that most don’t like to think of or dwell on. We have not evolved all that much further from the savagery of our most savage mammalian ancestors. Gorillas and chimps can be savage at times – but actually even not to anywhere near the degree that humans can be and have been toward one-another, And our ability to create and use tools and technology has just made us worse – devising and implementing all kinds of devices and machines SPECIFICALLY to torture our fellow humans. Darwin once defended his concept of man as descended from apes by saying (paraphrasing) that he’d rather be descended for the usually peaceful and noble ape than from members of his own current race who commit such terrible atrocities against one another. I know these concepts have been explored in countless works through the history of man’s literature, etc. – I just did not expect this comic to be taking me and us into this realm of human suffering and savagery – even beyond it when you consider, as I’ve said, what a set of sentient inhuman entities could have devised. I had not expected to be reading things that make me think of holocaust atrocities, etc. I am curious if the intent was to really have such things as a purpose and motivation of this work – to explore absolutely THE most dark and horrendous things that a human being may suffer. If so, yeah – maybe a disclaimer or warning before the first page of the comic might be in order – that the work explores certain themes, etc. that could be very painful – profoundly disturbing – or even just plain undesirable – for some readers. So those expecting or desiring an escape in a story that does not explore such things – something a bit more “feel-good” and affirming about the human condition rather than reminding us that it is still pretty sick and depraved and we really do live in a vale of tears. Some may have wished for something in which they can escape from the pain and suffering of real-life, rather than to be reminded of it and how pervasive it is. But I know, as some have mentioned, reading about it may indeed help others who HAVE been through difficult times and abuse – that is a great thing that this can help those people. I don’t know. Just some thoughts. So this is not to take away from the quality of the work or the writing or anything – a great story – but not a feel-good escape – at least not so-far, and feeling less likely that it could ever be so ultimately. I guess we have to rely on the author’s genius for that – if now it can ever transform into that. But still leaves me wondering why the degree of those experiences had to be SO despairingly horrendous. Rape in hell at age 18 by one demon over the course of an hour would have been more than sufficient for the currently undertandable purposes, I think. More thoughts on that later.

      • Hey Steven,

        I hear that this page has hit you hard and is taking you to a dark place. As always, you have my deepest sympathies and I’m sending you my biggest hugs. I know your life hasn’t been easy and continues to not be easy, and while I’ve been clear for some time that this story is not pure escapism (I’m sure you remember my Spoilerish commentary from the last big reveal 🙂, I don’t blame you for wanting that in the things you read.

        While I might argue that some of the darker and more violent conclusions you are drawing about the meaning behind Spooky’s words aren’t inevitable or the only way to interpret what he’s trying to communicate to Kyle, the truth is, that’s your honest reaction to the content of this page and as a reader, you have every right to your own interpretations and your own feelings. And so long as no harassment is going on (such as responding to every person who’s had a different experience), sharing those feelings and getting some comfort from your fellow readers is a completely valid use of this forum.

        So, to be clear, you haven’t broken any rules I’ve set up and I’m not chastising you. Instead, I’m asking for a favor: I’m going to ask that you tone the rhetoric down a few notches.

        Some of the language and references you are using—referring to this page as child pornography, descriptions of violent child abuse, references to Nazi doctors, etc.—is very provocative. As a smart guy, I’m sure you can see why that’s the case. So, in response to your comments (not to the page content, mind you, but instead to your comments), I’m getting emails from people in tears, who are feeling they cannot continue to follow the comments on this page, because of what you are writing (and are now indicating that you plan to write more about in future comments.)

        I’ve never met you personally, but I think I know you well enough to know that the last thing you’d ever want to do is cause another person pain. That you’re the kind of person who’d want to be told if they were doing so inadvertently. (And, in fact, has shown himself to be the kind of person who would instead choose to spend time comforting someone in pain.) I’m sure that hearing that people are reacting this way will come as a surprise. But I’m also sure that now that you know, you’ll want to be sensitive to their feelings. Not because it’s some rule coming from me (like I said, you haven’t broken any rules), but because of the kind of person you are.

        So, just to be clear, I’m not saying you cannot continue to talk about your own feelings and reactions to this or any other page. And I’m also not saying you’ve broken any rules. But I am asking, as a favor, that when you do choose to comment, that you tone down the provocative references (to, e.g., the Holocaust, child porn) and explicit descriptions of violence and abuse.

        Talking about your feelings here is A-OK, (and certainly criticizing me and what I’m trying to do is always ok) but when going to some of these darker places, I’m asking that you carefully consider whether some of your words might be very upsetting to other people who have also had hardship in their lives—and let that guide you about how explicit you want to be about some of the images and references that you are imagining right now.

        Let me know if the distinction I’m trying to make here is unclear. Like I said, I do want you to be able to talk about your feelings here, but as I’m sure you know all too well, how you say things is as important as what you say. As a writer, I of course have to think a lot about the impact of my words. But as an important member of the community, Steven, your words also have a powerful impact. I’m asking as a favor that you be mindful of the power your have here and that, before you post, you be mindful about the impact of your words on other members here who, like you, have suffered some tough stuff and to whom I’m sure you would never in a million years want to cause any pain. 🙂

        • Librarican

          ^ this. Yes!
          Being provoked tends to cause provocation. Forces equal and opposite and all that. It is not nice to trigger someone else while explaining something.

          • Steven K.

            Yes. Can we still talk sometime? I really think it might help me as well. I’ll try to be very careful. And you would never have to get more personal than you felt comfortable with, and I’d never ask you to – I’m not looking for that. As I said, I’m just looking for help/solace as well in the company of others. And I think we might share some issues that it could be helpful to at least talk about with someone. Therapists can only help so much, especially when they can’t truly understand what someone is going through or feeling when they haven’t been through similar circumstances.

        • Steven K.

          I of course understand. Can I ever write to you personally with some questions? (Not frivolous ones, but a couple serious ones.) I myself, along with some other readers, were in tears from the revelation of the experience that was described, so yes, I would never intend or wish that to happen to others from something I wrote, and I don’t think it was your intention to ever reduce people to tears and such disturbing thoughts due to content you have written either. It’s just that I, like you now, think it’s important to let someone know what effect such descriptions can cause. You nor I I’d say, have the intention of willfully causing anyone pain.

      • Edit: I was replying to you about this comment with the recemblances and harsh topics you refer too which didn’t even strike me before you mentioned anything – and my grandfather was in three concentrations camps (just to still mention that after I changed my text).. but I see now that Alex replied to you so I’ll let it be with that, since he say it so well 🙂
        I’m not one of those who wrote Alex, but this comment did set of some thoughts.

        • Steven K.

          It was with the greatest respect and sincerity and seriousness that I brought up the H. and survivors. Of course not only were members of a certain religion persecuted and jailed and kiiled and put through many atrocities, but also members of a few groups to which I belong as well. I did not bring this up lightly or frivolously. I brought this up as what I thought to be a similar comparison to the degree of horror (albeit to the perception or experience of only one person rather than such a large segment of a populace) that is there if you truly think about what is being described. That the events being described here hit me in a similar way as I am hit when I think of what happened to people in that major dark example of human history. I just want everyone to know that this was not a frivolous or disrespectful reference. If you have ever read or seen Jacob Bronowski’s series “The Ascent of Man”. In his final editorial of the series (There was a Public TV series based on his book) – he is in one of the camps – and he decribes our responsibilities as members of the human race – he reaches down into a wet, damp pile of ashes (which we by then realize is a great mound of human remains) – he brings up a handful of the wet ashes (shown in slow motion), as he says the words: “We must touch people”. I found this so moving I cried on and off for days. I still tear up every time think of it. This dreadful experience in human history is not something I take lightly or reference lightly. It’s just that the inhuman treatment and abuse described on the page – it’s nature, it’s scope, it’s circumstances, it’s length of time – hit me the way thinking of that dark time and circumstances hits me when I consider it. I’m just saying that the concept or reality of the repeated gang sexual abuse of an adolescent boy over the course of a year hits me as hard as thinking of that – or that is the onlt thing I can think of on a scale with that kind of treatment (well, that happening to ANYBODY – but even worse for a child). But, in respect for Alex and his request, this would be my last reference to this.

          • Steven, I’m glad that you are trying to be respectful and sensitive to the feelings of other people here, but that explicit description of what that person did with their hands along with the description of where your imagination goes with what happened to Spooky is exactly the kind of provocative stuff that I’m asking you to think twice about before posting.

            If the scene in that film was very upsetting to you, then describing it here, especially in an explicit manner, is likely to be upsetting to others, despite your best intentions.

            If an image that you’ve seen in real life or in your head is tremendously upsetting, then I am asking you to not explicitly describe it here. Especially in a direct reply to someone, which often is sent straight to their email and is more difficult to avoid reading. And especially to someone who has already indicated they are triggered by this content.

            We discuss some pretty provocative issues in this comment section. The only way that that can happen safely and in a productive manner is if I can trust commenters to use good judgment before they post. If I can’t trust a commenter to do that, then other action will be required.

          • Steven K.

            Can you remove that then? I can’t. seem to. And can I please talk/mail you sometime?

          • Steven K.

            Please see response/request below.

          • Hey Steven,

            I’ve just removed the content you requested.

            And I hear that you feel there’s a distinction between “upset” tears and “emotional” tears, but I’m still asking that if there is something you’ve seen in real life or in your imagination that makes you “cry on and off for days”—or creates any other strong emotional state that most people would consider unpleasant—that you assume that others could have that same reaction and that you not describe that image/scene explicitly here and to be especially careful when someone has let you know they find that particular content disturbing in some way.

            Again, to be clear, talking about your feelings here is A-OK. But out of respect for the feelings of others, you should avoid explicit or detailed descriptions of provocative or upsetting content. When in doubt, use restraint. If someone really wants to know more detail, they can ask you and then you can use your good judgment to decide if this is really the best forum to offer that detail to them or whether it would be better, for the sake of your fellow commenters here, to continue that discussion in another venue.

            And you are of course welcome to email me directly using the Email Alex link above, Steven. While I rarely have the time to directly respond to emails, I do read all my email and I agree that that is a much better solution for expressing things that you feel are important for me to know but would be especially triggering, provocative or painful for others to read.

          • Steven K.

            Thank you. I’m going to try to lay low for awhile anyway, so you won’t have to worry as much – I need a break. But there is one comment/question I would like to put to you sometime , privately, though it need not be answered anytime soon, and maybe some explanations of a few things I’ve mentioned that you would not need to respond to.

          • Steven K.

            I wasn’t upset in a traumatized way – or even upset – I was MOVED to tears – by the depth of feeling and the intense humanity and human connection and deep significance – it was emotional, but not traumatic

          • Steven K.

            I can’t seem to remove that post – can it be done?

          • mogoskier

            You can just edit it so the part you want erased is gone and just leave an empty space

          • Steven K.

            I tried that – it doesn’t seem to work – maybe because a moderator’s note was attached – it just keeps coming back up after I delete the text and press edit.

          • Steven K.

            Or maybe it worked and I can’t tell?

          • Steven K.

            Actually, I tried to erase my text and just leave the editor comment, but it didn’t seem to work. But maybe it did? I then tried to remove the whole thing, but I didn’t want the moderators to think I was trying to remove their note. If one of the mods could just delete it so the warning is not necessary, I’d feel better.

  • Elin Gregory

    Oh this is hearbreaking. It explains a lot about Spooky’s authority, too. He’s had so much to come back from. It also put his future integrity into question. Is this foreshadowing what might happen when one of his demonic head messers turns up?

  • Hmm, after replying to Steven just below I got to thinking about the fact that the whole YP team are rejects who was denied acceptance with heroes teams.
    We knew why Kyle was denied, but this with Spooky probably explain his rejection pretty well. A year in hell must certainly have set it’s tracks on a 14 year old boy when he got back, so not interest from teams.

    Still, we also know that Spooky has been approached for recruiting more than once since but have denied it. At some point the teams must have found his mental state good enough to look past their earlier rejections, and focus on the powers he has. Spooky has done a lot later to show he’s capable of handling bad guys and demons.

    I’d like to know how long Spooky has been a member of YP. Was he accepted there years ago, before he was approached by other teams, or did he not feel like joining them later on when they DID want him? Maybe Spooky likes being one of the outsiders now, and doesn’t want it to change, or he likes being with others who is/has been where he has in some ways.

    Another question is how long Kyle has been on the team. Would be interesting if they joined around the same time. Both Spooky and Kyle are great mysteries for me right now. Can’t wait to find out more 😀

    • The question of when each member joined The Young Protectors team (and in what order) is actually one of the items on the ORIGINS trading cards that are being created right now. 🙂

      • Yay! I can’t wait to get those cards to find out.

        This comic always make my mind come up with so many theories and questions, but so far none more than this page has xD I’m so curious about them all, and this wait to find out is HORRIBLE.

    • Or considering what Spooky has gone through, he feels that he is most needed by the “rejects” and that is why he stays. To be their guiding light?

    • Klaus
      • Oh right. I see what you mean. I managed to read it otherwise back when I read it a while ago – that Spooky had been asked later, after he joined the YP in the first place, but now i see the other meaning 🙂

    • I think it’s possible Spooky’s traumatic year in hell went unknown, which may be why he was accepted/invited and Kyle wasn’t.

  • Starfighter just updated, if you want something to look at while waiting for next page update here 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads up!

      • Hmm, maybe wait a little because the site crashed. I managed to ‘get in’ to see the page, but it took a lot of time and I dare not refresh the page right now 🙂

        • It’s a good thing I haven’t gone just yet then. I’ll wait a few minutes.

          I think with this being the last chapter and seeing how Ch 3 ended, well everyone is clamoring!

    • Danish, you guys are so generous with these little update reminders. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Sapfo

    Mistake, greed, evil, Power? How knows.

  • KryX

    Spooky is always in loose fitting cloths. I wonder if he’s covering something up. Something he picked up in Hell perhaps.

    • I was wondering if after being in hell for a year, if he finds regular temps cold. That or he’s hiding scars.

      • KryX

        How about wings?

        • That’s a possibility too. He could have say extra arms. Or maybe mystical tattoos though not anything he could share like Tsunami does.

          Of course I’m just shooting from the hip and thinking of possibilities. I’ve been pretty much wrong on almost every turn so who knows. 🙂

        • Is there a ‘wing’ equivalent of a sports-bra to hold wings in place when one is hero-ing around?

          • Elrohir

            The only one I can think of is from the early X-Men where Angel used to have this strange set of straps that kept his wings folded down under “normal clothes”. With all due respect to the Marvel art team I always struggled with that one because I didn’t see how you could make it work.
            But that’s the only one I can think of.

          • Know what you mean… Danish got me hooked on Spindrift. The characters have wings that sink into elaborate tattos when not being used. It’s quite beautiful.

          • Elrohir

            Annnd…now it spreads from Chris to Elrohir. Sneaky Danish…getting people interested in new web comics by an indirect method… 🙂
            **Managed to stop at page 20 of Spindrift before I forgot dinner completely…

          • Should have warned you. Danish is the Pied Piper of Webcomics. HA.

    • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

      Most likely, he’s just hiding his body in general. From what I understand, most victims of sexual abuse tend to either try to hide from their bodies and their sexuality, or they try to pre-empt others from abusing them by becoming hypersexual. Sometimes they do both. Spooky clearly went the former path, rather than the latter.

      • SofiaT

        You’re right, hiding your body, disguising your sexuality is rather common when someone’s been abused -the hypersexuality thing can also happen but they’re two completely different reactions sprouting from one common reason: fear. It means you’re not over the trauma yet.

        So, I’d like to think that Spooky is not wearing loose clothes to hide his body -it’s still possible of course and yours was a very astute observation. But even if he did in the beginning, I want to think that his reasons now are different and that he’s conquered whatever fear he may have had. At this point, if he continued to try to hide his body, it would mean he’s still a little afraid, that the wounds are not completely healed. And I like to think of Spooky as a badass warrior who fears nothing 🙂

        • I have to agree. I know Alex has yet to reveal all, but I admit I perceive Spooky today as a kick-ass hero and I’d rather like to continue to think he’s found his way home in the good sense. Just my hope. 🙂

          • Elrohir

            From your lips to whatever deity/deities ears we need to reach. My hope for this is that it turns out that not only did they fail to break him, but that they failed to touch his spirit.
            I don’t know that I’m going to do this concept justice, but I’ve known people who have had varying degrees of adversity in their lives. Some of which would have broken me in a heartbeat I’m certain. But humans are, by and large, a pretty amazing bunch. Some people appear to be permanently affected by what happened. Some people come through it strong, but hardened. Some people come out of it in a kind of constant cynicism. Some seem to build strength from it.
            My point here isn’t to validate or invalidate any particular response to adversity. We all cope as we are able. And I’m in no position to comment on how people do or don’t respond. I can only tell you what I’m hoping for Spooky. And that is that he learned from his time in Hell. But not the lessons that his captors wanted him to learn. Lessons of fear, despair, hatred or anger that could have so easily been his; rather I hope that we find that his spirit held strong. That he is capable of trust, love, faith in other human beings. Certainly he has already displayed his ability to empathize and to care for others. That although he was clearly touched and shaped by it (as you can see in the hesitancy in his eyes in Panel -4 and the shadows in his eyes in Panel -5) he has not lost his sense rightness and wonder in the universe.
            I, for one, think the heart of a true hero beats under that coat. And I hope that Spooky is the man who’s heart would beat for all of us at need.
            Probably not stated too well, but I think there is more than one in this community who understands both everything I said and everything I meant to say.

        • Elrohir

          I keep hoping that the coat is nothing more sinister than a spell enchanted shield to keep him from being attacked unawares similar to Harry Dresden’s Duster as I’ve said before. But that doesn’t take into account the baggy/loose style of the other clothes…so I’m not certain. Hoping though…

        • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

          I respect wanting to think of Spooky as badass, and I wouldn’t want to take that from you, but why is he less badass if he’s afraid?

          I mean, it’s easy to do brave things if you think there are no consequences and you can’t be hurt by it. In my opinion, it is So Much Braver to do things when you KNOW that you could be hurt and could suffer as a result of it.

          Frankly, I like to think that Spooky isn’t over it because I have a friend who was sexually abused, and he isn’t over it at all, but he’s still brave, intelligent, funny and awesome, and I like thinking that there’s a character that exists that he can relate to in that way.

          Because so many survivors of abuse, especially sexual abuse, are shown as broken, beaten-down, and permanently ruined /all the time/. And that’s just not the reality of it. The reality is that recovery takes a lot of time and is never complete and only happens in bits and pieces, and some bits recover before others.

          • SofiaT

            Being afraid, or not having recovered completely from such an experience makes someone no less awesome or great -everybody heals at different rates and in different ways. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise, I’m sorry if I gave that impression.
            That said, I do believe complete recovery is possible.

            Your comment impressed me for its insight because you described something I was doing for years as a teenager -and at the time unconsciously. I went through something I don’t often talk about, when I was a kid, and then I started hiding my body in baggy clothes, had my hair cut short, I walked like a boy. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I allowed myself to be a girl again -and trust me, I love being a girl and dressing girly now. And I did it all without realizing. I never once thought “now I’m going to start acting like a boy because that will keep me safe”. I just did it. But that wasn’t who I was, it was a mask I was hiding behind because it gave me the illusion that I was safe. And as long as I was wearing the mask, I wasn’t getting any better.

            And that’s what I mean about Spooky. I don’t want him to be hiding behind his clothes because if he is, then he’s fooling himself. It wouldn’t make him less great, but it would make him less healed. If he’s hiding his body behind the baggy clothes, it means he’s also hiding his true self behind his laid-back, cheerful attitude. I’m convinced his attitude is real though.

            Complete recovery is possible. Whether I’ve made it there is debatable. I have a normal life, a healthy dose of self-confidence and -as you may have noticed in this forum- I’m not exactly a wall-flower. I’m not broken, I’m not ruined. Yet I realize I still have a few hang-ups that I’d be an idiot, or hiding behind my finger, not to see where they’re stemming from. So I want Spooky to be where I want to be. I want him to have made it there. And I believe he has. 🙂

  • In an effort to support you in your thoroughly justified ‘reprimand’ search, I offer up Star War’s SARLACC.

    For those wishing to revel in the awesome disgusting nature of the Sarlacc, or read descriptions of the extreme suffering of those who become its sustenance, Wikipedia describes such a ‘reprimand’ in vigorously revolting detail below. Enjoy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarlacc

  • Elrohir

    Caution: This post/concept may be disturbing to some people.

    I’ve thought about this question quite a bit. And it occurs to me, that if something evil felt that a power for good was developing or had the capability to develop in a young Spooky, that one way to make certain that it didn’t would be to take him before he reaches his power and to destroy him (say before he reached his 16th or 18th birthday). However, it’s possible that the evil entity thought that by destroying Spooky’s will he could be turned to a power for evil and that this could be achieved by kidnapping him to Hell where he would be isolated from help and support and breaking him to their will there.

    I suspect however that said entity ran afoul of my modified Nietzsche standard line:

    “That
    which does not kill me better be able to run damn fast!”

    It occurs to me that the plan backfired. That Spooky cam through the fires of Hell (literally) not broken, but tempered. Stronger and more determined. We’ll see what Alex has in mind. But I don’t find it unlikely that the powers of Hell attempted to steal a young power for good and corrupt it.

  • Good rant, but you’re preaching to the choir because we are in agreement on 99.99%. My joke about being a selfish bastard in wanting to be loved, was exactly that, a mockingly self-aware joke (I feel the need for humor right now) and I thought that was clear. Rest assured I very much agree on that core point and trust me I demand and get the love I desire in life. I consider myself very fortunate.

    Black and white words, in a comment section, can be so hard when it comes to communicating tone.

    The only subject we may feel differently about is perhaps the role of “Art” and in helping people understand themselves and work through complex emotions. Simply in it being a positive thing, even if you don’t agree on the work’s subject nature.

    That is a huge issue/debate and has been going on for thousands of years and I’m certainly not knowledgable enough to do more than say… I feel it’s value. This is strictly for me. I don’t believe in any form of the “devil made me do it” and I cannot think of one human being, including the Dalai Llama who I would consider letting decide what artistic materials I may have access to and which I do not. So I have to make my own decisions and separately be responsible for my own actions. Like I said, this is a personal belief.

    Otherwise, the many many people who watch slasher movies, read murder mysteries, like seeing Kyle naked, are possibly in question. I know that is not what’s being said here, but it is all related.

    My husband, brother and many friends are gentle, generous, responsible and kind men. They also like very scary films. I cannot watch them, but that’s just me.

    THE SHINING just about destroyed me, in spite of being an excellent film. For me, very personally, exploring your feelings via art, about any subject (including sex), is very personal, but it doesn’t absolve anyone from responsibility for their actions in the real world.

    I’m a big believer in my ability to walk away, close the book, change the channel… etc… And trust me, as a gay man I’m hyper aware of the concept of double standards. When a gay man can be severely assaulted and it is argued that is NOT a hate crime? When a gay boy can be tossed out on the street by parents because he reveals he’s not marrying a woman and raising a family, but in love with a man? I DO understand double standards very well and it is something I hope we continue to fight most seriously.

    Finally, I can imagine a reader thinking about all the negatives that the porn industry itself generates just by existing and how some men and many women dislike it so. Since I’ve lived in a country during a time when ‘making love’ to the man I love in the privacy of our home could have gotten me thrown in jail. I’ll just respectfully shelve that complex discussion and simply say I do understand what you trying to express, you were completely clear. I obviously don’t have any sensible solutions and I can’t condone censorship.

    Anyway, I’ll stop now. Thanks you for the reply.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    I’m really glad you added this bit with Spooky, and I’m DOUBLY glad Spooky isn’t, like, broken down and helpless or whatever. People can and DO move on from and deal with certain things, even if they’re horrible. Spooky’s experience was very different from Kyle’s, but he’s also had more time to deal with it. And frankly, Spooky makes me think of someone /I/ know who’s experienced sexual abuse, and it’s nice that there IS a character who’s gone through sexual abuse and came out of it more intact than wrecked.

  • Sapfo

    Welcome to hell(-mouth)?

    So, there have been a lot of talk about going to Hell and going to the darkest of places on this world of ours.
    Going to hell is not a new thing. Dante did it and so did also Orfeus, okay so he went to Hades, but it almost counts.

    Well now I will do my take on this with some help from a favorite univers of mine, “Whedonverse”.
    Joss do have a reputation for not only putting his charathers through a pain (both emotionaly and physicaly), he also sends them to Hell (or demon like dimension) every now and again. Some of them are Angel, Fred and Conner.

    So now a little analysis of how people might react to being sent to hell, I will stick to Fred and Conner (I skipped Angel because he is a vampire).

    Starting with Fred, she is, before the Hell sending, a fairly normal person (even though she’s a genius), but was sent to a demon dimension when she was about 20. She stayed there for a few years and then she was rescued by Angel and his gang. When she came back to our world, she was much influenced by her experience and reacted by locking herselves in a room, writing math formulas on the walls and adoring the man who had saved her. It took a long time before she started a trust people. The difference between Spooky and Fred is that she was older than him when she came to the demon dimension. But with the amount of work she could with friends’ help to return to a “normal” life, or as normal as it gets in “Whedonverse”.

    Now to Connor. Connor was just a baby when he was taken to a hell dimension. Not only was he taken to Hell, but he was also raised by a pretty crazy man (Holtz), whose “upbringing” could be discussed. What I remember was that he once left Connor tied up alone in the Hell dimensional wilderness to survive.
    However when Connor got back to our reality he was about 16 years old (pretty close Spookys age). His reaction was very rebelisk and aggressive.

    How would you now compare this with Spooky? How was Spooky when he was 14 years old and just newly coming from Hell? We can not know. He could very well have had both Fred and Connor’s reaction after his return.
    But just like Fred and Connor, Spooky overcome his experience and found something that seems to be harmony. They survived, recovered.

    And that’s what I see now when I read through this page. Yes, Spooky has some pain of the memories, but they are memories, they can not hurt him anymore.
    I also see that Spooky is the person who not only could help Kyle, but also be one of the few people who could understand him.

  • Klaus

    Alex has made a major announcement on the Kickstarter page. Those of you who want more Spooky are going to get it.

    • Holy Jebus.. I just read it. We’re so productive in bonus pages that he’s had to rethink how to make the printed comic.. no time to make extra bonus pages content for Vol. 1 *LOL* This is an awesome dilemma to have <3

      So we're ALL getting the Spooky/Commander extra story directly online instead of actual pages when this running scene is over o_o
      Getting questions about Spooky answered sooner with this too since it's in the bonus comic..

      Alex.. I like this unconventional solution even if it means a break in the real comic's pages 🙂

      • I’ll talk more about this in future page notes (if not on Wednesday’s update then on Saturday’s), but I’m glad to hear you like the solution I came up with. 🙂

        • Sounds good, and I think it beats the alternate options you had. Taking a year to finish the stuff for Vol. 1, if you don’t change how you do it, is a long time to wait. You’d probably have had to go directly to the Vol. 2 stuff after that xD
          I love that we get bonus pages every week, but it clearly makes the progress of doing extra stories/art next to that a big challenge. I’d have loved to keep A&V doing all the posters, but since that will be too much work as it is now, I’m just as interested as you to see what the artists that you have to call in to make some of the posters will produce 🙂

          • SofiaT

            It’s always fun to see other artists working on an already well-known and loved project. A few years back, in honour of Uderzo’s birthday, some of the best comic book artists in Europe created an Asterix album with short stories dedicated to him. I really liked how it turned out..

          • Yes, I’m sure the result will be good with who ever Alex will pick to do the work.

          • Valja

            Wait, what? I think I got lost here. What’s happening? From what I’ve grasped by your comments, there’s gonna be an extra story featuring Spooky in the printed copy… I got it right?

          • SofiaT

            The Spooky/Commander story will be in the printed book but it will be also posted here page by page, kinda like an interlude to the regular story.

            There are also a lot of other rewards that had been unlocked during the Kickstarter (trade cards and posters) and apparently more artists other than Adam and Veronica will be involved with the creation of them, as Adam and Veronica have their hands full already as it is. 🙂

          • Valja

            Ooooh great! Thanks for the info and the explanation! *overflowing with gratitude* 😀

          • SofiaT

            No worries 🙂

            I meant to post a link to the Kickstarter website on my earlier reply, so you could see what’s being prepared (and why Alex, Adam and Vero have been so busy!) but I forgot. Here it is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexwoolfson/the-young-protectors-vol-1-0

            Quite a lot of work to be done, but Alex is famous for his attention to detail and love for quality, so you know when all this is finally ready, it’s gonna be really good!

          • Klaus

            Note however that update 92, which is where the annoncement was made, is backer only. If you did not back the kickstarter, you can not read it.

          • SofiaT

            I’m not a backer so even if I had that link I wouldn’t be able to access it either. 🙂
            I posted the link to TYP KICKSTARTER “home” page.
            All the unlocked rewards are listed there for anyone who wants to get an idea of the amount of work put in this project!

          • Saxon_Brenton

            I agree on all counts. I’ve been wondering for a while where the balance line between the good of all the bonus pages we’ve been ratchetting up (it helps pay for the comic) versus the bad (puts time pressure on the artists) would fall. It’s nice that there’s an optimal solution.

          • SofiaT

            On one hand, the idea of not getting regular-story updates for a while saddens me but -if I understand it correctly- we’ll be getting Spooky-story updates instead. An “interlude” of sorts, not a break.

            We’ll still have pages to look forward to, the community will continue to discuss the new issues that arise as we get more information… So the readers don’t lose anything and the backers get to have their books in a relatively short time… which is good for the rest of the readers as well, because the sooner the backers get their rewards, the sooner they’ll be available to the rest of us!!

            It’s a win-win situation. 🙂

          • Yes, it’s a 27 pages Spooky/Commander story that was unlocked during the KS. This one will be included in the printed Vol. 1 comic in the end, so everyone who buys it will get this story (opposite a couple other short stories) .. but the challenge for A&V is finding the time to make it since they’re constantly doing two pages a week for the regular comic now + they also have other extra art to do for the KS. This incl. over 30 posters.
            According to Alex’ calculations, if he doesn’t pause the regular comic, and then give us this extra story instead (he’ll update the pages as current updates and then remove them once all is done) then the Vol. 1 book won’t be ready for print until about a year from now.
            There’s some Spooky backstory in this extra comic, so since most of us have a ton of questions about Spooky, we’ll actually find out sooner – and all get a chance to read it.

        • I’ve dealt with schedules, org charts, man-power and budgets… Alex has done an excellent job of weighing the cost/benefits of each option and selected the possibilties that gives us the most fun, without compromising final quality. It very difficult to do and a tip of my hat for doing so many jobs so well.

          Writing, directing, Kickstarter extras, pages notes 2x a week, accounting, Ding Dings (you know) and keeping this group such a great space. Many many thanks.

          I’m more eager for the printed materials than ever.

          Thanks Alex.

  • Since I know you want this info, I’m gonna share what news we’ve gotten about trading cards in the KS. Last it was Kyle’s Powers card we got a preview of, not it’s Kyle’s Romance card:

    Sexual Orientation: Homosexual (Kinsey 6)
    Ideal Age Range: 16-24
    Favorite Body Part: Arms
    Turn-ons: Good sense of humor, new experiences, kissing, muscles, trustworthiness, empathy.
    Turn-offs: Confrontation, small-mindedness, sadism, body-odor.

    Libido: 9
    Charm: 4
    Romantic experience: 6
    Sexual Skills: 4

    Type: Muscular, confident guys a little older than him who would be good, patient teachers.

    This is based on where Kyle is during Vol.1… he could change later.
    I can’t be the only one who thinks of Paul here, despite him being a litlte younger 😉

    • Is Duncan’s card going to read –
      Turn-offs: Pitchforks

      ?

      • LOL.. could be funny, but don’t know. So far we’ve gotten the preview of Kyle’s powers – and romance card only.
        I posted the info about the powers on previous page.

        Edit: Hmm, I forgot those power scales on the last info.

      • SofiaT

        I hope pitchforks are not a turn-on for him at least! o.O
        You’ll have to change your avatar otherwise and I like this avatar.

        • 🙂 I am hoping that next time we see a page with Laampros in, he has a pitchfork. It would be a nice reference. :p

          (especially if he’s anywhere near Duncan)

          • SofiaT

            Ha!
            Now I got a mental image of a looney-toons-style scene, where Duncan is running, with some fast music on the background, and the big red demon is chasing him with his pitchfork extended.

          • Perhaps the Benny Hill music

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

          • SofiaT

            Always works for a chasing sequence!

    • SofiaT

      Thanks for sharing!

      Personally, I’d give Kyle at least a 6 on charm. After all, he’s adorkable! :0)

      And I wonder why he has a 6 on Romantic experience -does that include his seduction by Anni or are there past romantic relationships we don’t know about? We know he hadn’t been kissed before the prologue but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been romantically involved with anyone before… Hmmm… very interesting.

      • Ha! Oops. Looks like my designer took a few liberties with those numbers! As it turns out, they are actually not canon. I’ve been focused on the design so I didn’t double-check to see if he used what I sent him.

        I’ll see if I can get him to create a version with the correct numbers for the next Kickstarter update. 🙂

        • SofiaT

          Ahhh… That makes sense.
          Or are you trying to trick us Mr. Woolfson?
          Admit it! Kyle is secretly a smooth seducer and you’ve been hiding it all along!

          • You’ve found me out. Kyle’s got moves that makes James Bond seem like Revenge of the Nerds. That was going to be my next big surprise, but you figured me out. 🙂

          • I think Sofia’s on to something. I already can imagine Kyle in Chapter #4 trying out some of his smooooth new James Bond pick-up lines…

            “Is your boyfriend sitting here?” (He sits down.) “Now he is.”

            “Hey, dude, wanna ride my escalator?”

            “Honestly.” (Kyle crosses his heart) “I’m part demon in bed. Whadda ya say?”

            “Kyle: ‘Do you have any hero in you?’ Dude: ‘Nooo.’ Kyle: ‘Want some?’”

            “Hey, I hear your ankles are having a party. I’d like to invite your pants down?”

            “Save water. Shower with me.”

            And, the always classic…

            “Hey, hey, did it hurt? Huh? Well, did it hurt? You know, when you fell from heaven?”

          • LMAO

          • SofiaT

            Poor Kyle. With lines like these he’ll never get laid again! 😛

          • No worries… Kyle will just be glad I’m not his writer.

            Honestly, I’m only married today because when I met my man for the first time, he was so cute that when he introduced himself, I said something witty like, “Uhhhhhhhhhhh….” 🙂

          • SofiaT

            Ah. Sounds like me in the -rare- times I find someone I feel attracted to.

            Of course when I’m not attracted to them I’m as smooth as melted chocolate. :0/

          • HA… Sadly so familiar.

          • Elrohir

            **Elrohir is trying desperately to imagine Chris in an inarticulate moment regardless of the provocation…and failing**
            Guess we’ll have to take your word for it. 🙂

          • Seriously.. just before I started to read your comment, my playlist changed to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iabt_NtwEE
            This clashed so much with your comment, and yet fit the theme.

            Oh god those lines. *points down to Sofia’s reply*

          • Valja

            *drops dead laughing*
            Damn, you made me spill Coke from the nose!

          • HA. Thanks. My work here is done. 🙂

          • silibub

            I love it! And a favorite to use on any magical ladies in your life: “Excuse me, are you French? Because ma-damn!”

          • HA. Indeed. C’est magnifique!

        • I did wonder a bit about those numbers too 😉

          • Saxon_Brenton

            Considering Kyle’s history, complete with his inability to experiment even with himself, you would expect the last two numbers to be a *lot* lower.

        • I did look at the 18-year-old libido number and thought, well I guess a #10 is when sexual need becomes something you go to therapy for. So, I think a #9 makes perfect sense for a handsome young hero.

          And he’s been repressing that #9 for quite a few years. No wonder that Hell-gasm lasted long enough for Duncan to do all that negotiating with Laampros. They could have probably had tea also.

          However, yes to Sofia’s ‘adorkable’ needing a few extra points. Please YES. 🙂

          Looking forward to the next round.

      • Klaus

        He is very attractive. But should he set his mind on seducing someone, how skilled would he be?

    • Klaus

      I see now that Alex has said below that the numbers are not canon. So I withdraw my comment.

      • And if you look at the Comments section under the latest update, you’ll see I posted the correct numbers. 🙂

  • THIS. May I add to your rant that when anyone tries to speak out about rape culture, they get mocked or reviled for being “feminazis”?

  • Reposting the info from Kyle’s Powers card if someone missed on previous page – and now updated with the info I forgot:
    (Stil based on where Kyle is in developement after Chap. 1)

    Name: Kyle Conlen
    Birthplace: Unknown
    Power Source: Theological
    Primary Power: Fire manipulation
    Secondary Power: Fire generation, fire absorption, heat resistance.

    Power Focus: Hands, feet, genitalia (involuntary)
    Max. heat generated: 1093 C (celcius)
    Max. range: 106m

    Power Force: 7
    Power Finesse: 7
    H-T-H Combat Skills: 6
    Weapon Skills: 4

    (from Sofia’s quick search we found out that the meaning of Conlen is Irish/Gaelic origin and means ‘Hero’)

    • Wow… what are the odds that Alex accidentally came up with a last name for Kyle meaning ‘hero’. He is the luckiest author, I swear! That is so cool.

      I’ve got $5 that says The Commander has a higher Weapon Skills rating than Kyle’s #4 (except his weapons would be really hot). Who wants to take that bet? *snerk*

      • Valja

        At this point, we could even bet on the rating itself *grins* Imho, her Weapon Skills rating is 8.
        By the way, don’t you think the one with the highest hand-to-hand skills could be (from a certain point of view) Fluke? I mean… with the power he has (if I got it right), when he’s channeled enough “bad luck”, he only needs to approach the enemy. The environment itself will do the rest 😉
        (yeah, yeah, I know hand-to-hand skills doesn’t have this meaning, it’s just that I find Fluke’s power very funny in an interesting way *chuckles*)

        • Totally agree. I’m pretty fascinated with Paul. I can’t decide if his power works only on him or does it warp events around him, influencing say a partner… it’s pretty fascinating.

  • Holly

    I won’t go into all the details, but i had a dream last night where there was a DJ named Kyle who’s DJ name was “DJ Demon” which I thought was odd until a moment ago where my brain put Demon and Kyle together. HAHA Wonder what my subconscious is trying to say. Can’t wait for Wednesday.

  • @stickfigurefairytales @Librarican @steelie @b3nc0 : Will you please contact me via the Email Alex link above? I’d like to ask your help with something if you’re up for that. 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Will do!

    • b3nc0

      I’m all ears- erm- eyes?

  • Lillihandra

    http://themetapicture.com/this-would-make-an-excellent-story/

    I stumbled across this. It reminded me of something you might write or find amusing, so I shared.

    • That’s awesome. 😀 Hopefully someone will make that! I’d definitely want to read it. 😀

    • Elrohir

      I really do like the premise of that short…I sincerely hope somebody chooses to go with it at some point. So often this concept seems to go with human/other pairings for example with the Herald/Companion bond in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, or with the Rider/Dragon pairings in Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, or the Human/Treecat pairings in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
      I think the concept of putting it into the high school is a great twist. Here’s hoping anyway. Thanks so much for the link.

      • I got to meet Mercedes Lackey……I love that woman.

    • Indeed thanks for sharing. I hope someone does make that.

      It was the similar type premise that pulled me into TYP. Two individuals that shouldn’t work pairing off.

    • Adding my vote… yes please someone… that story would kick ass. Love it. Thanks Lillihandra.

    • Klaus

      Are you familiar with the comic Elfquest? The elves do have this thing called recognition. It is about genetics, so it would not happen between two guys. (Not that there are are no male/male couples, they are just not recognized). It is very far from a high school setting, but one of the Woolfriders does recognize someone she just can’t stand.

      • Elrohir

        Klaus you are AWESOME! Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest! I have the serialized version as they were creating it. I was trying to think of an example of when the soul bond was difficult and I knew I had seen/read one. You just retrieved it. You have saved me countless hours of nagging-back-of-the-head-searches. **tips metaphorical hat to Klaus**
        The scene when Cutter finds his bond is exactly what I was trying to recall.

        • Klaus

          I was thinking of Dewshine. But you are right. Leetah was not to pleased at first.

      • Lillihandra

        Heard of it. Never read it.

  • This was posted by a friend on tumblr.

    I found that the comments section here is just the right place to share this awesomeness 😀 How to do prom juuust right!
    http://cullynroyson.tumblr.com/post/77724826604/arielandjim-batter-the-spoopy-sempai

  • Sorry I was late in getting this up, but I was a bit “under the weather” yesterday. Sunset pics from last night. https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118082431292164101352/albums/5984101548727026465/5984101552361204754?pid=5984101552361204754&oid=118082431292164101352

    • alyssia

      ya sunsets

  • alyssia

    MY POOR BABY!!!!!!!

  • jreed3842

    So… I’m STILL having problems with Disqus! Whenever I do ANYTHING, like up-vote a comment or click reply it instantly takes me back to the top of the page and then I have to scroll all the way back down to get to where I was.
    Is anybody else having this problem… or does any body have suggestions on how to make this quit?

    • SofiaT

      That’s never happened to me from what I can recall but if you have a twitter you can tweet your problem to them. Alternatively, try to contact them via email?

    • I remember having that problem a couple of times awhile ago….I am not sure if I did anything specific to get rid of it or if it just eventually stopped doing it. 🙁 But it does seem to be a problem that happens periodically on Disqus. 🙁

    • I had that happen a while ago. Reply would send me to the top, but it stopped as mysteriously as it started. Definitely tweet @discus (that’s their twitter account) or email them.

    • I found an actual “Disqus” section the other day with Administrators going nuts about the recent changes… particularly in how to handle Trolls and hating the new Dashboard.

      That said, if you go to the page where you can open your Dashboard (the one with all the bouncing balls, underneath your mini-avatar in the upper right where you open the dashboard there is also a HELP choice also… scroll down slightly and you can connect to Disqus on twitter or email them with problems. Just to see I clicked on it and got the email…

      core-feedback@disqus.com

      … suggested as a place to explain problems that won’t fit on twitter. I’d suggest registering your problem. Zillions of others are not happy, so you are very much not alone.

      Good luck.

  • davefragments

    I think we are hearing hints (foreshadowing) of the truth and we should be prepared for the big, bad climax.
    My proposition is this: No words are uttered that aren’t meaningful to the plot. That’s the mark of a good writer and Alex is a good writer.
    Spooky describes that demons made him like his use and abuse.
    Laampros planted the seeds of Kyle’s corruption and downfall. He’s told Kyle that he will be a prince in the new world and his son.

    Now we all took that to be true but in this panel, Spooky’s words reveal the lie. Laampros admired (repeat admired) Kyle’s strength to move against the spell and cast fire at Duncan. Laampros wants this kid as his play-toy and puppet. He wants to see Kyle act in his name, to be ruthless, evil, a demon like himself and a fitting earthly prince at his right hand.
    He calls him son and plants the seeds.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Interesting. I thought Spooky was actually drawing more of a parallel between his experiences and Kyle’s with Duncan, since Spooky specifically mentions some of the demons trying to manipulate him by messing with his conceptions about sex and love. To me that resonated a lot more strongly with Kyle’s relationship with Duncan than with Laampros.

      • davefragments

        I can see that too.
        We’ll learn more tonight.

  • I am going to cry very soon. It is unreasonable to be so attached to 2D characters. I am not… I cannot… *falls down*

  • Sapfo

    Most people who find out that they can start work later one morning often say, “Yay, sleep in!”
    But I say: “Yay, Camping with TYPE!” ^ _ ^

  • davefragments

    I’m betting on the other side of that comment. I’ll explain it this way, sometimes a character lies. Spooky hasn’t been as forthcoming as we thought he might be. It is possible that he’s an unreliable narrator to his year in hell. I might be wrong but we know Laampros is quite capable of lying.

    Interestingly, Kyle might not want to “prove” he isn’t Laampros’ son in the final battle against Laampros. He might want to play that angle and us it to keep Laampros in hell and leave the earth dimension to his machinations.

    That’s a level of deviousness that is possible. That’s my speculation.

    • Sarius Impariul

      Why are you so confident about that? If he was their son, it would explain quite a bit. Why he was the one needed to use to open hells gates and not some random person(birthdays have power, but obviously it takes more then that), and Kyles fire abilities. Also, if someone could tell one of their best friends that they aren’t a lord devil things child- they would. That’s not about forthcoming, it’s about a persons very personal and inner most identity. It doesn’t make Kyle bad, being half doesn’t mean he’s any less of the kind person he has been so far. Also, for a devil who thinks of humans as insignificant, there would be a lot of ways they could make them suffer and feel tormented. Using a lie that would put to risk your own pride would make no sense. Lords have pride, even evil ones from hell. When you say someones your kid, that is putting your own pride on the line. Kids are a big deal.

  • And here are the pics from today’s sunset. With a couple of pictures of clouds. I am really happy with the blues I got. ^_^

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118082431292164101352/albums/5984101548727026465/5984484257433458306?pid=5984484257433458306&oid=118082431292164101352

    • Holly

      Pretty sunset. My apartment faces the sunset, but I always live next to a graveyard…

      • …….lucky, ah geeze, my mind just got flooded with pics I would love to take

        • Holly

          now I feel like i should post a picture I took in the grave yard.

  • Holly

    I wonder who is going to get the 666th post on this page!

    Also, it’s merely 8:30 here right now, and I’m pretty drained. So I don’t think i’ll be in for the camping tonight 🙁

    • 🙁 But,,,,,Holly….you just HAVE to camp

      • Holly

        But Doki I’m SLEEPY. I meant to go back to bed after being woke by a call this morning but I did not. I’m drinking very caffinated tea but I just feel sleepy.

        • Eh, I crashed after we got back from getting grandmother’s taxes done and lunch.

          *hugs* But I can completely empathize with you. There have been times where I have drunk nothing but straight caffeine and still passed out without any problems.

          • Holly

            I will hang out for a bit though. It’s far too early for bed now I’ll just wake up at 4am. haha

            So other than picture what is new doki

          • Nothing much, trying to work on finishing the story I started in the comments two pages? ago.

            Though I have been having issues other than the story to contend with. I was going to try to have it done by tonight, but the cramps hit me really really bad on Sunday and it hasn’t really cleared up yet. Which is really annoying, I usually only have to deal with it the first day. *sigh* Oh well.

          • Holly

            This month was WEIRD for me. I had NINE days, but I only had cramps once for a few hours. Though I was oddly heavy one day. Honestly, if I had to choose between waking up to an accident, or having crippling cramps, I’ll take the cramps.

          • I luckily have never woken up to a really bad accident, it usually waits to be heavy till after I have woken up.

          • Holly

            Well that’s good at least. Did you ever have that thing in high school where the teacher wouldn’t let you go to the bathroom and you just had to be like “Sorry emergency” and run out anyway?

          • …..Nope, but then again mine never started out that heavy and I could usually catch it before anything bad happened.

          • Holly

            Okay so two stories about that;
            The way my school day was set up was that we had 3 hours of class in the morning, and then 2 hours in the afternoon.So sometimes by third period you needed to go to the washroom. At the. top of second I asked to go, got a no. At the bottom of second i asked to leave before the bell so I could go, no. At the top of third, my next teacher said I should have gone during second.

            Second story, I was had a loose tooth and pulled it out of my face. At which point my mouth filled with blood. From the point of view of my classmates and teacher there was just me Shouting “AHA!” a moment of silence and me screaming “OH GOD” and running out of the room.

          • I could never stop laying with loose teeth.

          • Holly

            The worst was when you had that LAST STRING of gum. Just SO annoying. >(

          • But also fun to play with.

          • Holly

            I accidentally ate my first baby tooth… :/

          • It happens.

          • Holly

            I also have hypodontia, so some of my teeth have been there for 25 years. I still have baby teeth lol

          • …..I also still have a baby tooth, the adult tooth came in over it, so I have a “fang”. The last time I was at the dentist I asked him about about it and he told me that “my bone structure would support both teeth.” …..I was not happy….I wanted that baby tooth gone. Haven’t been to a dentist since (though later it was mostly because of no insurance, but I would never go to that dentist again.)

          • Holly

            When I was 19 my baby cousin fell on my face and split my first bottom molar in half. I got it fixed here in the city. Next time I was home my dentist, who i’ve seen all my life, looked at the X-ray and told me “We’ll need to keep an eye on that tooth.” He said that every year for like three years. Then when I was 22, I had to see a dentist in the province i was living because i had a lot of pain on that side of my mouth. Turns out that the root has COMPLETELY RETRACTED. So now I don’t have that tooth. Getting a fake one costs more than a year of university.

            I wish he had just given me the darn root canal. 🙁

            Also I love how the comments right now are just you and i talking about teeth. ^_^

          • Yeah, good times. 😛 ^_^

          • Holly

            Yup distracts me from all my stuff ^^

          • Waking up at all?

          • Holly

            MMM not sure. I’m not totally sleepy. but again another 4 hours is a little much to ask.

          • Elrohir

            Sorry that you haven’t been feeling well. But I will confess to hoping that you would finish the story. One day, maybe, you know, when things calm down…
            **Looks at Doki with big puppy dog eyes**

          • Well, I know roughly what is going to happen. It is just the WRITING it that is the problem. I used to write a bit in middle school, high school was more poetry centered. I have NEVER written fanfic, much less a story between guys that is going to get….hot.

            There is one scene in particular that I really hope people will like, but I cannot guarantee I will be able to write it well.

          • Elrohir

            I can only say that based on what you have written so far, I don’t think you’re going to hear anything but happy voices. Because if that’s a representative sample, feel free to practice on me(us) all you want. 🙂
            **Returns to puppy dog eyes**

          • I should definitely have it done by the next camping session. ^_^

          • Holly

            I wish I could write YP stuff…

          • Heh, well I am not all that great at writing, but I really wish I could draw.

          • Holly

            I also wish I could draw. I’m okay to write but…things. I have weird and varied talents.

          • I love working with my hands…..I just have no talent whatsoever. Other than drawing, I loved working with clay, but again….no talent. *sigh*

          • Holly

            I’m an okay knitter. I enjoy it. though sometimes it gets tedious. I liked sculpting too, but i have no talent.

          • Sculpting maybe not so much, but I loved working with the wheel. I was slightly better at the manual wheel than the electric one. It was so fun.

          • Holly

            Oh I never got to do like pottery and stuff. 🙁

          • It was really fun, despite being talentless. ^_^

          • Holly

            Haha I bet. ^_^

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Can’t wait!!

          • Hi Doki!

            I need get a little Modly regarding the fanfic in the comments section. Not just for you, but for everyone. Alex is fine with it, but there are a few guidelines.

            Try to keep it from being overtly explicit—no more than Rated R (much in the manner of TYP). And that all characters are stated as being 18 or over. If the characters are not (the participants being 18 and under), try to keep it no more than PG 13 (kissing, shirts off, declarations of love etc are fine—think teen tv show/movie).

            Thanks,
            Your friendly neighborhood Moderator. 🙂

          • stickfigurefairytales

            This is good to know. Thank you (and sorry for writing some more-than-R-rated stuff!)

          • Not a problem, just all for future reference! 🙂

          • Don’t worry, maybe I should have made it explicitly clear other than implied that Flyboy is indeed 18 in my story.

            I don’t think would have been that more in depth than stickfigure’s shower scene. But you could always tell me when I am getting close to crossing that line and I can just fix it. ^_^

          • Just remember to keep in Rated R or under for future reference. 🙂

            But will do. 🙂

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hmm, what would qualify as rated R rather than NC-17 in written form? Would it be like, say, a sex scene happening but that doesn’t specifically mention any involved body parts?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            By which I mean something like, “The two of them surged together in a building passion” or something like that.

          • This would work. 🙂 I don’t think we need description of genitals within the comments.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Gotcha!

          • 😀

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Aw, we’ll miss you, but sleep well!

      • Holly

        I might make it. Dokis been keeping me awake with her evil powers of just talking to me.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          That Doki!

        • ^_^ ….keeping you awake is evil?

          • Holly

            Maybe…

            My lack of energy may also be due to the food thing. I really need to get a job soon.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh no! I wish I could share real food with you through the comments!

          • Holly

            See THAT is nice. I appreciate that.

            I had a friend in another chat who kept listing WHAT she would feed me if she could feed me. THAT was not nice. That was just mocking. “Oh I would give you filet mignon and lobster raviolli etc”

            And that’s just mean.

          • And you were calling me evil?

          • Holly

            The hell is going to bed that three of the eight jobs I applied for yesterday were all fast food jobs. If I get hired there the first two weeks are going to be HORRIBLE.

            And yes Oki Dokes I am sorry for calling your ablity to make me camp evil. *hugs*

          • *hugs* Its okay…..and I might be a little bit evil. ^_^

            Well, despite the 2 week horribleness, I hope you get a job sweetie.

          • Holly

            MMM yes that would be nice. FOOD and money etc.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            (suggested response) “Oh yeah? Well right about now, I’d feed *you* a knuckle sandwich!”

          • Holly

            Well no, they are TRYING To be nice. She really didn’t realize how mean she was being until I explained that it felt like she was mocking me.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            No, that makes sense. I was just being silly.

          • Like stickfigure said, I wish I could share real food with you through the comments.

          • Holly

            Thanks. ^_^

    • Holly

      OOOO ONLY 6 more posts!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I thought 4…

        • Holly

          haha yeah -4. XP

  • Holly

    THE DEMON POST IS MINE! I OWN EUROPE NOW!

    • b3nc0

      Respectful congratulations, My Lord
      _(:3ㄱㄴ)_

      • Holly

        lady.

        • android

          • Holly

            So as of right now I am a Lycanthropic Android Ruler of Europe. OKAY ^_^

            We will just use the title of Laird.

        • b3nc0

          I-i-i-i-i-I m-m-meant no offense, My Darkest Lady!
          m(__)m

  • stickfigurefairytales

    I really, really love that Spooky has gone on to do a lot of work with people suffering from trauma (as mentioned on page 10 of this chapter). He’s already shown with Kyle that he does a fantastic job of reading people’s reactions and making them feel comfortable and reassured in the aftermath of a terrible experience. The fact that he himself has been through horrors of his own and knows how badly things can mess with your head seems to be something that Spooky has managed to make a part of his drive to help others. And that’s pretty amazing.

    • Holly

      i agree. Spooky is amazing. He knows how to read a situation, and he’s really upbeat. I mean he’s a genuinely happy person it seems, despite the trauma he suffered. He’s awesome. ^_^

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Darn right he is.

    • Kyletin

      I think I am ambivalent how I feel about him sharing this story right now. It likely is leading to somewhere relevant, but I just imagine so many shocking ways his past could have been integrated into the story. I will be very curious to see what Alex has up his sleeve.

      Personally, I like the idea of Spooky being either straight or non-subscribing to labels on sexuality. Personal opinion, and I know many people are gunning for their own pairings, but I’ll be a rascal and oppose the majority here. 😀

      I think behind Spooky’s positive and wise guise is something maybe a little unsure. I will enjoy learning more about his character. 🙂

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Pairings-wise, I’m a big Spooky/Commander shipper, myself.

        • Kyletin

          That would be a very interesting dynamic, with how laid back he can be. Is there knowledge on the Commander’s age? I guess I just thought of her as quite a bit older. I’m not against age-crossing relationships (Annihilator/Kyle didn’t bother me), but it just never occurred to me. 😀

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hmm, I don’t remember if we know her exact age or not. People who got Kickstarter rewards, do you have any knowledge to share?

          • silibub

            The character “cheat sheet” for the Kickstarter doesn’t mention her age, although I had her pegged as in her mid-twenties.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That was what I was thinking as well.

    • silibub

      Completely agree! I was neutral toward Spooky until this chapter, but now — and even before this bombshell — I like him so much more, and it’s clear he’s a lot more complex than he initially appeared. I’m really impressed that this revelation about his past feels plausible and can be integrated easily into our understanding of Spooky as a character. It’s not something I expected, given how laid-back and cheerful Spooky has been up to this point, but now that it’s out there I can certainly see it — that’s good writing!

  • Emiko

    I freaking love the community here. Just the most heartbreaking real stories and empathetic people and it gives me shivers to know that a great comic like this can bring people together in such a way. Bless you all <3

    • Holly

      Bless you Emiko!

    • jreed3842

      I agree! The Young Protector’s community it just awesome! Everyone seems so nice, polite, and respectful!
      And we all have excellent taste in webcomics, lol.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I’m not polite, *you’re* polite!

        • Holly

          I AM CANADIAN! So I feel I should say that we are the most polite as a matter of national pride, but that would be rude. So I shan’t

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Reminds me of the first comic in this batch (and yes, Kate Beaton is Canadian, to those who don’t know): http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=250

          • Holly

            Kate Beaton’s parents live an hour down the road from my parents. We are from the same island.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That. Is. So. Cool!!!!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Tell your parents to tell her parents that I love her. Except don’t really, because that would be weird.

          • Holly

            We don’t know them… Like I said, they live an hour away. I just know what town she’s from.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ah, I skipped over the “hour” part somehow when I first read your comment. (I was probably too excited.)

          • Holly

            Also, yes. True…

        • ….heh, not sure I fall under the polite either, but I at least try to be nice and respectful. ^_^

    • stickfigurefairytales

      <3

  • b3nc0

    New page of PoC is up, Good Gents & Ladies~
    princeofcatscomic.com/comic/chapter-4-348/

    • Librarican

      Thanks for the heads up!
      Is anyone disappointed when you catch up on binge reading a comic and you then have to wait for updates? That’s where I am at with all of mine. I’m not sure if I want to add more to the list or not…

  • *looks around* Did Danish and Sapfo sleep in?

    • Holly

      DO NOT DARE SUMMON THEM! *grumpy face* Let me have this just once.

    • Hiiii xD

      • Hey! Sleep well sweetie?

        • Good in the short amount I got. I’ve slept around 3 hours, and that damn mouse woke me up shortly tonight *big yawn*

    • stickfigurefairytales

      You summoned Danish!

      • Hmmm…..but then were is Sapfo….it should have summoned her too…

        And besides, it makes the victory all the sweeter if you can take it from those two. ^_^

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Maybe we have to say her name three times before she appears? You’ve done two so far, so…….Sapfo!

          • Holly

            I AM NOT HELPING!

          • Sapfo

            Apperently you are stronger then you think, if it only took one time to summon me 😉

          • BeetleSapfo, BeetleSapfo, BeetleSap… NOOOOOOOOOOO don’t summon the Virgin Huntress!

          • Sapfo

            Yay! I am free at last! ^_^

        • Holly

          See…you don’t even COUNT me in the race. T_T

          • Eh, I don’t really count myself either….

          • ….but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

          • Holly

            I WILL GET HIS! Also in exactly 6 months. If I don’t get he Virgin I will cry for a year.

          • awwww *hugs* All the best of luck for then. ^_^ I will root for you.

          • Holly

            Six months from now is my birthday. Well six months and a day. We are 24 hours away from my Half birthday.

          • My Half-Birthday was in January. ^_^

          • Holly

            COOL HAPPY BELATED HALF BIRTHDAY ^^

          • Thanks ^_^

    • Holly

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE! *cries for a million years*

  • Holly

    I just realized that Kyle definitely might cause the “Smoothie Boy” problem for people in his city. Smoothie Boy is a reference to this guy who worked in the Smoothie Kiosk across from the Kiosk I worked for at Christmas. He was very cute, and i thought he was younger than me but like 21 or 23. Then I discovered he had only recently turned 18. Do you think that people, without learning his identity, got super upset upon somehow finding out that the hot pyro guy in the lyrca(or whaver his costume is) was actually a teenager?

  • Signing in for camp on a morning where the alarmclock went off waaay to soon.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Good morning!

      • Morning 🙂
        Don’t know where Sapfo is though. She even looked forward to extra time for camping this morning because she meets later for work than usual (and later than me) so she had longer time to stay around. Maybe she took the chance to sleep in a little longer.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Maybe. We’ve even tried mentioning her name to summon her! Ah well, sleep is good too.

        • Holly

          OH DW. If you read down farther in the comments you will discover something interesting. MWAHHA

          • Oh dear lord.. uhm.. lady.

          • Holly

            YAY! I OWN YOU! XP

    • silibub

      Ugh, I feel ya. Glad you’re here though!

    • Morning!

  • Sapfo

    Mmmhee! I´m awake……….zzzzzzzzzz….

    • Holly

      I own Europe!

      • Sapfo

        What+1 -_-
        no you don´t… the hill of animels does that… and lony toons….

        • Holly

          Look down in the comments from an hour ago.

          • Sapfo

            YES! That means I can make a coup. Always wanted to try yto do one of thouse.
            What do I need? A pair of scissors, a picnic basket and a red cap.
            I’ll save Europe! ^_^

            HOW IS WITH ME?

          • Holly

            …You know in the original story Little Red Riding hood gets eaten right? Eaten and NOT rescued.

          • Sapfo

            In my version of Red Riding hood it´s a he and he riddes his wolf all night long ^_-

          • Holly

            REALLY?! That sounds cool…

          • Did you see the link she posted earlier?

            That puts a whole other spin on quite a few childhood stories…..

            A yummy delicious…..mmmm

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ooh, what link?

          • Sapfo

            I posted it way down in the commenst.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ah, found it! Not bad, but I can imagine better.

          • I think someone needs to do THAT version of the classic fairy tales… Hmmmmm… maybe the wicked witch is like Duncan… only sorta wicked. Maybe he/she just needs a good spanking to set her straight, and the love of a good man/woman?

            Maybe?

          • Elrohir

            Your own version of “Fractured Fairy Tales”?

          • Oh, yes, yes indeed! Except I like to think they were previously fractured, by the foolish and misguided, and we’re just re-breaking the fracture and setting it… so it will heal properly.

            *elrohir looks slightly worried as chris takes a firm grip on each end of the fairy tale*

            Now, now, don’t worry.

            *insert an avuncular, yet kindly, doctor smile here*

            Very good. You’re doing so well. There’s nothing to worry about. Now, take a deep breath, this won’t hurt a bit….

          • Getting eaten isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing……..

          • Holly

            OH CHRIS! haha

          • I SUMMONED CHRIS AND DANISH!! Go me.

          • Holly

            Kept me awake, summoned Chris and DW…. your powers are getting strong. WORRYINGLY strong…

          • *evil laughter*

    • *hugs* There you are!!!

    • Morning!

    • Hello~ .. and you even got to sleep longer >.>

      Someone turn back the clock so I can sleep a few hours more xD

      • Sapfo

        Oooh poor you.
        (sleep longer, i was up at 3 am and watch some LS with Felix :D)

        • -_- At that time I was up shortly, after sleeping only an hour, because the mouse was back. I would have prefered a LS.

          • Sapfo

            She is fast! really fast. But I could only be there for a short time.

        • Holly

          Who is Felix?

          • I was afraid to ask?

          • Sapfo

            You should be. If you think that Hamlet do dark art, then she is even darker.

          • Felix is the one half of the Avenier’s who also make a webcomic. I’m not sure I should tell the name here, because I sometimes wonder a bit myself why I read it *lol*
            That comic triggers me more than TYP has ever done, and I really despise a character in it (one of the few comics where I can say that) but I’m SO waiting in the hope he gets his ass well and truly beaten one day xD

          • Sapfo

            It is really dark.
            It is not really the typ of comic you (I) would recommend. You just find it yourself.
            Lot´s of triggers! And I can not seem to stop reading it. I want some kind of happy ending there, but right now it is hard to see in that comic.

          • Exactly. It’s very dark, but somehow it sucks you right in and you keep reading.
            I hope Felix’ wrist is healed well enough for a new page soon.

          • Sapfo

            She seemed to be able to draw very fast when I watched her LS. But you can not see if she is in pain via LS. I hope not.

          • Holly

            Ah, see because my kitty is named Felix and i was confused.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Welcome!

    • …….. and there goes the Virgin……. 🙂

      • Holly

        IT is the day before my half birthday AND I got the demon post on this page. I will get the virgin!

      • Sapfo

        In to my pocket it goes….soonish! ^_^

  • Holly

    So new page? Who thinks we get MORE SPOOKY BACKSTORY!?

  • Is Chris not here because no one brought food stuffs to the camping?

    • Holly

      He’s probably having an evening with his hubby.

    • I love you Chris!

      • Thank you and I understand completely. Your M&Ms are totally safe from me. I don’t want to lose any fingers. *grins*

        You be well and congrats on the Virgin.

    • No… but that’s good thinking! Where’s the chow?

      • I would offer chocolate M&Ms but I am pretty sure you don’t want to try taking them away from me currently.

        • Elrohir

          **Ponders, “not take them away from me currently”…does that mean Chris should take them away in the future? Or the past? Should this be considered an additional clue that he does, in fact have a TARDIS in his possession? Or merely that taking chocolate away from Doki in mid-camp could yield bruises? So many questions from one little hint…**

  • The Fox Sister has updated tonight .. for those who read it 🙂

    • It’s great sometimes and confusing sometimes like watching Japanese movies with no sub-titles. Thanks for the update though, I do like it.

  • Holly

    Doki stopped forcing me to camp once DW and Sapfo came. Sad. Also I got the MOOSE POST! WOOO 777

    • Sapfo

      lol. You go!

      • Holly

        Demon Post and Moose Post. I am on a Roll! That Virgin is SO mine!

        • Sapfo

          No you did not get it. Sorry Holly!

          • Holly

            When I saw this I was like “What the heck are you on about?” So I updated the page. Now I am very very very very very very sad.

        • But you distracted me just long enough for Doki to get it xD

  • Holly
  • Librarican

    The following page has Spooky continuing the discussion but in terms that I find vague, non- graphic, and nondescript. No new details are provided.

    Does this help anyone? Or is it to spoiler-ish for some?