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AUTHOR COMMENTS:

Reply mitchellbravo, February 26th, 2014, 6:15 pm

Hey Aggie! How've you been girl? We haven't seen you in like eight months!

Welcome back everyone, starting Chapter 6 a bit later than intended though it *is* still February at least.

Quick comic-related stuff:
-I started Twittering and am going to start Tumbling, and I'll link those accounts here so that you guys can keep abreast of when Loud Era is going to come off hiatuses and things like that.

-I'm going to have a weird update schedule because I want to try something but don't know how well it's going to work. What it's going to look like ideally is daily updates in clumps, so you don't have to wait ages for a single scene to unfold, and I can get a breather in between scenes. We'll try it, and if it's horrible, I'll find something else to do.


Since I last wrote to all you guys, the Death Train ain't stopped rolling- my grandfather finally succumbed to his Alzheimer's on January 13, and my 18-year-old cat Joey I've had since I was in Kindergarten passed away from just being goddamn old on February 15. With regards to Joey, it's very weird in the house without him and I keep thinking I hear him singing in the night (he was an excellent singer). Grampa's passing was emotional but it went about as well as a death can go, and the funeral day was so lovely and beautiful and nobody dropped anything or broke anything, just lots of tears and hugs. One of those weird quirks of life that funerals are where you're quite likely to meet family members you'd never known about before.

Other than that, struggling with cabin fever, trying to visit some friends who live beyond a hop and a skip, panicking over my life in general. I got sick for exactly one day and then I got better.

But anyway-

I'm looking forward to a lot in this chapter, and things are probably going to get kind of weird artistically because I'm trying out some new things that may or may not work. I've enjoyed drawing and coloring thus far despite repeated fuckups, so I'm off to an okay start work-wise.

Eishiya has been simply the most helpful person on earth, and my gratitude to her is beyond words. She helped to clean up my coding and get my site to stop glitching out.

All of the holiday art has now been moved to its appropriate Fan Art pages, and links page has been updated to include a few more recommendations from me.

I hope at least a few of youse have stuck around. Sorry to have left you in the lurch so long.

So that's that, we'll be moving right along with Aggie & her boily water. Welcome back old readers, welcome fresh new readers. Hope you enjoy Loud Era Chapter 6: Ties.

kissy kissy


READER'S DISCUSSION:

Reply The_Hankerchief, February 28th, 2014, 12:33 am

Awesome perspective shot in first panel.

Reply mitchellbravo, February 28th, 2014, 9:46 am

@The_Hankerchief: Thank you sir!

Reply jolokiapepper97, March 2nd, 2014, 9:29 pm

@mitchellbravo: Ah it's great seeing this back up again :) I've honestly missed seeing your art!

Wow, you draw such lovely buildings...

Reply mitchellbravo, March 2nd, 2014, 10:41 pm

@jolokiapepper97: Awwww thank you so much!! What a lovely comment to find here :D

Oh man, I wish I had taken a picture of the first panel before I colored it. I was soooo proud of how it turned out, then I had to go and color it XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 6:20 pm

I love the overall look of this page - I mean obviously the first panel looks good but I also like how colours change from panel to panel and how it all works together.

And yay Aggie! She doesn't look too happy but I'M JUST GLAD TO SEE HER ALIVE, seriously, when someone leaves home like that it's nice to see them just not in any big trouble - nobody figures their lives out fast anyway.

And so sorry about deaths and hard times, I know it's in the past but like we said earlier, pages bring memories...

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 8:21 pm

@Oly-RRR: Aaaaah thanks!! It was a lot of fun to draw this scene for her, executive haircut and all XD

And thanks for the condolences as well. At least with the passing of my grandfather & Joey, it was somewhat of a weight lifted off our shoulders since in both of their cases- especially my grandfather's- we knew the time was coming. It didn't lay me out emotionally like the deaths of my uncle or Pop Pop, I mean it was still heavy but I wasn't a huge wreck over it because for some reason I felt I had control somehow over the situations.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 8:33 pm

@mitchellbravo: Yeah, I know that feeling - any death is a sad event but sometimes you saw it coming for a while and realise that all in all it could be worse for them. It's hard to talk about it when it comes to people since we are more self-aware and our quality of life depends less on physical functions but when it comes to pets I have a feeling they would prefer a calm death sooner rather than spending some extra time in pain and discomfort. This thought doesn't make it -better- but it does make it calmer.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 9:03 pm

@Oly-RRR: Agreed. In Joey's case, his descent was really rapid so we didn't even need to take him to the vet- and honestly didn't want to put him through the trauma of the cat carrier and all. It's the first time I ever saw an animal just naturally die of natural causes instead of by a needle. Even the night before he died, he had walked all the way upstairs to go sleep in my parents' room. Then the next day around noontime he wobbled over behind the couch, started screaming, had a seizure and died o_o The circle of life, in fucking deed!

Oh, here's a fun tie-in! He died in February, right after that 4-foot snowstorm, so we couldn't bury him in the yard- even if the snow wasn't there, the ground was frozen solid. So we wrapped him up in a paper and then plastic bag and made a "fridge" for him in a snowbank next to the deck... it sounds really grim, but I thought it was actually pretty funny. We had to wait a WHOLE MONTH for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw, and then when we finally dug the hole, it kept filling up with the water from the surrounding soil. A weird mix of D:> and XD on my end, at least!

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 10:49 pm

@mitchellbravo: Aw... Yeah, those things happen. I've been keeping rats for over a decade and they have a disturbingly short life span for such smart and affectionate animals (2 years on average, about 3 years if you're lucky) so I guess I've seen a lot of pet deaths by this point (and sometimes I think that's more than enough for me but I keep ending up with new rats after a break and I never regret it). While I do take them to the vet when it's needed (I mean I'm not the kind of pet-owner who goes "nope, I'm saving for a playstation" and lets their animals suffer) I never had to put anyone down since they have a fast metabolism and you know that if he's about to die he's likely to do it in about a day and would prefer to do it at home instead of a stressful environment but I had a few times when one of my rats was already quite old and got a tumour and then you end up thinking if he has a chance to live longer if you get it operated or you shouldn't add extra stress to the last month of his life (and honestly in a couple of times by the end I wished I decided differently - you live and learn but you never really know).

And lol the "fridge" story - I know people are supposed to be sort of grossed out but like I said, I keep rats and you have to keep a rat with at least one other rat of the same gender because they are incredibly social and there are some things (like grooming with teeth) even the most loving human can't provide lol. So if you have two elderly rats one of them inevitably dies at least a few days before the other one and then you think "do I want to dig a hole two times or do I want to bury them neatly together", especially if the weather is not good for digging. Long story short, I kept some rats in a blanket and a box in my fridge for about a month and I don't think they would mind. Even besides not seeming like someone who'd bother with burial ceremonies much I know they all would dig the idea of being surrounded by so much food - I had some rats literally trying to jump in the fridge in their younger days when they figured out there's food.

So yeah, I always feel a weird mix of emotions at times like that too. (Also weird rat stories - I have tons!)

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 11:44 pm

@Oly-RRR: Awwww rats!!!! I always have liked rodents but my love of cats pretty much would prevent me from ever bringing any into my home... I know there's heartwarming tales of pairings that get along but I wouldn't want to run the risk of coming home to see that Nibbles is gone and Emma is fat and smiling because I don't know I'd be able to handle that kind of distress at this point in my life XD I never knew that about rats getting toward the end of their life cycle (with regard to how quickly it happens and all once the descent starts)!

Yeah, "should you or shouldn't you" surgery choices for pets are really tough :( We had a cat named Minnie for about 8 years who two summers ago started having this horrible ear infection, and it unfolded to where it was discovered the infection was actually a polyp, wait now it's actually a growth, wait now it's actually a large mass that has spread to where the side of her face is mostly paralyzed and she can't even eat. That was hearbreaking because of how young she was- the vet advised us not to do the surgery because it was going to be really expensive and the tumor had already gotten to where it wouldn't be worthwhile to do and we had to have her put down :( I originally didn't want to, I wanted her to be able to live out every second of her life that she was given, but especially on that last night I kinda realized how it was- I slept in the living room in case she wanted to come over for a cuddle, but I was kept up all night because I could hear her in the kitchen trying really hard to eat but not being able to chew or swallow or even really use her tongue :( She'd lost so much weight by the end that in retrospect we probably should have taken her to be put down sooner. But like you said, who can really know for sure.

LOL. Now I'm imagining the spirits of the rats hanging around for a little bit being like "OH MY GOD SHE'S PUTTING US *IN* THE FOOD BOX, THIS IS AWESOME! Wait... wait, why can't we eat any of it???"

I had brought up the idea of keeping Joey in the freezer but he would have taken up like a whole shelf in there and I could imagine people in the family either a) crying every time they opened the freezer or b) being freaked out that a dead animal was in the freezer among all the food, despite the fact that a lot of the food is also technically dead animals...

Reply Oly-RRR, August 1st, 2014, 2:18 am

@mitchellbravo: Yeah, I wouldn't risk rodents and cats too - I've seen them get on well and interspecies friendship is always cute but it's too risky to try it unless you're sure and seems to work only with doofy lazy usually purebred cats that haven't hunted for generations. I always wanted to get a dog as well (though obviously some breeds are out of the question) but for some reason my folks seem to think that while rats are okay (even though rats take about as much care as a cat that never leaves the house - even if they don't roam free in the flat they need a large area for walks AND a big cage to treat as their main nest) but a dog will instantly get neglected, ruin the flat AND get some horrible illness we won't be able to afford treating. I mean I wouldn't trade any of my rats for any other pet but if we got a dog with my first rat that dog would likely already be dead from old age by now. I keep thinking of putting my foot down in some way but no energy for that. XP

And aw, I remember your post about Minnie on the forum - I didn't comment since the topic already was going on for a while and people were talking about their pets but it's awful to go through something like that. Like you keep wanting to cheer your pet up and be there for them but they just want to have all the bad sensations to stop and don't have ideas about what comes after and it's really hard to accept that. Like those times my rats were obviously dying slowly (rats can be elderly for a while but the end coming is very obvious, they stop eating and then drinking and you can force some water or soft food into them but it's never effective) I wanted to hold them and such but they just wanted to try to sleep undisturbed and it was really hard to stop myself from putting my human ideas of families gathering around someone dying and holding their hand into their realities.

And of course it's especially hard to lose someone young. In a way they never get to experience growing older and growing unable to do stuff they used to do easily, but again it's impossible to see that idea when it comes to death.

Heh, yeah, I can imagine rat spirits doing that too. XD Though alive rats do this thing (that is annoying when you're giving them treats) - when they are not hungry they don't stop accepting food or asking for food if they see you eating, they take it and stash it somewhere and sometimes lie on top of it so you see a really smug rat lying around and then discover a nut or a bit of chicken or something under his chest when you start cuddling the rat (and he either forgot about it already or acts like you're digging through his family jewellery). :P

And yeah, it's harder with bigger animals. I sometimes wonder about people keeping huge dogs like Great Danes - burying a dog like that must be almost as expensive and troublesome as human funeral, I mean it's either cremation or digging a big grave somewhere. D:

Reply mitchellbravo, August 1st, 2014, 8:13 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yes exactly! I think based off the two cats I have now, Bo would at least make things quick and relatively painless but Emma would make a disturbing sport out of it, just being the nature of their species. Awww I hope you'll be able to have a dog someday :( I'm not really a dog person but they're such beautiful animals and can really make a place seem more like a home, you know? Hey, maybe you could just get one of those very very small dogs and sneak it in with the rats XD

Awww yeah, I was thinking of linking that post actually. Exactly, it was really hard to watch her suffer and basically see her feeling "I'm so hungry, why can't I eat? Why isn't my body working anymore?" :( And the human-to-animal emotion translation is REALLY difficult. There's only very few species on the planet that seem to really understand death in any meaningful sense, and even in our own history it wasn't until, if memory serves correctly, archaic homo sapiens that we started even ceremoniously burying our dead. For the rest of the animal kingdom death is a solitary thing.

LMAO THE FOOD HIDING!! Emma does something similar where she will steal scraps of meat either off plates waiting to be washed in the kitchen or out of the garbage can (sometimes pulling the sausage or BUFFALO CHICKEN off of pizza depending on what's available) and then when she runs with it, if you try to corner her to get it away from her, she just doubles down and continues eating it REALLY URGENTLY even as you try to push or shove her away XD

That's a good point!! I know some people will bury their larger animals but it's such a big effort, I mean just digging Joey and Minnie's graves was really exhausting and they were lap-sized animals. My neighbor across the street has had in total seven cats over the time we've known them and most of them are cremated and she has the sad little boxes of ashes in a display in the living room :( Ours are in the backyard, but Irealized we never marked the graves of the three earliest cats so I wonder if someday we might accidentally dig one of them back up D:

Reply Oly-RRR, August 1st, 2014, 9:01 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, this seems the first aspect where we're noticeably different - I like cats but I wouldn't want to keep them. XD My grandparents used to keep cats when I was a kid (and around the time I lived with them for a few years), and they got both cats as adults and the cats weren't adjusting that great so while I loved them back then I don't think I want to repeat the experience. And nah, I don't like very small dogs much, I mean they are okay but don't seem like dogs, more like some kind of separate species (they FEEL they are still dogs though so it's both funny and tragic - you know, some chihuahua barking up bigger dogs in the street because deep inside it feels canine and badass).

Yeah, normally I think human conscience is a beautiful thing but when it comes to a few sad subjects it seems almost like a downside...

And yeah, all pets can be such greedy buggers! XD It's like- you live at home, you never starve, why do you want so much? But instincts are instincts. XP

We bury ours in the sort-of-forest that's next to a big park (I live around the edge of the city so thankfully there are some green areas left though the way stuff heats up in this weathers shows that it's not enough), I guess I'd bury ashes too. It's weird, I don't have issues with dead pets in the fridge but ashes in the living room make me think of that creepy scene from Coraline with stuffed Scottie dogs http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_u0U4UhqmeB8/TNsoEpwyKII/AAAAAAAAAi0/797ufhGN9EA/s1600/Scottys.bm p not sure why. D:

Reply mitchellbravo, August 2nd, 2014, 12:48 am

@Oly-RRR: We've been very, very lucky with all the cats we've had, really. Minnie was probably the most skittish, but she never hurt anybody. The two we have now can bring the pain- Bo never intends to hurt, his bites- despite the crazed look in his eyes- are clearly of love and compassion and not malice, but Emma gets crabby and will slap a bitch for reasons we can't always isolate.

Hahahaha I actually got shrieked at by a chihuahua walking home today! Earlier a GIGANTIC dog had barked at me from his porch but it was just one bark and then he sat there looking intimidating. The chihuahua was clearly the stereotypical small dog releasing its inner big dog (lmao and now I'm picturing the small dog detailing its situation on tumblr...) I think I'll probably need to adopt a dog at some point when my boyfriend and I live together, but I'd want a gentle old dog like Ladybird from King of the Hill, and he'd want young puppy-dogs that he could teach tricks to. I guess tha'ts just a bridge we'll have to cross when we get to it :p

LOL YES. The middle of the URL for that image is strangely appropriate XD

Reply Oly-RRR, August 2nd, 2014, 1:19 am

@mitchellbravo: Yeah, it always depends on particular pet! I mean any animal can hurt you but I guess I just really dislike that slapping thing cats do. Rats are pretty scratchy too but they don't attack with claws, you just can get scratched badly if a rat is sitting on your shoulder and decides to slide down your arm (it's pretty much like squirrels slide down trees - hanging on their hind claws) or something. Biting is another story - they can bite really hard but most fancy rats just don't know they can do it to people. The duo I keep now has a street rat for a father though (long story short, my ex-classmate rescued an albino rat that escaped from the local zoo, the rat was pregnant and the colour and skittishness of all the litter makes it obvious the father was wild). Anyway, they are amazing but Gene never bites and Chris bites for random reasons when he's just generally annoyed and man, that can hurt. X|

Hahaha, oh gosh, the tumbling chihuahua! :D Pff, I almost want to run a blog like that - some time ago I had an idea about running a blog on social stuff from Nutter's point of view but tumblr population doesn't have a strong sense of sarcasm in general so I never went for it. XP

When it comes to pet personalities I seem to get along with most pets but I really like goofy ones that stay playful and enthusiastic even as adults (unfortunately they are usually also thick as bricks). :D Gentle ones are great too though! I often end up with rats paired up like that for some reason, like Gene is really calm and cuddly (while being the dominant rat out of the two) and Chris is really active and amiable but oh god he's an idiot.

Haha, I just noticed the middle of the url! :D

Reply mitchellbravo, August 2nd, 2014, 1:46 am

@Oly-RRR: I can understand that! Emma doesn't use her claws on us anymore, which is good, but I still flinch just as hard as if she was going to. Hehe, I don't know why but I like the idea of the fancy rats not realizing they can bite people XD And just because, I'm going to picture Gene having a head full of Gene-Wilder curls.

Omg that would be really hilarious but you're so right that people wouldn't get it and you would have to deal with sooooo much harassment -_- Because that's the best way to deal with our problems, right? Harass people anonymously through the internet because that totally proves a useful point and all!

I think with the way I feel about dogs being calmer is just because I don't really know what to do with the energetic ones. Since I didn't grow up having dogs, I don't know how to read them or how to act with them, you know? Like with Bo I'll wrassle him because he's just a kittycat like all other kittycats XD But a dog having the energy level of Bo would probably be able to knock me over and I just would feel like I had no control over the situation XD

Emma has her times where she's tremendously sweet and cuddly- we call it her "nushing" time, where she comes to nush you. She has this weird attachment to my left armpit and she will burrow into it and just knead and knead and knead for like 15, 20 minutes at a time. Then she goes FLYING AWAY like she left the stove on or something.

Reply Oly-RRR, August 2nd, 2014, 2:47 pm

@mitchellbravo: For some weird reason both Gene and Chris look and behave suspiciously like the characters they were named after:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Hunt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Skelton

D'aww, your cats! I have a feeling I'd get along with Bo. :D

One of the weird affectionate things Gene and Chris do is when I decide to nap during the day they often drop whatever they are doing and start running around and over me (they mostly hang on the bed during the day since it's next to their cage) - it's cute but usually makes napping impossible, they are about kitten-sized but together they must be at least 3 pounds (Gene is bigger than Chris). Sometimes they calm down eventually and sleep near my head and I imagine it must look kind of weird. XD Also when they were younger they used to take their toys, like wooden balls and sea shells and such and put them next to me while I was zoned out. XP

Reply mitchellbravo, August 3rd, 2014, 11:01 am

@Oly-RRR: Hahaha awww!!! I love when the namesake is so appropriate!!

Bo LOVES to play :D As long as his nails are trimmed, there's almost no risk of him causing real harm, either XD He bites but only when he's playing, and he only ever leaves little dents that flatten back out. And his favorite toy is a fuzzy yellow ball (the old favorite was a red blue and green fuzzy ball that he annihilated).

Awwwww that's adorable!!! The image of them just scurrying around on top of you being like MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY :D Awwwww and they brought you their valuables!!! That must have been fun to wake up to, all of their trinkets surrounding you XD

Speaking of rats- yesterday I saw my first real-live wild New York City rat when we were changing trains on the subway :P He was climbing in the pipes about head-level and after I finished being startled by the sudden movement, my first instinct and urge (which I supressed) was "TOUCH. MUST TOUCH." XP

Reply Oly-RRR, August 3rd, 2014, 12:05 pm

@mitchellbravo: Awww, Bo seems like a cat that's kind of like a dog, I love those! And I have no trouble with rough-housing and biting as long as there's no blood, I mean dogs can bit like that too when they play, especially younger ones.

Hahaha, I'm not sure what exactly they see me as - they definitely act different with strangers and even other family members since I'm around them every day since I got them. I'm not even sure they consider me entirely human. Though I also doubt they see me as a "pack leader", in fact I suspect it's closer to how butlers are referred to in Jeeves and Wooster stories - "gentleman's personal gentleman" or in this case lady. :P

D'awww, I always have to suppress the same urges (rats are generally more likely to flee than bite when they can but they definitely won't be pleased either way). X) Also I suspect I notice twice more rats than most people because my eyes are sort of used to that scurrying movement.

Reply mitchellbravo, August 3rd, 2014, 2:28 pm

@Oly-RRR: He does act like a puppy sometimes, just with less affection XD Emma does it as well- though it might just be me thinking relative to the cats we used to have that were very distinctly 'cat-like" in all aspects :P Yeah so far I think he's only drawn blood on two of us, the rest of time it's just those pink/red scratches if anything but he tends to cleep his claws retracted so as not to cause harm :)

Lmao, you're their liaison to food and comfort :D I'm sure they feel you were assigned to them as opposed to the other way around, so yeah a snuggly butler is probably about spot on XD

I'm terrible about wanting to touch wild animals. When my boyfriend and I went on our hiking-centered trip recently the paths were so populated with chipmunks and very small toads and I just wanted to gather them all into a sack and take them home XD We literally had to stop walking every time I saw one so that I could tower over it and tell it how cute it was.

Reply Oly-RRR, August 3rd, 2014, 4:00 pm

@mitchellbravo: Oooh yes, when there's some animal that is obviously safe to touch like a pet I'm all over them as soon as I can (with wild ones I want to but I just know they wouldn't like it anyway, there are some pretty strong instincts about humans being a danger even in fancy rats). And apparently I got quite good at petting over the years because when animals like people touching them at all they usually visibly enjoy me petting them.

SPEAKING OF THAT because I can't find a way to pester people on smackjeeves with my stupid non-comic art and because it's the main thing I was trying to finish before going in a more comic page mode - http://fav.me/d7tfmtw :D

Reply mitchellbravo, August 3rd, 2014, 4:27 pm

@Oly-RRR: Poor Wayland's got a mom that reminds me of Mrs. Schuyler :( DONNY'S FACE IS SO PERFECT!!! I bet Bugsy would rather sit with him than be leaking out of Danny's grip like that XD

I love your coloring on all these summer shorts, by the way!! I feel like I can smell the grass and the chlorine :D

Reply Oly-RRR, August 3rd, 2014, 5:26 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, Mrs. Schuyler reminds me of Wayland's mum so I guess they really are similar! The sort of parents that ended up really harsh because of life they had and think that what all that PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE they cause their children is for the best? ...now I wonder if Mrs. Schuyler is also secretly in the mafia. :D (And how Eddie got his car but if it's a spoiler and not something that was in the early deleted chapters you don't have to tell, of course!)

Yeaaah, Donny is definitely the kid animals would prefer out of the two just because you can walk away from him if he gets annoying.

And thanks! X) They are really fun to do, makes me realise how my usual settings are more low-key colour-wise! CAN WE PATENT "GRASS AND CHLORINE" AS A PERFUME? :D

Reply mitchellbravo, August 3rd, 2014, 7:54 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yessss exactly!!! I really wish I could do like a docu-biography on the Schuyler family because it's like a family tree planted in hateful soil.

Omg, the story of how Eddie got his car was included in the original first chapter that got cut, I don't know if it will get referred to anytime soon but it's not like a big cool reveal so I can just tell you it lol- Basically he did a lot of tutoring during school and while his parents kept tabs on some of his earnings, he managed to keep a lot of it hidden- probably at Joseph's house :P When it came time to buy the car he gathered up what was saved there and voila! Secret hidden automobile!

LOL. Now I'm picturing Danny being the male equivalent of http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131021041403/tinytoons/images/4/49/Elmyra_1989.JPG Elmyra from Tiny Toons (p.s. it took me way too long to realize that she was the kid stand-in for Elmer Fudd... and that it's funny because Elmer tries to kill animals but fails, and Elmyra tries to love and save animals and kills them... XD )

YES. YES. "Grass and chlorine" is the signature summertime scent, and come fall we release "LINGERING SMOKE OF LEAVES THAT BURNED HOURS AGO"

Reply Oly-RRR, August 3rd, 2014, 9:25 pm

@mitchellbravo: D'awww, that's so cool of Eddie! And also probably wouldn't work in modern times for multiple reasons, I mean it's hard to keep a car secret for a long time these days.

Hahaha, oh gosh, I just never figured out that Elmyra was a stand-in for Elmer! XD I think it was the only Tiny Toons theme that I actively disliked to the point of not watching - I'm not sure if it has something to do with having no pets in early childhood besides two very grumpy cats or mum just explained this to me very well but I always saw children treating animals as toys as a socially acceptable form of animal abuse. XP I guess Danny is kind of a male version of that except he's not obsessed with animals and so gets distracted eventually. Honestly Danny and Donny see the main point in taking away each other's stuff, no matter what it is - Donny gets his way when their parents are around, Danny gets back at him when they are not looking.

HAHAHAHA YES :D

Reply mitchellbravo, August 3rd, 2014, 10:50 pm

@Oly-RRR: Omg definitely not. If anything he could sneak a bike these days but a car, VERY unlikely. His parents would probably find his license somewhere or somethign like that at the very least, even if he managed to hide away everything else.

Hahahaha I really was kind of scared of Elmyra now that i think about it, probably for reasons like you said. I think I was afraid that I loved my cats so much I would BECOME her D: It was definitely one of those things that would NOT cut it with the network execs these days, I think.

Hahahahhaha I love their rivalry!! It's one of those things that's funny but also has a lot of poignant, subtle implications about siblings where one is disabled and one isn't. How much older is Donny than Danny?

Reply Oly-RRR, August 4th, 2014, 12:10 am

@mitchellbravo: -insert sad mental images of modern!Eddie going uphill on a tiny tricycle in the rain here-

Yeah, that was kind of scary to watch, especially as a series rather than a standalone thing. D:

They have almost exactly 10 years age difference. I call all older kids teenagers referring more to the whole school subplot but sometimes special schools let kids stay a few extra years, at least according stuff I read (though the UK had some changes about their education system recently so I'm keeping an eye on that) so some kids in that class are around 18-20. But yeah, I guess it's like with all siblings, they can get along naturally or it can go well with parental control or it can get messed up somewhere. It's kind of like if one of my rats gets sick I feed him softer food, more stuff that usually is a treat and so on and the other rat inevitably goes "the hell is going on here??" when he figures it out (rats generally combine loving their siblings with big levels of jealously, like they often spend time together grooming each other tenderly but if I'm petting one of them the other instantly starts staring suspiciously no matter where he is). I guess same can happen with kids if their parents don't explain things well enough (and those parents didn't). So Donny would be around 10 when Danny was born and he was used to being the only kid who was kinda spoiled and now that little shit comes along and he has to share? So by the time Danny was old enough to understand anything Donny actively disliked him. And Donny naturally needs a lot of attention more or less constantly but the part that makes me blame the parents is that they actively cut corners with Danny and let Donny get away with anything and Danny sees it. The part that makes me call Donny an arsehole is that the situations where he manipulates his parents into giving him more attention and treats than Danny gets are almost always intentional - like, he might not put it into words but he knows what he's doing and knows he's getting away with it.

I guess no family members get along 100% of time but like with any siblings, a disabled and non-disabled kid can get along, hate each other (I once stumbled on a comic book which I hated because it was basically "my brother has epilepsy, is an asshole and now I'm making a bestseller about how he ruined my childhood" - it was just suspiciously biased) and in especially twisted cases the able-bodied sibling uses the disabled one as a bargaining chip to get away with stuff (knew that kind of person at some point, it was really awkward listening to their stories once I started to see them with a point of view other than the one presented - it's not in Cop Story yet but you bet I'll include something of this sort).

I really hope Danny and Donny will get along better at some point but for now all this rivalry is really fun to write.

Reply mitchellbravo, August 4th, 2014, 12:32 am

@Oly-RRR: Oh man!!! So Donny is secretly the powerhouse behind the rivalry then!!! That's awesome, definitely not something people tend to deal with in stories and in the case you mentioned where it IS dealt with it can come out really bad and screwed up sounding. Ooooh I feel like i've known a person like that as well- the bargaining-chip type person- but for some reason I can't place exactly who it was or at what point in my life I knew them; it might have also been a spouse or friend instead of a sibling. I wonder if people might watch their behavior around us more if they knew we'd find ways to put them in our comics XD

Yeah, I feel like after Danny grows up and (presumably) goes to college and lives away from the house for a while they'll be able to find more of a positive relationship with each other. I've known a lot of sibling pairs where it worked out that way. When both kids are still in the house there tends to be butting of heads no matter what the age difference. I mean my sister and I get along spectacularly 95% of the time but the 5% where we diverge is SEVERE. In our case we got most of our head-butting out of the way back when I was in high school, but since there's such a big age gap between Donny & Danny they didn't really get that opportunity I would think, not even touching on the disabled/non-disabled dynamic given what you've mentioned about the parents.


YESSS YESSS MORE CHARACTER DEPTH

Reply Oly-RRR, August 4th, 2014, 1:54 am

@mitchellbravo: Hahaha, yeah, most writers are dangerous that way! The funny thing is that I remember I was talking with that person and I said something about how Cop Story is fiction but it has chunks of real life that I base stuff on in it and they were like "aww, I'd like it if you put my stories in your comics" and at that point I was kind of starting to dislike them for a bunch of reasons so I thought "no, you definitely would NOT like that." :P But another upside of not having a lot of readers is that UNLESS THEY GOOGLE ME VINDICTIVELY they won't find out soon or at all (though honestly I'm not sure they'd even recognise themselves, some people just justify whatever they do until they believe it).

Yeah, I also think it's mostly up to Danny! I can't blame him now since it's hard even for adults to see their situations from the outside perspective but eventually he can learn to do it. Also I expect that Danny might start getting his personalised version of Aggie's nightmare as soon as he becomes a teenager himself (which I guess can be a common worry for siblings of disabled kids similarly as it is a worry of their parents, "shit none of us is getting any younger")...

Actually one of the reasons I keep ending up with more characters is that I sort of list variables in my head when figuring out characters and then unused ones feel interesting enough to do something with them too. Like we have two siblings, one is disabled, the other isn't, then they can get along, not get along, and either of them can be the main reason behind it. Then you add age groups to that. Then you add good parenting or bad parenting. Then you add some other circumstances, change something (like suppose we make both siblings disabled - that puts them in more equal positions but how would it affect other factors? and also if the family owns two cars does it qualify for double free parking space? ...crap it was random but now I HAVE to develop it) and then quirks and small details just happen and in the end I get like 3 separate households out of some dumb blurb I saw on THE NOTORIOUS DAILY MAIL or overheard on a bus. XP

Reply mitchellbravo, August 4th, 2014, 11:10 am

@Oly-RRR: Oh man the "PUT ME IN YOUR COMIC" people are the best even if they AREN'T as hilariously misguided as your person was. Yeah you're right, they probably wouldn't have any idea, or if they did figure it out they'd think you were exaggerating it to be abig meanie-poo head.

Yeah that's a scary thing to deal with. It's like some families have it all straightened out and everyone seems fine with the plan- like with kids who are autistic but with some level of independence who would need to live with a family member but as more of a home base than a full time hands-on caretaker role like someone like Donny would need once the parents are too old to be able to do it. But not everyone can just do that and be ready to take care of a family member without having any regrets or bad feelings about it. It'd be neat t see that get dealt with in a way that doesn't portray the able-bodied sibling as some martyrous saint or the disabled sibling as constantly apologizing or feeling bad about what they're "making" the other one do. Bleh bleh bleh

Hahahahhahaa YES! You start to come up with like Punnett Squares of the potential conditions of a situation XD I'd rather have too many ideas than not enough. If I have too many, Ohhh no, I will have to start a side project, how terrible and sad :P If you don't have enough ideas, the story dries up and then, well, that's just sad!

Reply Oly-RRR, August 4th, 2014, 3:46 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, yeah, some people... And then the people that assume that whoever you draw MUST be based on you and someone you know... I mean it's probably true for someone out there but in my case it's sort of both and neither?

Yeah, long-term plans are a kind of scary thing in general but something like that makes it more scary. And yup, people being people it doesn't always work out but it's possible to figure it out. And gosh yeah, I'm tired of those "martyr" stories too, it's always so one-sided, like there's always one "right" version of the events and people are so quick to judge. Like I generally think that living at home is better than at any kind of facility but I realise that everyone has different situations and their own reasoning and most people dealing with that can see their reasoning better than someone from the outside.

But yeah, I hope it'll work out with Donna and Danny.

And exactly, more ideas make it fun! :D

Reply mitchellbravo, August 4th, 2014, 7:07 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yes!!! I guess a lot of people must believe that to some extent, since it would explain all the folks who get angry over a character having a controversial opinion. And same, while I do have a sizeable piece in each character that I can relate to, I wouldn't say they're really based off of myself in that sort of deliberate way.

Yeah I agree, it's like you really can't say for sure what you'd do unless/until you were in the situation. Everyone likes to think they'd make the most righteous choice but it's different when you're the one who's actually in that place to be making it.


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