See what happens when you let gays marry? They end up fighting like STRAIGHT people!
…damn it, I knew those toys would end this =(
At least their breakup would be caused by a Catman.
You don’t even want to comprehend the amount of divorces “Armada Hotshot” caused.
The toys didn’t end this, Drew and Ethan did. I have to say, I hadn’t noticed before how sterile Drew’s apartment is.
The real kicker is Drew’s comment on how Ethan should “Enjoy his new toy”, that’s really low to me, he’s making something Ethan enjoys into a punishment, which is wrong for something as harmless as a collecting hobby.
That was a low blow, his collecting hobby is not harming drew other than drew’s seeming obsession with an empty place. Really who freaks about 1 toy on top of the tv?
There is also a huge difference of getting 3 new cool things that you have none of and getting new iterations of something to complete your collection, he cut way back on what he was getting if you compare it to what he was when they started. I just hope that he doesn’t get back with drew as he needs someone who can understand him or help him find a new hobby rather then just saying “stop it that’s disgusting” and making him feel like crap for being happy.
actually. now that ive noticed how sterile drew’s apartment is. ive come to realize something. the dude has ocd or something. just as theres hoarders there are people who are batshit fucking insane that every single thing has to be absolutely spotless at all times and only the bare essentials of life are neccissary. i had a room mate like that who would get angry with me because i had my transformers collection in my own room nice and neat on the shelves on top of my desk (bots that had a personal meaning to me aside from being in my collection) and he would freak about my packrat behavior yadda yadda. where his room had a bed. a dresser. a desk and his computer. and that was it. and the mouse had to be parked dead center on the mouse pad or his room was filthy to him.
sorry drew but some give and take is neccissary in any relationship. my wife lets me keep my collectables and videogames. as long as i ensure i take her on a romantic date every month at the very least (two this month if i want to get a masterpeice rodimus :p) i think ethan has done what he can to “keep his problem under control” now its drews turn
I really very seriously normally have a rule against this, but the amount of people striking out at Drew for things he literally isn’t saying in just two strips has pushed me to the point that I’m to impatient to play by my normal rules.
I am on the deep end of the OCD spectrum. I have lived on the deep end of the OCD spectrum my entire life. Nothing Drew has said in the entire time he has existed in this comic has sounded for a second like what someone on the OCD spectrum or with an OCP would do or say as a consequence of those disorders in those situations. And before you say that I don’t know because everyone is different, know that I volunteer in group therapy with people from all ends of the spectrum. Jacob is pretty damn likely to be living somewhere on the spectrum. But not Drew. I’d really prefer to just let it lie there.
or willis simply doesnt know this disorder enough to write a character to satisfy the ocd obsessed masses? (is that even accurate?)
dude’s a cartoonist not wikipedia
I’d like to point out that seeing as Drew is, well, a drawing, we can’t presume to accurately judge how he’s feeling or what he’s thinking when he’s saying all of this. We can’t hear his tone, we can only see his face and shoulders (and they’re both missing in the panel you’re talking about), so we’re missing out on some of his body language… It seemed to me that Drew was critically thinking about what was happening, and was saying that in more of a “Does he actually care more about a toy than me?” kind of self-conscious way rather than a “Yeah, keep your frickin’ toy, you hopeless nerd” condescending way.
Either way, the viewer tends to project their views in situations like this. It’s perfectly natural, and how humans have come to understand (and misunderstand) the world around them.
He didn’t say that. He said “Keep your new toy.”
Which is actually a little worse.
Oh, yes, Jen, straight people NEVER, EVER argue about stupid, inane things like collectibles, or money, or cleanliness. Only gays argue about things like that. Can’t let those gays marry, they might start arguing about infidelity next! The horror!
Darn right!. haha, there’s no escape frok fighting
And now I feel saaaaad……
They’re both right, and they’re both wrong. Ethan needs to keep his hoarding tendencies in check and reevaluate his priorities, and Drew should probably loosen up a little bit. What the two REALLY need is quality relationship counseling.
So really, it’s like many real-life arguments. Both sides have a point.
I’m gonna have to disagree with you here. Ethan just stated he has the money to pay for his hobby and for a place to keep them and after all the times we’ve seen drew complain about it, I’d say he’s lasted a lot longer than i would have without snapping.
dump the bastard, Ethan.
I have to disagree in turn–Ethan has a psychological problem that is sabotaging his personal and emotional life, stunting his growth. It’s gotten worse lately, and he NEEDS therapy. I hope Amber or someone else call him on his crap.
The second anyone chooses a piece of plastic and actually thinks the hobby is worth as much as his relationship to someone he loves, there’s a problem.
What’s worse is that I think he’s sabotaging things on PURPOSE by shoving his addiction in Drew’s face. It’s really sad.
Get ‘im, Amber. Help him. PLEASE don’t paint him as having made the right decision. My thoughts are on you, brunette.
I agree. Thing is…after saying he’d cut back Ethan is purchasing 2 expensive toys and then stopping at a store on the way there and buying ANOTHER toy. All Drew did was point out that he was backsliding a bit and Ethan flies off into a cursing aggressive fit in which he is getting in his boyfriend’s face. Over a HOBBY? Now here we have Drew continuing to be calm and Ethan continues to attack him personally and name call. Ethan is letting a hobby define himself as a person. No bueno on the mental health front when that starts happening.
A hobby can be worth as much as a relationship when the person you’re having a relationship with makes it a repeated issue that you have a harmless hobby. Especially if they do it to the point where you feel like shit about your harmless hobby, as Ethan says he’s been made to feel.
If this is such a big deal to Drew, I’d say they’re not as compatible as they’d like to be. While Ethan was likely just snapping back, him pointing out how bare Drew likes things shows how much their idea of a comfortable home differs. While may not seem like too big a deal, and it’s definitely something a couple can overcome, feeling uncomfortable in your own home really sucks.
Ethan can be a bit ridiculous in his toy buying, but he’s never done anything illegal, immoral, or anything he knows is wrong, making it not really an addiction.
The problem is that he’s been keeping it in too long. If he hadn’t been repressing it he wouldn’t have been so frustrated he blew up like this.
I really don’t think Ethan needs a boyfriend who looks down on his hobby and feels the need to parent him.
Illegal is not part of the definition of addiction. Unhealthy is. And Ethan’s addiction is starting to affect his personal relations (not just with Drew, others have voiced problems as well). That is unhealthy. Ethan needs to slow the hell down before he drives away a man who loves him.
Like Sandpunk already said, I don’t think you realize what the word addiction mean–it doesn’t have to be illegal, just obsessive and damaging.
What Drew is doing is probably the approach any shrink would take with him–try to get him to slow down and cutback, while Ethan kicks and screams not to. Where Drew comes short is that he isn’t also doing it with heavy hours of needed therapy, but then, he’s not a shrink, just a guy trying to help his boyfriend.
I saw a good article about addicting games, and the writer observed that it’s not what causes the addiction that’s the problem, it’s what the addiction REPLACES.
In this case, Ethan’s toy-buying is replacing time and money that could’ve instead been focused on Drew, as well as giving Drew a sense of claustrophobia [this happened with an ex of mine]. If my partner was Ethan, I would have no problem with the collection so long as everything is tidy/not causing a fire hazard. I’ve lived in Jacob’s apartment for most of my life, unfortunately, so I DO have a sense of what’s too much and what’s manageable. Drew just has a much lower tolerance and, to his credit, realizes this.
Gotta agree with Meh here. If you can’t accept the hobbies of the people you love, there’s a distinct lack of love going on. The way to do it is to let it stay and simply put it on the backburner with a reminder based in gentle mocking, which maintains your perspective to the other person without forcing them into an ultimatum.
You love a person for their quirks and faults as much as their sexiness or brilliance. Otherwise you’re not really loving the whole person. Drew’s complaint that it was creepy having them watching them was valid; that it was a clear cash drain was also valid. But Ethan has responded to both of those with clear and valid refutations.
This is Drew giving up because he simply can’t deal. Ethan’s not at fault.
You have an immature definition of love, one that is setting you up for disappointment. And one common in geek culture. Love is not “accepting someone for who they are 100% no matter what”. People have issues, and those issues sometimes have decades of rationalization to help them justify to themselves their unhealthy behavior.
Ethan has a problem. Drew is under no obligation to overlook that problem.
unlike drugs or alcohol or gambling which have negative effects on you whether or not you interact with other people Ethan’s toy collecting harms no one as long as others are cool with it. Ethan plainly says he has money in the bank so it won’t put him on the street as gambling might and it’s not destorying his body. So in this instance I think it’s up to others to adjust to Ethan. The alternative is Ethan being cut off from anything he enjoys as soon as someone expresses a complaint about it.
Drugs, gambling, and alcohol are neither the only legitimate forms of addiction nor are others the only parties by which an addiction can inflict harm.
In Ethan’s case, the harm is to himself. His life is stuck in a rut, going nowhere fast, he has admitted to himself on multiple occasions in the past that his hobby is in fact unhealthily all consuming. These rare moments of clarity have been swiftly swept under the rug.
This is characteristic of someone suffering from addiction.
the problem with claiming his life is in a rut because of toys, is instead of breaking an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling where his health or money situation should improve, that stopping buying toys may simply lead to a more boring rut.
I agree that Love is not just accepting someone 100% as they are. That doesn’t necessarily means Drew loves Ethan though. Ethan has a hobby he is very much invested in that certainly alters, but doesn’t fuck up the rest of his life. This hobby is causing some major issues for Drew, and seems as though it might be a deal breaker. If it is I’d say he doesn’t so much love Ethan as he loves the person he thought Ethan was or could be.
Culturally, Ethan’s lifestyle is not the norm, and might be looked down on. He doesn’t have money issues, and he enjoys himself though. You don’t need greater aspirations to have a healthy lifestyle. Self-sufficient and fairly content is enough for some people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d say Ethan is on the verge of finding out if he really is okay with that sort of life or wants to try for something grander.
You know, Ethan SAYS he can afford that hobby, which if true is at least an improvement over the alternative… but he shows all the signs of a person with compulsive acquiring habits.
It’s not an issue whether you like collecting something (believe me, there’s a number of things I love collecting, it’s not a matter of not being able to empathize with wanting to collect something!). The issue is whether, if you “choose” to stop, YOU ACTUALLY CAN. If you find yourself justifying buying three expensive objects in one day after telling yourself “I can cut back any time I want”… that’s a compulsion.
It’s also a matter of “why” you acquire what you acquire, and how you go about collecting it.
There are your normal people who collect things – which is a good chunk of both geeky and non-geeky populations – who collect them because the objects give them pleasure, which is perfectly healthy and natural and normal… and then there are the people for whom the objects gradually become divorced from the context of whatever is appealing about them, and become acquired more because you can’t stand NOT having them. When acquiring the thing becomes more important than enjoying it, when you start spending more and more of your time and money on ACQUIRING, than on enjoying the collection, and it gets to the extent that it is making other parts of your life more difficult… that is where it gets unhealthy. I wouldn’t say Ethan is 100% there, but he is definitely setting off some serious warning klaxons here. We see him justifying unnecessary hobby purchases after saying “I’ll cut back!” – two of which are described as “expensive”; we see him getting immediately defensive at the slightest questioning of it – at somebody who he is supposedly in a close relationship with. And not just defensive; it’s the WAY he’s defensive that throws off warning signs. Instead of admitting “yeah I know, I said I’d cut back and I didn’t, but this was a rarity, it’s special” which would be still an excuse but at least reasonable… he instead jumps to accusing the questioner of “well YOU have flaws! Your flaws are so flawed you are flawed! Your flaws make you so flawed I can’t trust you to provide un-flawed criticism! So you’re wrong!” It jumps to “I can monetarily afford it! I haven’t gone completely broke yet, so I’m justified in my purchases and you are WRONG to be uneasy because you – you HAVE FLAWS TOO”.
He’s finding excuses to criticize the the critic instead of responding to the actual criticism; he also chooses to pretend as if the criticism isn’t valid, because of other slightly unrelated potential criticisms. All of this is meant to deflect blame and justify his behavior. While Drew did mention that the toys were “expensive” the real criticism was “you’ve already done a lot of acquiring today, why did you have to KEEP acquiring today? Why couldn’t it wait?” and the answer to that is that Ethan probably doesn’t actually know why it couldn’t wait. If he did – say “it’ll just get pricier on eBay if I don’t get it when it comes out” – that would be a reasonable-sounding excuse… but instead of something like that, he jumps to hyper-defensive, super-aggressive, shoot-the-messenger Justification Mode.
That is not the sign of someone who “collects” things rationally. The is the sign of someone who knows their acquisition habits are controlling them, who doesn’t want to admit it.
I have struggled with an acquisitional compulsion all my life, and it’s only the check of actual poverty, and having read a book about the various reasons for hoarding, that made me realize it’s something to keep in check. Now, if I look at someone I want, I force myself to ask “Do you REALLY want this, or is it just an ‘OOH SHINY’ impulse? If you do REALLY want it, do you have room for it in your home? Funds for it? Can you physically and monetarily AFFORD it and if so, is this still worth spending time and space on, over other objects? If so, why?”
If you as a collector or hobbyist can’t answer those questions to yourself with anything other than excuses – “I’ve paid my bills this month, I’ll worry about next month’s, next month”; “I can always put it in storage [where I will NEVER LOOK AT IT]!”; etc., then that’s not always a good sign.
When you are obsessed with acquisition of things to the extent you need to pay for extra storage to support it – storage which means YOU DON’T LOOK AT OR PLAY WITH IT – that seems to cross a line from “it’s something I love to have around, which gives me joy by reminding me of something I love”, which is the common reason for toy collection of this type… into “obssessed with completionism and nothing else”.
In other words, it’s not actually having them that he’s obsessed with – not just “having things you like” – it’s with having ACQUIRED them. Even if he never plays with them, never sees them, just knows he “owns” them, off in some place he never goes to, except to put other objects in.
Having to have a storage space for your collection isn’t automatically bad , assuming you can afford it – but getting hugely panicked, then angrily defensive, when somebody questions whether you really need a given new object? THAT is the warning sign to me. Combine the two – “I have so many things in my collection I have to pay for extra space to store it AND I CAN’T STOP ACQUIRING, even if it hurts relationships with people who find the lack of restraint to be alarming”?
That is not a good road to be on. It’s not inevitable disaster, no… but it’s not a good road to stay on.
You only think its a psychological problem because its something you don’t understand. If it were a more socially acceptable/ “normal” hobby like a record collection or sports etc. no one would bat an eye. It’s part of who Ethan is and the only reason it’s a big deal is because Drew is making it one. As long as Ethan has money and space for his stuff its a harmless hobby. Also the fact that Drew’s response to Ethan’s outburst isn’t an apology but a break suggests a lack of real effort or commitment on his part. The person you love just told you you make them feel like shit sometimes and you say “lets take a break?” Not “I’m sorry,” not “I’ll try harder to be more understanding,” no counterarguments at all but “let’s take a break.” Good riddance.
You only think its [x] because its something you don’t understand.
In other words, there is no way someone who understands this could think it’s a psychological problem?
None at all? No subjectivity whatsoever?
No one… uh… understands me? Yeah, I dunno.
No, I’m saying Sloth doesn’t understand the hobby and I know he doesn’t because he calls them a piece of plastic. You are generalizing what I said too much. I personally do not think that Ethan’s hobby rises to the level of a sickness because he is still functioning as opposed to Jacob who is not. If Ethan was collecting after it no longer made him happy, or collecting to the detriment of finances and personal relationships then I could call it a sickness or psychological problem. The only relationship its harming is the one with Drew, who never liked this aspect of Ethan to begin with and essentially is asking him to change, because he also doesn’t really understand the hobby and it makes him feel uncomfortable and intimidated.
The second a “loved one” made me choose between them and a harmless hobby, I’d take that as a pretty clear sign of the respect that person had for me and my decisions. Stick with the hobby–I can be sure that’ll keep making me happy.
Drew, in this case, didn’t make him choose. He tried to point out that this is the third expensive toy Ethan bought that day, and before he could even get that out Ethan steamrollered right over him, clearly dismissing his opinion out of hand. He then proceeded to take an acrobatic pirouette off the handle, responding with entirely disproportionate vitriol, even after Drew was willing to give up his point.
There’s also signs of rationalizing/downplaying behavior from Ethan. “Look, they just asked me to have a few beers with them, I was just trying to be social.” He’s blaming everyone else for his problems, even the action figure. Most telling is that there is no logical disconnect between “finding a Catman” and “buying a Catman”. Ethan considers them one and the same.
Actually there is a logical connection between finding a toy you’re looking for/ hunting and buying said toy. First it would be illogical not to buy something you actively were searching for to buy. If Ethan was looking for something else and didn’t really want Catman but bought him as a consolation prize then you would have a better point. Second when you find a collectable you are looking for its generally a good idea to pick it up then and there because there is no guarantee it will be there when you get back.
The tough thing about most addiction problems is that the window of opportunity when they can be helped is before they SEEM like a major problem. If Ethan can keep his toy-buying to a moderate level, that’scool, and I hope he does. It’d be more fun than having to stop cold-turkey. But lately, he’s been seeming like a functional alcoholic – somebody who pays his bills, goes to work, and functions just fine, but still drinks way too much to behealthy and is chemically dependant on it.
That is an excellent point you raise. Thank you for adding it to this conversation. I think you have hit the nail on the head, here.
Of course, drinking too much is unhealthy even if you are paying your bills, spending time with friends, and so on. Collecting is only unhealthy in that it could interfere with these things.
I’ll agree with you. Ethan isn’t driving himself into poverty and he does genuinely enjoy all his toys. If it was just out of compulsive habit, it’d be a problem but he does enjoy himself doing this.
But how does having multiple storage units rented out and filled to the brim with toys NOT qualify as compulsive?
Because this is a comedy strip, of course!
PS: As addictions go, alcoholism is both traditional and hilarious.
Post by someone who has no idea what alcoholism is like detected!
Check your sarcasm detector.
(And comedy has gotten a LOT of mileage, and laughs, out of alcoholism over the centuries. Heck, consider this very strip and Mike’s somewhat unusual reaction.)
Oh, it’s compulsive. But when he can continue to manage everything else in his life. it’s not necessarily a problem.
I realize my perspective is a little skewed here; I was raised by a hoarder. My mother didn’t need several storage units full of stuff to make our home (trailer, really) disgusting, cluttered, and awful. Technically, she owned a third less actual items than my grandparents in their beautifully kept house did. It’s not about the amount of stuff guys, seriously.
I still don’t agree that this is Ethan making the toys more important than Drew or his relationship with Drew. I think the problem is a lack of respect and compromise on Drew’s end and a lack of honesty/standing up for himself on Ethan’s.
I have mixed opinions on this. Ethan is not a hoarder. Like Ethan himself said, he just saw the apartment of a real hoarder and he’s never been anywhere near that bad.
So then the question becomes whether Ethan really has a problem, or whether it’s just that Ethan and Drew have a problem. Maybe Drew just isn’t the right guy for Ethan, in which case this is not an example of an addiction causing Ethan problems in his personal life–it’s just two people in a relationship not melding quite right, and that happens all the time.
The question becomes whether his hobby is unhealthy. He certainly collects far more than most people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for him. Right now I’m leaning towards it not being unhealthy. He’s able to pay his bills, have fulfilling relationships (looking at everyone in his life, not just his boyfriend), move around his apartment with relative ease.
However, if he wants to keep his relationship with Drew, then he might have to give up (or at least significantly reduce) his hobby. He needs to decide which is more important to him. It’s always going to be hard for him to find a guy as into his hobby as he is, or even willing to put up with his hobby, so maybe it’s worth releasing the hobby for the guy. But if the hobby really is that important to Ethan, then he needs to move on and try to find someone who will love and accept him with the hobby. Neither option is really wrong; Ethan just needs to decide.
Yes, this. Or that he gets to live alone with his hobby, because there’s not room for anything/anyone else in his life.
Merely having a lot of stuff is not what makes yo a haorder, it’s haording tendencies that make you a hoarder. Remember, every hoarder at one point had his or her stuff under control, it was just kindasorta growing.
I just want to point out that he doesn’t have to be a hoarder in order to have a cumpulsive collecting habit. Also, just because you aren’t the drunk homeless guy giving handjobs behind the 7-11 does not mean you are not an alcoholic. Not being as bad as Jacob is irrelevant to whether he has a problem.
But ethan seems to have latched on to that to justify behavior he used to feel guilty about (not toning down his collecting when he said he would). Seems like lashing out to me, though for what its worth I *do* think Drew has gone beyond friendly/loverly concern and slid into condescension.
P.S. being ‘made’ to feel X is a loaded phrase. Just because Ethan feels attacked, etc does not mean that Drew is doing so. Just food for thought
Ethan doesn’t have any rented storage uniits. He has a bunch of plastic storage boxes taking up space around the house. That IS sloppy. Don’t they have a basement? But hardly hording.
I thought there where several references to Ethan’s storage units in the comics. Does anyone remember which comics noted this? Or am I misremembering?
Hmm… I can try and find it, but it’s a LOT of comics to go through o.o Still, yeah, I too distinctly remember that being joked about in a ‘haha, let’s laugh about it so we don’t think on it too hard.’
There are precious few places with basements in California. Earthquakes make them not very good ideas in general.
Damn. Poor Ethan. That didn’t end well.
Actually, for Ethan, that ended about as well as it possibly could have.
Except hoarder or not Ethan is still in an emotional rut, has admitted to himself in the past that the roots of his collecting aren’t healthy, and ignored the substance of Drew and Jacobs comments, to try to get his long term priorities in order and became defensive and argumentative about his hobby like he used to when he still chewed people out in the store. He’s regressing.
He is backsliding. But I have to agree that this ended as well as it could. He’s not getting support from Drew. As much as Ethan won’t change himself for Drew, Drew is also refusing to change for Ethan. No doubt Ethan and he have shared memories attached to keepsakes. Where are those? Drew is at least as obsessive about his ascetic lifestyle as Ethan is about his collecting. There is no middle to meet at. This relationship is going nowhere.
There’s a difference between making valid points and giving him crap over and over again for collecting toys. Ethan’s right. His collecting has never gotten in the way of paying his bills, and his room has never been a mess because of his collecting and, if I remember correctly, he had toys in storage before Drew said something about putting them in storage. Ethan’s right, things go both ways. Drew vilifies a hobby that really doesn’t get in the way of Ethan’s life. He’s never been on Jacob’s level, and chances are he never will get to that point. He’s most certainly done nothing to really irritate Drew as much as he does.
He keeps money in the bank, he has a clean home, he pays his bills, and he’s able to put things in storage. Ethan is NOT a horder, he’s a collector. There’s a difference and Drew has no right to constantly treat his hobby like its harming him.
Except of course for the fact that his hobby HAS taken on unhealthy proportions. On what do I base that? On the simplest, truest litmus test for addiction; Ethan said he’d tone the toy collecting down and then he turned around and bought 3 more toys right away. He can’t help it. He can’t stop himself. That’s addiction and that is unhealthy.
There’s a difference between reducing what are essentially (or literally) duplicates of a toy/character, and utterly stopping the purchase of new toys/characters. As a person who collects uniques but not duplicates, I am well aware there there is a level between “all” and “nothing” – or even between “always buying everything” and “never buying and slowly reducing”.
If Ethan’s was always only planning to change his ‘collecting level’ from ‘everything awesome’ to ‘a smaller set of everything awesome’, then buying a few more new awesome things is not backsliding and not demonstrative of compulsion/addiction.
‘everything awesome’ to ‘a smaller set of everything awesome’,
‘a smaller set of everything awesome’,
That’s awfully vague. Ethan could just rationalize any significant reduction as this “smaller set” and say he has no problem.
Objectively speaking how small would it have to be until he had no problem?
The difference of course being that Ethan doesn’t really want to stop and the only reason he is trying at all is it bugs Drew. Who looks like Catman Ironically enough.
While I recognize that we have no capacity to even guess at the true frequency of their arguments on this subject, unless Drew is very different when we don’t see him, Ethan hasn’t a leg to stand on about being vilified. Drew has always argued his point from one of concern for Ethan, not perceived superiority, nor an objection in principal. In addition, pointing out what Ethan already pointed out is missing the same point Ethan did. Drew isn’t saying Ethan is sick, he’s saying he has an unhealthy habit, and it concerns him, especially because Ethan, alone among his friends, time and again shows no forward momentum.
For gods sake Ethan has gone from shepherding Amber out of a lifetime of abuse into gainful employment while trying to get his life on track to letting a Catman statuette possibly end his first healthy relationship on the same day Amber gets engaged Mike style. This is not about toy collecting as a hobby. It’s not even about the god damn toys. It’s about the clear, observable contrasts in the lives of the people in a story. Please,everyone stop projecting.
Sure it did … he has Catman.
Totally worth it
Oh man Drew’s eyes in panel four! Drew’s eyes!
So, it’s 12:03 at night, and I am bawling my eyes out. Damn you Willis.
It’s 9:37 here, and I’m cheering. Drew can do much better.
It’s 11:47 here, and do YOU know where your children are?
YOU! I WILL PEE. ON. ALL. THE. THINGS. YOU. EAT.
It’s 2.33 p.m here and I feel sorry for both of them.
It’s 3:15 here, and Ethan could do better.
So could Drew. That’s not a comment that you;’re wrong, but they could each “do better” by their own standards.
So could Ethan…
Um…I guess if Drew saw what Ethan saw, he might not put up such a fuss? ;
I think if Drew saw what Ethan saw, he would worry, as Jacob does, that this may be Ethan’s possible future.
Then he shouldn’t be let near a hit-and-run either, because that “might” happen to Ethan too, and one of the few ways to ensure his safety would be to chain him to the bed, or maybe use a shock collar to keep him confined to the apartment.
If you worry about everything that might go wrong, you’ll just end up driving yourself (and others) nuts. Focus on the big things and don’t sweat the little ones.
Keep in mind the difference in ages between Ethan and Jacob. Ethan has been at this much longer. And he still has a much more manageble habit than Jacob.
It’s not about being on different points of the same path of adiction, it’s about differences in personality. Jacob has problems with moderation in general; drinking, comic books, women, they all provide him pleasure, so he can’t get enough of them. And he wound up a jobless emotional wreck as a result.
Wheras we’ve never seen Ethan’s toy hunting cause him to miss a day of work, or damage the relationship with one of his friends, and according to him he pays his bills just fine.
The only thing it is seemingly about to cost him is his relationship with Drew. That’s a real bummer for him, and will probably cause him to reevaluate his piorities, but recall that Drew couldn’t even stand to have a single toy on the television while he watches a movie, and now looks to live in an oddly sterile apartment. I think he and Drew love each other, and should try to compromise, but they both have their biases when it comes to this issue.
I would, if I were Drew! In fact, admitting that he’s powerless and stepping back to let Ethan sort it one way or another is one of the healthier things he can probably do. Generally, when someone legitimately feels the need to repeatedly justify a behavior to themselves and others as “harmless,” that could be considered a big red flag that it is at least on the path to becoming “less than harmless. ” :/
Maybe a break would be good for them both, put things in perspective and then things will work out, right? Right??
Funnily enough, neither of them seem very good at the “perspective” business.
IMHO of course.
You are probably right, I’m just trying to be positive in a bad situation.
that could be because took these annoyances that were really bothering them and shoved them in the corner. this issue has been discussed before but it was never this bad, and that’s because they kept bottling their emotions instead of trying to find a real solution to their problem. by showing each other the reality of the situation, ethan and drew have a prime opportunity to reevaluate their priorities.
If Drew really loved Ethan, he could easily forget about the Ethan’s hobby. Because really, who doesn’t love a dork like Ethan?!
Lots of things that don’t cause problems in your own life can cause fiction in relationship.
as an example, one of my ex-girlfriends would spend hours a day doing make up and stuff. While technically not a problem, it got to grate on me after a while because I’m a staunch believer in letting natural beauty show instead of covering it with a bunch of synthetic goop, which was at odds with her fashion-fueled lifestyle.
On the flip side, a lot of gils have had problems with my ‘obsession’ with gaming. I quote that because I always have to have the newest game I’m anticipating on launch day, but it’s never made my personal life a problem. I go to work and pay my bills, etc. Some people are just … concerned … about it.
It’s not as easy an argument as ‘if you love someone this stuff shouldn’t bother you.’ After a few years even the little stuff is important.
This is very well put, and it’s true. Drew knows everything that Ethan’s said about his personal responsibilities. Drew worries, however, whether Ethan’s hobby will remain a hobby or whether it will grow to consume his life. And Ethan won’t admit this here and now, but he’s called himself “unhealthily addicted” before. I think he still shares that concern on some level, but now that Drew is raising it regularly, he’s on the defensive.
It is very, very difficult to separate behavior that’s typical and even charming in geeks from the furious compulsions that make it impossible to live as a normal human being, especially since what appears to be one can grow into the other.
And the thing is, if Ethan’s toy-collecting does ruin his life, it will be gradual. He’ll continue as usual and the changes will be very subtle until… he has to rationalize a little more, rationalize a little more mess, or maybe a late bill or two, or maybe he makes his bills but he’s still living barely paycheck top paycheck, or maybe he’ll tell himself “I shouldn’t go toy shopping” and then do. And it’ll creep and creep slowly, until his life is in shambles.
I mean, it’s not like he’ll be completely ordinary until one day they walk into his apartment and find that he ODed on MUSCLEs and Battle Beasts.
Ethan, lying on the floor, a Kinnikuman stuffed up his nostril.
Perhaps this is where we’re supposed to make allowances because this is a comedy, but looked at through the serious lens, I’ve always felt that Drew is relatively tolerant and sane and stable and Ethan is, well, a comedy protagonist. Meaning, his life is always about one week away from becoming a total wreck.
Yeah, sometimes this strip is hard to read because you don’t know how much of it is comedy and how much is “pseudoreality.” As you say, Drew’s often seemed like a relatively “normal” person and Ethan lives in a world of zany toy-store related hijinks.
Still, while both sides in this argument might have valid points, Ethan getting angry about it, however justified he may feel, is not a good sign. It might be a very different conversation if Ethan turned around and said what he’s said without the profanity and yelling.
Or maybe, sadly, we’re looking at two nice people who are finding out the hard way that they have some fundamental incompatibilities that aren’t going to work out in the long run. Just as Ethan’s continued collecting could be a problem, so would Drew’s constant judging and discomfort surrounding the situation.
I love his misery. That that count?
Yes, it does count.
Maybe it wasn’t the sweet sweet Catman that brought about this situation, but the very hurtful and angry response by Ethan. Referring to one’s significant other as a jackass never ends well.
I believe that something like irony happened but somehow it doesn’t seem to be the right word.
Irony is a good way to put it. Ethan couldn’t reign in his collecting habit enough to keep peace with Drew. But Drew couldn’t get over his “not having stuff” obsession AT ALL in order to keep peace with Ethan. Only Ethan is getting judged between the two of them. But Drew is so obsessed with not holding onto things that he is unable to hold on to Ethan.
it’s always the person you chooses inaction, not doing something that is the right side of the arguement
That’s not true. Hell, most of the time, it’s the person who does nothing that is wrong. Do you get mad at someone for remembering your birthday or an anniversary? Did you get mad at that doctor for healing someone? Does your girlfriend/boyfriend get mad when you decide to get them a gift?
When the person who does nothing is in the right, it means that the other person did something wrong, not that they did something. Which, you know, doesn’t make them right for doing nothing, but for not being wrong.
I wouldn’t get too freaked out, Coppermouth – this seems more like one of those fights that shakes everything up and forces people to evaluate just where they really stand in a relationship, and what it’s worth to them. That is, what it’s worth changing, losing, doing, etc – not a “we’re through, bye” fight.
Ethan looked shocked at Drew’s response there, at the end. He probably because had no idea it had really been bothering Drew THAT much – or maybe he didn’t realize there was that serious a communication problem. The flip side of that, though, is that Ethan has clearly been experiencing some major frustration with Drew’s attitude towards his hobby, and is fed up with being shamed. It’s going to be really interesting to see what the fallout of this fight is.
Also, as an aside – woah, is Ethan right about how lifeless and barren Drew’s pad looks. That looked more like a hotel room than a home that was lived in by a human being.
Exactly. All this time they have been together and not one picture of them together? Ethan nailed it. Spooky.
You know, it did occur to me that maybe Drew has some reason for that empty apartment. Some skeletons in the closet there, perhaps?
Maybe Drew’s had some problems similar to Ethan’s in the past. Just a thought. It may be (partially) why he’s giving Ethan crap about collecting stuff.
I’m not sure I’m following? What kind of stuff would our parents have? A few books, maybe pictures of loved ones. Maybe a record collection. We have all that on our laptops. A lot of us also live a more mobile, uprooted life-style. The reasons for having ornaments are getting fewer every day.
Wall decorations, maybe a knick knack or two, and possibly a throw blanket for the couch. Even bare furniture and curtains can have personality, and Drew’s have pretty much none. It’s like dorm room furniture.
most people like to have some permanent things. You’ve got unique pictures of your loved ones on your laptop, something happens to it, kiss ‘em goodbye.
You’re right. Having a picture of a gargoyle on my laptop is every bit as good as having the gargoyle I bought at a renfaire a few years ago. Wait, no, no it’s not.
All snark aside, though, the reasons for having ornaments are not getting fewer on a daily basis. At least, not for everyone, and possibly not even for most people. There are some things that a laptop cannot replace. My gargoyle, for one, or my mom’s zebras, or my grandma’s paperweights. In fact, I would say a computer is WORSE for keeping pictures/videos/whatnot than physical storage. Everything might be in one place, but that makes it a lot easier to lose at once. Plus, when you get a new computer, you have to decide what to move over. If you wait until your old computer is crawling to the point of unusability for some reason, like I had to, you may find it’s not worth the trouble to get files off, no matter what they are.
Of course, if everyone would turn back a page, they might notice that Drew apparently does have two small pictures on his dresser thingy, right under the poster. It’s still a creepily empty room, though.
It saddens me that people think that digital is easier to lose then physical. We have been living in a digital age for a long time now people. It seems to me that everyone should have discovered the necessity of backup. My grandparents lost a box of pictures in a fire. That wont happen to me. My pictures are on three different hard drives that are generally in three different places. Atleast one of the hard drives is with me most of the time in the form of my laptop. Maintaining this cost me 50 dollars for a tb external hard drive that i use as back-up and a way to keep my computers in synch and 15 minutes every two weeks. Im less likely to lose my digital music, photos, books, comics etc then i am my hard copies. Heck, Im looking at the degradation of some of my older books, movies, and pictures and realize that this is also actually preserving my data. On the other hand, I agree that hard copies are good to have around.
We have, but people don’t always use it. the average user, in my experience, expects their computer to browse the internet, watch TV/videos, play music, and type stuff up. They don’t put any thought into what they’re doing, and even people who know the necessity of backups don’t always backup their computer/files. I’ve had to use system restore a couple times, but every time my computer asks me if I want to back it up, I hit the button to ignore it, since I’m usually busy. By the time I’m not busy, I’ve forgotten all about it.
As for knickknacks, etc, my point still stands. A computer can’t really simulate those.
I agree completely with the little decorative objects and the like. Thats actually one of the reason I keep so many hard copy books around. I just like being surrounded by books.
Ah, yes, thanks for reminding me. I also prefer to have books around. E-books are nice, and they’re really useful to have on a phone/handheld device, but I find it’s just easier to read print. I also prefer watching movies on my TV, which necessitates having a DVD player, because it’s more comfortable to sit on the couch. People, many of them very smart analysts, have been saying for years that non-digital means of entertainment are going to die out soon. As far as I can tell, that’s nowhere near true.
Do we know that? We can actually see from yesterday drew does in fact have picture frames. Presumably something is in them…
Unless, this being a comic strip, he just bought picture frames to ease the spookiness, not to put anything in them.
Right on Ethan. Right on. Don’t be shamed into doing something harmless that you enjoy doing.
It’s called perspective, and Drew doesn’t have any. He’s also apparently a “things get a little bumpy and we need to ‘take a break’” kinda guy.
Come to think of it, if he thinks they need to take a “break” after this little tiff, he’s been thinking about it for a while now and has been wanting to break it off.
Aside from toys, work and Drew, what does Ethan do with his time?
Does he need to do more? Social interaction is all well and good, but not if you don’t really want to do it.
I deeply and truly hope you are joking.
Failed comedy club attempts
At least some time seems to be spent hanging around with friends, although there’s a good deal of work friend/personal friend overlap.
Not being a toy person, I want to shake Ethan right now and tell him he is being STUPID AND THEY ARE PIECES OF PLASTIC AND, REALLY, EVEN MOST CHILDREN AREN’T INTO TOYS LIKE YOU ARE, THIS IS RIDICULOUS.
…Then again, not being a toy person, WHAT DO I KNOW??
So are fashion products, sports, books, or…pretty much any kind of thing people make a hobby of and obsess about.
If I had a hobby that had no negative impact on my life, and made me happy, but I had friends, family, or lovers that constantly nagged me about saying that they were worried it would turn into a sickness…I’d be pretty gotdamn pissed off too.
Even as Ethan’s lover, Drew had no right to be like this. It’s not “worrying out of love” if you’re asking them to sacrifice what makes them happy for no actual reason. It’s control.
Yeah. Everyone seems to be viewing it as Ethan choosing toys over Drew, but that’s not really the issue at hand. Ethan collects toys. That’s his hobby. Always has been. It’s not harming him in any way. (Though it has the potential to, but that’s not nearly where Ethan is.) If it were any other hobby, like painting, or go-karting, or tennis, it would be the same way. “That’s the fifth bottle of paint you’ve bought this week, Jeff Jeffery. I’m beginning to worry you paint too much, and you’ve got how many blues already?” “This one’s for an ocean.” “You haven’t even painted an ocean!” “Not yet, (because I was missing a crucial element until just now.)”
He’s not choosing toys over Drew. He’s just sick of getting shit for a harmless hobby. As I’m sure any of you would be in the same situation.
Feel free to explain what Ethan did wrong in this strip. Because he pretty much was reasonable and realistic.
When trying to convince your significant other of something important, please refrain from calling him a Jackass.
Related words: Bitch, asshole, sone of a bitch, retard, etc.
That is a very good point. I think that’s what actually got Ethan tossed out. I’m not on Drew’s side here at all, but they should have talked this out well before it got to the yelling bad words point.
Indeed, while I’m pretty sure most people here think Ethan should be allowed to continue his hobby as long as it remains “harmless” it’s how he reacts here that’s likely only reinforcing the notion in Drew’s mind that Ethan has a problem.
They -should- have talked more seriously about this a long time ago, but instead it’s festered, which sadly is all-too-realistic.
On the bright side…the “Break” only seems to last a week. That’s not much of a break. More like “take a couple days and cool off and then we’ll talk about it.” At least that’s the impression I’m getting from Drew here.
Saying a couple of days is also pretty realistic in this. You don’t say, we need to take a month apart, or a couple of weeks apart. It’s sort of a thing that just happens. Even if they really start talking again next week, they may not get back together.
I agree he shouldn’t have called Drew a jackass. However, it is infuriating to have someone tell you that that thing you are upset about is not something that’s worth being upset over. Especially when that person has been on your case about the exact same thing.
Perhaps Ethan believes in honesty. People who really care about each other care enough to call them out when they’re making a jackass of themself.
What they said, basically.
Yelling and raving at someone is not calm and rational behavior. Nor is insulting your loved one IN THEIR OWN HOME.
In fact, I’m really surprised and impressed Drew handled things so rationally and was calm and collected and rational in walking away without snapping back. Good for him… I hope things go well for him regardless of the outcome of this.
Nothing really, except his extreme overreaction to Drew’s insensitive-but-well-intentioned prodding. I know Ethan has fairly justifiable reasons for why people shouldn’t be getting on his case, but I feel drawn to Drew’s side of the argument anyway. This is just because I’m not a hobbyist of admirer of doodads, and I don’t understand how anybody could feel strongly enough about toys (of all things!) to get so angry and sensitive over it.
As I said, though. I’m not a toy person. What do I know?
The issue has nothing to do with it being toys specifically, and everything to do with Drew patronizing Ethan and disrespecting his hobby simply because he doesn’t “get it”.
On an extreme, ridiculous hyperbole of why this kind of behavior is frustrating, replace “collecting toys” with “homosexuality” and “it’s just plastic” with “you’re not going to die if you marry a woman instead, everyone else does it”.
Yes, ideally, Ethan would react politely to this. But when someone constantly, even if well-meaningly, treats your lifestyle and identity as “unhealthy, abnormal, wrong”, when there is not a shred of evidence that it actually is any of those things…yeah, it’s not surprising Ethan blew his lid here.
Regardless of Ethan’s short temper, the simple point is that Ethan lets Drew be Drew, only saying something when Drew is clearly hurting himself (if that’s ever happened, I dunno). If Drew can’t do the same for Ethan….then Ethan deserves a hell of a lot better. Honestly, I’ve never really understood what would be attractive about Drew besides him being good in bed.
replace “collecting toys” with “homosexuality” and “it’s just plastic” with “you’re not going to die if you marry a woman instead, everyone else does it”.
That’s the comparison you’re going with.
You’re comparing well-intentioned criticism of arguably obsessive collection of toys to bigotry against homosexuals.
when there is not a shred of evidence that it actually is any of those things
He just snapped at his boyfriend and called him a “jackass” even after Drew tried to drop the issue.
He just bought three toys, two of them expensive, in the same day, tried to excuse it away, and attack his boyfriend just for putting it in context.
Those are pretty indicative of addiction.
Um, I think the fact that Ethan was calling Drew out on the hypocritical statement he made while trying to drop the subject that he is directly responsible for makes up for the Jackass comment. You can’t harp at someone for weeks about toys and then chalk it up to just being a piece of plastic.
I guess I’m Team Ethan on this one. I’ve been in the situation where nothing is good enough and where I put up with folks telling me my faults until I finally won’t have any more of it. I don’t see it as an addiction (exaggeration is part of this comic, and by comparison, we’ve seen how the addict’s lair is drawn), and I do think Ethan could have said this more politely, though I freely admit it would probably have gone down the same way if someone had commented like that on my video game collection.
And props to David for making a realistic relationship fight where there are two sides, with enough complexity to split readers down the middle (my assumption, granted).
adding toys to a relationship can be hazardous
Adding toys to any orifice can be even more hazardous.
The More You Know! —-*
I thought the book was more L friendly then G friendly though…
Are you kidding? Catman and Deadshot had one of the most vibrant loves in the DC Universe. What, I’m not the only one who saw it, am I?
Nope. Floyd and Thomas have a bromance only rivaled by JD and Turk.
Ragman calling them out on it in the last issue (*sniffle*) was pretty epic, too.
I’m glad Ethan stood up for himself. As long as he’s paying his bills, his toy collecting is fine! Drew shouldn’t make him feel bad for doing something that makes him happy. Ethan put the toys away, but it didn’t seem to be enough for Drew. If they were ever going to move in together, how would that work? As a toy collector, getting something new in the mail or finding a new release in the store really does make one happy.
Eating your greens doesn’t make the chocolate cake any healthier.
Someone can still eat chocolate cake every week and stay healthy if they do it properly. Like still exercising and eating their greens.
This is sounding more like a discussion of what moderation is than if Ethan has an unhealthy addiction.
Well, moderation really is the dividing line between pastime and addiction.
THE ALL IS LOST MOMENT!!!
Sorry Drew, but if Ethan has been paying his way and not wasting all of the money with his toys, then maybe just maybe, you have been overreacting a bit.
And THAT is how you close a week out. Well played!
Yeah…. I really like Drew in this. It’s obvious that Ethan has a problem, seeing as he gets so cruel towards Drew when Drew says something bad about his hobby. If I were in Drew’s shoes, I would do the same. Putting your hobby over your boyfriend, and being so unhealthily obsessive about it…
Ethan’s line about how he “wasn’t as bad” is perfect. Denial at its finest: if we can find one person worse off then we are, then we’re “not that bad” and have little need to change our ways.
It’s not because he said something bad about his hobby. It’s because he had the unmitigated gall to bitch about Catman. You do NOT step to Catman. You just don’t. Not unless you want to spend all of eternity being eaten and excreted by a lioness, motherfucker!
I disagree, sir!
Honestly, I think it’s more a cumulative thing; Ethan’s reaction is not this ONE time Drew is saying something about Ethan’s hobby, it’s that he’s been looking down on it pretty much since the beginning. It’s been a thorn in their entire relationship.
I don’t think seeing Jacob’s condition made him go “yay, someone worse than me, that means I’m okay!”, I think it gave him a different perspective on the situation. He was completely accepting Drew’s stance that he had to “fix” his toy problem… and frankly, coming down on himself pretty hard for it… without really looking at it in relation to the rest of his life. He isn’t drowning in a flood of stuff like Drew expressed fear over and it, seriously, isn’t the sole center of his life (ie he still goes on dates, holds down a job, favors going out to celebrate with his friends over toy shopping, and continues reaching for his goal of being a stand-up comedian).
I can’t fault Drew for his concerns or being honest about them. I just don’t think he’s been very respectful in expressing them.
Sure is interesting how happiness is a zero sum game in the Walkyverse.
I think Ethan went from 0 to pissed rather quickly, but I don’t really disagree with him.
We’ve never really delved into the characters’ financial situations, but if Ethan somehow manages to save money, pay his bills, and juggle his hobby all on retail pay, then I can’t really fault him. Hell, when I worked retail I was lucky if I could afford going to the movies once a month after all the bills were paid. Ethan’s money management skills must be downright impressive.
And it’s true, Drew’s apartment is rather barren. It looks like he lives in a furniture advertisement. I didn’t notice at first, because you expect a drawn background to look a little basic if it’s not going to be interacted with, but that’s because most artists aren’t as good as Willis at sticking in little details like identifiable toys and things to give it a lived in look. Drew doesn’t have any of that, and finds Ethan’s place claustrophobic, so I’m guessing he’s a bit of a neat freak and thus as biased as Ethan in his own way.
So basically I’m with Ethan on this one, but I think he lost his temper rather quickly. I get the feeling this isn’t the first time they’ve had this conversation, just the first time we’ve really seen it.
No rent, thanks to Robin. Though I do have to wonder how he doesn’t have a crippling debt from beforehand…
Ah, right. He’s paying rent again. Still, a long stint without paying any rent- that’s gonna be quite the boon to his savings.
Based on how surprised and hurt Drew looks, I’d say this is the first time they’ve had this conversation- at least like this. It’s certainly not the first time they’ve talked about it (as we well know) but this is the first time one of them has really blown up.
I hate to say this, but maybe he looks hurt because a) he just realized that it was much of a bigger issue than he thought or b) because Ethan’s finally standing up for himself.
How quickly would you lose your temper if your significant other constantly bothered you about your hobby? And it’s not like Ethan’s in the best mood right now anyways. He just got back from what trying to give away one of his precious toys (and I don’t mean precious in any mean-spirited way) after being told off for buying one toy that day and one several days before (remember, it arrived as a package). He might even have bought the Catman as a pick-me-up, and then gets back only to have Drew yell at him about it.
I just thought of an analogy that I don’t think I’ve seen yet. Imagine for a moment a couple in which one person is a bit hefty. Not grossly overweight or anything seriously unhealthy, but it would be a good thing if they dropped 20 pounds or so. This doesn’t bother them, doesn’t bother their friends, and doesn’t affect their life. They aren’t gaining weight, so it’s really not a huge issue. Except that their significant other makes it one. Despite the person promising to lose weight for their significant other, and despite having removed almost all fattening food, it’s not happening. Again, they’re not gaining weight, but they aren’t really losing it. And the food that was removed is making its way back in. So the significant other confronts and nags and bothers until the person gets pissed and snaps. Who’s in the wrong here? Now replace the person with Ethan and the significant other with Drew.
This is a total dick move on Wolverine-hair’s part and I hope Ethan has the sense to see it for the inappropriate act that it is and that he is under no obligation to take the blame for it or be forced to back off of his completely reasonable viewpoint.
Basically what I’m saying is please don’t Marten all over him with this.
He’s right… Maybe they do need a break. …Willis, I hate you.
I hope they work this out :/ I like actually seeing a gay couple in a webcomic that isn’t about being gay for once, and I don’t see Ethan getting into another relationship right away. Unless- Thad! …but I like Drew better. He’s cuter.
I always thought Thad was cuter, personally.
DAMN YOU WILLIS!!!
Meh. Dump him.
As Amber’s happiness goes up…. Ethan’s must go down.
Now that is uncanny. I just finished a similar conversation 10 minutes ago.
I am disturbed. Shortpacked is creeping into my life. I must go get Catman now.
GET OUT OF HER HEAD RANDALL err I mean Willis.
Didnt ethan lives at leslie house , ergo he didnt Pay rent and probably he does not Pay electricity or gas( if he does it still split between 5 people)
He’s paying Leslie rent. She started charging everyone after Robin lost her congress job.
Drew is being such a typical guy here. He doesn’t realize that they’re not fighting about a toy, they’re fighting about whether a part of Ethan’s life and personality is actually sign of Mental Illness, and whether Ethan has a right to keep doing the things he enjoys without being constantly guilt-tripped.
Frankly, I don’t think Drew is coming back; the death-bells for this relationship started tolling the minute Drew first set foot in Ethan’s home and had to redefine his (laughable) definition of “nerd”. Whether Ethan is actually in danger of a legitimate hoarding problem, I can’t say; but it’s definitely clear that he and Drew aren’t, weren’t, and would *never* be a good fit. At least Ethan got some sex out of the deal; he seems to have needed that.
I’d call it less not realizing it than not giving a shit, but yeah.
I mean Ethan is 100% correct, going “just a toy” after you’re the one who’s been flipping out over “just a toy” is a straight-up dick move. As is breaking it off with someone else the first time they argue back after you’ve been haranguing them for weeks/months.
Wait, so Drew’s flipping out over “just a toy” is bad, but Ethan’s flipping out over Drew’s criticism is okay.
Your toy thing is weird. It weirds me out. It’s expensive and you don’t have a lot of room.
Why does this bother you so much? I pay my bills, I save, I work, I have a life, and I enjoy this. You seem to have more of a problem with me having toys than I have a problem with toys. And I’m tired of you getting on to me about it, and I’m tired of letting you make me feel bad.
Also, I will now bitch about your place in the way you’ve bitched about mine in a catty, and mean-spirited matter in an attempt to give you a taste of your own medicine and also to vent.
Drew, looking sad:
Even though I’ve bitched about your toy collection for various strips for the entire relationship, I’m not going to try to stop the fight that in a way I’ve started, by hypocritically saying it’s just a piece of plastic.
You can’t call it a piece of plastic after it’s been everything you’ve griped about, “Jackass”.
We need a break.
At this point, I have no idea the context for Drew’s “Keep the toy” comment.
Aw, poor Ethan. Is it weird that I find myself liking Drew less and less as time goes on?
Also why are all the awesome gay couples having issues?
Because all couples have issues?
You know, when your boyfriend says essentially “I’ve been feeling frustrated and ashamed because of the way you’ve been treating me over my hobby”, the appropriate response is not to continue belittling the hobby, imply he’s just blowing things out of proportion, suggest “we should take a break”, and take another dig at the hobby as you kick him out.
Relationships; this is not how you do them.
I can understand and sympathize Drew not liking the clutter or mess and being concerned that Ethan cares more about toys than anything else in his life. But that’s no reason to treat him like he’s sick, or to brush him off when he’s got a legitimate beef over being treated that way. It’s disrespectful.
Exactly. Drew’s acting like a dickweasel.
Exactly. Well said.
and what if the boyfriend just said, in the form of an ultimatum, that you will not get between you and his hobby – explicitly putting you in second place?
between him and his hobby. bleh.
It’s a good thing Ethan doesn’t say anything like either of those things, as he actually reconfirms that he is okay with Drew getting between him and his hobby.
Hm. Here’s the thing about your statement;
1) Ethan’s first comment about the toy was obviously made out of frustration with a bigger issue. When Drew said “you’re frustrated”, he went on to talk, not about the toy, but about Drew’s attitudes regarding Ethan’s toy collecting hobby. I wouldn’t blame Drew for continuing to think it’s about the toy themselves (as I said below) but again, I think he should have said his feelings on the matter, not tried to blow it off as Ethan overreacting.
2) “you won’t get between me and my hobbies” is not the same thing as “my hobby is more important to me than you”. It’s really, truly not.
Re: #2 It may not mean “my hobby is more important than you”, but it does sound like “my hobby is more important than your feelings.”
That, I can see and again, I can understand why Drew/anyone else would get that impression.
For me, it’s a matter of two sets of feelings involved here. Drew is asking Ethan to care more about his (Drew’s) discomfort with clutter and useless belongings than Ethan cares about owning (more) toys. Ethan, in turn, wants to be able to enjoy a hobby that makes him happy without feeling guilty, ashamed, or wrong for it. Neither of them are bad people for this. Of course, neither of them are handling the situation right, either. (Yes, I’m just more inclined to come down on Drew for various reasons, but Ethan shouldn’t be yelling, aggressive, and especially not name calling to make himself heard, either.)
Ethan collects toys to satisfy a need. Drew avoids clutter and maintains control of his environment to also a satisfy a need. If we follow that Drew is entirely in the right to say that Ethan should hold his (Drew’s) discomfort with clutter as more important than owning toys, wouldn’t Ethan be in the right to say that Drew should hold Ethan’s happiness as more important than his own dislike of clutter? Isn’t being bugged by the presence of a bunch of toys kept neatly on their shelves to the point that you can’t relax and enjoy your partner’s company as “silly” and “unhealthy” as the desire to collect those toys in the first place?
(Obviously no, since the point is that both are valid and both need to be addressed.)
I hate Drew for making it about the toy. “It’s just a piece of plastic” and “keep your new toy”–as if it’s all about that Catman toy. It’s really just a dick move on his part, or else it means he’s completely blind and didn’t actually listen to a word Ethan said.
If Ethan manages his money well, if he keeps his house clean in spite of his collection, there’s really not that much of a problem with it. If it’s something that Drew just can’t get over, then certainly they need a break, but that’s not because Ethan “has a problem” it’s because they’re not compatible in lifestyle choices.
I like having comic and movie posters on the wall. I couldn’t see myself long-term dating someone who thought that was weird and childish and needed to stop. My BFF collects and builds lego sets. Can’t imagine him dating anyone who had a problem with that hobby.
We’ve seen evidence that, at least in the past, this has been ALL ETHAN DOES with his time. Drew has been asking too much of Ethan, but this is not over a regular hobby. Don’t forget this is the third toy he’s gotten today, and he picked it up on a whim on the way over… Ethan does have a bit of a problem with collecting too much. It’s been played off for laughs over the years, but it’s pretty clear.
Except that that isn’t true. Ethan regularly spends time with his friends as well as spending the occasional night trying his hand at amateur standup comedy. Yes, he collects more toys than most of us, but it seems to me that Drew is the only one who has a problem with Ethan’s level of collecting.
To be honest, I don’t truly dislike Drew, but I was rather iffy about his attitudes towards Ethan’s hobby since he first discovered it. While he most definitely could’ve handled himself better in that confrontation, I think Ethan touched a nerve when he mentioned Drew’s highly spartan livingspace. I’ve seen more life in an Ikea catalog than what I’ve seen of Drew’s apartment.
Oh noes! A break! With a clearly defined duration, at that! Clearly nothing in this relationship will ever be right again! It’s not like time apart can ever help people take stock and remember what’s good about what they have or anything!
Seriously, people, the sky is not falling. Admittedly I don’t know firsthand what it’s like for people who do date, but this seems perfectly good and healthy to me.
Well, as someone in a long-term relationship, I say:
A “calm down” break to let everyone’s tempers chill is a good idea, but for like, an hour or two. If the reason for the fight isn’t addressed as soon as possible, both parties end up stewing about it and get more hurt, resentful, and angry. Not to mention, it just means more time to spend dreading (and therefore, more than likely avoiding) the eventual confrontation. Defensive wall go up and it becomes even harder to talk when they finally do. There’s a reason for the old saying “never go to bed angry”.
Trust me, it’s completely worth it to resolve a conflict right away, even if it means staying up until 4 in the morning and crying a lot.
Okay, so not the best way to handle things then? Still, I’m not getting all the people who seem to be treating the break as a break up.
For me, I just want to see them talk and resolve it. I think they can both help each other and move on from this.
As for commenters treating this like a break up — weeelll, there are a lot of collectors following this comic who’ve all had to deal with being treated like they’re sick or have problems, or have tried to move away from their hobby to appease others. Ethan’s current situation hits a sensitive place for a lot of them.
I’ve been coming down on Drew a lot in my comments because I feel he’s not taking Ethan’s feelings seriously and that’s a sensitive place for ME, but I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Neither of them are bad guys. This is a discussion that should have happened a while ago and not with angry yelling.
I can’t speak for everyone but in my experience breaks usually are, or end in, break-ups. The way Drew used it to avoid criticism is especially telling.
Honestly, there’s not a difference between the two except that one of them sounds nicer and softens the blow. It’s like saying let’s just be friends. Especially saying it during the middle of an argument and setting for a week. You may say what’s the harm, but not finishing the argument can actually do more harm.
Ethan’s finally bringing an argument to the table and the way this page looks, Drew doesn’t want an argument. He wants things his way.
I think it’s a breakup because this issue has been a fault-line in their relationship since the beginning, and this isn’t a mere “I can’t believe you ate all the nachos!” argument; it’s more like the kind of argument couples have when they get married despite being different religions and having different views on money and child-rearing. Even if they try to get back together, it won’t work unless one (or both) of them changes fundamentally, and that is usually a slow, hard process.
It’s funny, now that I think about it, that “give me a call in a week” might as well have ended with “when you’re ready to grow up.”
That is NO way to treat a boyfriend who just cares about you and your well-being. And calling him a jackass? Come on, Ethan!
Time for some hardcore groveling.
Consintly belittling someone for collecting toys is so very supportive, your right. Ethan should be happy Drew lowers himself to be with someone like him. Yeah Ethan needs to cut back, learn to sell toys as he brings new ones in, but Drew seems to think Ethan just needs to /stop/. There’s been no ‘hey maybe you could donate ones you don’t display anymore to needy kids’ or ‘hey if you sold some of the older ones that you aren’t that attached too you’d have more room’. It’s all or nothing with Drew.
It’s not supportive, you’re right–which is why Drew never did it. He tried to help Ethan, and set him up in a way where he’d be willing to finally outgrow his obsession on his own. Never once did he belittle them in a meaningful way, and if you read back, you’ll see that never once did he insult him.
He certainly didn’t throw a fit or call him a jackass in his own home either.
In fact even in this Drew has remained mature and trying to be a peace maker. Ethan is just not mature enough for it.
The fact you think collecting toys is something to be grown out of and that Ethan has no right to be upset that Drew wants him to give up a hobby for him….yeah. Drew HAS belittled Ethan’s hobby, he’s made Ethan feel like just collecting toys is something to be ashamed of.
You misunderstand me. Collecting toys is not something that’s necessarily bad, though unorthodox for a grown man in society. That’s fine. I myself collect swords–which are little more than toys for display really. However, it has been outright stated that Ethan has STORAGE UNITS filled with them–the equivalent of one garage each filled with TOYS. It was played for laughs in the comic, but it was still shown to be true.
That is NOT a hobby. That is an unhealthy obsession brought on by some sort of psychological fixation, that I hope will be explored and dealt with soon. We’ve already been shown how much Ethan depreciates himself and how much of a screw up he views himself as–the obsession is simply part of that for him, as a way to escape reality.
Drew just wants it under control, on NORMAL levels, which, if he’s right about this being the third toy Ethan’s brought home in a week–so he’s not even bothering to hide them–it isn’t.
It’d be hypocritical for Drew to want to get rid of Ethan’s ‘hobby’ altogether (though it might be for the best at this point) or to think it’s a shameful thing–Drew himself collects some toys, it was one of the things they had in common upon meeting.
Liking Ethan is fine, and so is sympathizing with him. Refusing to see his obvious problems and how much help he needs BECAUSE of said like isn’t.
Three toys that day, not week.
…That… holy crap that’s even worse. Wow.
well, yes Ethan has depreciated himself some times but the way Drew has been trying to deal with it is not a good way to handle a person who already feels down about themselves. and he has gotten rid of several figures, so an ability to get rid of items is a sign of it not being a problem. also only 3 toys in a week? really? wow that’s so horrible. if he had a problem it would be from 5-8 in a week or less.
the fact that he didnt hid it was a good sign. if he hid them it would show that he feels that he now needs to hide his passion and that would cause him to become even worse. also from the times Drew said stuff about his figures Ethan just took it, no reply, no statement, just took the verbal abuse. after some time that will mount up and this is a result of that. some times talking about a problem like this the first time it pops up is best, but Ethan wants to make sure that he does nothing to possibly ruin his first relationship in years, so he just takes it and cuts a little back. but thats not enough for Drew, cuts more, then finally hits the limit point. people cant change past a point without good reason or incentive and, seeing as this is manageable and such, there is little incentive. also Drew not seeming to give ANY leeway to his hobby makes it very hard to change.
they both have a very different view on proportions, which is a huge deal when it comes to hobbies like these. the fact that Drew just closed up and stopped after Ethan finally speaks his mind is not a good sign, even if a person yells and screams, you can try to apologize for causeing them to just explode, or try to understand why he acted in such a way. when he fliped he told him to leave without trying to do either of these. just my 2 cents as a collector of figures.
A Salon article from about ten years ago offered up this definition between liking, or even “abusing” something and being addicted to it:
“What’s the difference? Let’s clarify with an example. Have you ever abused cheesecake? I think you have. But do you go through torment on a day when you can’t get cheesecake? Have you repurposed your life toward getting and consuming cheesecake? Do you ever wake up in a doorway with graham crust crumbs on your face and no idea where you’ve been? No? Thank God — you’re not addicted. Yet.”
I submit that Ethan [i]has[/i] “repurposed his life toward getting and consuming toys.” Considering that he just showed up at the door with one he bought on a whim, I would not be at all surprised if he sometimes gets toys in the mail that he doesn’t remember ordering. And so on.
It really doesn’t matter to me that his obsession is toys, rather than figurines or sports memorabilia or Hugh Jackman. What matters is that he does seem obsessed, only we’re supposed to laugh. Because not being able to go for a few hours without swinging by a store and picking up another [...] is so funny.
Evan’s face…oh baby, come here to my completely nonthreatening bosom. Someone needs a hug.
I think a lot of people in this thread are forgetting how many times we’ve seen Ethan’s toy collecting hobby clearly being an obsession and interfering with his life… Yeah, they’re funny strips and we laugh them off, but we laugh because he’s acting like a nutcase. He’s definitely got a bit of an obsession here, and a lot of people are defending him simply because he says “I don’t have a problem”.
And Drew is getting an awful lot of flak for being belittling- Well, DUH. He’s hurt and angry at the way Ethan just blew up at him, and he’s rather maturely realizing that they can’t have a healthy talk about this right now because they’re both upset. Taking a breather and discussing this later is probably a very good idea.
Drew has always been down on Ethan for having toys. I think Drew would only be happy if Ethan got rid of all his toys. And dude Drew’s apartment is creepy empty.
Has it ever occurred to you, or anyone else going on about Drew’s creepy empty apartment, that maybe Drew has an issue similar to Ethan’s that he’s handling and that maybe that’s why he’s always on Ethan about the toys? Maybe Drew was an obsessive collector or has hoarding issues and he sees that in Ethan and wants to help him before it does begin to have a negative effect on his life.
Maybe if they’d had a healthy talk previously, then it wouldn’t have gotten to this point. But Drew never seemed to want to actually talk about it, at least that we’ve seen on-panel. He’d say some things, and Ethan has acquiesced in a lot of ways, but they never actually talked about it.
I think a lot of the anger here is more that Drew hasn’t been shown to try and come to a middle ground with Ethan. Yes, Ethan can stand to cut back on his collecting, but every time we’ve seen Drew talk to him about it in recent history, it’s been chastising or belittling; it’s not been mature.
Also, a lot of people have been mentioning that even Ethan has recognized that he has a problem. But Drew’s been treating it as a ‘cold turkey or nothing’ kind of thing, which is hardly the middle-ground that would actually benefit them both.
Neither of them have said much in the way of middle ground. Ethan folded to a ridiculous amount, and now he’s snapping. They need to have a better talk about this.
I understand both Drew and Ethan’s sides, but if it’s come to the point where Ethan needs to explode to get his side of the argument even heard, then they both should have talked about this a lot better. Like it was said earlier, they’re both right, and both wrong.
Good for you Ethan. Maybe you need to learn to sell some of your older toys as you get new ones, but that’s something to work on. Drew’s always hated the toy collecting hobby and I bet wouldn’t be happy so long as Ethan bought or kept any toys.
I knew things were bad with an old ex when she didn’t understand why my old star wars toys were important to me.
Thank God! I’ve been waiting for Ethan to say this pretty much since he met Drew.
I never did get what some people saw in this relationship. It seems they where so happy to finally see a gay couple in a web comic, they where entirely willing to overlook what a horrible, horrible couple they made.
Granted, given how rare such couples are in web comics, I can kinda understand that. But still, given how utterly incompatible they where (occasional kinky roleplaying not withstanding), just seeing Drew appear in a scene bummed me out after a while.
I just hope Ethan has the good sense to realize that just because this was his first relationship after his coming-out, that doesn’t mean that he has to cling to it. There are many gay fish in the sea…or something
THIS. Yes, breakups are sad, but one’s first serious girl- or boyfriend very rarely ends up being a person you should spend the rest of your life with. Finding out what you need from a relationship takes practice. I look forward to Ethan finding someone who enhances him rather than trying to remold him to suit their tastes.
Oh wow you can really tell the toy collectors from the non toy collectors here right now.
I haven’t collected a toy since I was a little kid, yet I’m still squarely on Ethan’s side in this.
I’d say non-collectors, period.
Jacob has a problem. The Collyer brothers HAD a huge hoarding problem, so much so they are the textbook example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyer_brothers. Ethan might have a problem, and might become Jacob-like, but he’s trying to do something about it. He’s also changing at DREW’s insistence, which makes Drew the asshole in this comic. For Drew, it’s my way or the highway: he hasn’t made any concessions to Ethan for the sake of the relationship. Only Ethan has to sacrifice. Doesn’t strike me as a balanced or fair relationship.
Pet Peeve: It’s okay to collect Lennox crystal or Thomas Kinkaide prints obsessively, but toys, comics, or miniatures, you might as well be a leper in U.S. society. It’s also okay for loved ones to destroy a toy, comic, or miniatures collection, but if you do that to a Lennox collection or set of golf clubs, it’s wanton vandalism. “It’s just a piece of plastic.” Yeah, and that’s just a piece of glass, so you’ve no right to be upset either.
(No, it hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve seen it happen to several gamers when they get married.)
I disagree. It is never okay to collect Thomas Kincade prints.
We must be reading two completely different comics man.
Oh, don’t misunderstand. Stephen Lyman, Michael Parkes, Stephen Hanks, even Bev Doolittle prints or what have you are great. I have a 1963 printing of Sommes River Lock by Bernard Buffet already mounted and matted and just waiting for the perfect frame.
It is never okay to collect Thomas Kincade prints.
I dunno, I’m a collrctor… I mean, I even have a MUSCLE just kind of dangling from my collar right now. But I kind of think that both sides are right and both are wrong right now, although my posts look like they’re agreeing with Drew more.
It’s not ruining or completely running his life so it’s a hobby.
I have hobbies also. I own over 300 games on steam not counting free ones and DLC. I pay all my bills and for my food I have a decent job.
If I was with a woman and they had a problem with me collecting games in the same way drew has been getting on ethan I would see this as an extension of not respecting me. This would be double true if they were belitting about it. If they said it made them uncomfortable and there was discussion on it for when I spend time with steam down if they are near the computer that would be different then getting on me for every single purchase like Drew is.
Basically I think Drew is being a dick.
I agree. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with me despite the fact that I read webcomics and get so into them I start having online discussions about them and the characters.
I can only hope, at some point, that this comic will reverse its agonizing transformation into Ctrl-Alt-Del.
Yes, I’m sure the ‘hey stop being upset over your miscarriage it bothers me’ storyline is up next.
And from there, a girl with an underbite being raped and the rapist being depicted as a hero can’t be far behind.
Also, for the record, I’d like to direct all the ‘Why are you all getting on Drew’s case’ people to Exhibit A and Exhibit B. These are things that make Ethan happy, and he’s done away with them for the sake of the relationship, and Drew still ragged on him in more recent strips.
Keep in mind, these are from April and August of last year.
All Ethan has to do is turn his hobby into a business. You know, start customizing some of those Transformers he has. Make Drew see that it’s buying supplies and not ‘toys’. Then it’s uphill from there!
Ain’t it the truth, John? Haha, we do have a pretty great job. Getting paid to play with toys all day? Yeah…I could get used to it.
Yikes, a lot of hate towards Drew in the last two days.
Yeah and honestly it’s making the comments kind of hard to read because frankly I just don’t get it. Yeah I’m not a toy collector (apparently you guys are a passionate bunch) but I collect books and I collect dvd’s. I don’t have the same kind of problem as Ethan because when I feel like my collection is getting too big I thin it out some all on my own. I trade in (or sell) movies and tv shows I haven’t watched in a certain amount of time(let’s say a year) or I give them away to good homes unless they have some kind of sentimental value or I deeply deeply love them. My books are harder to get rid of so I decided to buy a kindle because frankly books take up a crap ton of space. I just don’t see how a collection, any collection, THINGS could be more important than a year long relationship with someone you genuinely care about. This one issue aside (that they BOTH let turn into a serious thing because neither properly dealt with it in time) Ethan and Drew really seem to care about each other. They BOTH look devastated over this fight and the constant chants of “Dump him! Drew’s a bastard! How dare he!?” I just DO NOT GET IT. You know what I’m rooting for? That they talk about this. That they make a genuine effort to work things out and then if they still end things then okay, it wasn’t meant to be but to end things now without even really trying would just be tragic. I’d also love to get more backstory on Drew. It’s obvious he has issues. Maybe one of his parents was a hoarder? I’m sure there’s something. People seem to be writing him off without even trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he has been going about this the wrong way but I never got the impression that he was ever coming form a place but genuine concern for Ethan. Maybe his concern is skewed. Maybe Ethan really doesn’t have a problem (I still feel like he might) but I honestly feel like Drew only wants the best for Ethan.
This assessment is so perfect that I don’t even mind the Wall O’ Text.
Then you’d be okay with a significant other who tells you that your book collection offends them, and that you need to get rid of it because you have a problem? Also, for this relation to work, YOU have to make all the sacrifices, but this significant other can stay the same. That’s what Drew’s been doing, politely phrased and expressed as “concern”, but still over-controlling.
Re: Kindle. Reducing the number of print volumes was part of my reasoning, but a major consideration was expense. Potential purchase of hard-cover academic monographs totaling $210, or $30 in downloads? Hmmm …
What comic are you people reading? Drew NEVER SAID TO STOP! He ONLY wants Ethan to slow down!
And Ethan has. He’s cut back in comparison to what he was doing before, and he’s jettisoned some stuff. But he’s starting to question whether the point at which Drew will think he’s done enough is past his own point of comfort, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable question on his part.
Here’s my perspective on it. I have hobbies. I have interests. These things make me happy. I pursue these interests for the very reason that they make me happy.
I haven’t done a whole lot in the romance department. Why? Because it’s a miserable situation. It’s just plain stressful to spend that much time with someone, to give someone else that much input in my life, and then when they start expecting that I spend even less time on stress relief than I was already giving up to spend time with them it just creates a situation where I have all these stresses from fights and worries and no outlet or source of relief. All around I’m miserable.
It’s not like it was ever a huge priority to cease being single to begin with. I was never someone who sought out romance and when it came to me I found it not to be to my taste. If I meet someone cool I wanna pursue, great. If not I’m not losing any sleep over the fact that the only people I can share my awesome life with are friends and family.
So, now that we’ve got my background let’s look at Ethan. He was happy as a single man for a ridiculous portion of his life. Social, but romance and sex is such a small thing on his radar that it hadn’t even occurred to him that he was into dudes until until his friends took it upon themselves to facilitate this self discovery. It wasn’t denial. It wasn’t repression. It wasn’t an emotional issue. He’d just always had other things on his mind.
Happy as a clam and single for thirty-two years of his life if I have the numbering right. He has friends. He has his interests. He has a job he loves. He has everything he could ever want.
Then his friends initiate the dating experience for him. At first it’s a fun and new experience for him but then it all starts to go downhill. Now suddenly he’s got all these worries, all these stresses, his self confidence is deteriorating, and in addition to this he can’t even partake of one of his great joys in life without feeling guilty about it.
It seems to me that this relationship isn’t really any good for Ethan, and that Drew could easily find someone better suited for him.
If this works and turns into something happy, then that’s awesome. I’ll be cheering with everyone else. If not though I don’t think it would be any great tragedy for Ethan to just go back to doing what he enjoys with nothing but the lifelong bond of what are some very strong friendships he’s forged for company.
It’s not like he’ll be without family. Without romance for sure, but Amber and Mike’s eventual kids I’m sure will call him “Uncle Ethan” and have him as a very strong presence in their lives.
Nothing terrible would happen if they broke up. I don’t personally feel that Drew’s a bad person or deserves to lose Ethan as some kind of punishment. I’m just not convinced that they wouldn’t both be happier if they just cut their losses and called it a day. Maybe even stayed friends afterwards since overall they do still both enjoy eachother’s company, provided they can both navigate their way through the breakup civilly.
the people rooting against talking probably feel that any compromise will be “I’ll do what you want Drew,” “And I won’t complain if you don’t quite do it at the speed I’d like Ethan.”
Yeah, I hope they can work things out.
I’ve always been bugged about Drew since his introduction, it’s nice that this now actually addressed. There’s not really much known about Drew’s own interests either, he’s just cool with his sexuality but underestimates the nerd shtick (with so much role-playing to boot).
Honestly, I’m glad to see Ethan go through a break up. Gay relationships aren’t easy and if his first one worked out, then that would’ve been boring, frustrating, and unrealistic. Drew has a point. I love Ethan, but this is just another lesson in life he needs to learn.
Relationships aren’t easy, period.
That is true. But this is Ethan’s first, so odds are it wouldn’t work out. He still has much to learn.
At least Catman won’t judge him and make him feel inferior for having a hobby or suggest a break becasue of buying something… well done drew, you have futher entranced the reality the personal relationships really aren’t worth it becasue it will always boil down one partner needing to lose themselves to make the other happy……..
Of course Catman won’t judge him. He isn’t a real person. That’s the problem…Ethan is continuing to place more of a connection with pieces of plastic than he is with fellow humanity. That’s like saying oh I don’t need people…this pint of Ben and Jerry’s wont judge me.
Its about the path this behavior sets you on because maybe you’re “okay” now…but 2 years and a few hundred pints of Ben and Jerry’s from here you are no longer “okay.” You are shopping for rascals cause walking 3 feet leaves you winded. Jacob didn’t start out like a dirty hoarding slob either…its a pattern of behavior that was allowed to progress. THAT’S why Drew and Jacob are expressing concerns. Because its gradual.
To be fair, Ethan isn’t a real person either.
But in the context of the story we’re putting emotional investment in, he is–that much we must allow if we’re even going to debate this.
Oh noes! We’re becoming too attached to people who aren’t real and won’t judge us!
…Drew’s not perfect so all relationships are evil? Wow, way to overreact.
Yeah, but he can’t have sex with Catman.
…He can’t, right? I mean, I haven’t exactly SEEN the figure in person, after all.
Rule 34. And, no, I will not google that. (And strongly advise anyone reading this against googling that subject!)
I just want to make sure this post is more visible. So someone draws Ethan/Catman.
Have you ever loved anyone? How about someone with a genuine problem. Say a Gambling addiction. Would you just stand idly by letting then ruin their lives because you loved them? Would you refuse to reach out a hand and pull them back because “that’s just the way they are”? Then you don’t love jack.
Yeah, but those comparisons don’t make sense here because this isn’t that kind of problem. Ethan’s shown he can get rid of stuff when he has to, and he’s definitely not spending beyond his means. This really is more Drew’s issue than Ethan’s. If they’ve genuinely reached the point where talking about it isn’t helping any more, then I do give him credit for saying that maybe they both need time and space to think about whether this is going to work…but if they’re going to give it a shot, then he does need to drop the self-righteous attitude.
…I turn you to Jacki and Sandpunk’s replies to explain in response to your comment.
i love this pairing!!!!
Excuse me for saying this but i don’t care for Amber and Mike but please keep Ethan and Drew together! Have them make up? And maybe Drew can somewhat accept Ethan’s obsession/hobby. Just get them back together or i’ll cry T___T
I still love your comics though. I read all of them and am a fan<3
It’s Ethan’s fault.
In previous strips he even remarks that he is a little worried that his hobby may be getting out of hand, and when Drew expressed a distaste for it, Ethan ceded and allowed him to place his objections. He should have stopped then and explained to Drew that although he needs to work on his hobby, in no way, shape, form, or fashion was he ashamed for collecting.
The discussion never happened, hence why Drew felt it was okay to shame a guy you’re with, which is a completely fucking shitty way to treat ANYONE let alone someone you care about.
Wow, way to play the one being belittled. Classy.
Not blaming per se, just pointing out that Drew never would have thought it ok to go as far as he did if Ethan shut him down from day one.
That doesn’t make it Ethan’s fault. Ethan was trying to compromise, he taking Drew’s feelings into account. It’s ashame Drew never really did that.
PS, to everyone who thinks Drew is out of line:
Pray, tell me, what is the appropriate response to being told (in an angry and accusing tone) that you matter less than a plastic representation of a fictional character?
So if Ethan was collecting Lennox crystal would that make it better for you? Drew belittles Ethan. He doesn’t try to comprise. He doesn’t try to have discussions. He expects Ethan to give up his Hobby because Drew thinks its childish.
No, being placed second behind any inanimate object (or another person, e.g. a crush on a mutual friend or a celebrity) would be equally insulting to me.
Ethan has shown several times that Drew is more important than his toys. It’s just never good enough for Drew.
No, he has not. Any time it started to look that way we immediately learn his “putting them away” was either conspiring to put them in OTHER PEOPLES SPACE or just making room for more.
What the hell comic are you reading? Because Ethan cleaned up the front room of toys JUST for Drew. Stop acting like Dew is some kind of Saint trying to save Ethan. AND stop comparing Ethan’s collecting to alcoholism and gambling.
I don’t agree with the way Drew has handled this from the beginning, but if he is no saint, then neither is he a devil. I think he is genuinely concerned. Drew believes Ethan has a problem and is trying to help. I don’t think he’s gone about it well, but, and I could be completely wrong here, I get the feeling that maybe Drew has gone through something … like maybe he’s a recovering addict, hoarder or obsessive collector. So maybe some of it is Drew projecting on to Ethan and that’s why he seems to lack patience with Ethan’s continued purchases. Could also explain the creepily blank apartment. That or he’s in witness protection.
Also, is it supposed to be super awesome that Ethan removed MOST of the toys from one common living area of the house for Drew’s comfort? Ethan has storage for his toys. If he lived alone, without roommates to consider, what are the odds that his place wouldn’t be COVERED in toys?
And what has Drew done that has been at all comparable to that on the compromise scale?
Where are you getting these ideas? Drew never wanted him to stop. He wants him to slow down. ANd what exactly should Drew be giving up? The only side of this relation ship we’ve seen is Ethan receiving from Drew and being an irresponsible child in return.
Drew could try understanding why Ethan’s toys are important to him. Drew could try being okay with Ethan having some toys out in the main room. Drew could trying avoiding from calling things that are important to Ethan ‘just pieces of plastic’. Compromise isn’t just about giving things up.
I suspect that Drew might be a bit more tolerant of the hobby, of having toys around, and all that, if there was more evidence of it being about the having than the getting. I take pride in my collections of things, but I’m not compelled to add to them daily (or several times a day).
“More. Must have more things. MORE THINGS. Never enough. MORE THINGS.”
Saying to the person “what you said me feel like the toy is more important to you than me.”
And if the other person, in the heat of the moment (as Ethan is here) stands behind that statement?
Uh, dude. Seriously. I can keep answering those questions while you do your best to catch me in a corner to prove that there is ONLY TRUE RESPONSE and this is calling a break and tossing Ethan out. I’m not going to agree with you.
It doesn’t matter what Drew should do next if Ethan firmly declared “well, my toys are more important than you!!” because Drew never did say his feelings and Ethan never had the chance to respond to them. What Drew DID do is accuse Ethan of getting worked up over something stupid (note, he’s just saying “It’s just a piece of plastic, it’s not worth fighting over”, nothing about his own importance in relation to it.) Then he declared the discussion over instead of addressing either Ethan or, for that matter, his own feelings. ‘Tis not the appropriate response.
Granted, I disagree that that is what Ethan is saying, BUT I can believe that’s Drew’s take on it. The thing with fights is that people don’t always know what the other person means or people say what they don’t mean out of anger. That’s why you’re supposed to say “that made me feel X” and work with it from there.
I also don’t think Drew knew that what he was saying about the toys was making Ethan feel so bad. Ethan also should have said something sooner, not blown up like this. Still doesn’t make it okay to brush it off and throw him out instead of honestly addressing the issue.
I like all the projecting I’m seeing here. Ha ha ha
Considering that Ethan followed up the “you will not come between Thomas Blake and me” statement with an actual explanation of “The way you talk about my primary hobby makes me feel like dirt” I would imagine that the proper response would be to have a discussion or to maybe call a halt to something without throwing in a few zingers about how stupid said hobby is.
The”piece of plastic” line makes it sound like Drew didn’t actually listen to a word Ethan said. Ethan didn’t mention the Catman toy in his rant. He specifically referred to actions and words–his own actions and Drew’s actions and words that made him feel bad. It’s not even a matter of reading between the lines, just a matter of listening. Drew didn’t do that.
I don’t doubt that he’s at the end of his rope. I feel like he’s being a dick, but I don’t think that makes him evil. It just means maybe they’re not such a great match.
tell me, what is the appropriate response to being told (in an angry and accusing tone) that you matter less than a plastic representation of a fictional character?
Thanks for this excellent characterization of what Drew said to Ethan.
I want Ethan to be happy. He’s like a puppy or something. No one likes a sad puppy.
At some point, unless you want to keep stepping in dog pee and **** for the rest of your life (and replacing the carpets), you’re gonna have to smack him on the nose and endure the sad look that results.
Anyone else having an issue with comments being stuck in moderation status?
A moderator’s gotta be able to have time for potty breaks!
You know what would be AWESOME?
Ethan uses this as an opportunity to evaluate his life and, while not ditching his hobby, keeping it in check for the sake of his life.
Drew becomes more understanding of Ethan, and although he still tries to help keep Ethan from becoming a hoarder, he learns to accept the toy collecting, and even supports it to an extent.
You know, meeting halfway.
Well, yeah, but Drew has shown no willingness to compromise. Ethan has had to make all the sacrifices to date. Not a healthy relationship.
Well yeah, and that’s why Drew needs to compromise and meet Ethan halfway on this, too. They both have some changes to make.
Agreed. However, at this point in the story, Drew has not shown sufficient character growth to make that a plausible option. Maybe the cooling off period might make him think. It would be better if Drew figured that out for himself, rather than having Ethan point it out, because Drew might take it the wrong way. OTOH, if they can’t meet halfway after a cooling-off period, it is best that the relationship end.
Fuck anybody who doesn’t completely accept you for who you are. You should never have to change a single thing about yourself for another person.
And fuck everybody who wants the people around them to change for Their own selfish desires, but won’t change or compromise in turn.
Whether you’re being serious or sarcastic, you’re really looking at it the wrong way.
I’m being completely and totally 100% serious. My girlfriend and I have never had to compromise ourselves for one another. We’re best friends and great lovers, and accept each other for who we are.
Accepting each other is awesome, and all relationships should have people who accept each other. Even in those relationships that are that fortunate, though, there’s still give-and-take, and change is a necessity. It’s not about someone telling you that you need to change, or that you feel you need to change for someone. It’s about how people will naturally change, in even just small ways, to work together better as a couple.
My fiancee and are are each other’s best friends and perfect partners, and even we have both changed since first getting together, and it’s actually made our lives together better. It’s just natural.
You know, the opposite of what’s happening in the comic here. XD
Natural change is one thing. It’s…natural.
Forced change is another. The idea of one person trying to force another person to change to better suit what they want is despicable.
I’m a little sensitive about that though, since my best friend is currently stuck in a relationship like that. His “girlfriend” hates everything he loves, like collecting action figures and comic books, you know…basically just being a fun-loving geek.
So he hides it all from her and right now she thinks she’s changed him to be what SHE wants. It’s all going to blow up eventually.
Also they are not friends. It’s pretty easy to tell, they never have anything to talk about in public, they’re always awkward around each other. Apparently the sex is good, but that does not make for a lasting relationship.
He takes interest in everything she does, but she sure doesn’t take interest in anything he does…
You know, I tried saying that once, but they told me that I STILL needed to stop eating babies.
Baby eating is a hard habit to break.
Marinara or alfredo?
Just a light drizzle of oil mixed with garlic.
Sometimes simple is best…
Rotisserie is where it’s at. Or Baby Reubens.
QF Fookin’ T.
I’m sorry, I don’t see how anyone could think Ethan in the wrong for blowing up. He has made every effort to address Drew’s concerns, and as far as I’ve seen, All Drew has given back as been more crap.
Doe’s Ethan have an issue? Yes, And I think some, note, some, of what Drew has forced on him has been healthy. But as others have pointed out, Ethan still maintains his home, he pays his rent, keeps his job; While he enjoys his hobby, it’s just that: His hobby. It doesn’t rule his life; at least not anymore.
And FUCK anyone who loves you enough to try and save you. They are the WORST!
Yes, that’s what I want in a relationship. Someone to save me. Not a partner that will work with me, that will compromise along side of me. No, having someone to save me is what I want.
I think I’m done here. You’re being irrational and deliberately provocative. Rejecting facts and twisting what’s left. Good luck friend.
You’re ranting sounds like a crazy person’s. Seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about.
If I need saving, I’d be happy to have somebody to save me.
Drew needs to take a chill pill. He gets on Ethan’s case RIGHT AFTER Ethan cleaned his clutter? That says there is more going on here than simple worrywartism.
It’s not cleaned if you immediately fill it back up with more. Ethan hasn’t gone a single day without buying a toy. He has PHYSICAL reactions when he has to bypass the opportunity to buy a new toy. Ethan is sick. WHY don’t you want him to get help?
Drew does not help Ethan. Drew does not care about helping Ethan cut back. He wants the toys gone. He’s made this clear in the past. Helping is not making Ethan feel like shit because he collects toys. Helping is saying “hey maybe you need to sell some of the ones in storage when you buy new ones”. Help is saying “Hey maybe you have some toys we can give to this children’s hospital”. Help is acknowledging that Ethan’s toys are important to him and make him happy.
Ethan has put things away for Drew. Ethan has been comprising for a while now. We don’t see Ethan buying toys every day. So Ethan bought three toys in one day. Maybe he hadn’t bought a toy in a month.
I know toy collectors that hunt for toys mostly for the hunt and never actually buy. We don’t see Ethan going on his long toy hunts like we used to.
Ethan is trying. Drew is not.
Again you are insisting on falsehoods being fact. Drew wants him to slow down. HE NEVER SAID TO STOP.
You are so focused on that ‘slow down’ aren’t you? Drew says that but he has made clear with actions and behaviors and words that he wants the toys gone. He doesn’t like clutter, he considers the toys clutter. He considers them just pieces of plastic.
I hope that one day some one loves you that much. Good luck.
You know what. Fuck you. You have no right to even remotely say anything like that.
But he’s kinda right, kid. You have a kind of unfair, irrational, twilight-esque definition of love and what it means to be with someone–you also insist on demonizing Drew despite all arguments to the contrary (like he’s trying to help him, to get him to slow down, to deal with his OBVIOUS psychological issues, the fact that Drew himself also collects toys so he’s not saying that he has to give them up and that he’s the only one being mature in this situation), and putting Ethan in a perfect pedestal where he can do no wrong. I told you before, it’s fine to like him and sympathize with him, but pretending he’s not completely in the wrong here because you relate to him is just not a good argument. He put all his toys away–filling up several storage units–and now is just starting up again with 3 new toys a DAY. You can’t paint that any other way that he’s not learning.
Love is not complete acceptance. That is 10-year-old mentality. Love is making each other better and compromise. If you stand here and tell me that you’d accept your heroin-addict love cause you love who they are, then you need as much help as them–and yes, Ethan is perhaps not that bad… but he IS bad. And he NEEDS help.
If you love him, you’ll give him some. If you ‘idolize’ him, then you’re worse for him than him being alone–you’re an enabler.
And what, pray tell, is Ethan need saving from? Is there something making him stressed out, something that’s making his life worse and harder to get by? Something detracting his health and assets?
Oh wait, there is? What’s it called? Oh, it’s called “Drew telling Ethan that he has to change (to be more like Drew)”. All this nonsense about “slowing down” vs. “stopping”…so what? Not only is that quibble cherry-picking, but why does Ethan even need to slow down?
Seriously, it’s clear to everyone that Drew is doing this out of some kind of concern for Ethan, and it’s always been clear that Ethan is not a saint, but…in this specific case, at this specific time, what has Ethan done wrong besides cussing at Drew? Where has Ethan actually shown that he NEEDS saving?
Last time he seemed like he needed saving from something, it was either the “sacrificing my principles for my job” or “sleeping with a woman for a job despite my being gay”. Does anyone ”seriously” think that a hobby, even a major one like this, is anywhere near as damaging to his person as those dilemmas?
1. He did not start up with 3 new toys a day. He bought 2 toys today, and one came in the mail. Given that packages generally take 3-5 business days for standard delivery, it’s not at all unlikely he bought the toy a week ago. Given that he is a toy collector and on top of toy-related news, it’s also not unlikely that he pre-ordered it months ago. I’m getting sick of seeing “He bought 3 toys today, OMG, he’s so bad!”
2. We are seeing ONE day out of God knows how many. For all we know, this is a slow day for Ethan and he buys a crate of toys every day. Of course, for all we know, he hasn’t done any toy shopping in weeks. People mentioned yesterday how success in toy hunting goes in waves. I’m not really a collector; the only toys I keep up with are Nerf guns and I only buy one out of every batch of new ones, if that. But I have noticed, as I look at Star Wars toys, that certain models always seem to be there, while other ones advertised on the backs of boxes rarely are. If Ethan’s picking up a toy that’s important enough to make him go toe-to-toe with Drew, I’m guessing it’s not the most common one out there.
3. Love may not be complete acceptance, but it’s also not forcing change on each other. That way lies only resentment and anger.
4. No matter how right Sandpunk may have been, I cannot see any point of “I hope that one day some one loves you that much. Good luck” except to insult. When a person needs to resort to that, they and their arguments lose a lot of credibility in my eyes.
The point is that Ethan is setting up a pattern of behavior that by his own admission is unhealthy. Its not suprising or unusual to admit a fault but become aggressively defensive when a loved expresses the same concerns. It IS however troubling and a sign that you need to step back and reevaluate something. Which is more important? Human interaction and personal relationships or a hobby? A hobby that you have to remember IS something Ethan himself worries over his obsession with as well so it IS a stress in his life. You have to step back and read what drew has said in the past…it isn’t about the toys. Its about possessing more and more stuff. He clears away a big chunk so he can buy new stuff without getting rid of much of the old.
If you follow the comments you will see that Sandpunks exasperation stems from the argument already having dissolved into “What the hell comic are you reading” rhetoric and one upmanship.
@Jacki: Don’t care. Insults are never the way, especially online where you can stand back and think about what you’re about to say.
The slow down vs stop “nonsense” exists because people are insisting that there are plot points that are not there (like saying Drew’s motivation is to make Ethan like him when there is no evidence of that occurring). Never once has Drew asked Ethan to give up his hobby. There is a big difference between “I’m worried. I know this is something YOU have expressed concern over yourself which is why I want to bring it to your attention so you can get a handle on it” and “Oh my GAWD you weirdo with the toys again just stop buying anything and everything or I am leaving you foreverz!” People seem to be projecting things that just simply aren’t happening here and getting personally defensive about it.
Never said they were. But there were insults on both sides through the whole exchange. Those insults don’t retroactively make the previous points invalid. It just means the conversation between specific parties has peaked and no more will come of it.
Miiight be accidentally posting this twice since I cannot find the first one I tried to post. Sorry if so.
First thing I want to get out of the way is that I never once said ‘saving’. Perhaps it’s a minor thing, but I said ‘HELPING’, every time. There’s a huge difference in meaning, at least to me.
Now, something that’s making his life empty, that he crutches on to have meaning and without which—in his own words, in book 2, page 4—he feels like there’s a void in his life he needs to fill with stuff, something that his life revolves around in and takes almost exclusive priority is his toy collecting. That is a textbook-case description of a hoarder—a psychological problem that needs professional help to discover the source and rectify it. That’s what hoarding MEANS. At this point, Ethan needing help is undeniable, not even something to debate over. Is Drew adding on to that by trying to push him to change? Yes, he is, he’s cornering him and making him face his problem, so of course Ethan’s going to bite back. There is, and there will always be a factor of defensive hostility to every confrontation of a problem. This is why people stage interventions, go to therapy. He was always going to get frustrated if he was to get help.
As for “slowing down” vs. “stopping”… that ISN’T nonsense. The distinction is very important—much like saving vs. helping—it is not cherry-picking and anyone that’s studied, or even glanced at, a book in psychology would tell you the same. I don’t mean that to come off as an insult, and I apologize if it does, it’s just a statement of fact. The difference is colossal: Quitting cold turkey is effective only in very controlled (i.e. institutionalized) settings. Slowing down is far more reasonable and acceptable. And while Ethan hasn’t exactly done anything specially wrong at this specific time and place (aside from resorting to insults), so far the debate has been centered about their entire relationship, and Ethan’s attitude, rather than just this one scene.
Finally, I don’t know if I’ll catch a lot of heat for this, but yes. I do feel Ethan’s addiction (not simply a hobby to me) ranks up there with all the major struggles he’s had in his life. It certainly is as damaging on many level. That’s my opinion on it anyway.
1. …I don’t know where you got that, the mailing toy thing. Did I miss something in the comic? I didn’t see anywhere in the story that the toys were mail-ordered. He never said he bought them in a store specifically either, but that does feel like the general assumption, especially considering his wording on the Catman, I think he bought it on the way to Drew’s. If I did miss something, I apologize.
2. That possibility is true, admittedly. I will say that… previous evidence doesn’t really put much stake on this being a rare moment, sadly. But, again, you could be right.
3. True. Which is why what Ethan needs right now is therapy.
4. That’s… extremely unfair, to be honest. Yes, I admit that perhaps Sandpunk shouldn’t have stooped to Kijikun’s level, but it doesn’t automatically make all his previous arguments void. It just means he finally snapped at someone who kept acting childishly towards him. It happens to everyone. Not the best reaction, but it’s irrelevant to whether his previous points were valid or not, especially if they were well-thought-out.
And… that’s it. Feel free to reply, this discussion is interesting.
@Sloth: 1. He got the Staypuft Marshmallow Man in the mail. I assumed that was ordered online, rather than as a store delivery thing. Since it’s only 20″ and he could carry it easily enough, I really doubt he had it delivered if he could just carry it home. Then again, that’s based on assumptions and drawn conclusions, so I’ll admit it could be wrong.
3. Why is it Ethan needs therapy? You agreed with what I said, which is that forcing change on someone is never good, and then said that Ethan needs someone to change him with therapy. I’d say Drew needs to realize that he can’t force Ethan to change, and stop trying to do so more than Ethan needs therapy.
4. (And this is to Jacki, too) I never said it invalidates all prior arguments. I just said that it cuts a person’s credibility. If Obama went to debate the Republican candidate and one of them called the other a nasty name, s/he would lose credibility, as would his arguments. It’s hard to back someone in a debate, which is supposed to be a battle of wit and rhetoric, when they abandon both and just stat attacking their opponent.
The “nonsense” that I’m referring to is not that the words mean different things. It is that people are quibbling over the essence of what Drew meant. Drew is not a psychologist.
Saving vs. helping: Your post seemed to agree, in essence, with sandpunk. That’s why I used the same language that had been going throughout the thread.
As for what Ethan said in Book 2: I haven’t read that in a while, but I also know that I say a lot of depressing things too when I’m lonely, which may or may not have any accuracy. Ethan is also not a psychologist, and this “take the words of cartoon characters as the word of god and as things that have the full weight of scientific accuracy” thing that’s going on throughout the comments section doesn’t hold any weight to me. We see Ethan, just prior to now, happy. Not that he needs a lover to be healthy, but he has a lover he is generally happy with, he has a hobby that makes him feel good, and he is meeting all of his responsibilities. That doesn’t scream “unhealthy” to me, regardless of anything he said while feeling alone and in the dark, what, a year ago?
I don’t think you’ll be happy till you break someone up Willis. We’ll just blame Robin for pulling that damn Drama Tag but we all know the truth.
I’ve realized that this comic has resulted in the most responses I’ve ever given in Shortpacked. DAMN YOU WILLIS for making me so emotionally invested in a character that I’m getting into essentially forum arguments! DAMN YOOOOOOOOOOOOU!
I know right? I should go to bed but my brain is stuck in the xkcd comic of “someone is wrong on the internet!”
Gotta go to bed now, but here’s a little something to keep the discussion rolling:
In the last couple of strips, whenever Ethan or Drew says “toy”, substitute “bottle of liquor.” Or “stray cat.”
Or book. Or painting supplies. Or china dolls. Or postcards. Or sports collectibles.
And if someone couldn’t go a day, or even make it home from work, without buying one more of any of those? Yes, I would still call that compulsive behavior and a problem. Even if it’s being “managed”… for now.
“I’d like another Fabrege egg, please.”
“Sir, don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
“I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough!”
Alcohol makes you drunk and can damage your body if consumed too frequently. Cats are living animals that get sick and die if kept in crowded conditions. There’s a world of difference between that and getting another toy.
Even if it is an addiction, Drew’s approach isn’t particularly helpful. “Stop it” doesn’t work on addictions.
ANY rewarding behavior, like collecting, creates a rush of endorphins, and gets you high. It is exactly the same, except with booze you can throw out the bottles.
And he didn’t say stop, he said “slow down”.
Okay as the daughter of an alcoholic, I’m rather offended at toy collecting being compared to alcoholism.
As the grandson of an abusive alcoholic I’m offended that you don’t take addiction seriously.
Don’t even try to play this game with me. My father shot himself in the goddamn head so don’t you even try to play the ‘you don’t take this seriously’.
Ethan is no where near a hoarder. Does he need to work more on cutting back on what he already has? Yes. No one has said Ethan doesn’t have issues.
Hoarding and collecting CAN be an addiction. But you know what it is not anything like alcoholism. When a toy can cause impairment of judgment, loss of time, can destroy you body and mind – come talk to.
I disagree, and I’m starting to get the feeling you have an issue of your own to work out. So, I’m done. I hope you get better.
I dunno, comparing collecting to a mind-and-body-destroying chemical addiction?
Yes, collecting can bring about a rush of endorphins, and one can get addicted to that high. But you’re taking something that can, in extreme cases, just bring about a lack of social interaction or, if left completely unchecked and rampant, poverty, and you’re comparing it to an addiction that can literally cause illness, harm/death to the addict and/or others, mental dependencies, irrational and sometimes violent behavior, and probably hundreds of more specific symptoms I’m unaware of at this very moment.
If anything, I’m offended that you’re considering both addictions on the same level. That’s like saying a chronic jaywalker is the same kind of criminal as a murderer. Yes, toy collecting, or ANY kind of collecting, can become an addiction. But if you honestly consider that to hold the same weight as alcoholism or drug addiction or anything of the like, you’ve got some strange priorities. Toy collecting can be easily mitigated and never stretch beyond the realm of hobby, a person just has to be willing to say, ‘hey, I don’t need that figure’ and they’re gold. Trying to say, ‘hey, I don’t need that shot of brandy’ is a lot more difficult.
Also, if you want to use your ‘slow down’ excuse again, then you’re defeating your own comparison. Try to ‘slow down’ an alcohol or drug addiction. Seriously. I’ll wait.
Uh… I am very sorry for your loss, and I think we all are, but I don’t see how that is part of this discussion aside from an attempt to shock and guilt people into agreeing totally with you.
Most likely she sees herself in Ethan, and sees any attempt to guide positive behavior and support a loved one as an attack, or attempt to change that person. Most likely never had anyone ever offer a helping hand or reach out to her. IT’s a likely case with most of the people here denying Ethan’s hoarding tendencies. It truly saddens me.
I’d watch out before making that generalization anot thenproplenhere. Many of us do not have a problem, but have. been unfairly treated as if we do.
I’d watch out before making that generalization about the people here. Many of us do not have a problem, but have. been unfairly treated as if we do. Keep in mind that, as valid as Drew’s point may be, he has always gone about it wrong.
It was late. I was tired and I was seriously upset at his jab of not taking addiction seriously.
It’s okay, we all do things like that from time to time. i’d be a hypocrite if I pretended I never had a single-strip-discussion freakout here.
Hoarding is not an addiction. It’s a mental illness that requires work lest you end up buried under piles of things you just couldn’t let go of. Hoarder keep things, sometimes because it makes them feel good, but usually it’s because it makes them feel safe somehow. Throwing something away can engender dread, fear, panic, anger, loss all depending on what it is that makes the particular person hoard things. I have two separate hoarding issues. One is mementos of good times/feelings, but these can be any random thing, junk even. Then there is the little bits of stuff, like empty boxes, rubber tubing, cable ties, etc that I convince myself I might need for something at a later date and will greatly regret having thrown it away.
Luckily for me, my husband helps ground me. He periodically makes me go through all the stuff I’m trying to keep with him and we both have to agree that it’s either useful or important. Everything else has to get tossed. If he didn’t do this, I shudder to think what our lives would be like.
Drew is a dick Ethan can do better
I feel bad for Drew. He could do so much better than Ethan, but he loves the man. He wants to help and he catches a shit storm. Way to sabotage that relationship Ethan. You feel like shit because you know you have a problem.
Everyone discussed both sides of that argument in depth, so I won’t get into that. I’d just like to point out it’s not the first guy Ethan lost due to his hobby. Remember Thad? His main argument for rejecting Ethan was that Ethan is sort of crazy over toys. And now Drew, whether he’s approaching it in a right way or not, is saying the same. I wonder how many people Ethan will have to go through to realize that maybe if all his partners complain about the same thing, it’s a real issue.
No one including Ethan is saying he doesn’t have any problem at all. Plus, even if Ethan learns to cut back, learns to purge toys, doesn’t mean he’s not going to have toys. He’s still going to be interested in toys, he’s still going to argue about them with people.
Well, to be nitpicky, plenty of people in the comments are saying he doesn’t have a problem.
Good riddance. Eathan deserves someone that will love him without nagging and constantly criticizing him over what really is a harmless hobby that is what he enjoys. Sure collecting “could” turn into a disease, maybe, but it can also be harmless fun.
Ethan could stand to broaden his interest some but a truly compatible person would help him do that without making him feel like a criminal or defective all the time about an important enjoyable aspect of his life.
They just aren’t comparable honestly. Not everyone is, love or not. Ethan needs someone who’s more of a real geek, who can understand and support him and keep him healthy without trying to change him or making him feel like a bad human being over a hobby he loves. Ethan needs moderation yes, but he needs to find someone who understands him rather than vilifies him.
Again. He needs a real geek. Dump Drew, he’s a boring, judgmental bland mundane.
Drew looks so sad…
So does Ethan…
About Ethan people have brought up his problems for good reason – he has them but…
Could Drew be a compulsive neat-freak?
His apartment is creepily empty and without personality (although that could also be seen as a brilliant lampshade on the fact that Drew hasn’t had much focus as a character so comes of a just a bit flat)…
Anyway I upsets me that Drew is treated as inhuman for his treatment of Ethan, but Ethan is treated as just fine for basically flat out saying that a toy IS more important than his boyfriend which seemed to be his boyfriend’s concern in the first place!
Although Drew could have phrased his attempts at at stopping the fight a WHOLE lot better, he knows Ethan is emotionally attached to his toys so he needs to put more thought into what he says in these cases.
Yet still – it’s a good thing that Amber and Mike are together? After what Mike did? After what Mike HAS done? Not to say it is or isn’t bad, but…
That’s called a bias folks. Ethan must always be right because you (and admittedly I…) relate to him better…
Yeah, that’s a logical fallacy…
Of course just because Ethan isn’t always right does not make Drew right.
I’d say in this case they are both being kinda harsh , but Drew’s solution is kinda for the best right now, maybe they just need a break to figure out their priorities…
A lot of people seem to take this all way to seriously…
DAMN YOU WILLIS! [cries] must you tug at heart strings.
I was never that found of Joyce’s likely brother Drew
“I’m tired of getting willified for my harmless hobby!” is what I read
As someone who collects Transformers (over 110 currently) and art supplies for my profession (over 5 art boxes full) – I have to say Drew is a bit at fault here more then Ethan (but they are both in the wrong in some manner).
Drew from Day 1 was disturbed by Ethan’s collection – Ethan actually put most if not All of them away. Yes, Ethan buys more but really as he said he pays his bills and does what he needs to – so it really isn’t a problem if he enjoys his hobby and its not consuming his life. And it is NOT consuming his life – he has a job, his room is clean, and he is not a hoarder like Jacob.
Ethan should have stood up to Drew about this a LONG time ago, but instead waited until they were this far in the relationship then snapping at Drew.
Drew didn’t help by belittling Ethan about how the Toys were more important then him – when clearly they are not if he was willing to keep them out of sight for Drew and shows them to Drew (someone he cares about so much he wants to share his hobby with him).
I would like to note I am Female, married and my husband supports my hobbies just as I support his gaming (some would call it an obsession but it doesn’t overrun his life so it bothers me not he games all the time). This is how it should be – you should not have to change but WILLINGLY change as time goes on in the relationship. We have both stopped out hobbies for a time so we could save for – Our wedding, plane tickets to see each other (as we are from 2 different countries), my husbands visa process, etc. I cannot save as much as I’m disabled and on disability (not welfare – I get less then 450 USD a month and pay my bills first) – but I paid for the wedding almost 100% including our rings. He is paying for his plane tickets and I pay for part of his visa process. It it equal – probably not in the long run, but to us it is.
@ Boy Blunder
Since we seem to have maxed out that thread.
That is utter nonsense. Comparing Murder to jay walking is a terrible parallel. You can’t control a murdering habit! Just as there are hundreds of thousands of collectors without an issue, there are hundreds of thousands of people who consume alcohol that suffer nary a problem. AND HOARDING DOES CAUSE ALL THOSE PROBLEMS you so glibly rattled off. And don’t start braying “It’s not hoarding!” Aside from a single Rodimus figure he hasn’t thinned the collection at all it’s just out of immediate sight!
It might reach the technical definition of hoarding, but honestly I think to most people “hoarding” is more represented by your collection of “stuff” filling every available space and then some to the point that it affects your ability to live in your own home.
Most people agree that Ethan’s hobby COULD reach that point, and that he could have handled this situation better. You seem to be of the mind that he’s already fallen past the point of no return and the only choice left is cold-turkey and a leather couch.
I say wait to see what happens next week. If Ethan retreats into ultra-hoarder/collector mode and refuses to have an adult conversation about this with Drew, then you’ve got a point. Until then, all we’re really seeing is a little lover’s spat, the kind that can either be a major or ultimately a minor speed-bump.
Of course, a lot of this is potentially undermined by the nature of the strip itself. Not meaning this to sound as critical as it probably does, but playing Ethan’s hobbies and compulsions for laughs for years and then suddenly saying, “ZOMG he’s mentally unabalanced and needs help!” (not that Mr. Willis is necessarily going in that direction) is a little bit unfair.
Even the punchline here is to remind us that this is, above all, a comedy strip, and as the title banner at the top reminds us: “Toys are serious business….”.
I would put it this way: The day Ethan stops toy collecting is probably the day this strip ends.
Actually no, not to your general point, but to my motivation. I was reacting to the people who were villianizing Drew for being concerned and trying to get Ethan to act more moderately. Some people here think that that means he wants Ethan to abandon his hobby altogether. He may or may not have handled it best, but he’s at least trying to handle it which Ethan is becoming more and more frightened of. It’s change! Yes, it’s scary! But it’s change for the better. I like BOTH these characters, because that’s how a real couple frickin works! People calling for Drew’s blood simply because they relate more to Ethan is wrong, and indicative of their own fear of change.
I feel sorry for the Ethans in “real couples” that work like this.
Real couples disagree and occasionally argue. People like Ethan get defensive and lash out like children when they’re scared. People like Drew do their best, but can only take so much abuse. Don’t say Ethan doesn’t act like a child. The pasta incident is enough proof of that.
Ethan is partially at fault here, but Drew is no saint either.
They’re both frustrated and hurt, and acting accordingly.
When couples argue it isn’t usual that one person is solely at fault.
I dunno, whenever I argue, it usually turns out that I was entirely and completely wrong.
Ridureyu: are you married? I find marriage tends to bring about that sort of thing.
Andy: I was being facetious.
Ridureyu: So was I.
I’m sorry! I WAS WRONG!
“Don’t say,” huh? I can see why you’d relate to the controlling jackass in this story and pretend like he’s some kind of victim.
I’m offended by your characterization of donkeys. What did they ever do to you?
Really? the Pasta incident? I thought that was just some teasing banter. Now I am forced to recognize that it was symptomatic–as so many of his actions were–of all Ethan’s problems. Thank you for showing me the light, brother. I must go share it with the world!
The only real reason the hobby causes a significant problem with the relationship is because Drew doesn’t like it. Assuming Ethan isn’t flat out lying, he’s not spending all his money, so he’s not causing monetary issues. He clearly DOES spend time with others, there’s nothing wrong with spending SOME of your time dedicated to a solo hobby. He did not simply “choose the hobby over relationships”, Drew chose to make the hobby a point of conflict. It’s like one of those tv episodes where the girlfriend or boyfriend is jealous that their significant other is spending some of their time with an old friend. Sometimes, if there’s a significant imbalance, it can be justified, but most of the time it comes across as the jealous one being unreasonable.
Other Relationships he has work. Most if not all of them ARE dysfunctional for some reason(pretty much all the relationships in this strip are), but none of them really suffer significantly from the hobby except this one, the problems usually lie in other things.
“It’s not worth fighting over” is true, but Drew is the one who started the fight. They are now fighting over Drew’s treatment of his hobby, not over the hobby itself.
If he’s not hurting anyone, he shouldn’t HAVE to majorly change for the sake of a relationship, if he does then they clearly aren’t compatible. Collecting is part of who Ethan is, if Drew doesn’t like that person, the relationship isn’t going to work. It’s one thing to compromise on the one thing you don’t like about a partner, but Drew has constantly ragged on the hobby in general without even trying to understand.
So if you see someone you love on a self destructive spiral, ONE THAT THEY THEMSELVES HAVE EXPRESSED WORRY ABOUT, you’d just let them implode? It’s starting a fight to be concerned for the people you love? You are a terrible friend.
Concern is great. Express your concern, but until you’ve got some solid ground to stand on in terms of it affecting your friend’s life in a negative way, you either back off, or maybe realize that your “concern” is really “I just think this hobby is weird/not socially acceptable/whatever” and you’re projecting your own view of “normalcy” on them. Otherwise, yes, you’re becoming a nag, and that’s likely to brew frustration in the long term. Drew MAY have a valid point in his concern, but we don’t really know that yet, because there certainly isn’t a final word as to whether Ethan’s hobby is truly self-destructive (or doomed to reach that point) or not. This isn’t alcoholism or drug addiction (despite too many people trying to make that analogy). Yes, it CAN possibly be an addiction, but we don’t know enough to say for certain that it’s truly a negative thing for Ethan to continue collecting toys.
I would wager many of the collectors who are reacting defensively on Ethan’s side have likely experienced something similar, regardless of whether their hobby is “a problem” or not, people tend to treat it as though it’s weird and/or creepy, so yes…”expressing your concern” can often come across as being judgmental, which is naturally going to set people on edge.
Of course your proclamations that the folks arguing against your point of view “must have issues they’re projecting” probably isn’t helping, if it wasn’t intended to be deliberately provocative to begin with.
How is it self-destructive? Yeah, he’s got a lot of crap and buys a few toys a week. That’s his hobby. He keeps it in balance and still pays his bills and hangs out with friends. Until this incident, he didn’t even let it get in the way of his relationship. In fact, Ethan has been changing for Drew since day 1–boxing up many of his toys because they made Drew uncomfortable and recently going through and getting rid of toys he has duplicates of.
If Ethan is a hoarder, then Drew is still being a dick because it’s a mental disorder, so just demanding that a person stop collecting without giving aid or positive reinforcement is basically like telling a clinically depressed person to just cheer up.
If Ethan isn’t a hoarder, since he seems to have a handle on his life and collecting toys is just his chosen outlet of geekdom, then Drew is demanding Ethan change because Drew doesn’t like his hobby.
Day. A few toys a day.
a few toy THAT day
Yes. Toy collecting is very “boom or bust” and this is one of the busier times of the year (the lead up to the holidays). We don’t know that Ethan is buying this volume of toys every day. This particular day may well have been exceptional.
Or not. We can’t say for sure at this point.
Remember, if your significant other is making you feel like shit by his reaction to something that is such a major part of you that you once joked about it being an unhealthy addiction, he’s just doing it because he loves you. No way is such a power imbalance in a relationship unhealthy.
Sandpunk, I notice you’re really focused on Drew saying he wants Ethan to slow down not stop. I think his saying slow down is simply him feeling saying stop would be going to far, that if he could convince Ethan to “slow down” then Ethan would obviously realize his hobby is dumb and completly agree with him.
Seems to be going both ways. Drew has been nagging a lot, and Ethan jumps to “pissed off” mode really quickly.
Ethan needs to figure out why he does the things he does and what he really needs. I had to reassess my toy collecting when it became too expensive. I was mainly doing it just to get out of the house and have something to do. Ethan is probably doing it for more complex reasons. If Ethan were a real person, I’d completely recommend counseling. But. Counseling isn’t very fun in a comedy/dramady web comic. Unless his counselor is Harley Quinn.
I agree with Ethan.
Both of them have valid points, but this has been a major sticking point for Drew since day one and it never was going to get any better. This was always the issue that was going to end the relationship.
Ethan is at a point where I was a few years back. Paying bills, but always buying toys. I couldn’t go a paycheck without getting two or three of them. Now in my case, my fiances blew up in my face and I simply never bought toys in that capacity again (Indeed, I’m lucky if I get a new toy a month). But my wife is sort of the same way. Just yesterday she bought a AC2 Ezio figure and three of those Halo Helmet display things.
She’s got the money to support the hobby, so I don’t harp on the buying. But at the same time, between our two toy collections, we are seriously running out of room for stuff like this.
She’s also rather fickle in her collecting habits. In 09 it was everything related to the New Star Trek. Last year it was Tron Legacy. This year it’s Halo.
Does it mean I love her less? No. But I can see why Drew would be concerned. Collecting can easily become hoarding, especially when display and storage space filled to capacity.
Cool. It’s about time Ethan started standing up for himself in this relationship.
And why am I expecting Ethan to wake up tomorrow morning with the guy from the local Kinko’s?
This arc kills me because I’ve absolutely had a significant other act like something harmless was way unhealthy — I had an ex who would act very morally superior if I had a beer (or *gasp* two beers) when we went out for dinner (which was once a week, tops). And who delighted in calling me an alcoholic whenever he could because, again, two beers once a week at dinner = addiction.
That said…if you can’t go to your boyfriend’s house to tell him your toy obsession isn’t a problem without, you know, *buying another toy*, that seems problematic.
Do these two actually HAVE anything in common except bhuttsecks?
Good for Ethan. I don’t really collect toys but I still have a ton because I’m a huge Doctor Who fan and some of their figures are fantastic. And you know who has bought me most of them — my boyfriend — who is (or more accurately was) not a fan.
If you can’t accept somebody for who they are, you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them. Drew would have a right to say what he wants about the decor of Ethan’s apartment when and only when they live together. Up until that point, who cares?
(And seriously, all people who want to date semi-obsessive fans should support this hobby — if only because it makes them easy to shop for. In fact, I’d suggest if Drew ever feels like apologizing, he shows up Catman in hand.)
Motto. I never have any idea what to get my non-geek family for Christmas and birthdays. “What are your obsessions?!” “We don’t have any.” “Well here’s a Barnes and Noble giftcard. Go find some.”
Geeks are super easy to shop for.
Oddly enough, I hate B&N giftcards. I love to read, but I get there and freeze up. I don’t want to buy something I’ve already read (unless I loved it, in which case I probly own it), but I’m terrified of picking up a dud. Also, books seem to be getting more and more expensive. I used to be able to get 2-3 paperbacks for under $20. Now I’m lucky if I can get 2 with a $25 card.
Ethan’s collection is harming nobody, not even himself. Also, the joy his collection brings will outlast any & all human-contact happiness. People eventually hurt & betray you…inanimate objects never will.
He works, stated he pays bills AND has savings in the bank, he eats & sleeps, he’s a VERY nice guy, and seems to be all-around normal. More normal than his co-workers, at any rate.
Drew, you’re wrong. Ethan’s collecting is part of him, and if you don’t accept it, then you SHOULD get out. End of story.
Wow. Some baggage there, hey?
Obviously. I’ve yet to find a book, a teddy bear, or a Nightmare Before Christmas item that’s stabbed me in the back. People on the other hand….
“Ethan’s collection is harming nobody, not even himself. Also, the joy his collection brings will outlast any & all human-contact happiness. People eventually hurt & betray you…inanimate objects never will. ”
Oh yes they will. Inanimate objects can never love.
Big deal; money > love….hell, almost everything > love.
Next Week on Ctrl-Alt-Shortpacked: Amber has a miscarriage!
Alas, poor- … Alas okay- … Alas jerk Drew. I knew him, Horatio.
Ethan, LGBT-friendly only means that Catman has no issue with you being gay. Being from a series like 95% of all comics series, however, it means that your odds of being in a successful relationship that doesn’t end with a breakup, mind control, death, or selling your relationship to the devil? Not good.
Hey, to be fair the LGBT relationships in Secret Six ended on a threeway lesbian marriage proposal. I’d say that’s a successful relationship… in a completely illegal bigamist sort of way…
It’s 33% hotter than the end of the first half of Fans!.
I was referring to comics relationships in general, not just LGBT relationships in comics. Happy relationships that don’t end horribly or get retconned are few and far between.
If you can afford them, the price of toys isn’t the problem. It’s the accumulation. Unlike WoW or alcohol or expensive trips or concerts or whatnot, toys are a tangible quantity that doesn’t deteriorate. Unless you throw them away, every toy you buy will stick with you. You’ll look through shit from 10 years back you bought that you completely forgot about.
It’s an eternal struggle between toy collector and shelf space. Once you start boxing stuff it means you’re starting to lose. If you have to put stuff in storage (ie, paying extra to house stuff), you lost.
actually I’d say the WoW/alcohol/etc is probably worse. you’ve got jack shit to show for it. At least the collector, (if not sufficiently deranged) can always sell off his stuff to try to reclaim (or in some cases increase) the money spent. while I’m not advocating junk collecting, sometimes you’d be amazed at how one long forgotten item can actually wind up getting your backside out of a bind…
And although he’s gay, there’s always the inheritance factor. i.e, leaving something behind for others (to clean up ).
WILLIS! STOP RUINING RELATIONSHIPS AND GETTING PEOPLE PREGNANT. D: I mean I know Ethan deserved that, since he spends hundreds of dollars a day buying transformers, but don’t put that right after we had to deal with a fake marriage proposal from drunk mike(and make us suspect he got Amber pregnant in her sleep.) D: I must say this is a awesome story line though. -__- You know what nevermind Willis, just keep doing what your doing, and when there is a giant angry mob outside your house, don’t act surprised. >:3
I’ve always liked Drew and continue to do so.
From my impression of him, he’s never had a problem with Ethan’s toy collecting, rather the sheer volume at which he is doing it.
I could see Drew having the same concerns if Ethan was collecting ceramic cats.
Perhaps Drew should have voiced his concerns in Ethan’s manner of the past couple of strips, instead of trying to be reasonable about it as he has been.
Drew saying that a piece of plastic isn’t worth fighting over and then in the next line saying he wants to take a break is human and understandable but pushes me onto Ethan’s side here.
(I’d probably have taken Ethan’s side anyway.
I can relate to this strip. I’ve had this argument with family every time I buy a new wave of DC Universe Classics or Marvel Legends. And I can see both sides.
I’ve worn Ethan’s shoes for years. I see new toys. I like them and I buy them. I pay my bills on time, am very responsible and when I had a job I was reliable there. Comics and action figures were my hobby since 10 and now that I’m an adult I only take money I save to buy them. I really love the characters and it’s great having three-dimensional figures of characters I used to read as a kid.
But I can see Drew’s frustration about toys overtaking their relationship. A lot of people don’t like having action figures in their living areas overtaking them. And a big collection can do that. I have a pretty decent sized collection and it’s starting to come out of the single bookcase I have it in. Looking at it, I’m really thinking about paring down some of the extra figures on eBay.
For some partners and spouses it can be quite embarrassing when they have company over. Some may ask questions like:
“Do you have kids?”
Then partner has to say “Oh no, that’s my boyfriend’s.” This can get extra awkward especially if your partner or spouse has a boss over.
I really don’t see Drew as controlling. I see him as a guy who is concerned that toys are going to overwhelm him if he continues a relationship with Ethan. Every year they come out with a new Batman, Superman, Optimus Prime or whoever. It can start to build up. It can feel a little overwhelming to a spouse or a partner. It can feel like a thousand little plastic eyes are watching you. Not something you want to think about if you’re being intimate with said partner or spouse.
While we collectors are used to our toys, others in our lives may not be. It’s something to think about.
Neither one is completely right or wrong in this. I mean Drew is right that Ethan fixates on buy new toys to scary levels. He has god only knows how many toys set up in his apartment, to say nothing of the boxes in storage, he gets unnaturally fixated to the point of obsession on toys he doesn’t yet own. His idea of having fun with his friends usually involves dragging them to toy stores to look for more toys.
But Drew is being wrong in that it is hypocritial of him to bully Ethan about his toy fixation, but say its not a big deal and that Ethan should calm down when he is defending himself.
Meanwhile, Ethan’s toy fixation can be scary at times, and Drew has a right as a boyfriend to be concerned for him. The only reason his place doesn’t look like the horders show is because his roommates at the house and Drew have had to convince him to put the toys into storage if he’s not going to ‘play with them’ or whatever. Left to his own devises without anyone telling him ‘no’ I’m certain Ethan’s house would like that bad.
But Ethan is right in that he doesn’t deserve to be made to feel like crap by his boyfriend. I don’t know HOW he saves money or has enough for rent and bills and everything, on top of his toy fixation, while only having a retail job and the occasional stand-up comedy gig… but if he’s managed to stay on top of those things, then Drew doesn’t need to be so harsh about it.
I can see both sides, right and wrong. I just hope this doesn’t turn into a break like on “Friends”.
I agree with you completely. The bottom line is they should probably take a break, at least for now, and we will have to see where it goes from here.
I have to ask David, is this story stemming at all from your own real life experiences? It’s no secret how many toys you buy and own…has it ever caused any friction with the missus?
YAY!!! No more Drewthan!!!!
Just because they had a fight doesn’t mean their relationship is over. What do you have against them anyway?
Me, I don’t like it because they’re fundamentally incompatible. Toy collecting is a huge part of Ethan – not just what he does, but who he is. And now there’s a hint that Drew may have a personal problem of his own driving him towards stark simplicity – that is part of him as well.
Sure, they have good sex. Sure they enjoy each other’s company. Sure they may love – no, wait, I personally define “love” as “when the other person’s happiness is integral to your own”. Drew doesn’t give a crap about Ethan’s preferences or happiness, so he actually doesn’t love him. Drew cares about his own clutter-free environment.
If this was just a case of “Drew needs to get used to Ethan’s hobby”, which it looked like at the start, that would be one thing. But Drew didn’t get used to it, and in fact it seems that an opposing compulsion of his own is being revealed, which apparently has been in play from the start. This relation cannot work, and never could.
And as this has gradually become more obvious, I have cared less and less for the relationship. I’ve actually already reached the point where I don’t care about it at all – let it die already.
I dislike Drew because he seems too just be a character inserted to “Gay Ethan up” rather than an actual character like Jesus or Leslie or any other number of homosexual partners in media. He’s so flat! And Ethan jumped into bed with him in a week. If he was a REAL character than would be the impetus of a whole month of story arc; here it’s not even noticed. He’s a shallow love interest that added nothing to strip I’m glad he’s gone.
You do realize that the purpose of this storyline may in fact be to develop Drew’s character beyond Ethan’s boyfriend, right? After all, Leslie was intentionally brought in originally as a prop for Robin’s scheme to have sex with Ethan. It took time to develop her into something other than Robin’s lesbian.
And let be fair, Willis has had a lot of other storylines that he’s been developing and that took priority over Drew and Ethan.
You know, that IS a good point, and I like it!
Honestly, Ethan and Drew were probably never going to get a happily ever after. Ethan’s first boyfriend shouldn’t be the one he settles down with. (and I still hold out hope for Thad)
It’s way too early in the comic for happy endings.
So, anyone else starting to think that maybe Drew’s ex-wife (/mother/father) was a hoarder?
Dunno about that, but he certainly has some sort of anti-clutter compulsion, that he compulsively enslaved to to the point that it drives him to ruin his relationships with others.
Ethan shouldn’t let himself be judged by a guy who lives in a hoodie and needs a shave.
I’m a little worried that so many people are on Ethan’s side. I mean, I know he’s the protagonist, but it seems that he yells at Drew a lot. I can’t remember a time Drew has done that to him.
We also shouldn’t assume Drew has past issues. I love Ethan too, but all those figures would be creepy to me too. Ethan just needs to figure out what to do with them.
But I don’t blame Ethan entirely either. This is his first relationship. Before, it was all about his figures, then friends were thrown in, and then a relationship. He just needs to learn to be with someone. It’s not like he ruined anything. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Even when you really want them to.
Agreed for the most part. Good thoughts.
Eh, I’ve been there, kinda. I had an ex who would try to make fun of me for liking Pokemon. He was a good guy. We’re just better off not together.
Drew has problems with being ‘observed’ by single action figures, and lives in a hotel room. He has issues.
And the problem with Drew is that Drew is trying to change Ethan into somebody else. This sort of thing is never good, almost always ineffective, and equally unlikely to end well.
Ethan isn’t trying to turn Drew into a collector, so he’s not committing this particular cardinal sin. Ethan is okay with Drew as he is (aside from the jerkass nagging); if Drew was similarly accepting of Ethan as he is, they’d probably have manbabies by now.
Or put more succinctly: We’re on Ethan’s side because in this particular case, Drew is the one at fault.
One of the best tactics to “win” an argument is to keep calm and even-voiced, but say nasty (subtly nasty) things that drive your partner into a screaming rage.
If the other person goes crazy, that’s not your fault. It means they have a problem with their temper. Not always bad, but you can’t blame someone else for your own actions or responses.
It all depends on what you say. For example, if you can keep an even tone while saying:
“Now, no offense, but I think youi’re a pathetic failure. You’ll never succeed in anything in life, because it’s you doing it. I only say this because I love you. You’ll never change or get better.”
Say it quietly enough that nobody else can hear. Perhaps pepper it with some more personalized statements. And then, when the other party gets angry, just say:
“Please don’t get angry. That’s very immature of you.” Do it quietly and calmly, but loud enough that everyone can hear. Also, remember, you CFAN say:
“it’s not my fault you got angry. Nobody controls your mood”
“Please stop making me angry”
In the same argument without other people catching on. Mind you, the other party will, but you can just subtly deny it. Oddly, if you keep an even tone, this will work in your favor.*
*The above was brought to you by Arguing For Assholes. Please don’t actually do it, because it would mean that you are a really terrible human being.
I’m a little worried about the people who see nothing wrong with a relationship where one side tries to change a rather major part of the other while not making any noticeable effort to change anything about himself.
To be fair, we know little or nothing about Drew. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn’t. We just get these blurbs. But at the very least, we can say that they probably are both better off now. I just hope Ethan doesn’t get mopey for months. You know, like he would in reality. Ha ha ha
To be fair, we can only make our judgments based on what we’re shown. If we need to invent scenes to give the other side a legitimate point, then it really drives home that they have none.
We don’t know much about Drew that would need to be changed. So, Drew doesn’t need to change anything except caring about people he’s in a relationship with?
Making your SO feel like shit isn’t something that needs to be changed?
It still sets up a power imbalance in the relationship, and I do wonder at the people who claim that the power imbalance in itself is a healthy thing.
You know, it is a problem that we haven’t seen anything of Drew. He’s kind of more of a cipher, a blank template with a few set personality quirks. It’s pretty easy to impose “reasonable” or “unreasonable” on that at will.
I mean, for all we know, Drew’s been changing himself this whole time for Ethan, but it just hasn’t been said. Or maybe Drew’s been sneaking into Ethan’s house and burning his toys. Or maybe Drew is really a secret agent.
“Vilified” is misspelled in the second panel. The correct spelling has only one L.
…This is all Decade’s fault.
That guy is such a jerk. He’s behind everything.
*Ethan pays his bills on-time, and he does not miss social appointments with his friends or boyfriend.
*He can store away his toys. This means that he has the space to do so.
*He has shown himself willing to give up a toy or a toy-buying run if he needs to for somebody else.
*Toy collecting is not in and of itself harmful.
*He is aware that he may have a problem, and is trying to keep his collecting tendencies in check.
*Ethan has been bullied, and it is good that he can stand up for himself, too.
*Ethan’s entire life revolves around acquiring more toys. He couldn’t go one day without buying three big expensive ones, for example.
*He couldn’thold out on toy-buying on his way to Drew’s. Did he take a car? If so, why did he NOT LEAVE IT IN THE CAR? Did he take public transit? If so, why did he take the extra time to toy hunt, anyway?
*Ethan is aware there is a problem. Many people with addiction issues are aware of this, but manage to delude themsleves into thinking that they can “fix” it without changing their behavior.
*The people around Ethan have been dropping hints. And not “Toys are stupid, grow up” hints, but “This is what happens to an addict who relapses” hint, or “I think you need to get this under control before it mushrooms further” hints. Many of these come from fellow toy collectors, and at least one from a major hoarder.
*He did not have to explode at Drew and call him a Jackass. Doing that to your significant other is not a sign of maturity.
*Ethan also never had a talk with him beforehand about his collection.
*Does Ethan need to rent out storage units? Someone will archive-binge and find out. if he does, then this is not a good trend. Remember, every hoarder at some point had a hoard under control. it just gradually grew and bled until one day “Wow, what have I done?” Don’t expect it to go overnight if Ethan is a hoarder, but rather expect it to gradually happen over years.
*Drew clearly cares about Ethan. He really wants to keep his boyfriend from ruining his life with an addiction or becoming a hoarder.
*To his credit, Drew has tried to understand. he really has. It’s been minor, but he’s at least made some effort. It’s just apparently hard to keep up that effort in the face of “I bought another new toy yoday and brought it in after two big ones, and this is a day after our Rodimus Prime debate.”
*Drew responded to Ethan’s outburst not by shouting or calling him names. He seems quiet and hurt. And if any of you think he’s being overly-condescending, you have never argued with my sister.
*Try as he might, Drew does not understand Ethan’s toy-collecting, and he’s growing to do so less and less. He’s now dismissing all toys immediately, which is a problem. You see:
*SEX CANNOT BE THE SOLE BASIS OF A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP. You need to have at least some interests in common, or one of you will kill the other’s soul.
*I said Drew wasn’t overly condescending, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t condescending at all. And a lot of his remarks, calm though they may be, are great for driving other people into anger. See, that way you look “mature” and “right” even if you’re being nasty.
*Drew doesn’t seem to see a middle ground. Note that his parting words can essentially be translated as, “Call me back when you agree with me.”
*Drew is not willing to adjust his own life for Ethan, yet he wants Ethan to adjust his life. He has made an effort to survive amidst some toys, but even that is eroding fast.
*Drew makes Ethan feel like shit. Okay, sometimes that happens, it’s called poor communication. However, Drew just learned this and why in a way not related to “Because I wanna hoard toys.” Ethan explained that it’s an issue of how he says what he says, not just what he says. Drew did not seem to listen to this.
So, there you have it. They’re both right, they’re both wrong, and so on.
Interestingly, I figured I’d just overtly sympathize with Ethan in this case since I’ve dated many women who have claimed to be okay with something important to me and then proceed to manipulate, shame, and guilt me with the intention of making me give it up. However, I don’t see that as what Drew’s doing. I don’t recall him ever making claims that he was comfortable with the toy gathering, just that he was uncomfortable with the tensions that too much might put on their lives.
Ethan defeated his own argument, in the end. An outburst might be natural enough in his place and I can’t deny him that… but the instant he tried to turn the argument to “well, you’re a hypocrite because you don’t decorate your place enough!” when that isn’t even remotely as much of an issue and jumping straight to “you’re a jackass” when given the perfect opportunity to explain the importance of collecting and the fact that it’s important to him.
I suspect that would have demanded too much introspection on his part and he fears that Drew is right about the obsessive nature of his collecting. Many things have gone Ethan’s way simply by dumb luck and chance… and it’s allowed him to indulge in what might be a hobby and what might be an obsession. If it’s the latter, then he’s setting himself up for a world of hurt if his luck turns sour… and that hurts everyone who cares about him.
I don’t know what day of the week it is in Shortpacked, but along with Catman, all Ethan needs now is 50 McNuggets and he’ll be just fine without Drew
Concerning Display vs. Storage:
I have a lot of toys in storage at any given moment. however, I also have about two or three “free” shelves for display, and I rotate them from time to time. That’s not hoarding. Hoarding would be if I had AMPLE display space and yet still had to store stuff.
So in and of itself, storage is not hoarding. Accumulation is hoarding, know what I mean?
And anyway, MARVEL UNIVERSE SHELF:
With, uh, a few guest stars. I actually just found and added Doctor Strange a week ago (been looking for that guy for a while), so I should probably update the pics someday.
But can YOU ID everybody here? Not all of the figures are specifically MU.
This strip makes me so glad that I discovered the principle of Conservation of Collectibles.
Also, that I have a spouse who supports my collecting so much that she CRIES when I decide to part with a chunk of it.
Drew and Ethan are both wrong. But I think Drew is wronger. Spartan-boy has his OWN issues, and they need to be explored.
I have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, when people say, “It’s just a hobby/just a toy/just a [whatever], why argue about it?”, they seem to be missing the point that it’s not about the inanimate thing that is being argued about, it’s rather about how much control one partner is trying to exert over another. I once had a boyfriend who basically told me he was embarassed about how loud I sing in church and that he wanted me to stop, when singing whole-heartedly in church is one of my greatest pleasures, and I expressed that fact to him. It was just one of the many hints he dropped about how controlling a person he was (untimately he dumped me because I changed my mind about my vacation plans and decided to do something other than what he told me to do. Thank God. )
On the other hand, Drew does seem pretty reasonable, but it’s possible that Ethan does have a real problem with going too far as a collector.
He’d seem a lot more reasonable if his first response to Ethan standing up for his collecting (after already taking steps in the direction of compromise!) is to threaten Ethan with breaking up. Threatening to drop the bomb so hastily is not being reasonable; it’s going straight for the throat if this is blackmail, and shows really low committment to the relationship if Drew can’t stick through a single fight.
Of course, the back of my mind reminds me this is a comic – Willis might be compressing things for the sake of time and pacing, preferring to cut to the chase rather than show Drew trying and failing to deal with an increasingly irate and angry Ethan whom he is genuinely trying to understand. On the other hand, what we see is what we get. ‘I win this argument or we break up!’
But.. he’s a villain, right? Breaking people up is what villains do.
In my experience, if someone doesn’t get your hobby, whatever it is, they won’t ever really “get” it. They might tolerate it at best.
you toy collectors scare the piss out of me
i’m just saying
I don’t get why people are so attached to drew. He barely gets any screen time in the comic.
You just explained one of the chief reasons to be attached to Drew.
Ethan has been a very stale and uninteresting character for a long time,; he’s simply an obsessive-compulsive toy collector, and Drew is trying to point this out. If this is going to pan out, both Ethan and Drew need some screen time to put them as more than surface thought characters.
Ethan… stale and uninteresting> or Flat?
Do explain, please.
How very meta of Drew to be commenting on Ethan’s performance as a character.
Over 360 comments at this point.
Can we get it over DoA’s 600 comment comic? YES WE CAN.
Depends. Will there be random comment threads interspersed throughout?
Hm…depends how random we can get them.
Or how many similar debates we can open up.
Which DoA comic broke 600? I don’t remember that for some reason.
You guys also have to remember that Drew didn’t like Ethan’s toy collection from the get go. he wanted that stuff to be kept seperate from their relationship but even then he was just asking for too much from ethan. So this relationship had been toxic from the begining.
So, first, I’m not a collector…of anything, really. There’s that, it’s out in the open.
And I don’t read this comic every single day that it comes out, but I do try and go back whenever I get around to reading, just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. Here’s what I think I’m missing:
I just cannot remember Drew outright belittling Ethan for collecting toys. From what I remember, Drew’s original problem wasn’t the toys at all; it was the fact that he felt like all of the toys were staring at him when they were having sex. He never asked Ethan to throw them out; he never asked Ethan to stop collecting. I think he just asked Ethan to move them. If I’m wrong, link me, by all means.
Two: is Drew’s living room status really that big of a deal? Like, either he’s as obsessed with being ascetic as Ethan is obsessed with toys, or he has some other trauma in his life? Maybe he just doesn’t like having ‘stuff.’ I don’t like having ‘stuff.’ So, my room and living room are generally pretty bare, because I don’t bother trying to accessorize, say, my couch. It’s a couch. It’s there for me to sit on. If I can sit on it, we’re good. And again; I don’t remember Drew ever actually having a problem with Ethan having stuff. He just wanted Ethan to move the stuff.
Third: again, I’m not a toy collector. But I don’t understand how people can say that Ethan DOESN’T have a problem. Of course, without knowing how much those three toys that he bought cost him, it’s difficult to be sure, but three ‘expensive’ toys in one day? That he brought to his boyfriend’s house, knowing full well that his boyfriend had just asked him to slow down on the toy buying? (Not stop, mind you; just slow down.) Ethan was clearly spoiling for a fight, or he didn’t care if one started.
(Also, I’m not translating what Drew said into him bagging on toy collecting. He just said, very calmly, that Ethan had already bought two expensive toys that day, before Ethan took his head off. The alcoholic metaphor works: just because I can go to work, have a social life, pay my bills, etc. doesn’t mean I’m not an alcoholic. Just because I know someone who’s a worse alcoholic doesn’t mean I’m an alcoholic. It just means that, for the moment, I’ve got my addiction under control.)
If someone feels like correcting what I’m saying with links, I’m all eyes. But from what I remember, I’m really having to come down more on Drew’s side. He voiced a concern, Ethan noted that concern, and then promptly did what he wanted anyway. And then effectively rubbed Drew’s face in it. And, yes to whoever said it before, but ‘you will not get between me and my hobbies’ has the explicit meaning of ‘i won’t let you stop me from collecting toys.’ Or, ‘if it’s you, or toys, I’m going with toys because I won’t let you stop me from doing that.’
Seems problematic to me.
You’re right, you’re not a collector and your lack of experience has tainted your view somewhat.
I buy 4 or even 5 toys in one day. Then a month or two or three or four or whenever the next wave comes out I do it again.
If Ethan were to buy three toys a day every day, he would have all the toys he wanted and just be buying duplicates for months out of the year. It’s not like drinking or drugs where twice as much is simply twice as much, with toys twice as much is redundant.
It would be a problem if the toys interfered with Ethan’s day-to-day life… but as he pointed out, he pays his bills on time and such. It WOULD be a problem if he bought toys to the extent that it interfered with his finances. If he collected something like, I dunno, paintings, I think people would be less scandalized…
And, because, I’m dedicated like that, I just flipped through the archives to find the actual comic when Drew first commented about Ethan’s toy collection. He wasn’t sketched out by one or two toys; there were shelves upon shelves (literally, there was what looked like an entire bookcase full of toys) of figures. I’m not a collector, so I don’t know what standards toy collectors go by, but having potentially hundreds of figures, frequently duplicates, and still needing to buy more? All of the time? That has got to be a problem, and I’m not going to back Ethan getting defensive and lashing out at Drew when Drew was, ostensibly, trying to help. He isn’t trying to change Ethan by getting Ethan to cut back, he’s trying to help him. I’ve got friends who drink more than they probably should, and I don’t want to change them if I ask them to drink less. Am I?
Shh, what are you trying to do, get us all killed? I mean, the fact alone that he bought a storage unit for all his figures is a little excessive to me.
But yes you are trying to change them if you ask your friends to drink less, but why is change a bad thing? Other than math, it’s the universal constant. And music. And x.
Is changing one thing about someone the same as trying to change the entire person?
You might be from France and natively speak French; I’m not trying to make you LESS French by asking you to speak in English around me, right?
I think you’re just arguing semantics here. It’s trying to change behavior, which could be seen as changing them. But I think what it’s really about is the motivation. If someone is doing it because they care or think it will help the other, it’s not bad. If they’re trying to control the other person, it’s obviously bad. It depends on intent. Change isn’t necessarily bad.
The intent in your examples seems to be good. Although, seriously that guy really does need to stop speaking French. Totes kidding. Ha ha ha
He wasn’t the first person to have that problem either. It really did start out pretty reasonable.
Regarding whether Ethan’s collection is excessive, well of course it is. I don’t think anyone’s saying that Ethan’s situation is standard and to be expected when dating any collector, though I don’t think a room full of shelves filled with toys is in itself that unusual. One of the points of contention is, however, whether he has a problem or not.
Side note, family friend used to date a comic book collector, also did a lot of toy collecting in relation to comics. Real scumbag, but that’s another matter entirely. His collection consumed her entire basement. It was a year and a half after they separated and he got a new woman before he finally got his stuff back and freed up her basement. I still kind of marvel that she never just threw it out on the curb.
We’re talking an entire floor of a modestly sized house that had no room for even a chair with all the crates of comics and display cases of Cobblepots and Batmobiles.
Now for some perspective, this is a man who I’ve never known to have a job. He does the Sam Axe thing. Every part of the circumstances around this collection makes its’ existence baffling to me.
Ethan’s collection is the product of comedic exaggeration. At the end of the day he’s got a half decent job, spent a pretty good portion of time not having to pay rent, and currently has a sweetass set of roommates that would keep his expenses really low. When all or most of your money is fun money all sorts of stuff is possible. This real collection I witnessed though was just a mystery.
Ha ha ha. That is a mystery. I would’ve tossed them as revenge or something. She’s a better man than I.
I’m not much of a collector, but I can’t figure out the point of owning so much stuff that you need a separate storage place for it all, other than in your closet or under your bed. I mean, if you can’t see it, what’s the point? I mean, I’d get that it’s an investment if he never opened the boxes.
I think he has a real problem if he’s obsessed with accumulation, but can’t even really enjoy it. Especially if he chooses it over a relationship. Or at least, a relationship he cares about.
I sound old here, don’t I? Ha ha ha
The guy’s a pretty genuine drifter. Ended up in my city after my friend spent a weekend in another province, met him in a foodcourt, and brought him home with her. So few ties he can head out for lunch and just find himself in a car going five hundred kilometers west. This is how he lives his life. Spawns a couple babies, gets the boot, and is immediately crashing at some new woman’s place.
This guy’s got problems, but as near as I can tell a burning need to acquire isn’t one of them. Like I said he didn’t even come to pick up the collection for a year and a half after he was able. He’s never seemed to have any problem parting with his possessions. He sells the comics to get by between women, or when the women want him to pull his own weight. On multiple occasions he gave me a bunch of comics simply because I expressing an interest in something, seemingly just grabbing whichever related titles required the least digging to pull out. He always let the kids play with the toys, and never seemed to care if they got broken. The broken toy’ll just go right back on the display with naught but a shrug. An entire basement of crap that meant nothing to him aside from occasionally functioning as rainy day money.
Which brings me back to the original point of the room filled with toys. This guy wasn’t Ethan by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ve never known him to have Ethan’s means or put the time into his collection that Ethan does. Yet this guy had ages ago surpassed the point when he could cover every flat surface in a room with his stuff.
Though one example without knowledge of its’ history isn’t a sufficient sample size to judge the whole of anything. I’m kind of half expecting a collector to chip in and tell me that at some point before I met him he must have been much more actively pursuing the collection with some rich woman’s money. Could very well be that even with the time and money that Ethan puts into his collection, the number of toys in his room weren’t actually feasible.
Estimated at a few hundred toys in that room. Really interested in hearing a second opinion on exactly how much time and money that would be a testament to.
8( I’m glad my boyfriend and I are both toy lovers…
Look upon the DRAMA ye have unleashed!!!!
Damn good comic man, DAMN GOOD.
There is SO MUCH to be said here.
To make this short, NO HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL has a life revolving around ONE thing. Ethan’s life is DOMINATED by toys/Transformers. It was a LONG while back, but Ethan missed work because of an argument he was having with someone online (if I recall correctly). ALL he does involves Transformers/Toys. He doesn’t have any other hobbies (I suspect that he only reads comics/watches Cartoons so he can guess what the new toys will be like.) his Stand up is centered on it and we even works at a toy store. Amber is a good counter example. She does have a collection but she does other things. She has had various boyfriends, a healthy (ish) love life, and seems to spend a good deal of time socializing. But Ethan has only really associated with others in relation to his compulsion. Toy Shopping, the Transformers movies, work events, etc. He has come through when the cards were down but if his addiction continues to grow (which it will) that won’t always be the case.
Is he as bad as Jacob? NO. But reality is shades of gray.. Also the “But he is so much cleaner and it doesn’t effect his finances!” That’s because maintaining cleanliness/finances is required for him to continue his addiction. Plenty of folks will score you some free crack if you whore yourself, or shank someone for them, but the toy market requires a lot of involvement and the high is out of your control. You have to wait till Hasbro feels like satisfying your need. Jacob can pick up Comics, and women on welfare (Also I imagine comics are easy to steal, but I like Jacob and hope he is above that.) and at will. But for Ethan to maintain his addiction he HAS to stay in the loop and have large amounts of available funds as well as a place to store his growing collection. (Also toys are easy to damage and dont stack well, which is why he has his organized. Further more being too clean/organized is also a symptom of some disorders like this. Nothing wrong with a clean place, but considering ALL THE STUFF Ethan deals with the fact that he is so organized is borderline compulsive.
Drew himself only got interested in him on a chance. If Drew hadn’t made a move he would have continued on exactly as he had been.
It’s not the collecting that is the tell here, it is the obsession he has with it. Can he scale back/get it under control? Certainly, but this is a make or brake moment in his life. Whatever was so terrible that caused this kind of need is coming into conflict with his new happiness. Will he have the strength to take the steps needed, will Drew be able to communicate in the right way what worries him about it or will things go bad? It’s gonna be an interesting ride. ^_^
Again Willis, this is an AMAZING strip, your doing a great job man.
I have nothing of value to add right now, but would like it to be known that I did just read (well, skim) through all 300-some comments.
Maybe this argument should have happened sooner. But now that it’s started, it should happen now. Not in a week, not “when he’s grown up.” Now, when the problem has been brought up.
In ’07, Ethan was agonizing about turning 30 in a year or so. Until recently, he hadn’t gone back on stage for a comedy routine and had gotten a job at a toy store because he bombed and needed money. So he’s dedicated just about a decade to collecting toys and not following his dream. Yes, he has a problem. But it could have been handled more tactfully by both sides.
Willis, why are you such a Base-Breaker??? XD
Ethan needs to drop that guy quick, anyway. If he waits too long, Drew’s gonna turn into a tyrannical emperor worm thing that keeps a string of Ethan clones on hand so he can kill Ethan whenever he’s displeased or bored. I mean, just look at those eyes.
But…Mandy’s eyes were black and didn’t have a border.
But Muad’Dib’s eyes were creepy blue.
Yes, but the *SPOILER WARNING* Aiel’s eyes in the end of Towers of Midnight were pure black.
I’m afraid I haven’t read the Wheel of Time series (beyond part of the first book). Did it have a tyrannical emperor worm thing in it that kept a chain of clones in stock, too? Or are you just saying, on a marginally unrelated note, that Mandy resembles some thing from *that* series.
I thought we were listing off series with evil characters that had pure black eyes. I didn’t realize everyone else was talking about the same series.
I was referring to an episode of Billy and Mandy that parodied the story that he was talking about.
This is why I insist any potential relationships involve women who like sports, comics, scifi movies, Monty Python, and… and… oh Lord I’m never gonna get laid…
I wonder if Drew would have the same issue if Ethan was spending his money on something more common place. Say DVD/BR for a movie/tv collection or clothes.
I think Drew just has trouble accepting that he loves someone who’s passion is toy collecting and is ashamed to admit it that Ethan collects to anyone because it isn’t considered “normal” for someone his age to buy toys.
If Ethan’s hobby/passion were collecting designer outfits I don’t think Drew would say anything about it, as long as it wasn’t effecting him financially.
I can understand not wanting the collection to dominate the house/apartment they are in, but there has to be a happy medium between that and nothing.
I have a massive collection myself, one that was spread out wildly in my apartment, I even had it decorating the hallway/stairwell.
Now that I have a home its condensed into one room outside of two pieces.
It also isn’t Ethan’s fault that what he really wants is all released around the same time.
Personally I think the only person making any effort at all here is Ethan. He’s boxed up a considerable portion of his collection, he’s trying to cut down. Drew has done nothing but look down on him for it.
Loving someone isn’t blind acceptance of all their flaws, but it also isn’t trying to force a square peg into a round hole and turn someone into something they aren’t either.
wow the 3rd panel pretty much summed all my feelings about how my year is going. Thanks again!
so no one’s brought this up, but what if drew’s apartment was so bare because he was maybe thinking about having ethan move in with him? maybe that ‘s where the concern about the ammount of toys comes from…just throwing it out there…
ethan has already moved in. Leslie kicked out mike, amber and ethan out of robins place and they all pretty much moved into the same building that jacob lives in. ( I guess because willis didnt want to spread the cast out too thin. now almost everyone is in a more self contained environment
I don’t think so. Remember Drew and Ethan were in Leslie’s house having sex (with Ethan as Riddler) when Robin first came back after her cadbury black out. I think it’s just Roz, Leslie, and Ethan living in the house right now.
Or what if Drew keeps his apartment so bare because he knows it frightens away unicorns? It obviously works, we haven’t seen any unicorns in a while.
Or what if Drew’s apartment is bare because his mother just visited, and it’s just super clean right now?
Or what if the entire apartment is a front for the real apartment that swings out at the touch of a button and is full of clutter?
My point is that any of these could be possible, but they all require gigantic leaps of faith with no evidence (yes, I know that was redundant). The same is true of your post.
Ug. Yeah, Drew is an ass. Maybe Ethan wasn’t completely in the right with _everything_, but I have no respect for people like Drew. That is, people who expect you to discuss things in a relationship when something bothers them, but when something bothers the other person, oh, well, then they’re just in the wrong completely and the conversation is just OVER. Yeah, I really hope Ethan can do better than that.
We don’t know anything about Drew. We know Ethan is a big kid, but we don’t know what Drew likes or dislikes, what his activities are, or much of anything really other than that he’s Ethan’s boyfriend. It’s hard to make judgements on him. Ethan seems alright to me personally.
Drew’s been sort of a stereotypical Shallow Love Interest for most of his tenure here, and I have a feleing that he’s suddenly going to get lots of stuff devoted to fleshing him out.
God I hope so.
You know the saddest part about this strip? I can’t click the next button. I just found this comic and started at the very beginning, and now there’s nothing after it. this is foreign to me…
Oh well. It’ll get updated soon enough I guess.
Oh yeah, and fuck Drew.
That’s Ethan’s job.
Mr. Willis, I think this massive number of comments, just from one episode in your comic, speaks volumes to your ability to write interesting characters that people are able to really attach to. Looking at some of these comments, it’s as if some of your readers have forgotten that the people they are talking about are fictitious.
I just wanted to say thanks for the great stories, and keep up the good work!
So has anyone mentioned that Ethan’s doll addiction is slowly but surely destroying his life yet?
Since most everyone is discussing this with real-world logic and such, one thing I feel like bringing up: He SHOULDN’T be able to keep money in the bank or pay his bills.
The man is a barely-above minimum wage workhorse who only recently began moonlighting with sporadic comedy gigs. He’s been buying toys and wasting gas in their pursuit at a steady pace for ages, including when he was unemployed. Even with a free house and all the amenities it provides (Is that even still true, what with our ousted Robin?), it’s amazing he can continue to support his habit.
his boss is a nutjob who always tried to get Ethan to father heirs for him and made him the figurehead of a religion. Maybe there’s a lot of bonuses in that kind of stuff
Hey! Don’t talk about Connie like that!
I would love to see ‘realistic’ financial limits effect Jacob and Ethan, as I do think it would play up the drama parts of the strip.
The only way I can think this is working for Ethan is if he is grossly exaggerating how well he is balancing this. For example, he only noted he keeps money in the bank. That can be a pretty low amount. His rent could be pretty low given the number of roommates he has, and if he was saving when he had no rent, he might be OK, for now.
But he can be a bad day away from broke.
This comic is realistic up to a point. I mean, Ninja Rick isn’t in prison yet, and they resurrected Ronald Reagan.
Oh yeah. I’ll clarify that I am only interested in more ‘realistic’ financial limits to these two characters to highlight the drama of there hobbies (addiction or not, as the jury is still out on Ethan, though I think most of us can agree he get’s himself into trouble and is compulsive).
I’m more than fine with the crazy mix of different elements in this comic and do not want greater so called ‘realism’ all across the board. I just think it can help on some of the more “Drama Tag” specific elements/plots.
If only Drew was a toy collector, he would be this guy:
That pic is awesome, my friend.
Oh, wait. No, it’s Ethan.
Sorry, my bad.
Upload fail :S
Man, two things occur to me while re-reading this comic.
Drew does say a lot of double edged comments. I’m not sure if he realizes this.
It’s cruel and amusing how Jacob exposed some very shameful sides of himself to Ethan to try to scare him straight, only for Ethan to throw him under the buss to others to point out he’s never been that bad.
As to the relationship between these two gentlemen, I just don’t see it working. I think Ethan does have a growing problem (how many storage sheds does he have rented out?) and Drew just doesn’t like the hobby, even when it’s not too excessive.
But then again, Drew does like Ethan’s Batman humor, so perhaps I am wrong that there is no middle ground to be found.
Y’know, it’s funny. Right after I read this strip, I hit “random” and got taken to the strip where Robin is figuring out Ethan’s “size” for his blind date…
I think there’s some sort of ambiguity, but I am surprised by how many of the commenters want to whitewash Ethan completely. In fact, they’re making a lot of the same rationalizations Ethan might in this situation.
Wait a second…
Well, after all, Drew IS History’s Greatest Monster.
…ok, You’re awesome. This, and Ridureyu’s comment made me crack up XD
Ethan does not need to Call [Drew] next week. Ethan needs to wait for Drew to call: This will reveal whether Drew actually cares about Ethan, because there is zero indication Drew hears Ethan, or even cares about Ethan!
In any case, it is Drew who needs to take a break, and do some thinking. Ethan has seen Jacob’s apartment, so knows where collection-obsession leads.
Drew says It’s just a piece of plastic! It’s not worth fighting over! But Drew started the fight. Hmmm…
It will take some time for Jacob’s message to completely work its way into Ethan’s consciousness, but Drew seems impervious to messages—at this time, anyway. Goodbye, Ethan&Drew…
I am an OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) person, Myself. I can say—for a FACT—that someone yelling at one, and/or belittling one, is guaranteed to have zero beneficial effect!
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