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There are a number of reasons why I didn't want to end this storyline yet. First and foremost, I didn't want to depict violence solving a problem.

Violence is cool. Violence is funny. Violence is cathartic. Violence is exciting and interesting and sometimes morally right and frequently necessary... but it doesn't meaningfully solve problems. (Not unless you're willing to kill, anyway.)

Secondly, while the whole Pick-Up Artist subculture is certainly ripe for and deserving of mockery, right now, they're kinda... low-hanging fruit. They make for an simplistic bad guy and an easy target. I don't do easy targets.

And thirdly... while I can't feel any sympathy for the self-proclaimed experts and gurus that spout their seduction guide nonsense, I admit, I do have a certain soft spot for the shuffling pathetic would-be Lotharios and Casanovas who are led astray by it. They're just oversexed and undersocialized, convinced by popular culture that they're inherently entitled to nookie, and this looks like the right way to get it. They didn't sign up, intentionally, to be monsters.

It wasn't until I had already completed inking this storyline that I realized I had, unintentionally, designed our artistic friend, here, to bear a certain resemblance to myself as I appeared in high school. I think, as a sex-obsessed and little introverted ball of hormones and neuroses, I might have been a prime target for the PUA spiel, had those clock cycles of my brain not already been occupied by religion. In a very literal sense - there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Besides, any fans of the TV show Leverage should have automatically known Eric wasn't all bad...


(Sunday morning, EXT, outside Gym)

EB: Hey. Assface. What are you crying about?
EM: Go 'way.
EB: No. Answer the question.
EM: 'M not crying.
EB: Right, right, there's dust in your eyes, you have allergies, you're very manly. Come on, you've been rejected by women before. Hundreds of times, probably.
EM: I was just trying to be romantic.
EB: Romantic? Romance? That's seriously what you were going for?
EM: Well, they said at the seminar...
EB: Oh Lord, you went to a seminar to teach you how to talk to girls?
EM: online seminar.
EB: Oh, you poor dumb shit.
EM: Also my knee still really hurts.
EB: Alright, come on, Papacita. Let me buy you a frozen yogurt you can put on that.