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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I liked that chapter. Sure, it was transformation hijinks again, but I think the focus on the character interactions between Robin, Jason, Anne and Cassie sold it. And I like that the shift to more serious stories includes implications that consequences are starting to mount.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Sorry for the depression, I'd offer sage advice or a complimentary lemon tart, but I really don't think either of those things would actually help.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    "Myths and Legends" was a bit of a redux of the whole "something goes awry resulting in lots of transformation hijinx to everyone around", but it did separate itself from the previous stories by having it occur all over town. Previous usages of that were limited to more specific areas, whereas this hit everyone.

    Next up is "Season 2": Rappy might have been planning to mention this anyway, but just in case I'll explain: The reason they put the "Season 2" moniker here is because there was a fairly long hiatus between Part 9 and Part 10, so they just kind of threw that in there to signify its return (though that hiatus was nothing compared to the one that occurred midway through Part 23).
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    I think I like the comic's sense of progression.

    That's a very odd thing to say about wacky transformation hijinks, I know. But the main characters are getting better at this. They're gaining contacts, allies, and tools, and starting to benefit from the things they've seen before. Anne's getting better at not blowing things up, and Robin's chafing against his role. It's not really maturing or coming-of-age, maybe it's team-building.

    How this'll fit into light farce is another matter.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    Next up is "Season 2": Rappy might have been planning to mention this anyway, but just in case I'll explain: The reason they put the "Season 2" moniker here is because there was a fairly long hiatus between Part 9 and Part 10, so they just kind of threw that in there to signify its return (though that hiatus was nothing compared to the one that occurred midway through Part 23).
    I was planning on it, but hey, you just saved me a bit of time.

    Yes, dear viewers, it is time for the "second season" of The Wotch. Part 9 occured in August 2003, while Part 10 got its cover page up on April 23, 2004. And Lord Seth is right in saying it's not the longest hiatus this comic will have...not by far.

    Part 10: The Revenge of Ishtarru
    T-t-t-timeskip! Yes, just as the comic went on hiatus, those of Tandy had two monhs worth of time pass for them. In that time, it appears that Jason's been pining over Angelique just as Robin has started to enter the passive phase of his Jimmy Olsen Syndrome.

    And speaking of Angelique, she's met up with a more unpleasant genie. You know, the type you have to either word your wish down to the fine print or hope that they aren't that tricky. We also get to meet Jason's mom, who for some baffling reason became a meme of the Wotch forum community soon after her introduction, as well as Robin's younger brother. Charming kid.

    Anyway, Jason's gone missing, unsurprisingly. This leads Anne and Robin to attempt to hunt him down...again, unsurprisingly. That's what friends do, after all. Unlike Jason's mother, apparently. Ms. Grey, I must say, that you're letting your child slip away. There's a difference between bringing love and peace, and thinking that giving your progeny space is the same as dumping them out on an empty hunting lease1.

    And just what predicament has Jason gotten himself into that our heroes must travel to the realm of the djinn to stop? He's fallen into the trap of a genie mob boss, of course! How hilar- Wait, actually, that's a rather disturbing thought. While a regular mob boss might be able to order you some nice cement shoes, one with cosmic magical power can do far, far worse things than death.

    ...Or not, seeing as how GenieLand has a finite amount of juju. Also, Kali's kind of a speciesist, if you hadn't guessed by now. Just like big boss Amaar is kind of a crazy monologuer. Thanfkully, Anne was able to hide herself and Robin and get the guards transporting them transformed into potted plants instead, and our intrepid heroes head off after a tracking spell to chase down the wayward redhead.

    Of course, Angie finds him first, so the tracking spell is a bit of a moot point. Good to see you've figured out your cosmic role so easily, Jason.

    Wait, did I say the tracking spell was a moot point? No, I meant it was a plot point. Dun dun dun!

    Long story short, Ishtarru was a hella bad genie, two magical humans called the Wotch and Worlock kept him from performing a human sacrifice to unleash bad mojo, and the Worlock happens to have a familiar first name. And, of course, Anne manages to get knocked out during this exposition and lead to the realm of Amaar and His Amazing Technicolor Colosseum. We also get to see Angelique discard her djinni nature once again thanks to Kali's less than pleasant demeanor, so there's that.

    But just as things look grim, there's a way out!. Amaar didn't compensate for verbal components. Dark Lord Whatshisface did, though! Troll on, you crazy armored diamond. Troll on.

    Chaos erupts in the arena. It's spell against spell and blade against blade for the fate of the world! The human world, that is, as the Ishtarru reincarnation channeled through Amaar2 destroys his own bottle to create an uber-portal back to Tandy's forested park. Even with all of his power, though, the amalgam genie lord is overconfident, and thus is born his downfall. Thus is also born the genie civil war, which I'm sure will neeeeeeeeeeeeeeever be relevant in a future story.

    Oh, and another plot point and hints of a Start of Darkness to end the chapter on. Hmmm.


    Thoughts
    Chapters like this, in tandem with the whole transformation theme, are why I kept reading the Wotch back in a day. While not exactly Dresden Files quality, obviously, this is a pretty solid urban fantasy adventure story. This chapter gives us a secondary planar location to explore, the first show of the fact that Anne isn't the first Wotch, the introduction of the concept of the Worlock, some world-building history, and a surprisingly bittersweet ending. Poor Jason... He may be a self-serving jerk sometimes, but when he actually starts to care about someone he is just as attached to them as himself.

    The story has now started to really gain its legs, and while definitely shifting to a somewhat more grandiose tone, it hasn't lost its characteristic innate charm and humor. Part 10 is Buffy-lite in its most blatant3, and I love it.


    Notes
    1. That was stretched, yes, but it was my rhyme on my time. ...Heh. Also, proper singularization this time, as Angelique refers to herself as "a djinni" in this story.
    2. Amaarru? Ishtamaar? Whatever.
    3. Hell, there actually is a reference to the Buffyverse (specifically Angel) in this chapter.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next time, I see some trouble on the way... It's Part 11: Moon Over Tandy!
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    I ordinarily don't pay much attention to the words used for spells, but I did notice that this one seems to be a shout out to Harry Potter (expelliarmus is the disarming spell in HP).

    This chapter surprised me re-reading it. It's actually pretty good. It managed to combine comedy and drama fairly well (really liked Kirkashi), and it dropped some information regarding the backstory and some hints regarding future developments. I also feel it didn't overuse the transformations too much (gratuitous transformations is probably my biggest complaint about The Wotch), which was nice.

    Actually, in a number of ways this reminds me of the current arc...
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-03-14 at 12:47 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Although considering The Wotch and Harry Potter both use the Badius Latianus method of spellcasting, there's bound to be a few similar ones here and there.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    This chapter surprised me re-reading it. It's actually pretty good. It managed to combine comedy and drama fairly well (really liked Kirkashi), and it dropped some information regarding the backstory and some hints regarding future developments. I also feel it didn't overuse the transformations too much (gratuitous transformations is probably my biggest complaint about The Wotch), which was nice.
    Apart from foreshadowing future developments, which I can't comment on, I agree. It was a decently paced chapter the way through, there's some good character moments for everyone, and I think the writing is improving.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    Apart from foreshadowing future developments, which I can't comment on, I agree. It was a decently paced chapter the way through, there's some good character moments for everyone, and I think the writing is improving.
    Admittedly, it isn't a lot of foreshadowing, it's mostly just the phone call at the end (we find out who that is a bit later) and the flashback portion with the Wotch and Worlock (where some parts--like why one character gets annoyed about the "pretty eyes" comment--doesn't make much sense until a bit more backstory is given quite a bit later).
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hidden Sanity View Post
    Although considering The Wotch and Harry Potter both use the Badius Latianus method of spellcasting, there's bound to be a few similar ones here and there.
    True, but I'd imagine the use of Expelliarmus was a deliberate reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    Apart from foreshadowing future developments, which I can't comment on, I agree. It was a decently paced chapter the way through, there's some good character moments for everyone, and I think the writing is improving.
    Agreed. I'm now becoming more and more curious about what happened in the latest story after I stopped reading it, but at the same time I am keeping this a reread-followed-by-blind-read, so I'm avoiding reading it yet.


    Part 11: Moon Over Tandy
    What a tweest!'

    Yes, on the very first page of this chapter part, we found out why Wolfie was immune to the Mythos Virus, and why her name puts her up there with Otto Octavius and Vincent Stegron in terms of "names that probably decide your fate".

    Two months later, it turns out that Ivan's investigations have come upon some leads, in spite of Jason's half-hearted attempts at subterfuge. And hey, he's on the right track, at that! Ivan's shaping up to be quite the little Fox Mulder, isn't he?

    Of course, Ivan doesn't have plot on this side. Things aren't quite that easy, however, as Wolfie is rather scared of just who might be behind this mysterious letter that happened to be close to the people who pinned it up in the first place. Lucky for her, she's got a feisty redheaded friend who is open-minded enough to not mind her being a werewolf: Katie McBride! Hurray for decidedly optimistic and caring friends who don't mind you being a lycanthrope. Being an adorably harmless werewolf probably doesn't hurt her case, either. But wait, what's with those claws behind Anne and crew?

    Those claws are a plot twist! Yes, folks, it turns out that the adorable calico kitty was more than what it seemed, and has transformed Katie into a were-cat. A cagey werecat that escapes the Magic Touch and runs off, at that! That means it's tracking1 scene time!

    Also, shiny emeralds. Yay shiny! This item is an old family talisman of Wolfie's, basically acting as a free Will save for avoiding the less savory aspects of curse-based lycanthropy. Thankfully, its magics have woven their way into her family in all those generations, so it gets to act as the saving grace2 for Katie.

    And thus, everyone is set right. Including Milo3. And I'm sure we'll neeeeeever hear about that werecat again4.


    Thoughts
    Another one that's actually even better than I remember it. This is a chapter where we get to meet more of the general residents of Tandy, see an expansion on Wolfie, Milo, and Katie (somewhat akin to the building of Cassie and Jason last chapter), and transformation magic used as a combat aid. In addition, we have an antagonistic force that is driven not by delusions of grandeur or extreme powers, but simply by being a creature whose very nature prompts it to propagate its species in a rather unpleasant manner. All in all, another decent chapter! This is turning out to be a more smooth read than I thought.


    Notes
    1. Yes, that is a centaur employee. If you hadn't guessed by now, Tandy is kind of a paranormal magnet.
    2. Oh, Mark and Xander, unlike many individuals in the comic, are based on individuals Anne went to school with as opposed to people that participated in the IRC that birthed The Wotch concept. Or that's how I understand it, at least.
    3. First one to mention "Built to Resist" gets a free trout-to-the-face.
    4. ...No, really, we won't. This time it's actually a red herring.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next time, we've got an arc that entirely focuses around the resistance movement of the oppressive regime's dimension. Tune in for Part 12: War Stories!
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Not much to add other than two points:
    This page bugged me because of how utterly pointless it is, and it's possibly the worst example of the "transformations just for the sake of transformations" that annoys me about The Wotch (I will admit, though, that "Ka-Copyrighted" was funny).

    This one was funny, and reminded me of the "Sideshow Bob Roberts" episode of The Simpsons where Smithers is trying to pull something like that where he's hidden in the shadows, but Homer accidentally shines his carlights on him and reveals his identity. But one thing that stuck out at me is the fact that Robin seems surprised that Jason carries a cell phone does rather date the strip...unless he was reacting with specific surprise that Jason carried one, though I'm not sure what about Jason would make him someone think he'd be unlikely to carry one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Agreed. I'm now becoming more and more curious about what happened in the latest story after I stopped reading it, but at the same time I am keeping this a reread-followed-by-blind-read, so I'm avoiding reading it yet.
    Well, the latest story seems like it's wrapping up and will probably only last a few more weeks, so there's actually a good chance that you might catch up to it at about the same point it concludes.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    "Moon Over Tandy" didn't work brilliantly for me. It might have been little things like Wolfie being too obvious about grabbing that note about a suspicious meeting and showing it to everyone. Or how the pursuit was just a chase and throw-the-item thing, or the little one offs like how redhead comments aren't just made around Jason anymore (it's at the point now where I suspect it's an author fetish) or the centaur shopkeeper out of nowhere. It could also be that I think the Wotch is starting to overload on characters, and whether it should be spending arc time developing the characters it's already established rather than promoting even more side characters to semi-important positions.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    It could also be that I think the Wotch is starting to overload on characters, and whether it should be spending arc time developing the characters it's already established rather than promoting even more side characters to semi-important positions.
    You are going to love this next arc, then.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    "Moon Over Tandy" might be an arc that works better when you look back at it after reading the rest.
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-03-18 at 04:35 PM.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    So, is this on temporary hiatus due to being busy? I'm probably one of the last people who can really complain about abandoning a Let's Read, but I'm just curious.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    So, is this on temporary hiatus due to being busy? I'm probably one of the last people who can really complain about abandoning a Let's Read, but I'm just curious.
    Yeah, apologies about that. My grandmother's health has been deteriorating, some financial issues have cropped up, and I've been suffering from severe depression and mood swings again.

    I do plan on covering the next chapter some time over the next seven days, though.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I could make some sort of comments about how over the past weeks I've been recovering from the death of my grandmother, but I'd rather just get into this.

    Welcome to the big Dark World arc of The Wotch, entirely focused on the dimension that Xaos has taken over.

    Part 12: War Stories
    From the very first page, we are informed that this is not only an extradimensional arc, but a flashback arc as well. One focusing on an array of characters we mostly haven't seen before, and most of whom we aren't likely to hear from again1. Characters that will give us flashbacks within flashbacks.

    No, I wasn't kidding. Basically, the war stories the chapter title refers to are the members of the anti-Xaos resistance movement discussing their own encounters with the dark lord himself. Sharingan Guy and his penguin companion encountered Xaos during a botched raid and the apprentice mage encountered him during the Hero's Journey plot, for instance.

    The one that's probably the most relevant to the plot as a whole, though, is the tale of the Roy-esque individual Ehud. His tale reveals that the Wotch of the time of the Ishtarru incident was named Petra, though apparently she didn't live as long as Xaos has. I mean, centuries? Guy's nothing if not persistent.

    Of course, the tales of Ye Red-Cloaked Mystery Man and elven Zeus guy are rather notable as far as the history of Xaos goes as well. Long story short, Kohain awakened Xaos from a long sleep, did the Grima Wormtongue treatment on him, and gave the dark lord his current evil spiky helmet of doom. Or not, because why should we trust the words of a traitor? With a reveal like that, it's obvious that a fight ensues2.

    The outcome of the fight is not good for the heroes of the resistance. Not good at all. An not very good for our normal heroes, either.



    Thoughts
    War Stories is certainly a war story, alright. It also just feels rather out of place. After the rather more light-hearted fare of Moon Over Tandy, War Stories is a rather cold-water-in-the-face chapter, having only a smattering of the typical comedy of the series. It is also rather divorced from any of the characters we've been groomed to care about, with the villains of all people being those we are most familiar with. Actually, that could be the point, come to think about it. If you think of this chapter as a Xaos story, it actually makes a bit more sense...but still doesn't treat the dissonance of tone.



    Notes
    1. Note the lack of a sarcastic drawing out of words and repeated joke. I'm serious about most of them not returning.
    2. Oh, and Xaos's bounty hunter is a were-woman. Because why not at this point?


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next time, we'll be looking at the only canonical crossover The Wotch has had. Yes, you heard that right: a canon crossover. Be prepared for Part 13: Accidental Wotch.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Accidental Centuars was charming at times. I remeber the combination being fun, and interesting.

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    I'm poking my thread up before the alloted time limit is up.

    Expect a new post soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    1. Note the lack of a sarcastic drawing out of words and repeated joke. I'm serious about most of them not returning.
    I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that most if not all of them do appear later on, even if not in particularly important roles. The only one I can't remember seeing again (though I could be wrong) is the guy who wore the red cloak (and also the old guy, but as he presumably died, that's not a surprise).
    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Oh, and Xaos's bounty hunter is a were-woman. Because why not at this point?[/LIST]
    I actually thought that was an interesting aspect. I found the idea of them actually being two different people in one--and not in the "split personality" or Jekyll and Hyde way that it's usually done--was pretty interesting. It's true they haven't really done much with the concept outside of the brief "Minds of Monsters" aside (which mostly just served to clarify their situation anyway), but I still thought it was a pretty cool idea.
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-05-21 at 06:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that most if not all of them do appear later on, even if not in particularly important roles. The only one I can't remember seeing again (though I could be wrong) is the guy who wore the red cloak (and also the old guy, but as he presumably died, that's not a surprise).
    I could have sworn they didn't, but I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong. It feels strange going back and reading all these and feeling like it's been ages since I saw them, and only vaguely remembering.

    Also, on an unrelated note, I happened to see the cover for the newest story on my way to prepare for this Let's Read post. Color me a shade of "what" with a dab of "I'm fairly sure lower bodies don't work that way". Anyway...


    Part 13: Accidental Wotch/Wotch This!
    Disclaimer before this story begins: I've been told that Accidental Centaurs had a continuity reboot since the time of this stories. I've never read it, so hell if I know. Also note that the comic alternates between the art styles of the two comics that crossed over, so don't be surprised when things look wonky.

    Somewhere, someplace, some time, there's something evil going down. An evil that involves...Spam and flying monkeys! How diabolical.

    So, yeah, the Wicked Witch of the Public Domain here has teleported our heroes into another dimension that has transformed them: Anne is an armless rattlesnake naga thing, Jason is a female centaur, and Robin is a dragon. They've also happened to land on some other people that apparently know of Earth, two centaurs by the name of Sam and Alex1 and a wiseass genie named Lenny that makes only slightly less pop culture references than Robin Williams.

    In any case, the Wicked Witch has apparently heard of the Wotch thanks to Xaos, whose realm she originally inhabited, and wants to gain Anne's power for herself. And with our heroine currently disarmed...forgive me for that...the Witch captures her rather quickly.

    And what better way to harness someone's power than to turn them into a wand? ...Erm, probably siphoning in a Parasite-esque manner, but whatever works, I guess. Though, to be fair, it's not her fault so much as Anne's. Fight the power!

    Speaking of fights, one obviously ensues in an attempt to get Anne back from the Wicked Witch. Or, more accurately, they get zapped. A whole lot2.

    And then the Witch gets turned into a frog and escapes, her absence joyously bringing back the truffula trees. ...No, seriously3.

    With everything set in balance, our heroes head home, knowing that the day has once again been saved.

    Oh, and there's this one shot proving that the Wicked Witch got turned back apparently. Whatevs.


    Thoughts
    You know how they say "nothing ventured, nothing gained"? Well, this storyline is pretty much a venture with no real long-term gain. Sure, at the end of the story there's a mention of Angie to get Jason's hopes up, and the knowledge that Anne and her friends' exploits have started to spread to other corners of the multiverse, but this is definitely more or less a filler story.

    Now, let me make an addendum to that by stating that a filler story is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, The Wotch is often at its best when it is simple fun rather than trying to be an epic drama. Accidental Wotch is a chapter that does indeed deliver on pure random craziness on a level that you can't help but grin at, and the two alternating art styles make for an interesting game of compare and contrast as each page goes by.

    Thus, while you could skip by Accidental Wotch and not really miss anything of substance, it's still a decently fun read.



    Notes
    1. Apparently, these two are scientists that managed to shift into a human-void dimension where they have become centaurs. Again, I never read Accidental Centaurs, so I'm taking the word of some friends and the "About the comic" page of AC.
    2. The end of this crossover shows that Sam keeps use of the magic imbued from her fusion with Anne, but I'm not sure if this is of any consequence as, again, AC had a reboot later on.
    3. According to one of my sources, the fellow that does Accidental Centaurs has a thing for Seussian iconography, so there you have it.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    For whatever reason, I actually skipped through most of Accidental Centaurs when I read through The Wotch and never actually bothered to read it until this thread (well, I read it before you got to it, but still). Which kind of just shows the general irrelevance of it all. Outside of I think one brief mention of the wicked witch (at some point, can't remember when) and Lenny showing up in one of the guest arcs, I don't think anything from it comes up again.
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    It doesn't show up in Accidental Centaurs at all. Pretty poor for a crossover, but still I appreciated it as fun. There was a spin off comic though that was really good set in the same world that focused on a small town of various monsters, like bugbears, naga, Centaurs and the like which was a better read than both but I can't for the life of me remember the name.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Apologies for yet another dearth of activity. I had another major spate of depression and writer's block. My psychiatrist has me on "solar therapy" (read: get outside more often when it's sunny and let the sun into the house), though, so back to the grindstone.

    Part 14: Date Night...of DOOM!
    Yes, another "...of DOOM!" title, and like the last one it has a strong focus on our favorite Goth occultist, Cassie Sinclair. Cassie's not the only one fishing for a date, though.

    Jason is fishing for some company as well, for the most logical reason of all: personal gain! I've said this before, and I'll say it again: rereading The Wotch, I've found I lose Jason's shrewd and self-serving nature. He strikes a good balance, being selfish and opportunistic but not to the point of eschewing the friends he has made.

    And what about Robin? Well, he's getting his own plot point as well. After failing to be anything but utterly useless most of the time, the straight man of the group has decided he's going to get martial arts training from the dojo of one Konoha1 Anko, the blue-haired teacher of Robin's quirky young brother Kirk.

    And speaking of quirky Kirk, he happens to accidentally consumed the love potion Cassie brewed! And to make things worse for Robin, Jason is around in the Sonja persona and Robin proceeds to fail at words. Awkwardness and tensions ensue.

    Long story short: Jason is perceptive, Robin is dense, and a bet leads to Robin asking Cassie out on a date. We also continue to see Jason's apparent comfort with the persona of Sonja, as well as his decidedly accepting mother2.

    Skipping over some unimportant crap involving the children of the heroes, let's get to the date...

    ...Or we could have succubi appear. That works too. These two are Drax (the big one) and Anibelle (the small one), and they don't seem to be too fond of the Wotch. What a surprise, given how many people we've seen from beyond Tandy that have actually loved Anne.

    Meanwhile, back at the dates, Jason has learned about victim blaming and Robin's date is being crashed by our two horned devils. Oh noes!

    I don't really care to go into the fight, so I'll just note that near the end we get to see that Cassie still has an honorable streak in her in spite of all that has happened. Of course, in a scene after Jason gets a wake-up call to the consequences of actions, Cassie's honor streak isn't repayed very well. Though at least Robin realizes he was an ass.



    Thoughts
    Character development: it's a thing that happens. Cassie's story has shown her as a passionate, but ultimately restrained, individual. While her initial methodology was "magic will solve this", repeatedly attempting to stuff potions into Robin's gullet to force him into loving her, by the end of the night she's despairing over Robin's deceit and barely manages to avoid hurting the one she loves. Still, she did manage, and Robin remains unroasted.

    As for Jason and Robin, they've both realized that they were being colossal heels. Robin's refusal to admit his love for Anne lead to him breaking Cassie's heart, and Jason's attempt to toy with love for his own gain resulted in far more than he could have bargained for. In a way, this is Robin and Jason's equivalent of Schizophr-Anne-ia, in that it is a story that focuses on trying to tamper with the fickle nature of emotions...just without, you know, the whole emoticlones and all.

    This story also contains notable turning points for Robin and Jason. For Robin, his venture into martial arts is a show of his insecurity at being second banana to Anne, and his almost neurotic desire to be able to protect her. As for Jason, we get to see a bit of an inkling that the Sonja persona might be a growing desire beyond just "Anne does this to me, I snark, move on", as well as the fact that when push comes to shove he'll tell Robin what's what.

    This is a rather solid chapter, overall, at least in my mind. The random succubus-type infiltrators from the freedom fighters don't add a lot to the plot, but the plot isn't really heavily about them or Anne this time. This is Cassie, Robin, and Jason's chapter, and they make the best of it.



    Notes
    1. Is Konoha actually used as a name in Japanese, or is this purely a referential joke? Any folks knowledgeable in Japanese culture beyond its mythology (sorry, I have a limited scope sometimes) care to weigh in on this?
    2. Though, to be fair, Tandy is not your normal town in Somewhere, USA, and it's not really surprising that Jason's mother doesn't care. I mean, really, even those that live in the town know they're a collection of oblivious folk.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next time, we're getting to that chapter. The infamous chapter. The one that has already been alluded to by some posters in this very thread.

    That's right, next time it's Part 15: Consequences. Hold on tight.
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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Rappy returns!

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    A1. Is Konoha actually used as a name in Japanese, or is this purely a referential joke? Any folks knowledgeable in Japanese culture beyond its mythology (sorry, I have a limited scope sometimes) care to weigh in on this?
    Purely a Naruto reference, which I did not catch on the first time I read through this because I hadn't watched Naruto yet.


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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Next time, we're getting to that chapter. The infamous chapter. The one that has already been alluded to by some posters in this very thread.

    That's right, next time it's Part 15: Consequences. Hold on tight.
    Oh dear.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Yep. Here we are, ten days past the last review. We had to get here eventually, the inevitable "make it or break it" arc for pretty much everyone I've seen talk about the comic outside of its long-term fans. Yep, it's time for...

    Part 15: Consequences
    Our story begins in the most hallowed of all adventuring party locations, the tavern school cafeteria. Robin is still realizing how much of an ass he was to Cassie, Jason is plugging Gail Simone's work while withdrawing into himself as an expression of his own shame, and Anne is being oblivious and tempting the fickle story convention deities.

    And, lo and behold, we have Ivan to bear the hammer of plot gods, while unfortunately sounding crazier than the lovechild of David Icke and John Keel. Still, he happens to be crazy and correct, which means that the Littlest Fortean has gotten his big scoop after all. And by getting this scoop, he's started off1 a chain of events whose rings trail longer than he could have fathomed2.

    Meanwhile, Anne and co. get to hear the story of the centaur cashier we saw in a few earlier stories. Turns out, she happened to be transformed by the very magic rain that cured everyone else back in the Mythos Virus story arc, and couldn't even be restored by the power of Captain Mysterious and her phoenix companion3. Conveniently, though, an illusion spell and time has allowed both Centaur Cashier and her boyfriend to adjust to the whole "I'm a creature that most people believe to be the sole purview of mythological texts". So much so that Centaur Cashier seems like she may want to stay a centaur! How conveeeeeeeeenient.

    Speaking of conveniences, Anne pulls out her old emotion separation spell and talks to the emotion of Straw Feminism, who essentially tells her that this is totes logical. You see, the jerk jocks just needed to let out their feminine side to not be jerks. Because the line of *******ry versus peppy nicety totally relies on gender identity and isn't stereotyping both genders at all. Nope, not at all...

    After that heart-to-heart talk with herself, we get a moment of Jason being Jason4 before Anne gets to deal with the next individual on the agenda: the Mingmeified Prof. Sorgaz. As with Centaur Cashier, the cloaked phoenix-toter has already made her rounds, and the resolution is basically "oh hey I've come to terms with this 'kay?"

    As for the cheerleaders...yeah, it's just what you'd expect.

    Moving into the finale of the story, we have Anne, even though she found out that everything she had done was to people who turned out to be fine with it, kind of flipping out and deciding to quit magic altogether. Of course, this sounds off the alarm across the magical underground of the area, and we get the reveal that the mysterious masked phoenix-toter was...the former Wotch! Dun dun dun!



    Thoughts
    As you already know from this thread, I pretty much forgot much of The Wotch's story arcs in the time between reading them originally and doing this thread. So, how does the infamous Consequences arc happen to look to me now that I've read it with a fresh mind with no nostalgia goggles of remembrance? Well...

    Really, the arc would have been more accurate if it was entitled "Loose Ends", as that's what it's really about. This arc isn't about consequences and Anne owning up to her actions, it's about tying up the loose ends that gathered around her. The only notable consequences are that Anne ends up hating herself even when no one else really did, and that her attempt to just up and quit magic (though I'm not sure how one with innate magic would expect to never ever use it again) alerted the former Wotch and brought her running.

    At the same time, I can't really bring myself to hate this arc so much as just have apathy and "could have been better" feelings toward it. In transformation wish fulfillment stories, the "was transgender/transethnic/otherkin/whatever ALL ALONG" trope is very common, and it pretty much drives this chapter. On the other hand, you have to sit back and ask yourself whether or not a thinly-veiled wish fulfillment plot can really drive an entire story arc.

    And personally? Outside of maybe one-shots or intro stories, I don't think it can. To bring up another trans* fantasy series without any concern whatsoever, the Whateley Academy stories are probably better on this matter because the wish fulfillment part of the story kind of get shoved out with the character intros and the quota becomes "transformed and okay with it so you were probably trans* of some stripe all along, no worries, let's do superhero stuff".

    To sum things up, I don't find Consequences a mind-jarringly painful arc, but I do find it bland and in some places quite ill-thought-out. It does directly lead into the next story, though, so I can't exactly say it's a story arc you can skip either.



    Notes
    1. I know I don't comment on the art often (or not as often as some might prefer), but I could not turn to the next page for several minutes due to my mind just repeatedly going "...the hell is with Ming's spine?!" It seems to pop shorter and longer from panel to panel like a freakin' slinky!
    2. I'll also note that, while not really important to the greater story, I do like the end of this page as more indication of the side of Jason he tries to restrain behind a wall of apathy. The more I reread this story, the more I have the pet theory that Jason is genderfluid, and in a more subtle way than a lot of what we end up seeing in this arc.
    3. Or her huge exposition bubbles, for that matter.
    4. Have I mentioned I like Jason more and more as I read this series anew? I'm sure I have.
    5. Given what forum we're on, I'd be loathe to ignore the little scene with the roleplaying group of Tandy and note that there is indeed a Dungeons and Dragons book being used. Brownie points for the first person who can correctly identify it.
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    the Mingmeified Prof. Sorgaz. As with Centaur Cashier, the cloaked phoenix-toter has already made her rounds, and the resolution is basically "oh hey I've come to terms with this 'kay?"
    If there's a bit in this whole mess I find unforgivable, this is it. Anne pretty much committed homicide...and it's supposed to be all right because the victim decided his life wasn't all that great anyway?
    Sorry, NO. Just, NO.

    This wasn't what turned me off The Wotch - I quit reading much, much further - but it certainly lowered my opinion of the comic.
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    At the same time, I can't really bring myself to hate this arc so much as just have apathy and "could have been better" feelings toward it. In transformation wish fulfillment stories, the "was transgender/transethnic/otherkin/whatever ALL ALONG" trope is very common, and it pretty much drives this chapter.
    Yeah, I've noticed that virtually all "gender bender" stories tend to fall into one of two categories - either the character was "trans all along", or the issue of gender identity is simply ignored/handwaved away entirely. It's the nature of the genre, I suppose.

    Still, it'd be interesting to read a "gender bender" story where the issue of gender identity was actually taken seriously, for a change...

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