61 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 56.”

  1. Spike, I know you probably think more ahead in some of your story lines than can be considered healthy, and that you’ve got plans and direction and all kinds of things.
    But, I really hope, for better or for worse, that your comic includes some glimpse of what this marriage looks like, one day.

    1. Agreed. Actually, considering Moze, i think it has a good shot of working out if Mere doesn’t mind his chronic laid-back-ness.

    2. Oh my god. I can just imagine Tuesday, sitting in the corner in an extra sexy trash bag ensemble, giving the death glare to anyone brave enough to make eye contact with her and planning out how she’s gonna spin this on her show while quickly getting drunk off the pomegranate alcohol they keep serving her.

      (+1 to anyone who gets the reference.)

  2. So this is what the beginning of a break up in the TAZ-verse looks like. If this happened in the regular universe, talk shows would be tripping over themselves trying to get this on the air.

    1. How dare you even suggest that this relationship may not last. Thier love is so pure. mozday is a ship that will surely last forever!

      1. Pssht, everyone knows the correct name for it is Tuze.

        Also, I love Tuesday of all people whining about something being “exploitative.”

  3. I’d like to think that this will be a (very) open marriage, and in seven years Mere will be brining potential boyfriends home to “meet her husband” to similar reactions. (Or possibly a very awkward dinner together.)

  4. Anyone else think it’s hilarious that Tuesday’s yelling about something being exploitative in the panel that shows off her “vinyl shrug-and-bikini” outfit the most?

    1. TOTALLY. This is a woman who dances naked on a talk show. “Hello, pot? I’d like to talk with you about your current shade…”

      1. To be fair she is an adult and getting naked voluntarily. I can actually see both sides of this argument, it pretty much a case of clashing cultures.

        1. Heh – I think you may be making an unwarranted assumption about which direction in which the exploitation is thought to be working…

  5. Damn you Moze! You make it all sound like you’re such a sweetheart!
    And yet, married to a kid, and…yeah. Ok, I once again have to applaud Spike for doing characters and storylines that really blur the boundaries and make one sympathize with the characters in spite of them doing completely bizarre things.

    1. Married to a PICTURE of a kid, more precisely. BTW, I’m sure Shep & co. aren’t very happy about that marriage right now. They can’t say Moze’s not married to a Nile girl, after all. :-P

  6. Aww! Now I’m on Moze’s side of things…well, mostly. He’s much more considerate than I thought. And Tuesday is starting to go from endearingly freaking out to being ridiculous.

  7. Moze may think with his dick a lot, but he’s not this time.

    C’mon, folks. We’re talking about a culture where it’s okay for a twenty-something guy to pick a wife from a litter of 14-year-old cousins. I can totally see how a young girl might romanticize this thinking that her “betrothed” is going to save her and whisk her away to America.

    Tuesday’s right: if all he wanted was some tail, he could get it easily, right now, instead of waiting for seven years. That’s not why he’s doing it. Stop being creepy about it!!

    1. Moze DOES get a lot of tail – Tuesday’s most recently. :-P

      Besides, knowing some marriage customs that still exist today (despite laws technically forbidding them), being married to a picture of a kid and then WAITING until she’s legal age doesn’t seem bad at all! I mean, it’s not like he’s looking to bedding her NOW.

      Tuesday’s freaking out over this so much has made me dislike her again, so this update was good for me; I don’t want to like her. XD

  8. The most brilliant part of this page, IMHO, is the way that Tuesday’s entire character is encapsulated in the line “Children do NOT write letters!”

    1. I read a review of a play where the reviewer was incredulous that the teen enjoyed Moby Dick, because kids these days only read new fiction. Semi illiteracy is really verociously defended in this country.

      1. Reading and enjoying Moby Dick versus the latest teenie bopper novel is not an issue of literacy but one of taste, and attention span.

      2. I’d like to throw in here that while I think of myself as someone who enjoys a bit of literature (and admittedly am no longer a teenager), I found Moby Dick a little slow… blame the technical details. See also: Anna Karenina’s “farming interlude”.

        1. I usually skip the chapters where he goes into the anatomy lessons and where he goes into excruciating detail about the process of slaughtering whales. The rest of the book is incredibly fascinating. It is a great story with really interesting characters.

  9. I really love this. People tend to go all OMGWTFBBQ over the merest hint of “child exploitation” but this benefits the girl, she’s happy and willing, and it’s not like they’re going to CONSUMMATE the marriage until she’s actually an adult. And even if it didn’t work out between her and Moze, I can see Moze being totally chill with her going off and doing her own thing later on in life.

    1. Honestly, I’d be surprised if they consummated it at all. I’d be surprised if he ever thought of her as more than “That kid, and I guess I’m also married to her, I s’pose,” a lot like the way he explained it to Tuesday. Even if he they do, I’m sure that it’ll be one of those things where he probably leaves it up to her. Interested? OK, I’m cool with that. Not really? Hey, that’s fine too.

      I also love his rationalization about how she talks about her cooking proves she knows he’s a big’un.

      1. Heh, I think Moze would be happy to have her cook for him once she’s in the States, and otherwise each would do their own thing.

  10. My first reaction was “this is a brilliant thing to put into a story, and it’s playing out so wonderfully! I love it.” But as much as I want to trust Moze, it eventually struck me how vulnerable she’s going to be to him. I hope this works out well — I really like Moze, and I’d hate to see him handle what could be a delicate situation gracelessly.

  11. This is what makes Templar a great setting: it lends itself to a lot of these “perfect storm” moments when two people with polar opposite world views are compelled or forced to spend time with each other for whatever reason. In a town like this, nobody should be able to take themselves too seriously… well, not for long anyway.

  12. Interesting how many people seem to focus on consummation and age of consent, as if a marriage were singularly defined by sexuality. The conflict between Tuesday and Moze could be considered a conflict of cultural views on marriage. Tuesday, as much as this may surprise, appears to hold to the Western/Protestant view of marriage as a freely chosen contract founded upon sex, or maybe love. Moze sees marriage (or what doesn’t translate easily as “marriage”) as something else. Marriage is family. If that strikes the reader as incestuous, then that shows how deeply Tuesday’s understanding is embedded in the reader’s culture. One often has little choice in one’s family, but one helps them anyway, however one can, and tries not to abandon them. Who says Moze and Merytre will ever have sex? Moze’ attitude towards Merytre seems almost paternal. And does anyone see Moze forcing someone to do something against their will? Can anyone picture him running after Tuesday if she storms out?

    1. To be fair, ignoring the sexual element would be just as much of a disservice to the situation. Not only is Thutmose himself at least marginally a part of the same culture that produced Tuesday’s (and, arguably, many readers’) reactions – and the child of a subculture that has very different taboos about sex and breeding – Moze also has been portrayed as a walking perpetual erection. That’s not to say he doesn’t have any depth or variety to his personality, but I think it’s fair to examine the borderline sex-addict’s intentions toward his 11-year-old wife/fiancee.

  13. Oh, Tuesday, put some pants on and stop acting like somebody hit you in the face with a lobster. Moze is being non-pervy about something. Encourage that.

    1. That’s the charming thing about Tuesday — she seems arrogantly disinterested in things until something comes up she can freak out about, when she instead cares too much in a very overbearing way.

    2. I wonder if ‘day’s so upset because she’s got Backstory about being the 14-year-old being taken advantage of by the Oh-So-Wonderful Older Boyfriend.

    1. That’s a pretty good collection of webcomics – but I fail to see how Spike missed out on getting labelled NSFW :-)

  14. Oh, next to last panel Tuesday. Her expression. You know, with all this amazingness going on, I’m hardly even noticing her horrific skinniness.

    I’ve been wondering if Moze has the capacity to snap like Gene did.

    1. Not like Gene, I don’t think. Moze has normal intelligence and he’s pretty down-to-earth about HIS parents’ crazy religion. Plus his mother isn’t feeding him strange concoctions to make him channel archangels. ;-P

      1. Hahaha, that’s true. I was thinking more on a ‘They are both extremely laid-back’ plane.

        Normal intelligence? Mmnnn…depending on your definition, I suppose so.

        I think Moze snapping would be at most a frown or a “not cool”.

  15. I don’t dislike Tuesday more for this. She’s painted herself into a corner and is now having to back up her basic assumption, “this is messed up” with increasingly unprovable points. For someone with a tendency to speak before she thinks but who hates being wrong, that’ll happen unpleasantly often (I should know…) I mean, how keen are most people on arranged marriages and betrothal at 13, or in infancy? Tuesday thinks and speaks in broad terms, and this is a narrow snapshot of a single arrangement rather than an overall trend or even a typical case. So she doesn’t know how to read it, it has all the markings of an exploitative situation, but those who are theoretically being exploited seem to be not only resigned but getting exactly what they want.

    As for whether Moze will consummate the marriage once Mere is of age, I don’t doubt it. Unless she specifically objects, I can’t imagine what would stop him. He slept with Curio, remember? And if she wouldn’t do it, he’d go find someone who would. And, if she’s of a more traditional bent, would be very confused as to why she had any issue with it. “You have to stop sleeping with other women. We’re -married- now.” “Nah. Not gunna. You c’n screw other guys if you want. I don’t care.”

    1. This, completely.

      Also, one thing the US has that I’m betting TA!Egypt doesn’t? No-fault divorce and plenty of sympathy for women who felt they were required to marry to go to college.

  16. Has anyone else noticed how Tuesday’s plastic miniskirt has transformed into a bikini bottom over the course of this scene? I kind of liked the mini better :S

  17. Lol, when I first saw this strip, I misread Moze’s line as “easiest way to get here’s to have a BAND.” All I could think was, “Seriously? THAT’S why he and Sunny are musicians? Man, TAZ has some messes up immigration laws.” XD


  18. Ah. See. These last two pages exemplify the kind of social awareness found in Templar that makes it unique, and is one of the reasons I’m in love with it. It’s evidence of the author’s writing skills not only because she’s able to let her characters tell their stories instead of her own, but because it shows an understanding of people and society in general, a …verisimilitude, if you will, that not every writer, especially comic writers, are able to nail.

    Moze isn’t so different from many first generation immigrants (I think he’s first generation?) that struggle with navigating an inherited culture. Clearly there are things he likes about it and is willing to along with, and things he isn’t. His argument here uses tradition and practicality as a defense, and there’s something to be said about that. At the same time, as third world feminist Uma Narayan has pointed out, tradition is constantly changing and only when it is trying to oppress someone does it suddenly become immutable.

    On the other hand, Tuesday is taking a typical colonialist stance on the issue. She’s concerned and aware that women in other countries are often exploited, but she’s approaching the issue as a person with privilege and no understanding of the situation, so much of her argument is coming off as unbearably ignorant and high-handed. Which is very Tuesday. She think she’s in a position to know what’s best for other other people because she’s in a first world country, she’s civilized and enlightened and rich and white and so on. When really, maybe these aren’t her problems to sort out and privileged rage isn’t the way to begin trying to help.

    There’s no right or wrong answer to any of this, the author knows it and doesn’t try to pretend there is one. She just puts it out there as the point of dialogue that it is and lets her go characters go with it. I don’t know if Spike thinks about these kinds of things or not, but in any case it’s there and I love that.

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