129 thoughts on “Chapter 6: Creative Fiction, Page 9.”

  1. Man, I wish it didn’t happen, but…I saw it all the time when I was in college. In my group of friends, there was one Black/White interracial couple.The lady in the relationship was African American, and she was constantly faced with the “Brothers aren’t good enough for you?” comments from all sides, including friends and family.

  2. And here I thought the cashier would lose some cred for her remarks on whether or not Reagan is beautiful. Maybe her remarks are a commentary on Reagan’s effect on the audience. Reagan is a force of nature to most. Yes, she is fat by anyone’s standard, but damn if she doesn’t excite something in the reader. Maybe it’s her imposing nature.

    1. > Yes, she is fat by anyone’s standard, but damn if she doesn’t
      > excite something in the reader. Maybe it’s her imposing nature.

      Doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who think she’s pretty / nice to look at. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing a real-live Rae :) Her strong character sure helps some more though!

      1. As a tall fat lady I want to say that I need a “I am Ray-gun” t-shirt (with her signature glasses somewhere, maybe framing the words “Ray” and “gun”?) REALLY REALLY badly. In 3XL, please.

        1. Ciamar a tha sibh, a Yobar? A bheil sibh Albannach? Tha mi a Canada (an talamh an fuar) agus Brasil (tir nan craobh).

          Huh. How does one lenite “Yobar?” It isn’t Gaidhligh…

          Tsk. As if Yobar will ever read this, over a year after the fact… Oh well. Practice is practice.
          (And if anyone notices, no; I did not forget the accenting. My computer did something weird and I can’t get the accent function back.)

  3. Wow! Just my opinion:
    Only in a comic could you treat a customer like that!
    Most times, you’d get written up, or fired, for treating a customer in that nasty way.

    1. I’m not sure what fantasy world you live in, but people are rude to each other all the time – customers to employees, and employees to customers.

      1. Um…no offense, but did you read the [it’s just my opinion] statement, in my comment?
        It’s a little different from a [this is true in all cases] statement. By-the-by, if you are concerned about [fantasy world(s)], Please notice-I was merely commenting about Templar…a comic…a fantasy world.
        Do my comments about Templar have to be dictionary-entry perfect?

        Please, “Lighten up, Francis”.

    2. Even if a corner liquor store called “Chemical Warfare” *has* a manager who cares, I bet the Sincereists have a non-discrimination act for that.

      1. I think you’re assuming the sincereists are more like a religion, when they’re presented more like a subculture. Goths don’t really have non-discrimination policies in their favor, and I imagine sincereism is the same way: not a thing that’s easy to do if you also want to hold a job.

        1. Well the difference between sincerists and RL goths is that in Templarverse they could very well get away with anything, since it’s their personal philosophy. You talk to a sincerist, you take what they say. Don’t want to hear it? Don’t talk to them.

          1. Right, but there’s nothing requiring anyone else to put up with their personal philosophy. I imagine the rest of the world (including potential employers) often sees them as rude and impertinent, rather than principled.

    3. Hahaha! Maybe it’s that way in Utah but sure isn’t in Maryland. I look very young for my age and would frequently get either dirty looks or lectures about what a “smart girl” I was for buying condoms by nosy female cashiers.

      1. Seriously. I’m white and my girlfriend’s black, we live in an area with a lot of both black and white people, and the most crap we get from anybody is a very rare dirty look.

        If you’re not interested in black women, it’s whatever, everybody has preferences, but don’t try to use fictional characters’ behavior as an excuse.

      1. … is it racism, though? I didn’t take this as him saying he didn’t date black women because he thought they were all like this. I thought it was him saying he was white and didn’t date black women because prejudice like this against interracial couples existed.

        1. disregarding my borderline awful writing (cause i just dont give a flip) i think it aint hard to agree that if the thing holding you back from openly loving someone is race, no matter if its directly or based on how society reacts to it, thats racism. its placing a prejudice based on what everybody else in the world thinks about you more than what you feel is right, just because of race. that stuff aint nearly as black and white as whipping out derrogatory slurs.

      2. Apologies, it was actually kind of a half joke. I myself am a black male of 25 years, and I have not dated any black women. Not that I have any problems with them in general it just happens that there arent a lot in the areas ive lived in and ive developed a taste for the Latin persuasion as a result.

        But because of that interest, I do have female family members that do respond in ways represented in the comic, and it CAN be kind of off puting. A lot of the times (in my experience) it doesnt have anything to do with racism per-say, more of a Team mentality which I guess can develop into racism.

        Either way I dont think the character in the comic is being a racist, nor do I think my comment was racist. Some people like cats because they dont require a lot of attention, some people like dogs because they bark at people. I just dont happen to like hearing barking.

    1. This comment isn’t racists just prejudiced. No matter which way it was meant. It either says that you believe a stereotype of black women or a stereotype about interracial relationships. Racism is hating someone for their race, judging someone on the color of their skin is prejudice. The two aren’t the same. As someone who comes from a true melting pot family, I’ve seen it all. The fact is, stereotypes come from either a majority of a group share a trait, or a highly visible subset of a group share a trait. The only two things I can say about it, is if you don’t like the stereotype the don’t be the stereotype. And secondly if you don’t like being stereotype,then refute all stereotypes. You can’t say all of your group is not thieves but proudly proclaim that everyone in your group is good at jenga. Unless your group is the professional jenga league, but even then every league has bad players so still bad generalization.

    1. Seriously, having worked in these jobs, it would blow your MIND what coworkers will get all excited about “Can you $%&*ing believe… (totally normal thing that you didn’t even notice), How can they even..?”. People are weird and they get all up in arms over the weirdest shit. I have worked with this girl. She exists.

    1. You know about soft serve ice cream right? Mixing your chocolate into the vanilla is a swirl cone. I think it might be a midwest slang. I don’t hear it down in Texas

      1. Nah, I live in the south (also Texas), and it’s not just midwest slang. I have noticed that I do not hear it in areas that are very rural and/or homogeneous though.

        1. I’ve heard “swirl” for mixing the two flavors here around 39°N 90°W, middle of nowhere rural Illinois, for more than 20 years.

      2. glad I read through all the comments, thanks for layin’ the info on us, I had no idea what that comment meant.

      3. Wow, I work at a soft serve place in the Midwest and I did not get that reference. This is why I read the comments.

      1. The “trophy” line is a reference to another stereotype, that black men consider white women to be trophy girlfriends, prestigious when showed off.

        1. Seriously?

          No… wait… seriously?

          Even assuming that’s true… Reagan? As a trophy? At worst she’s an embarrassment, at best a guilty pleasure. But never a trophy you’d show off to your friends.

          1. Yet another stereotype: Black men supposedly prefer heavier white women over thinner white women.

    1. I was thinking the same thing about the colouring on his shirt in the “swirl your cone” panel, actually. It’s a small detail, but it really looks like fabric! It’s lovely.

  4. This happens everywhere. I see it all the time. the cashiers butting in thinking they KNOW. and sometimes, including this time, they are right. She got the details wrong because she doesn’t know the whole thing, but poor scip…

  5. It took me a moment to realise what “swirl your cone” meant. I was like… “… is that, like… some sex thing I don’t know about? Is… is it something to do with his hair?”

    The thing is, this happened back home in Canada too in the small rural town I grew up in between us Native American kids and the white kids. A lot of us grew up hearing stories first-hand from relatives who survived it about being taken away from their families decades ago and being beaten and forced to give up their language for English, so there’s this big focus on pride in your heritage… which is great to have, but unfortunately for some people, they take that to mean “Associating with white people on any intimate basis is shaming and degrading yourself.” So if you were a Native gal dating a white guy, you got the cold shoulder from other Native girls and your boyfriend got the stink eye (and possibly threats) from the Native guys… and vice-versa, too, since it was pretty much bad feelings all around at that point. Admittedly, it didn’t help matters that if you were a Native kid, our sole local (white run) high school signed you up for MANDATORY after-school counseling because they assumed you were going to be more likely to have bad grades, use drugs, be an alcoholic, etc… but I digress.

      1. And light hair to boot. She could be a grown-up version of Jazmin from the Boondocks. I believe this was very well-planned on Spike’s part. :)

        1. Exactly what I think is the punchline (I had to google the Boondocks reference) of this little scene and somewhat a recurring theme of youth rebellion in TAZ; a King Street girl that probably resents being raised of the affluent world of her parents while simultaneously trying to make herself out to be a special snowflake.

    1. Well, if that is true, I’d imagine her reaction is borne from a hundred taunts about her skin tone. It’s not just the adults that get reactions about being a couple with mixed skintones. It often carries over to remarks about the children, too.

      1. That’s an ugly thing and i wish it weren’t so. There’s a lot of cultural nuances here, too, that are really confusing from someone on the outside of it, and i like that we’re getting a hint of address to that, here, even if it goes no farther.

        Still, I have to feel for this lady, there’s a ribbon of dissatisfaction-with-self in her words and it’s pretty heartbreaking to think about.

    2. That doesn’t mean anything. How long have you been reading this comic? I think one of the biggest themes in Templar, AZ is how blind people are to their own hang-ups.

      1. Quite a long time, actually, but hypocrisy is easy to spot and satisfying when spotted, even when it’s common.

    3. Went to a high school that was 80% black. One of the loudest girls was named “Rachel.” Her mother was white and it showed in her skin tone and eye colors. She also talked totally like a white girl. But after the Rodney King beatings (I’m totally dating myself), she shaved her head, changed her wardrobe to African clothes, dumped her white friends, and spouted non-stop borderline (and not so borderline) racism all over school. A lot of my white friends hated her. I didn’t know her well, but I felt ery sorry for her. It’s cool to look for your heritage and be very on board with change, but hate—especially hating a race that you are half of—is sad. Made me wonder how she got along with her parents at home (they were both together).

      1. Hrm… I don’t suppose you happened to go to a geek h.s. in LA? That sounds vaguely like a Rachel I used to know.

        1. Maryland actually (ironically, I was born in CA). I think Spike is from around here, too, so maybe she knew my Rachel. The cashier looks an awful lot like her (minus the shaved head).

  6. we see scip stand up to reagan by holding his own in their arguments and refusing to let her push opinions on him, but to the unacquainted eye he looks like a bitch. her bitch. this big, handsome black dude is this ugly, white lady’s bitch. i’m sure they make almost everyone they meet uncomfortable in someway or another. they’re probably know locally as that obnoxious-race-war-couple-with-unresolved-sexual-tension-that-likes-to-argue-about-way-too-personal-shit-in-public.

      1. Why is it that every time someone says they aren’t attracted to someone fat, they *must* be -phobic or prejudiced…

        Guess what, not everyone likes what you like. Get over it.

        1. When someone’s equating ugly to fat in a way that doesn’t even acknowledge it as a personal preference then yes, that’s fatphobia. They’re piggybacking on cultural stereotyping of fat as ugly.

          And personal preferences don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re hugely informed by social conditioning. So yeah.

          1. A: Phobias are fear of something, not dislike of something.

            B: Did he really have to add IMO/IMHO to it for someone to infer it was preference? Furthermore, he never stated that she was ugly soley on looks. Perhaps the ugly comes from the raw bluntness she exhibits. That assumption speaks volumes about your phobia of being larger.

            C: Personal preference is also formed by…wait for it…genetics and education. Many people date outside of what “social conditioning” would dictate. That’s why you see so-called odd couples…who aren’t so odd anymore. So yeah.

      2. I don’t think it’s fatphobic to point this out, or to point out that the unacquainted eye is more likely than not fatphobic. Whether or not you or kat_lab finds Reagan ugly misses the point of the comment.

        And in any case, it’s clear the cashier finds Reagan ugly. I think it’s reasonable to recognize that, along with the prejudices that amount to it, fat being one.

      3. kat_lab called Reagan ugly. I don’t see anywhere that she called Reagan fat. So why are you assuming kat_lab is calling Reagan ugly because she is fat? That seems a little knee-jerk defensive to me.

  7. Pfff. I dated a black woman (I’m white) for a few years in the ’80s in North Carolina, and nobody ever gave me any shit (she never mentioned anything, but who knows). I’m sure I was just lucky, but date who you want. Don’t let others dictate your happiness.

    1. You are very lucky (or a very big, tough-looking man who most people wouldn’t say peep to ;) ). It blows my mind, but even in this day and age where the Supreme Court will (hopefully) allow gay marriage to exist, there are still a lot of bigots all over the place who freak at interracial marriage. It’s really mind-blowing! One of the cities I grew up in during the 80s, it was scary live there as a minority—any minority. Thank god I got out of there when I was a teen (and I’m white).

  8. Oh, another note. Scip is being somewhat cowardly there; he’s going to deny that he & R are an item, rather than call the cashier on her bullshit.

      1. Hey, I completely overthought it and figured it was some kind of strange reference to Scipio shaving his pubic hair into shapes. Like… swirls. However the cashier could possibly know about that.

  9. I can’t help but laugh at Scip’s reaction in that first panel. He looks like Wile E. Coyote at that moment when he’s just run off the cliff, hanging in mid-air before he realizes he is going to — once again — plummet to the hard, unyielding desert floor below.

    I think it is safe to say that all of his interactions of late with the ladies in his life (Pipi, Rea, the clerk) have left him a bit stunned.

  10. you know, if i was scip i would tell that clerk out right. “she’s not my woman, and ill swirl my damn cone if i want!”
    it bugs me that someone thinks they have a right to tell a complete stranger who they should and should not date simply because that other person is dating out of their race. whoever they date it’s still not going to be you so mind your business!

  11. What I wonder is *if* this will make Scip think about his dynamic with Reagan. They seem to have a “thing” going on that even made their exes believe they were involved with one another. Maybe there’s some kind of repressed something or another going on between them—unless it’s just purely a brother/sister platonic friend thing (which I don’t see).

  12. She is rude as hell, presumptuous as hell, and WRONG to assume, but I feel really uncomfortable with condemning her completely. For WoC this sort of behavior is *reactionary*. This attitude isn’t fostered in a vacuum. And I sort of resent the idea that she must obviously be uncomfortable with *her* self to lash out this way.

    It can’t be that she’s *wary* of the MoC fetishization of white women, and internalized racism/whiteness? Possibly because she might have seen it play out with her own parents/family? And being so publicly rude and invasive is her own wrongheaded abrasive way of combating that? She HAS to hate herself for this to make sense to y’all?

    I know I’m extrapolating a helluva lot but, fuck it you know. So’s everyone else. The one-sidedness and superficiality of the convo going on in the comments here is kind of disturbing.

    And, real talk, the tone, meaning, and implications of this page would have been *very fucking different* if it was Reagan being harassed by a white female/male cashier.

    1. Oh, I don’t condem her. I find her fascinating. And if you are talking about my comment from above with the high school student, you have to understand the severity of it when you see one of your friends go from being a Valley girl to militantly hating on whites. It wasn’t simply embracing her heritage (though the extreme makeover from Buffy to African Princess was a bit of an eye opener). This character reminds me a lot of her in looks and what little personality we see. While there could be lots of underlying reasons for such nasty behavior, they are simply explanations—not excuses for someone to behave that way. It’s not fun to be around—no matter what race you are.

    2. BTW- You are right. Paralleling Regan with a male white cashier would get a different reaction. People would go from speculating his issues straight to wanting to kicking the cashier’s butt. Chances are, Regan would,too. Truthfully, though, for it to be an accurate parallel, the cashier would have to be mixed (but associate as white) as this cashier pretty clearly has has caucasian in her lineage.

  13. I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying she is for racial purity, or she’s protecting Schip from internal racism? The fact that she said it isn’t about jealousy says to me outright that it probably is. I’ve known black women who get upset when black men date white women. Thw reason I’ve been given is “she’s already white and she get’s a brother” and until recently it was much rarer for white men to date black women. Those relationships are still much less in the minority but when society says only these men will date you, and then a women who has a whole other pool (which is also much larger, considered richer, and more privileged) comes and takes one of the men out of your pool, it causes resentment. It’s a weird form of racism, because usually it occurs like this. Where the man gets the hate that is directed towards his girl. Due to the nature of Ray and Schips conversation, where Ray treated Schip as her lesser and ordered him around, it makes the racist feelings worse. The last line says it all, “She’s not your trophy, you’re her dog.” You own a dog, and she thinks black men date white women because black men find them to be superior to black women. So she basically said you didn’t find a better women, she got a slave. It’s a verbal bitch slap equivalent of calling a black person an uncle tom. It has nothing to do with protecting Schip or anything other than racism and jealousy.

    1. I’ve heard that before about the jealousy. So glad folks don’t always encounter it during interracial dating and hope it fades as times continue to become more and more progressive. Love is love. It is sad when people don’t just leave it at that, and sad history has made some people view love as a threat. I feel for couples who go through so much judgement and disdain (be they interracial or gay or just from very different families).

      Ithe cashier had kept “swirl your cone” and the other race comments out of her speech she would have come of only as nosy, but caring. Adding race into her speech made her look racist and super jealous. I’d love to hear more from Spike about how she came up with this dialog and character.

  14. Unfortunately, no amount of sincerism can stop this girl from being full of shit. After all, it’s not a lie if she thinks it’s true.

    I notice she had to snatch the cash out of his hand. Probably the voice of experience telling her that the moment she starts talking to customers, she’s going to piss them off, and that she’d better grab it before they change their minds.

  15. I laughed. ‘Swirl your cone’? Best wordplay ever.
    Scip IS beautiful. I wonder if she will ask him out? She says she is not jealous, but that doesn’t mean she’s not interested.

  16. This strip got me thinking a lot (and not just because it took me a *long* time to figure out what “swirl your cone” was supposed to mean.) I mean, the cashier seems pretty quick to judge given she doesn’t know the full situation between him and Reagan – she’s assuming it’s romantic. But then, she does have a point that he needs to stand up for himself. Not because “he could do better” or something, just because, come on Scip, Reagan needs to be called out from time to time.

  17. I just noticed – and it seems nobody’s brought it up yet – but the rude cashier is using a *mechanical till*. To quote Doctor Jones, it belongs in a museum! I don’t think I’ve seen one in actual use since rotary-dial telephones were a thing.

      1. Holy &$!” it’s true! I hadn’t seen it before! But, WTF? Computers are a bit more advanced in the templarverse, so it’s asolutelyy anachronistic. Unless…
        a) it’s because it adds some kind of charm to the store
        b) maybe it’s an extreme version of all the stores which use those counter computers that haven’t changed since the early 90s.

    1. it says please….just….kiiiiillllll meeeeee…..


    2. Spike has said that she is building a buffer for Templar, and her plan is to make it a weekly comic when it comes back. Spike has always made it clear that she will finish this comic.

  18. Every time I THINK this comic is gonna start up again, it disappears. Again.

    So sad, this is/was one of my favorites. :/

    1. Yes, this comic is one of my favorites. And even with its hideous interludes where spike takes silent and unannounced breaks – it remains in my top ten (out of the dozens of webcomics on my favorite list.

      And yet.. PLEASE spike! SAY SOMETHING! Grr.

        1. Indeed, in an interview last month she’s made it abundantly clear that she will finish the story for us and that the comic will return as a weekly sometime this month. Whether she’ll continue the full-color trend or go back to sepia tones to satisfy the hungry masses is another thing. More details here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=46548

          Spike: if you’re keeping track of these comments, please don’t rush the artwork on TAZ to satisfy those few of us who are impatient. We’ll continue to wait for however much time you need.

  19. Excellent! Thank you for the update you delightful peeps. I would never have found that on my own!
    (little curious why spike hasnt voiced any of this on her own site? Seems like a simple and direct way of putting us all at some ease.)
    I am delighted to hear it shall be a weekly, as that seems to be more of a stable commitment given Our beloved artist’s many projects.

    Long live TAZ!

    1. I agree, I miss templar updates as well. I wonder if Spike is committed to other projects instead? Will templar be orphaned in the Alt AZ desert?

  20. Tomorrow is APE, possibly the last one in San Francisco. It’s where I first met Spike, and she sold me her wonderful books.
    Now, I’ve been waitin here so long for a new comic, I’m starting to feel like Fry’s dog on Futurama.

  21. Well, we met Spike at APE and she was cute, and charming, and she showed us a pic of her cute pitty. Now we know why she’s so good at drawing pitty derp faces. She promised she’d pick up Templar again after she finished her other obligations.

    1. seconded. how can we as a loving and responsible fanbase contact you!? on the off chance that TOMORROW scip is suddenly stuttering out a nervous response. or ray comes back all sassy. or hopeful, hopeful things…

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