Comic for Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009


Posted November 17, 2009 at 1:00 am

I'll discuss Justin by the end of this commentary, but first, a rant years in the making:

With the exception of the last panel, this really happened. In actuality, the confusion was resolved when the cashier held up a plate for eating in the food court in one hand and a container for taking the food elsewhere in the other, at which point the customer pointed at the container.

I believe that if you're going to live in a country, you should learn at least one of the dominant languages (which, in the USA, would be English), but that's much easier said then done and I don't blame the cashier for this moment of frustration. Given her limited knowledge of English, she wasn't in a position to rephrase the question, and she was the one to eventually stop the madness.

No, I blame the customer. I can understand someone repeating themselves the exact same way once given the possibility of the other person not hearing it the first time, but anything beyond that and they're just wasting everyone's time by not rephrasing. In this case, the obvious alternative was provided for them: "to go."

I witness this sort of thing frequently, and only on rare occasions is there an actual language gap involved. I'm not sure what it is, but it seems like people get attached to one particular way of saying something and don't want to have to put it another way if somebody doesn't understand what they mean by it.

It's possible, like the cashier, that one may not know how else to put it, but I think that's rare. Short of something the speaker doesn't really understand themselves, they should be able to clarify what they're talking about by putting it another way. With a little effort, there could be a whole lot less confusion and frustration in the world.


Okay, time to come down off my high horse. I think I know how to get off of this thing safe--



Anyway, I'm experimenting with Justin's look to the point where I have him introduce himself in panel one to avoid confusion. If he looks strong and huggable, then victory is mine.

I'm also making an effort to expand on Justin's character. Thinking of EGS:NP comics for him to be in feels like it's resulting in more meaningful development for him than most of the story comics have, and I'm gaining similar insights into other characters the same way. Ultimately, it's the little things that help define a character and make them believable, and EGS:NP is helping me work out the finer points of my characters.

In other words, expect to see more of Justin in EGS:NP. Well, expect to see more of everyone, really, but I wind up not using Justin and Sarah as much as I'd like to in the story comics, so I'm perfectly happy to highlight their presence in EGS:NP.

Tags: Justin