I reread the hurricane arc, trying to figure out why it had such a particular impact on me. I think I figured it out:
- I relate to the character. It seems almost like I *know* Florence personally. She has a lot of the traits I admire in people and someone with her personality is probably someone I’d ask on a date.
- She was in mortal danger. Protective instinct kicks in.
- She was helped by someone whom I’d consider a friend. Honestly, Winston seems like a great guy and someone I’d even recommend were he to petition a Lodge of Masonry.
- Florence isn’t safe right away. This strip made me extremely nervous. I knew from the comic’s front page that the artist wasn’t asinine enough to do permanent damage to the strip by incapacitating Florence. But at the same time, I sincerely hoped that she’d be okay.
- An emotionally satisfying, realistic recovery.
- Then, right when I was feeling like things are ready to return to normal, WHAM! Starting with this strip, I begin to feel nervous again. Things are changing and I’m not ready to change with them. And I’m forced to go along with something I can’t control that affects someone I (in theory) care deeply about. Go back and reread that. This is about the least comfortable I can be about something: Someone I care about getting romantically involved, especially with someone I don’t know very well.
- Then it hits me. If the previous arc lined up all the pins, this strip knocks them all down with a giant THUD. Were I to rewrite it, I’d give Florence a bit more of an expression of deep enjoyment. Why? Because that’s the face I’ve seen in more than one girl remembering someone they’re genuinely in love with. I realized at this point that (a), this is entirely out of my control (and would be even if it weren’t a comic), and (b), I would HAVE to like it, no matter what. AND that I had no right to be angry, concerned, jealous, etc. because THAT’S HOW LOVE WORKS. And that’s what prompted this post.
So that’s the explanation I felt I owed everyone for my sudden emotional break(down/through) on Tuesday.