I talked about Home on the Strange just last week, yet already I find myself needing to discuss it again.
As mentioned back then, hefty stuff has been happening, and we knew we were going to be coming upon a scene of significant disaster.
I just didn't think it would involve the brutal mauling of an almost-naked woman.
Clearly we're intended to be cheering for the possum. I mean, Ann is a bitch. She treated Tanner horribly and was in the process of trying to sabotage his current relationship.
(Of course, he bears no small blame for both how she treated him and her current presence in his apartment, but nonetheless - she's not a nice person.)
Ferrett says, regarding the strip, that hopefully this is everything the readers wanted to see.
And maybe, for most of them, it is. As I mentioned, Ann isn't a figured designed to deserve sympathy.
Still, given the flaws and actions of the other characters, she has been established - at least in my eyes - as such a villain as to deserve this level of brutalization.
This isn't to say it kills the story. It is, in many ways, an interesting development. But I just don't think it is the development the writer intended it to be. He wants us to feel triumph from this, not disgust. He wants us to be laughing, not staring at the screen in horror.
Reading the script he wrote for the strip, it says the following: "The possum is violent against Ann, clawing at her in a cartoon frenzy of animation (funny, not realistic) as she flails about, knocking all sorts of shit over and smearing blood around the room."
I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Somewhere in there, the 'cartoon' and 'funny' parts didn't get through - and if they had, I probably would have been able to accept it. As it is, though, the woman fled the room completely drenched in blood. We saw the possom tearing into her face, possibly disfiguring her for life. And we're supposed to find it funny.
Well, like I said, maybe other readers do. I suspect I won't be the only one a little put off by the brutality of it. I wonder whether this will result in any change in what plot they have planned ahead. There certainly seems a difference between the way the script reads and the way the art itself plays out, and that could certainly play havoc with whatever they intend to come next.
Of course, it is to the credit of the strip that, as much as the scene pushes me away, I still find myself left with curiousity. Where will the plot go from here - will future strips be written with what this scene was intended to be, or what it actually ended up as?