"Casual Reading"

I'm going to change the flavor of this blog. It will no longer be a journal; I'm going to use an actual journal for that. I was inspired by (of all blogs) hipster runoff; it's going to be nothing like that but will be similar in the sense that it's going to be cultural commentary. This will hopefully increase my blogging output as well: a music, art, and written word commentary/critique each week, hopefully. We'll start with this comic (click to enlarge):

When I first read this comic (visit the secret knots, this artist is AMAZING) I figured that the two were strangers, and that it was an absurd tale about someone who began reading over a stranger's shoulder on the subway and got so enthralled with the story that he couldn't stop when it was time for her to get off the train.

But when Lisa read it, she assumed that they were in a relationship, and that the book was a metaphor - that they were "on the same page," so to speak, and that when the book ended, the relationship ended. The ending of the comic makes a lot more sense in this context.

After I accepted that Lisa's interpretation is more likely correct (and is richer, with layers of potential deeper meaning), I asked her about the ending - is it sad? She has four or five other books on her shelf - some longer, some shorter, and this book (this relationship) is just added to the pile, and she looks a little sad, and then she goes to sleep.

But when I look at their faces as he gets dressed, (pretty casually) puts in his earbud headphones, waves goodbye and leaves, they don't seem too sad. I get a sense of acceptance from it. It was just another book, after all. Lisa thinks she's pretty sad, and I don't know if there's a "right" answer but our different interpretations interestingly mirror our life outlooks pretty closely.

What do you think? Are they strangers or lovers at the beginning of this comic?
Is the ending sad?
What do you think about the undressing? Is sex implied or are they just getting ready for bed? Does it matter?
Did you notice the incredible art, specifically the third row of panels?
Any webcomic recommendations?


  1. do u know where i can get sum viagra?

    this is chris.

  2. When I first read it I thought it was the strangers scenario too. I took the undressing to be a sort of intimacy (no sex implied) that you can get when reading a really really good book.

    Either way, I had to look it over a couple of times before I could decide...I like that it's so ambiguous.

  3. @chris,

    chris my friend that writes hipster runoff or chris my black market rx drug contact? i hope it's the former.

    i really like that it's so ambiguous. go back through the archives on his site if you like it; his stuff is soooo good.

  4. Beautifully drawn. I love a good metaphor. It is a little sad but you learn something from every book you read, just like you learn something from every relationship, bf/gf, teacher/student, siblings, bosses, etc. Thanks for the link I think I'll spend a little time there :)