Comic 1181 - It's Not a Joke

3rd Jul 2019, 10:54 AM in Ch. 37 - Prom Night
It's Not a Joke
Average Rating: 4.8 (10 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 3rd Jul 2019, 10:54 AM edit delete
If you read this page and all you can think is, "Gee, why is Drew being so mean to that guy?", then you might've forgotten that while Rob doesn't appear a lot, most of his dialogue throughout the comic is him making fun of Drew. Both to his face, and behind his back. When he's not making fun of Drew specifically, he's also spouted quite a few homophobic remarks too. He very likely has a lot to do with why Drew has struggled with himself for so long, because Rob's been normalizing that mindset in front of him from very early on.

And after a quick scan through the past 1,100 pages (plus a very brief appearance in one of the bonus chapters), I can confirm that Drew has never laughed at Rob's "jokes". For what it's worth, I think it's okay - even healthy to some extent - for friends to rag on each other; but there needs to be an understanding between all present parties. If someone's hurt by a joke, that doesn't necessarily mean they're "too sensitive". Likewise, playing it off as "just a joke" has literally never made the situation any better. We're human and we make mistakes and we don't know how everyone feels at all times, fine. But if you get called out, just apologize and don't say it anymore. It's really shouldn't be that hard to respect people, especially your friends!

So, no, it's true that Drew isn't being very nice to Rob here. After so much time of just taking it from someone who claims to be his friend, Drew's had enough, and I can't blame him. Ky called it a long time ago, saying on one of their first meetings together: "You need new friends. My friends would never make fun of me for being me." And maybe Drew's finally seeing that.

Now, can Rob redeem himself and get back into Drew's good graces? Sure, why not? But much like how Drew has messed up a lot, so has Rob. Drew went through a lot to reach this point, and Rob may yet have a long road ahead of him too.

Anyway, I'm probably gonna get hell for having yet another "preachy page". Honestly, I don't know what to say; I just think these are important messages, and they wound up all being a big part of Drew's arc. I'm not going to apologize or take it back. I just hope that maybe some of you got something valuable out of this.

As always, take care, everyone! And be good to one another. :)

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MarinaDeer 3rd Jul 2019, 11:19 AM edit delete reply

Finally not caring what other people think. Is what I hope is gonna happen, gonna happen? :D
Rusty 3rd Jul 2019, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
This is a great way of portraying this scene; and I would argue Rob's initial statement is more than worthy of a fuck you such as was given for saying such blatant homophobia/transphobia.
bgb16999 3rd Jul 2019, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Good job, Drew is finally standing up to Rob! Now either Rob (and probably Devon) will have to improve, or Drew will follow in Emily's footsteps and find some real friends.
LadyAnastasia 3rd Jul 2019, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Ok, now I really want Drew to waltz right over to Ky and kiss them on the lips.
Drake Zephyr 3rd Jul 2019, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
As much as my inner shipper wants that too. I don't think that would help in the way you think it would.
LadyAnastasia 3rd Jul 2019, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Oh it wouldn't. The two need to have a serious conversation.

But it'd be so cute to see Ky validated and accepted for who they are, and for Drew to be open about liking them.
Nicky 3rd Jul 2019, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Oh, I imagine it would only make things Far FAR worse.

But, the hopeless romantics out of us can dream.

Realistically, I imagine he's going to ask them for a dance. And it will be adorable still.
j-eagle12212012 3rd Jul 2019, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
I like this page and Jocelyn's commentary because it represents something that often gets glossed over in other media. I applaud Jocelyn for bringing attention to the "it's just a joke" defense when someone is called out for poor taste or offensive humor. Be decent to each other, love and tolerate, because true friendship is magic.
MavistheRainBeau 3rd Jul 2019, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
It's applicable even outside LGBTQIA+ community too, and it's great advice
FishEye18 4th Jul 2019, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
People are flabbergasted when they go "I'm going to commit [insert federal crime/terrorist atrocity here]. lol" results in men in black suits arriving on their doorstep, and their only defense is "I put lol after because it was just a joke."

In the case of school shooters, several idiots whom do not take the problem seriously have discovered the FBI does not recognize "lol" as excluding a person from what is legally still a threat to a school.
doombird 3rd Jul 2019, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
Love this! I just read a piece on how the presence of even *one* single adult with a role an LGBTQIA+ youth's life who accepts and supports them as they are, can drastically increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for them and alter the course of their life for the better. Seeing what a change it's made in Drew to be met with two friends who are willing to meet him where he is - and with love, to not let him stay there - reminded me of that. Just like that, he's experienced what an uplifting friendship that allows him to learn and explore without fear of shame could look and feel like. It can be a game changer.

I feel like I definitely grew up in a social atmosphere where snark, ragging on friends and weird competitive cruelty were a kind of currency. I always hated it, but I also absorbed it, and now in adulthood I have to keep doing hard work to improve at being genuine with people without feeling cringey, and not just run my mouth all the time. I feel like calling out a shitty friend, or being called out like this, has been a turning point for a lot of people, and that many of us can probably relate to *both* sides of this comic in our own lives.

Now go do you a introspect, *ROB*.
Mookie 3rd Jul 2019, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
No, it's Drew who's being a shitty friend and insensitive. Yes, Rob's behavior has been off. But for a reason. It's because all this time Rob has been having a secret crush on Drew. But he doesn't know how to come to terms with his latent desires.

If Drew wasn't being so self absorbed, he'd see how Rob needs help to face himself.
Fox 4th Jul 2019, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
Please tell me this is sarcasm.
JadedNoLonger!! 3rd Jul 2019, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
He’s soooooooooo gonna dance the pants off of Ky!!!
Layn 4th Jul 2019, 2:20 AM edit delete reply
Daaaamn. Well done Drew!
lare290 4th Jul 2019, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Wait, you weren't exaggerating when you said 1100 pages. Woah.
freekate78 4th Jul 2019, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
It has never sat right with me that Rob would gayrass his 'friend' when his 'friend' never laughed at any of the jokes, but he just kept doing it and doing it. and it was also confusing to me as to why drew, the target of this 'friend's' gayrassment, always just let it go, and sort of just ignored it for the most part.
the only thing i could come up with was that drew was, on some deep unconscious level, unsure weather he should be feeling offended personally, or be terrified that he was something that he never considered himself to be. i dont remember if drew ever went on record stating his LBGT+ views in any way. but he never seemed to act like a phob, just that he was unsure of himself and people in the LBGT+ crowd.
with that said.... good for you Drew! Rob has been a complete ass, making fun of you for so long about this... not helping you figure things out (like a real friend would) but pushing you deeper into doubt and confusion. Go dance the hell out of the night with Ky and enjoy yourself!. even pull rubudy into it while you're at it. ;~)
KS 6th Jul 2019, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
I see this all the time working at a high school. I've printed this page -- particularly with your wonderful Author's Note -- and plan to share with a few students in the fall.
Seswu 18th Sep 2020, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
It took him a while. A long, long while.
But, it looks like when Drew gets it, he -gets it- :)
Willow13 5th Dec 2020, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Well done Drew.
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