Questionable Content (QC) is a web comic by Jeph Jacques. It started in 2003, and has been updating M-F for many years now.
The original cast of Western Mass-dwelling 20-somethings were: Martin, indie-rock aficionado, Faye, his curvaceous and geeky roommate and love interest, Steve, his friend, Dora, the girl he eventually ended up with, and Hanners, the girl next door but not in that way. Martin also owned a small robot companion, Pintsize.
As time went on the cast grew, with relatives, relationships, and friends. But a pattern began to emerge which I have come to find very annoying.
Early on the three female leads, Faye, Dora, and Hanners shared equal time. The first two because of a Martin-based love triangle, the third because Hanners was initially mysterious and sort of kooky. But once a steady relationship formed, Jeph started introducing more and more female characters.
There was Marigold, an amime-watching curvy geeky girl. She was accompanied by
Momi, her anthro-PC companion who looks like a Japanese schoolgirl.
Then Tai, bisexual leader of a small crew of library grad students which included characters such as Emily and
Claire, the geeky trans girlfriend Martin ended up with after Dora (who paired with Tai).
Then we had Brun, a geeky curvaceous girl with an interest in clocks and a possible love triangle between two supporting male characters.
Then Bubbles, another, far more curvaceous female android and former combat vet who may be romantically interested in Faye.
And now Tilly, who uses them/they pronouns…
And I’m done.
I don’t care anymore. No more wacky or woke female characters. Please. Each one gets a story arc that can last a very long time, but then they’re dropped when Jeph gets bored, and we never hear from them again. And I left out some of the secondary female characters who didn’t get big story arcs, like Martin’s dominatrix mom, the curvaceous geeky (see a pattern?) savant Raven, or Penelope, who is secretly Pizza Girl. Nor do I know whatever happened to the leftovers of the original cast, like Steve and his girlfriend whose name I’ve long since forgotten because it has been literally years since we’ve checked up on them.
Examples of what I’m talking about: Marigold’s arc began around strip 1600. (She also had a boy crush, name lost to the ether.) By 2650 she was wrapped and done, hardly seen since. Claire had showed up as a supporting side-character somewhere around 2250, got together with Martin around 2900, and shortly thereafter she (and Martin largely, by extension) started to disappear. Around 3300 Brun showed up, by 3400 Bubbles was the star of the strip, and by 3600 we’re now on to Tilly.
There’s something unsettling in discarding these women. Each has a different woke aspect. Hanners had OCD, Brun is autistic, Bubbles had PTSD from combat, Claire is trans, and now Tilly is some form of gender queer. The original cast successfully carried the strip with minor supports until around the Marigold arc. More worrying still, Jeph made a point that he loved the new focus on Marigold, calling her his favorite character. Then he said the exact same thing about Claire. And then turned to Bubbles…
And I’m done. It was a fun run, but instead of working with what he has it’s clear he’s just going to keep introducing characters and neglecting the women he’s already created.