Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

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Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:32 pm

I've been planning on rereading some webcomics. I decided to start with Penny & Aggie and finished rereading Penny & Aggie yesterday. Though this forum isn't as active as it once was, I felt like sharing my thoughts here.

Firstly, for any new readers visiting the forums, spoilers ahead. If you don't want to be spoiled, please stop reading!

It's been years since I've read this comic and I love how my current point-of-view makes me see the plot and characters a little differently. I see early Aggie bordering on the Social Justice Warrior type. If she were unapologetic in The Race Card, she could easily find herself going that route. However, she realizes that accusing people of bad behavior without proof isn't good.

Of course, my POV is also colored by already knowing how the story ends. For instance, knowing where Stan is headed makes disliking him (for past instances) impossible for me. Even with the knowledge that he and Brandi end on a bad note, I couldn't dislike him. He makes mistakes being a people-pleaser. I also feel that in comparison to others, he's not bad.

I'm a little less forgiving of Karen, now. I still don't hate her, but aren't as interested in seeing her redeemed (though, I'd still read a story where she works on herself).

One detail that's funnier, in hindsight, is Penny's BSOD after Sara snaps at her to get with Aggie. The Penny/Duane/Aggie dream also felt more funny to me. It's that “knowing how the story ends” part; I view these scenes differently because Penny and Aggie date later.

I liked the P/A breakup better, too. As they were, they didn't look like they would last if they didn't take an extended breakup. Penny didn't turn into Bitch-Lit Queen and Aggie didn't turn into More-Conservative Aggie. They needed to grow on their own before establishing a more permanent relationship. After rereading, I couldn't see Teen P/A lasting after Aggie explained she needed a relationship that provided her a safe place to wind down.

Tharqa, Cyndi, and early-Charlotte remind me of an ex-roommate, minus Cyndi's murderous impulses. Speaking of Tharqa, she came off as less bitchy and more nervous during the class reunion. It seemed like she could've been the person who wants to apologize, but couldn't because of a combination of nervousness and guilt. Seemed being the keyword.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby MudFlap33 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:28 am

I just finished re-reading the series today. I think I needed some good nostalgia in my life.

I have to say I agree with a lot of your assessment. There are certainly characters--like Stan--that I view with a lot more sympathy on this re-read than I have in the past. I do think he is largely honest about who he is and I don't necessarily think he deserved to be shunned the way he was--with the caveat, though, that I don't think he's someone I'd want to be friends with in life. Marshall comes off much more sympathetic to me now, too.

I tried to read Karen with more sympathy, too, but yeah, it didn't quite happen. I could empathize with her insecurities, but her motives remained mostly petty and mean.

Cyndi was so much more interesting and so much eerier, too. Some of her scenes ended up downright chilling.

And I loved re-reading the whole arc of Penny and Aggie's constantly-shifting relationship, knowing where it was heading. I loved the open ending much more, and this time, I understand their breakup much better, too. I remember the first time I read the breakup, I felt like it *was* something they could have worked on together, but this time? I totally understood that it was not the right time for them, not while they were still in high school. I still like to believe that they try again, as the adults they were able to become.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:24 pm

Cyndi is certainly more chilling with age. Her comeuppance was more satisfying, too (it was satisfactory to begin with :twisted: )
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby MudFlap33 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:11 am

And on THAT note, I had kind of warm feelings for Charlotte through almost all the re-read, because of knowing more about what her path is like. THAT kind of shocked me.

But yeah. Cyndi's comeuppance was fantastic. Just really loved this re-read.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:29 pm

MudFlap33 wrote:And on THAT note, I had kind of warm feelings for Charlotte through almost all the re-read, because of knowing more about what her path is like. THAT kind of shocked me.

But yeah. Cyndi's comeuppance was fantastic. Just really loved this re-read.


I agree about Charlotte (except her homophobic attitudes still make me cringe as much as before).

Edit: Xena is sad after watching Leah Remini's docu-series.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby CEOIII » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:55 pm

Or Xena's eyes are opened and she's started a support group for ex-Scientologists.

With the help and support of her black,female girlfriend.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:14 pm

CEOIII wrote:Or Xena's eyes are opened and she's started a support group for ex-Scientologists.

With the help and support of her black,female girlfriend.


This needs to happen :mrgreen:
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby MudFlap33 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:48 am

JerrBear wrote:
CEOIII wrote:Or Xena's eyes are opened and she's started a support group for ex-Scientologists.

With the help and support of her black,female girlfriend.


This needs to happen :mrgreen:


Now THAT would be a story! :)

But yeah I've been catching some of Leah Remini's series and it's so good and so sad. Though was Xena an official church member? Or just kind of a crazy scientology fangirl? I feel like T address it at some point but I don't remember details.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:58 am

MudFlap33 wrote:
JerrBear wrote:
CEOIII wrote:Or Xena's eyes are opened and she's started a support group for ex-Scientologists.

With the help and support of her black,female girlfriend.


This needs to happen :mrgreen:


Now THAT would be a story! :)

But yeah I've been catching some of Leah Remini's series and it's so good and so sad. Though was Xena an official church member? Or just kind of a crazy scientology fangirl? I feel like T address it at some point but I don't remember details.


I can't remember, either. I bet she'd be the neighbor that doesn't want to disconnect from a pet.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby Alice Macher » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:11 am

I think T said once that Xena isn't officially a member, but has devoured all the Hubbard stuff she could find online. Including his correspondence, which is where the "That's what n***ers were born for" line comes from.

He also said, closer to the end of the comic when he was doing the "Where are they now" stuff for characters neither shown nor mentioned at the reunion, that Xena later became a Jehovah's Witness. But I like CEOIII's idea better. Provided, that is, she also got lots of professional help because I don't think it was the Hubbard stuff that made her mentally ill.
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:09 pm

Alice Macher wrote:I think T said once that Xena isn't officially a member, but has devoured all the Hubbard stuff she could find online. Including his correspondence, which is where the "That's what n***ers were born for" line comes from.

He also said, closer to the end of the comic when he was doing the "Where are they now" stuff for characters neither shown nor mentioned at the reunion, that Xena later became a Jehovah's Witness. But I like CEOIII's idea better. Provided, that is, she also got lots of professional help because I don't think it was the Hubbard stuff that made her mentally ill.


We must all make CEOIII's proposal a reality :twisted:
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby Captain LeBubbles » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:06 pm

So I just finished doing my own reread, and along with having different reactions to things now than before (of course), there's one thing that really stuck out to me, and that's that I found Aggie and Lisa to be far less endearing now than I did four years ago.

I spend a lot of time on Tumblr, and Tumblr is very largely populated by the Aggies and Lisas of the world (in fact, had this comic begun coming out now, no doubt Aggie would have had a Tumblr, and Lisa definitely would have). Being surrounded by them in all their... glory... so constantly, being immersed in that, and the entitled brattiness that came along with it, made it really hard to like them as much as before, when I sympathized with them as the loner losers that I at the time equated with myself.

On the flip side, it reminded me of something that I often tend to forget when surrounded by the tumbleweeds, and that's that they're mostly just a bunch of *kids*. I've got a couple of friends on Tumblr who are the same age the cast were when the story started (not many, most of my friends are adults), and I would never hold them to the same standards I hold an adult to. And reading Penny and Aggie, I only sometimes had to remind myself to adjust my lens to account for their age and experience while I was shaking my head at their actions.

So, the tumbleweeds made me like Aggie and Lisa less than I did last time I read, but on the flipside, Aggie and Lisa reminded me to be a little more patient with the tumbleweeds too. So I guess it balances out a bit.

I won't go into all the other differences in my reactions four years ago vs now, because the only one that's really stuck with me is that I found Stan a lot more interesting this time around. Looking back through the forum reread, I also noticed that the forum seemed to give him a lot more shit than it did a lot of other characters? He was no saint and his twisty characterization were a lot of what interests me in the first place, but I couldn't see anywhere that he was genuinely any worse morally than some of the other characters, who were granted a lot more leeway for worse actions. Admittedly part of that was reactionary- when one person jumps up and down screaming that a character is awful and scum, it's the nature of those around to come to that character's defense even if they're skewed more in agreement otherwise. It's probably also down to who was frequenting the forum at the time that Stan became relevant, since activity was dying down and it was largely taken by people who weren't really the biggest Stan-stans.

That said, I tend to be really fond of garbage characters (-shoves the garbage old man squad under a rug-) so maybe I'm the one with the bias, who knows?
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Re: Rereading Penny & Aggie (Spoilers, Of Course)

Postby JerrBear » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:47 pm

Captain LeBubbles wrote:So I just finished doing my own reread, and along with having different reactions to things now than before (of course), there's one thing that really stuck out to me, and that's that I found Aggie and Lisa to be far less endearing now than I did four years ago.

I spend a lot of time on Tumblr, and Tumblr is very largely populated by the Aggies and Lisas of the world (in fact, had this comic begun coming out now, no doubt Aggie would have had a Tumblr, and Lisa definitely would have). Being surrounded by them in all their... glory... so constantly, being immersed in that, and the entitled brattiness that came along with it, made it really hard to like them as much as before, when I sympathized with them as the loner losers that I at the time equated with myself.

On the flip side, it reminded me of something that I often tend to forget when surrounded by the tumbleweeds, and that's that they're mostly just a bunch of *kids*. I've got a couple of friends on Tumblr who are the same age the cast were when the story started (not many, most of my friends are adults), and I would never hold them to the same standards I hold an adult to. And reading Penny and Aggie, I only sometimes had to remind myself to adjust my lens to account for their age and experience while I was shaking my head at their actions.

So, the tumbleweeds made me like Aggie and Lisa less than I did last time I read, but on the flipside, Aggie and Lisa reminded me to be a little more patient with the tumbleweeds too. So I guess it balances out a bit.

I won't go into all the other differences in my reactions four years ago vs now, because the only one that's really stuck with me is that I found Stan a lot more interesting this time around. Looking back through the forum reread, I also noticed that the forum seemed to give him a lot more shit than it did a lot of other characters? He was no saint and his twisty characterization were a lot of what interests me in the first place, but I couldn't see anywhere that he was genuinely any worse morally than some of the other characters, who were granted a lot more leeway for worse actions. Admittedly part of that was reactionary- when one person jumps up and down screaming that a character is awful and scum, it's the nature of those around to come to that character's defense even if they're skewed more in agreement otherwise. It's probably also down to who was frequenting the forum at the time that Stan became relevant, since activity was dying down and it was largely taken by people who weren't really the biggest Stan-stans.

That said, I tend to be really fond of garbage characters (-shoves the garbage old man squad under a rug-) so maybe I'm the one with the bias, who knows?


Also on Tumblr. I know what you mean. It's starting to tone down as the "kids" get older.

Still, there's stuff that happens that really induces cringes for me. I was looking for other Disability Tumblrs to follow and found one that encourages self-diagnosing!
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