Friday, June 01, 2007

So Does Katchoo & Francine Finally Hook Up Or What?

I hate to boil something as multi-layered & lyrical as Terry Moore's "Strangers In Paradise" down to that, but that's what's on my mind.

The thing about a lot of these lesbian/bi couples in comics and other media, they rarely end up together. Their romance is very often cut short, frustrated, one character dies, etc.

For example, Willow & Tara.

Now, take Batwoman & Renee Montoya. I am willing to bet you $50 that within three years one of these characters die, thus ending their relationship.

In fact, it seems as if the safest way for pop culture characters to have a longterm same-sex relationship is to not call it that. Instead of calling it same-sex, call it..."cotton candy." "Table." Anything but what it really is. Harley & Ivy in Batman Animated for instance. See, if they openly had a relationship, dollars to donuts one of them would have to die. Or at least pull an Anne Heche.

That said -- thematically, if Katchoo was to tell Francine: "look, you've been jerking my chain for like ten years now and I really want to be with somebody who really knows what they want, piss off," it would work for me.

But it would be nice to have some of these types of relationships in comics & other media work out instead of "we can never be together blah blah blah." If for no other reason than that it's a cliche.

(pics of custom SIP figures found here)


  1. "That said -- thematically, if Katchoo was to tell Francine: 'look, you've been jerking my chain for like ten years now and I really want to be with somebody who really knows what they want, piss off,' it would work for me."

    That right there is pretty much exactly why I stopped reading SiP. I started reading when there were something like nine trades already out, and I tore through them in one mad rush. When the next one was about to drop, I went back and started rereading, and realized that Terry Moore has told the exact same story three or four times. And that was years ago, so there's no telling how many more we've gone through.

    I really dug the characters, and the first three books are still amazing. But there's only so many times I'm willing to read "David likes Katchoo, and Katchoo sort of likes David, but she likes Francine more. Francine likes Katchoo, but is conflicted. David and Katchoo almost get together, but then they don't. Katchoo and Francine almost get together, but then they don't. But then, suddenly: mobsters!"

    I still have a huge stack of SiP trades back at my mom's house in Alabama. I imagine next time I'm home I'll grab the first three or so to bring back with me, and that'll be all I particularly need.

  2. "But then, suddenly: mobsters!""

    see, that's where SIP lost me

  3. Totally. It was the moment that made it absolutely clear that all Moore wanted to do was string the "Will They/Won't They" out for as long as possible, and was kinda sorta out of ideas for why two adults with obvious feelings for each other and no real signifigant others in the picture couldn't just make it happen.

    But then, I can't count the number of potential soul mates lost to sudden incursions of mobsters and ninjas upon my life, so maybe Moore's onto something.

  4. I haven't read SiP, but just to play "devil's advocate" here, isn't it usual that when a highly-anticipated couple finally gets together, people lose interest in the story because the anticipation is what kept them coming back? That's happened in several TV shows I could mention. Perhaps Moore has been holding off on any resolution because he knows that would be the end, and for whatever reason (money, fun, etc.), he just doesn't want to end it yet.

  5. Oh, I'm sure that's why he's doing it. It's also why I stopped reading.

  6. That's not fair to Willow and Tara...every relationship in that show's history ended very poorly:

    Cordy got impaled after Xander cheated. Giles and Ms. Calendar ended with her murder. Buffy had to kill Angel, then he left town. Oz ran away from Willow by leaving the country. Buffy/Riley ended with Riley leaving the country. Xander left Anya at the altar. Spike/Drusilla ended with her cheating and leaving the country. Buffy/Spike ended with a death, and was always unhappy anyway.

    Geez....methinks the writers had a general detesting of all things happy relationship, nothing against lesbian relationships prese.

  7. i always hated that in comics. i'm not a gay male but it struck me as very weird to me how through the years if there was a gay character they'd never have what everyone else has. in the authority they did ok but for the most part its all stupidity. i grew up with a larger than expected gay community here on long island and some of my friends through the years were in fact gay and they were super outspoken about this. i really don't think anything can be done to fix it until people accept it in real life. i know its plagued my work. in one of my books i had this female character who was bisexual (not used like a character trait) she just happened to like both and it wasn't an issue really. i ended up getting alot of female fans of the character and people really got behind things. then they found out about the bisexuality thing and people turned on me so fast i ended up having to cancel the series as it cost too much to publish on my own and the fact people shit on it locally. i'm collecting it all in a trade and shopping it around but i'm not here to promote. this subject just touched a nerve given my own experiences in putting anything remotely 'gay' into something. i'm not stopping though. i do agree with what chris at top says but i think it would be a nice change if things worked out and those 2 finally drop the bullshit and hook up. i personally only read the first trade and i liked it alot. when i came back to comics i was actually shocked it was still going as i had no clue. one of these days i have to get the rest of the trades...of course thats after i get madman gargantua but thats besides the point. i think that they should end it on a good note. things like that so rarely happen these days.

  8. I tend to agree with Adam - I think the relationship troubles on both Buffy and Angel had to do more with the the nature of the shows than dislike for any particular sort of relationship. I thought the issues most relationships ran in to underscored the darker side of the lives both show's groups had chosen to lead: this is dangerous work, and it's going to take the rest of your life, and a happy ending isn't so much in the cards. It's tragic that the main characters aren't able to have long-term, happy relationships, but that's also (traditionally) the cost of being a hero. And besides, when somebody's listed as guest star for two and half seasons, you kinda know there's only one way this is going to end.

    Not that this has stopped fanatics from writing hysterical letters in to the new Buffy comic, demanding that Joss either bring back Tara or face the unremitting terror of said fanatic not saying nice things about the book on their site.

  9. And of course, my saying that about Buffy doesn't make what Maddox said regarding comics any less true: Marvel and DC have made it rather clear that while it's okay for a character to be gay* for a little while, they will at some point have to be punished for that choice.

    *Of course, by "gay" these days I think I actually mean "lesbian" - there's a very interesting article waiting to be written by somebody smarter than me about how somebody like, say, Greg Rucka, for all the characters they've had come out over the years, is only capable/interested in writing lesbians. I'd imagine there's been meetings in both of the big two's offices about having a gay character that end with "Well, okay, but only if it's a girl. Because that's just hot."

  10. Sigh, one issue to go. Sad to see SIP go.