1625 Stoge.

Thomas’s line is from Lord Of The Rings. The full quote is “I will not say do not weep; for not all tears are an evil”. Gandalf says the line and it’s significant for more reasons than might be obvious. Gandalf is a divine being in that world, wearing an old man suit. That’s why he was able to come back after dying from fighting the balrog. It’s also why he acts weird after that. He had gone back to the place where he come from. In Tolkien’s world there were orders of divine beings and Gandalf was a lesser one of the same order as Sauron, the bad guy. He spent most of his times in the divine lands with a goddess who basically grieved for the world all the time. Her being was basically that most painful form of compassion and empathy for others and Gandalf learned it from her. Which is why he cared so much about what happened to the people of middle earth. So, what he says is actually very telling of his overall belief system. Understanding the pain of others is, in my opinion, a pillar of civilization. Empathy, and the desire to avoid causing pain in other beings, is so important. The people who do the most harm are the ones who can look at other people and believe that they aren’t capable of feeling pain the same way; that they are less than human. They lose their empathy for others, if they ever had it.
Of course in this case Thomas is just commenting on the fact that Jo is overcome by positive emotions, having been moved by his sincerity. Which is perhaps less deep, but meaningful still in a more pedestrian way. It should also be noted that instead of just saying something like “it’s okay” Thomas deliberately chose to quote a line that was important in a film. Because obviously he knows that Jo uses media as a way to process emotions she has trouble expressing or dealing with.
I had a really hard time making Jo’s expression of tearing up. It’s a very subtle expression and, for me at least, it comes across through my lips, but it was very hard to make it look how I know it to look on Jo’s face. I eventually settled on what I used because I decided I wasn’t going to strike any closer to the mark than I already had.
Anyway, when I read the lines I very much feel what Jo does. I wasn’t sure I could pull off her emotional response visually, but I react sympathetically to just the sentiment Thomas expresses. For whatever reason he cares deeply about her and knows that the rest of the store does too. Although in different ways from character to character and it’s possible that Wes cares in the way that a sociopath does, but that remains to be seen.

I stopped in to the doctor’s office and had some blood drawn yesterday and today they said my white blood count was high, so they want me to come in and see if there are any signs of infection returning to my foot, or whatever else the problem might be. It’s very inconvenient, but there’s nothing to be done about it other than to do it. My foot has been a little more swollen than it has been in a while since yesterday, but I’ve also had other symptoms of other kinds of infections. I think my sinuses or ears might be infected, which isn’t abnormal at various times of the year. Or maybe I’m just sick with something else, or there’s some other minor infection caused by my ER adventure. I think some of my tonail fungus might have started my toe bleeding. Which may be what caused the infection in the first place, but no one seems to ever have decided on that. I certainly haven’t heard anyone suggest it. My toenails look like a battle field though. The smaller three on both feet seem to be able to actually beat the fungus with a little medicine, but the larger two just can’t seem to get over it. Then again maybe my body was just reactin to the fact that I had just eaten Taco Bell and was trying to undo whatever damage that had already caused…


I’ve been reading for years, and your comic consistently makes me feel wistful for my youth, so I’d say you’re doing something right.

*sniff* That’s sweet. Just…so sweet. Also, nice to know that someone else is well versed in Tolkien’s vast world building lore for Arda.

I became a really big fan of it after my friend Doug recommended some reference books, then I found the Tolkien Professor’s podcast which really explains it well and does pronunciation stuff, which I like.

One thing that drove me insane while in college was taking a course on Tolkien and all of my fellow students mispronouncing every name in the Legendarium. I mean, really how hard is it to pronounce Beren correctly?!?

Panel 4 is easily my favorite thing you’ve ever drawn. the subtle emotion being shown by a character as complex and nuanced as brooksie is incredible. keep up the great work! get well! happy holidays!

I really like Jo’s expression, in panel 4, Jackie. :D
To me- It’s a very subtle expression, where Jo maybe realizes: that some friends have a big, big amount of affection for her.

Yeah losing brooksie would be a huge hit to the staff. Hell they are a big family, even the loss of Reggie would be a huge hit.

For what it’s worth, I think you nailed Jo’s expression perfectly. It had me weepy too. :)

Also, you get many cool points for the LOTR reference, but many more for your in-depth knowledge of Tolkien. :)

I tend to forget that there are still first world countries where you aren’t safe walking home at night. It’s one of those things that’s so obvious that you don’t realise how precious it is. We should all value it more.

I’ve been marathoning Legend of Korra of late. My first thought about Jo tearing up was that she looked just like Korra does whenever shit hits the fan and it looks like she wants to cry but is trying really hard not to. In Korra’s case, it’s usually because she’s in the middle of a fight and she doesn’t have time for tears, but in Jo’s I guess it’s because crying in front of people is uncomfortable; which is a feeling I can more easily identify with.

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