2661 Walking Tall.

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Ed is one of my oldest characters. I first designed him when I was 9 or so. He evolved a lot over the years, but he’s been with me a very long time. He’s had a lot of backstories, and worn a lot of hats. It’s been a long, strange, trip, but I’m glad I got to tell some of his story.

Support links above, as always. I’ll cut it short so the late night readers can see this before they go to be. Hopefully I’ll see you on Friday. Until then, take it sleazy.


Those bits of Ed’s lore are really cool, both the ones in the actual strip and the ones in the comment. I really like how he has always been a man of character, and the idea of his father begrudgingly accepting it

…as opposed to him teaching her, what, on the clock? And the dad is seeing his son come home bloodied, hearing how he protected his daughter from coming home bloodied because she was outright attacked, and this happens often, and his response is “No, you don’t get to learn how to not get your butt kicked”? I don’t like this man very much.

I guess on his free time meaning that he can’t slack off on other responsibilities like schoolwork or chores and use that as an excuse.

Society (in this case referring to ‘western’ society, basically America and Europe because that’s what I’m reasonably familiar with) has gradually been drifting away from deliniations about what a man or a boy should be doing versus what a woman or girl should. A ‘man’s work’ versus ‘women’s work’ in other words. It’s a gradual process however, and certain contexts like combat have hung on longer than others. This portion of the story is also set back a couple of decades.

It’s easy to see looking back through photos from my martial arts studio how female students have become increasingly active. When the school started a little over 50 years ago, I don’t believe that there were any female students (the main recruitment method was also the president going around to bars and beating up people who picked fights with him because he was asian, but that’s another topic). A couple of decades later, you can see a few female students, maybe 5-10% of the class. A lot of them dropped out, I know, but a few of them stuck with the training and did extremely well. Today, at my branch of the school we’re up to maybe 30%. We also have a lot more young students than when the school started, which is probably a contributing factor, but there are a couple of ladies in their 30s-40s who are very dedicated, one of which I am good friends with. I don’t expect that we’ll ever quite get up to 50/50, if only because boys tend to have a lot more competitive drive, but it’s good to see more diversity over the years.

That’s a lot of tangential rambling, but tl;dr imo the father’s response, while definitely not optimal, would probably be pretty standard for the time period. What I take from the comic is that he doesn’t expect Ed to actually keep up with the responsibilty, or for Jess to legitimately train hard.

Yeah, that’s a natural assumption. However, I feel like there’s something missing; if he is some sort of tradcon, I would indeed expect him to laugh at the idea of “self-defense classes for girls,” but I would also expect him to be enraged at his daughter being the victim of violence, to be knocking down doors of either the school or the parents of the kids doing it. Because that is usually the old-school perspective; women have to do women’s stuff, but also, men, especially fathers and husbands, have to defend the women, and will often go overboard to do so. Like, he is more angry at Ed’s suggested solution to the problem than he is at the problem. So it’s like he has the downside but not the upside of such a mindset, which is why I said I didn’t much like him as of now.

I suppose from Ed’s view, its “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”..may as well as teach Jess as much as he could.. because if he didn’t, it’d have been Jess coming home bloodied and crying and Ed getting in big trouble for not being there for Jess. So I can see why he wouldn’t back down, and why Jess loves having him in her life, and is afraid that he won’t always be there.

Hmm, maybe. But I think it more likely the point is that Ed just loves his sister; I don’t think there’s any sort of worry about if HE will get in trouble if he doesn’t step in. I don’t think the idea of not stepping in even occurs to him. After all, it was established an eternity ago that Ed was the “asshole friend” who caused trouble that he dragged his buddies into–he definitely wasn’t a “stop and carefully think through the consequenecs” kind of kid, just the “Hurt my friends and I’ll break your arms” kind of kid.

Eh, I was thinking more along the lines of the assholery where kids would distract Ed into fighting them, while other kids (girls particularly) would gang up on Jess in places Ed couldn’t get into ethically, say the girls locker room or the girls restroom. I’ve seen enough of that in my time that I can fully see why Ed wants Jess to be able to defend herself. It also plays into how Jess seems to be of a certain type to make friends,.not enemies, else she’d be bullied hard… much like how Jo was bullied for her hair and eyes, because Jo didn’t have anyone like Ed to stand up for herself.

I was just scrolling TikTok and found someone named veryveryvinny who i immediately thought was Ed, and I had to come here just to share this information. Also i’ve been reading the comic for years and haven’t commented, but just want you to know how much I love it!

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