It was not a good night
It was not a good night

Mark’s doing a bit of a sad wander.

News: Posted June 13th, 2019 by Alina

^ 37 Comments to “It was not a good night”

  1. LoveConquers Says:

    Does the other voice belong to a caring doctor who first takes care of Mark’s physical and then mental well-being?
    Boyfriend material?
    Let’s set sails and hope for the best.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 2:22 am
  2. dr pepper Says:

    I agree with what some of the previous commenters have said. This seems a big departure from Mark’s personality. He’s been my favorite character and the comic will be very different without him.

    Personally, i really hate that he lost his previous girlfriend. It was a good relationship and it got ended on a small but crucial misunderstanding. I’ve been hoping they’d get back together ever since.

    Now? Hmm. I wonder how much his feelings about that earlier breakup came out this time. I don’t think he ever liked Ravenica as much as the other one (can’t remember her name just now), but he felt he needed to be in a relationship.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 2:25 am
  3. DocMcConvoy Says:

    The first steps on the path of redemption are filled with deep regret and despair. Welcome to the Valley-path, Level 1: Selfloathing.

    For some time I was very anxious about this arc. Now thats gone. The person speaking in the green box sounds to me like a professional. Good choice if so. I think now I can sit back, relax and enjoy Mark growing.

    Thanks Alina for another really good story so far. you really got to me with that.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 3:52 am
  4. Velgar Says:

    I know you do stuff when alcohol is involved, but I’ve never figured how one ends up inflicting damage on themselves on purpose while “sober”. Emotions being one of the strongest intoxicants, but…

    You just have to be aware on some level that for example hitting a stone wall with enough force… Just isn’t a good idea. But you simply decide to not care.

    I mean, sure it’s you yourself you’re harming, but being non-caring enough to inflict such damage, even upon yourself, kinda speaks too…

    Heck, I’ve wanted to trash many a number of things, people included, and back in the day when I was asked to destroy something in regards my job (factorywork and no people this time), I took great enjoyment out of it. But still I wouldn’t think of just damaging something ‘cose of a hissy fit. No matter how bad it is. And yes, I’ve been plenty angry of things, especially myself, enough times to know that for a fact.

    And to think some people destroy just because they’re bored… :/

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 4:08 am
  5. RNN Says:

    You are doing very well in capturing the human moment. The emotional turmoil, that he would eventually have to forgive himself and ask forgiveness from others. Well done!

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 4:54 am
  6. Keywii Says:

    I can’t be the only one who is wondering where his friends are in all of this. I mean even if your friend does something you find wrong, there are ways to support them, while still holding them accountable.

    I mean unless there is more to the story where he goes back to his car and runs into them there.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 6:26 am
  7. Tom Says:

    “I mean, sure it’s you yourself you’re harming, but being non-caring enough to inflict such damage, even upon yourself, kinda speaks too…”

    Speaking from experience, it’s not necessarily being non-caring, in the moments when I punched a stone wall it was with the explicit intent to harm myself, to punish myself. Not a position of not caring, instead a position of caring about that but deciding that you somehow deserve it.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 6:29 am
  8. Daisy Says:

    Reading through the comments the last few days and realizing how many people don’t… seem to have paid attention to little clues that’ve been laid out for ages. Mark is someone who has been lying to himself and others for so long about who he is and what he enjoys. It’s been a running motif that he’s afraid of people knowing he’s a geek. This has been shown so many times, the most recent I can think of is the convenience store clerk that Mark tried to convince of how they were gearing up for a football game. It was shown that Ravenia has tried to get him to communicate and he didn’t. Yes, she should have been more aware of how closed off he was/is, but if someone keeps telling you they’re fine you are going to take them at their word.

    And then there is Jess. Sure, she said she supported him and his hobbies, but how many times was she shown to work snide little cuts into their conversations? Where she expected him to be there and support her hobbies (making doilies anyone?) or turning what was supposed to be a date between the two of them into a shop and gossip session with one of her friends using Mark as a pack mule. And let’s not forget that she decided it was completely okay to go into his private email to be nosy. I’m sorry, but that relationship was abusive to a degree.

    So yes, this type of seemingly out of the blue blow up is completely in character when you have someone so up their own ass and desperate to not be seen as Other. Put someone like that under enough pressure for long enough and they will crack. All it takes is one thing too many and sadly, Damien was just that. This doesn’t excuse Mark’s actions by any means, mind. And since today’s comic seems to show him getting help, I think it’s a good step for the character. Hopefully this will show him becoming more honest with himself and less likely to lie to try and appear Normal outside of his group of friends.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 8:21 am
  9. Joe Says:

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t bring his car – he got a ride from Abbie.

    But yeah, with everything that’s going on, I’d really imagine him forgetting facts like that.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 9:05 am
  10. Will Says:

    Ugh. I’ve been there. I’ve broken my hand. I hate anger issues.

    Also yay if this is a therapist!

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 9:34 am
  11. Daniel S. Mountain Says:

    For anyone in this point? Find a favorite album, one that’s really long and has a nice and heavy opening track. My choice is Queen’s A Night at the Opera. Blast it to drown out the voices in your head until you cool down.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 10:41 am
  12. doLst Says:

    Yep. Messy and awkward. Just like real life.
    A lot of people have been saying how “out of character” this is for Mark…
    Yes and no.
    Just like real life, we often think we know someone and they surprise us. I went through a major life change a year and a half ago and surprised a lot of people, especially those who had only known me for a few years. Even some family and friends who knew me as well as anyone for decades were taken aback.
    However, some people very close to me were not surprised at all. In fact, they wondered when I would do what I did.
    We know mark as the easygoing person we have been allowed to see. But we don’t really KNOW him. (And that’s not even taking into account the fact that he’s a fictional character.)
    We didn’t see his life before meeting the rest of the cast. We don’t know everything about him or his personality. This could be the fifth such outburst he’s had in the last ten years. It could be his first.
    I am glad that his thoughts and emotions are being explored here, and that he’s not just being thrown under the bus.
    I was genuinely concerned that this was going to turn into a virtue-signaling Æsop rife with woke anvils. That’s not what I’m seeing, and I feel like a fool for expecting such.
    I look forward to seeing more of Mark’s development and how this develops. I almost said, “how this gets resolved” but the fact is, it might not!
    Again, messy and awkward. Just like real life.

    Surf Wisely.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 10:49 am
  13. Abaddon Says:

    Re Velgar. Talking about hitting things when angry…I can very much relate to mark hitting the wall. I did the same to metal cladding on a swimming pool wall when a mid-teen after getting involved in a fight outside it. The other left before any conclusion (no winner, no loser) and I was so mad I turned round and hit the wall without even realising it. Didn’t even feel it. It’s the adrenaline and no its NOT an “adrenaline high” as some say! Sometimes higher brain function just stop working. We are not THAT far evolved from lapsing into primitive behaviour.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 11:43 am
  14. Halosty Says:

    Should have started with the punching a stone wall part. Would have saved him a lot of pain.
    Sadly, if he was clearheaded enough to do that then he wouldn’t have gotten into the situation in the first place.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 11:54 am
  15. KatteLars Says:

    @Velgar I’ve never laid a hand on another person, nor have I injured myself, but I _have_ more than once thrown, hit or otherwise damaged objects when angry or sufficiently frustrated. In the moment I sort of know I’m going to regret it later, but I just need an outlet so bad, that it happens. It’s something I am working on, but it’s always been a part of how I am. So I get where people are coming from when they punch walls and the like. I’m actually surprised to hear it’s something anyone can have _never_ experienced :0

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 12:26 pm
  16. MythDancer Says:

    Velgar – you would be amazed how much of an intoxicant self loathing can be. Same with depression. You’re not always in control of your full faculties. My husband had a depressive episode where he repeatedly punched the floor while screaming about how badly he just wanted to feel something. I bruised bone punching the ground once because I was so frustrated with myself over some small mistake. And we’re both seeking help and in counseling. Imagine how much worse it must be for someone like Mark who has repressed or shrugged off his problems for so long.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 2:08 pm
  17. GiantFlyingHog Says:

    I really hope this is Mark talking to a therapist, because he definitely has some issues he needs to work out.
    @Joe He gave Abby a ride, which also raises the question of how Abby is getting home.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 4:54 pm
  18. deltarno Says:

    Here’s hoping he’s talking to a doctor and not his ex.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 6:55 pm
  19. Frank Bromley Says:

    a lot of wrong happened that night to do to a lot of stupid and a LOT of repressed issues

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 10:43 pm
  20. TheDarkTyger Says:

    @Velgar:
    You answered your own question. Strong emotions are the strongest intoxicant.

    Posted June 14th, 2019 at 11:21 pm
  21. Aitamen Says:

    This is amazingly well done on so many levels.

    I’ve been breaking out of a lot of my shells over the past few years and this feels like a lot of the “other path” would’ve been… It’s basically why I started working on myself. I’m a gamer and poly and whatnot but I wasn’t communicating and I was neglecting other things because I didn’t see them as something “I” would do (working out, for example).

    And… I dunno how to word it, but I just wanted to say thank you for this.

    Posted June 15th, 2019 at 5:05 am
  22. Fabfunk von Cronenberg Says:

    @Keywii

    I think that’s the inevitable next scene – Mark gets back to his car and sees the rest of his gamer friends. Their reactions will probably range from anger (Dustin) to sadness (Abby) I envision him silently getting into his car and leaving. Then, subsequently, they discuss if he should be allowed to game with them any more.

    Thing is – I never got the vibe before that he’s a violent person. He lost control this once which resulted in a grab and a shove, and the only real damage he did was to himself. Near anyone has a breaking point and that was his. I don’t think it means it would happen again, but you’d understand why some people would never feel comfortable around him again. You’re bound to see people react differently, where one might be more understanding and forgive him, while another would put him on their s#!t list forever.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this wraps up.

    Posted June 15th, 2019 at 8:03 am
  23. Adaon Says:

    I do wonder with whom Mark is speaking. Joel? A Cop that stopped him on the street to ask about his hand? A Therapist?

    I hope for tomorrow.

    Posted June 15th, 2019 at 9:38 am
  24. Potatohead Says:

    I can’t help but remember this comic started with Mark being convinced the Hunter LARP was happpening in real life. That’s some pretty strong disassociation there, so he’s been painted as somewhat unstable from day 1. If this is indeed him talking to a therapist of some kind, it’ll be a nice change and genuine character development.

    Posted June 15th, 2019 at 2:03 pm
  25. TheDarkTyger Says:

    My guess is he had that coffee and talk with Abby. In spite of her spazziness, she’s a good ear. A friendly face to help work through this is a good start.

    Posted June 15th, 2019 at 7:50 pm
  26. Drachenfel Says:

    @Potatohead The Hunter LARP thing was real within the webcomic for a long while. It was retconned later in the comic by the artist for reasons I don’t fully remember now 😀 Basically, things that happened at the start of the webcomic really need to be taken with a grain of salt in my opinion.

    But we can both agree it would be nice to see some character development. Mark’s been pretty much sidelined and dead in the water for so long he could be removed from the comic with no one really noticing.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 1:44 am
  27. Bruceski Says:

    Once as a teen I got so mad that I just went out and walked until I was too tired to be angry anymore. It worked, unfortunately I then had to walk back. Lesson learned: pick a loop, not a line.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 4:36 am
  28. Lorkonius Says:

    I see nothing wrong here. Mark is doing fine for a guy who has just been destroyed.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 3:24 pm
  29. Curtis Adams Says:

    I have seen generally reasonable people do crazy stuff under the influence of the green-eyed monster, so I don’t find behavior like Mark’s implausible per se. However, although Mark has shown some character flaws in the past like secrecy and low self-awareness, I really wouldn’t have pegged him for jealous on prior behavior. His mopey reaction to Sarah’s relationship with Hadeed was kind of an anti-jealousy reaction.

    It’s interesting he felt so angry and upset with Damien as I got the sense that Damian was flirting a bit with him. It would be like Mark to misinterpret that.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 7:07 pm
  30. Ferret Says:

    @Drachenfel it was originally meant to be real, but the retcon did establish that between that and his first experiences with Vampire LARP that he has issues with disassociation.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 9:39 pm
  31. Anne Says:

    I think most of the people here are going to be concerned about him rather than blacklist him as a lot of people have said. This is the first time in the comic that all the built and pent up issues he’s had have come to a head, I don’t see any of the characters writing him off because he flew off the handle once. Justin knew already that he was feeling volatile, Abbie and Sarah and Katie all knew he was in a bad enough state to ask Justin to try to calm him down, and with all the build up it just didn’t happen. Joel knew that he was lashing out from an intense wave of emotions and had Sarah back off because he knew for one that Mark was beyond reasoning with at this point, and yes, he grabbed a wrist and he pushed a guy, but he didn’t try to beat anyone up. It was totally reactionary and anyone in view of it could tell that his behavior was not his usual self. Yes, he needed to face consequences for his actions, but most of the cast have been aware of a measure of tension in him since he lost Jess. This is just a melt down from him feeling not good enough from what I can tell. His relationship with Jess was toxic and it grew increasingly obvious that she had lost a lot of respect for him since she found out he was nerdy. She violated his privacy and I am pretty sure those ‘love letters’ if done in character which they had to be, should have given her some cues that it wasn’t based in reality. I don’t personally understand the idea of a poly relationship, but in his particular loss of Jess, his mixed feelings for Sarah, and his general feeling that no one can love him for him, it seems like the worst possible thing for him to get himself into. The concept that one person isn’t good enough to keep a person happy on their own is a hard one for most people to swallow. It destroys a lot of relationships and takes a very particular sort of person to be comfortable with it. I expect between him and Dustin, he was able to swallow it because he didn’t consider Dustin a real ‘threat’ relationship-wise. He was more of the ‘alpha’ in his own mind. In comes Damien and all his insecurities pile up on him all at once. Suddenly the Poly thing feels a lot more real that Ravenia isn’t his girl and he’s just been fooling himself all this time. He also lost one relationship because of a LARP and projecting Jess in Damien’s place while they’re snickering in a corner just seems to solidify that anyone he could be in a relationship with is going to think he’s a loser (At least outside the gaming community). It was a bad reaction, but pretty much expected at some point given everything he’s been repressing and refusing to face, and Katie had sort of internally been seeing how him not facing what had happened with Jess and the tensions between him and Sarah were a ticking timebomb. I don’t think this blow up came as an intense surprise for a lot of the characters, it was a long time coming. As sweet as Hadeed and Sarah have been together I’m still a little sad that Mark and her didn’t go anywhere. I would have still liked to see them together, but Hadeed has done nothing to deserve a breakup and he treats her right, so I wouldn’t wish anything bad to happen to their relationship either. I didn’t pick up on anything Damien did as flirting so much as good-natured ribbing that he really shouldn’t have done until he was more familiar with Mark. I get he was trying to break the ice, but man, if you know someone embarrasses easy and you’re trying to make a good impression with them, don’t let the first thing you do be calling out something you know is going to get them flustered. It sets them at a disadvantage and makes them far less likely to be comfortable in your presence. This seems like a perfect storm of people making bad decisions. Not the least Mark, but I’m with a lot of people that Ravenia swooping in on him the moment she found out he broke up was pretty insensitive, and I’m pretty annoyed with Mark that he agreed to go on a date with her when he knew she was dating Justin BEFORE knowing that she was openly Poly. Not cool man, in your head you were letting one of your best friend’s girlfriends cheat on him. That should have been a discussion first, and was terrible communication on her part just assuming he knew. I’m not saying he’s without fault like at all, but I think it’s pretty drastic to think that anyone of his inner circle would cut him out because of this. Maybe Ravenia, and probably rightfully so, it’s clear he’s not cut out for this sort of relationship, but anyone that really cares about him and knows as well as many of them do that this hasn’t sat well with him is far more likely to let him breathe and then try to help him pick up the pieces.

    Posted June 16th, 2019 at 11:32 pm
  32. Matt Says:

    I just wanted to say how brave it is to do a story like Mark’s and show the good, bad and ugly in characters you have made and so obviously love when it would be so much easier to make it all about the jokes and games. It is comics like this, geeky, humorous, serious and dealing with real life issues as well as stories through rpgs that keep me coming back to webcomics for nearly two decades now. Well done 🙂

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 12:43 am
  33. Charlotte Says:

    Mark behaved really badly here and throwing him out of the game was the right call, but I think everyone who is basically saying “What he did is unforgiveable and Mark should be ostracrised and banned from all gaming” is going a bit far.
    Sure, Ravenia will probably not want to hang out with him ever again — for good reason and entirely understandable — but I don’t think these events should (or will) mean that the rest of the group will just cut him off. In fact, I don’t think they should cut him off. I think it’s been made clear that he’s not welcome if he behaves like this, but it’s the first time he’s done that and he’s clearly already regretting it.

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 9:43 am
  34. Grampybone Says:

    My guess (I hope) is a Doctor as well. (“Mistakes were made”, sums this night up quite well…
    A few Key ones…
    Mark. (Need I say more?)
    Ravenia: (Yes I know; but let me explain…) Though it in NO WAY Excuses what Mark did, Introducing hi to Damien (Who seems like a really cool dude by the way.) At the Changeling game was a titanically bad Idea. This was a very big relationship moment and something best done a an intimate dinner (or other such setting) ONLY among the Poly. That way it is a neutral setting and no one would feel uncomfortable.

    That being said, When Mark realized he felt conflicted, he should have left. Period. End of story. The moment he stayed when he knew he had an issue he was only inviting trouble.

    The group: When they know MARK was Having a MELTDOWN; they should have had their friend use her “Penitent Stare” ‘of moral obligation ‘ to have Mark GO HOME. That way they could have saved him from himself. If that did work they should have notified the ref that he was in no state to play. He may have been mad at that but he would have thanked them later when he wasn’t banned.

    Truly Mark is the one who really messed up, getting physical with a woman in any capacity is Wrong. As I said before Period. End of Story.

    The problem is (I agree with the previous poster) Mark has made a history of bottling his emotions, in addition to hiding the fact that he’s a gamer. I don’t think he ever truly dealt with the break-up between him and his ex. He bottled it up and moved on to an awkward (non) romance
    With Sarah till he wound up watching her move on to Hadeed.
    He then proceed to never deal with that and instead leap head long into an alternate relationship that he had no experience with or even knew about. A relationship he has now Blown up; possibly along with his friendship with Dustin.

    The fallout from this is gonna be very far reaching… I’m gonna have no fingernails left by the time this wraps up.

    And lastly the biggest mistake of the night!

    Abby: It was a really bad idea getting a ride with Mark. 🤪

    It’s been said before Thank you Alina for handling such a sensitive topic in such an awesome fashion. The feels for all involved in this really shows. Very, very well done!

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 12:31 pm
  35. Eva Says:

    The comments continue to be fascinating. I find it especially interesting how many people see this as “out of character” for Mark, when Mark himself seems to have reached the point of realizing that he made a terrible stupid mistake. Lots of people screw up when they’re stressed or coping badly (doesn’t excuse the bad behavior, but I find it interesting that people see the situation so differently).

    I also find it very interesting the different levels of “expect repercussions” that people are suggesting in the comments. I would have assumed that most games and social groups don’t insta-ban forever for one incident. You need to show a pattern of problematic behavior. This sure is going to make the Vampire game awkward for everyone though. I wonder if Ravena will drop out. I think she’s smart enough not to take any of this out on Dustin, but it’s going to be a rough ride for all of them. 🙁

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 1:26 pm
  36. Card deck Says:

    oh man i knew this was coming for a long time but even that can’t prepare me for this.
    this ultimately is both nobody’s and everybody’s fault, and that just happens.

    Mark went into a relationship to soon after his break up with jess. Jesse who was kind of sort of a controlling person, if not a toxic one. Ravenia wasn’t there for that so she really didn’t know, and Mark understandably didn’t want to spoil a new relationship by talking about his last one.

    On top of that Mark is insecure about his geekyness, which shows up so constantly that i really feel like i shouldn’t have to cite them all. effectively he doesn’t like people outside of the geek community too know about it. Ravenia is part of that community in a way since she plays vampire, Damien is not. Showing an interest in something doesn’t immeadiately make you part of its fandom, for that you need to be involved to some extant. Arguably he’s probably the most innocent party in this mess this probably came out of the blue for him. this is his first time meeting the guy and he gets attacked.

    now Mark choosing to lash out with violence is on him. It’s understandable that he would get banned, he attacked two people for gods’ sake!I feel sorry for the guy but he broke a core rule of larping in one of the worst ways possible. He knew what he should’ve done and went for the confrontation anyway.

    This entire situation was doomed from the get go and alina’s done a good job portraying that.

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 1:37 pm
  37. Julez Says:

    @Eva speaking as a former changeling ST, physical violence is one of the few things that WILL get you an insta-ban from most parlor larps, regardless of prior behavior. It is too much a risk, honestly.

    Posted June 17th, 2019 at 5:24 pm

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