I can’t remember if I posted this already, so here’s Magician Medusa for no good reason!
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Hey, what a great teacher! “I have no faith that you’ll be able to behave and rather than give you advice now I will use the fact that I am going to keep punishing you over and over as a source of AMUSEMENT”
You know, instead of saying “Here is the list of rules I typed up for my class. Why don’t you and Jake go over them tonight. Also, we won’t call it ‘detention’ any more but we’ll come up with a cool name so the other students don’t pick on you and treat you like an outsider. I’m not saying you’ll have to do them forever, or that you’ll never do one again… but I want to help you fit in better, okay?”
Jake just…. just stop. Every time you write this character she gets worse.
Kevin, I’m not sure what to say here. I feel like you’re reading way to much into this. EDIT: Sorry, that sounded dismissive. What I mean is that I think what you’re getting out of this is not what I’ve meant to put into it. Does that make sense? I may not be a good enough writer to make this character work the way I want her to without making her seem too horrible.
i feel like your not writing a character we won’t killed later. seriously this is the worst teacher ever and I once had one who suspended me for being tripped. this woman should not be allowed near a classroom. after what she said about “only one rule” which she KEEPS BREAKING by the way, giving poor modest detention and keeping her from any chance she may have to make friends out on the playground is unfair. modest is alone, being kept separated from all other children her age. she can’t talk or get to know them in class, the playground is really her best chance but NO… she is a child and believe it or not at that age they need to go out and play to run off the excess energy, which modest has a surplus of. keeping her indoors will make her misbehave more. I hate this teacher, seriously the bully girl is nicer to modest so far.
I see what you are trying to do with her, Jake and usually enjoy this kind of stuff as I love me some black humor. But in this case, a lot of us have gone through too many negative experiences with teachers (or our kids have) to find this storyline very funny. If Modest was about 2-4 years older, these jokes might be good and the teacher may seem more likable, but because Modest is a very young child the teacher comes off as immature, mean, and lazy.
Jake, what you really should have done was to write out the plot you were expecting the story to take and then run it by a teacher to get their opinion and relevant notes. This is a clear case of “did not do the research,” and I’m fairly certain it’s not just other teachers who are noticing and voicing how appalling all of this is.
I won’t agree with your own suggestion that you’re not a good enough writer, but I would suggest that you seek the counsel of someone in a profession before centering an entire storyline around guesswork again. For the plot you’ve laid out, you required a character who doesn’t mesh with reality. This could have been a bunny-eared lawyer trope situation, like Dr. House, but it lacks the necessary display of why someone who is so awful would keep their job in spite of it.
I’m copy pasting this reply to everyone to save time, but please read it as me being sincere and not as a brushoff.
Thanks for your feedback. I hear what you’re saying and I understand your concerns about Ms. Booth. Please stick with me while I work my way through this story. You may or may not like Ms. Booth when this is all over, but I hope you’ll enjoy where the story goes.
10-4! Thanks, Jake! 🙂
I’m married to a teacher. Most of my friends are teachers. I read her as a friendly, teasing sort of person. I’ve seen conversations like these in the classroom. Good teachers can do it and the kids love it. Doing it on paper without vocal intonations and expressions is difficult. I think she will be a keeper.
The last time she got sent to detention was because she wanted to learn everything faster. The solution of learning in detention seems to work.
I am legit baffled by the amount of hate being levied at the teacher. Am I seriously the only one who thinks its okay for a student who is repeatedly disruptive to be punished. Am I the only one who thinks the issue is with Modest’s complete lack of self control?
I should be clear here, Ms. Booth is meant to be kind of a jerk. She’s as close to a villain as we’ll get in this season. She has a good side too and she’s not a bad teacher, but she’s also not a great one. I wanted to show that Modest has a difficult time transitioning into a more normal life, and part of that would be a teacher that she just doesn’t get along with and acts as her antagonist. At least at first. Modest is a difficult child (without meaning to be), and I feel like there can be a lot of humor in two difficult people trying to sort out their situation. But I guess Ms. Booth has rubbed some people the wrong way. It seems like a lot of people see her as being way meaner than I intended, and maybe that’s because I’m just not that great a writer. I just hope that the people who don’t like her give me a chance to get where I’m going with this story.
Modest’s DAD was less despised than this and he straight murdered Marah. She may not be the nicest teacher, but I wouldn’t overtly fault her for her decisions. I sure as hell can’t understand the absolute despise I’m seeing here.
I think the reason is that we don’t like what we don’t understand. The Prince of Yeld is just evil. Everyone says so, including him. This bitch thinks it’s funny to torment a child who saw her mother eat her sisters, and none of the other characters respond to it the way we expect. That’s why it’s confusing. Is she evil? Is she good? Are we evil? Or is this some sort of bizzaro world where words like that have no meaning?
By the way, did I mention? Modest saw her mother eat her sisters and her father kill her friend. Plus, she’s an alien. She’s not as “difficult” as she could be.
That certainly puts things in perspective.
And the reason I never paid any mind to Modest’s father is because he was kind of a cliche. There was also little build up to him. Up to the point where he killed Marah (in a fair duel) we were only told about his awful deeds, and most of his evil was off-panel. In almost everything in life, it’s show, don’t tell.
because she is Modest’s first teacher, a teacher is supposed to be some one who guides you, someone you can turn to if you need to talk. this teacher doesn’t even try and seems to be taking out a grudge against jake on his kid. she isn’t simply mean, and what is worse as modest’s first teacher this COULD effect how modest views school and all other educators for years to come. the reaction is worse then it was for Modest’s dad because he was already seen as a bad guy, even the way he looked.
I saw a pretty good post circulating on Tumblr recently about why people hated one of the Hogwarts teachers way more than they hated Voldemort, and I think it’s a similar thing going on here. Evil fantasy big-bad villains are sort of an abstract evil, but that mean-spirited teacher hits way too close to home for most people.
“She’s not a bad teacher”
No. Sorry, but no. I showed this arc of the comic to two of my aunts, my two cousins, and my great aunt. They are all either teachers or retired teachers. And every single one of them said Ms. Booth is a horrible teacher that should be fired. Two of them (one cousin and my aunt) work with troubled students (autistic, ADD, so on) that behave much like Modest, and they were horrified that Ms. Booth was treating Modest as she was.
You are a GREAT writer, by the way… but this has been a massive misstep. What you thought would serve a “Calvin and Hobbes” or “Bart and Principal Skinner” type relationship has come across as Prof Snape and Harry… except Modest doesn’t have anyone in her corner. No other teachers to offer aid, her father-figure is blowing off her concerns, so on. It would be different if you were showing us someone at the school that was being kind or Jake listening to her problems and working with her. But instead it feels like all these people are out to ruin this poor little girl’s life.
The problem is that there are no glimmers of her having any human decency other than the Chocodille strip. And even then that was ruined by the fact that any chance of bonding over that was destroyed by Ms. Booth reacting so badly to them. Even this strip, that could have given us a chance for her to offer Modest aid and help her adjust, was ruined by her horrible attitude and bully-attitude.
I get what you were going through but at this point I honestly think you should seriously consider going through your notes and figuring out a way to alter your plans (my suggestion would be getting Modest someone else in the school to work with her during lunch time for a month or two to help her… the school’s councilor would be your best bet). Because continuing on the path of trying to keep Ms. Booth as the ‘enemy’ of Modest, as you are writing her right now, isn’t going to work. Because she isn’t a fun character… she is a bully and a jerk and a monster. She is the Dolores Umbridge of this comic and unless you are willing to accept that and the hatred that will come you need to change your plans. Because I just don’t see how you can course correct with her now.
Hmmm… The only way this teacher could really be worse is if she hit the students or locked them in the closet. I wouldn’t call her “evil,” but if I met a teacher like this in real life? “Crappy” would be an appropriate label. A good teacher doesn’t have to act like she’s the host of Romper Room or shit rainbows every day, but the personality of this lady is projecting is pretty “bleah.” I’d smile about it maybe more if she was a baby sitter or Modest was aged up. Such a shame, because I was really excited to see what she was like. She has such a neat character design.
I love this comic and up til this arc everything about it. You would have to try a LOT harder to get me to stop reading!
Though im no artist, I can understand the disappointment that can happen when what you intend does not come across that way. You aren’t a horrible writer at all btw.
A teacher as an antagonist is a great idea, for me the problem is the way she is antagonizing is so far beyond what is reasonable (and I say that with full knowledge that her student is a medusa 😉 ). I think the Snape comparison below is apt, the degree to which Snape was allowed to abuse Harry was one of my biggest problems with JK Rowling too actually.
Like I said I’ll of course keep reading and see where this goes. I hope you don’t feel like our feedback is intended as an attack, I think it just shows how invested we are in Modest!
Eh? Modest is just coming off as a normal kid her age. Even well-raised 6 year olds can be rowdy. Modest is an ADD snake girl, and she gets detention for asking an honest question (while raising her hand even)? There’s so many more interesting ways she could have difficulty transitioning and/or earning punishment. I *do* like the teacher’s design and how she’s drawn in the last panel, though. Hopefully we get to see some sort of personality to go with it soon.
Detention actually seems like a pretty good way to find time for Modest to get up to speed. Teaching her how to operate school during class would take a bunch of time from the other students.
But I’m not really baffled by the hate. Teachers are probably the #1 profession for freaking everyone telling you how to do your job.
I couldn’t agree more.
So the teacher is totally a jerk and not a good teacher. In the real world, as a parent I would call the principal by day 2.
Modest is a little brat, utterly self-centered, makes terrible and often destructive choices, and is very, very dangerous to boot.
Jake (in the story) also has a pretty long way to go on the excellent parenting and being a good roommate front. Again, in the real world.
HUMOR people! STORY-TELLING! Authors often overdo things for storytelling and humor and a good punch line. Its a comic not a good teaching manual.
And honestly, she seems to kind of have Modest’s number, which so far no one else has. Ms. Booth is the only person who Modest doesn’t run roughshod over. Got to be worth something.
I’m going to just sit here and love the teacher since it seems lots of people keep getting pissed at her. She’s harsh but she’s not taking Modest’s crap omg.
Ms. Booth looks a LOT friendlier in these panels! She just looked so mean before…
It may have been arranged with Jake to give Modest some “extra time” with the teacher before throwing her to the wolves… I mean kids in the playground. The yummy sandwiches are her reward, not ‘stolen’.
Chill people! The entire plot cannot be divulged in 4 panels… it will come along eventually.
No excuses are needed to show cute drawings of Modest! Lolz!
It’s fiction, folks. Not a real little girl whose development and socialization is at stake, and not a real teacher.
Jake, the fact that people are getting whipped up about this is a sign that you ARE a good writer!
still hate this teacher, she puts a bad taste in my mouth and I have my reasons.
My mom is a teacher, and after seeing some of the responses I see where she gets all her stress from. I was as disruptive as Medusa, likely, in Ele and spent a lot of time in the hallway. At least she gets to learn something at the same time (I just learned how many older kids were the bad ones)
Man.. This teacher.. really shouldn’t be a teacher. Treating misbehavior as something inevitable is quite possibly the worst attitude anyone can have toward kids.
Oh yeah. By no means is it, like, a mistake on your part. You’re getting a rise out of your audience, that’s the goal of any artist.
Wow… two steps forward, one step back?
And Jake, in response to a comment above about people reacting more negatively to the teacher than you expected, part of that happens to be because reader LOVE Modest. Anyone who seems the slightest bit antagonistic towards her will immediately be received as LITERALLY HITLER.
(Not literally, but you know what I mean.) ^_~♥
And this character keeps getting more and more unpleasant.
She’s keeping Modest in because she recognized that this strange little snake girl probably needs some help learning about how things work. I mean, she is the bad guy, like most teachers are to kids, but that is different from being evil.
I actually like the teacher Jake. Yeah, she’s teaching tough love but I think people are reading too much into her before you’re showing us who she really is. I don’t think she’s mean spirited. I feel like despite putting Modest in detention she’s also bonding with her on ways she wouldn’t be able to. I think it will bring about character growth for Modest. Keep up the awesome work and don’t get too discouraged by the other comments on how terrible she is.
So, how about:
Modest: But, why don’t you come home with me instead? You can tell me everything there, and Jake can help with any difficult bits! He’ll probably make you another fancy sandwich!
Later, across the road:
Miss Booth: …and that’s all there is to it. Do you understand?
Modest: Yes! Yes I do!
Miss Booth: Good! Then we’re done.
Jake: You can go and play.
Modest: Yay! And you can go and get sandwiched! *exits*
Miss Booth: *snerk*
Miss Booth: I assume that was a reference to a fancy sandwich she was talking about you making me.
Jake: Yes, the double entendre was unintentional, I’m sure…
Modest: *reappears in doorway* Oh, and you can make out as well! ‘Cos you’re totally shippable! *exits again*
Jake and Miss Booth: O_o
Wow… This teacher is very bad, and I know you said you’re not trying to brush anyone off.. but honestly I don’t think you’re evening reading the comments and concerns… which in itself is concerning. say bananas if you actually read this. Honestly I’ve had bad teachers, ones who would yell at me because i was too scared to speak to them because they yelled at me, but this teacher shows absolutely no care for her job or students. I don’t care about any past relationships with jake, she shouldn’t be focusing on that when she’s teaching children. You’re not at all listening to anyone who comments which is frustrating to everyone which will lower your viewership. I know it’s a broken record, but when their concerns are just being replied with the same message which doesn’t at all reflect half of the messages greenwood goat’s comment wasn’t even really about ms booth’s teaching ability
Please believe that I am reading every comment and listening to everything that’s being said here.
OK… I can not agree with the people that are saying Mrs Booth is a horrible teacher, and here is why.
We have not seen why Medusa has been placed in detention, each time. Sure, we can assume that she is disrupting the class as innocently as she did the first time. But that may not be the case.
In earlier strips Modest caused a lot of problems for Jake. In many ways. And, to be honest, a few were malicious. So we know that this child can be that type of character, fairly easily.
The teacher handing out detention, is attempting to show Medusa that every action has consequences. And there are things going on behind the scenes that we do not know about. For all we know Medusa may be on the brink of expulsion, and this “evil teacher” is attempting to correct that.
We know that she has, already, punched the principal. Caused a few of the other kids to run around the halls, and disturb other classes. Granted, she doesn’t know these are bad things. But neither do any other kids that age, at first. It is the parents job to start teaching right from wrong before they get to school, and let us face it. NO ONE has!
There is, also, the fact that this arc could be being read from Medusa’s perspective. And not what is, actually, happening at this point.
For the idea with a list? I am not sure that idea would even make a difference. I don’t know a single child that will not tune out a list of rules. Especially at the “why” and “no” stages of life.
It’s still telling that a very vocal portion of your audience has expressed distaste with the teacher. I personally think it’s a wash and the character, and if you were trying to go with a character that is supposed to be a disciplinarian but likeable you’ve not brought her up to snuff.
And abstract evil is generally something we have less first hand experience in. Modest’s Dad is one final form away from being an eldritch abomination if he isn’t already. The thing is, such characters you’re expected to oppose… because that’s what you do. It’s sort of the natural choice for most people, but there’s no emotional investment in the choice. He makes people into monsters, he’s evil. That’s a concept that people can understand without bringing too much of themselves into it. Modest’s Teacher? That’s something a lot of us have more experience with, and it hits closer to home, because many of us have had at least one bad teacher (or principal) in our lives. What’s more, we’ve also had good teachers and can draw from the experience and disparity between the two.
Still, she’s a bad teacher. It would be understandable if Modest did something truly outrageous, but she didn’t do anything that a child would normally be known to do. Being a little disruptive may get some chastisement, but having her constantly dole out detentions isolates her from the other children (which is part of the point of going to school, the social interaction mixed with an education). I would expect a teacher in her position to understand that kids can be idiots enough of the time to give them a pass for a lot of their behavior. It doesn’t mean they have to let them walk all over them, but some discretion is expected, and patience is demanded (you have to have it in any sort of occupation or job that requires dealing with other people most of the time).
I’m not asking you to excise the character or such, just that a lot of us seem to believe that the character is a miss.
I hear what you’re saying. I hope you’ll stick around to see what I’m doing with the character. I don’t know if you or anyone else will end up liking her, but I feel like she’ll make more sense once we reach the end of this arc.
Jake, I’d just like to say that I think you’re doing a great job with the teacher, and you shouldn’t change anything about her that you don’t already want to.
And frankly, if people think this is worse that seeing children being eaten alive while screaming in terror, they might need to step back and re-think things.
Seriously, why does everyone hate this teacher so much? It’s personal opinion as to whether or not someone may or may not like a certain character.
It’s one thing to not like a character, but criticizing the writer about it and complaining about said character is another thing entirely. Grow up people! This show is about humour. If you think the teacher’s being too strict, you’re obviously not laughing at the punchline. It’s supposed to be funny. Laugh. HAHAHAHA
Maybe that was dumb. :p Regardless, I’m enjoying this entire story arc. Keep it up!
because some of us have had teacher’s bully us, not as bad as modest is being bullied but there are teachers who mistreat student. some are even worse then this one like the teacher(who was fired) that bribed older students to beat up one of the younger students. trying to make a teacher who treats students badly part of a funny comic? bad choice. I love the comic as a whole but no there is nothing funny about this teacher.
The funny thing about this is it is a double edged sword. Someone had a bad experience with a teacher that was a bully.. and therefore this should never be put into a humorous situation… alright….
Then.. we shall outlaw all military, religious, and cultural (even if told by someone that is if the culture being joked about) humour…
Oh and let’s not forget age, race, slapstick, tripping, falling and fail videos
Because it may have hurt someone’s feelings.
Kind of leaves the idea of humour.. stale.. doesn’t it?
Oh.. and we should sue Foxworthy and Josh Blur for making fun of themselves, because someone else thinks it isn’t funny.
Blue… not Blur ..
To all the knuckleheads pulling the old “It’s humor” line: that’s a horrible way to look at things. You think seeing a teacher bullying a kid for no apparent reason is funny? I understand you like the comic and feel like defending the author, but that argument is neither working nor reflecting good on those who use it.
In fact, you are doing Jake a disservice by defending him with poor arguments, and are insulting his work by dismissing the impact it has on some readers. You are also insinuating that the standards he wants to meet are on such a low level where humor is an excuse for anything. You did notice that he didn’t use that argument once, did you?
Why I hate this teacher more than her father? Well, because he has at least enough guts to stick to his promises: He let the two go after Marah drew first blood in the duel. He’s following a horrible and cruel codex, but at least he has some sense of justice and sticks to it. Even if it is wrong from our perspective, he has a code to live by.
That teacher? She doesn’t.
While i am not fond of the teacher, i wanted to say that has no reflection on your writing(only my own person experience with certain teachers i can’t help but project onto her). Your writing if excellent, the fact that so many people are in such an up roar about this arch says so. Keep it, stick to your plan. i’m curious to see what you’ve got planed.
I have to wonder if there’s an ulterior motive for the teacher keeping Modest in detention during recess. My theory is that she’s actually trying to protect Modest from the other students. We’ve seen how the kids have reacted to Modest so far–it’s not all positive. They’re also at that age where they virtually have no filter and will say whatever they want to whether it’s appropriate or not. In a classroom setting, however, the teacher can more easily monitor inappropriate behavior versus on an open playground. Outside kids have more room to roam (get away from adult supervision) and therefore have more of a chance to speak whatever they’re thinking. In such an uncontrolled environment Modest could easily become a target for bullying because she’s different and knows so little. By keeping Modest in a controlled environment at all times the teacher protects her from being bullied, and since in detention it’s just the two of them she is also free to teach Modest everything that she needs to know to catch up–things that the other kids already know and, again, would likely pick on Modest for NOT knowing.
Just my two cents.
Jake could do better. that little girl that has been saying some rather harsh things should have been the main antagonist here and the teacher someone who Modest could turn to. if a student can’t trust her teacher at school she may learn she can’t trust anyone. a teacher should guide her students not keep them separated from their peers.
I’m getting the notion that people have had some difficult experiences with the educational system and are DEEPLY projecting. I know a lot of my contemporaries saw the entire teaching establishment as THE ENEMY OF ALL FUN AND COOLNESS. Folks. this is a COMIC, and there is an expected amount of “don’t-take-this-too-seriously-it’s-COMEDY-for-fraks-sake” to go with the gavitas and adventure.
But it’s certainly a testament to the authentic personality of Modest you’ve created that people so identify with here and rally to her side so fervently.
Well, there *is* some of that, but actually I find the teacher pretty flat in personality. The last panel shows potential, because of the way she’s drawn, but otherwise she’s a pretty boring character so far. I don’t expect kids to be treated like solid gold in comics. For instance, I thoroughly enjoy the humor in Something Positive. It is pretty over-the-top and the characters can be downright mean and violent to one another (including to and from the children), but there’s also a lot of witty fun and love in it. I *don’t* get that vibe from the teacher in this arc, though. She just comes off as flat and that leaves her with what we’ve seen—lazy and unintelligent.
Keep in mind, I *want* to like the teacher. She has a unique character design (love how she’s drawn in the last panel), and it’s the first time we’ve seen an older female character in a long time. It’d also be interesting to find out the history between her and Jake. But there needs to be more to her than just putting Modest in detention/timeouts. Those could be really funny if we saw Modest being more naughty (which she *has* the potential to do), and the teacher showing more kindness/patience in the beginning. What we’ve been shown so far though is someone with the personality of a grumpy goldfish.
how does that commercial go? “that’s not how it works! that’s not how any of this works!”
Okay, I can’t believe I’m even writing this kind of comment for a gag strip, let alone responding to comments *anywhere ever on the internet*, but here goes…
What the heck did this teacher even do that was so “mean” and “bullying”? She hasn’t physically or verbally abused Modest in any way. Usually “bullying” involves one of those two things, right?
She put Modest in detention a few times, which is pretty standard scholastic punishment these days, right? Nothing particularly mean or bullying there, right? She also took one sandwich from her (which was meant for her Hair) which she ended up feeding back to the Hair, anyway. OH MY GOD SHE TOOK HER HAIR SNAKES’ SANDWICH AND THEN GAVE IT BACK TO THE HAIR SNAKES! SO MEAN!
Is that really so bad? Did I miss something? Did Modest not deserve to go to detention, which so far is the only official discipline she’s ever had?
I’d say Modest is pretty lucky to have not been black bagged by the Feds, much less adopted by Jake ( who seemed to be listening pretty intently to Modest’s problems) into a safe home, and excepted into a private school.
Also, seriously? Social damage from isolation? Isolated from the other kids? Not allowed to interact with the other kids? Seriously?
I know it’s been several months between these strips in real time, but in “Strip World”? She has only been in school for two days. She has only been in detention two times. Remember, folks, time passeth mucheth slowereth in Strip World.
So it only takes being in detention *twice* to forever inflict emotional, social developmental, and mental damage upon a child? I guess I should consider myself damaged goods, then! Yikes!
You know what, naysayers?
You’ve trusted Jake to give you a great story so far, right? How about trusting him some more and see where he takes us this time?
Damn! Chill out! Eat a chocodile!
I wish my original comment had mentioned some of this. But. Thank you 🙂
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying.
I think people lose perspective; they were bullied and so now they see bullying everywhere, even in cases where it isn’t true.
What a HORRIBLE teacher – making a student eat lunch INSIDE. They are a bullyer, and a child abuser, and should clearly be fired immediately! <- Sarcasm.
I've had horrible teachers… teachers that punish the victims when students get bullied, or punish the student that dares to stand up for themselves against other bullies. I myself was the smallest boy in my elementary school – while in the sixth grade, the kindergarteners were bigger than me. If you think that didn't make me a target, you've got another thing coming.
I have seen nothing that this teacher is doing as "bullying".
It’s not so much *what* she’s doing. It’s what she’s not doing. She’s has shown little compassion or interest in her new student. She just seems to take up space and steal her food. That not only makes her mean, but boring—and I *like* mean characters—otherwise I wouldn’t be here or regularly read Something Positive. Give me some passion and wit—otherwise make the characters into cool villains…preferably with over-the-top codpieces. 😉
She started the class late, so she needs to catch up, which she is doing during detention and not freezing to death outside in the snow during recess.
This is a good tactic, but can be done without making it a punishment each time. Now if Modest was truly being super naughty or a jerk and/or our blue-haired educator seemed to give half a crap? That’d be funnier.
Wow, teachers are a real got button. I think she’s hilarious.
Maybe not the best teacher but certainly a very funny one.
This teacher is awesome!
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