372: To Be Wanted

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To Be Wanted
Or so I hope?
Title text: Or so I hope?

[edit] Explanation

The comic begins with a grainy, pencil-drawing of Megan on a ship. This is a clue that things are not as they appear.

As the point-of-view pulls back in each successive frame, we see that "Megan on a ship" is really a thought-bubble belonging to Cueball, who is sitting at his desk. He apparently is day-dreaming instead of working. Note that this is presented in the standard, crisp format, as if drawn on a computer. This suggests it shows us our "normal" view.

However, as the perspective continues to pull back, we see that "Cueball thinking of Megan" is actually a thought-bubble belonging to Megan. In the final frames, the ship sails out of frame. However, since the final frames are in the same grainy pencil-drawing format, it suggests that this is still Cueball's thoughts, rather than an actual image of Megan.

The title text, "Or so I hope", shows us what this recursion really means: Cueball hopes that Megan realizes that he misses her, but suggests he's not entirely certain she does.

Alternate Explanation

Comic starts with Megan on the bow of a ship, but in following panels it turns out that Cueball (presumably in a relationship with Megan) is thinking about about her, sitting afar from her. As we move forward (or downwards) in the comic, it turns out indeed that Megan is thinking that his partner Cueball might be missing her and thinking about her while she is on a voyage or at least she hopes it to be that way as the title text suggests. This also explains the title of the comic "To Be Wanted" which Megan expects from Cueball.

More about the title text

Both of the above explanations could be true without conflict. But as the title text is most often assigned to Randall himself or to a Cueball character, the Or so I hope is most likely written by the guy who drew the comic. This would then indicate that it is Cueball/Randall who wishes to be wanted by Megan - but he also hopes that Megan knows/hopes that he wants her.

[edit] Transcript

[Megan stands looking out on the bow of a ship.]
[Scene backs up. More of the boat is shown.]
[Scene backs up. The boat with Megan is within a thought bubble.]
[Scene backs up. The thought bubble comes from Cueball sitting at a computer in an office.]
[Scene repeated for the next frame.]
[Scene backs up. Cueball is within yet another thought bubble.]
[Scene backs up. The thought bubble with Cueball in it belongs to the Megan at the bow of the ship.]
[The thought bubble disappears, showing only Megan in the boat.]
[The boat sails out of view.]
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Discussion

The previous explanation was:

The comic is about perspective. The person on the ship dreams of working in an office while the person in the office is dreaming of being on a ship.
The ship and office are perhaps metaphors for freedom and structure. The comic may be trying to convey that those people who have a highly structured life desire more freedom while those with too much freedom desire structure.

While interesting, I felt it missed the boat. --MisterSpike (talk) 05:19, 17 June 2013 (UTC)


Seems that Randall has invented a new rigging system for boats. A triangular foresail on a bowsprit with a large sqaure sail just behind it blocking its wind. The square seems attached to the mizzenmast behind. Wouldn't quite work I don't think. Deliberate symbolism? Kevin McCready (talk) 12:47, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
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