693: Children's Fantasy
Title text: I was going to be a scientist, but that seems silly now. Magical worlds exist. I've learned a huge truth about our place in the universe. I'm supposed to care about college? I mean, FUCK.
Children's fantasy stories such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Phantom Tollbooth involve a kid who is magically transported out of their time to some fantastic realm, goes through trials and becomes a hero, and then is returned to their own mundane world at about the same time they left with no one else realizing or believing what happened to them. The growth of the protagonist often involves learning self-confidence.
The comic illustrates this type of story and considers what the rest of the child's life would really be like as they reach adulthood. If they tell their friends, spouse, and family what happened to them, no one will believe them and these loved ones will think them a bit crazy. If they don't tell anyone, they are pretending that the episode never happened. Either way, it seems this would not be an enjoyable experience to live with for their entire adult life.
The title text continues the thought by pointing out the impossibility of contributing anything to the scientific world after visiting a magical world, as the child would know many scientific baselines, and, indeed, most regularly practiced scientific theory to be false, but would be unable to say anything or convince anyone of what they knew.
This comic can be read as a critique of a single event redefining a person since the protagonist doesn't change: in the first pannel they consider themselves a loser and in the title text they say they were going to be a scientist. They did not find their self confidence and instead regressed from 1027: Pickup Artist" You look like you're going to spend your life having one epiphany after another, always thinking you've finally figured out what's holding you back, and how you can finally be productive and creative and turn your life around. But nothing will ever change. That cycle of mediocrity isn't due to some obstacle. It's who you are. The thing standing in the way of your dreams is that the person having them is you."
- [Kid is sitting on the ground with his chin in his hand.]
- Kid: I'm such a loser-
- [Princess sticks her head through a portal.]
- Princess: Come quickly, young one!
- Kid: Holy crap, a portal!
- Princess: My kingdom needs you!
- [He falls through.]
- Kid: AAAAAA
- [We see him on horseback, helmeted wielding a sword. There's a castle on the horizon and two moons in the sky. There are a few other riders as well.]
- [Kid, with helmet and sword, stands before King, Princess, and another warrior. Princess is holding out a ring.]
- King: You've saved our kingdom and found your self-confidence. Now it's time to return home. Goodbye, young hero!
- Princess: Take this ring to remember us!
- [Kid stands alone, holding the ring.]
- Kid: Well, I guess I spend the rest of my life pretending that didn't happen or knowing that everyone I love suspects I'm crazy.
- Kid: This'll be a fun 70 years.
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