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  • Heather

    Have I mentioned how much I like Harry’s suit, because…… I like it a lot! Also, Hurricane Nicky.

    • Apvogt

      As a Louisiana resident I shall remain alert for a Hurricane Nicole next hurricane season.
      Edit: A brief search has indicated that the 14th tropical storm to form in 2016 will be named Nicole. The 14th one to develop in 2015 will be Nicholas.

  • Carouselkie

    Infloons xD Love it.

  • JWLM

    I’d say I’d want to be a fly on the wall during that meetup, except I’m pretty sure that somebody would squash me.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Annie is adorable and I love her forever.

    • William Rice

      Yes she is, and so do I

      • Del

        I like June too.

        There’s no such thing as a Barber who doesn’t have a strong personality.

        Makes family gatherings memorable, for sure.

  • JWLM

    Best of all, I sincerely doubt that Mother Barber would approve of Sid — a stage-magician! — at all. This family meeting has all kinds of potential.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Brace yourself, the “when will you make kids” grandma comments are comin’

      • Lleyn

        I hate to disappoint yours and JWLM’s enthusiasm, but Eddie said that Grandma Barber will not be present at the family meeting. She -was- there, but apparently, she and Great-Granddad don’t get along.

        • Darkoneko Hellsing

          Aye.

    • I suspect it is getting to the point where Mrs Barber will be happy to see her unmarried daughters bring home any man with a pulse.

  • Sir_Krackalot

    Sounds like Mama Barber isn’t the most popular member of the family.

  • Bobismeisbob

    Aww, even after that carriage ride Harry still loves her sister enough to go cheer her up.

    • ThisCat

      Eh, family. Can’t really hate them. It messes with your life too much.

    • Frances Ahlborn

      Well it’s not like they SAID anything to each other during the ride, so it was just a couple hours of awkward silence and probably pointedly not looking at each other. And Sid (and Gren). Poor, poor Sid (and Gren).

    • Apvogt

      Like I said on a page on Blindsprings, family’s family.

  • William Rice

    So we get see what will happen when four generations of Barbers are under one roof… will said roof survive that much badaddery? *rubs hands* This is gonna to be awesome

    • Lleyn

      Ah, curse me for being such a nitpick, but it’ll be three generations of Barbers under one roof, since Grandma won’t be there (apparently, because of Great-Granddad)

      • Euodiachloris

        Leaves a possible Granddad. *shrugs*

  • Mah.

    …That escalated quickly.

    • svartalf

      It typically DOES.

  • Apvogt

    I’m uhh… I’m gonna go get the nuclear bunker ready. Plenty of extra room.

    • GristleMcNerd

      Woo, bunker party!

      • Apvogt

        Ignore the radroaches. I’ll take care of ’em. *spins up Eugene*

        (Free internets if you know what game I’m talking about)

        • szbnahl

          Suddenly tempted to write Fallout/Widdershins crossover fic.

  • Unmarried, at their ages? Of course Mother Barber doesn’t approve!
    It’s not like they’re me, whom no one cares if I breed . . . in fact, there are those who fear what would happen if I did . . .

  • EveryZig

    “Did they do crimes?”
    If Sid counts as a gentleman than kind of yes.

    • Nonesuch

      Sid is a perfect gentlemen! ^^

      … Sheesh, remember the last Thief King and his gang of Shabby Gentlemen? Do I remember their name right? Ha! Now there were ‘gentlemen’ worthy of finding and arresting for crimes committed!

  • Spirit22

    So Mrs. Barber doesn’t get along with the in-laws. Or at least not with her Father-in-law. He was probably a bad infloons on Harry and Nicky.

  • kuku

    Annie I adore you. And I adore your Aunt Harry, and she adores you. And I look forward to meeting your Great-Granddad. (Your Grandma, not so much.)

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    You know, grandma Barber’s actions would be a whole magnitude more insensitive if Nicky is gay (or asexual ?)
    May be why the other two are worried, and why Harry feels she need to check on her sister.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Also, older sister (haven’t seen her name yet ?) is so tired of everyone’s crap :D

      • JWLM

        Nicola is the oldest sister, Nora is second, Harry is third, and Florrie is the youngest. Eddie and Florrie are twins.

        Nicola was born tired of everybody’s crap, and then Harry and Florrie showed up. (Somehow, I can’t imagine Nora giving anyone crap. Well, except for me, that is, and she had Florrie’s help in that.)

        • MsElloon

          I think they meant the older sister of Edward Barber’s two kids (I think she’s called June) Nice family tree knowledge though- I can barely remember my own!

          • Darkoneko Hellsing

            Yes, I was.

          • The Wing

            *Edmund Barber (sorry, couldn’t resist)

            • MsElloon

              Thanks :) (no need to apologise for correcting me!)

        • Darkoneko Hellsing

          No, I’m talking about the kids… Annie’s big sister.

    • Deepbluediver

      I had similar thoughts as well- clearly we, as the fans, now to take this one comment and run with it, whipping up 700 lesbian romance stories and demanding that this be the only proper interpretation.
      :P

      • Frankie D.

        What about romancing up 700 lesbian whipping stories?

        • Columbine

          That one’s called ‘Sunstone’ darlin, and it’s brilliant.

          • Nonesuch

            Maybe Nicola’s just married to her job and lacks an interest in any romantic or sweaty entanglements.

            • Percabeth_trash

              Well Darkoneko Hellsing /did/ include asexual.

    • JWLM

      I don’t know. I’d love to see it from a character perspective, but being told Nicola being openly gay or ace would completely break willing suspension of disbelief for me. As far as Victorian England was concerned, lesbianism did not exist. Consider the Bowdlerization of the character Eugénie Danglars in the English translation of the Count of Monte Cristo: even though her lesbianism is only hinted at in the original French, the translation erases it.

      For completeness, male homosexuality was considered repulsive:. Oscar Wilde’s was imprisoned and ruined at the end of the Victorian era. Things hadn’t changed a century and a quarter after Widdershins’ setting, as Alan Turing’s destruction would show.

      It just wouldn’t work for me.

      • Socially acceptable or not, lesbians still existed then!

        • JWLM

          I didn’t say “exist,” I said “visible.” Having Nicola be lesbian would be fine — although her presentation would be a bit stereotyped in that case — having her visibly lesbian would break willing suspension of disbelief. For me — other people’s mileage will certainly be different.

          • Edit: I wrote a thing here but instead I’ll just let the story speak for itself.

            • Del

              Thanks. Why do so many commenters expect the strong, single women to be lesbians? I am disappointed by the stereotyping.

              I like it that the stories and characters of Widdershins are not so pelvicly driven as many other web comics.

              • Darkoneko Hellsing

                Uuh, that’s rude.
                What I wrote has nothing to do with her being strong or whatever, and everything to do with her taking really hard what Grandma Barber said.

                • Del

                  My apologies. I was referring to the general tone of these comments, and not to you in particular.

                  Ma’s meddling is insensitive, period. She wants to see her daughters happy, and she assumes that happiness means a family — as it does for most people. It is not “more insensitive” if Nicola is attracted to women, or passionate about her career, or hasn’t found the right man yet, or simply has no desire for a husband or family.

              • Lleyn

                “pelvicly driven”? I’m… not sure I want to know what exactly you mean with that ;) But regarding the stereotyping: It seemed to me that readers here were reacting to Eddie’s shocked reaction of what Annie told Nicola and to the fact that Harry suddenly feels the need to check up on her sister (whom she happily wound up just earlier in the carriage with seemingly little regard for her feelings). Never before in comments here has it been discussed that either Nicola or Harry might be lesbians. Also, so far the ‘speculation’ (and there hasn’t been much of it) only involves Nicola, not Harry, who is the other strong, single woman.

              • TriannaLi

                Man, I would love to believe that we’ve really reached the point in society where the stereotype of a lesbian is to be strong and self sufficient…

                I think I do actually get what you’re saying, though, and I want to offer a different spin on it. Maybe instead of pushing for the story to become more sexualized, some of the commenters are just open to the possibility that just like in real life, not every sexual orientation is to be straight.

                The truth is, while I agree with you that I would be just fine sticking with the pretty low levels of romance that Widdershins generates, I find people’s idle speculations on sexuality to be a positive thing. It means that they don’t accept that the ‘default’ orientation is straight- which is not the case for most of the public.

              • Nonesuch

                Hear, hear!

          • Geoff

            It’d be a change, sure. On the other hand, we’ve also seen female mayors (a few centuries [ed. – closer to 80 years, forgot this is the 1800s] ahead of our timeline), a largely absent Church (still waiting on that one), a queen who practices wizardry (I always wondered about Elizabeth II), and two unmarried female private investigators tussling with clockwork androids (I did fall asleep a lot in History class). I’ve yet to see something to suggest that discreet homosexuality would violate the setting’s internal consistency.

            • Wombat140

              Nobody said anything about “visible” (if she is, it’s apparently not “visible” to her grandma, anyway!), and Polly may not be who you think she is anyway.

              As for the queen – yes – the real Elizabeth I wasn’t a wizard; [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee]one had people to do that for one. [/url] :-)

          • Lleyn

            I’m curious: Why would Nicola’s presentation be stereotyped if she were lesbian? It seems to me that Harry is very similar to her sister (which might be why they don’t get along). Also, regarding her being “visibly” lesbian: Apart from this comic taking place in a fictional setting (where, e.g., people of African decent seem to be regarded as normal citizens in a Victorian setting), it wouldn’t be unusual for her siblings to know of her homosexuality without her being ‘publicly’ lesbian. If she is lesbian at all.

            • Columbine

              Not objecting to the whole ‘regarded as normal citizens’ thing but there’ve been black people in the UK for longer than most of us realise. I think the community in Liverpool is over 300 years old. We’ve had some wonderful and very talented black writers who would have been active in roughly the period Widdershins is set. So while not ‘normal’ it might not be as unusual as you think. Though ‘Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrel’ probably gives a more realistic portrayal.

              • Lleyn

                Ah damn, I had a feeling that that part of the sentence would be interpreted badly, but couldn’t put it otherwise (English is not my native language).

                What I meant was that in Victorian Great Britain with it colonialist mindset, most “black” people would’ve been regarded as savages, and certainly not as equal with the “white” British people. Slavery had only been abolished a few decades ago (in the Regency era) and even black people that were born in Great Britain were most certainly not regarded as equal by the majority of citizens, no matter their achievements. And interracial marriages, as depicted in this comic, were most certainly not the norm.

                Please don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that Kate includes it in her comic and this is an alternative setting, which was my point in my post. I also don’t want to undermine or neglect the achievements of the black community in Great Britain. Perhaps I should’ve written “ordinary” instead of “normal”, but it’s easy to be wise now.

                • Columbine

                  No pet it’s OK, I understood and I think I’m the one who worded my response poorly here. I completely understand what you were saying with regards to how black people were treated in Britain and you are absolutely correct. It didn’t come across to me as undermining or neglecting the achievements of the black community at all.

                  I just wanted to highlight that there was a black community then. It’s something many British people don’t know. And I think it’s something we should talk about more: our society has been multicultural for a very long time. We should celebrate that.

          • TriannaLi

            ….You did actually say ‘exist’, though. I mean, I can see your comment from right here, and it definitely says Victorian England did not feel lesbians existed.

            Just to be clear, I’m not accusing you of anything- you clearly aren’t saying that’s what you think, and I respect your thoughts on this. I’m only saying that maybe you meant ‘visible’, but in fairness, Kate is responding to a direct quote from you.

            • Sessine

              JWLM is right – for people in historical Victorian England, there was officially No Such Thing as lesbianism. It was such a taboo notion, so thickly plastered over with silence, they didn’t even pass laws against it! (On the other hand, respectable women weren’t supposed to ADMIT to sexual urges at all, so you’d have had a hard time convincing anyone that an asexual woman was even slightly unusual.)

              What they could say out loud was one thing, and of course inside, people were still people, with all the variations in sexuality that people always have. Intense public silence has this one advantage: it blinds people. Lesbians could live together quite openly, and everyone just said, “Oh, isn’t it sweet how devoted and sisterly those two old maids are.” Because… there couldn’t be anything like THAT between them. What a shocking suggestion! Impossible!

              Luckily Kate’s pre-Victorian society is more sensible than our world — about a lot of things.

              • TriannaLi

                Hear, hear to that!

                It might be more complicated than that, though- a lot of what we think about when we think about Victorian views on sex have turned out to be myths. And while you and JWLM definitely are right that lesbianism wasn’t an accepted category of people, that’s in large part due to the fact that Victorians perhaps didn’t have the same categories we do at all. Female friendships were a big part of society, and those friendships could have elements of sexualism that we would classify as ‘MORE than friends’ today…but Victorians didn’t.

                I know this is pretty off topic, sorry- Widdershins always seems to divert into these interesting conversations though. :)

                Edit: I found a link to an interview with an author who wrote about this, and in much clearer terms than I:
                http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2011/02/desire-without-identity-an-interview-with-sharon-marcus/

      • Columbine

        Wasn’t there a Yorkshire gentle-woman around that time whose detailed diary of her lesbian love affairs was recently discovered? Ah! Yes! Anne Lister. Also the Ladies of Llangollen.

        Edit: Having come back after reading some quotes from Anne Lister’s diary I think I can confirm she rocked.

      • Andy Nguyen

        Green foxes that lived in people’s eyes stealing skills and abilities from passersby also didn’t exist as far as Victorian England was concerned, but hey, YMMV…

        Also, IIRC, Kate mentioned that in keeping with the lighter fantasy tone, Widdershins Victorian England suffers far less from the various -isms than historical Victorian England did, which is why we have such a diverse group of protagonists (and antagonists) in varying positions of authority/respect.

      • Punkpoemprose

        Well given that this isn’t Victorian England, rather it is an alternative timeline with similarities to Victorian England, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be believable. Also Sapphism was more socially acceptable than being a gay man. Many spinsters lived together and were thought of simply as good friends when they were often much more. Women shared romantic contact through letters and some families knew their daugter’s/ sister’s aversions to men. It doesn’t mean they didn’t try to get them to marry men, but some women were out to their families.
        If you’re curious to see a Gregorian interpretation of lesbianism which is semi-public Clarissa by Samuel Richardson makes many illusions to that fact.

  • It’s far too late to run isn’t it?

  • CyberSkull

    When are they not one of those family meetups?

  • Jeff Hogberg

    I love converging storylines. I can’t wait to see where this is all going.

  • Nonesuch

    Eddie is a wonderful character. ^^

    … But I get the feeling that the Barber siblings’ mum is… not so wonderful. It’s always a shame when families fall out. :-

  • Euodiachloris

    The Barber genes win out: troublemakers of all ages. xD

  • Cameron Gemlo

    Annie’s face in the last panel, if you look closely, is a smiley face. Adorable. :)

  • Del

    Back to speculating about the story:

    Since Eddie has this most glorious beard, who are the pipe smoking stranger and the damsel in distress featured on the opening cover?

  • Liz

    Anybody else here coveting Eddie’s beard? Like, I’m a happy ciswoman, and so it’s really confusing to me to be so racked with envy in this manner.

  • l33tninja

    infloons lol

  • Elizabeth Jones

    Ya just gotta love kids, don’cha?
    So long as you can give them back afterwards.

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