110. Eternal Flame, page posted 7/19/21

Page 68 of 68

Eternal Flame — Page 68

Author commentary

Veronica: Thanks for reading!!!!!!!!!!!

Some familiar faces here, and some new!

Oliver: A genuine thank you for the outpouring of emotion this chapter caused. We’re glad you stuck it out! As a final goodbye to this momentous chapter, three alternate pages of the tree sequence are now up for patrons. (These were replaced when the chapter was reworked a little.) Don’t miss it — or the the next chapter, whose first page is up now on Patreon!

A preview of the upcoming BCB page.

Comments from Patreon

Comment ID #17097

hey look its paulos boyfriend!

Airy Frith  

Comment ID #17098

Woah hey now, don't ship real-life people.

Oh! Friday afternoon brain rot...

Okay, sure.

Dave Ostroske  

Comment ID #17099

am i having a stroke or are you lol ??

Airy Frith  

Comment ID #17100

what

esinololly  

Comment ID #17101

IT'S JAMES :O

esinololly  

Comment ID #17102

Okay but all these background characters are super cute

Emma Breslauer  

Comment ID #17103

JAMES! ??

Sym  

Comment ID #17104

What a wild ride this has been!

William Hoffman  

Comment ID #17105

THE DOG AND CAT BOYFRIENDS ????

Cas  

Comment ID #17106

Lucy <:(

Fiver26  

Comment ID #17107

Oh my gosh is that pink Madoka cat???

JustaSuta  

Comment ID #17108

Was it worth it, Trashcat? Go back to your dumpster fire.

Joslynn Hamblen  

Comment ID #17109

Oh nooooo not like this!! ??

CheesyRobotMacaroni  

Comment ID #17110

By the way, thank you Veronica and Oliver for this HELL of a chapter. You kept us hooked and making us guess. I really look forward to how things unfold from here!

esinololly  

Comment ID #17111

HELLFIRE! HELLFIRE!

ColorCrims0n  

Comment ID #17112

hi james

Coke  

Comment ID #17113

Dam...

TranslatorTest  

Comment ID #17114

The sweet sound of true ignorance. Mike should just reflect on this and go about his merry way. May the sound of everyone be his wake up call.

fleur  

Comment ID #17115

jesus this chapter was huge, but totally worth it. Still this shits a miscommunication, I swear to god I bet my best dollar, my whole entire family lineage that this is a miscommunication or that mike was lying, on god alright.

Rockygun1234  

Comment ID #17116

just curious, what would you think he's lying about? :o

prismabunny  

Comment ID #17117

I think he's either lying to Paulo and Daisy about him and sandy getting more in communication, or he just meant it as their just friends.

Rockygun1234  

Comment ID #17118

Oh I really love the composition of this page, it really feels like a busy school hallway. This whole chapter was super engaging, too, really excited to see what's coming up next!!

Mel  

Comment ID #17119

Beautiful page and fantastic chapter! I love the way this comic has grown over the last 10 years. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Katherine  

Comment ID #17120

Wow for once he's not rushing to Sandy for attention... and all it took was wrecking the person who loved him the most

nalem  

Comment ID #17121

**chokes up reading this comment** Yeah ;;;;;;;

Bird Bell  

Comment ID #17122

Amazing chapter. Also shoutouts to all the very cute background characters on this page. I love them all, but ponytail cat, goth dog, and madoka cat are my favorites.

mobsterseeker  

Comment ID #17123

I was about to say the same thing!!! I love getting to see different background characters ??

Brittany ann  

Comment ID #17124

Say it with us Lucy. To hell with him!

M. L. Scotland  

Comment ID #17125

That light-pink twintail cat oh my gosh <3 and James is there, too!

April  

Comment ID #17126

I really love the variety and uniqueness of the background students! And there's james aa!!

Laserlime  

Comment ID #17127

No lie this page is sort if powerful. How she disappear in the school crowd I love it. Mike know what he did was a utter fuck up so he's just about to ponder on what he did was wrong and were about to see him spiral out of control to what could have been avoided from the beginning really.

NeshBearWorks  

Comment ID #17128

everyone keeps bringing up james in the crowd of characters, but my eyes first laid on courtney!! i never thought we'd see her again >:3c

Iemonesque  

Comment ID #17129

Oughhh.. and... here we are...! Oh my goodness.

This chapter has been tour de force, and I think everyone else is certainly feeling that. I feel as though I have been wracked with every human emotion, and every subsequent page update has left me writhing and rolling around in anticipation. What an experience-! But honestly it is so fun to feel such intensity reading this, I've mentioned before but, it feels soo quintessential to the BCB experience to be on the edge of my seat for how interpersonal things are going to shake out... These punchy chapters are what one lives for.

In the most recent pages, I have been feeling so much pain for Lucy, and the same is true here, I can only imagine the stinging humiliation.. The frustration, the disappointment -- at both Michael and herself! Because as much as she wanted to believe that his actions and words meant something, she should have "known better". I know it can feel so defeating to be going through heartache, but in an almost cyclical way, for the same person. Fool me twice, etc. I'm sure she prided herself on her resolve lately , and I still think she handled herself so well in such a charged, impromptu situation of seeing Mike in the snow -- but man, still... It must feel all for naught.

Oh but... here comes my childish optimism, as always... Okay, I was pretty mad at Mike as he was texting Sandy (as I'm sure many people were) because... as I chewed over his dialogue, I realized this didn't feel like a very promising future for them... If only he had spent *days* hashing out feelings with her, and given himself time to process if this is what he wants/needs? The long distance aspect of the relationship has always been difficult for him, I wish there was a way to make him consider his own neediness and how it might just not be "enough" to be waiting on phone calls and texts. It is genuinely an effort to maintain long distance relationships, and you kind of have to be willing to compromise with it in the hopes of future closeness. Maybe a lot to ask out of these two... And, there's unfortunately no proof things won't just revert to how they were; Sandy doesn't even have to be interested in someone else again, she just is so bust this could easily fall to the wayside. And then Mike would be going through this cycle again...

*tentative optimism voice* BUT... I like seeing that Mike is feeling so devastated at the sight of Lucy crying. I worried his fallback would be to become frustrated and resentful at her, as it has been. This is a notable change, to me. I *hope*...! That this actually makes Mike reflect on what Lucy said! I think the most essential advice she doled out was that Mike is letting people walk all over him, he gets dragged along into relationships where he does not communicate well, then festers endlessly until he snaps. It is no good! This is no way to live life. He is trapped by his own passivity, yet clearly resents his station as such. Before this confrontation with Sandy/conversation with Lucy, he was ruining things for himself and others! A total mess! He shouldn't want to regress to such a state again.

I can't help but envision a timeline where Mike goes home and reflects on how much Lucy helped him, how much he needed to hear those things (*unnecessary, girlish fanfic voice* how nice that kiss was) -- and rethinks what he.. even wants. In life. I am forever sad that he does not even have video games in common with Sandy or something... but this is me feeling sensitive at the idea of a hobby of mine being belittled by my partner who I exalt due to their much more impressive exploits.

Well, at least he is going to have to look at the crack on his screen every time he texts Sandy now. Let that simmer.

In my ideal-est of worlds though Mike just grovels at Lucy's feet as penance for all the emotional turmoil fjfhfhhdg you know, I don't want him to like suffer supremely but I wish he could be so humble as to -- not even beg to be friends but, express how she was actually a great friend in the past and he was lucky to have her, and she is continually a powerful grounding force even now somehow, and how gracious that is of her. But this is me wishing Lucy could at least feel validated in a way that might assuage some of this cumulative fuckup-feeling lol... Like oh, a consolation prize for all the teen drama almost. Teen humbleness.

I love this hallway shot by the way, it feels so powerful, I love how the composition makes my eyes walk it. In general I have really enjoyed this hallway palette, Lucy's bow being more red, and the gold yellows in contrast, it feel very raw... So mirroring the cool blues and whites of the scenes in the snow. I feel like I am going to obsessively review so many distinct pages here for a while... so many drawings to love... urgh-!! Thank you for making this OTL

Bird Bell  

Comment ID #17130

@Bird Bell really well said! Couldn't have said it better

CasterXDesigns  

Comment ID #17131

Wow I loved reading this. Thank you for the gorgeous take

Strikhedonia  

Comment ID #17132

awe haha, thank you both for enjoying my rambling ~

Bird Bell  

Comment ID #17133

Awesome comment! I really do think that this chapter will be one of the true turning points for Mike. The fact that he genuinely felt guilty for how he treated Lucy is a step forward for him. It's awesome that Lucy is actually glad that he and Sandy are back together as it insinuates that she still cares for him and his well-being in a way but she still got the brunt end of the stick. :/ Poor girl! Mike obviously cares about Lucy too, but his decisions and execution were terrible and now he's going to rightfully pay for it. I hope he develops his character further though, I can't wait to see it. He might be on rock bottom now but the only direction to look is up!

Also, an interesting detail in this page is that he's actually ignoring his phone as he watches Lucy walk away. If this was Mike a year ago he would have tripped over himself and answered the phone ASAP while forgetting Lucy. I absolutely agree that the little crack on his phone serving as a reminder of last night is a nice touch. >:)

esinololly  

Comment ID #17134

Thank you as well for the compliment hehe. Oh! But I totally must agree, I think this has to be something significant for Mike's character... Seeing as the heart of this conflict has to do with two very significant people in his life, I would assume it's time to incur change. I'm really attuned to him feeling real guilt and concern for Lucy after this interaction, because it means that something did get through to him in their last conversation... SOMEthing has stuck a chord... and forced him to not fall into his usual mindset of snapping at Lucy for making him feel bad. I think often his snapping has been a way for him to avoid thinking deeper about his circumstances anyways, the blame game is tempting because it foists responsibility of his failing relationships off of himself. Yet this hinders growth, it is important to admit to yourself where you have failed in order to not be trapped in a cycle of hurting/being hurt...

Oh but poor Lucy indeed... She shoulders so much of this on her own, and her nature is to carry that herself... For her sake, I really want to see some forward momentum with Mike! This is why I would love him somehow threading the tricky needle of a meaningful apology. Rock bottom can spur him to action, maybe...? Heh.

-! The phone detail is something good to point out, ah it really is notable this is outright him selecting to pay attention to Lucy over Sandy's texts. Mike walking into the classroom felt like such a return to form, but now we see murmurings of more to it... I hope that crack really haunts him. He could use it! >:3

Bird Bell  

Comment ID #17135

Mike: Oh, Michael Scott, you lunkhead!

Great chapter, Taeshi.

SCD  

Comment ID #17136

Cannot wait for the next page

Bibicita  

Comment ID #17137

Time to play a game of Wheres Waldo

LemonSourHero  

Comment ID #17138

Welp

That was a wild ride

TannArts  

Comment ID #17139

Yeee all these cool characters. The page quality is so high this chapter, very pretty.

Gibibit  

Comment ID #17140

am i having a stroke or are you lol 😅

Airy Frith  

Comment ID #17141

JAMES! 👀

Sym  

Comment ID #17142

THE DOG AND CAT BOYFRIENDS 🥰🥰

Cas  

Comment ID #17143

Oh nooooo not like this!! 🥺

CheesyRobotMacaroni  

Comment ID #17144

I was about to say the same thing!!! I love getting to see different background characters ❤️

Brittany ann  

Comment ID #17145

Wow vero! You’ve really outdone yourself with these birds eye view angels. <3

Ema Nekaf  

Comment ID #17146

…I can’t help but feel like pink Madoka cat is a relative of Jess - I can’t remember if Jess is an only child or not so perhaps cousins…?

Leroy Fontaine  

Comment ID #17147

hehe chara cat

rabbitinq  

Comment ID #17148

“You know those people who only do terrible things and then wonder why nothing goes good for them? Thats me. Hi, my name is Micheal”

jordan sanford  

Comment ID #17149

Well, this is my personal opinion of course, but this feels like a total regression in the story. There’s still a broken Lucy, an asshole Michael, and feels like basically nothing changed, except the part when Sandy is actually paying attention to mike. Paulo is back to normal, (what happened with his outburst? That should have led to something) wild ride, and a disappointing one too. Just like life. Long chapter that led to basically nothing.

Dayo Gonzales  

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