Looking back, I just realized it’s been over four years since I last wrote a proper review for Jeph Jacques’ slice-of-life science fiction webcomic Questionable Content. Since then I’ve written 18 additional articles on a variety of topics (making QC one of my most commented-on comics, which is undoubtedly due to Jacques’ skill in making fascinating and enjoyable characters), but the last real review was back in Feb. 28, 2008 review (concerning Faye’s hookup with Dora’s brother Sven). And to be honest, my initial plans for today’s comic was just that – another quick one-paragraph commentary on the potential hookup between Tai and Dora. However, I realized this would be leaving a lot unsaid on the topic, including considerable growth that the characters have undergone.
The seeds for a Tai/Dora relationship were actually planted way back when Dora was still dating Marten, which makes me wonder if Jacques may have planned the breakup of Marten and Dora back when Tai first entered the scene. While I don’t have time for a proper archive crawl to verify my suspicion, if I remember right, Tai was strongly attracted to Dora even back when she was still dating Marten, and was going through a bit of angst after Marten had broken up with Dora (because it’s one of those unspoken rules that you don’t date the ex of a friend, at least if you want to keep that friendship). Finally Marten himself gave Tai the go-ahead in what was likely the final sign that there was no hope for a ressurected relationship between Dora and Marten. (The fact it also showed Marten was healing and showing considerable maturity is beyond the point.)
The big question, naturally, was how Dora felt about Tai. While it’s somewhat obvious that Dora is bisexual (given she was flirting with both Faye and Marten early in the series), I don’t really recall Dora seeing a lot of Tai even when she was dating Marten. In many ways, Tai was outside Dora’s social circle and I don’t think she had the courage to approach Dora on her own. Thus Dora’s own enthusiastic greeting of Tai shocked both Tai and myself, especially given she’d gone out with a date with her counterpart at The Secret Bakery not that long ago. Interestingly, while she told Tai the same thing she told Jim, that she’s a mess and not really ready to date… Tai didn’t let that deter her.
When you get down to it, Tai’s dead on in her reasoning. Everyone has issues they’re dealing with. Dora’s problem is that she holds herself up to a higher standard. She’s working on her trust issues. And I half suspect the reason she’s not dating anyone else is she feels guilt over what happened with Marten, even though he’s moving on (and indeed did date someone else who I suspect he’d still be happily with if she’d been able to stay). But what’ll be interesting is to see how Tai changes.
Up until now, Tai’s been a bit of a free spirit. She’s bounced from relationship to relationship, and while she’s sometimes expressed a desire for stability, I have to wonder how she’ll handle being with just one person. Can she let opportunity pass her by, or will she succumb to temptation, much as Sven did? Personally, I hope Jacques relies on more than just his imagination in crafting any potential romance between Tai and Dora. While Questionable Content is in many ways a comedy, I would love to see a realistic depiction of a lesbian relationship shown in the days ahead, rather than the cheap fantasies that so often litter the internet.