Ah Malmöfestivalen is over! Mollevången reeks of urin and a new strip is up for you! Heja sommar!
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I am amazed at how threatened Sofi is already by Maria.
I also do not think that Anders is bad in any way. yes he has been guilty of a few bad choices, but so has everyone else in this story, and to carry it out even further, so have we all in our own lives.
It is my feeling that this relateable human condition is really what makes “Anders Loves Maria” so compelling. These characters act like real people and it is a real pleasure to watch.
Something about Maria’s accent written down really bothers me. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve gone for so long without seeing it and that makes it seem incongruous with the rest of the comic or what. I know the point is so that we hear the way Maria is talking, but I keep stumbling over what is written. Not only can do I have a hard time figuring out what Maria is saying, but I can’t hear the accent in my head, which I thought was the point. (Actually I keep hearing a Scottish accent when I read it, is that similar to what we’re supposed to be hearing?) I would love it if her words were written normally but we all know we are supposed to read it with an accent. Just my input on the accent situation.
I’m sorry, but I really hate Maria’s accent. Usually when writing the accent is implied, but not deliberately written like that, unless it’s a speech impediment or something. I don’t think we should have to read what she says over and over just to understand one line.
I know what you’re trying to do, and it is fairly important to the current story arc, but I just don’t think it’s done as well as it should be done.
Well, I’m on the opposite side of the fence from those who don’t like Maria’s accent being spelled out. I think it conveys the situation in a way that can’t easily be conveyed visually otherwise. I don’t have a problem with it, either as a device or understanding it.
I like the accent. It does its job well. Someone mentioned “speech impediment”, and even though it was mentioned in criticising how the accent comes across, I think it’s pretty apt! To people like Sofi, a speech impediment is exactly what she has, and it’s a very significant part of their perspective.
I don’t really find it bothersome… and Maria’s only had… what? One line per page with this accent? She needs to come off as the awkward girl with the awkward accent, and I don’t think it could be done any better. Good job, Rene! Please keep it up, I love A<3M.
The accent-thing doesn’t bother me, probably because I tend to read Marias speech-bubbles twice: first I read it the way it is written to see what she’s saying, then my head translates it to Swedish Norrland-accent and it makes perfect sense. This, of course, is impossible to do if your not familiar with the accent and I imagine that is why so many people dislike the way Maria is currently talking…
Hey Rene, I absolutely love your comic and your art, but I really dislike how Maria’s accent is being conveyed. It’s distracting and doesn’t flow with the rest of the story. Hope all is well and I’m loving the updates!
I didn’t really like the accent at first but I think it makes sense for this flashback. It highlights her situation as the “village idiot” in the big city or whatever. And it emphasizes and explains the reactions of the people around her. Anders reacts to it very strongly as well because he sees himself as an egalitarian knight in shining armor, stretching out a hand to the less fortunate.
It’s kind of ironic that he is giving SOFI a look now in regard to Maria and when Maria and Anders go to her parents’ house he gets angry at MARIA for displaying the same behaviour in regards to Tina,
Also I think suddenly unveiling Maria’s accent when she’s spoken “normal” before is a bit like reading Kate Beaton and thinking of her as not having an accent and then reading Overcompensating.
I can fully understand the accent, a perk of coming from near that area in England, haha. But I still don’t see why everyone is complaining about it so much.
Has anyone who is talking about problems with ‘continuity’ and all that ever stopped to think that perhaps Maria lost the accent as she got older, due to being around people like Anders and being in that area of the city and whatnot?
I have to say that Maria’s accent is growing on me. I didn’t really have a problem with it to begin with, it was a little much to read, but I believe I’m getting the hang of it and as soon as I read Maria’s speech bubble I don’t have too much trouble mentally translating it. I love young Maria! She is SO DARN CUTE!! And I honestly can’t hate Anders no matter what he does as my littlest brother has the same name!
I second Sophie’s reply. This all seems to imply that Maria’s accent was much stronger in the past. I also don’t have a problem understanding it. My suggestion to those who do is to read Maria’s speech bubbles out loud, since her accent is phonetic. (There are only two accented words in this comic: dooant = don’t and kna = know, which frankly seems easy to figure out, to me.)
Anyway, I love your art, both the visual and the storytelling kind.
despite all of anders’ faults, i really do have to say i think he likes to play the role of a protector..and he obviously has very little patience for immaturity as far as not being respectful to people for reasons such as as the way they talk, or things they dont know….someone made a valid point about how he got upset at maria over her treating Tina that way, and now it kind of makes sense.
i like anders, personally…yes he can be a bit of a ‘dog’ but….most men are, in my experience. even the really nice ones have their moments.
I don’t know if it just that I have the Yorkshire equivalent of Maria’s accent, but I don’t have any problems reading her. I like the fact that its another layer to her, and the fact that it takes a bit longer to read means you get to look at Renee’s wonderful art for a few seconds longer:)
Also, I agree with Sophie that I see it as her loosing her accent from being around others. My accent gets stronger when I speak to people from home, or spend time there, and weaker when I spend too much time with the southerners at work:(
Yes, Maria may have lost the accent when she got older, but that is irrelevant since NOWHERE in the other flashbacks of “younger Maria” is it accent displayed. It is incongruous and off-putting starting this NOW, and I think that is what bothers people. Even when Johan was giving her a send-off to Konstfack there was no accent (for either of them), and that was the same day.
In that single comic with the reference to the accent it was fine — that made a point. I don’t see why we can’t continue with normal English and just understand she has an accent. It should be just taken as read that she has one, we get it. Also, it being a Newfie/Yorkshire/Southern US/whatever accent is just strange for a Swedish comic, in my mind. It parallels sure.. but I don’t think it conveys “Northern Sweden” to anyone.
Other than that, lovely comic Rene – faithful reader for years now! It’s amazing how much your art has changed and improved. Every so often I read from the beginning, and seeing all your diverse changes is really interesting!
The interesting question that noone seems to have asked is: Is Anders being nice to Maria because he’s genuinely a nice guy, or because he already fancies her a bit? Probably, like many people, a little from column A and a little from column B…
P.S. I can tolerate the accent as long as its not around for too much longer. It makes sense but it DOES make the comic more work to read. I think at this point it would be more grating to suddenly change how it’s conveyed, though.
Personally I love the accent and I think it adds depth to the character.
To the people who think it’s a jarring transition from the other flashbacks, think on this:
In the other flashbacks, she’s surrounded by people who have the SAME ACCENT, so she’s not aware of it.
However when she goes to school, she’s suddenly made very aware that she talks differently from everyone else. All of a sudden she’s the country bumpkin in the big city.
So, it makes a lot of sense for her accent to be noticed now.
Also, it’s not that hard to decipher. It’s clearly written and the words aren’t so dissimilar that they can’t be understood.
I think some people just like to complain about things.
“People often talk about being scared of change; but for me, I’m more afraid of things staying the same” –
I’m honestly curious as to how most readers complaining about the difficulty of the accent make it through some novels.
There are plenty of books–required reading, no less, that make a character’s accent or manner of speaking prominent throughout the story. Mark Twain, J.K. Rowling, Jonathan Swift, Charles Dickens–and even the translated works of Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, and Kafka make room for some heavy accents and dialects, so I’m surprised that there’s so much trouble over Maria’s accent here. She barely gets a sentence or two in, so it’s not like tripping over every line of dialogue like a stalled train. I for one like it, and agree with Squeaker, k, and Rei above.
I think Sofi’s just reaching for any reason to dislike Maria now–because honestly, the way Anders is, Maria DOES pose a threat to their relationship. It’s sucky because it’s just making him lean even more toward Maria. :/
And, oh, Anders, the irony. My sweet, sweet, foolish, cockmonster.
one thing to think about re. the accent: all throughout the progress of A&M, Rene has been experimenting with different graphic styles, different narrative styles, different drawing media… it’s been really great to see all this variation, and to see her messing around with it and figuring it out “as we watch”. it’s really empowering for beginning comics-makers to know that we don’t have to have it all planned out or set up in advance, or stick to stylistic continuity if a different mode of telling the story strikes our fancy.
seen in that context, the accent makes perfect sense: it’s another way of bringing the characters to life — and that’s why I’m pretty sure we’re all still here: through all the changes, the characters have stayed so consistently well written, human, flawed, contradictory, but ultimately sympathetic and *real*. go Rene!!!!!!!!
BTW, did anyone notice Sofi is smoking, with that sort of studied mode of holding the cigarett in the first frame?
And the pfft=exhaling smoke as an excuse for making a snarky comment.
I’m torn about Maria’s accent as it is written. It’s perfect in this flashback, a pointed reminder of just how far away from home geographically, culturally, socially, she is at the moment. BUT when the story picks up in the “present” again, it’ll be heavy going to have Maria, Bjorn, Johan AND Tina talking in written-out dialect.
It’s silly that some of you are citing the fact that you’ve never seen Maria with this type of accent before as the reason it is off-putting. If she wrote it like this for everything Maria said, you would complain even more about how hard it is to read.
It’s important to show details like this when the relationship between Anders and Maria is being formed, as impressions are formed on all sorts of things (accents included). It’s a delightful read, and explains certain reactions that might otherwise seem curious or suspect.
I love this comic so much. And I love Anders as an artboy! He seems like such a non-judgemental and genuine person. As for the accent, I actually kind of like it. It can be hard to read sometimes, but I think it really shows us just how awkward and out-of-place Maria must be feeling, standing next to these pretentious rich kids (with the exception of the lovely Anders, of course).
dialect/accents can be written well or written poorly; I couldn’t get through that Robert Adams book about Traveller (Robert E. Lee’s horse) because he did such a job of butchery on U.S. Southern dialect. Gag. There are other authors out there who can do it quite well, however.
Now if only someone would define “petit bougeouise” for me, as it’s one of those phrases I’ve always *pretended* I understood! (and pretended I could spell….)
So many whiners for two words where it’s fairly obvious what the two translate to. It’s been said before: the accent is here now to emphasise how awkward maria is here; also, it may become less apparent later due to it growing lighter AND anders getting used to it. I personally feel that her sudden accent has a direct correlation to how people see her. If they see her a country bumpkin, all they’ll notice first is her accent. As soon as they get past the country girl aspect, they’ll pay no attention to the accent, which easily explains why Anders doesn’t “hear” an accent when he goes to her hometown. He no longer judges them based on their accents and places no emphasis on it, therefore it’s not in those comics.
I can’t believe people who can follow such a beautiful story without any problem are whining about having to read a well represented accent.
It’s perfectly readable to me, but that’s probably because I’m a Northern Brit.
Perhaps some helpful readers can translate her speech for those who need spoon-feeding.
Adding my voice to those saying they like Maria’s dialect and think it adds to the story. Others have already noted that a) her accent would have become less noticeable as she got older b) emphasizes her physical, cultural and emotional distance from where she came from and where she’s going, and b) shows Anders own growth (in the beginning he finds her accent “charming” but later in their relationship doesn’t notice it at all). And, as someone said, it explains the reactions of people in the comic to Maria that could not be as effectively portrayed purely through visuals.
I love the comic. I love the evolution of the art from the first page to the last. I love the way I’ve seen the story be built over time. I love that the viewers can feel so connected to a work of art in progress that they feel they can comment on it and its creation. However, at the end of the day, the work is Rene’s and–love or hate her decisions–I personally don’t feel that I, as a reader, have any right to dictate how she makes her comic.
Anyway–enough with the tl;dr. Love the comic, keep up the fantastic work Rene!
I stumbled across this comic a little while ago, and I have to say, it’s one of the best I’ve read. Your artwork is gorgeous, and I LOVE the story! And I agree, young(er) Maria is adorable! Her accent is so cute.
eggnut, it means “lower middle class.” It’s usually used as an insult, to say that someone is conformist and pretending to be respectable, or about their buying patterns (keeping up with the Joneses”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petite_bourgeoisie I think it can also imply being pretentious, just like ostentatious,
I think the use of the accent to specifically help show her having trouble fitting in works fine, and I’ve read similar phonetic accents before. I haven’t had any trouble making out what she’s saying, and it sounds yorkshire to me (I’m in the US, but know some people from that area).
I’ve been following this comic for quite a while now, but so far I didn’t feel the need to comment.
I’m not bothered by Maria’s accent or it’s lack in the previous part of the story. Since this is a flashback, it’s possible she lost it in the meantime. It’s the same with me- I used to have this rather thick Transylvanian accent, but lost it in less then a year once I moved to Constanta, where they speak what is normally regarded to be “accentless” Romanian…
Also, I’ve never regarded Anders as “bad”. Yes, he could use better self control when females are concerned, but then again, Homo Sapiens is not usually regarded as a naturally monogamous species, something that has been proven times and again by history.
In fact, I believe it is perfectly possible for a somebody (man or woman, doesn’t really matter) to love more than one person at the same time (also gender is insignificant, since I think same sex relationships are pretty normal as well) because they are looking for different things that might not all be present in a single partner.
Also, I was really amused about today’s installment because of a rather odd reason – when I first read it, I noticed the street address behind them, “Valhallavägen 136″. My first thought was “oh, they’re over in Östermalm” and thought nothing more of it, than it finally clicked – that’s the address of the Swedish Patent Office, and I spent some nice evenings friends with in the small park just visible on the left. (In Romania if you drink on the street you get a hefty fine, but in Sweden nobody thinks anything of it) I only missed it the first time because the edifice is in real life made of red brick rather than the pale pink pictured (there actually is a pink building on the other side of the Patent Office, on the corner with Artillerigatan)
In any case, I love this attention to detail.
Maybe I should re-read the archives and see if I can recognize some other places from Stockholm.
For all of those on the “Aww, Poor Sofi!” train, I’m just not buying it. Frankly, when she was first introduced, (I believe 5 panels back), Sofi gives Maria NOTHING but dirty looks, and Maria is guilty of the same thing!
It is just how women are. Period.
It doesn’t help that Anders will fuck anything that walks, and doesn’t give a shit about anyone’s feelings but himself! Don’t get me wrong, they’ve all had their “good moments” where they do the “right thing”, but lets be honest, the characters of this comment are assholes, they just are.
And “Poor Maria”. Are you KIDDING me? I know for a god damned FACT that all the art majors I know, that go to fancy fucking art colleges are some of the worst people I’ve ever met. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy their witty repartee, but they’re all back stabbers, liars, cheaters, etc etc, the list goes on.
So lets stop feeling sorry for people that are drawn on paper, and maybe start giving a damn about the people that live in the REAL world before this place becomes uninhabitable.
And by the way, if someone in their 20s asked me, personally, what ostentatious meant, I would laugh as well. Not in a cruel manner, but if you’re in your 20s and don’t know what it means, thats extremely sad. Refer to my statement about the Earth being uninhabitable.
Rene – I love the style of your art, it’s something I’ve spent money on, I believe you are very talented. Sometimes I wish people would just let you tell your story without jumping from conclusion to conclusion to conclusion. You’re the artist, and you’ve done a fantastic job…by YOURSELF. Keep up the good work
I know people have got their fingers set to flame. Oh noes, the keyboard. Don’t bother, I won’t be reading it.
I really like young Maria’s accent! And I like the way its spelled out, it doesn’t take anything away from the comic at all, and it doesn’t make it more difficult to read!
I love your comic Rene, and your artwork is amazing, keep up the good work
I love Anders Loves Maria. I just get so annoyed that this webcomic updates so unreliably. I understand family issues etc, I just know that this comic would be infinitely more successful if it were only updated on a regular basis. The story line is amazing and all but I know so many people who have simply stopped reading out of frustration that none of the story lines get really resolved and that is simply because it takes months to get through part of a story. You are a wonderful artist and writer. I check this page often to see if there are any updates but I always leave feeling…empty, frustrated.
I love this comic, but I really don’t like Maria’s accent. I hear only a Scottish accent in my head when I read her bubbles now (not to mention, I have to read them over and over. I don’t like to think of a comic I need to “read out loud”, as one member suggested, to enjoy it.)
I think experimenting with it was interesting, but please consider going back to non-phonetic English.
Molly, we’ve gone through this a few pages back. The comic will update when it updates. I’m sorry your supposed friends are fickle enough to stop checking a website for five seconds for their free comic update every few days. The updates have also been coming in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since Rene’s return, which is not only the three day update a week as promised, but the old schedule for you extra ornery anal retentives. (NO, that does not mean expect in MWF forever). Where have you been this past week?
Woh, sorry if I offended you Mel. I don’t normally read the comments on the comic since I’m not much for gushing about the latest story line (I do that with my own giddy giggles in my office). There is no need to be defensive, I was trying to be constructive and I have been reading this comic long enough to see when it updates and when it does not. If I did offend you or Rene then understand I am sorry, that was not my intention.
I will repeat this once more: No need to be defensive.
Well, Molly, it comes off as someone who feels an outrageous sense of entitlement about something they are getting for free. I can think of no way that your comments could be considered constructive. If you feel so empty and frustrated quit reading and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
I don’t think you are getting the point of what I was saying and maybe that is my fault. I am an advertising consultant and what I meant by “successful” is that more people would frequent the webpage, and therefore that the advertisers on said webpage would find more people clicking their links which equals more money for the artist. What I meant by empty and frustrated is more of a feeling of asking myself “why do I keep coming back here” the answer to that question is that I love the story line, I’m addicted to it, and I want to see more but I only get to once or twice a week (on average).
My comments were constructive if you look at them from the point of view of someone who is giving perhaps, tough love, to someone that they feel could increase their potential.
There is so much potential in this comic! It should be printed and distributed all over the world. Indie kids and hipsters would blow their load over this gold and advertisers would flock to this webpage. Thus the artist Rene would find a great deal of success and an influx of money to fund her art.
Really Opuli, I think you need to step off of your high horse. You are protecting this web comic like it is your cub and that just isn’t necessary. Take a chill pill chica.
Cat Garza is a good example of a web cartoonist who is balancing a crazy life (child, divorce, moving etc) and still be able to keep a regularly updated schedule for his now IGNATS nominated comic. He creates for himself a buffer of sorts so that if he has family/life issues he’s far enough ahead to let it all blow over. Not sure if that’s a way you could work to satisfy readers like Molly, but it’s just from one cartoonist to another here! Continued luck with the strip!