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Endgame: Opening moves

(From Queen of Wands. Click on the thumbnail for full sized soft spot!)

There's a duality in today's Queen of Wands that really strikes me, even as I feel sad. There's a little bit of the earliest days of the strip, with Kestrel speculating to a new mother about the soft spot on her baby's head, and Shannon reflecting on poop and sleep. It's a harkening... it's... dare I say it, the Funny.

And then we have our minds blown. Blown!

All by a haircut.

My friend Sean made a truly excellent point about tonight's strip. To quote from his own snark:

This is where it's beginning to end. The theme of Queen of Wands has been "growth", and part of growth is change. Sometimes that change is gradual. Other times, it's really sudden and dramatic, like today. But the point is that things are changing, and it's soon going to become clear for Kestrel that she can't stay where she used to be, because where she used to be doesn't exist anymore.

Sean's right, of course. We have growth and change. A couple of strips back, Felix called Angela to tell her "he's a Daddy now." Not "the baby was born." Not "Shannon had the baby." Not "Kestrel made an appointment to have her tube tied." "I'm a Daddy now." And that's different. And he's reflecting that difference. At the same time, he's not showing up in a tie and frowning and acting 'serious.' He's still Felix. He's just Felix with short, blond hair. The next step. The next move forward.

At the same time, I'm reminded of the last physical transformation of Felix. That time, Kestrel was the stimulus of Felix's change -- even though Felix himself didn't want to change. He wanted to regress, to go back to the girlfriend and mother of his child who he'd lost. He wanted to go back, and so he couldn't call Kestrel his girlfriend. But in the same way that she caused him to give up eyeliner and goth clothes, she forced him to step into his future... ultimately, to Shannon.

Now, he's taken another step... and he doesn't need Kestrel to say "why exactly is your hair blue, anyway?" to him. He realized while he was out that he wasn't the guy with the blue hair any more. And so he made a change.

This is how the end begins. Oh, the end's been presaged for months now, as Kestrel prepares to move to Boston and the fringes of a different webcomic (perhaps). But this is when it becomes real. Kestrel knew she'd have to leave when Shannon and Felix had a child. She thought it was because she didn't like children... but in the end, it's because Shannon and Felix would evolve into different people with a child, and now we've seen it begin.

I'm going to be sorry to see Queen of Wands go, but this was an excellent... shocking step on that lightning path they all follow. Nicely done. Nicely done indeed.

The question is... did Felix really dye his eyebrows blue all those years, and bleach them now? I mean, ow?


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