Dora Explores New Relationship Ground: A Questionable Content Roundtable

Dora Explores New Relationship Ground: A Questionable Content Roundtable

Warning: Spoilers below! In a recent strip of the long-running webcomic Questionable Content, a thunderstruck Tai immediately knelt on the floor of the Coffee of Doom and proposed to her girlfriend, Dora, after Dora stated, point blank and without hesitation, that she'd close her coffee shop immediately and follow Tai if Tai had to move elsewhere.

Warning: Spoilers below!

In a recent strip of the long-running webcomic Questionable Content, a thunderstruck Tai immediately knelt on the floor of the Coffee of Doom and proposed to her girlfriend, Dora, after Dora stated, point blank and without hesitation, that she’d close her coffee shop immediately and follow Tai if Tai had to move elsewhere. Dora was very nonchalant about the declaration, but it was a significant moment that struck both the characters in the strip and readers with its intensity—so much so that we here at WWAC were instantly abuzz with speculation! Specifically, Alenka, Emily, Kat and myself had some thoughts to share:

How did you feel about Tai popping the Question…able Content?

Kat Overland: It felt extremely out of the blue, especially stemming from a conversation where it’s clear they haven’t talked about their future that much. They’re a cute couple! I want them to be happy! But Tai is presented as pretty impulsive and not that serious in general, so it feels…ominous, a little, since there hasn’t been any build up to it.

Nola Pfau: Yeah and honestly Dora broke up with Marten over insecurity issues, so it’s weird to me to see her just quietly deciding “yes, I will uproot my whole life for this person if it comes to it.” It’s not a bad thing necessarily; if the relationship feels right, it feels right, but I guess I’d have liked to see more of that play out on panel.

Look. If there’s going to be a wedding comic, I hope Melon and Lemon are invited because I want to see what they’d wear.

Emily Lauer: Look. If there’s going to be a wedding comic, I hope Melon and Lemon are invited because I want to see what they’d wear.

Alenka Figa: I have sort of 50% Emily feelings—like, oh my god, I kind of want a ridiculous QC wedding full of characters wearing formal wear that parodies their snarky clothing over the years—and 50% Kat, feeling that ominousness. Tai and Dora’s relationship has really progressed in the background; there were even some comics a while back in which Tai strutted around, totally confident that things were 100% fine, and I think Dora ended up voicing some concerns she’d been holding back? I definitely agree with you, Nola—I need this decision to be explored in the comic.

How do you regard Dora and Tai’s relationship as presented in the comic?

Kat: uh, I feel like their development has been presented…sparsely.

Nola: I feel kind of the same—the idea of their relationship feels “new” to me still but I went back and checked, and they’ve been together since 2012?! That’s wild to me, so maybe it’s just my brain being stuck in the past, or maybe since I took a couple years off the strip and then binged to catch up, some of those big moments didn’t stick in my head.

Emily: I see them as a quirky couple who trust each other. Though they haven’t been the focus lately, they still seem to be consistently presented that way when they do interact.

Their relationship has very much been in the background of the comic, but it’s been so steady and supportive that it doesn’t feel completely out of left field that they’d get married. They, uh, really should talk about the big life decisions in more detail, though.

Alenka: OK so… I was looking for the comic I just mentioned and when I finally found it, it turned out that my memory was not quite correct! It’s actually just a fart joke! However, during my perhaps procrastination fueled dive into the QC archives to find Dora and Tai comic strips, I somehow mostly found comics where Tai pushed Dora to examine her choices and be a better person. There’s a short arc where Tai convinces Dora to hire an assistant manager so she doesn’t overwork herself, and another where she asks Dora to look more closely at her willingness to cut people out of her life—eventually prompting her to make up with Sven and to maintain her very important friendship with Faye. Their relationship has very much been in the background of the comic, but it’s been so steady and supportive that it doesn’t feel completely out of left field that they’d get married. They, uh, really should talk about the big life decisions in more detail, though.

Nola: I’d forgotten about that conversation between Tai and Dora. Going back I’m still not a hundred percent in agreement with Tai’s stance on it, but I suppose that’s a different conversation. It does support the point that there’s more work put into strengthening their relationship than I’d originally remembered!

What kind of discussions do you want to see the characters have about their future plans, following this engagement?

Nola: I want to see Tai commit to some longterm plans for her life, and I also want Dora to address her own lack of communication issues—it’s weird that she made this significant decision regarding the future of their relationship and didn’t talk to Tai about it.

Emily: I agree that people should discuss their long term plans if they’re getting married, but I also feel a lot of confidence in Jacques’s storytelling. I think I’m mostly along for the ride. Whether this engagement brings Tai and Dora to the forefront and they become more major characters for a while, or whether they stay a Nice Functional Couple in the background, either way is fine with me.

I agree that people should discuss their long term plans if they’re getting married, but I also feel a lot of confidence in Jacques’s storytelling.

Alenka: I would really like to see them sit down and talk about Big Deal stuff that marriage would entail—possible moves if Tai’s career prompts her to leave their home, if they want to be parents, all that major stuff. Flipping back through some QC archives made me really appreciate how Jeph focuses on this strange group of friends helping each other through difficult, life-changing decisions, and I think I’ll be a bit disappointed if we don’t get to see Dora and Tai really push each other to have an important conversation about what they want in regards to a very committed, long term relationship.

If we do see an arc where they…Tai the knot, what would you like to see?

Alenka: I want it to be gay gay GAY GAY GAY please!! Make it gay! Obviously Dora is bisexual but you know what I mean—I just… want it to feel hella gay. Tai invites all her exes because obviously they are still friends, Faye officiates in a sleeveless tux that shows off her biceps, there’s a burlesque bachelorette party—the possibilities are endless!

Tai invites all her exes because obviously they are still friends, Faye officiates in a sleeveless tux that shows off her biceps, there’s a burlesque bachelorette party — the possibilities are endless!

Nola: Honestly I like the idea of Dora following Tai, especially if they’re hitched. I don’t want to put more work on Jeph Jacques, but a spin-off centering around them living elsewhere with a fresh cast could be a lot of fun.

Kat: I want to meet Tai’s family (unless they’ve been mentioned to be estranged or something in the archives)! She’s one of the main characters of color but I feel like I only know her in the context of her interactions with other folks’ storylines, so a big gay! gay! gay! wedding could be a great way to dig into her inner life.

Alenka: Kat that is a very good point and I hardcore agree, because we have met pretty much everyone else’s family?! If you stick around in QC long enough we meet your parents, it seems.

Nola Pfau
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