Hello! Cory again. It’s Friday, and you know what that means! It means awkward, cautious flirting in the midst of omnipresent peril. I’d accuse Kait of not thinking this through, but I’m pretty sure the problem is that she overthought it really badly and ended up sort of paralyzing herself.

In the comments section of the previous update, several of you expressed (or appeared to express) concern over the possibility that Kait’s pass at Noh would turn out to be queerbaiting. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, queerbaiting typically refers to the practice of using sexual or romantic tension between characters of the same gender as “bait” to draw a larger queer audience to the piece of media, but never actually going beyond “implied” queerness (and adamantly refusing to actually confirm anything) so as to avoid offending homophobic sensibilities. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon, culturally speaking, but it’s bizarrely common and it’s becoming increasingly insulting. “Oh ho ho! Maybe this time we’ll acknowledge that you exist! I mean, we actually won’t, we’ll just play everything off as a joke and then put all the characters in hetero relationships in the end, but you almost got to see someone Like You represented positively in mainstream media! Isn’t that great??”

I want to make it clear that we have no intention of participating in that nonsense. Both of us are bisexual, and we find queerbaiting just as maddening and tedious as anyone else. There are queer characters in the cast of The End. Some of them fall in love. Some of them date. If this is a deal-breaker for anyone, welp, thank you for reading our comic for as long as you did, we hope you enjoyed it. To everyone else: we’re not going to sit here and dangle the promise of representation in front of you like a fishing lure. That’s gross and dishonest and creatively bankrupt and it’s just flat out not happening. I hope this is a sufficiently clear explanation of our stance on the issue.

Please come back Tuesday to see the last page of this chapter! Also: the thrilling conclusion of the second most bafflingly absurd title-text metastory I’ve written (the most absurd was probably the Monoculture hair-vs-eyebrow power struggle. Sometimes I wonder where the hell I get this nonsense).